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Cooking with a flat-topped stove Article

When we first moved into our home, I was quite disappointed to learn that our stove is electric and not gas. Even worse, the stove has a perfectly smooth glass top, so it is impossible to tell where the burners are without sight, or so I thought.

I’ve found two ways to successfully center a pan on the burner. The first and simplest way simply requires that you turn on the burner that you want to use to its lowest setting and you should then be able to touch the stove surface with quick light touches to determine where the edges of the burner are.

But what if you need to move or replace a pan when the burner is already very hot? I find I can still use the technique of feeling the heat of the burner without actually touching the stove. What I do is move my hand around next to the pan a couple inches above the stove top and feel which side of the pan is hottest. Then, I move the pan a couple inches in that direction. I repeat these steps until the heat coming off the stove all around the pan is fairly consistent.

The other method for making sure the pan is centered on the burner is to place marks on the stove. However, I didn’t mark our stove directly on the burner itself for two reasons: (1) I don’t know of anything to use that is sufficiently heat resistant and (2) if I put dots on the burner, it would unbalance anything I set there. Actually, there’s a third reason, and that is that my wife would probably wash it off. So, what I did is place two dots on the sides of the stove in a position such that if you placed two rulers straight out from the dots, they would intersect right at the center of the burner. I can then use these dots to line up the pan.

There are undoubtedly other ways to accomplish centering a pan on a flat-top stove, but these are the techniques that work for me.

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