Thread Number: 49806
Frigidaire Compact 30 repair saga, continued...
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Post# 719531   12/6/2013 at 01:34 (1,754 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I started this discussion over in the Radiantube thread, but figured it would be better to start a new one.

I got the replacement infinite control for the malfunctioning 8" burner this afternoon. I soon set to installing it. Being a compact appliance, a drop-in 30" range, this process is probably more difficult than on a full size range. There's a certain order that must be followed to access the wiring and front controls, and woe unto he who ignores it. Complicating matters is that the sealing of the front control panel against spillovers from the range is inadequate, so most of the screws were rusting in place and needed to be replaced once they were coaxed out of their spots.

The replacement control looked fine, so I set about installing it toot suite. After about an hour I finally got it in place, and restored power to the range. To my dismay, the action of the control was anything but smooth. There are the expected detents at Simmer, Hi, and Off. But in between is a scratch catching kind of action that bespeaks poor workmanship. Still, the function seems to be ok. It has a bit of a different profile than the stock remaining control on the rear 8" burner, with the Med Hi and Lo Hi on the new control being significantly hotter than that of the older stock control. I suppose it's ok as long as I remember that the two big burners act a bit differently at the mid-range settings.

I must have taken the control panel apart about four times getting everything back into place. I might disassemble it one more time to make sure that the replacment stainless screws I used (I had to cut them to size) are not the cause of the jerky control movement.

Sure, enough, it was the screws. I didn't have to completely disassemble the front panel to remove them, though. I cut them down some more and they took most (but not all) of the roughness out of the new control. Not quite as smooth as the original, but good enough to go.

Post# 719560 , Reply# 1   12/6/2013 at 08:59 (1,754 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Good to know it was just the screws. Did that cause the burner to be hotter on each setting too? I have replaced a 8" burner switch with a new white switch in one of my ranges and it works fine, it doesn't feel different from the old Proctor / King-Seeley infinite switches. 


What's the model of your Compact 30? Does it have 4 regular burners? Mine has a Heat-Minder (with a hydraulic thermostat) and a Speed-Heat so the 4 burners do act differently. You have to be careful with spillovers on these ranges as they could affect the burner switches and the thermostat(s) too.



Post# 719567 , Reply# 2   12/6/2013 at 10:07 (1,754 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, yes, the replacement control is white, not black like the original King-Seely. It's certainly possible that the too-long screws are the cause of slightly rougher operation now. Oh well. I could always get another switch (as a backup) and see if that is smoother out of the box. But perhaps with use the roughness of the replacement control will abate. I haven't tested the control since I backed out the screws and shortened them. That's a thought.

Yes, there's little protection for the controls in the case of a major spillover.

The model I have is an RBE-533. It's white porcelain except for the brushed stainless control panel. It has the "Cookmaster" clock control pod at the left rear. Unfortunately the clock no longer works. But it still allows manual oven operation. Haven't quite figured out how to remove the clock module.

Post# 719581 , Reply# 3   12/6/2013 at 11:38 (1,754 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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That's either an early model (1962-63) or if it's self-cleaning, it's a 1975 model. 


In 1962-63 the letter "E" was used to designate the period of production, in 1975, the "E" meant it was self-cleaning and there was no letter to show the period of production. So the 1962/63 and 1975 models were quite different but they had the exact same model number!


Mine is a RBE-539N from 1969 but then, the "E" already meant "Electri-Clean" and the "N" was the period of production (1968-72). 


This picture shows the 1975 models, including the rare "Touch-N-Cook" version. The mechanical cookmaster/clocks in the 1975 and newer models are less durable than the older ones.

This post was last edited 12/06/2013 at 12:05
Post# 719596 , Reply# 4   12/6/2013 at 13:22 (1,754 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, yes, it's a self-cleaning model, so it must be a 1987 version.

The original aluminum burner drip trays were not with the range when I bought the home. I've made do with black porcelain coated steel drip trays since then, but it would be nice to have the aluminum ones. I've found a source for the 6" ones, but can't find any 8" ones. Do you know of a source?

