Beginner’s Guide to Electric Cookers

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Electric Cookers

Electric cookers are among the most common and the most used household appliances in the world. They are simply cooking equipment that makes use of electricity by converting it to heat energy, which is utilised for cooking meals.

Usually, electric cookers are consist of four stoves and about two ovens. The cooker has a set of knobs for each stove and the oven to regulate their temperature.

Electric cookers are very similar in appearance and build to gas cookers, but the major difference is that gas cylinders power gas cookers.

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Table of Contents

Types of electric cookers

The types of electric cookers that are commonly known and used include:

  • Hot plates
  • Rice cookers
  • Slow cookers (Crock Pot)
  • Electric kettles
  • Toasters

Brief history of electric cookers

The first models of electric cookers were unsatisfactory in U.S.A due to a host of factors such as high cost of electricity, poor temperature regulation, short lifespan of heating elements and limited power supply from the electricity generating company.

With time, the issue of short durability of heating elements was solved with the invention of nichrome alloy for the manufacture of resistance wires.

In the early 19th century up until the 1920s, the electric cookers/stoves were considered a novel kitchenware and penetration into the consumers’ market was difficult.

However, this changed for the better barely a decade later in the 1930s, when the acceptance of this novel kitchenware became higher due to two improvements on the invention. This includes decreased electric power cost and a more modernised look/appearance of the kitchenware.

Electric cookers were also used as an instrumental tool in the fight for increased demand for electric power supply. They were used to demonstrate their cooking function with electric power during the rural electrification projects.

Types of burners/hobs in electric cookers

Ceramic burners/hobs

Ceramics jobs are primarily liked for their effectiveness, affordability and style. Ceramic hobs are effective because it uses its electric heating elements underneath a glassy surface. The heating begins when you set your knob to get the temperature you want for your hob/burner.

The heating elements heat up the glassy surface, which in turn heats your pot and cooks your food.

Ceramic hobs have attractive pros such as being easy to install, possessing a sleek-looking glass surface, which adds to the aesthetic appeal of a modern kitchen. But everything with pros comes with its fair share of cons.

The cons of ceramic hobs are; the glass surface is breakable, and the hobs are not as responsive as gas hobs and induction hobs.

Air venting induction hobs/burners

This type of burner is a hybrid of induction burners and cooker hoods. This burner has an air vent that serves two primary purposes; Ducted extraction, which is the venting of air outside and Recirculation, which is the venting of clean air back into the room.

Related:  What is a Gas Cooker (Stove)?

The pro of this burner is that due to the location of the air vent which is on the burner instead of being above it, it makes removal of grease and moisture while cleaning easier.

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Induction hobs/burners

Induction hobs are fairly novel, and that’s why they are not commonly seen in household kitchens like ceramic and gas hobs.

Induction hobs have a coil underneath its surface through which electric current passes. This current while running through the coil creates a fluctuating magnetic field which is responsible for heat transfer to the cooking pot placed on the hob’s surface.

Unlike other hobs, the induction hobs possess a unique feature, and that is they don’t heat up until a cooking pot or something else is placed upon its surface.

Induction hobs possess attractive pros such as having an aesthetic appeal, cooks fast, and it is safe to use.

Gas hobs/burners

Gas hobs, unlike the other hobs, can fit in any kind of kitchen design or interior. It doesn’t matter whether the kitchen is modern or traditional.

It is a very functional burner because it is quick to produce an evenly spread temperature across the surface of your cooking pot or pan.

The gas hob connects to the gas mains, so when you switch your hob, a spark is generated by an ignition point. This spark lights up the hob.

They are arguably the most popular hobs. They are fast for cooking, precise, and like others, they are pleasing to the eyes as well.

User guide for electric cookers

  • Before usage after purchase, make sure the installation of the appliance is carried out by a certified technician from the company you purchased the cooker from
  • Also, ensure the Anti-tip brackets are installed at the bottom of the appliance to prevent it from tipping over
  • Make sure the ground upon which you want to place your appliance is even

Hob usage and maintenance

  • The Indicator light for the hob is located on the console of the appliance. When the control knob is set to any temperature, the indicator light will glow. This indicator means that the hob has been switched on.
  • There is also the hob surface indicator light. It glows to show that a certain area is too hot to touch. Sometimes, it glows even when the hob is turned off.
  • Ensure all hobs are turned off after cooking
  • To avoid permanent damage of the hob surface, ensure the hob is cleaned after each use
  • Do not store heavy cans or jars on the hob to prevent cracking Its surface (for ceramic hobs)
  • Do not leave the lid while it’s still hot on the hob
  • Do not place or leave objects that can easily melt such as plastics and aluminium foils on the entire hob surface
  • Never use the hob’s surface as a chopping board
  • Make sure the size of the cookware used to cook meals does not extend beyond 1.3cm from the hob’s surface area. Use small cookwares on small hobs and big cookwares on big hobs
  • Make sure the bottoms of all cookwares are dry and clean before using them for cooking on the hob
  • It is advisable to use only cookware with flat bottoms to cook meals to ensure even heating. Using cookware with uneven bottoms is not advisable
  • Avoid using plastic wraps to cover food cooking on the hob to prevent melting and subsequent damage to the hob
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Cleaning tips for electric cooker

