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Champions Of Kitchen Design: The AGA Cooker

The History of the AGA cooker

After an explosion caused by a failed experiment tragically cost him his sight, Nobel-prize winning scientist, Dr. Gustaf Dalén, was confined to his home. Cared for by his wife Elma, Dalén was concerned about the amount of time she was spending stoking the fire under a dangerous open stove. Inspired, he resolved to invent a more efficient cooker that could be safely left on at all times. The AGA was born.

Made In Britain

Although invented by a Swede, the AGA cooker has become a symbol of all things quintessentially British. In 1947, manufacture of the cooker was moved to the Coalbrookdale foundry in Shropshire, where they are still being made to this day. Also, Douglas Scott, best known for designing London’s classic Routemaster buses, played a significant role in the re-styling of the cooker, turning it into the recognisable icon it is now.

Why AGA?

The secret to the AGA’s success is that they are still built the same way as they always have been. Molten iron is poured into moulds to create heavy iron castings, which absorb and retain heat, before being given multiple coats of enamel. This means that not only does food retain more moisture and flavour, but also, every cooker is unique. Another major selling point is their longevity, with a recent competition to find the oldest working AGA cooker discovering that one installed in 1932 was still cooking!

Although an AGA cooker may conjure up images of rambling country estates and farmhouse kitchens, they are equally at home in a contemporary setting. Modern models are combined with state-of-the-art technology that allows you to remotely turn on a casserole or heat up the home simply by sending a text from a smartphone. To cut down running costs, some even have touch-screen panels that control the different ovens and hotplates, innovations that I’m sure would have overjoyed Dr. Dalén.

A Heart-Warming Design

As the evenings draw in and we dream of stewed apples bubbling on the stove and dogs warming their paws in front of the oven, it’s clear the AGA is more than just a good looking facade and, possibly, even more than an ingenious design. It is a cherished part of family life.

For more ideas on how to create a warm and inviting kitchen during these colder months, read our article on Bringing Autumn Into Your Kitchen.

