February 7, 2014

After 23 years, we decided to replace the old cooktop.

 With this:

The old one was still working, but looking a bit beat up, and it was a little sad to see it go, because many fine food-centered experiences took place around it, notably the famous — I'm saying "famous" because it got reported in the NYT"You cook breakfast. I'll blog it."

More prosaically, 5 years later, that is, last week, we were talking about the old cooktop here. People were prodding me about glass, but I like glass. It's like a iPhone. Especially the new one, which is black and has touch controls. It doesn't take photographs, but it's good in photographs, nice reflections.


Anonymous said...

Hiding the Slice of Blueberry Pie, I See.

Ann Althouse said...

Haven't had pie since 2 summers ago when we drove through Montana and had to spring for the specialty: huckleberry pie.

We've been low-carbing for 2 years!

Ann Althouse said...

Here it is! The last piece of pie I ate, August 17, 2012.

Wince said...

How well does glass hold up against the kind of beating that beat up the old metal cooktop?

And what's the deal with induction cooktops?

Ann Althouse said...

The old one was glass, except for the burners, which were sort of cast iron, with enameled metal rings around them. It was those rings that got beaten up. The glass looked perfect after 23 years, so I expect the new glass to stay perfect and to be perfect whenever we end up selling this house.

The difference is that the burners are glass, but I don't see why that would matter.

We saw induction cooktops but didn't want to bother with understanding what they even did, once the salesman started talking about needing special cookware. Too complicated! We've got lots of pots and pans and we like them.

Ann Althouse said...

This cooktop works fine to bring things to a quick boil or whatever, and I expect it to be especially good at the kind of long, low-heat cooking that we do a lot.

We often make things like chili, pot roast, stewed chicken. The electric gives us fine control.

I haven't used a gas stove in a long time, and I know they seem restaurant-y and you get to see the pleasing blue flames at different heights, but you know you are still using a pan, and the pan retains heat and takes time to heat up, so the appearance of instantness is more of an emotional thing.

I like the glass, especially where it is out on the island (actually, peninsula) because it's very sleek and unobtrusive.

If I were designing a new kitchen, I'd make everything really sleek and simple. I don't like all this chunky, bulgy stuff.

mesquito said...

The bottoms of your pans have to be perfectly flat for those glass burners to work well.

DKWalser said...

The nice thing about the glass cooktops is a spill cannot get inside the burner. We have that kind and it's been a lot easier to maintain than the old exposed coil burner it replaced.

I'm not sure how I feel about touch controls. Knobs can get in the way when your cleaning, but they're much quicker and easier to use. A simple twist turns the burner on at the setting you want. And, while you're cooking, a glance immediately tells you the burner's setting.

Touch controls are sleeker and easier to clean. But, you have to wait for the control to ramp up or down to the setting you want. And, while cooking, you have to do the mental math to figure out where "9" falls on the scale of 1-15 to determine the burner's setting.

Maybe the newer controls avoid these issues. Don't know, we haven't shopped for a cooktop in a few years.

Known Unknown said...


DKWalser said...

Ideally, cooktops are gas and ovens are electric. Yes, you're cooking in a pan, but gas gives you the ability to instantly change the amount of heat you're adding to the bottom of the pan. And, there's immediate visual verification of the effect of a movement of the burner's knob. This immediacy and accuracy are great advantages in a cooktop. They aren't great advantages in an oven. In an oven, you want the oven to maintain the set temperature – seeing the size of the flame does nothing for you.

However, gas is superior for a cooktop only while you’re cooking. Gas cooktops are more difficult to clean and you can’t make them look as sleek as you can a glass-topped electric.

It’s easy to see why one person would make one choice while another person would make a different choice. When it comes to cooktops, unlike health care, one size does not fit all.

Carol said...

I heard that a lot of pots won't work on a stove like that unless they're perfectly flat on the bottom, or something. So you need to spring for a new set.

Can anyone verify? Because I'd really like something like this for our next.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Soak before you scrub (Ammonia to break up that bacon grease) and you won't scratch it. A shot of Sprayaway and a microfiber cloth to make it streak free

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CStanley said...

Looks great

I was one of the ones who prodded, though that wasn't my intention. The glass just wasn't for me, and I also have a strong preference for gas.

The glass tops have to be cleaned thoroughly and immediately, or you get rings that are very difficult to remove. For me, that doesn't work well because right after dinner the surface is still too hot, so we'd just do a quick wipe, and then inevitably the stove would get used again before I was able to thoroughly clean it. I had a much cheaper brand, so maybe the cleanability varies.