  • Ensure all controls are off and the hob area has sufficiently cooled down before you clean
  • Your cleaning tools should be basically soap, water, soft cloth or sponge
  • To clean porcelain enamel surfaces, a liquid cleaner and glass cleaner with a smooth-faced cleaning pad should be used especially when cleaning the area with the model number or serial number area so that those digits won’t be scrubbed off
  • To prevent damage to stainless steel surfaces, do not use scouring pads filled with soap or abrasive cleaners, hob Cleaner, steelwool pads, gritty washcloths or abrasive paper towels. The stainless steel surfaces may be damaged even with limited use
  • While cleaning metallic surfaces, do not use cleaning substances such as abrasive cleaners, bleach, rust removers, ammonia or sodium hydroxide (lye) because paint surface may get stained or damaged
  • For ceramic glass hobs, ensure you use hob cleaner and hob scraper to clean stains from the hob. While cleaning, always make use of hob protectant regularly to avoid stain accumulation, scratching, while configuring the hob for easier future cleaning
  • For scratches, use hob cleaner and cleaning pad
  • To prevent damage to the hob controls, avoid making use of steel wool, abrasive cleansers or oven cleaner
  • Do not soak knobs in water in order not to damage it
  • use just soap and water for your cleaning. Remove the knobs from the control panel, clean and replace it bac
  • To clean the control panel and the exterior of the oven door, use a soft cloth or soft sponge and glass cleaner.
  • While cleaning, do not apply the glass cleaner directly on the body of the appliance but on the soft cloth
  • To clean the interior of the oven doors, avoid using aggressive abrasive cleaners or metal scrapers to avoid glass shattering
  • To clean the above part of the appliance, make use of a damp towel or cloth
  • To clean oven racks, make use of steel wool pad
  • To clean the storage drawer, make use of a mild detergent
  • To clean oven cavities, check the “self-cleaning” section

Troubleshooting tips

It isn’t unusual for your electric cooker to develop issues that may prevent you from using it. Below are some easy ways to tackle potential faults.

If the machine is not functioning

  • Ensure your machine is plugged into an earthed wall socket
  • Ensure the socket is switched on
  • Check if the circuit breaker has tripped or is faulty if the fault isn’t from the socket. You can reset it or call an electrician
  • If the machine is plugged in but shows an F9 error code, check for electrical faults such as miswiring. If seen, notify an electrician.
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Hob/burner is not responding

  • Check to see if the control knob is set correctly if not, push the knob in before turning it to a setting

Too much heat on your cookware

  • The cause must be the size of your cookware
  • Use the correct size of your cookware and ensure it doesn’t extend beyond 1.3cm off the hob’s surface.

Hob is not heating up as expected

  • The cookware is not evenly placed on the hob. Ensure it is leveled on the hob’s surface
  • Check the heat level the knob is set to, if it’s at the incorrect heat level, rectify it
  • Consult your “hob use” section in the manual.

Oven not responding/ similar over issues

  • This could be because the “control lock” is on, “delay start” is set, electronic oven control is incorrect, and also because the control is on demo mode.
  • Press “start” and hold for 3 seconds to unlock the control lock
  • Press “start” and hold for 10 seconds if control is in demo mode
  • Consult the “cook time” section in your user manual if the delay start is set
  • Reference your “electronic oven controls” if the electronic oven control is configured incorrectly.
  • If the temperature of the oven is too high or too low, check the temperature control/knob and configure it to the desired temperature or consult the “oven temperature control” sub-section under the “electronic oven controls” section in your manual
  • If the oven indicator light keeps flashing, consult the “control display” subsection under the “electronic oven controls” section
  • If the oven displays messages such as flashing time (indicates power failure) or an error code(there is a fault), depending on the model of the cooker, you can either clear the clock or reset it
  • To reset the clock, consult the “clock keypad” section under the “feature guide” section
  • If the oven displays a message such as “Push”, it means the start button needs to be pressed to begin a cycle
  • To rectify that, consult the “start keypad” in the “feature guide” section

Self-cleaning issues

  • If the cooker has issues self-cleaning, it is likely due to 3 possible reasons; the oven door is still partly open, a timed cooking function has been entered, or the self-cleaning function has been programmed inaccurately
  • Ensure the oven door is fully shut if not properly closed
  • If a timed cooking function has been entered, consult the “cook time” section in the manual
  • If the self-cleaning function has been programmed inaccurately, consult the “self-cleaning cycle” section.

In conclusion, electric cookers are one of the most modern cooking technologies. It is advisable for the user to be it industrial our residential to strictly adhere to the safety tips, care and maintenance tips and get acquainted with troubleshooting tips as well in order to keep the appliance working in a consistent optimum condition.

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