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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to Basics: Broiling in a Gas Oven

Last month I kicked off a new "feature", where I demonstrate some basic element of cooking. Last month was my fool-proof way to caramelize onions. This month's How-To was all set, until my computer decided to devour my pictures. In my opinion, a "how-to" would be pretty pointless without pictures of the process so I will re-do it and post that for next month.

However, recently something funny happened. Well I found it funny, and I thought I would share it with all of you since it is cooking related.

Brent and I moved about six months ago, and now instead of an electric stove we have a gas stove/oven. We both have always had electric stoves and this was new and a bit awkward at first but now we are fairly efficient. Although I do find it annoying that I always have to look down under the pan to figure out how hot the heat is. One day we wanted to use the broiler to brown some cheese... I think I was making a frittata. Here is how the scene played out:

Me: Brent... it's not broiling.

B: What do you mean? Is the oven on?

(Why does he feel compelled to ask such questions?)

Me: Yes. There is no heating elements up at the top... its all below.
(Brent get up and inspects... just to make sure I was telling the truth)

B: Huh. You're right, there is only heat/fire under the oven where that drawer is. That's odd.

Me: Is it broken? How are we going to get gooey cheese on things if we can't broil? How am I going to be able to brown casseroles if I need too?

(To me at this point, this is clearly a sign of the Apocalypse. I'm not dramatic at all or anything.)

B: I don't know baby... I've never had one before.

Me: Well we are going to have to call [landlord's name] because this isn't going to work. I need to be able to broil.

B: I'll take a look at it later. It'll be ok.

Me: OK... I'll finish this in the toaster oven.

At this point let me clarify something. With an electric stove, there is a storage draw underneath that most people use to store pans or baking sheets.When we moved Brent asked why the baking sheets weren't under there like at the last house. My response was because it's too small and the "fire" is right there.

Do you see where this is going yet?

A few days later I decided to google about "how to broil with a gas stove" just for the hell of it. And guess what google said...

Use the drawer under the oven.

I called Brent and told him we were a couple of idiots...

The end.

Please tell me something like this has happened to some of you.


Mo Diva said...

LOL i stopped broiling because mine is in the bottom too... there is jus something not right about that. it bothers me... but i use my toaster oven for broiling... probably not the same thing

Purple Closet Beauty said...

Haha, I'm just the opposite. When we moved to the Midwest, we found out that no one has gas-ovens. They're all electric. I don't understand how anyone can cook anything with an electric stove, and for a year I either undercooked or overcooked just about everything. We then found an apartment with a gas stove. Now everything is OK. :)

Teresa/safira said...

When I moved in with the guy who's now my husband, I couldn't understand why the silly man was keeping the roasting pans in the broiler.

Twenty years later, I still miss my gas stove.

(BTW, saw your comment on A Year of Crockpotting and followed you here.)

Anonymous said...

Yes! OMG the very same thing happened to me. Except it took me about 6 years to know that that little drawer was not meant to store my pans, but to broil food. We did a post about it too:

Nadia said...

THank you for this post. Because this morning I was browning my cream brulee with sugar. I put my on the top of the gas oven and it only bake the egg part not the sugar. Now i know why!!!

fender6bender said...

Yay! Very interesting. I was confounded with this as well after only cooking with electric stoves most of my life. Also just learned that the gas stove in my new apartment has a broiler built in at the top as well as the bottom! Thanks for the interesting post.

Mariam said...

Haha, I was looking to use my oven as a broiler. Didn't know I had one :D Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Well duh. Thank you kindly. We moved a few months ago and have been complaining about not being able to broil anything with our gas stove. *slaps forehead*

Anonymous said...

I had this exact same dialogue with my husband. I grew up in an electric stove house, and was annoyed when I found my gas broiler was "broken." We moved to another house and I screamed in rage when I found that the new oven was "broken" too. "Where is the FIRE?" After googling it, I can't believe that they don't slap a warning label on that drawer. My mom had a legit drawer under her electric oven that she stored rolls of waxed paper and aluminum foil in. I would probably have done the same thing at some point...

Anonymous said...

I tried to use my gas broiler as a storage drawer, but put a glass frying pan lid in it, when I went to use the lid later it was completely shattered from the heat. And I still haven't figured out how to use the broiler. Thank goodness for the toaster oven.

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