Range Cooker spotlight: ESSE

When choosing a British made iron cooker there are plenty of options to choose from but one of the more popular brands in the UK is ESSE. A forward-thinking yet historic brand, we proudly display ESSE products and often invite their team to perform cooker demonstrations for our hungry customers! But how did it all begin for ESSE?

The Story of ESSE
ESSE has been a proud manufacturer of heating and cooking appliances since 1854, making them the UK’s longest serving stove manufacturer. Famed for their longevity, ESSE’s high-quality products are a result of the secret knowledge and insights handed down from engineer to engineer over the years.

Founded by a young Scottish man named James Smith, ESSE has served the public with reliable, user-friendly cookers for more than 150 years. Smith was just a teenager when he left Scotland to travel the United States. Whilst visiting Jackson, Mississippi, Smith set eyes upon an early prototype of cooking ranges and stoves and was instantly impressed.

Not only were these stoves able to combine cooking and heating, but they were far more efficient and clean when compared with the open fire cooking he had known back home. Returning to Scotland full of ideas, Smith began manufacturing his own range ovens at a foundry in Bonnybridge, Scotland. Teaming up with new business partners George Ure and Stephen Wellstood, they created the ‘Columbian Stove Works’ and chose ‘ESSE’ as the brand name – chosen simply because it ‘Sounded French’.

During its time, ESSE has provided cookers to some of the most famous people in history.  Scott and Shackleton taking ESSE stoves on their artic expeditions and Florence Nightingale requesting one for her hospital in Balaclava, Ukraine.

Today ESSE leads the way in efficient performance and quality design. Every product is thoroughly tested before it ships out and many of ESSE’s products are exempt from DEFRA rules of smoke control due to their build quality. ESSE has drawn from its rich heritage to not only build range cookers, but also cutting-edge wood burning stoves and modern gas fires.

To find out more out more about our wide selection of range cookers, call us on 01903 885566 or visit us in store at Meridian House, Ford Road, Ford, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0BH.

Range Cooker spotlight: Rayburn

Fondly known for its reliability, Rayburns are one of the most popular options when it comes to range cookers and ovens. But, did you know Rayburn has been making stoves for decades?  Read on to learn more.

The Rayburn Story

In 1946 as the ashes settled on the Second World War, Britain had begun the process of rebuilding the nation and soldiers returned home to begin a new and more peaceful life. Out of this came a period of innovation and incidentally the birth of the Rayburn. A clever fusion of a cooker and a drinking water heater, the first Rayburn was invented by the team at Allied Ironfounders LTD at their factory in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire which had, but years earlier, been involved in the production of bombs, grenades and gun carriages for the war effort.

The Rayburn stood out immediately for its efficiency and reliability, praised for its freestanding legs which reduced wastage as they heated the appliance rather than the surrounding flooring and walls. It worked efficiently and reliably even in its early days, benefitting from freestanding legs which meant it heated the appliance rather than the surrounding flooring and walls.

It didn’t take long for the Rayburn to catch on and by the 1960’s they had quickly found a foothold in the UK marketplace. Before long, their factory was producing as many as 1500 ovens a week eventually influencing markets as far wide as South Africa and Melbourne. Rayburn also developed a strong trust and the farming community and even today is known as a ‘workhorse’ for its constant ability to provide heating, hot water and cooking for all.

Building on their classic designs and proud heritage, today’s Rayburns are made from 70% recycled materials making them a green choice for the warmer home. However, they continue to push boundaries with highly flexible and controllable programmes and sleek, forward-thinking designs. However, one thing remains – their combination of hot plates and ovens which make them perfect for every kind of cooking. 

For 65 years, the Rayburn has been crafted by skilled workers at their historic foundry in Coalbrookdale - one of the hotbeds of the industrial revolution.  While many of the industrial sites of the area have closed since, the Rayburn foundry endured and is now shared with AGA producing famous cookers and cookware that take up an important place in many homes around the world. 

To find out more out more about our wide selection of range cookers, call us on 01903 885566 or visit us in store at Meridian House, Ford Road, Ford, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0BH.

