AGA, the most renowned manufacturer of range cookers since the mid-20th century, offers a variety of dual-purpose options allowing consumers to choose between cooking-only or heating and cooking variants.
With that said, many people interested in range cookers mistakenly think that Rayburn and AGA are generic names. These terms often create confusion and therefore require clarifications so that buyers can make informed decisions.
Curious to uncover the key differences between Rayburn, AGA, and other range cookers? Read on to find out more!
What is a Rayburn?
A Rayburn is a semi-heat storage cast-iron range cooker used for not only cooking but also central heating and hot water. Rayburns are manufactured by the AGA Rangemaster Group Limited, at the same factory as AGA. Not all models of Rayburns are used for multiple purposes, though. Some are used for cooking only while others are for home heating as well.
A Rayburn operates on the principle of radiant heat. Solid fuels such as natural wood, peat briquettes, carbon-neutral wood, manufactured smokeless fuels, and compressed heat logs are used to fuel Rayburns. Some units run on gas or oil.
As the Rayburn generates heat, it raises the temperature of the water stored inside the cylinder, which is attached to the system. Underfloor heating or radiators are used to distribute the heat inside the home.
It is the versatility that separates Rayburns from other types of ranges. While an AGA can be used only for cooking, a Rayburn can be used for multiple purposes. If you want to use a single device for cooking and home heating, you will find a Rayburn very convenient.
With that said, there are a couple of disadvantages. Using a Rayburn involves a little bit of a learning curve, and running the system can be expensive.
Pros and Cons of Rayburn
|They are very versatile, hence they can be used for cooking and central heating.||High initial cost and high running costs.|
|It allows the user to cook multiple dishes||They take up a lot of space in the kitchen|
|Heating is evenly distributed across the heating surface.||It may require a secondary cooker for summer since they are designed to run all the time.|
|They are environmentally friendly.||It’s not too user-friendly.|
What is an AGA?
The AGA is a range cooker invented in 1922 by Gustaf Dalén—a Nobel Prize-winning Swedish physicist. Since 1957, AGA cookers have been exclusively produced in the United Kingdom. The factory is in Telford in Shropshire. The same factory produces Rayburn ranges.
The AGA cooker is a sophisticated cooker that works on the same principle as the Rayburn. In the cooker, cast iron components absorb heat from a continuously burning source. The heat accumulated is used for cooking. Typically, solid fuels such as coal, wood, peat briquettes, and anthracite are used to fuel AGAs.
An AGA has multiple ovens with pre-set temperatures. 2-oven, 3-oven, and 4-oven Agas are available. Separate ovens are used for roasting, baking, and simmering at different temperatures, which are automatically controlled by a thermostat.
AGAs are used for cooking only but are more expensive than Rayburns. This is in part because AGAs come with more cooking options, and an AGA serves as a symbol of aristocracy. Running an AGA can be expensive as well because, to get the most out of this oven, you have to keep it running all the time.
Pros and Cons of AGAs
|Heating is uniform around the heating surface.||They are much more expensive to run.|
|It presents an opportunity to cook multiple dishes.||They also take up a lot of ample space in the kitchen.|
|It’s environmentally friendly.|
|They can be easily controlled by a thermostat.|
What is Rangemaster?
Rangemaster is a British brand—the No.1 manufacturer of range cookers. The company is a part of AGA Rangemaster Group Limited. The rangemaster cookers are usually of high quality, compact design, sophisticated features, and heritage.
Apart from range cookers, Rangemaster produces an extensive range of kitchen appliances. The products include refrigerators, sinks, hoods and splashbacks, wine cabinets, sinks, taps, waste disposers, and built-in appliances.
It is to be noted here that the term Rangemaster generally refers to range cookers manufactured by AGA Rangemaster Group Limited. The company uses high-quality gauge steel to craft each range cooker.
What is a Range?
A range is a broad term that refers to a cooker with one or multiple ovens and a stovetop. Ranges are fueled by solid fuel, gas, or electricity. A range can be described as a combination of an oven and a stove. People who do not want to buy these appliances separately find ranges very convenient.
