About two and a half years ago, Barry Adler, owner of Almar, showed me a new fast-heating induction stove top in his showroom. It takes a long time for the cooks of the world to adjust to new cooking techniques, but now there are at least four major appliance companies producing these extremely efficient stoves; Fagor America is a leading manufacturer http://www.fagoramerica.com , but Thermidor, Miele, Kenmore, Viking and Gagganeau have introduced them as well.
What are they? Induction is a way of cooking where electricity passes through magnetic elements under the cooktop. It produces a magnetic field in which your pot becomes part of the cooking element and your stove top does not get hot at all. The cool factor is particularly good if you have small children around. It also means that cooked food does not heat and harden on the cooktop surface. You just wipe it off with a wet cloth or paper towel when you finish cooking. In addition, the element shuts off automatically when a pot is removed from it.
For the greenies amongst you, they are very efficient in the use of heat produced. In a gas range, only 50% of the heat generated is available for cooking – the rest gets lost on the range surface or in your kitchen, whereas in induction cooking 90% of the BTU’s of heat go right into your food. A traditional electric stove’s BTU use is somewhere in between.
A negative right now is the sticker price – somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000. The other “problem” is that they require cast iron or enameled steel pots, so you probably cannot cook with the pots that you now own. If a magnet sticks to the bottom of your pots, they will work on these stoves – if not, you have to buy special set.
If that isn’t enough, your oven is about to change too. We live in a world where noone has the patience to wait for anything, so now manufacturers have come up with the speed cook oven. The secret is adding a bit of microwave cooking to get the interior of foods heating faster but still keeping the quality cooking of the traditional convection oven. Turbo Chef’s super speed oven, which has this feature, can run you $10,000, though. I’ve been using that method for eighteen years now on my Sharp microwave convection combo-cook setting, and can cook a nicely browned and juicy eleven-pound turkey in one and a half hours.
And even though statistics continually say we are not cooking at home as much anymore, the wide 36″ range and even double wall ovens are all the rage. For those of you looking for these state of the art items, try Almar. For the rest of you looking for something more modestly priced, I have three other stores to try. Just remember that expensive ranges aren’t necessarily better – they just offer you a lot of extra gadgets like: warming drawers, two ovens, split racks in the oven, five burners instead of four (one might be a warming one), expandable elements or perhaps a bridge element that connects two together to fit a large griddle.
Almar, 5400 Decarie Blvd at Isabella Ave. Phone: 514-482-0007. Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. When researching new appliances, it is important to go to a business (open since 1966) which can answer your questions, inform you on the latest innovations and help you decide exactly what you need. The choice here is North American or European standard or commercial style appliances in the middle to high end bracket (Maytag, Amana, Miele, Wolf, Sub-Zero, GE, Turbo Air, AEG, Liebherr, Gagganeau, Thermador, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Kitchenaid, Diva, etc). Extensive help with built-in kitchens, ventilation and customized appliances is a specialty. http://www.almarappliance.com
Grand Appliances, 6244 Sherbrooke St. W. At Madison Ave. Phone: 514-486-1135. Hours: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This store is small and cramped, but that hasn’t stopped people from coming here for the last fifty-seven years. You can expect good prices and good service on major appliances made by Whirlpool, Hotpoint, Sharp, KitchenAid, Frigidaire, Woods, etc. You will pay only cost plus 10%, including delivery. A television and VCR repair service is also available.
Corbeil Appliances Centre de Liquidation, 5100 Des Grands Prairies Blvd at Viau Blvd., St. Leonard. Phone: 514-322-8595. Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. After fifty-seven years in the business, this company has grown quite a bit and now has this end-of-lines depot. You can find names you know: Inglis, GE, Frigidaire, Amana, Jennair, LG, Moffat, Maytag, Whirlpool, Bosch, Miele, Thermador, Sub-Zero, Fisher & Paykal. Sometimes you can find specialty items like wine coolers by Danby, Cavavin and Frigidaire.
Sears Liquidation Center, 6900 Decarie Blvd. at Vezina St. Phone: 514-731-6118. Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Finally we have a Sears clearance center again. You know their reputation for good service, and now you can buy their large appliances (fridges, stoves, dishwashers, washers, dryers) at greatly reduced prices. Then you can peruse the loungers, sofas, end tables, exercise bikes, chairs and TV’s.