5 reasons to choose an electric fire in 2018

clip_image002If you’re looking for a focal point that brings a cozy touch to your living room, then one of the first options you should consider is an electric fire. Electric fires are one of the more recent additions to the home-heating market and they have some key differences when compared with traditional fires or gas fires. Let’s look at some of the major reasons you should consider having one installed in your home, this year.

1 - Safety

First of all, one of the key reasons that people choose electric fires is that they are a safe option. Electric power is something most people feel very comfortable with and because of this they can feel more relaxed about choosing an electric fire over say a wood burner. An electric fire produces no smoke, or hot flames which means there are less dangers for you, and for any young children or pets that you may share your home with.

2 – Efficiency

In terms of efficiency, it doesn’t get much better than an electric fire. While you can’t beat the roaring crackle of a wood burner, there are many more variables at play and heat can be stifled. Factors such as the type of wood you use and how dry it is can all effect the process, whereas with an electric heater you can be confident that 100% of the energy used is being converted into heating up your home.

3 – Versatility

Another reason that people opt for electric fires is the versatility that they provide. With a wood or coal burning fireplace, there is no way to separate flames from heat – you can’t have one without the other. However, with an electric fire there are often various options for you to choose from such as low heat, high heat or even the beautiful glow of the flames with no heat at all for those warm summer nights.

4 – Maintenance

When compared with other heating options, electric fires are particularly low maintenance. Instead of sourcing firewood to keep your flames alive, you simply flick a switch. You also save on cleaning time and expense as there are no ash or embers and you don’t require the services of a chimney sweep.

5 – Installation

A final reason to choose an electric fire is that they can be installed quickly and without heavy costs attached. Open fireplaces and wood burners are fantastic heating options but if you are looking to save time or money then electric fireplaces provide less of a headache. Occasionally there may be some technical set ups needed, but quite often it’s simply a case of “plug-in-and-go”.

If you are interested in purchasing an electric fire and would like some tips and advice then please call us on 01903 885566 or visit us in store at Meridian House, Ford Road, Ford, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0BH.

4 Unusual Recipes to Make the Most of Your Xmas Leftovers

Adobe Spark (1)It’s not uncommon to buy too much food at Christmas. In fact, according to some stats the average household in the UK wastes over £480 worth of food every year. That said, one of the easiest ways to buck the trend and make the most of your food is to be creative with leftovers. Done properly, leftovers can keep you going for a long time after Christmas is over and what’s more they don’t have to be boring. Here are five inventive recipes we’ve discovered around the internet that we highly recommend trying.

1 – Turkey Ramen Noodles

Turkey tends to be the most common offender when it comes to leftover food. People will often choose a turkey bigger than what they actually need and be left with lots of meat that needs to be used up. While turkey sandwiches are a staple part of many people’s Christmas, they can get old pretty quick. This recipe draws on Japanese tastes such as miso, ginger and shitake mushrooms to create a rich, protein packed and flavoursome meal.

2 – Turkey Pizza

If comfort food is more your thing then how about this BBQ Turkey Pizza? A slight variation on the much-loved BBQ chicken pizza, it adds a different texture to the country’s no #1 take away selection. Create your own base, or buy one pre-made, add your selection of cheese and additional toppings and pop into your range cooker for a delicious and authentic bake.

3 – Warming Soups

Christmas leftover soups can be done in a variety of ways. They can be spicy, mild, packed with juicy meat, or made healthy with tons of veg. Common choices include winter vegetables, cauliflower and chestnut, parsnip and lentil or simply pack them all together with your turkey in a leftover soup.

4 – Sprout Stir Fry

When it comes to divisive foods, there aren’t many more contentious than the humble Brussel Sprout. Traditionally part of the ‘love them or loathe them’ category, sprouts have seen somewhat of a revival in recent years, as young foodies cram them into salads, roasts and even smoothies! However, if you’ve not yet convinced your family of the virtues of sprouts then you might want to consider a few ways you can repurpose them come boxing day. One way is this spicy stir-fried sprouts recipe – a delicious fry up with a chili kick.

What are your go-to recipes for Christmas leftovers? Are you going to try anything new this year? Comment on Facebook and let us know.

