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Cooking directly on a smoothtop...

u
unixrunner May 24, 2013 12:58 PM

I saw a video not so long ago, a show that Eric Ripert was hosting and he cooked a piece of salmon directly on a glass smoothtop, but the 'burner' was actually rectangular in shape rather than round, like it was designed for this type of cooking. Does anyone know a company that makes such a smoothtop? If not, is it possible to cook this way on a regular smoothtop?

  1. Caroline1 May 26, 2013 11:35 AM

    Eric Ripert cooks almost exclusively on induction smooth tops, so if he was cooking on a smooth top induction unit, it would not be possible to cook directly on it because not even spinach has enough iron content to make induction work! For restaurants, "flat top" iron surfaced induction griddles are available and they're darned expensive for a private home.

    BUT...! ER has all sorts of pull, so he may have been using one of these:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crm3erwHr3s

    To the best of my knowledge, Rasonic products are not available in the U.S., but MAYBE you can order one from Hong Kong.
    http://tinyurl.com/nsc6ky6
    They are pricey! For the price of one of these puppies you can buy 47 Lodge double burner double sided grills that will do a great job! I'm just not sure they will fry ice cubes as attractively as the Rasonic! '-)

    5 Replies
    1. re: Caroline1
      u
      unixrunner May 27, 2013 01:28 PM

      I'm in no doubt he was cooking directly on the glass surface, it was an episode of Avec Eric, not sure which one though. What he was using was pretty similar to that Rasonic cooktop in the video but it was built into his worksurface. It was just a question of curiosity about if there would be any advantage to this method of cooking besides just saving on washing up a pan.

      1. re: unixrunner
        k
        kaleokahu May 27, 2013 02:37 PM

        Hi, unixrunner:

        Thanks to our beloved Caroline, we know at least one company making this kind of glass griddle.

        Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of this. Solid-tops are (after open hearth) humanity's oldest cooktops. But glass?

        From the Rasonic video, we see that the unit has a 7-position control knob, but it is unclear if it is infinitely adjustable. It is also unclear how well the greasetrap and sides would handle a steady diet of oil and fat.

        I would want to know these things, AND see under the black Ceran to judge the size and configuration of the heating element before buying. It might cook very evenly, and then again it might not. What we *do* know without looking is that glass is a terrible conductor of heat, and therefore the heat element is not getting any help toward evenness from the Ceran.

        My biggest reservation about this thing would be marring or breaking the glass. At one point in the video, the "chef" bisects a steak, and it's obvious that he's avoiding bearing down with the knife. Ceran is hard, but IMO it would not hold up long to regular use of knives and metal turners. If you've ever watched a line cook working a commercial SS griddle, they absolutely *slam* the turners, and scrape the shit out of the surface. None of this would be possible with a Ceran surface, nor would cleaning the surface by screening.

        Like the cheap, single-burner induction hotplates, I think this griddle would only be advisable for occasional buffet use where the portability trumps other factors. Even then, it's probably going to be a nightmare to clean. I'm calling it a novelty for now.

        Aloha,
        Kaleo

        1. re: kaleokahu
          SWISSAIRE May 27, 2013 03:03 PM

          This was a topic of discussion in one of the CH threads last year.

          My wife and I previously owned a glasstop ( I think that is the current expression ) that had a " grill " area included. I admit that one of the selling features was the advert with two large prawns sizzling away very crimson, on the black glasstop. And I fell for it, at least that is what my wife now says. ( I swear she was with me at the check-out ).

          The cooking reality is something else.

          Certain foods splatter everywhere, especially fish, or meats with a little fat, which if one is using a pot or pan for is contained. Our large prawns and shrimp over-cooked. And as I found, one has to be surgically careful with cooking utensils, or go back and purchase the silicone coated spatula, and tongs. You take a real chance if just using the standard inox BBQ tools here.

