Cooking has been central to my life. I probably should have done it professionally, but I have been a happy amateur. Every week I bake bread, make fresh mayonnaise, and cook every meal from scratch. This is less time consuming than people think, but a good cooker is vital.
My previous cooker in my old house had a gas hob and a multi-functional oven, and I loved it. But this village doesn't have gas and the all-electric version of my old cooker had a boring oven.
This AEG was the best I could find to fulfil my needs, and since nearly all my pans are induction-ready (most are these days), induction was my choice.
Starting with the ovens, the top oven/grill is a conventional oven that heats up fast and is surprisingly spacious. The grill pan supplied is huge! But that suits me as I grill a lot.
The main oven comes with additional runners which I have clipped into a low position. I use the conventional setting for baking and this is the ideal position. Again, lots of space as this has thinner sidewalls than the old cooker we had here.
So far I have used the oven on conventional (top and bottom heat), I have used the thermal grill (the bottom grill plus the fan oven for grilling thick joints) and the steam bake setting. This last worked surprisingly well. 150ml water in the well in the bottom of the oven, turn to the steam bake setting, and 180 degrees C. It heated up in 10 minutes and I cooked a fine, large loaf with my favourite Matthews Cotswold Flour to perfection in 40 minutes. Very pleased.
The induction hob is taking a bit of getting used to. It doesn't boil a full pan of water as fast as the hype might suggest, even with the P power setting enabled, but it heats up fast enough. It turns off quickly which is very important, like with gas.
I have an Italian Moka coffee pot which will not work with induction (it is aluminium), but I bought a special steel plate to sit it on and that works fine. The plate heats up on the hob and heats the Moka.
There are a couple of downsides which prevented me from giving 5 stars. The oven cooling fan stays on for a considerable time after the oven is turned off. I think this is because the cooker is well insulated, which is a good thing, but it is noisier than my last cooker.
Unlike my old gas cooker, this oven does not have removable linings, especially above the grill. Although it has catalytic linings and should stay clean, above the grill always silts up. A slide-out baffle that can be washed can save a lot of heartaches. But easily removable linings seem unique to pro cookers and one domestic make, sadly. All manufacturers should fit them as standard as it would improve longevity.
Some of the controls for the hob (the power buttons and hob element timer) are built into the hob glass itself, and it is easy to trigger these when wiping up spills (essential as spills can make the hob turn off).
The supplied manual is terrible! It is appallingly designed and confusing. A few years back I bought a stand mixer. It came with a glossy book with not just instructions (with photos) but recipes too. This is an expensive cooker - it should come with something like that.
But overall, the cooker is solidly made and to a high standard. The doors shut firmly and all the trim is high quality. It is not a cheap cooker, but it is a well made, premium item that is understandably popular.
I am very pleased with this AEG cooker for the price and plan to have a lot of fun with it in the coming years.