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Gas Cooktop Issues - Can No Longer Cook

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I'm a home cook and I recently moved into a house with a gas cooktop and had poor cooking performance so I replaced it with a new one and I have the same problems. Although a complete novice, I was able to saute successfully and make a quasi stir-fry dishes, salmon patties, fish dishes, pancake type dishes ect. with no problems. Now, after just buying a new Kenmore Elite gas cooktop, my cooking days are over forever, unless I swap it out for a coil style electric one.

I am getting almost burnt pans, overcooked oil, and soggy dishes. I didn't really ever stir-fry in the way you guys discuss, but I'd always preheat my pans and cook using the light olive oil. Dishes that I would "stir-fry" in 8 minutes (one pan deals) now take forever and the pan practically burns, eating up the oil, yet the food is undercooked. I tried salmon patties and can't prepare them I used to just drop them in, crisp up the one side for a very short time, then, the inside would cook and I'd flip them over once and get a great, crisp patty. Now, I keep having to turn the temp down and keep flipping. My other foods get steamed or boiled and never have a sealed and crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside taste. The fish is all dried out or finally steamed.

My top burner is 12,500 BTU's and the old cooktop had 4 uniform burners with 9,500 BTUs. Should I swap out for the electric coil type? I am unemployed now and can't afford to spend a lot of money. A woman here has a Chambers cooktop but I'd have to make the counter bigger. My last stove was an old Magic Chef.
Gas cooktops and the more modern stoves have a greater distance between the flame and the grate and I feel like I keep heating the pan up and not my food. Then, the food smokes, steam rises higher, but without the good results. I'm severly bummed. Kenmore is coming by tomorrow and I was thinking of telling him to turn the flame down. Nothing is making sense. I have tried every type of cookware including my professional calphalon series and nothing works. The coil type is ugly but nothing could be worse than this. Please advise. -Wendy
post #2 of 15
Sounds like the pressure of the gas is real low or overly high. What color is the flame. Might be to much air to gas ratio and it needs adjustment. Call gas company. When gas turned on, does it make noise?
CHEFED
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
The flame is mostly blue but it does seem as if it jumps around, almost as if it's in a draft, but it's not in a draft. Now and then, I'll see peaks of orange. I bought this at the Sears Outlet ($300 with warranty but it's a $700 model). There's no hood above it at all and it's against a wall that is coated with metal. One side of the flame curls around inward, only out of one of the several little openings of each burner but it's not cooking more on one side of a pan. I just went to my mom's house and she has a 10 year old Tappan stove and her grate is just above the burners. I think technology on all gas stoves changed. I mean the pan just touches and comes into contact with the flame. Her flame seems to jump around, but it doesn't matter. I'm probably confusing everyone. I will also touch base after the Kenmore tech comes tomorrow, but I have a feeling he'll say "everything is working". I can't take it when techs give you the canned responses because they don't know their equipment other than it's either broken or it works. Teeth grit. -Wendy
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Forgot to reply to question about noise. First it makes a clicking sound when burner is turned on, then, yes, I can hear the noise when it's higher and I'm not sure about my hearing on low pitches (it's damaged) but I can't hear it as well when it's on medium to lower. I do see the orange in places and now that I've looked at the high burner, I see the flame curls around the burner instead of coming straight up.
post #5 of 15
The click at the beginning is the pilot, its most likely electric. As far as orange color, noise and apparant draft, you are correct it is not a draft, There is to much air comeing into the line,it needs adjustment. Dont let them tell you it doesnt. The yellow flame will make the bottom of your pots black, from carbon which happens when to much air. Since you did not pay them with broken money, you dont want a broken stove. Stand Firm with them no BS.:D(I had it with Sears years ago and would not buy anything from them ever)
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post #6 of 15
yep yep, orange is not a color you want to see in your gas flame, and you don't want that coleman gas camp stove sound when cooking either. unless your cooking on a coleman gas camp stove. the dangerous one, that uses white gasoline, and has that stupid pump. seen so many people burn tents and picnic tables with that dam thing. can't believe coleman still makes the stupid thing.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #7 of 15
What concerns me is that this is the second stove on which you're having the problem. This suggests that there's a problem with the actual gas feed, rather than with the stoves.

There is one exception: You didn't specify whether you're on natural gas or propane. These use different delivery systems (natural gas, for instance, is a low-pressure system while propane is a high-pressure system), and the stoves have to be adjusted for each type. So its possible that your stoves were adjusted for one type, and you're on the other.

As a general rule, stoves factory default for natural gas.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 15
Your 100% correct, I should have mentioned types of gas to her. It makes a big difference.:D
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post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Chef Ed,
Just re-reading my subject line and I'm thinking "I couldn't cook to begin with, what do I mean can no longer cook". I actually have some permanent loss of taste from a medicine, so my interest in learning to cook isn't strong, now that I have to rely on my friend for taste tests (the same person that never thinks anything is spoiled). Maybe I'm cursed since I used to deride him about not having a keen sense of taste. I can still taste flavors but I can't taste sugar, sweet or sour. But I still enjoy cooking and I wanted to maintain what little skills I do have.

