Why? Because they're designed specifically for boiling pasta or grilling chips. For anything else, they're a real nuisance. Of course, as every landlord knows, all students only cook pasta and chips so it isn't a problem, right? Grrr!
I guess those of you who are blessed with a normal gas hob are probably thinking, â€œSurely it can't be that bad!How different can it be to a normal cooker?â€ Trust me, it is horrendous! This is why:
- It's really difficult to control temperature. The hob plates retain heat, so if you want to turn the heat down on your stew, you can't. You have to take the pan off the heat and wait five minutes while the hob cools. This causes major issues when you're already using all four plates and you have to stand there and hold the saucepans yourself until the plates you're using get to a sensible temperature.
- For the same reasons, you need to spend up to five minutes preheating the hob before you start cooking. While you're doing that, you need to make sure daft flatmates know the hob is preheating becauseâ€¦
- These things are f*cking dangerous. Unlike gas hobs, you can't see when they're turned on. It's only a matter of time before someone puts their hand on one of the heated plates. Ok, you'll never start a fire with them but you might lose a large amount of skin!
- This one bugs me the most. There is no oven as such. There is just a grill with a large temperature range. Have you ever tried cooking a pie under a grill? It really isn't to be recommended.
Last night I attempted to make a chicken and mushroom pie. I usually have no trouble at all with making pies but the stupid grill/oven thing caught me out properly! I put my pie in the oven at gas mark 5, expecting it to be ready in 20-25 minutes. After 10 I could smell cooked pie crust. Yes, the top of the pie had cooked while the base was just beyond raw.
I turned the heat down and kept the pie in for as long as possible but once the top was as brown as the picture below, I thought it had better come out. The base was ok but I'd have liked it to have been in for longer. On the bright side, the filling was really, really yummy and the puff pastry topping was pretty good.
And the moral of the story is, only use electric ovens if you really have to. And if you have to use one to make a pie, cook the base first!