How to Boil Water
It is the start of Day 3 of the installation of the new kitchen counters. It is going well, but it is not over yet. It is a bit inconvenient not being able to use the kitchen sink or the cooktop. And I am always looking for the telephone, because it isn’t where it should be on the kitchen desk. All the pots and pans are on the table in the family room. All the cookbooks are on the dining room table. Toaster, coffee maker, the knife block – all are residing in places they shouldn’t be. We’re eating take-away a lot.
Last night, however, the Car Guy connected up the wires for the new Induction Cooktop and we were ready to try out this amazing technology. We decided to start out boldly – we would Boil Water! Before you scoff, Boiling Water is actually a very complicated process. The simple act of heating water involves quite a few variables, including altitude, weather, water hardness and anything else that is in the pot such as salt. We chose to boil just plain water.
We chose three pots of different sizes, put some water in each, and set them on the cooktop. I put the manual beside us on the countertop and opened it to Page 13 – Getting Started. I had, of course, read up to that Page at a previous sitting, because I am a Manual Reader. It might seem to you that there must be a lot of information to grasp before even turning an Induction Cooktop on, but this manual doesn’t actually have Pages 3 to 6 for some reason. Pages 7, 8 and 9 are Important Safety Instructions and 10 through 12 talk about Things Never to do, Things Always to do, and Proper Cookware.
Before I had even got past the Familiarize Yourself with the Appliance on Page 13, the Car Guy was stabbing at the On/Off button. “I’m ready to boil water,” he said impatiently. “How do I make this thing go?”
I skipped forward to Page 15. Operation. Switching the Cooktop On and Off. Adjusting the Elements. (I’d have to go back to Page 13 afterwards.) “Press the O symbol on the corresponding element,” I read to him, “Then press the number on the number bar for the required heat setting.”
He soon had all three elements turned on, and then stood there expectantly. It wasn’t very long before the water was merrily boiling in each pot. Satisfied that water would boil fairly quickly, he was eager to test out how hot the element is as soon as you turn the element off. He started with the saucepan. Element off, pot removed, gingerly put finger on the element. And sure enough, it wasn’t hot enough to burn anything. Next he removed the frypan, and that element wasn’t too hot to touch either. The last pot was a simple small pot intended to quickly melt some butter or something like that. When he turned that element off, and removed the pot, the element indicator warned him that the element was too hot to touch.
Then, like a kid with a new toy, he returned all the pots to their home elements, and turned them all on again. Soon they were all boiling. Then he turned the elements off, and suddenly they weren’t boiling. On – off – on – off. Satisfied that he could boil water, he wandered off. I think he hoped that the new cooktop would also wash up the pots and put them away.
What he really would like to do is duplicate the video demonstration where they have cut a frypan in half, set it on the element, then cracked an egg into the frypan, such that half the egg is in the frypan, and half is on the element. The egg in the frypan cooks, and the egg on the element doesn’t. I think it would be a good party trick, but I’m not ready to sacrifice a frypan for it.
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