Updated on January 25, 2023
This Is How To Cook Well With An Electric Stove
I had no idea how difficult it was to cook with an electric stove until I went to Berlin. Gas stovetops, which utilize real fire to heat evenly and rapidly, had been a blessing in my life up until that point, allowing me to prepare meals quickly and easily. In contrast, electric stoves might be a little cumbersome, especially when compared to gas burners. Because of their lengthy heating and cooling times, it is difficult to swiftly shift the heat to prevent things from burning while using these burners. Some high-tech versions do defy convention, but I doubt that any of the Berlin flats in my price range will have the latest in technology.
The old-school electric stove in my new apartment didn’t bother me, so I decided to find out a way to use it to my advantage. If you’re creative and desperate, you can cook with it just as well as you would on an actual gas burner. I’ve figured out several clever techniques. These are the things to remember if you have an electric stove, based on advice from experts and my own practical experience.
Be cautious with the burners, especially if it’s your first time using an electric stove.
A lot of people have burnt themselves on electric stoves, says head chef Joshua Sauer of Avenue Restaurant in New Jersey, according to SELF. In contrast, an electric stove might be difficult to tell apart from an open gas stove since it doesn’t emit a flame or gas odors, which are more noticeable. It is common for newer versions to inform you if a burner is still hot, but many of the older ones don’t.
If you’re not sure if a burner is hot or cold, place your hand several inches above it.
You’ll be able to feel the heat even if you’re not touching it if it’s hot.
Or, put clean pots and pans on the burners that are still hot after you finish cooking, so you know which ones to avoid.
He claims his mother used to do this to guarantee no one was burnt, and that it always worked. A sign or magnet that shows whether or not the cooktop is still hot may be purchased and placed on or near the stove, according to Christine Hazel, the most recent champion of Food Network’s Chopped.
Be extra sure that you actually turn off all your burners—even if that means squatting down to get a better look at burner dials!
In the past, I’ve accidentally stepped away from a hot burner more times than I’d want to confess. I’ve come to realize that the best you can do in these situations is to be extra watchful. It will, however, become second nature after some time.
When it comes to electric stoves, preheating is your best friend.
A burner may take a long time to heat up—up to 15 minutes in my experience! Hence the need to pre-heat your burners while you’re cooking. Have you have any onions to peel? Before you begin, turn on your burner. You should be able to use your cooktop by the time you’ve finished preparing everything.
If you need to preheat something a little more substantial than a basic pot or pan, like a cast-iron skillet or a Dutch oven, let your oven do that for you.
The oven should be preheated at 350 degrees Fahrenheit about 20 to 30 minutes before you begin cooking. When you’re ready to begin, take it out using oven mitts. An electric burner may be difficult to maintain a high heat, and this small additional step will ensure that your food cooks more evenly, says Craig Rispoli, head chef at Fresh & Co.
If you have an electric kettle, use it to heat water before putting it into a pot to boil; it’ll speed up the process significantly.
It may take a long time for a pot of cold water to boil on an electric cooktop since electric stoves heat up so slowly. Use an electric kettle to pre-heat your water if you don’t have the patience to wait. It just takes a few minutes and is ideal for those times when you don’t have time to wait for a pot of spaghetti to boil.
When cooking, avoid cranking the heat too high or too low quickly; change the temperature gradually so the burner has time to properly adjust.
Having a gas stove makes everyday living a piece of cake. When you turn on the heat, it’s immediately hot, and when you turn it off, it’s a lot colder. Hazel explains that while electric burners take longer to calibrate, they also need a greater degree of caution. Make sure you don’t turn the heat up too high when you’re just starting to bring a pot of soup to a simmer, since this can cause it to boil over and ruin the flavour. Take it easy and build your way up. If after 20 minutes of simmering the soup at medium heat you’re still not seeing any improvements, try increasing the heat by one or two notches.
If you need to char something, throw it right on top of the burner.
You don’t need an open flame to scorch the eggplant in this dip, even though it’s supposed to be done over an open flame. Sauer claims that cooking food directly on the burner yields the same effects. He notes that it would have the same smokey and bittersweet flavor as usual.
And if you need to quickly lower the heat, experiment with having two burners on at once.
When creating a pot of rice on the stovetop or attempting not to burn homemade caramel, you’ll frequently need to swiftly switch from high to low heat. On an electric stove, it takes longer for the burners to cool down. So instead of relying just on one or two burners for cooking, I like to use two. Pressure Point host Bev Weidner has had comparable success with this strategy and told me that it may undoubtedly make things simpler, particularly when you need to effortlessly transition between high and low temps. When you’re done cooking, make sure to switch off all of your burners! Nobody will ever know how clumsy your stove is if you know these hacks.