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How to Choose the Right Kitchen Range

So, you’re looking for an electric kitchen range? There are a lot of choices to be made, and they can be dizzying. Let’s deal with the cook-top first…. There are a few different types of burners, but, at the end of the day, it all comes down to one basic issue…. Electric is slow to respond to temperature changes. This is why most professional kitchens use gas. When you turn a gas stove-top off, it’s completely off. When you turn the dial to off on an electric range, you have to wait for the burner element to cool down. All the while, it is still transmitting energy, in the form of heat, to the food which you are cooking. custom range hoods

Conversely, when you want to heat it up, you have to wait for the element to heat, whereas with gas, you can go from zero to eleven (for you Spinal Tap fans) as fast as you can turn the knob. Most home cooks do not need this type of fine and responsive temperature control, and appreciate the safety advantages of an electric kitchen range, so this is not an issue. If you do need this control, there’s an important word to remember: induction. Induction burners have been popular in Europe for years and are now coming over to the US. Instead of having an element that heats up, they create a magnetic force which causes friction in the pot and heats it up.

Here’s the cool thing… They operate on the same principle as gas – when they’re on, they’re on, when they’re off, they’re off. Also, because the element doesn’t actually get hot, it’s safer than the old Ceran stoves which are really just covered electric burners. The only drawback to an induction burner is that you need to have steel or metal pots – aluminum won’t work on it (the test is too see if a refrigerator magnet sticks to your pot – if it does, it’s induction friendly).

Either way, when choosing an electric range, remember to have appropriately sized burners. If you have a 14″ saute pan, you’re not going to get very good results on a small burner…. Down on the oven side, the good news is that electric ovens have significant advantages over gas. With an electric stove, you can get very fine temperature control and stability. This makes an electric range perfect for frequent bakers. Electric stoves can be purchased with a number of enhancements, such as convection (which combines the heating element with a fan to move the heat around and speed cooking times).

 

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