Sam Hamilton’s Aga cooker, installed in her San Francisco shop March, has us experiencing range envy.
Agas are made of cast-iron, and the thermal mass allows them to cook slowly and evenly; the heat comes from a single central gas burner, which supplies different levels of heat to different parts of the stove. Traditional Agas have two hot plates instead of burners—one for simmer and one for boiling—and multiple ovens. For more information on how they operate, here is a good description.
Above: Traditional Agas have two hot plates and a warming plate.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on March 13, 2012.