Post# 719599 , Reply# 5   12/6/2013 at 13:31 (1,754 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        
A source for drip trays

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Unfortunately I don't have (even for the porcelain ones). 

Post# 719659 , Reply# 6   12/6/2013 at 19:57 (1,753 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I think I found the porcelain ones at a home improvement store some years ago. I think they were labeled "universal" or for GE, but they fit the Frigidaire fairly well, just a bit more shallow than I understand the aluminum ones are. I've avoided the chrome plated steel ones - seems like they tend to rust out very quickly.

Post# 719816 , Reply# 7   12/7/2013 at 17:07 (1,752 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Oops, meant to say it's probably 1975 version. It's identical to the photo on the right, the RBE-533. No Sensatemp control on the burners. Which is fine, one less thing to go wrong ;-).

I retested the profile on the new control, and it remains as before. Pretty much the same as on Hi and Simmer, but the new control burner is about one full setting hotter than the original, on Lo through Med Hi. That is, the new control set on Lo is an equivalent rate of boiling as the old control set on Med Lo. Med Lo on the old control, equivalent to Lo on the new control. And so on. Now it might be a difference in elements - I replaced the burner on the spot that the new control serves, some time back to see if that would fix the lack of heat on anything less than the Hi settings. It didn't fix it, but the newer element may be packing more punch than the older one.

In any case, as long as I remember that the older control burner heats a bit less on the intermediate settings than the new control burner, I'll be ok. I think I rarely if ever used the older control burner, anyway, since it sits in the rear corner of the range next to an overhead cabinet.

Unfortunately all this repair comes a bit late for me to try out my new Mirro pressure canner... the garden output of beans, squash, and tomatoes has come and gone. As have the peaches. But I suppose I could finally test it out to make sure I'm familiar with its operation for next season. I prefer using the Compact 30 for canning in the summer, because it sits in an enclosed patio kitchen that won't add the heat and aromas to the main house.

Which reminds me. Time to season the pork shoulder and get the Hamilton Beach Stay 'N Go programmable slow cooker with temperature probe and periwinkle delete going.

Post# 719819 , Reply# 8   12/7/2013 at 17:21 (1,752 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        

Periwinkle delete?

Love and laughter!


Post# 719827 , Reply# 9   12/7/2013 at 17:42 (1,752 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        
Hand Painted Periwinkle Delete?

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Only maybe if a little latex paint shot over from the adjacent sink where I washed many a paint brush whilst rebuilding my carport roof. I just spent about an hour cleaning up that sink... lots of white latex splashed all around. Goof-Off and a hard plastic spatula took care of most of that.

The HB slow cooker is clad in medium quality stainless. It's the one with the clamps on either side, so one could conceivably cook something for hours, lock down the lid, and transport it to some gathering, plug it in again, put it on warm until it's served. It would be quite heavy if full, though.

I mainly use it to cook pork shoulder roasts. The slow cooking works well to tenderize an otherwise tough cut. I've also found the bone-in roasts give the best results. Boneless, not as flavorful.

Anyway, I threw in the periwinkle remark in honor of Laundress as Hyacinth. There's that fine line between being fully descriptive and being a touch on the smug side, isn't there? ;-)

Post# 720432 , Reply# 10   12/10/2013 at 19:05 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, here's the Hamilton-Beach "Stay 'N Go" programmable slow cooker with the temperature probe, hard at work roasting a big chunk of pork (bone-in shoulder). The bits on top are some Kirkland Organic Herb mixture. I also added liberal amounts of pre-made "Hot Indian Curry", which hails from Malaysia. The photo below is back-lit by the under-counter light in the patio kitchen, and is at about the seven hour mark on the low heat setting. As you can see, it's reached an internal temperature of 144F. The target final temp before it switches automatically over to Warm, is 175F.

Post# 720433 , Reply# 11   12/10/2013 at 19:06 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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And here's a shot with the flash engaged:

Post# 720437 , Reply# 12   12/10/2013 at 19:13 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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All the slow cooking is taking place just to the right of the GM Frigidaire Compact 30 range. Here's some photos of that:

Post# 720438 , Reply# 13   12/10/2013 at 19:15 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Minus burner covers...

