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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Better Cooking On Your Propane Stove

Four Burners, No Waiting!
    At my "sticks & bricks" house, I had switched over to electric heating elements for my stove top many years ago. I do have a propane-fired inside BBQ that has its own 25-gallon tank outside, but that tank wasn't nearly enough for daily cooking. In retrospect, I should have found a better way. Don't get me wrong, I like cooking with electricity, but I really miss the immediate response of lowering the flame! Of course my RV is like most out there, it has a propane stove top. Mine has four burners; the ones I have seen lately have three. I wish it had automatic ignition (more on that this summer..I may have figured out a safe way to add piezo ignition!!) I hate to say it, I enjoy cooking on my RV stove more than at home. Crazy, right? Well let's look at it a bit closer.

Succulent
Cooking is all about heat control. When you have an electric element it uses electric current (amps) to travel through a heavy piece of wire and cause it to heat up. It takes a while to get that hot and when you want less heat you slow down the flow of electrons. Less power equals less heat. The only problem with this is that the heavy electric element has to cool down before the pot above begins to cool. It can take a while. Lots of people get used to moving their pots off the "burner" when they turn down the heat. Then you put it back when it cools down to the temperature you want. Sounds simple enough, but sometimes I forget...or get busy with some other thing in the kitchen. Then I end up with overcooked...whatever.

With a traditional gas-fueled stove (propane or natural gas), when you turn the knob to lessen the gas flow it gets cooler. Right away. No waiting. The same thing is true when you twist for more heat. It's there. Again, no waiting. There are quite a few recipes that really do need a quick change in the amount of heat to come out well. I want the best of both worlds. I've experimented with Induction cooktops. I even keep one in my RV. It works very well. It can control temperature in 10-degree steps and shuts off immediately when shut down. Of course there is a trade-off. It uses LOTS of power!! I can really only use it on shorepower or while running the generator. And then we're back to propane.

Sometimes older IS better. Simple fire can provide so many things. While we're no longer cave men (and women), those instincts and habits are still in there. I'll take my steak...flame grilled!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

www.thewanderman.com

11 comments:

  1. I've never seen any cook worth their salt who preferred electric... My preference is so strong that i use my home BBQ grill's side burner instead of the kitchen stove much Of the time.

    Of course, you COULD just put a propane cooktop in your S&B house... I put a top end Wolf in my last house, but current home came with a similar price electric which i can't bear to throw out...except when it burns dinner... again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wolfe,
      Propane delivery here is problematic. Slow and surly. No natural gas at all. Guess, I'll just have to travel in the RV more!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. In my (and my wife's) opinion, gas is the ONLY way to cook on a stove top. Rich's point about instant temperature change is the reason. Our home stove is referred to as "dual fuel" because the oven is electric while the stove top is gas.

    And yes, why IS it that we still have that loud 'clacker' thingie to fire up our stove in our RV, but my propane BBQ at home utilizes the piezo quiet start? What's up with that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. Tommy,
      Good Question, why can't we get the newest technology on all devices??

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  3. Heard on a forum that many are replacing their propane stoves with induction cook tops. As a boondocker running solar as my chief energy supply, I think they are making a mistake. Most haven't thought about the resale value either by removing the propane. Guess, they just like the RV Park and forget about the nightly expense...fine with me, more room in the outback.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simonsrf,
      I really do like Induction...as long as you have the correct ferrous pan AND lots of power to run it. As a fellow boondocker, that is not always (rarely?) the case!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  4. Electronic ignition (push button w/battery) is the way to go. None of that loud banging noise of piezo. It's a very easy retrofit and you can use it for the hard-to-light oven too.
    I dislike propane cooking in RV's because it is so hard to simmer. It takes two hands to adjust the flame to its lowest heat and then it usually goes out. Plus, since the stove is near the front door, every time someone goes in or out, the flame goes out, resulting in a dangerous propane release.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,
      I would take a good long look at your propane gas pressure. I have a similar setup (stove near the door) and I never have any issues with setting a very low flame to simmer and walking in and out.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
    2. One of the best things about my propane stove is the ability to simmer. I agree, the pressure regulator on the stove that blows out near the door probably is faulty.

      Delete
  5. iron skillet on gas.... period
    iron does well on outside fire

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane & Bob,
      Love Iron!!

      Rich :The Wanderman"

      Delete

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