Cooking on an electric stove is not easy, but I did not learn that until after moving to Berlin . Until then, I had been blessed with frequent access to gas hobs, where hot fire is heated evenly and quickly, so you can cook efficiently. Electric stoves, on the other hand, can be quite clunky. Their burners heat up slowly and cool off, which can be particularly difficult if you need to change the heat quickly to prevent it from burning. Of course, there are high-tech versions that are against the trend, but Berlin apartments in my price range are not equipped with the latest technology.
Instead of getting the old electric furnace in my new apartment I decided to find out how it works for me. With a bit of creativity (and a lot of desperation) I managed to develop a series of tricks that I can cook with just as well as on a gas stove. In my opinion, if you have an electric range, this is the opinion that should be considered by both experts and my own experience.
Be careful with the burners, especially if you are using an electric stove for the first time.
"Anyone who has ever had an electric stove has burned himself at least once or twice," says Joshua Sauer, head chef of Avenue Restaurant in New Jersey, opposite SELF. It's obvious when a gas stove is on because you can see a flame or smell gas, but the same is not always true for an electric cooker. Newer models are often equipped to notify you when a burner is still hot, but many older models do not provide clear guidance.
If you are not sure whether a burner is hot or cold, place your hand a few inches above it.
When it's hot, you can feel the heat without actually touching it.
Or put clean pots and pans on the still-hot burner after you're done cooking so you know which ones to avoid.
Sauer says his mother used to do this to make sure no one was burned and that it always worked. Alternatively, Christine Hazel, the recent winner of Food Network Chopped, says that you can buy a sign or magnet that stands on or near the hob and shows if it's still hot or not.
Be extra secure You're actually turning off all your burners – even if that means you have to squat to see the burner's dials better!
I have gone away several times from a burner still burning, as I would like to admit, and have learned it Sometimes you can only be especially vigilant, especially if you get used to a kitchen utensil . After a while, however, it becomes second nature.
When it comes to electric stoves, preheating is your best friend.
It may take a long time for a burner to heat up properly – in my experience up to 15 minutes! Therefore, you should pre-heat your burners while preparing your food. Have onions to chop? First turn on your burner and get to work. When you are done and ready, your hob should be there too.
If you need to preheat something stronger than a simple pot or pan, such as a cast-iron pan or a Dutch oven, let your oven do it for you.
About 20 to 30 minutes before cooking, use a 350 degree f oven to bring it up to temperature, and remove it (with oven gloves!) When ready to start again. According to Craig Rispoli, Chef of Fresh & Co. maintaining a high heat on an electric range can be difficult, and this little extra step will ensure that your food cooks more evenly.
If you have a kettle to heat water before it is boiled in a saucepan; This speeds up the process considerably.
If you place a pot of cold water on an electric cooktop, it can take a long time for it to boil, especially as electric ovens heat up so slowly. If you do not have time to wait, boil your water in a kettle. It only takes a few minutes and it's perfect if you do not want to wait all night to cook a pot of noodle.
Avoid turning the heat too fast or too low while cooking; Gradually change the temperature so that the burner has time to adjust properly.
Life is easy with a gas stove. When you turn on the heater, it is immediately hot and it is cooler when you turn down the heater. Setting the electric burners takes much longer, which means you also have to be a little more careful, says Hazel. For example, if you're trying to boil a pot of soup, do not turn the heat to the highest level right after the jump. As a result, it is too hot and leads to overcooking. Instead, start slowly and work your way up slowly. If you have drunk the soup over medium heat for 20 minutes and see no results, turn it up one or two levels and continue from there.
If you need something, throw it directly on the burner.
For a dish that needs to be charred over an open flame like the eggplant in this dip recipe you actually do not need an open flame. Sauer says that you will get the same results if you cook your food directly on the burner. "It would give the same smoky and bittersweet taste you would normally get," he explains.
And if you need to reduce the heat quickly, experiment with two burners at the same time.
When you cook you will often find that you need to move something quickly from a high heat to a low heat, eg. For example, if you make a pot of cooked rice or try not to burn homemade caramel. In an electric range, this is more difficult because the burners take longer to cool. Instead, I stop two burners simultaneously, one at lower and one at higher temperature. Bev Weidner, host of Pressure Network, Pressure Point, had a similar success with this method and told me that this can definitely make things easier, especially when you need to seamlessly switch between high and low temperatures. Just be threefold and turn off all the burners when you're done! With these tricks in your pocket nobody knows how chunky your oven is.