An Esse Range Cooker in a kitchen

An Introduction to Esse

Founded in 1854, Esse has a long and rich history creating traditional range cookers of a high quality. Creating range cookers for not only craft delicious meals but also for heating your home, Esse’s multi-functionality has cemented it as a classy staple choice for residents of the UK. 

With its roots in tradition Esse cookers are durable and long lasting, but the ethos of Esse is to evolve, creating new innovations as time goes on! A beautiful centrepiece to any room, an Esse is a solid, loyal cooker for any homeowner.

We are going to take a better look into the deep tradition of Esse and browse the various features and customisation options available to see if an Esse cooker is what you are missing in life.

esse bakeheart with fire inside

History of Esse Cookers

James Smith 

In 1816 James Smith was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. The son of a shawl manufacturer, James took a massive leap when choosing a career path by emigrating to America. After setting off to find his raison d’etre and in search of riches, James settled in New York where he got an apprenticeship as a metal worker. After honing his craft further in New Orleans, James started his own business venture in Mississippi. After his business prospered James returned to Scotland to marry the women he had his heart set on. James’s new wife did not take to living in America and it negatively affected her health. James made the massive decision of handing his American business off to his brother and moving back to Scotland to introduce the American style stove to a market that had never seen it before!

It was here that Esse was created! A favourite of many celebrities of the time, such as famous explorers Shackleton and Scott, as well as Florence Nightingale. Esse’s legacy of loyal and strong traditional cookers had begun.

Esse across the UK

Esse is a quintessential British cooker. Used to heat houses in our chilly winter months as well as used to create tasty broths and meals, this has made Esse a staple since its creation across the UK. The Esse made its screen debut with British icon James Bond in the 1985 movie “View to a Kill”. This is not the only time the Esse has garnered screen time appearing in the popular cooking show “River Cottage” as Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s choice of cooker. He also uses a woodfired Esse for home cooking.

sausages cooked on campfire

Esse Cooker: Reviews

Esse Bakeheart


esse bakeheart
  • Powered by dry seasoned logs (up to 14 inches) the Esse bakeheart provides an off the grid alternative to heating your house and cooking delicious meals.
  • If combined with a domestic boiler the bakeheart can even be an amazing source of hot water for your house.
  • The bakeheart comes with a cast iron hotplate that reaches temperatures varying between 190-300 degrees centigrade
  • The bakeheart also comes with a 32-litre oven capacity allowing for enough room for your culinary needs.
  • Incorporating convection panels allow heat to warm the surroundings of the Bakeheart efficiently whilst still maintaining enough heat for any cooking needs.
  • A large appeal of the Esse is its neat stature as well as the glass panel that allows you to watch the dancing flames.  
  • Boasts an efficiency rating of 77% and an energy rating of A

  • Esse Ironheart

    esse ironheart
  • Powered by either multifuel wood or smokeless coal, the Esse Ironheart allows you to select what you’d rather use to heat your cooker.
  • The Ironheart has incorporated convection panels to allow for heat to be radiated more efficiently to its surroundings whilst keeping enough heat to allow for your cooking needs
  • A domestic boiler can also be connected to the Ironheart allowing for a truly off the grid experience where you can cook, heat your house and heat your water with only the use of your selected fuel.
  • The Esse Ironheart boasts an oven capacity of 47L as well as hotplates that can fit up to 6 pans allowing you to get really creative with your cooking.
  • One of the main appeals of the Ironheart is its glass panel which allows you to watch as the fire flickers around heating your house, food and potentially water.

  • Esse 500 EL

    esse 500el in purple
  • The Esse 500 EL is an electric cooker model by Esse that can be fit into any kitchen as a standalone appliance.
  • Despite not having the same functionality of heating up your home as other Esse cookers, the 500 EL is a fantastic piece of equipment which can be wall mounted, or free standing whilst also not requiring a flue and instead requiring a 13amp power supply.
  • Coming with two separate ovens, designed to be deep rather than wide which allows for better heat storage as well as consistently even cooking and baking.
  • The 33cm hotplate is also suitable for use with all pans, with room for up to three pans to be used simultaneously.
  • From energy saving / slumber mode, the hotplate only takes 38 minutes to heat up to 400 degrees centigrade from 150.
  • A large appeal of the 500 EL is the separate control panel that is used to control both the ovens and hotplate allowing for independent use of each from their nifty panel.

