Since we began cooking over an open flame, the principle has remained the same. More heat cooks faster. Less heat cooks slower. Move food in and out of heat zones to moderate the rate of cooking.. It wasn’t until the late 1700’s that we began to develop better methods of cooking using wood burning stoves that were controlled via the air flow to the burning wood. In the early-to-mid 1800’s we began to further refine the stove by using gas as its fuel source. It was in late 1800’s through the early 1900’s that the development of electric stoves became more and more prevalent. While there was much development and refinement to the cooktops themselves, temperature control was sadly left behind.
In 2005, sous vide cooking brought to the world at large, a new era of temperature-controlled cooking. Now cooks could manage their temperatures within .1 degrees of precision. This method of cooking allowed chefs the possibility of creating textures and products that were never-before achievable. Further, the repeatability of these amazing results is 100%. Despite this tremendous advancement in cooking technology, “low, medium and high”, still to this day remains how many cooks think about temperature in their stovetop cooking processes. This is because it is the limitation of nearly every commercially available stove. Techniques like sweating, braising, toasting spices, etc. couldn’t (easily) be approached with the same mind set as sous vide.
The Control ºFreak is the first cooktop of its to accurately measure, set, and hold 397 possible cooking temperatures from 86 – 482ºF. But how do you which temperature to choose? Is it science or is it preference? The answer is – both. Certain food products require specific temperatures in order to make them react in the way that we desire such as chocolate, eggs, and sugar. Other foods are tolerant to a range of temperatures and this is where a cook’s preference comes into play. Since the development of this innovative product, we’ve bookmarked our key cooking temperatures and ranges across an array of culinary tasks & techniques. Internally, we’ve code-named this document, The Knowledge Chart. Now it’s time to share this information with you in the hope that it furthers our understanding of key temperatures in stovetop cooking.