Saturday, February 18, 2012
SOMETHING NEW -- COOKING WITH GAS
After 40+ years of cooking on radiant electric heat and loving it, I merely wondered out loud what it would cost to replace our 5-year old Jenn-Air Radiant Downdraft Cooktop. The hub, who is the designated cleaner of the cooktop, took to the internet to see if it was even possible to find a replacement without having to call our granite guy back to cut a larger hole in the countertop. Remember, I was merely conjecturing. I really liked my electric cooktop.
The hub couldn’t wait to tell me that Jenn-Air makes a gas downdraft that would fit perfectly into the existing opening. Better yet, the gas line runs right underneath the cooktop. He was sold, but I deliberated for a week, trying to justify the expense of a new cooktop when the not-so-old one was still plenty good.
Last week, our new cooktop arrived and was installed. And I am learning to cook on gas. My first attempt, some apples for a small pie, burned apple juice onto the sides of my small fry pan (see top photo). My first soft-boiled egg turned out with one part of the yolk hard boiled. My second soft-boiled egg turned out almost soft boiled. I think my third attempt will nail it, but we’ll see. The timing is different on gas, and I’m finding it doesn’t cook quite the same as electric. Today, I made Gajar Halwa for my Indian doctor, and was surprised that I needed to stir it more than I did before, even though the cooking time was the same.
The fan on this model is noisier than the old fan, and it affects the evenness of the cooking. Yes, this will be an adjustment, but we will be enjoying the lower gas rates. In the meantime, I’m looking for someone who might want to purchase a 5-year old cooktop with plenty of life left in it.
April, 2014 update: A few months after this was posted, I sold the older cooktop to a charming engineer who lives in Atlanta. He got a great buy.