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Old 09-13-2015, 11:48 AM   #121
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Cook in middle of the pan where the bloody heat is, put a couple products down in the pan, cook product on high(er) heat than you may be used to (not always, but generally), remove product to warm platter, cook next round.

If you feel like it, cook in two 10" pans simultaneously but always, always cook in the middle of the pan. Don't put product in a circle around the outer diameter of the pan where it bakes off the side of the pan and/or gets steamed on the side closest to the edge of the pan. This can give the product a tough, chewy side. If you just can't resist this then make sure you use a slope-sided skillet, the more severe the slope the better.

Promise it'll work.
This is not even true on an electric range. (Let's just forget the one element on my stove that has a hot spot, I still have three elements that work as expected.) The entire bottom of my pans sit on the heating element. The middle is no hotter than the edges.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:24 PM   #122
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Aluminum cooks damned well. It can lend an off flavor and color to sauces and pan reductions though. For straight browning, nothing really beats it.
In what way can AL add or subtract and flavor?

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Oh well, people talk about hot spots like something's wrong. Nothing is wrong, that's where the food goes! Don't put it around the outside of the pan like petals on daisy. It looks as stupid as it is.

If through some quirk of material physics some isolated spot near the outside of the pan manages to get hotter than where the flame is then that's a pan you should unload. I've personally never seen it. Ever. But I suppose it could happen.

Happy Cooking. Heat is good!

Cheers,

Pope Charlie
There is a school of thought regarding electric burners. One school of thought is if its bad in any way or manner it will not work at all.
Meaning, these hot spots are actually where the pan and the burner make the very best contact. I was and still do believe that a electric burner cannot be partially good. It either heats up or it doesn't.
But:

Not so long ago, I notice my electric oven was not getting up to temperature. Guess what? It was the element.
So evidently, current is able to pass through the element in a reduced or overly high fashion should the element/burner still be intact.
Reason: Its not a light bulb and can still partially allow current to flow with no regard to the wattage or the voltage provided the electrical path is still present.
I learned a lesson on the oven element. But it was bad and could not be use to cook anything. It could have been used to keep something warm though.

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This is not even true on an electric range. (Let's just forget the one element on my stove that has a hot spot, I still have three elements that work as expected.) The entire bottom of my pans sit on the heating element. The middle is no hotter than the edges.
I have an experiment, if you're up for it. Move the burner that has a hot spot to another location on the range top. Lets see if this hot spot follows the burner or is it possibly not a burner issue?
I am very curious as to your findings!
Should this hot spot follow the burner, I would be quite surprised.
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:06 PM   #123
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?In what way can AL add or subtract and flavor?

depends on exactly what one means by "aluminum pan"

a naked aluminum pan can, according to some taste buds, impart a metallic twang to the food - especially acidic stuff cooked for longer than fried eggs, for example.
in a similar vein, some taste buds mention they can taste a metallic flavor from cooking in cast iron.

anodized aluminum or aluminum with non-stick coating(s) is not apt to impart any taste as the aluminum metal (which btw is very reactive) is 'sealed' from direct contact with the food. methinks the same line of sealed thought applies to well seasoned cast iron.

it's a bit like baking powder - there are multiple chemical approaches to making a double acting baking powder. one is aluminum salt based. and, my taste buds pick up on that 'off flavor' if there is enough baking powder in the recipe. so funny me, I use Rumford (others exist) - which is Al free and doesn't impart the twang in my biscuits....
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:43 PM   #124
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...

I have an experiment, if you're up for it. Move the burner that has a hot spot to another location on the range top. Lets see if this hot spot follows the burner or is it possibly not a burner issue?
I am very curious as to your findings!
Should this hot spot follow the burner, I would be quite surprised.
Good idea, but I think it's the element. Let's see if I remember to do it.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:40 AM   #125
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?In what way can AL add or subtract and flavor?

depends on exactly what one means by "aluminum pan"

a naked aluminum pan can, according to some taste buds, impart a metallic twang to the food - especially acidic stuff cooked for longer than fried eggs, for example.
in a similar vein, some taste buds mention they can taste a metallic flavor from cooking in cast iron.

anodized aluminum or aluminum with non-stick coating(s) is not apt to impart any taste as the aluminum metal (which btw is very reactive) is 'sealed' from direct contact with the food. methinks the same line of sealed thought applies to well seasoned cast iron.

it's a bit like baking powder - there are multiple chemical approaches to making a double acting baking powder. one is aluminum salt based. and, my taste buds pick up on that 'off flavor' if there is enough baking powder in the recipe. so funny me, I use Rumford (others exist) - which is Al free and doesn't impart the twang in my biscuits....
Thank you very much. I must not have good taste buds as i have never noticed. BTW, I use anodized and bright aluminum. Can't tell any difference. But my buds are not what they used to be.

