Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Read the instructions before you purchase

I wrote that yesterday was a dusty day--a new cook top was installed (old one). We ate lunch out because the men were in the kitchen cutting a bigger hole in the marble counter--there was dust and noise everywhere. Tip: you'll need more than a 30" base cabinet to install a 28" cooktop. Anyway, when they were finished, I got out two of my favorite skillets, which are cast iron and over 45 years old, and fixed supper. Not good on glass cooktops when they were used for years on a gas stove (previous home). The residue from the bottom of the skillets applied itself to the top and I'm not sure I'll ever get it off. This was a very expensive mistake. I THEN read through the instructions.

Actually, everyone I know who's opted for some sort of trendy modern kitchen feature from glass tops to granite to Corian sinks will tell you it's not your mother's kitchen! Or even the one you used for years and years. I hate marble counters. Granite shatters and you can't pour boiling water into a Corian sink.

After reading the instructions I'm not sure I would have thought immediately that the bottom of my iron skillets were covered with grease and soot, although I should have realized it because I never washed or wiped off the bottom of the skillets--they were always oven or stove dried.

The brochure says ceramic glass cooktops are tough, resistant to heat and cold, and attractive and easy to clean. They lie. Oh, they lie. The next section is: Precautions.
    Check each time that the bottom of the saucepan and the cooking zone are clean and dry.

    Lift up the saucepans--sliding can cause scratches

    Avoid peeling vegetables over the cook-top as this could lead to grit and scratching

    Use saucepans large enough to avoid spillage onto the cook-top, especially if a it contains ANY sugar, as this can cause irreparable damage to the glass ceramic

    Keep the surface clear--do not keep plastic or aluminium packages on it which could melt and damage it

    Each and every stain or deposit on the cooktop surface must be cleaned off quickly once it has cooled down--unless it is sugar, then get it up quickly!

    Use only special cleaning products

    This brochure is first in French, then English, then Spanish
Then the safety instructions say
    do not to operate or clean a broken glass cooktop, or you'll get an electric shock.

    And to avoid steam burns if you're wiping up a spill

    Use only a flat bottomed wok (don't have one)

    Make sure the diameter of the pan matches the diameter of the surface unit (all stoves instructions say that)

    Use only a flat bottomed pan

    A pan with a rough bottom (like my iron skillets which are not specifically mentioned) may scratch the cooktop

    Never us the griddle or similar cooking sheet on glass cooktops

    Do not use plastic warp [sic] to cover food. Plastic may melt onto the surface and be very difficult to clean [I think they mean impossible, since grease is in the "difficult" to clean category]

    Aluminum foil will damage the cooktop--do not ever use it

    Not a good idea to even use aluminum utensils because they melt at a lower temperature than other metals (there goes my tea pot)

    Metal marks from copper bottoms must be removed immediately after the cooktop as cooled or they will become permanent. All the pans and skillets I have that are not cast iron, are copper bottoms.

    Oh--I found it--"cast iron, metal, ceramic or glass cookware with rough bottoms can mark or scratch the surface"

    Do not use your cooktop as a work surface

    Don't use bleach or ammmonia to clean the ceramic surface (there goes the glass cleaner)

    Don't slide an oven rack across the surface

    Never use a trivet or metal stand between the cooking utensil and the cooktop

    Don't drop anything on it because it could break

    Don't put any food items on it even when not hot because it will make cleaning difficult

    Sugary spills can cause surface pitting

    Bottom of cookware must be clean and dry

    Minerals in water that collects and drips from cookware may cause a gray or brown film to develop.

    Clean daily with special cleaner, but not when it is warm; toxic fumes will result

    Never use that cleaner on anything else.
Boy! What they don't tell you at the store. I have a 20" electric coil stove at our cottage that is at least 40 years old, and all it does is cook, get dirty, get cleaned. I won't be able to let anyone else touch this cooktop unless we have a private lesson first!

If you need a new electric cooktop or stove, be a bit less fashionable and get coil burners at 1/3 the cost and 90% less worry!


Dancing Boys Mom said...

Gee, I think I'll stick with gas.

Thanks for the tip about the Corian sinks. They sure are tempting, no grout or seam at all. But if you can't pour boiling water into them, they will be useless for me. How on earth am I supposed to drain my spaghetti? lol.

LadyBugCrossing said...

I'm the proud owner of a glass topped stove similar to your cooktop. I love it - heck Mr. loves it and he does 99% of the cooking.

Here's what you do. Let it cool. Get the razor blade that came with the cooktop. Scrape the goo off the cooktop and wipe clean with the cleaner stuff. It's easy and it works. We've gotten more goo on our stove than I can shake a stick at. Fear not... it will come off.

Remember, Lift - don't drag. You shouldn't be dragging anyway.

Gotta run

Norma said...

Ours didn't come with a rasor blade, but I did see some instructions on using that as a last resort if nothing else worked. Thanks for the tip.

mdoneil said...

Being a single man I don't do a great deal of cooking (although I did have Mom and the rest of the family including my new nephew Alexander over for Mothers' Day when I made a nice roast beef) The occasional heating of a can of Campbells, boiling a potato or two, perhaps a big pot of chili every few months. However I have a glass cooktop and I am not particularly thrilled with it. I clean it with a razor blade after a soap and water washing gets off what it can. ( I soak towels in warm soapy water and set them on the cold burners for half an hour or so, that seems helpful)

Then I go at it with ceramic hob cleaner that I got in Ireland. It seems to work better than what they sell in the States. Probably some toxic chemical!

I prefer a nice gas flame and I have cast iron pans and a Dutch over that are fairly useless these days.

What is a flat bottomed wok? There is a special word for those where I come from. A pot.

JAM said...

We use a razor and keep it in the drawer to the right of the stove. One of those metal handles that holds one single-edged razor and can be retracted into the handle.

If something doesn't wipe off or if something cooked over the side of the pot, like LadyBugCrossing said, let it cool and the razor will take it mostly off then can use the cleaner.

I think they make them sound more fragile than they really are because there's no plumbing the depths of human stupidity and they wanted to cover all of the bases.

Anonymous said...

My goodness!
Isn't life complicated enough?