It might surprise you that I’ve been cooking all this time on electric stoves. Not quite sure how that happened. But with the new house and the new kitchen came the 8-year-old Amana gas cooktop. In theory, it’s great. Fairly new, right? I can straddle a big roasting pan across two burners to make something yummy of all that heavenly stuff leftover after roasting a chicken, and I can instantly see how high the flame is.
Here are my major complaints:
1. The gas stove actually seems to have less power than my previous electric one. Even at the recreational level, aren’t gas stoves supposed to boil water faster? Okay, maybe not.
2. The flame goes out at random, leaving whatever’s cooking to slowly stop progressing on the stovetop if I’m not watching. And I’m usually not watching.
3. The temperature controls are plastic. Now tell me: in a kitchen made to withstand heat, with granite countertops and huge iron grates to suspend hot things over the cooktop, WHY would one fabricate the temperature controls, which reside directly above the oven and in front of the gas burners (and hence where I’m likely to put something down), out of PLASTIC?
So far I’ve melted the plastic knobs both by setting something down directly on top of them and by putting a large, flat pan on a high flame next to them (the flame spreads out over the bottom of the pan and licks the side of it, causing the nearby plastic knobs to, uh, boil a little). My melty bubbly knobs are replaceable ($6.95 each, please), but why would I replace them when I’m sure to ruin them again immediately?
I also seem to need a new oven, because the 8-year-old Amana oven seems to have temperature swings of about 100 degrees and has tripped the circuits a few times, sparks flying, causing the digital board in the oven’s brain to go a bit haywire. In my book, this qualifies as neither accurate for cooking nor really all that safe.
Of course, neither cooktop nor wall oven can be replaced with much speed or ease, because apparently the cutout size of standard 30” appliances has changed quite a bit these past 8 years.
Time to check the chicken stock, which is barely bubbling away at a simmer with the knob on medium-high. Could someone please design a cooking system for me? For less than $5,000?