Aga Oven Cooking with Montclair's Dr. Naomi Grobstein

by Melody Kettle

Dr. Naomi Grobstein, Montclair resident and founder of the Family Health Center of Montclair, is an unabashed Aga enthusiast!

Dr. Grobstein became a lover of the Aga after travelling to England, where Aga cooking machines are very common, largely due to the wet, damp climate.  On the morning of our video shoot, Dr. Grobstein prepared a very full breakfast including steel cut oatmeal, which was put in the Aga oven the evening before, and came out wonderfully moist, creamy and steamy.  Dr. Grobstein also prepared roasted almonds and a plate of delicious roasted vegetables.  She also baked cranberry scones and fresh bread, in addition to a quiche, a soufflé, and unbelievably delicious and aromatic roasted bananas. 

But what is an Aga? An Aga is an oven unlike any Viking, Thermador or GE you may have encountered. It has no buttons or knobs, and no flames. The Aga is a cast-iron, stored-heat cooking machine.  It works similarly to a hot water heater to the extent that the oven is always hot.  The insulated cast iron chambers are of varied temperatures, with one oven appropriate for baking, one for roasting, one for simmering (in some models), and another for warming. All chambers are ready to cook at any time, and consistently even temperatures are maintained by thermostatic control. 

The burners - though I probably shouldn’t call them that - do not emit flames, instead they are cast iron hotplates, one for boiling and one for simmering, are hottest at the center and less so around the perimeter.

Still curious? Watch the video to take a peek inside Dr. Grobstein’s kitchen and see how the oven works. Visit Hot From The Kettle for the video demonstration of roasted bananas.