Aluminum cookware?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by nosborne48, Aug 5, 2021.

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  1. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    UPDATE: New Samsung electric glass top range arrived. I gave the lovely old gas range to a friend who is delighted to get it. It IS a nice stove. Anyway, I made a cheese soufflé last night and used the stovetop and oven for the purpose. Gotta say I'm pleased. My stuffy little kitchen stayed fresher and cooler with the electric and there are no complaints about how fast the stove and oven heat up. Get HOT, too. This is NOT my mother's (or grandmother's) electric range!
     
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  2. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Further update: I am surprised and pleased after a weekend's cooking with the new glass top electric. After twelve years on gas, I expected the electric to be slow to heat and unresponsive. Not true at all. I think it heats a pot or pan just as fast (or faster) than my gas range did. It boils a pot of water much faster. It DOES take longer to cool down. I have to anticipate temp changes or move the pot. The top oven alone heats unbelievably fast. I don't know how long the lower oven or composite oven will take to heat up but I absolutely cannot fault the top oven.

    I think the thing that really got my attention, though, is the effectiveness of the burner safety cutout. I heated some corn oil for a simple roux. The burner started to cycle very soon after I turned it on. I looked at the oil; it didn't LOOK hot but I figured that it wasn't going to get any hotter so I threw in the flour. It nearly exploded with the heat and cooked much faster than it would have on the gas stove. (I need to not turn oil up that high.) Anyway, the burner will maintain oil very hot but not allow it to overheat no matter how long I leave it. There's a lot to be said for that.

    Keep in mind, this a a RADIANT stovetop not induction.
     
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  3. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Interesting, good to know.
     
  4. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Okay, after another evening cooking, I am convinced. The widespread preference for gas over modern radiant electric ranges is largely snobbery and not supported by experience. Consumer Reports is correct. My glass top electric range significantly outperforms my late lamented gas range in every respect and for every function except one; the ability to reduce burner heat quickly. I can live with that considering the improvement in every other area of cookery
     
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    This expression of confidence and satisfaction doesn't extend to the coil electric cooktops of my youth. These were, and are, terrible. They heat by direct conduction which can lead to scorching and uneven heat. 90% of the heat in my stove arrives through radiation shining through the ceramic glass and only ten percent by conduction from the glass itself. Nevertheless, James Beard cooked on coils so it can be done. I've just never had much luck with coils myself.
     
  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

  7. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Is the change in electric bill significant?
     
  8. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I don't know yet. Gas is cheaper around here and electricity is expensive but the cooler kitchen also means that the A/C doesn't work so hard. We shall see.
     
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Weirdly, my house in Northern Virginia is aimed in the right direction to take advantage of solar, but even with the tax incentives I'm just not paying enough for electricity to make the switch be cost effective. I was all ready to go Full Hippie on that and everything.
     
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Not weird at all. In the absence of serious government subsidies, solar electricity has never made economic sense. The time of amortization usually exceeds, or I should say that in the past it exceeded, the life expectancy of the installation. This doesn't mean I dislike solar or wind either for that matter but neither is anything like a complete approach to zero carbon power. The sole expandable source of zero emission base power we have is fission. Period. Had we not gotten into a moral panic about fission in the 1970s, we might have headed global warming off. Not to say the Union of Concerned Scientists were acting irrationally. They had good reason to ask embarrassing questions at the time. But fission kills far, far fewer people than coal and does much less long term environmental damage than major hydropower (depending on whether you think damming giant rivers constitutes environmental damage.) Fusion, on the other hand, is a waste of time and money. My inexpert opinion.
     
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  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I'm no engineer either, but I share your opinion on all of this.
     
  12. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Made some red enchilada sauce this noon. It's really amazingly easy on the new stove. I set the burner a bit lower and let the oil heat while I assembled the other ingredients and when I was ready I dropped in the flour. Much more restrained cooking than last time but the thing is, the electric stove would have held the oil at the desired temperature indefinitely. Added the chile powder (yes, I make a pretty crummy New Mexican because I make my sauce with powdered chile) and water and other stuff and whisked it all together then brought it to a boil then turned it down to a slow simmer. Effortless. I've figured it out I think. The electric stove is stable in the engineering sense. It stays where I put it. Gas doesn't do that. Gas makes for kitchen drama and action. I like cooking without drama.
     
  13. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    My new heavy gauge (4mm) "natural finish" aluminum saute pan and lid arrived today so I set to work melting some butter for drop biscuits. I have never used a pan that handles heat so quickly and evenly in my life. I put it on a propane camp stove outside and set the burner to medium low.. The butter melted very quickly but no burn or brown anywhere on the bottom of the pan. My camp stove does NOT deliver anything like even heat. Removed from the heat, the pan cooled quickly.

    I think I know what my "pan of the future" will be!
     
  14. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Cream of potato and leek soup. Well, the "gas fanboys" as one fellow calls them are right about one thing. The only way to reduce heat quickly is to move the pot off the hot burner and onto a cooler one. Not as convenient or instinctive as turning down the gas plus you lose the use of a burner for a while. Samsung does provide a fifth "warming center" burner that I can shift to but it might be a bit too cool. Live and learn.
     
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  15. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    I hate that about electric stoves, yeah. It's extremely inconvenient if you're trying to cook more than one thing at a time, too.
     
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Yeah, mine is too cool, even on the warmest setting.
     
  17. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    First electric bill without A/C. No increase at all from this time last year but other things have changed besides getting rid of my gas range.

    I ordered an aluminum Wear Ever skillet same size as the saute pan. Not nonstick. If it comes tomorrow I’ll try making cheese omelets in it Saturday morning.
     
  18. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    New stove update: I decided I wanted pancakes this morning so for the first time I dragged out my cast iron griddle and set the "bridge burner" and two regular burners on medium low while I mixed up the batter.

    The griddle used to live on my gas stovetop over the oblong center burner. I used it regularly and wasn't really satisfied with the arrangement. The griddle worked fine of course but the heat wasn't at all even and I tended to set the burner too high for one part to get the other parts hot enough.

    I cannot believe the improvement. Perfectly even heat and no messing around with burner settings. No scratches on the stovetop either despite the frantic warnings from some makers.

    At this point, even if ventilation wasn't an issue, I'd not switch back to gas. For me and the way I cook, radiant electric is just better.
     

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