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Adventures with vegetables

  1. Aug 14, 2006 #1
    I shouldn't be having adventures in my own home, it's the fault of the engineers who designed stovetops as they are, with the controls in the far back, behind the towering inferno of oil. Whose idea was that, should be fired from their job. Anyway it seems that the fact that oil has a much higher b.p. than water is very significant for cooking. Amazing what water does when superheated, even a tiny bit of moisture causes vegetables to expode in 150C oil. (Yes, if you ask, I was smart enough to wear eye protection in advance. [And why does he wear eye protection while cooking? Well, now you know why I never pursued a chemistry major after Organic lab.]) Several broccolis were deep-fried in the mayhem, through no fault of my own.
     
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  3. Aug 14, 2006 #2

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: I agree, I definitely don't like stoves designed with the control knobs behind the burners. I always have had stoves where the controls are in the front, where you can turn them off without reaching across whatever it is you're trying to stop from erupting into flames.
     
  4. Aug 15, 2006 #3

    FredGarvin

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    I don't think I have ever seen a stove top with the controls in the back like that. That has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard of. That belongs in the hall of fame of bad design.
     
  5. Aug 15, 2006 #4

    George Jones

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    Unfortunately, many stoves have controls at the back.

    My wife and I moved into a new apartment about 10 days ago, and the electric stove has controls at the back. The electric stove in our old apartment also had contols at the back. On the other hand, my mother's stoves, which always were gas stoves (she claimed that it's impossible to cook properly on an electric stove - no "touch"), all had controls at the front.

    I am considering a very small sample size here, but is the issue (mainly) an electric/gas thing? Probably not.
     
  6. Aug 15, 2006 #5

    NoTime

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    Could be one of those "safety" features to keep kids from playing with the knobs. An operating electric stove can be a whole lot less obvious than an operating gas stove.
     
  7. Aug 15, 2006 #6

    Moonbear

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    I had both a gas and electric stove with the controls in the back. Now I have a gas stove that has the stove controls in front and the oven controls in back, which is nearly as bad if you're trying to cook a lot of things at once and have to reach across the scalding steam to change the oven temperature! I do think the ones with the knobs in back are meant to keep kids from playing with them, at least the kids of parents who don't know to just take the knobs off if their kids are still young enough for that to be a concern. :rolleyes:

    Most of the stoves I've had, though, were electric and had the knobs in front (usually between the front two burners, but some sticking out on the actual face of the stove over the oven door). I had an ancient stove in one apartment that had push buttons instead of knobs in the back. But then, my grandmother had a stove of a similar era with pushbuttons in the front. So, beats me. I think you can find all combinations. But, it sure would seem even more hazardous to reach across a gas stove to turn off a burner than an electric one, especially if you just had to quickly remove something that was burning or boiling over before you got the burner turned off.
     
  8. Aug 16, 2006 #7
    Now that I think about it, it seems I've never had a stove that had the knobs at the front. And that's both owning stoves in my own home and stoves that came with rented apartments. I think I've only seen stoves with the controls at the front on gas stoves, also.

    And further thought tells me that, yes, controls in the front makes way, way more sense.

    Rach3, I don't cook anything in vats of oil but anyone I know who does strongly recommend an appliance specifically designed for the purpose and not doing it stove-top.
     
  9. Aug 16, 2006 #8
    Not 'vats', it was 2tbs of oil in a frying pan. I think I was supposed to have the (aqueous) soy sauce in their simultaneously, instead I let the oil temperature go above 100C which caused the first vegetables I added to explode. There were water drops all over the oil surface, and the oil was jumping up 20cm.
     
  10. Aug 16, 2006 #9

    chroot

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    Sounds like it was incredibly fun to clean up.

    - Warren
     
  11. Aug 16, 2006 #10

    BobG

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    If I knew anyone that wore eye protection to cook, I think I'd stay out of the kitchen just to be safe.

    I've only seen controls for gas stoves on the front of the stove. Electric seems to put the controls anywhere (and I've seen the push button controls on the flat surface of the stove as well). I think there's a lot more flexibility on the location when you're running wires than when you're controlling the gas. (I always preferred gas stoves, but you don't see them here. Gas stoves don't work as well at high altitude.)
     
  12. Aug 16, 2006 #11
    Oh, not vats. Sorry, my error. Um, your story is even scarier now, Rach3. :biggrin:
     
  13. Aug 16, 2006 #12

    Moonbear

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    Yes, I agree on that. I found that pretty amusing too. I hope he just means he was wearing his glasses. :rofl:

    I never knew that. Is it an issue with combustion temperatures, or in actually piping the gas to the house? Do you have other gas appliances (like hot water heaters and furnaces), or is pretty much everything electric?
     
  14. Aug 16, 2006 #13
    I was actually, though I admit that was only after I couldn't find my chemistry goggles which I usually wear for these things (found them later). I figured the cross section for oil-eye interaction was sufficiently reduced; from now on I'm not taking that risk.
     
  15. Aug 16, 2006 #14

    NoTime

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    :rofl: When the smoke alarm goes off - then dinner is ready. :biggrin:
     
  16. Aug 17, 2006 #15

    BobG

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    If there's not enough oxygen, you get incomplete combustion. Instead of carbon dioxide byproducts, you get carbon monoxide. Gas stoves can still be used at high altitudes, since there's a high altitude kit that can be installed. They're just not as common.

    Both the furnaces and water heaters have to be modified for high altitudes (either a means to increase air flow or to reduce gas flow). Gas heating and water heaters for houses are still common, though.

    Cars with carbeurators have the same problem. The air/fuel mixture has to be adjusted for the altitude. Even with fuel injection, there's an adjustment to be made. Regular gasoline here is 85 octane instead of 87 and all of the other grades are dropped accordingly.
     
  17. Aug 17, 2006 #16

    Moonbear

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    Do you then have trouble when you're traveling to lower altitudes? I'm guessing folks visiting will just have crappy fuel mileage during their stay?
     
  18. Aug 17, 2006 #17

    BobG

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    A car with a carbeurator adjusted for high altitudes would have lousy acceleration at sea level, since the fuel mixture will be too lean. Their gas mileage would probably increase a little bit.

    Now a days, it's not much of an issue. Cars have fuel injection, oxygen sensors, etc, and the mixture is adjusted on the fly to match atmospheric pressure.
     
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