Post# 720439 , Reply# 14   12/10/2013 at 19:30 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Oven shot...

I've never used it, so that dirt on door is at least 17 years old. Maybe 33 years old. But I did recently (and for the first time) test the oven, and it heated to within 10 degrees of the 350 setting I chose, according to both bi-metal and mercury oven thermometers.

Might be about time to test the self cleaning feature as well...

Post# 720440 , Reply# 15   12/10/2013 at 19:37 (1,749 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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If you're talking about an automatic burner on a Frigidaire, the Frigidaire name for the feature was "Heat Minder." "Sensi-Temp" was GE's term for their automatic burner.

Post# 720469 , Reply# 16   12/10/2013 at 21:57 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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OK, Meat-Minder. I had a heads up on that today when I looked at Unimatic's latest Ephemera entry, which was all about minding heat.


Hey, I decided to finish off the pork roast effort with a nice gravy made up on the adjacent Compact 30's newly restored burner.

First I strained the sliced onions I put in the bottom of the cooker, and separated the fat from the broth. By the way, the onions came out just about perfect, and would be a good garnish for a meal.

Second, I sliced off the remaining fat tissue from the underside of the roast, and rendered that on the Compact 30. It gave almost as much fat as I got from the broth.

I combined and strained the two fat collections, and after cleaning the cracklings from the pan, proceeded to make my version of a roux. Let the fat cool a bit, and then gradually mixed in an equal amount of flour. I used white bread flour because I have LOTS of that. Gradually I brought the heat up and kept stirring until the raw taste of the flour was gone. Then I started mixing in broth until the the mixture started to thin out a bit. When I tasted it, it tasted like a very fine meat pie crust. I figure that's a good thing for a roux.

I then put half of it (what I call a roux) into a container for refrigeration, and then added more broth to the other half in the pan, stirring constantly, and letting it just simmer, until it thinned to the point where it could be poured out of a gravy boat. It darkened slightly but I wasn't interested in getting it brown... just tasty. And tasty it was. It didn't really need much salt, but I like things salty so I added a pinch. It still had a bit of that meat pie crust taste and it was great over some sliced roast pork.


[disclaimer: if the recipe I devised doesn't meet any known definition of a roux, please cut me some slack. I've never seen a roux, let alone watched one being made. But it works for me!]

Here's a shot of the pork gravy-from-roux:

Post# 720470 , Reply# 17   12/10/2013 at 22:01 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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The rest of the "roux"... which according to the Joy of Cooking can be used in many other dishes, besides just gravy.

Post# 720471 , Reply# 18   12/10/2013 at 22:03 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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And here is the finished roast, minus its bottom layer of fat and a few slices for a ravenous cook:

Post# 720478 , Reply# 19   12/10/2013 at 22:42 (1,749 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        
For Someone....

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....Who claims never to have made a roux before, you managed to do everything right!

The main thing is to cook the roux until all raw taste of flour is gone, and your instincts were spot on the money.

A roux can be frozen, which not many people think of, but you also got that part right.

I'd say you're way ahead of most people.

The worst gravies and sauces are those made with that damn flour/water mixture stirred into stock and then simmered briefly ("until thickened"). Fine for those who liked eating library paste when they were kids, but not so good for the rest of us. And recipes with this thickening are all over the place in '50s cookbooks.

Post# 720480 , Reply# 20   12/10/2013 at 22:54 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Thanks, Sandy. I did consult the Joy of Cooking midway through the roux... right about where I got the flour mixed in and then started to wonder how long it should cook. JOC set me on the right path of getting the raw flour taste out.

Where I diverged from the book is that I cooked it basically only in the fat to get rid of the raw taste, not with any addition of broth. Then I added enough broth to get a nice texture, and saved half that as a roux/starter. The rest of the roux got the rest of the broth to make the gravy.

