I have recently "graduated" from an electric to a gas stovetop. My stovetop has two medium burners, one large, and one small. I cook mainly in a set of All-Clad MC2 stainless steel cookware, and I have found that with the new stove I cannot keep anything at a low simmer, even at my lowest flame. Everything seems to boil and I find myself trying to set the pot half on the burner, half off, to keep the temperature down. Can anyone help me figure out what's going wrong?

  • Posted by: MegB
  • November 9, 2010


kjrmcclain November 9, 2010
Ah yes, manual reading. I have a secret stash in the basement that takes up a drawer in the filing cabinet. Years ago, an appliance manual was not much to consider, but things have changed.

I give up...Is the hole in the feed tube was for making emulsions?....I must have overlooked this in the manual...
innoabrd November 9, 2010
You mean that little hole isn't a manufacturing defect? ;-)
AntoniaJames November 9, 2010
Following up on Soozll's comment, just as an example, my oven manual includes a handy table for modifying recipes at different altitudes!! Who would ever have expected something like that? That little book is a wealth of information. Another example is a food processor. I noticed a comment to a recipe on food52 by someone who's cooked for a very long time, reporting that she'd just discovered why there is a hole in the feed tube. Wow. Not having that kind of information -- found right there in the manual -- from the outset makes the appliance so much less useful. Okay. I'll get off my soapbox. ;o)
Soozll November 9, 2010
I couldn't agree more, Antonia. I read the manual before I ever start using the appliance and keep it handy until I get totally familiar with the product. There is a wealth of info in them. They are especially helpful for kitchen appliances as they take into account the various techniques that cook may use them for and instruct you in the general technique as well. Invaluable.
AntoniaJames November 9, 2010
Actually, regardless of how you solve this problem, you should read the instruction manual from cover to cover. You'll learn a lot, and your cooking will be better as a result. I read most of my appliance manuals at least every few years, and always notice something that has a new meaning for me. And for those of you who can't find your manuals, they are all online now, typically in printer-friendly PDF. Go to the manufacturer's site and search using your model number. ;o)
Soozll November 9, 2010
If you have a large cast iron frying pan or castiron griddle, you could use either as a flame tamer.
innoabrd November 9, 2010
You might also have a look through the instructions. Often gas cookers are not properly set right out of the box and you can adjust them with a small screwdriver (usually after pulling the knob off, to my experience) to get the low setting right. You basically want it so it keeps a low, even flame all the way around without any 'flickering', but just before it would go out, if that makes sense?
MegB November 9, 2010
Thanks, everyone- I had never heard of a flame tamer, homemade or otherwise, and I look forward to messing around with that. I appreciate all the thoughtful replies!
Mr_Vittles November 9, 2010
I know they do not cost very much, but remember they are essentially a uni-tasking piece of metal. And in my book, if you can make it at home, you should!
pierino November 9, 2010
Actually flame tamers are not that expensive, maybe $20 US. Possibly less in Euro. But for holding a simmer play around with the rear burners. But if you still have the manual check to see if the burners are calibrated differently.
Mr_Vittles November 9, 2010
If you do not want to shell out the big bucks for a flame tamer, just take a large sheet of heavy duty aluminium foil and coil it into a ring, then set that directly onto the stove and your pot/pan over that. It works just fine when I make couscous or polenta.
Sadassa_Ulna November 9, 2010
Ilsa makes an enamel cast iron heat diffuser (flame tamer). You slip it over the burner when you want a really low heat (like for cooking grains,etc) I sometimes forget to use it and drop it over the burner mid-cooking and it still helps tremendously!
Kayb November 9, 2010
Flame tamer would be the best option, I'd think. Congrats on the gas cooktop; I'm consigned to electric, and would dearly love to have gas again.
MegB November 9, 2010
Thank you, pierino... It's a Pelgrim cooktop (I live in the Netherlands).
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pierino November 9, 2010
It depends on what make of stove you have. There may be a "hot hub" with higher BTU's than the others (that would be on purpose), possibly front right. That's a guess anyway. But the adjustment you've already made might be the best one. At least you have a gas cooktop now.
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