Simmering on Maytag induction
We just bought and started playing with a Maytag induction range (model MIR8890AS). One issue we've had is that the "simmer" function does not produce or maintain a "slow boil", as advertised in the user's manual--it is useless to bring water to a simmer, and if starting from a boil quickly lets the water drop to about 150F.
The warranty I have is through the retailer, and he claims that this is normal behaviour, and that the user's guide is an "incorrect translation". I have trouble believing that. When called, Maytag confirms the instruction manual version, but just to double-check: does anyone here have this stove and can shed light on this? Does the simmer function actually produce or maintain a slow boil? If not, what is the purpose of the simmer function vs a low setting?
I'm not familiar with that particular brand and model, but my experience with an inexpensive hotplate model might help.
Maintaining a simmer or slow boil with automated controls is tricky. The stove can't watch for slow bubbles. Temperature might work if there was a probe in the water, but if the sensor is under the glass top, there is, inevitably, a temperature difference between the water in the pot, and the sensor. Also the temperature difference between full boil and slow boil is very small.
If this isn't a temperature setting, then it is simply a power setting. But what that power does will vary with the pot, and the amount of water.
I suspect this issue is more with the manual (incorrect translation) than with the operation of the stove.
That's a decent argument. The way I imagined it would work, the range would stop when the temperature reaches boiling temperature, and restart after it drops some, leading to a steady slow boil. From an engineering perspective, the boiling point can in principle be identified as a time where the temperature plateaus, even when actual temperature measurement may be inaccurate, but that does sound like a fancy detection scheme for a range.
If it is just a power setting, then the question becomes: why have a whole separate name, button, and manual entry, if the function is just the same as, say, power level 4? Could it be just a marketing trick? I wouldn't be that surprised, but I would like the range that much less!
This manual doesn't give any idea of how that 'simmer' setting is different from one of the power settings. Neither for that matter how the 'hold and melt' setting is different. Also I don't see any mention of a temperature control.
On my Maxburton hotplate, 5 is the default on setting. 3 is the lowest continuous power setting. 2 and 1 cycle on and off, much like the low power settings on many microwaves.
If I had your stove, I'd just play with the power settings to learn which ones give the results I want. The simmer and hold settings will require similar experimentation.
On page 7, it does say
"Simmer ■ Maintain a slow boil"
I do agree that this is not obviously different from settings
4 or 5 , which also can be used for that purpose. My understanding was that it must be doing something different (otherwise why the extra button?), and one maytag employee told me that this should "rapidly get the water to a simmer and hold it there" which is indeed different from the power settings. But of course he may have been wrong.