According to JOC, the proper way is to use a vegetable broth and simmer it for hours. Well, I don't have the time for that, at least not after a nine hour crock pot process. However I think the inclusion of sliced onions under the roast gave some vegetable character to the broth.

What surprised me was the taste of the finished roux. Really kind of delightful.

Post# 720481 , Reply# 21   12/10/2013 at 23:23 (1,749 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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You turned to exactly the right resource; The Joy of Cooking is a really fine cookbook, and the older editions from the '60s and '70s are the best ones. I personally rate Joy up there with Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, if not better for its incredible trove of information about foodstuffs and how to deal with them.

I myself cook a roux for a long time, at least 30 minutes. The longer it cooks, the more flavor develops and the more complex it is. Once stock is added, what was a roux becomes a velouté, and again, a long, slow simmer does wonders. An hour minimum yields the best result. If it thickens a bit too much, adding stock to bring it back to the proper consistency (about that of a full-bodied oil) is the fix.

The final touch for a really fine velouté is straining; there are always little bits of something in it. A fine-mesh strainer is a help here; just strain it direct from the pan into the sauceboat. Straining also aerates the sauce just a bit, lightening its texture.

There is a huge difference in this result and the usual "gravy" one encounters in most homes.

P.S.: Roux-making puts you in command of several very valuable sauces. With stock, it's a velouté. With milk, it's a béchamel. Add cheese (Gruyère or Swiss being the classic choice) and you have a Mornay. For a velouté, the roux can be browned (a roux brun) or not (a roux blond) according to the color and taste you want in the finished sauce. You vary the color of the roux by the amount of heat used to cook it; higher heat colors it more, of course.

Béchamel nowadays is usually used as a basis for other things, like Mornay or creamy vegetable soups. These sauces always use a roux blond.

Post# 720491 , Reply# 22   12/11/2013 at 03:19 (1,749 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Re Roux!

I agree Sandy, I cook a roux very slowly for at least 25 to 30 minutes, you must have patience to get good results....that roast looks great!To make everyday old fashioned brown gravy, I use equal parts fat, "Usually sausage, fatback or bacon grease, " and flour, cooked slowly until brown, then add boiling evaporated milk/water mixture and stir with a whisk like mad until smooth, then add salt and pepper to taste, to me, the evaporated milk makes much richer gravy., same for chicken gravy, except I use some of the fat in which the chicken was fried, being sure to scrape the brown bits clinging to the pan into the roux.

Post# 720499 , Reply# 23   12/11/2013 at 04:02 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Well, I probably cooked this roux for at least 20 minutes, maybe 30. I kept at it until it had the taste I described. That seemed like a good result. Almost sweet, but complex.

The part that I didn't like about the JOC recipe is that it says to add a cup of vegetable stock to the fat before adding the flour. That just didn't seem right to me. I wanted to introduce the flour to the fat first, and cook that to the point where the flour no longer had a raw taste. Then I started adding the stock until I got the desired result. It seemed to work. Did I do wrong? Or is the order of addition in the JOC incorrect?

Post# 720541 , Reply# 24   12/11/2013 at 09:11 (1,749 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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You did NOT do wrong - what you did is classic French sauce-making technique since time immemorial. I have less than no idea what the writers of Joy were thinking.

What edition of Joy do you have? The addition of stock to a roux sounds like a new technique designed to reduce calorie count or something. Older editions of Joy stuck to classic technique, where the roux is made first and then the liquid introduced.

Roux-making has become more complicated since trans fats became the latest bugbear. It used to be that for everyday dishes like homemade macaroni and cheese, a roux made with a quality margarine worked just fine. Now, margarine's chemistry is different, the water content is very high, and you no longer get the "sizzle" of flour and fat cooking together; you get a sodden, doughy mess that doesn't want to do much of anything except stick to the pan.

So, these days, it has to be butter or another fat; margarine won't do. I'm aware that Land 'O Lakes makes a "baker's margarine" with a low water content, but the price is so high that careful shopping will turn up butter for the same price or very little more.