  • Esse 990 EL

    esse 990 el in white
  • The Esse 990 EL is the perfect choice for a larger kitchen sitting at 100cm, with two large independently controlled ovens and a full width integrated grill.
  • The 990 EL also offers versatility on the hob top with a cast iron hotplate ideal for griddle cooking, with a large induction hob to accompany it for instant boiling temperatures.
  • Powered by 2 x 13 amp power supplies and not requiring a flue, the 990 EL can be positioned wherever your heart desires. 
  • The controls are stylishly hidden behind the top left door allowing for a sleek look whilst providing easy access to regulate all components of the 990 EL
  • The 990 EL is an all rounder cooker designed for the creative chef who wants many different forms of cooking at their fingertips.
  • vegetables in tray



      Esse cooker cost

      When buying an Esse cooker, you are expecting to be paying a bit more than an average cooker, as you are paying for the quality, durability and long lasting engineering of an Esse cooker with its many uses. 

      Some of the cheaper Esse models go for as low as £2000 and the more expensive models go for £10000. The cheaper models tend to be the small fuel burning models which will require you to buy fuel for, and the more expensive models being the larger electric types. 

      How much does it cost to run an Esse?

      The electric 13 amp cookers by Esse only take as little as £1 a day to run! It is so cheap to run as the slumber mode is extremely efficient due to the great heat trapping capabilities of these models. 

      The fuel burning Esse models will require you to buy your own fuel to power them. If sourced well you can get local wood burning logs quite cheap, or even order online. You can purchase a crate of burning logs for as little as £200 which could last you a couple of months.

      log pile closeup

      Why Choose Esse? 

      An Esse can be so much more than just a cooker. An Esse can be a loyal friend that will cook with you for years to come as well as certain models being multi-functional as central heating and for hot water. 

      An Esse will get the job done with many different models for different types of chefs. Whether you want a standalone sleek looking range cooker with no flue to assist you in your culinary journey, or a warming hearth that will add real character to your home whilst providing limitless functionality. Whatever it is you desire, an Esse can do it for you.

      Esse FAQS

      How to use an Esse Stove

      Using an Esse Stove can seem quite daunting if you’ve never cooked with a fuel burning cooker before, but there are many great resources for how to use one. The controls of a fuel burning Esse Stove are all about where you are redirecting the hot air to. This can be redirected to straight out the flue, to the hotplates, and to the ovens. This great video by Pivot Stove & Heating gives you a step by step guide on how to use the Esse Ironheart Stove.

      Where are Esse Made

      Being one of the oldest stove manufacturers in the world Esse’s base of production has moved around over the years and they are currently being crafted at Barnoldswick in Lancashire, England.

      How to clean an Esse Stove

      An Esse stove is recommended to get a good clean every 3-4 months. Though if your Esse is not heating up like it used to and seems a bit more smokey than normal it is probably due for a clean. Cleaning the interior oven and top of the hotplates is the same as any other cooker and can be done with a wet cloth and some elbow grease. The daunting part of cleaning an Esse oven is the interior pathways that can get extremely sooty if left unchecked. Lucky for us there is a great video by Pivot Stove & Heating that goes into detail and gives many tips and tricks for cleaning your Esse stove!


      Esse Accessories & Add Ons 

      Hobtop Accessories 

      frying pan cooking food

      Oven Accessories

      black tray with trivots

      Kitchen Accessories


      the hebridean baker book

      Final thoughts on Esse

      For us here at Quince & Cook, it is extremely important that we pick brands that offer quality products. Esse does just that, with years of tradition and evolution gone into specially crafted range cookers to create a beautiful product that adds character and plenty of value to your house. Though an Esse cooker is not for everyone as they will require more love and care, if it suits you and you’ll give it the love it needs we cannot think of a better cooker.


      Quince & Cook