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Feb 22, 2014 08:24 AM

Ceramic hob Miele KM520 in new disaster?

hi there,
about to move into a flat that has the Miele KM520 Ceramic Hob installed. We can't have gas unfortunately and as an avid cook I am almost desperate....can someone shed some light on the above hob? I know induction hobs are much better and we will try to get one when we can afford it...but will a Ceramic hob kill my cooking in the meantime?

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  1. Hi,

    I don't have a ceramic cooktop, but my daughter does. I notice that when she comes to visit and uses my gas stove, she tends to use the heat on "full blast." I gather that the response is a little more sluggish with her cooktop. She does like the fact that her stove is easy to clean.

    Don't worry, you will adapt. The most important thing is having cookware that is perfectly flat, so that things do not skitter about on the stovetop. We had to replace some of her pans on one of our mother-daughter adventures.

    1. <will a Ceramic hob kill my cooking in the meantime?>

      Not at all. When you turn the heat down and nothing changes in your pan, you'll soon learn to move the pan off the heat until the glass has cooled sufficiently. This can take a few minutes.

      Some cooks will set one element on low, another higher, then move the pan as dictated by their recipe.

      1. I know nothing about and have never seen a Miele radiant electric cooktop. AFAIK, they don't sell them in the US.

        But still, Miele makes good stuff and you are looking at a standard radiant electric cooktop.

        As Duffy and Texanfrench say, using a smoothop electric cooktop just requires a little bit of technique to deal with lag time in adjusting heat downwards, Electric burners come to heat quickly. (You certainly can boil pasta water pretty quickly). Its the downward adjustments that have the learning curve.

        Until you learn the alternative "tricks" suggested by Duffy and Texanfrech -- which will not take long --- using an electric hob it will seem like cooking everything in heavy cast iron cookware. Coil and radiant burners simply take a while to drop down in heat. Think of as cooking everything with cast iron cookware. To avoid that effect, you can move a pan off the burner or to a burner heated to a lower temperature.

        Some things may go faster than with gas (depending, of course, on the gas burner you are used to). For example, coil and radiant burners can bring things to full heat more quickly that major-brand gas burners. So, boiling pasta water may be faster that you are used to.

        It is the downward adjustment that takes a bit of time and technique. Bringing something to a boil and the dropping to a simmer usually isn't a problem. But, bringing a pressure cooker to boil and then dropping to the "right" temperature to maintain the pressure setting --- that's where you resort to the the tricks suggested above and also need a little experience with the burners/hobs.

        You will need a little experience in figuring out what setting to use for maintaining the pressure in a pressure cooker, for example. The technique is, when pressure is reached, you pull the pressure cooker off the burner and either let the burner cool to the right setting or put it on another burner that you've preheated with the right setting.

        The other thing you may have to learn is watching the inside of the pan rather than watching the flames to judge heat. The flames on a gas stove give some folks a pretty good guage of where they need the heat for certain kinds of cooking. Electric stoves don't give you that kind of visual cue. So, you watch the pans and it make take you -- as a novice user of an electric cooktop -- two to four tries to get comforable with a sense of where you need to set the burner control to get the heat you wanted.

        You will be fine. An when you get the induction ccooktop, you will realllly appreciate it's greater flexibility.

        Best of luck with the new adventure.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JWVideo

          < Bringing something to a boil and the dropping to a simmer usually isn't a problem. >

          I found it to be a big problem, and the reason I bought an induction range this year. I never could quite learn to anticipate the moment when I needed to turn the heat down. I frequently overshot and had to completely remove the pan from the heat, often putting it back and taking it off again, several times.

          I know other cooks have no issue and always presumed it just one of my quirks, that I just couldn't quite get it right.

        2. Thanks everyone, I am hugely grateful!
          It seems like it will be a learning curve for me, but not a tragedy....i am starting to save the money for an induction hob already!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: MariaLND

            If you find you simply can't abide it, you can always buy a portable induction hob to see you through the wait. There are a number of 1800-watt units available for right around $100.

            Later, it could be transitioned to a deck or patio, if you've got one, and used to cook smelly/greasy foods, keeping odors outside.