Electricity has come into very general domestic use in urban districts as an illuminant, and its advantages of convenience and the fact that it does not vitiate the air of the living-room have won for it approval from every point of view1.
One step towards the electric ideal of housekeeping has been achieved by the clever electric heaters and cookers which are now in use.
Many contrivances have been devised, such as kettles, saucepans, coffeepots, etc., each independent of anything but a wall-plug. Although the initial expenditure may seem more when adopting electric utensils for cooking purposes, their use will be found a great economy in the long run, while the immense saving in labour and the absolute cleanliness of electric cooking cannot be over estimated.
Chafing-dish cookery at table commends itself especially to the flat dweller. An electric chafing-dish made of aluminium and lined with plated copper can be purchased for
£2, and afterwards the cost of running this is trifling. The chafing-dish is at work from the moment of connection; the heat can be easily regulated; it is adapted for hot water or direct heating; and the possibility of regulating the heat guarantees success with dishes requiring careful discrimination in the cooking.
In the Kitchen and Cookery Section of Every Woman's Encyclopedia recipes will be given for the chafing-dish; here we shall only point out the extreme convenience of the electric utensil. It is preferable, for obvious reasons, to either spirit-lamp, gas-ring, or charcoal for table cookery. The complete outfit for chafing -dish cookery comprises a spoon, for mixing, serving, or stirring, a fork for serving, a skimmer to remove grease from the boiling dish, an egg-poacher, an omelette-dish, and a tray for standing the chafing-dish upon.
An electric toaster which cooks both sides of the slice at once, and will also heat a kettle or keep food hot at a cost of a few pence weekly
Next in order of convenience as a beginning in electric cookery should be placed the electric griller, which, made of aluminium, and standing on four legs, is only a little less portable than the chafing-dish, and is capable of boiling, grilling, toasting, and of heating water as well. This is in itself quite a complete range, and sufficient to cook an ordinary meal in ordinary vessels. Such a grill could be purchased for about 30s. to 35s. complete, and the cost of running would be about 1 1/2d. an hour. Its cleanliness is a very important consideration; it needs no special fitting, and can be operated anywhere where a wall-plug is available. It can be used as a griller or hot-plate only, or both together, if necessary. The grill illustrated is made of cast iron, with polished top. Its simplicity of construction will be readily seen.
By means of the chafing-dish or griller a whole meal can be satisfactorily cooked, but it is surprising how much can be done by a simple hot - plate. Made of cast iron or nickel, these are carried out in various forms and sizes, and can be utilised merely for keeping things hot at table or for actual boiling and cooking. An ordinary kettle can be quickly brought to the boil on a hot - plate, food can be kept simmering, saucepans can be placed on it, and these hot-plates will be found most useful for griddling scones, pikelets, etc. Whether as 'an addition or as a substitute for certain other utensils, the hot - plate is certainly a useful possession. The smaller sizes in cast iron are quite inexpensive, and the more elaborate nickel-plated patterns are very handsome for table use.
A chafing-dish in aluminium, that is both useful and ornamental. Its cleanliness and dainty appearance make it most suitable for table cookery
One of the most ingenious and essential necessities for the breakfast-table is the electric egg-boiler, which can be made in artistic patterns in brass, antique bronze, and silver plating. This is capable of boiling from one to four eggs, according to size and amount of current.
To ensure a supply of hot and crisp toast no electric menage is complete without some form of toaster. There are various designs made, either independent toasters or in combination with other apparatus for electric cooking. In one design which we have seen two slices of bread may be done simultaneously by fixing them in to the doors which swing outward and downward, so that the bread can be inserted without risk of burning the hands. While the toast is being made the doors are closed. Allowing three minutes for the heat to be properly distri-uted, the toast will then take one minute to prepare, and as the current consumption if used for one hour would only be about half a unit, the cost of making toast for a meal is infinitesimal.
Making coffee on the breakfast-table by electricity. The immense convenience and perfect adaptability of electricity as a cooking agent is rapidly bringing it into general use. It is peculiarly well suited to the needs of dwellers in flats
We illustrate another toaster which, while cooking both sides of the toast at once, will also heat a kettle or keep bacon hot.
When connected to the electric lighting wires, the cost of using this toaster for half an hour daily works out at only a few pence weekly.
Except that it is heated electrically, the percolator Is similar to that which is arranged for use with a spirit lamp, and the coffee machine is also much the same in design.
Experts on coffee-making are agreed that it should not be boiled, and that the process of percolation produces a beverage of delicious flavour and of any desired strength. In the design sketcned the heating element is combined with the stove, and, though the heating unit is durable and long lasting, it is also removable and renewable. This percolator is made of polished, non-tarnishing aluminium on the outside, and lined inside with copper. It can very easily be cleansed after use, for by placing a small piece of soda in the reservoir and switching the current on, this device will wash itself.
It has been found that aluminium distributes the heat over the surface better than any other metal, and consequently this material is largely used in the manufacture of utensils for electric cooking.
The kettle may be supplemented, if desired, by the electrically heated hot-water jug, or such an article may take the place of a kettle. These jugs are very artistic in design, and are made in nickel, antique brass, or copper in varying sizes from one and a half to three or four pints.
Although half a guinea may be considered a large sum to
An ingenious egg-boiler that can be heated by electricity. It lends itself to Artistic treatment
A hot-plate that can be used both for keeping things hot at table or for actual boiling and cooking. In nickel plate, it can be made ornamental as well as useful expend on the purchase 01 tin-plate kettle it must be remembered ered that this sum includes fuel. Such a kettle, with a capacity of one and a halt pints, will be found economical if used an fully. Kettles, of course, vary greatly in shape according to individual taste and requirements, and the electrically heated kettle, like mo the other electric cooking vessels, is an essential to comfort in a perfectly ordered modern house.
This expenditure will be found to compare very favourably with the average cost of cooking by gas, and the careful housekeeper will do well also to take into further con-sideration the fact that her kitchen ntensils will last longer. As she has learned by painful experience, gas has a fatally destructive effect upon them, both as regards appearance and wear.
Then, too, it is scarcely possible to overestimate the comfort in times of necessity of being able at a moment's notice to command a sufficient supply of boiling water. The extreme im-portance, in bronchitis, for example, of the immediate use of a kettle to relieve the sufferer's breathing is an instance in point. If the house is "wired," as are most modern town houses, no precious time is lost, either in lighting a fire, or, if a gas stove is in use, of transporting it when heated from the kitchen to the bedroom. There are no unpleasant fumes, nor is the atmosphere rendered hot and dry, both conditions that are adverse to recovery.
The design illustrated in polished brass is capable of holding from two to six pints. That electric appliances can be ornamental as well as useful is shown by the stand-supported kettles, which are very handsome, for drawing-room use. A two-pint polished copper kettle boils in ten minutes, and can be boiled many times for one penny.
An aluminium percolator, heated by electricity, that will make excellent coffee and is easily cleaned
Electricity will boil a kettle more quickly and efficiently than gas or fire