I'll try and stand firm with Sears. Thanks so much for your help. Ironically I have a Chambers standing electric oven, and while it's small, seems to be great, so far, although I haven't tried pizza or broiling, only simple reheating and baking. It's probably a late 50's model and I have no complaints about that. I grew up with mom cooking on a Chambers and when she got rid of it (technician said it leaked then probably resold it) she stopped cooking.

Anyhow, thanks for listening. When things aren't going well, my mind slips back into nostalgia. The retro kitchen is perfect for me in that sense. I'm the only one that would have bought a house with that oven in it. -Wendy Dinner tonight is salmon patties again. What an electic menu. :)
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
The stove is natural gas. I didn't know how to read all of these replies. Hope I'm not messing up. Thanks for writing. Wendy

The first stove had equivalent sized burners, all 9,000 or 9,500 BTU's, I forget which. So I thought getting this one with different sized burners would solve the problem. Actually, the first stove goes down to an incredibly low simmer, better than this one. Maybe I'd better hang onto it.
post #11 of 15
i do miss my grandmothers old gas stove. the low simmer was a ring of little blue spots around the burner. i haven't seen a modern gas range that ever duplicated the range of heat lvls.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #12 of 15
Wendy-

I hope you don't scrap the gas stove: I would give anything for a gas stove - can't have one in the condo - and I have a very fancy, expensive electric smooth-top that my wife and I absolutely despise. But, that's another story.

Probably the above comments about supply, pressure, and/or burner adjustments are on the right track. I would demand a check from Sears, especially if they installed the stove. If you can't get anyplace with them, pay for a service call from your gas company. They have a vested interest in having their appliances work properly - and safely.

Good luck.

Mike
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post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mike. The almond colored cooktop I took out had a lower simmer than any I've ever seen, however, my mom's old Chambers range was almost that low.

I may need to call the gas company. I had the range installed by a professional plumber who was here to do another repair, so it was only $75.00 and he's a great plumber. He felt that everything looked fine with both cooktops though and told me I was using it as an excuse to eat out. :).

In my 52 years of life, I've only had electric stoves at 3 apartments and for brief periods of time. I don't choose to go in that direction. My brother-in-law adores his convection one though and he's picky about cooking. The last time I was there he was crisping something in the oven that I could have had the same texture with the pan frying, so who knows. I need to borrow his stove to do my testing.

What's horrifying is that I can't cook steel cut oats properly. I like them more fully cooked and not nutty as I add the crunch peanut butter, keifer, 3 or 4 fruits in them anyhow to get my textures. I used to boil the oats for 7 - 8 minutes, then simmer for another 20 minutes with the lid on at the end. Now, 14 minutes of a low boil (with adjustments) and the oats are not fully broken up. I did accomplish this twice by watching the heat and controlling it, but I can never leave the cooktop anymore. The low simmer on it is very disappointing.

I still don't understand why the distance between the burner flame and grates. I know my problem is probably due to the flame pressures, but if I breathe too hard or open the window more, the flame is strongly affected. With the older styles and the grate close to the burner, this is less chance of this. Even if my gas needs to be adjusted (I keep laughing writing about gas) I would be skittish about buying a new stove. I thought the Bosch looked as if it had the closest ratio of fame to grate, but I was eyeballing it at Lowes. I thought this was a cooktop phenomena but it appears with many stoves. What is the deal with that? I guess with so much happening I do worry that the pleasure I get from cooking with will taken away from me. I have not fully tested the oven with breads, pizza because I'm afraid I'll be disappointed. It's less than 24" There's a Chambers range club and someone still makes copies of the book so I need to get him the model #. It's probably depression talking, but I can't see things ever being the same. Maybe I need to find a different hobby but I still love it even when I can't taste as well. People still would rave about my cooking and I can't taste it. I just go from memory and try things. Enough of my pity party, I'll keep everyone informed. -Wendy
post #14 of 15
We used to have one, me and my roomies, in our apartment. We put the coffee carafe on it and it kept the coffee warm! :suprise::suprise::suprise:
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Sears sent a "senior" tech with 35 years of experience and I got bad news:
(1) Nothing wrong, little bit of orange isn't a big deal when it's all blue
(2) No adjustment for the sealed burner types
(3) He looked at my old Chambers wall oven and said the Rotisserie is broken and you can't get parts for the electric models

Next step is to call the gas company, only if my boyfriend will do so, since it's his account. Then, go back to older 10 year old almond model I had and make adjustments (this still won't work), or, buy a used, older model cooktop with less disance between grate/burner (sealed cooktops have more distance according to technician), or go with the electric one.

I'm sick of getting stuck with worry over this and I'm giving myself a break. I'll keep everyone posted.

-Wendy Happy cooking folks. :) I'll be getting take-out!
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