How to cook the perfect turkey this Christmas

It’s that time of year again, where millions of people are beginning to think about Christmas. Along with the stress of buying gifts and finding space (and patience) for the relatives comes the stress of cooking up a suitable Christmas feast. While many of the techniques used for Christmas dinner we’re well used to – one question which often incurs some headaches is ‘What is the best way to cook a turkey?’. It’s a staple part of most Christmas dinners and something that needs careful planning and attention. Here we offer some of the best tips from around the web.

Choose wisely
First things first, when it comes to turkeys bigger doesn’t always mean better. You might want to impress by choosing a huge fattened up turkey but what happens when you get home and it won’t fit in the oven? Try and avoid this mistake by choosing only a turkey that’s going to fit both in your oven and in a roasting tin with enough room to catch all the fat, flavour and juices which you can use to make a tasty gravy – yum!

Thaw it properly
You need to thaw your turkey completely before you place it in the oven. Generally speaking, it’s best to do this for a few days, potentially more dependent on the size of the turkey in question. If it’s a particularly big bird, and you have a particularly large family – or appetite – then you may need to keep it in the fridge for a little longer in order to thaw completely.

Weigh your turkey to calculate the cooking time
Timings are critical here. In order to get an accurate cooking time, you need to know the full weight of your turkey, so look for the measurement on packaging and weigh it yourself at home. If you mess up here then you may end up with an overcooked turkey which is dry and lacking in flavour, or worse a turkey which is undercooked and inedible. As a rule of thumb, we recommend you follow these timings based on 180°C/350°F/gas 4:

4 - 6kg (2 hours 15 minutes to 3 hours cooking time)
7 – 8kg (3 – 4 hours cooking time)
9 – 10kg (4 to 4 hours 30 minutes cooking time).

Don’t forget to preheat your oven and to rest your turkey and allow it to cool when its finished in there.  For extra flavour you should cover your turkey in foil, removing it an hour before it is due to be finished cooking which will leave nice and brown.

For more tips and advice on getting through the ordeal of festive cooking, read our blog on how to ‘Take the stress out of Christmas dinner’ here.

Alternatively, click here for some seasonal recipes ideas or here to find out more about our wide selection of range cookers. You can also call us on 01903 885566 or visit us in store at Meridian House, Ford Road, Ford, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0BH.

A look at the ESSE 990 EL

Known as the big brother to our much loved ‘EL13 AMP’ the amazing electric range cooker, the ESSE 990 certainly packs a punch. But should you expect any less from a company who has been crafting ‘master’ stoves since 1854. Let’s take a brief overview of what you can expect from this fantastic range cooker.

Combining traditional cast iron solidity that comes with a range cooker with innovative electric power, the ESSE 990 is a range cooker that provides the best of both worlds. Like its sister model the EL13AMP, this range cooker has low running costs and minimal power usage when compared with other more ‘power hungry’ models, without compromising on function. It can also be run by gas, oil and multi-fuel as well as electric.

At 990(h) x 990 (w) x 600(d)mm the 990 EL is best suited to larger kitchens. It needs that space as it houses three large ovens which can all be independently and individually controlled. It also benefits from simple, easy to use controls that allow you to cook with ultimate control and ease.
Let’s take an overview of some of the key features of the ESSE 990 EL:

Electric 13 amps heat storage cooker
Adjustable oven vent, fits flush with the cooker top
Top oven 42 ltr
Bottom ovens 30 ltrs
Integral full-width grill
Cast iron hotplate
Induction zone
Slumber control
Hinge stops
Easy-close doors
Wrap-around heating elements ensuring consistent oven temperatures
Power share technology makes this an incredibly energy-efficient model
Running costs & power usage are equal to EL13Amp
Two years warranty, no annual servicing required
Optional ESSE Extraction Hood

Like all ESSE’s range cookers, it features the traditional cast iron construction and a stunning enamel finish, however, the ESSE 990 EL would not look out of place in even the most modern of kitchens. Available in an array of different colours from traditional whites, blacks and creams to powder blues, primroses, clarets and teal greens, the ESSE 990 is a delight to look at.

If you are interested in purchasing a range cooker and would like some tips and advice then please call us on 01903 885566 or visit us in store at Meridian House, Ford Road, Ford, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0BH.

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