          After that " magical wonder " has worn off, comes the cold, hard reality of the clean-up. Sponge and hot soapy water over everything, including the control area, perhaps a mild abrasive used for granite to remove the marks, followed by cloth, then perhaps a window cleaner, and more cloth and paper towels. And despite these efforts, it seemed the odor remained.

          I doubt if that sequence made the final cut for Eric Ripert.

          So by experience, save your money, use a pot or pan, or to quote the Scout/Guide motto " Be prepared " ( to spend your time cleaning ).

          1. re: kaleokahu
            Caroline1 May 27, 2013 07:49 PM

            Oh, Kaleo! Such a doubting Thomas! '-) The glass top on this particular grill is made by the German glass maker, Schott Zweisel. I LOVE their stuff! They do great things with glass. They're the developers of titanium crystal (NO lead content!) that is super strong, seriously break resistant, and much lighter than lead crystal, which is a blessing to these old arthritic hands. These are very smart glass makers!

            I've been using glass cook tops for decades now and not found them a problem. I've yet to break one, which doesn't mean it's not possible, or maybe I'm just not trying hard enough. I did have one once with knobs on the glass. Royal pain! Quickly replaced! Now I have smooth, knobless black glass inset into black granite and the whole area is soooooooooo easy to clean! And the great advantage of all that shiny black? If there's a speck of dirt on it, it screams, "Hey, look at me!" WIndex is my friend. My very good friend! And occasionally, a little Bar Keep's Friend and a moist paper towel. And a razor blade if I'm ever too careless, which is not impossible

            It has never occurred to me to try to cook directly on my thermal glass cooktop, and it would be fruitless to try on an induction surface. No metal in the food to take advantage of the magnetic field!

            For me, EVERY cooking surface has variables and kinks to get used to. For me, cooking means figuring out where the hot spots are and adjusting to them, because they're damn sure not going to adjust to me. It's just part of the job.

            And yes! I would love to try cooking on a ceramic grill! And if I didn't like it, well, the cast iron grills are still in the cupboard! One man's novelty is another woman's godsend! I LOVE my cheap Max Burton induction cook top! Try one, Kiddo, you'll love it too! '-)

            1. re: Caroline1
              k
              kaleokahu May 27, 2013 10:05 PM

              Hi, Car:

              Schott makes all Ceran, it's their trademarked name. And there are 110 million Ceran cooktops out there.

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

      2. sunshine842 May 26, 2013 08:03 AM

        I'm trying to figure out why you would do this....that's why they make saute pans and griddles -- so you have a flat cooking surface that can actually be washed.

        1. t
          ThanksVille May 26, 2013 04:21 AM

          Maintaining the clean appearance of a glass cooktop was difficult enough just wiping up grease splatters and cooked thru spills or boil overs; in fact one of the reasons it became the reviled range top in our family. Cooking directly on the range is going to make resulting cleaning even more challenged if you feel compelled to keep the top visually pristine.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ThanksVille
            f
            FriedClamFanatic May 26, 2013 09:11 AM

            BTW..........I have had 2 glass top stoves......one in my condo and one at home. The one at the condo has the control OFF the surface. set into the counter. MUCH MUCH MUCH better for cleaning! I made the mistake at home of getting the super-gourmet version never thinking about the dials..BIG BIG BIG mistake!

          2. f
            FriedClamFanatic May 25, 2013 01:34 PM

            If you are going to ruin a smoothtop, this could be the way to go! Not sure what you gain. I'd try one of those superhot warming trays first

            1. BIGGUNDOCTOR May 24, 2013 04:22 PM

              I toast tortillas on mine all the time.

              1 Reply
              1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR
                firecooked May 25, 2013 01:18 PM

                I generally warm up corn tortillas on the grill, but will do on my smooth top if I just want one or two.... I'll do them on a gas burner too.

              2. m
                miss_belle May 24, 2013 04:20 PM

                I have a regular smoothtop and it never would have occurred to me in a million years to cook anything directly on the burner. Never will try it either. Frankly, this was the first I'd ever heard of the practice. Can't speak for Eric and what kind of stove he was using though.

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