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Good idea, but I think it's the element. Let's see if I remember to do it.
I am really interested in your findings. I hope you will try it and post the results.
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:08 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
In what way can AL add or subtract and flavor?



There is a school of thought regarding electric burners. One school of thought is if its bad in any way or manner it will not work at all.
Meaning, these hot spots are actually where the pan and the burner make the very best contact. I was and still do believe that a electric burner cannot be partially good. It either heats up or it doesn't.
But:

Not so long ago, I notice my electric oven was not getting up to temperature. Guess what? It was the element.
So evidently, current is able to pass through the element in a reduced or overly high fashion should the element/burner still be intact.
Reason: Its not a light bulb and can still partially allow current to flow with no regard to the wattage or the voltage provided the electrical path is still present.
I learned a lesson on the oven element. But it was bad and could not be use to cook anything. It could have been used to keep something warm though.



I have an experiment, if you're up for it. Move the burner that has a hot spot to another location on the range top. Lets see if this hot spot follows the burner or is it possibly not a burner issue?
I am very curious as to your findings!
Should this hot spot follow the burner, I would be quite surprised.
It's all out the window when it comes to electric ranges. These are just tolerated, rarely preferred.
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:13 PM   #127
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This is not even true on an electric range. (Let's just forget the one element on my stove that has a hot spot, I still have three elements that work as expected.) The entire bottom of my pans sit on the heating element. The middle is no hotter than the edges.
Well, I bet it is but the difference might not be so drastic as a gas range. What, then, are we to make of this? Maybe the electric range should be the preferred medium? I wonder why that hasn't happened.
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:37 PM   #128
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Well, I bet it is but the difference might not be so drastic as a gas range. What, then, are we to make of this? Maybe the electric range should be the preferred medium? I wonder why that hasn't happened.
Heck no, if I had a gas connection at my house, I would have a gas range. I'm just saying that cooking on electric is different from cooking with gas. There are things one needs to do differently depending on which one is using. I'm sure there are even differences between cooking on electric rings and glass top electric stoves. A friend likes electric because she says it's more like cooking on a wood stove.
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:26 PM   #129
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Heck no, if I had a gas connection at my house, I would have a gas range. I'm just saying that cooking on electric is different from cooking with gas. There are things one needs to do differently depending on which one is using. I'm sure there are even differences between cooking on electric rings and glass top electric stoves. A friend likes electric because she says it's more like cooking on a wood stove.
Totally agree. If you have electric and can match up pan size to the element's size then it might not be a totally bad experience.
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Old 09-14-2015, 03:36 PM   #130
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I survived 18 years of electric cooking, and I didn't even get a t-shirt.

electric coils do not respond as quickly as turning the knob on a gas cooktop. that's really not hard to understand. that heating up a pan takes longer on electric coils vs gas flame, yeah - that's true. deal with it.

the preference for one cooking vessel material vs. another based on how quickly they heat up is, ah.... uhhmmmm.... something. not sure what. electric or gas or coal or kerosene or wood fire or induction, , , put the blinking pan on the heat at let it come up to temperature and YES! cast iron might take 2-3 minutes more than aluminum and if that is such a critical issue, one might want to re-examine one's starvation diet plan which leads to the inability to tolerate 2-3 minute delays in eating.

I have some half century+ old Revere Ware, some decades old thick thick aluminum stuff, some century+ old cast iron, and some 3mm thick stainless lined copper. when I need to cook something it goes on the gas burner, the burner gets lit and runs on low, the pan gets hot. sometimes it takes me longer to dice/slice (whatever) and I have to take the pan off the heat before I'm ready to start a saute / fry / go cooking crazy.

so all the 'it's faster / it's slower' stuff is actually not of any importance except to the cook who is unaware they want to cook something 5 minutes from now.

hot spots on electric coils exist - I've seen it. if you've got 7-15 year old electric coils, turn it on high and observe the color brightness of the coil. some spots are cooler and hence darker. no big discovery there.

but hot spots / burner size matching only comes into play when using high heat _and_ thin, poor conductor materials. ye olde' thin stainless - including copper bottom RevereWare is a prime example. you get the pan hot, you reduce the heat setting to match the task, heat flows, nothing burns. it's what heat does.
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