Cooking

So…we got a new stove.

11:46 AM

Most Indian kitchens are equipped with a counter top stove that in Switzerland would be known as a camping stove and looks like this :


kitchen mumbai

This has been our stove since 2004, the good old 2 burner stove, found in still many a household…but this one is no longer. After quite a few weeks…ahem months of debate we got rid of it. Simply because it was starting to really be unsafe. In the past year alone we had to have a repair guy come over twice to fix some valve issue because it was smelling of raw gas while cooking, the last fix came last December a few days after we moved into our new place, after that fix the dimmer feature on the big burner was pretty much kaput, it was or full flame or no flame at all. In August 2011 when we shifted back to Mumbai and connected the stove to piped gas (picture above was taken then) the stove refused to work altogether, so that was yet another servicing we had to do in the not so distant past. two weeks ago DH started smelling gas while the burner was on again, and my maid confirmed she smelled the same on occasion in the past few months, I told DH that after his experience I kept smelling the gas smell every time I switched the thing on, so DH decided we should order a new one from snapdeal…that was one of the e-shopping snafu I was mentioning earlier, the stove never came and the order thankfully got cancelled and refunded, but not without screaming from my part. The gas smell came and went during these 10 days of waiting so we just hoped for the best and planned to shop sometimes on the weekend. This last Sunday however I suddenly heard DH saying “Honey just come over here” which had me come to the kitchen only to be assaulted by a strong odour of gas, despite the stove being off! GASP, I went switching the regulator off immediately, opened all the windows wide, and after a few minutes with caution switching on the exhaust fan to get it out, the urgent need to get a stove asap was upon us, and DH noticed the smell only before heading out to go watch a play, so we had to go at around 8pm the the nearby mall at the default of anything else to get this :


2013-05-21 11.16.02

This is a better looking version of the classic 2 burner stove, which are by the way becoming a rarity, as it seems that between 2004 and now the new thing is to get 4 burner stoves. We could have gone and hunted an old stainless steel body stove, but from our earlier browsing online that resulted from a snap deal headache we preferred going for a glass top stove with far less folds, nook and crannies to clean, because if there was one thing we hated about our old stove was how though it was to keep it super clean, some folds have been accumulating grease that never really cleaned over the years, not even with a tooth brush and a sold dose of elbow grease, so we figured out that with a smooth glossy finish we might be able to spot the dirt and eliminate it faster. But I guess only time will tell if we were right.
One thing is sure though, be it steel or glass, two burner stoves are disappearing fast, most brands such as glen, prestige and sunflame are keeping far less models in their range, moving to a wider range of built in hobs and 4 burner counter top stoves instead. The problem is that not even in Switzerland where electric 4 plate stoves are the norm did I ever use more than two at the same time, and in nearly 10 years in India I never ever felt the need to have more than two either, now even less than ever with appliances such as a rice cooker to free one spot. And from my friends that got into the 4 burner mode I learned that they rarely use the two front burners because it gets too close from their body for comfort and doesn’t even feel safe (kitchen counters are lower in India to begin with).
My maid’s first reaction to the stove was that the glass top gets hot and that it is weird. I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind the glass top, my guess is that it keeps heat and saves energy, but I’m not sure she would get that, so I just told her to remember not to touch the stove and never put any heavy pan and utensils on the glass part. So far it seems it is actually boiling water faster, and I chalk that to more efficient non leaking burners more than anything else, and here is to a stove that hopefully will last us another 9 years.

6 comments

  1. Navya1:56 PM

    Congratulations! My MIL has a similar glass top stove with three burners from Gilma. You could have gone for 3 burners - I believe they are the most efficient... I have a 4 burner stainless steel stove from Faber! I have never used more than 3 at a time and I regularly use 3 at a time ... so 3 for me is a good number :)


    Regarding maintenance - I would like to warn you that the glass top stove would require you to use a seperate dry cloth to wipe out all the residual water stains from the other cloth you were using to wipe out food stains in the stove. It is like wiping your mirror : you use a wet cloth or wet a cloth with colin to wipe your mirror : and then another dry one to wipe out the residual water :) Apart from that - it is easier to clean than the stainless option that I have.


    And I was told when we got the glass stove for MIL that in the event of a heavy kadai / pot to fall on the stove : it would result in the stove's glass to break... Of course that event is not likely to happen usually :) :) but I have butter-fingers! So for me - stainless stove it is.

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  2. We had been toying about getting a 3 burner, but we never even had been in a situation to need more than two :) so in the end we stuck to the two burner option.

    I already had to give a cleaning lesson to my maid because this morning she moped the counter with the spong mop without Mr Muscle and immediately went to the stove spreading the grease and crap from the counter all over the stove...darn now I have a feeling I know where the sticky impossible to clean grimme on the old stove came from! When I told her to take a CLEAN mop and use Mr Muscle on the glass she looked at me like I was asking her the impossible. Fortunately we do clean the stove ourselves in the evening after the last use, so we catch most of the grease before it sticks too bad, and the fact this stove has less hard to reach areas than the old one will mean it stays clean longer. But yeah I have a feeling I'll have to keep an eye on the maid while she cooks, not for dumping heavy kadai on the glass, but because she would be the type to drop metalic spoons and spatulas on it.

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  3. apple6:09 PM

    I think you should get your gas pipe checked for leakage. Sometimes the metal pipe of the piped gas develops cracks leading to gas leak. Ours had a crack, leading to exorbitant gas bills. We got the leak plugged and got the bill readjusted. With piped gas atleast you have 24 hours gas rather than getting worried when the gas cylinder goes empty.


    Talking about gas stoves, it was the sign of prosperity if you owned one back in my childhood. People were gradually moving from coal stoves, kerosene stoves to gas stoves. Kerosene stoves with their wicks and oil were fascinating gadgets. I don't think gas stoves have changed much over the past thirty years.

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  4. We no longer have piped gas in our new place so It's not the problem. we had the repair guy come twice it was the valves in our stove that were out. it also is all rusted beneath so it was time to get a new stove anyway

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  5. Beatrix6:29 PM

    We recently bought a 5 burner version of that stove for my MIL's house in Kashmir. Supposedly the glass is 'tempered' so it won't shatter & is easier to clean than the stainless steel.
    (Although I have heard of the glass on the Prestige brand stoves breaking.)
    MIL regularly cooks for 16 people so I guess she'll make use of those 5 burners.

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  6. Ours is from the Brand Glen, the glass is supposed to be tempered but a warning in the corner says that it is not unbreakable and to avoid putting hot or cold things on the glass as breakage of it is not under warranty.
    16 people! Wow she will definitely make good use of a 5 burners stove with that crowd.

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