Indistinct blob sauce   Leave a comment

Induction induction.

The thing I really wanted to get done on Sunday the 27th was some DIY. There were still plenty of cracks in the chimney plaster, and woodwork that needed gaps and screw-holes filling in, so I got on with that. As usual, I didn’t finish as much as I wanted to, but at least I made a dent.

Otherwise, the major event was cooking a curry. It was another Pork Dhansak, made to pretty much the same recipe combination as last time. And, once again, it made three nice, big, tasty dinners. Amazingly, each only weighed in at 500kCal, mostly thanks to the low-fat pork cubes I used (Lidl’s offers are dead handy).

But that wasn’t the interesting part of making the curry. Another one of Lidl’s offers had been single induction hobs, so I’d grabbed one for a few reasons. Partly because my kitchen will be ripped out one day, so having a hob while it’s being rebuilt will be handy. And partly because my current gas hob gets on my nerves; it’s a pain to clean, and even using my largest saucepan on the smallest hob on the lowest flame will boil furiously, burning stews to the bottom with ease; so when the kitchen’s re-built I’ve been considering replacing it. An induction hob would seem to solve all my problems, but I’d never used one before so wanted to try one out before buying one (and some new saucepans to work on it; a considerable expense in total).

In practice, from this first trial: they’re brilliant. First of all, they work by magic, and anything that works by magic is great*. Secondly, they’re a doddle to clean, being a flat ceramic sheet. Thirdly, they won’t blow up the house if the flame goes out or anything – and it’d even be quite hard to burn yourself on them, because the hob itself doesn’t heat up. And most importantly, they don’t have a minimum “if we go any lower than this we’ll blow out and fill the house with flammable gas” setting, so you can cook stuff on a low heat. My cheapo standalone unit even has a thermostat in it, so you can control the cooking temperature; set it from 60 to 200-odd celsius in 20° increments, and it’ll stay there. This is brill. And if you turn it up to 11 it’ll still immolate things at least as quickly and effectively as a gas hob, so you don’t lose there (unlike normal, rubbish electric hobs which take forever to either heat up or cool down). And it’s only a diddy two-kilowatt unit.

Totally worth the trade-off of not being able to lay aluminium foil on it whilst it’s on. Barring mishaps in the meantime, I’ll almost certainly get a full hob for the kitchen when the time comes (and ideally a single/dual gas-burner for stir-frying or other funny-shaped pans, although they seem at least as expensive as a full-sized hob. Maybe I could cram two four-ring hobs in somehow? An eight-hob two-oven kitchen for a single-person house. And a miserly, antisocial single person at that. Hmm.). Funny; when I first looked them up I saw some sites dedicated to raving about them, and I’d assumed they were plain old advertising. Now I’ve used one, I can believe that they’re just ace. So there you go.

It’s amazing the difference being able to actually simmer things makes, too. I used swede in the curry, and it was cooked and soft whilst still being cubes with some vegetabley texture to them. Before, when they’d been boiled to buggery, you’d be lucky to find a distinct blob that hadn’t just turned into sauce. Sometimes that’s what you want, sometimes it isn’t. It’s nice to get the choice.

So, yeah, sometimes I think people should be paying me to endorse their stuff. In the evening I played Skyrim, which is also ace, and I’m not being paid to endorse that either.

* Actually it’s physics, not magic, but they’re pretty similar. An induction hob is a big electro-magnet, so when you stick a solid metal saucepan on it it induces a load of current in the pan, which gets hot, because that’s what things with loads of current in them do. Like I said: magic.


Posted 8 December 2011 by Colthor in Diary

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