They feature regularly in the lifestyle magazines and their owners swear by them for cooking everything from toast to the perfect roast potatoes as well as the impromptu fringe benefits of clothes drying on a wet day!
However take one of those owners to one side and ask them about lighting their solid fuel Aga, and then you will often hear a slightly less rose-tinted story.
As a former owner of a solid fuel Aga in our holiday cottage, I can empathise with the challenges of lighting the Aga on a stormy December night when it hasn’t been lit for some months. The need to somehow warm the flue to start the updraft from the damp cold iron of the Aga. With luck after an hour or two, the charcoal (lit by the newspaper) will have persuaded the solid fuel to light, and warm air will begin to flow through the stove. And by the following morning, it will be up to temperature!
It was therefore interesting to read this review on Amazon of the Grenadier Electric Firelighter.
“We have struggled to relight our solid fuel aga for the 10 years we have lived with it… we avoid letting it go out as it has been such a song and dance involving hoover, oven gloves, barbeque tongs, prelit fire in sitting room, bbq charcoal and a match. Even when it eventually goes – a process that takes at least and hour or more – the whole kitchen is filled with dust.Just bought my husband a Grenadier for Christmas (with slight reservations about the lack of romance) it is brilliant. Came back from weekend away, riddled the aga, added some fresh fuel, struck up the Grenadier and ten mins later the range was up and glowing……..If you have a solid fuel aga/range – this gadget is so worth buying..you can be be up and running and enjoying cooking in such a much shorter time..labrador v happy too.”
Thank you J. Huntsman for that very constructive review posted in December 2012.
And of course, you can also use your Grenadier Firelighter to light a woodburning stove, the open fire, your barbeque, in fact almost any type of solid fuel fire.