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Upgrading the kitchen

Started: 2015-01-20 19:43:16

Submitted: 2015-01-20 20:59:27

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator buys an impressive induction stove and a not-as-impressive dishwasher

When we moved into our house in Boulder in 2012 it came equipped with a reasonably-well-speced convection oven with an electric glass cooktop. Kiesa was never totally enthralled by the oven; she liked the convection oven since she could bake multiple sheets of cookies at once, but the oven didn't seem to work properly unless it was baking in convection mode. She liked the glass cooktop less: she'd grown attached to her cast iron skillet, and cast iron was on the list of things that were not to be used with the cooktop.

Kiesa wanted to replace the stove, and would have been perfectly happy with a cheap electric coil cooktop, but we couldn't justify putting a downgrade in our shiny kitchen. We thought about a gas cooktop, which would retain its value in the sale of our house, but abandoned the idea when we learned it would cost us $3k to install a gas line.

In the fall one of the elements in the double burner on the stove failed, leaving us with the weird condition where the smaller element wouldn't heat, but the larger element circling it would. We could have replaced the element but used this as an excuse to buy an expensive-but-shiny Kenmore induction stove, to go with the set of induction-compatible pots Kiesa got for her birthday.

New induction stove
New induction stove

This cooktop does not actually use its powers of logical induction to deduce when the food is done. It uses a nested series of coils under the glass cooktop to induce an electric current in the bottom of the pan, like a transformer, heating the pan directly without transferring heat via conduction. (The glass cooktop eventually warms up, but only because the pan heats the cooktop, not the other way around.)

We've had the new stove for two months and it's great, though the blue LEDs took a bit of getting used to. I'm excited that Kiesa got a cast iron griddle that we can use to make dosas.


In other kitchen appliance news, our dishwasher threatened to die just before Christmas, forcing us to buy whatever we could find in stock at Lowes. This proved to be less than we were hoping for: while the dishwasher is perfectly adequate at cleaning dishes, it takes three hours to do so, and fails to feature some nice features like indicators verifying that the dishwasher is, in fact, actually running on its cycle. I'm now trying to resist the urge to replace our brand-new dishwasher with a dishwasher I actually like, now that we have the time to actually do our homework and get something that meets our specs.

You will always find those who think they know
what is your duty better than you know it.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"