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Does anyone have trouble cooking with their cast iron on an electric stove? Our elec. stove is old...like from the early '80s. And it's HORRIBLE in general. The only large burner is hit and miss on heating up. The three small burners are too small for most of my cast iron pans.

When I do get the larger burner to heat up, it doesn't seem to do a great job of heating up my cast iron.

I would get a new stove but we're in a rental and I wouldn't want to spend the money on it when we hope to move in a year or so.

Just thought I'd ask for a general opinion! Thanks!
 

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I've had electric stoves in the past and always used cast iron. And that was actually in the eighties. It's slower to heat and cool so can be more challenging to cook with it. However, it shouldn't be that difficult, if the stove is working right.

It sounds to me like the problem is less with the CI than with the stove. If the burners aren't heating right, there's not much you can do. Do you have problems with other cookware besides your CI?

You might try Freecycle and see if you could score a stove for free that works better.
 

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I have a big iron pan and I have been cooking in iron since I was a kid. They just take a while to heat up. First thing I do when I am getting dinner ready is warm the pan. I set the stove to a low temp, like 3 or 4 and then start getting food out, cutting vegetables, etc.

When I am ready to start cooking I put the oil in and turn the heat up high, to about 7. That gets it going pretty good. Then I put the food in and turn it down to the temp I am going to cook at. 6 for quick frying, 5 for not so quick frying, and 4 if it needs to brown slowly (like onions).

Your rental stove may have problems keeping the heat at a steady temp, electrics often do, especially the cheap models that end up in apartments. However you can counter some of that by allowing time for the heavy pan to thoroughly heat up at a moderate temperature.
 

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Try something for me. put your pot on your eye and turn it on medium. Wait about 5 minutes and lift up the pot, is the eye hot?

I have had stoves in the past with bad connections on the eyes and when you put a heavy pot on them they didn't heat properly. It may be that you stove needs to be worked on and I think that should be your landlord's issue.

I wish you luck!

I am in an apartment and my eyes are replacements on my stove that don't fit quiet right so the pans never sit level. not a big deal but an annoyance as the oil is always on one side of the pan.
 

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A cheap fix is to replace the actual heating element. They just pull out- google appliance repair or appliance parts for your area.
But I think also it could be that you just need to really pre-heat the skillet - electric takes a while to get hot anyhow, and transferring that heat to cast iron also takes a while.
 

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A cheap fix is to replace the actual heating element. They just pull out- google appliance repair or appliance parts for your area.
But I think also it could be that you just need to really pre-heat the skillet - electric takes a while to get hot anyhow, and transferring that heat to cast iron also takes a while.
This - heating elements are SUPER simple to replace. Pull the old one, take it to the hardware store, buy a new one and try it out.
 

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i'm pretty sure my stove is from the early 90's, but as long as its able to heat up to a bright red it should be good to go. two of my burners don't work properly but the other two seem to heat my cast iron just fine.
 

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This - heating elements are SUPER simple to replace. Pull the old one, take it to the hardware store, buy a new one and try it out.
I replaced some in my c1965 stove as the "feet" that are at the end of the element seemed to be worn and didn't make contact like they used to. Much better but yes, it takes a bit for the pan to warm up.

piney
 

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good to see you again, pinecone! i'm always checking out the oldschool steel 60's stoves at antique stores.. it makes me drool just thinking about one. if i ever get natural gas in my house im totally tempted to pick one up.

but naturally the thicker the pan the longer it takes to heat up. i've noticed most modern-produced cast iron is super thick because they're using lower quality iron, another reason vintage CI is good.
 

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good to see you again, pinecone! i'm always checking out the oldschool steel 60's stoves at antique stores.. it makes me drool just thinking about one. if i ever get natural gas in my house im totally tempted to pick one up.
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:wave: Mine is a Tappan from about 1965...67, electric. It was my grandparents and has 2 ovens at eye level with a slide out row of burners. Wish I could find a new element for the smaller oven.

piney
 

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Piney, try this place:
Jenia's Appliance
102 Chestnut St.
Virginia, MN 55792-2509
(218) 741-3615 ‎

My mom was able to find an oven element for her older electric stove there. They have lots of parts for older appliances. Might be worth a try.
 

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Thanks, Spirit Deer. I will try and call them tomorrow before quilting group. I tried to "thank you" but I get a message saying I don't have priviledges to go there?? Must be a Wednesday thing. lol

piney
 

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Be sure you have the model number and all that good stuff when you call. Hope you can find the part. I love vintage stuff myself.
 
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