Another issue was that the cleansers that work without scratching were like car wax- you had to buff it out, and then there were still always weird stroke marks. Drove me nuts.

The gas thing is more about immediacy of cooling down (though heating up quickly is nice too.) I find a world of difference between a pot of potatoes boiling on an electric cooktop and gas- the latter gets turned down and immediately bubbles down while the former continues bubbling over. Come to think of it, it was probably mostly potato starch that was making those rings that were so hard to clean.

Anyway, different strokes/ folks, and I hope you enjoy yours.

Ann Althouse said...

"The bottoms of your pans have to be perfectly flat for those glass burners to work well."

Yeah, that was true of the old one too, so I have the right stuff.

Actually, it doesn't have to be perfect... I read the instructions today.

FullMoon said...

We have gas. I have less of it since going low-carb.

Paddy O said...

I've learned to prefer gas by living in places that had occasional power outages. Gas keeps cooking, just need a match.

Gas is better for warming tortillas too.

Electricity issues is also why I like having a land line. Phone keeps working when the power is off.

I suspect Madison doesn't really have that problem too often.

Rusty said...

We've been low-carbing for 2 years!

Just started 3 months ago. So far I've lost 35 lbs.
I am, however, still unbearably ugly.

rhhardin said...

Gas, which I had as a kid, boiled when you turned it up and stopped when you turned it down.

Electric, which I have now, does not stop boiling when you turn it down. There's too much heat in the coils.

I have removed the knobs from the stove with now broken burners and just use the microwave, which works more like gas.

Known Unknown said...

I'm trying to low-carb, less for weight loss and more because I suspect I have a (new) gluten sensitivity.

Known Unknown said...

OT: Cara Cara oranges >>>>> Navel oranges.

rhhardin said...

One advantage of a low wattage microwave is that it doesn't overload the emergency generator, so you don't have to turn off the stuff you're running to use the microwave.

Ann Althouse said...

You can set it so it's high heat, then switches over to low heat, which can be very low, like a warming plate.

iowan2 said...

Three years into our glass cook top. I too, wanted sleek and clean. Touch controls, no knobs. While it takes three seconds to turn the element on, adjustments are almost instant and precise. (level 4 is exact, every time).

Cleaning? Available thru the Althouse portal! (Or the cleaning supply shelf at the entrance to Menards)
Barkeepers Friend, Cleans up great. Any tough spots take just a second with a razor widget.

David Davenport said...

a (new) gluten sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity is just another quack diet fad.

Julie C said...

We have a gas cooktop with a glass background (if that makes sense). I have to second whoever recommended Barkeepers Friend (and a microfiber cloth). I couldn't find anything that would keep streaks away from the glass, but Barkeepers Friend, along with a trusty microfiber cloth, does the trick every time. And it works great on stainless steel sinks too.

I look forward to the day I can replace my old Jenn-Air 5 burner with a Viking six burner.

David said...

You know,just this week I was going to prod you about that pathetic old cooktop amid your up to date appliances but I thought hey it's not my business and of then I thought of my gas cooktop just as pathetic which I need to get around to replacing and now you have stepped out ahead of me again and I'll never catch up oh well you have a nice kitchen.

I use gas because I'm used to using gas and find it useful.

Any pan will work with induction as long as it's iron or steel, even just a coating of steel, as long as it has magnetic properties.

I have people who tell me that induction is fabulous. Great temp control. Never used it myself even though I am a gadget head.

You can buy a small single burner stand alone induction unit instead of a whole cooktop. There are lots of cheap ones at Walmart Costco etc but if I ever get one I'll get a commercial unit from Vollrath a good cheesehead quality manufacturer.

Smilin' Jack said...

You can set it so it's high heat, then switches over to low heat, which can be very low, like a warming plate.

Your bacteria will love you for this.

madAsHell said...

once the salesman started talking about needing special cookware

That didn't stop my wife.

Rusty said...

Any pan will work with induction as long as it's iron or steel, even just a coating of steel, as long as it has magnetic properties.

Induction will heat any metal. it's just that metals without an iron component take longer to heat up. It also depends on the configuration of the coil.

Freeman Hunt said...

I have an old Jenn-Air range with electric rings. I'm planning to switch to glass later this year. I despise all the recesses and crevices in the current range. Cleaning it is a terrible job. Also, I'm switching to venting that is above the range rather than in the counter. The counter venting is supposed to be fancy, but I hate it. My current range has a grill too, as if I'm going to grill inside. No. Worthless.