For years I endured an electric range and oven (and yes, before you say it out loud, I will admit habitually overstating my misfortunes!). Since statistically few Canadian homes had gas, I couldn’t indulge my chef’s preference for this kind of appliance and still develop recipes for cookbooks, magazines and major corporations and be able to say that the cooking times would work for most people. I was sad in a stoic, noble way.
Thankfully, today many more Canadian (and American for that matter) households are installing gas stoves so I can have one again, too. (Although readers should know that I often do a final test of recipes I develop on an electric stove if I have any doubts about timing.)
When choosing my gas range I went for one with heavy-duty cast iron burner racks and pilot lights with automatic starters. Although I didn’t realize it until my range was installed and in use, another benefit of the model I chose is that it has a very low simmer setting. I use this ultra low setting often for braising since it makes slow cooking very efficient and allows me to coax the maximum tenderness out of tough cuts of meat such as brisket and shanks. Likewise, it makes regulating the temperature for poaching very easy, too. Interestingly, a friend of mine who purchased a very high-end gas cook top found that her flame could never be tamed adequately to use these two cooking methods. In fact, she had to use a slow cooker for all braising because her stove was just too hot on its lowest setting.
Whether I move one day or live long enough to wear this unit out, I’d replace it in a heartbeat. I love my gas range!
What kind of a stovetop do you prefer? Although all comments are welcome, I’d love to hear from any of you that have chosen the new induction models. I’m very curious to hear how home cooks like this technology.