Cooking with Radiant Heat – The Benefits of an Aga Range Cooker
If there’s one thing almost every food-loving owner of an Aga traditional range cooker experiences, it’s the considerable benefits of radiant heat. They swear by it. So why is radiant heat the best way to cook? It’s all about results, and it’s why the Aga range cooker is a legend. Professional chefs love their Agas and chefs know their stuff!
There are three different ways to cook food and they all deliver slightly significantly different results.
First, there’s conduction heat. This happens when heat energy moves through a solid material. Conduction heat isn’t used very often for cooking, although generations of kids around camp fires have learned that sticking a nail into a potato conducts the heat to the middle of the spud faster and helps it cook.
Second there’s convection. This happens when airflow creates energy. When used for cooking, convection heats the air and when the heat rises, it is transferred into the food. This is why convection ovens usually include fans to force more heated air to circulate faster around the oven. Sadly convection is a great way to turn your food into something as dry as a desert, unless you know exactly what you’re doing!
Third is radiant heat, transferred when energy leaves a heated mass. The heat doesn’t need to be transmitted as such. Take sunlight, or the heat from a fire in a cold room. Radiant heat doesn't become heat until it hits a solid object, for example food. When you’re cooking, radiant heat is absorbed by the food and seals the surface. As a result your food retains its natural flavours and holds in all that delicious moisture.
Why Is Radiant Heat Best?
Most normal ovens work on a cycle, heating up and cooling down, so they are very rarely at exactly the right temperature. When it’s heating up to temperature an ordinary oven can easily overcook the food, so it’s vital to remove it from the oven at exactly the right time. But an Aga is different. It doesn’t do the heating up and cooling down thing. Instead it radiates gentle, constant heat so it’s much more forgiving. Leave your food in a little too long and it won’t burn or dry out anywhere near as easily.
How easy is it to learn how to cook to perfection with an Aga range cooker? Experts say it’s more a matter of un-learning the hassle and stress caused by conventional ovens. No more pre-heating, no more worry about exact temperatures. Which means more time to enjoy the cooking process. Nice!
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