Sorry for the ignorant question as I am just learning how to cook - but aside from boiling water - what else can you do with a high BTU stove that cannot be done with a mid-level range.
This review of some high-BTU ranges does a great job of illustrating some of the things you can do with a powerful range that can't be done otherwise.
Well of course there's searing, wokking, deep frying, etc. but even lower heat applications need more power as you increase the quantity of food you're cooking. You don't need a screaming hot pan to cook breaded chicken cutlets, but you'll be turning up the heat a bunch if you're cooking a handful at a time in a large pan.
I'm thinking that most any "mid-level range" these days will have a power burner that's at least 15K. So to me the question more becomes how many high output burners you need at one time. I'd pay close attention to the size of that second-highest burner.
Funny that I don't think boiling water is one of my rangetop's strong points at all, as it seems to take forever, but like Foodonastump said, it is much better for stir frying, searing, etc. So fast at heat-up for those things, just not the water. ;)
Temp recovery is a big deal. Put food in a pot or pan, and the temperature drops. You will get bad results cooking at the new, lower temperature, no matter what you're cooking. You want to bring the temp back up as fast as possible--whether you're frying, boiling pasta or whatever. A lot of supermarket meats are also now injected with all sorts of liquids to make them fake-moist. When you start to cook they throw off all that liquid, and now you are steaming or boiling your pork chop. Not good. You want to crank it up for a second and get rid of that water, and for that you need a reasonable BTU burner.
What, you may ask, did people do when they cooked all those meals on old stoves with 9K burners? They made good food but it took MORE:
- More cooking medium (bigger pots of boiling water, more fat in the pan)
- More time ( preheating pans or whatnot)
- More batches of food (also requiring more time)
Thanks for the answers! You guys are fast!
CWirick - had a blast reading that link! Which is not good because now - 15,000 is probably not enough! LOL!