Stephen WoolmerStephen Woolmer
06:40 24 Jun 24
We would like to thank Jamie and Ed at Black Rok for our amazing German kitchen. From design concept to installation, they have been professional throughout and ensured we have achieved our dream modern kitchen. The quality of the build is what you would expect from a Germany company, but the little details from different draw and cupboard configuration's, to the lighting has made the difference. The quartz worktops are beautiful and the island at nearly 3m long makes this large kitchen so workable and an entertainment area in its self. We even fitted in a large pantry behind the kitchen and Black Rok have ensured we have used this space to its maximum potential. We cannot recommend Black Rok enough for your next dream kitchen.
Lorraine KlusLorraine Klus
10:54 14 Jun 24
There was no hesitation to use Black RoK for our new kitchen pantry utility and plant room in our new house having used them on several projects before. They never fail to do amazing designs and the insulation team are tidy and polite great quality kitchens .
Donna LawDonna Law
19:12 14 May 24
Great service. Such beautiful well made kitchen. High quality highly recommend
John WertheimJohn Wertheim
16:50 29 Apr 24
We love our Black Rok kitchen! Jamie showed amazing patience and design expertise over the two years that it took us to create our vision, at the same time as building our house. Jamie was able to incorporate everything that we wanted, providing great advice and suggestions along the way. The installation was amazing - nothing was too much trouble and the coordination with our builders went perfectly. We have both a beautiful and fully functional space and would thoroughly recommend Black Rok.
Dan ElsonDan Elson
07:31 20 Apr 24
Great service. All the team at Black Rock highly professional. The end result is fabulous. Many thanks Dan
D.M.N.M GutteridgeD.M.N.M Gutteridge
22:08 21 Mar 24
Thoroughly recommend the Black Rok team. We put in a new kitchen and got excellent advice through the planning process. We asked to see a number of different layout options on the computer and Jamie was very patient and helpful. The installation team were first rate and took great pride in their work. Overall very satisfied.
Linda WoodhouseLinda Woodhouse
16:39 05 Dec 23
Having downsized, I was somewhat daunted by the prospect of turning my narrow, shadowy, U-shaped, very basic kitchen into one that I actually wanted to spend time in. I now have a light, airy, functional space with practical ‘innards’ and modern, intuitive appliances. Thanks to Jamie and Ed the kitchen layout has been totally transformed and the best use has been made of the space with a sleek handle-less design and contemporary narrow worktops. Both Jamie and Ed have communicated professionally and openly at all stages of the project and Ed was even instrumental in steering me towards my final colour choices! I would thoroughly recommend Black Roc for their design and fitting capabilities.
steven eckhardtsteven eckhardt
15:00 20 Nov 23
WOW! Black Rok did a really fabulous job job with both design and fit. We have a high quality contemporary kitchen and appliances. The fit was done in just a few days with care and precision. We have had no issues but Black Rok have kept in touch and visited to ensure we are satisfied which of course we are. Fabulous colour and all very functional. Great decision to use Black Rok and we have no hesitation in recommending them.
Nigel BraggNigel Bragg
16:08 17 Apr 23
We have nothing but positive things to say about the team at Black Rok Kitchen Design. Having spent 3-4 years dithering over getting a new kitchen, we finally decided to take the plunge last year. We had 2 criteria: a sleek, modern, German style kitchen provided by an independent, local business with impeccable references. After coming across the Black Rok website, we were immediately taken by the striking designs and reassured by the volume of glowing customer testimonials along with photographs of recent projects. From the moment we met with Jamie in the Uckfield showroom, it was clear that he understood what we were looking for. Although we had some pretty fixed ideas on design and layout, Jamie was able to take those ideas and enhance them seamlessly into an overall design scheme that exceeded our expectations in all departments. We had a few design meetings, several phone calls and email conversations, and within fairly short order were signing off on a final specification for delivery in early 2023. In the lead up to installation, communication was great and the technical drawings provided by Jamie for layout of plumbing and electrical services were described by our builder as the most detailed and accurate he had come across. Indeed the Black Rok team came onto site during the preparation works to meet with our builder and electricians to ensure a smooth installation process. Everything was delivered on time and exactly to the agreed budget. The cabinets and interiors are really well made and constructed with an engineered precision you might expect of a German manufacturer. The installation team of Ed, Zac and Jake were really personable, treated our home with great respect and worked extremely efficiently to ensure the kitchen was installed quickly and accurately. They solved every problem posed to them, displaying great attention to detail and tidying up diligently at the end of each day. We are utterly delighted with the new kitchen, which certainly delivers a "wow" moment when friends and family come to visit. The quality of the workmanship is incredible value for the overall price paid. We still pinch ourselves when walking into the room and are so pleased with ourselves for choosing Black Rok.
philip mccabephilip mccabe
07:30 11 Jan 23
Fantastic, intelligent and responsive service from Jamie and Ed from start to end. The kitchen design stood out from the beginning for its attention to detail and a real understanding of what we wanted from the space. They recommended excellent builders and then worked with them to make sure that the end result was picture perfect to the design. Fitting was spot on from a skilled, diligent team and we were never kept waiting. Issues with 3rd party appliances were dealt with in a way which made it crystal clear that our satisfaction was the priority. Brilliant. Easy 5 Stars.
Helen DaviesHelen Davies
19:03 24 Oct 22
We are so pleased we elected to go with Black Rok kitchens, as they have designed and installed the kitchen of our dreams! Throughout the process, from design to installation we were reassured by the professionalism of Jamie and Ed. Jamie created a fantastic design for our kitchen and suggested ideas we had not previously considered and the installation by Jake, Zak and Ed has been completed to an exceptionally high standard! Nothing was too much trouble. If you're considering upgrading your kitchen, don't hesitate to contact Black Rok, you won't regret it.
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