It’s not like I’m about to compete on next season of Iron Chef or anything, but every now and then I find myself about to embark on an episode of “Dad’s Amazing Omelets” and have to wrestle with the indoor grill, more commonly known as the kitchen stove. It’s been my experience that every gas stove starts pretty much the same way: crank the knob until you hear the ignition clicking, wait for the flame, then you lower the flame to the desired height vis-a-vis the pot or pan that rests upon it. The problem is you never really know if the flame is at the right height (or if it even came on at all,) until you stick your face down to see under the pot. Of course, geniuses like me usually place the pot on the stove, hold our faces right up next to the burner, waiting for the ignition, only to jump back in SHOCK…SHOCK when a mini inferno erupts. How I have any eyebrows left is a complete mystery.
How about precision knobs for the stove? Preset flame heights marked by numbers on the knobs, and hard stops for accuracy. It takes all the guesswork out and eliminates the need for visual confirmation of flame height. You’ll learn pretty quickly that the gentle simmer of an egg gets a “2” height, while the raging conflagration needed for charring a steak might get a “5” or a “6”. And it will soon settle the age-old question: are my kids laughing at the awful concoction I just fried up, or the fact that my eyebrows are cooked to medium rare?