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Old 12-07-2009, 05:26 PM   #1
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Coil Burners

so i just bought a new house, and was a bit disappointed that the existing stove is prob like 20 years old, and uses heating coils, as opposed to the gas in my old place....it just isnt the same...so ive used it a few times over the past week, and it heats up faster than expected, though cooling down is a bit of an issue (one that i expected)...my plan was to deal with it until i save up enough to replace it

so my question, to those with these kind of stoves, is how hot does your largest burner get? yesterday was the first time i tried to sear some steaks....i cranked it up to high, and let the ss skillet heat up for a few minutes (just like i did on the old stove)....i usually give it a short blast of non-stick spray (the "high heat" kind), right before adding the meat...the second the spray hit the pan, its burst into a cloud of smoke, and the pan was instantly blackened....i still cant get it totally clean...i was SHOCKED that the stove could get so hot...my gas one was never able to do that...are they all like this, or does it have something to do with how old this one is?

im actually a bit excited...i wasnt expecting to get that sort of power, and it will be nice once i learn to control it better...though im not looking forward to all the work im going to need to do to get my good pan clean (seriously, this stuff is STUCK on - BKF barely made a dent)

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Old 12-07-2009, 05:42 PM   #2
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Mine gets SMOKING hot. You already learned the hard way to spray before heating. Sorry about your pan. I've never actually measured the temp, but its HOT.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:21 PM   #3
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Yes, they get quite hot.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:28 PM   #4
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My advice would be a bit different than Alix's. Since you want to pan as hot as possible when making a steak I would suggest getting your pan hot first as you did, but instead of spraying the pan with fat I would add the fat directly to the steak. When you put the steak in the pan the mass and temp of the steak will draw enough heat out that the fat will not burn.

Don't give up on the idea of using an electric stove over gas just yet. Once you get used to it you just may find you like it. There is a definite learning curve going from gas to electric, but as someone who has used electric for the past 10 years at least, I can say I no longer have a preference of gas over electric like I used to.

As for the coils taking time to cool down, that is a drawback, but not one that you can't overcome. One way is to use two burners. If you have the pan on a high heat, but know you will need to lower the heat then set your second burner to the lower heat. When it comes time to lower the heat you just move the pan to the lower burner. A second option is to just pull the pan off the heat while the coil cools. It does not take very long for it to cool so that is the option I usually go with.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:33 PM   #5
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I agree with the others, coils do get ripping hot!

In my old place we had a coil stove, and I placed a cast iron pan on it and set it to high, the next time I looked over it was getting WHITE HOT, there was actually white ash in the pan! I had to learn to use medium high to sear.

There is always talk about how gas is so superior to electric, but if you are comparing consumer grade stoves, the coil wins just about every time, faster boiling, better searing, etc... Gas does have its advantages but electric (even my glass ceramic top) does a fantastic job as well.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:35 AM   #6
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glad to hear others like theirs....i was really not looking forward to using it, and had it at the top of the list of things to replace...we found more important stuff, so it got pushed down the list...it has def grown on me a little bit, especially after seeing how fast it boils water....another nice feature is that it is a double oven....basically, i think this was a top of the line model, 10-15 years ago

i def agree about oiling the meat, instead of the pan, GB...i figured i would need to do that from now on

it took another 15 minutes of serious scrubbing with a heavy duty scotchbrite pad and BKF, to get my pan clean....could the ss potentially warp if it gets too hot? its a good quality calphalon tri-ply

another question - when using my non-stick stuff, i keep the heat at med, or med high at max (prob lower with this stove), except for when boiling water when i crank it up...since this gets so much hotter, do i need to be a bit more careful when boiling water? im assuming not, since the temp inside cant raise above 212*, unless it boils dry....that might be a dumb question
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNoodleIncident View Post
... do i need to be a bit more careful when boiling water? im assuming not, since the temp inside cant raise above 212*, unless it boils dry....that might be a dumb question
As long as there is water in the pot, it will not get much above 212 F. So crank the heat up and get it boiling ASAP. Then turn it down.

If a non-stick pot boils dry and is left on a burner, it will be ruined on gas or electric.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:48 AM   #8
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And yes, you could warp your pan. Been there done that and was very irritated with myself afterwards.

Got to correct a misinterpretation here. I wasn't trying to tell you to use the spray, I was sympathizing about your pan ruination. I'm a CI girl myself. And I'm not sure if you have cast iron or not, but thats what I prefer to use on my stove for searing meat. Mine is about 75 years old and seasoned beautifully (in spite of someone putting it in the dishwasher!). I just get it nicely hot, pat my meat a bit dry and have at it.

Tonight is going to be pork medallions actually. I'm brining them as we speak.
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:48 PM   #9
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The do get very hot. Something I might do if I was you and I wasn't going to buy a new oven anytime soon. I would invest in the oven a little and get new heating coils just to make sure that there isn't a problem between the coil and the thermostat. It sounds as though they are working right, but it's just a thought.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:11 PM   #10
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I wouldn't worry about the coils, if they don't turn red when you crank it up, then their might be a problem that they might not be getting hot enough, which it looks like they do. When they truly fail you will know it, just turn off the power and watch the fire works! Throwing a large lid on th burner helps though.
As for cooking just remember to keep backing off the temp knob, you will learn with time to use the residual from the burners.
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