A properly made roux sizzles a bit, and it puffs as it cooks. If liquid gets into a roux before it is completely cooked, the resulting sauce will never have the flavor it could have had if the roux had been well-made.

So, I don't know what the current writers of Joy have as their agenda. Go get yourself a 1970s edition if you want Joy at its best.

Post# 720561 , Reply# 25   12/11/2013 at 11:36 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Ah, the edition I referred to is the 1975 edition. In fact I have five different copies of JOC, from 1967 to the 2000's: 1967, 1975 (1975 printing), 1975 (1991 reprint), 1997 edition, and 2006 edition. All of these basically describe a roux about the same: add flour to warmed fat and stir/heat gently. It's when they refer the reader the actual sauce preparation that it all falls apart.

In the 1975 edition section about roux, it says to cook just the fat (or butter) with the flour until the raw taste is gone. I got that. However, it also discusses various types of sauces made with roux, and for example the reference it gives for brown sauce doesn't mention roux at all, but rather has one adding 1 cup of mirepoix (a vegetable broth) to 1/2 cup fat drippings, then stirring in 1/2 cup flour until the flour browns. This is the part that is confusing!

The section in the 1967 edition on veal blanchette has one "combining" the fat and flour separately, but doesn't mention anything about heating it till the raw taste subsides. Instead it has one adding it directly to the veal stock.

Which just goes to show, a good cook can't just go by the book because the book may be inconsistent or confusing. One's taste and other senses have to go into it as well, with the constant thought: "Is this ingredient or component something I would enjoy eating?".

This post was last edited 12/11/2013 at 11:54
Post# 720566 , Reply# 26   12/11/2013 at 11:58 (1,749 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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That recipe for veal Blanchette is describing what is called buerre manié (say "burr mon-YAY"), which is a quick way of thickening a sauce. The combination of flour and butter melts in the stock, dispersing the flour evenly and preventing lumps. It still has to be cooked after the initial thickening takes place. Buerre manié has its uses, but it always makes a sauce lighter in color (not always desirable) and it does not always have the same full, rich flavor of a sauce made with a fully cooked roux. That works for some dishes, but doesn't for others. Notice that veal Blanchette is a fairly creamy, bland dish to begin with.

I will have to look at Joy when time permits; I have the same 1975 edition you do. I want to see what they're talking about; do you have a page number?

Post# 720569 , Reply# 27   12/11/2013 at 12:05 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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PS-After making the roux and gravy on the Compact 30, I've become somewhat more comfortable with cooking on an electric range. The wide flat Frigidaire heating elements seem to be pretty reliable. The only other electric range I've used was an older GE with pushbutton controls on the back panel. Impossible to clean those buttons, as I recall. It was ok, but I never really knew if the button selection was being translated into watts at the element.

What I like about the electric GM range is that the heat seems like it's fairly reliable, and one doesn't have to peek under the pan to figure out what heat level has been selected. It's on the dial. Of course, if one is going from a high heat to a low heat, that can take longer than on a gas range, so I find lifting the pan to let things cool down a bit helps in such situations.

The downside of the GM elements is that they appear to be not quite as flat as I'd like. Typically on both the 8" elements, the pan contact the outer section of the coil first. This can be observed by the darker color of the outer coil when the burner is set to maximum with a pan full of water on it. The inner part stays bright red. It can also be observed when cooking (as in the roux), when the outer section of the pan simmers more than the inner section. When I get a chance I'll put a straight edge on a cool burner to check for flatness.

Post# 720570 , Reply# 28   12/11/2013 at 12:08 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Check the index on the '75 edition. In mine, the discussion of roux is around page 338. The discussion about the brown sauce, around page 346. The white sauce, around 343, if I recall correctly (sick cat on my lap at present, can't get up and check!).

Post# 720590 , Reply# 29   12/11/2013 at 13:52 (1,749 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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I'll check my copy of Joy when time permits, which it probably won't today.

One useful trick when cooking on the average electric range: Leave a burner empty if you possibly can. That way, if something needs to go from high heat to low, move it from the burner with high heat to an empty burner and turn that burner's heat to low.

