Electric Cooktop

For millions of years, before the advent of modern technology like electronic cooktops, our ancestors cooked their food in one way and one way only – with fire. While this is a very adventurous way to cook, and some grilling aficionados will even swear to you that fire is the best way to cook meat, cooking with fire has its distinct disadvantages. For instance, it’s hard to cook meat evenly over an open flame. Just think of all those hot dogs you tried to roast in the fire on Boy or Girl Scout camping trips. While the part of the hot dog deep in the flames got burned almost black, the other side was still shiny pink. Also, cooking with fire is messy. Everything gets charred a dingy black and, if you are using a pot or cauldron to cook a soup or a stew, that thing gets scorch marks on it that will never come out! (Especially for our ancestors, who also did not have modern day dish soaps.) Finally, cooking over an open flame can be extremely dangerous. While today we might leave our kids at home and expect them to microwave something for dinner, our ancestors had no such options. Of course, our ancestral mothers probably also stayed at home with the children, but that’s beside the point. I’m sure the ancients experienced many fiery accidents during their millions of years spent cooking over an open flame.

Luckily for us modern day humans, we don’t have to rely on fire to cook our meat. No, we instead can rely on the trust old electric cooktop. While electric cooktops do have some things in common with cooking over an crackling open fire, I think we can all agree that when it comes to convenient, clean and safe cooking, an electric cooktop beats out a roaring fire anytime.

Like open flames, electric cooktops cook food by using the direct application of heat. But unlike with open flames, the temperature at which you cook food items on the electric cooktop can be controlled. While I’m sure the ancients knew some tricks about temperature – perhaps from evaluating the color of the flames, the amount of smoke, or the heat on their skin – they did not have any way to tell if their food was cooking on low, medium or high! (In an interesting side note, some of the first modern stoves were not only used for cooking, they were also used for heating the home. This is why the stove is sometimes called “the central hearth.”)

Electric cooktops are fueled by – you guessed it – electricity. That’s one reason that electric cooktops are such a recent innovation, of course. Modern people did not harness electricity as a useful power source until the 1800s. Before then, cooktops were powered by substances such as coal and wood. While both of these substances burned hot and allowed for cooking, they suffered from the same drawbacks that old fashioned flame cooking did – they didn’t allow for the precise regulation of temperature and they were exceedingly messy. It is doubtful that you would like to be the person in charge of cleaning a kitchen where coal is used as the primary fuel source!

Most modern electric kitchen stoves include an electric cooktop on top and a stove on the bottom. Some kitchens though, have separate electric cooktops and stoves. This can be helpful to the elderly or those with bad backs because the stove can then be placed at standing level so that they do not have to bend over and possibly aggravate a bad back or arthritis.

This Electric Cooktop Review is Written/Updated on Nov 30th, 2009 and filed under Kitchen Appliances. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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