Cooktops - If electric is your only choice

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by rutledj, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. rutledj

    rutledj

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    I currently have a Jenn-Aire range with a glass top burner insert on one side and regular coil burners on the other. I'm looking to replace the range as part of a kitchen remodel and was wondering about the best cooktops available when gas isn't an option. In my experience the coils seem to heat the pan up faster (perhaps due to direct contact) but obviously don't look as nice. I would also like to graduate to a dual oven range. Many times I find myself needing an extra spot to cook something small (baked potatoes) or make yeast bread rise.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Rut
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd look seriously at induction. It will cost more, quite a bit more,and you may have to upgrade your pans for compatibility. But induction is very gas-like. Fast heating, good heat control and cool down. Generally easier to clean as the cooktop itself doesn't really heat up.

    You can spend an awful lot on induction but it's worth it.
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess I should add something for your other comments on dual ovens. Dual ovens do have their uses, but you might not need one for what you describe.

    For raising bread or even resting meat, I like the microwave. Not because it's a microwave but for other reasons.

    For the bread, it's a good draft free space that's out of the way. Small volume so it will not cool down much and you can even heat a glass of water to boiling or such and leave it in the corner to provide a warmer moister environment.

    Same for resting meat but without the water preheat method. My microwave will even hold a good sized turkey for resting but it's a close fit.

    As for the baked potato, that is a time I might go with the microwave for speed. It's not quite the same a truly baked potato. But you can also cheat it bit. Microwave the potato for half the normal "baking" time. Then finish it in a toaster oven for 20 minutes or so. Or slip it into the oven with the rest of a quicker cooking meal.

    I usually bake extra potatoes when I bake them in the oven as they're handy for hash or other quick potato dishes.
     
  4. phreon

    phreon

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    I'd take a serious look at induction. If you want to test the water before sinking cash into a full sized range, you can plunk down $99 for a "Max Burton" table top induction hob from Amazon. Cooks Illustrated rates them highly. I picked one up with "Christmas cash" as a semi-frivolous kitchen gadget, but it has become my go-to burner for many things. My gas range probably only gets used about 1/3 as much as it used to. If for nothing else, it's efficiency at boiling water was worth the cash.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011
  5. rutledj

    rutledj

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    Thanks. I've been looking at those  induction units at amazon. Just wish they made them for a 11-12 inch pan. But I think I'll give them a try.
     
  6. eloki

    eloki

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    And the ease of clean-up afterwards saves you heaps of time.  Just like wiping a bench.