Also, I used to tell my cooking students this one all the time (I taught for much of the '80s; seems like centuries ago now): If something is getting overheated while cooking on an electric burner, pick up the pan. It has a handle for a reason. I can't tell you how often I've seen people fiddle with the knob desperately while the food in the pan burns. If the food's burning, the knob is not going to help.

If you know what you're doing, electric burners are as user-friendly as anything out there. When I taught, I routinely made hand-held Hollandaise and Béarnaise over direct heat with nothing but a pan and a whisk - no double boilers, no food processor, no blender, no tricky gadgets of any kind. All it took was watching the egg yolks while I was whisking; when wisps of steam started coming off them, I would pick the pan up off the heat and continue whisking until the steam wisps died down. Then the pan would go back on the burner for more whisking until steam showed up again. Lather, rinse, repeat until I had a beautiful thick creamy sauce. I left one guest teacher from Ireland speechless doing that; as accomplished as he was using restaurant equipment - and that was very accomplished indeed - he'd never made his peace with an electric burner.

You'll need to practice, but I can tell you'll do fine.

Post# 720597 , Reply# 30   12/11/2013 at 14:08 (1,749 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Yes, that's exactly what I did: move the pan to an empty cool burner when it got too hot, or when I had to leave it momentarily to go fetch something (like the Joy of Cooking book!). You see just that in the photo above of the finished roux.

I've also used the lift pan technique on the gas range. The heavy cast iron grates can hold significant heat and if you need to stop the process quickly, lifting the pan while turning down the flame will get it done the quickest. The only problem is when one has a large double handled pot on the burner... then lifting it can be a bit tricky, and can risk spillage (as in a full pasta pot or heavy cast iron utensil). But when I start testing the pressure canner on the C30 I'll make sure to leave a burner empty to help slow things down in a hurry.

Post# 720598 , Reply# 31   12/11/2013 at 14:12 (1,749 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
RE Margarine

I use the Land O Lakes or Ingles Laura Lynn brand, both with 80% oil , they work fine in cooking and baking, and dont cost any more than regular , much less than butter, im not a butter addict, believe it or not I like the taste of margarine better.

Post# 720601 , Reply# 32   12/11/2013 at 14:18 (1,749 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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Up here in Iowa, the Land O'Lakes is $1.79 a pound, and I can buy butter for $2.09 regularly, sometimes less on sale.

And we don't have Ingles up here, only Hy-Vee, about which the less said the better.

If it were not for ALDI, Walmart and Fareway, I would starve.

Post# 720605 , Reply# 33   12/11/2013 at 14:45 (1,748 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Oh Mercy!!!

Butter here is about 3.99 a pound!!! We have Food Lion, Ingles, Harris Teeter, Lowers and Whole Foods, oh yeah, Fresh Market and Trader Joes...and I still cant get peppermint ice cream any time but December!!!makes me mad as H#$%

Post# 720609 , Reply# 34   12/11/2013 at 15:00 (1,748 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

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I feel your pain. You should try getting a mincemeat pie or Crosse & Blackwell mincemeat filling up here; mincemeat pie is evidently not an Iowa thang, at least not nowadays. *

Hy-Vee grudgingly puts out a few jars of Crosse & Blackwell mincemeat at the holidays, like six per store. And when they're gone, they're gone. Don't even ask about a pie already made; they'll look at you like you were soliciting memberships for the Communist Party. And that's not just Hy-Vee, it's everywhere.

* I'm told by my older friends here that lots of Iowa traditions have died out or are dying out under the onslaught of frozen dinners and fast-food joints. A good pork supper can be enjoyed only in someone's home these days, same for beef and noodles. Finding fruitcake at the holidays is doable, but getting harder every year. I don't think many people under 30 here has ever tasted homemade bread, jam, jelly or preserves (or for that matter, a vegetable other than French fries or the tomato sauce on pizza).

It's sad, because this is a state with a rich culinary tradition based in pork production, and fine people who deserve something better than McDonald's to eat.