While Rayburn is the most widely known manufacturer of ranges, some competitors produce ranges with highly sophisticated features. Some reputable brands include Frigidaire, Jenn-Air, GE, KitchenAid, Kenmore, Samsung, LG, Viking, Thermador, and Whirlpool.
There are several types of ranges: electric induction ranges, electric smooth-top ranges, gas ranges, and pro-style ranges. They have their advantages and disadvantages.
Before you choose a range, make sure you know what features to look for. Modern, highly sophisticated ranges have features such as control lockout, WiFi connectivity, air fryer, multiple ovens, expandable elements, hot surface warning lights, additional convection heating elements, and variable broil.
What is a Stove?
Stoves are used to cook food, just like other appliances discussed above. The main difference between a stove and a range is that the former does not operate on the principle of radiant heat. It provides heat directly. There are enclosed stoves, and many people tend to confuse them with ovens. While all ovens are used for cooking purposes, some stoves only provide heat.
Traditionally, fuel sources for stoves include wood and coal, but there are now abundantly available modern stoves that use electricity or gas. While some stoves are portable, others are not. A typical stove has a removable stove top on which cooking appliances are placed.
Pros and Cons of a Stove
|Heat transfer is direct and faster.||Difficult to clean|
|They are very affordable.||It reduces indoor air quality|
|The oven preheating is also faster.||The pilot light is easily burned out|
|Easy to install|
Rayburn vs AGA vs Range vs Stove
The table below shows the differences between the AGA, Rayburn, and the stove.
|Rayburns are very versatile equipment. They can be used for cooking and central heating.||They can only be used for cooking, with different functions for each heating outlet(Frying, simmering, Baking, or, Roasting).||They are only used for cooking and their operation is highly sophisticated.||They are only used for cooking.|
|They work on The principle of radiant heat(Indirect heating).||AGAs also work on the principle of indirect heat.||They also work on the principle of indirect heating.||Stoves do not operate on radiant heat. The heating is direct.|
|They run on either gas, oil, or wooden pellets.||They run on solid fuels such as coal, wood, peat briquettes, and anthracite.||They run on solid fuel, gas, or electricity||Traditional stoves are powered by wood/coal, while Modern stoves run on gas/electricity.|
|They work well with underfloor heating, with the inbuilt storage cylinder acting as the heat source.||They cannot heat homes.||They are not equipped with the ability to heat up homes||They cannot heat homes.|
|They are quite expensive to run.||They are much more expensive to run than Rayburn.||They are quite expensive.||They are the least expensive to run.|
Conclusion – Main Considerations When Choosing a Large Kitchen Cooker
A Rayburn is the best choice for homeowners who need a single unit for cooking, hot water, and central heating. If you have easy access to solid fuel, you are going to find a Rayburn very convenient. It is significantly cheaper than an AGA, which is why so many homeowners love Rayburn ranges.
Opt for an AGA if you need a sophisticated range cooker for cooking only. AGAs come with multiple ovens, and many features designed to help users prepare succulent food. Yes, AGAs are expensive, but if you are a person with great culinary tastes, an AGA will make you happy.
Both Rayburns and AGAs are range cookers, and Rangemaster is a brand—a sister company of AGA. As we have mentioned, other companies manufacture range cookers, and they produce pretty good products.
When choosing a cooker for your kitchen, there are some other things to consider—your budget being one of them. Also, choose a cooker depending on the type of fuel you have easy access to. If you do not have easy access to solid fuels, consider opting for a gas or electric cooker.
It’s a long-term investment and therefore look for a product that offers warranties. Rayburn cookers usually come with a three-year warranty on parts. There are some cookers and stoves that offer up to 5-year warranties on parts.
Just because someone you know is happy with a particular model of range cooker does not mean that you need the same model. Before you invest in a range cooker, think about your particular needs. It all comes down to choosing a model that meets your unique needs.