Induction, ceramic or gas – which hob is best for you?


Nowadays even kitchen hobs have a variety of brands and functions to choose from, but sometimes too many options make it even more difficult to make decision.

If you are looking for a new hob for your kitchen, and want to know which cooker is best for you, the information below may help.

Gas hobs
They may be old-fashioned, but they are still very popular for a number of reasons – the heat source is visible, easy to control and is relatively cheaper to use than electricity.

Gas hobs come with knobs either on the front or on the side of the hob. Hobs with knobs on the front are easier to use for left-handers, as the knobs of hobs with side control are usually located on the right. This type of hobs are also friendly to those with special needs, such as wheelchair users. Hobs with side control are relatively safer if you have toddlers at home, as the knobs are out of their reach.

Tips to choosing a gas hob: choose one that comes with a gas safety valve, which will automatically cut off the gas supply if the flame goes out.

Ceramic hobs
They certainly look modern and stylish! Their surface is scratch resistance, and can be easily wiped clean. Spills should be wiped as soon as the hob has cooled so that they don’t harden on the glass top, but sugary spills need to be cleaned up immediately before they get baked and become difficult to remove. The main disadvantage is that they are slower to heat up and cool down.

If you want to use ceramic hobs, then all your pans and pots must have perfectly flat bottom to ensure maximum contact with the heat source. You won’t be able to cook with a wok on a ceramic hob, unless you go for additional wok feature.


Tips to choosing a ceramic hob
: Consider one with child lock safety features and will cut off the power to prevent overheating.

Induction hobs
This one is safer than gas or electric hobs because there is no flame or hot elements. The hob will only generate heat when it comes into contact with the steel or cast iron pot. As soon as the pot is removed, heat generation stops. The hob is not hot to touch, only on the areas where the pot has just been removed. This makes the hob easy to clean because food spillage does not get burnt like it would on ceramic hob.

However, when you use an induction hob, your pots and pans must be made of steel or cast iron, and have flat bottom. This type of hobs do not work with aluminium or Pyrex utensils.

Other than looking at the features, advantages and disadvantages of each type of hob, may be you also want to take into consideration issues like – do you cook often, do you cook for many people or just yourself, is there anyone else at home that cooks too – before you make your final decision. :)

Which whisk do you have?


As an ordinary housewife, I have only two whisks in my kitchen drawer – they look similar, just like twins, except that one is bigger than the other. Now I know that one of them is actually a balloon whisk, and the smaller one is an egg whisk. I hardly use them though. I bought them because I thought I will be doing a lot of baking in the kitchen, hehe. Well, I don’t bake often, and I simply just use a fork to beat up eggs for omelette.

But, let’s say, you are aspired to be a sophisticated housewife who should have a well-equipped kitchen and armed with chef-standard culinary skills, then you must know that there are at least 8 types of whisk that you can use, each with their own purpose.

Balloon whisk

balloonwhisk

This is like the wonder whisk that every household should have. The shape of balloon whisk works to increase the area that comes into contact with the mixture during the whisking process. Its wires are slightly flexible than the egg whisk. You can use it to aerate egg whites or to thicken cream.

Tips:  The more wires the whisk has, the faster it will whisk up a mixture.

**********************

Egg whisk

eggwhisk

Looks similar to balloon whisk, except that it is smaller, more elongated in shape, and more rigid than the former. But its wires can cut through protein strands in eggs better to help prevent coagulation and curdling.

**********************

Jug whisk

jugwhisk

As it name implies, it is used to whisk in glasses, jugs and cocktail shakers due to its tall and slim shape.

**********************

Flat whisk

flatwhisk

A great whisk to work on small amounts of mixture, such as a single egg yolk, or when stirring delicate herbs into cream.

**********************

Twirl whisk

twirlwhisk

The whisk is made from a piece of coiled wire that gives is flexibility. Normally used to whisk mixture in slim containers.

**********************

Spiral whisk

spiralwhisk

The coil is made from fine, springy wire looped around a circular wire frame. Use it to whisk in shallow pan, especially when there is a small amount of mixture to whisk. Great for ‘sweeping in’ the mixture from around the edge of a mixing bowl.

**********************

Saucepan whisk

saucepanwhisk

When you flatten the spokes of a balloon whisk, that’s what you get – saucepan whisk. The flat base allows it to reach into the corners of a saucepan, so that the sauce is evenly mixed. DO NOT use in non-stick pans.

**********************

Ball-ended whisk

ballendedwhisk

Spokes end with a metal ball, used to whisk hot milk to a nice, smooth froth, or to emulsify oils into liquids, or to smooth out lumps in batter. Also NOT SUITABLE for use on on non-stick pans.

So, which one would you choose – to be a sophisticated housewife, or just  stick to one whisk for all?

I didn’t know how to cut an avocado…

A couple of weeks ago, my parents in law came to have dinner on a Sunday. The night before, hubby and I went to the supermarket to buy the ingredients we needed for the dishes.

Somehow this very simple salad recipe (read from a culinary magazine) came across my mind and I decided to have it in the family dinner menu.

The recipe needed only mango and avocado (to be sliced), a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a sprinkle of cayenne powder. All you need to do is to toss everything in a bowl, and chill it before serving. The recipe was soooooo easy to remember and do, BUT the avocado was so tough to crack open!

Well, the truth is….. I didn’t know how to cut an avocado! Hahaha! 😛 I didn’t that there is a certain way to cut, slice or dice an avocado, and that the fruit must be RIPE in the first place, so that it is soft enough to be cut easily. I thought it was just another fruit (like apple or pear) that I could mess around with anytime. I was trying to peel away the fruit’s skin with a peeler. Haha!

At the end, hubby had to help. He vaguely remembered how a chef cut open an avocado in a cooking show he once watched on TV. But he too had to exert quite some effort to remove the pit. I managed to cut only one, luckily. The other one was a gone case as it was still very raw. Anyway, I managed to get the salad dish done. Whew~

So, if you have never bought an avocado before (like me 2 weeks ago), remember this (I just learned about this tip): always buy the avocado fruits few days before you want to use them. Wrap them in a paper bag to help them ripen faster. And to learn how to cut an avocado using the right (and ‘professional’) technique, watch the video below.

Enjoy your avocado! :)