Friday, March 20, 2015

Review: Induction Ranges

Our oven caught fire in late December, the cause being a pool of grease so deep I could have swum in it. Times flies when youre having fun: A few days after that, the stove top exploded. I guess its not the brightest idea to boil a kettle dry on the high setting of a glass-top stove. Its also not super-smart to rip the kettle from the molten glass with which it has fused, thus tearing a hole the size of a dime in the stove top. Nor is it brilliant to continue cooking after the above happens, assuming the hole will magically repair itself and all will be well. It wont, and it wasn’t. The result could have been dangerous and disastrous. 

The eventual explosion dug a crater the size of Kansas into the stove’s glass top, as well as ripping open a crack as wide and deep as the Mariana Trench, which is pretty wide and deep. To set the stage, it was a dark and stormy night ... 

Surveying the shattered surface of our stove, I briefly understood how Dante must have felt when he peered through the Gates of Hell. The upside was that this did seem like a great opportunity to hang up my apron and enjoy a whole bunch of restaurant meals. Whoo-hoo!

Ron had other ideas, among them that there were no restaurants in our immediate future. Instead, we bought a $2,000 induction range - money I’d hoped to spend on having the cellulite from my hips pumped into my lips, with plenty left over after selling my remaining cellulite to thousands of thin-lipped, thin-hipped women in Switzerland. 

I’m not exactly sure how induction ranges work, but any magnetic pot that snuggles up to any element of one of these stoves will immediately develop a strong, electromagnetic, Clooney-esque attraction to turn on” the element and heat things up. 

If your pots are non-magnetic (wool doesn’t count), a handy conversion ring will reverse the pot’s polarities, which - while sounding scientifically impressive - I cleverly made up. 

With this ring, the stove’s electromagnetic, pheromonic, Clooney-esque features will now become strongly attracted to you, turning on” and heating things up even if you haven’t shaved your legs for an entire week. This is why older women are willing to pay so much money for an induction range.

Ha-ha, fooled you! Metal pots and induction stoves dont really work that wayI also have no idea how the conversion ring works. All I can say is that the ring is precious, as this world-famous scientist from the Institute of Ring Physics is about to explain: 

Why are induction ranges so popular? Because they have all the advantages and none of the disadvantages of cooking with gas. 

Induction ranges are fast! Place a pot of water on an element, and the next thing you know, the water will be boiling. Reduce the heat, and the water will simmer almost as quickly as I did when Ron told me I probably wouldn’t see the inside of a restaurant for the next 46 years.  

Now, the oven. Mine does a very poor job of browning foods such as breads, nuts, meats, and (I suspect) poultry. Although they still have the flavor of browned and toasted foods, I hate this defiency. While technically, scientifically, athletically, and esthetically different from other ranges, induction ovens are also very slow to preheat. You know all those recipes that instruct you to set your oven’s temperature before you start to cook? This is the time to take those recipes to heart! Preheat an induction range early - typically 20-to-25 min. - to reach 400 deg. F. 

Most (but not all) induction ovens lack a self-cleaning function. Unless you’re an ammonia-breathing alien, the chemical fumes from the standard oven’s self-cleaning process haven’t been doing your lungs any good. Environmentally friendly induction ovens need cleaning more often than self-cleaning ranges, so don’t allow dirt to build up and the job will be easy. Or just hire some kitchen help.

Overall, I like our new range, and will do my best not to blow it up. Which brand did we buy? I’m not telling. This is an objective review, Dollinks - not an ad. Do online research, check prices, stick with a recognized brand, and ask the advice of friends who have an induction range. Induction ranges are great - but if a salesperson promises you can cook in a woolen pot, shop elsewhere.

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