Ever wondered how Aga range cookers are made?

aga range cooker

Invented in 1922 by the Nobel prize-winning physicist Dr Gustaf Dalén, an Aga takes 55 people and 29 hours to make. But, it will last you a lifetime…

I spoke with Jason Allaway, the group manufacturing director, who has worked for Aga range cookers for nine years. He knows every inch of the factory floor and has given us an exclusive look behind the scenes. Let’s dive in, shall we?

A white Aga range cooker in a modern handleless kitchen with dark blue accents.
ER3 Series 100 range cooker in white, from £10,980.

How many people work on a single Aga range cooker?

A team of 55 people typically handcrafts each single heat-storage model of Aga cast-iron range cookers in Shropshire. Many of the craftspeople will have worked for the company for a long time. They often pass down the skills they have learned from generation to generation. The average length of service across all our manufacturing processes is 20 years.

hand pouring enamel by hand in the Aga factory.
Crafting an Aga involves completing the majority of the work by hand.

What are the steps to creating an Aga, and how long does the process take?

It depends on the model being made. For example, an Aga eR7 100 model takes 19 hours to construct. The process for larger models is around 29 hours. There are eight principal stages in the manufacturing process of all Aga cookers: press shop, casting preparation, shot-blasting, enamelling, quality audit for enamel, sub and final assembly, electrical testing and a final quality audit.

In the press shop, the non-cast parts – the sheet-metal steel sections that form the cooker housing – are either laser cut or punch pressed as required. They are then bent, welded and formed. Then, it’s the casting preparation and process before shot blasting to clean the surface ready for enamelling.

Next comes the gorgeous, vitreous enamel finish on all Aga models, which gives them their distinctive polished – almost glass-like – exterior aesthetic. Following the application, a crucial quality audit takes place, and then there is assembly, electrical testing, and a final audit.

The enamelling process at the Aga factory.
Craftsperson creating the signature glossy finish.

How do they create the glassy finish?

The highly experienced craftspeople at the factory, tasked with achieving a flawless result, create the gleaming vitreous enamel finish.  First, the cast-iron components – the front plate, the top and the doors – are coated with a ground coat to ensure proper adherence to the enamel finish.

The enamel itself is made up of three ingredients: frit (glass particles to provide the smooth and shiny finish), clay (which bonds the enamel to the cast iron) and oxides (the choice of which determines the final colour of the finish). 

The liquid enamel is made up of tiny particles of glass, which is sprayed on to the cast iron. It is then baked at 800 degrees Celsius until it is red hot and the enamel fuses to the surface of the cast iron. This is repeated up to three times to produce a smooth, high-gloss finish, which is beautiful but easy to clean and hygienic.

An assembly line of oven doors in a factory.
Aga doors on the assembly line.

An Aga can last a lifetime, but how does the production process help?

Choosing the best materials for the job establishes the longevity. The quality of the vitreous enamel, for example, and recycled cast iron wherever possible. The essential design of the heat-storage Aga range cooker has stood the test of time. A Nobel prize-winning physicist invented it in 1922, and experts constantly update and refine it to ensure ultimate performance, reliability, and economy. The Aga is as trusted today as it was more than a century ago.

Aga doors in the factory ready to be put on the cookers
Stacks of the different coloured Aga doors.

How has the process to create a changed over the century?

The manufacturing process constantly updates several key areas, such as automation, to ensure the maintenance of quality. New technology and the latest machinery are employed to drill the cast iron and press the steel. Finally, innovation: the original Aga range cooker has constantly evolved and today’s all-electric models ensure that energy is not wasted; the hot plates now turn on and off.

rapberry aga range cooker
ER3 Series 100 Electric range cooker in Raspberry, £10,980.

Enjoyed this post? Check out how Drummonds’ baths are made

About Post Author

You Might Also Like


Want to get involved?

[email protected]

Sign up to our newsletter

Want the latest in your inbox?