Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Burnt Drip Pan Was a Good Thing?! Huh?

Well, I kind of, sort of, made a little bit of an "oops" a few days ago...

I was making pancakes and breakfast sausage, and wasn't taking the care that I should've with everything.  I'm a bit of a messy cook, and whenever my cooking is complete, well, the stove is coated with splatter stains.

Not a big deal, normally.  I have fun when I cook, and messes are just a bit of a side effect of that.  No problem.


I kind of didn't clean up right after everything was made.  I needed to add a bit more batter to the pan after we had all sat down to dinner, since I didn't make quite enough.

"No problem," I thought.

"It'll take me two seconds," I thought.

Unfortunately, since I hadn't begun cleaning prior to the second round of cooking, I sort of didn't notice the huge, sloppy pile of pancake batter that had somehow managed to fall into the drip pan beneath the burner.

What happens to food that ends up right beneath the burner?  


Burnt drip pan - almost no silver coating remaining

It kinda burns.

This isn't what the drip pan looked like immediately after the singeing took place... this is what it looked like after I tried as hard as possible to clean away the black carbon from the Great Beyond.

Yep.  It was that bad.  

I had no choice but to replace it.  The good news, however, is that I found one at a local hardware store that looked perfect.

Shiny drip pan still showing the label

Stanco chrome plated reflector pan... hmmm...

I really liked that part about saving up to 30% energy, but I wasn't sure just how realistic that idea was.  I mean, the concept was basic enough:

  • Burner is turned on.
  • Burner heats up.
  • Mirror-like surface reflects heat.
  • Wallet smiles.

Pretty basic.  I fit the pan onto my stove, and was glad that even though it didn't fit as snugly as the original, it fit well enough.

Shining drip pan in place on stove

You can still see the burnt edges around the trim ring if you look closely.  Fortunately, the trim ring wasn't in nearly as bad of a condition as the pan itself, so I didn't have to replace it.

Would it work as well as the company claimed, though?

Yes, it turns out.

My cooking time was literally cut in half.  Less cooking time means less energy.  Less energy means a happy me.  Understand, though, that my experience may be a bit different from yours.  I'm renting the house, which includes the stove, quite naturally.

The drip pan I was using had plenty of scratches all over it for who-knows-how-many uses by different people.  That would've made a difference in terms of how much the standard drip pan reflected.

30%, therefore, seems about right.  

It's nice when a product actually does what it says it can, right?

My huge mistake that I thought was horribly wasteful, since I had to buy a whole new pan, may actually have ended up helping me become more environmentally responsible than I otherwise would have... at least in the energy department.

How awesome is that?!

Of course... I probably do need to be a bit more careful with things that make their way out of the frying pan...

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