Helaine Mallory Kitchen Appliances December 08, 2017 10:00:52
Are you in a hurry in the kitchen? If you re always scrambling to get dinner ready fast you might want a combination thermal/convection oven which cooks with a fan that circulates hot air so items cook more quickly and brown more easily. Convection ovens have improved dramatically in the last few years says Sharon Franke director of food appliances for Good Housekeeping magazine and the Good Housekeeping Institute which evaluates new ranges on a regular basis.
So the turkey roasted then cooled then roasted then cooled and I spent several sleepless nights wondering if I d poisoned my nearest and dearest with inadequately cooked poultry. I finally saved my dollars and bought a spanking new smoothtop electric range. It s amazingly easy to clean the electric elements do a great job on everything from high-temperature searing to low-temperature simmering and the oven is large enough to accommodate an entire holiday feast (and cook it at the right temperature!).
My new stove changed my life and I m not kidding. After a decade of constant struggle with an ancient Amana range (just like the ones Monty Hall used to give away in the 1970s on"Let s Make a Deal!") the final blow came on Thanksgiving. I put the lovingly stuffed 20-lb. turkey in the oven and set it at 325 degrees only to find after hours of basting and checking meat thermometers and fiddling with the dial that for some inexplicable reason the oven wouldn t work at any temperature lower than 350 degrees.
Another overlooked fact: consider your home s resale value. If you re going to the expense of including high-end grills surfaces and appliances outside don t neglect complementary features such as sinks or dishwashers task lighting (if only for safety) and dimmers ceiling fans and awnings to keep the sun and heat at bay. And don t forget to include comfortable seating.
"True chef-style cooking requires high heat which means gas heat says interior designer Sue Adams of Andover Mass. While many retailers advertise a"professional" line of electric ranges they just don t put out enough BTUs for flashing fish or searing meats."You can t have a pro kitchen with an electric cooktop she says.
What s your cooking style? If you do lots of stir-frying or heat large quantities of food you ll want at least one high-heat element or burner as mentioned above. Many ranges include a wok ring which sits on top of the burner grate to hold a wok. If you simmer lots of sauces you ll want a"simmer burner which cooks at a low temp. Check with the manufacturer on these;"a simmer technically is 190 degrees Franke says and some low-heat burners are really warming burners because they maintain a 150-degree temperature which is fine for keeping a dinner warm but not for simmering your gravy.