Saturday, February 18, 2012

SOMETHING NEW -- COOKING WITH GAS

new cooktop
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.
new cooktop (2) 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.  new cooktop (4) 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.

8 comments:

Coleens Recipes said...

I've used electric for most of my life, I can't even imagine how much I would have to relearn should I switch to gas. You are a brave woman.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I have cooked with gas for the past ten years or so now, I still struggle to get food to simmer. I am not certain that I will ever get completely used to it!! Sorry that was not what you wanted to hear LOL. Diane

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

We love gas and have a duel-fuel Bosch up north. The top is gas and the oven is electric. Had something similar when we lived in the islands. The duel system is a fabulous invention.

Once you get used to it Judy you won't want to go back. We had a Jennair in another home years ago and I still miss it. Did you get the grill side too? Loved that feature.
Sam

Judy said...

I made the switch about two years ago and it was a major adjustment. Hang in there, I think you will eventually learn to love your new gas stove top. I encountered some of the same issues though. One suggestion is to purchase a device that I don't remember the name of -- it is a flat ceramic piece that fits on the burner and evenly spread the heat under your pan. It is essential when cooking something like pudding. It is a costly device but I purchased from my local cooking shop in Atlanta. I will try to find out what this device is called if others are interested.

Judy said...

Judy, I would love to know what the name of this ceramic piece is. Thanks so much for the tip, now if I can only find them.

Magic of Spice said...

I have almost always used gas, with the exception of a condo years back and I could not get used to it. Not meaning that you won't get used to gas :) They are quite different but I think once you get the feel of it you will never want to go back, ultimately so much more control :)

Judy said...

Thanks, Magic, for the reassurance. I cooked carrot pudding for my Indian doctor yesterday and had no trouble, except that I had to stir in more often than before.

Judy said...

Sam, I wanted the grill feature, but it's not available on the smaller cooktop. Ours is 30" and we had no room to cut a bigger opening.