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Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 4:27 AM
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Chef Chef is offline
Paradise Island
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 2,150
Originally Posted by craigs View Post

Unsuprisingly, some 50 other California cities are considering making the same change. Nobody seems to oppose this, except right-wing forum culture warriors seeking to embrace fossil fuels, because MAGA.
I am not a right wing forum cultural warrior, I am a socialist, but I am also a pragmatist who has worked in and run restaurant kitchens for three decades. Perhaps you shouldn't paint all those who disagree with you with the same ad hominem MAGA brush. Cooking on conventional electric stoves is awful and induction burners are an expensive toy for the bourgeoisie. After we have stopped using gas for everything else, we will still probably be using it for cooking.

Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
I know you're a chef, but I had for several years one of the highest-end restaurants in this city in one of my buildings and the chef there was cooking with electric ranges. And it worked perfectly well, AFAIK. Your thoughts on this, out of curiosity?
The problem is the nature of the heat. When you turn a gas burner up or down you get an immediate change in the temperature of the burner. With a standard electric range the heating element gradually heats up and cools down. This means it is easier to have precise control of the temperature of your pans with gas. When you are working a saute station having your pans at the temperature you want them is important in cooking things correctly. I've worked on electric ranges before. The challenge is that you have to anticipate the speed at which they heat up or cool down, it is much more difficult and throws off the timing of cooking. Also they will still cook your pan even after you have turned them off. This means that you have to remove your pan from the range and find a place to put it while you are doing other things. That little bit of time is a big deal when you are cooking 8 or 12 pans at once. It is easier to be able to turn off the gas and leave it there. Cooking on an electric range in a restaurant is possible but it is about twice as difficult as working a gas range and requires completely relearning how to cook saute.

Cooking saute well, especially in a busy upscale restaurant, requires a lot more brain power than non-restaurant people realize. Most great fine dining saute cooks are in about the 80th percentile of intelligence or higher. One of the challenges of a head chef is to find people who are smart enough to get an advanced degree but are instead willing to work for $16 an hour in a hot, cramped, unpleasant space without breaks and live completely detached from normal life (which is why cooks tend to be immigrants or weirdos, that is where you find smart people without degrees). By changing from gas to electric and making saute harder, you now may need a saute cook in the 90th percentile of IQ rather than the 80th. That is going to make staffing the kitchen harder.

Last edited by Chef; Sep 10, 2019 at 6:44 AM.
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