This post was last edited 12/11/2013 at 15:32
Post# 723591 , Reply# 35   12/28/2013 at 21:01 (1,731 days old) by simplicity345 (Aliquippa,Pa)        
compact 30 range

If Your Oven Is Not Working You May Want To Check The Relay If Your Frigidaire Compact 30 Range Has A Relay On Ours It Was Behind The Surface Element Switches And That May Be Your Problem

Post# 723677 , Reply# 36   12/29/2013 at 13:32 (1,731 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I tested the oven and it works within 10 degrees of the dial setting. I have not tested the self-cleaning feature, however. When I was working on the burner control I did see the relay in there. So if the self-cleaning feature doesn't work I'll check out the relay.

Post# 723864 , Reply# 37   12/30/2013 at 11:25 (1,730 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Oven Relay For Frigidaire SC Oven

combo52's profile picture
The same relay makes the oven bake, broil or clean so if the oven bakes and does not clean it is not a bad relay.

Post# 723881 , Reply# 38   12/30/2013 at 12:38 (1,730 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        
it is not a bad relay

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One less thing to worry about.

Post# 761732 , Reply# 39   6/5/2014 at 15:48 (1,572 days old) by arnoldra (Gibsonville)        
Back to the repair part waaaay up top...

So I'm dropping this in because the Sudsmaster was discussing his repair on his Compact 30. I've recently run into a problem with mine (compact 30) and was extremely happy to find this forum. My left front burner (large) has ceased working unfortunately. I've been poking around the internet looking for service guides, or even sources of parts. I do not know what exact model number I have, but in the brochure picture that was posted mine looks like the unit in the bottom left except I have the clock/oven function guy the other pictures have. Except my clock unit is the front right corner (works but is weird).

Anyway, info or links to better threads would be very appreciated! Thanks!

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Post# 761820 , Reply# 40   6/6/2014 at 00:15 (1,572 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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The models with the clock on the right front corner are the newest ones from the late seventies. For the model number, it should be under one of the burners on the left side. You need to lift the burner and remove the support and drip bowl to see the tag with the model and serial number. 


Here's one that should look similar to yours. 

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Post# 761976 , Reply# 41   6/6/2014 at 18:18 (1,571 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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It looks like the business end - the burner controls - are the same as on mine.

I would suggest a couple of steps to determine where the fault lies:

1) First, disconnect power at the breaker panel to the range. Try a new burner coil in the left front spot. If you don't have a spare, you can use the known good right rear one, just swap them out.

2) If swapping the burners doesn't fix the problem, the fault is either bad wiring or bad control. I suspect the left front control tends to go out before the others because it tends to get the brunt of spills and boil overs.

3) Getting at the control is no fun. You have to pull all the knobs, remove a bunch of screws, gently separate the control panel L-shaped face from the guts underneath and without breaking any wires and such. I found some wire connectors were so shot that I had to replace them (spade type connectors). If the wiring looks ok, or you found bad wiring and fixed it, and the coil still doesn't work, then you'll probably need a new control. These are available online, just plug in the number you find on your old control into Google.

4) If you do get a new control, you'll need to shorten the already short screws holding it to the face panel. Otherwise they'll bottom out on the moving parts inside the replacement control and ruin it. And yes, a number of the screws on my range were so corroded/rusted that I had to replace them with ones I got from the hardware store. After I cut them down to proper size (which is about 1/4" long!).

5) In my opinion while the Compact 30 line looks cool and works well enough, it was not made with easy serviceability in mind. The coils are relatively easy to replace, but the controls are a bitch. Such is the cost of a compact design that tries to squeeze old school parts into a too small space. Perhaps Frigidaire was thinking this was an entry level range and when anything more than the elements broke, the customer would be ready to junk it and move up to a big range that would be easier to service. Sort of ignores the fact that these are drop-in units, made for built-in cabinetry, and it's no so easy to convert a built-in setup to a free standing setup. OK, end of rant.

Post# 961609 , Reply# 42   10/9/2017 at 21:04 (350 days old) by Rock4Jesus777 (Illinois)        
Back to the Compact 30’s

Hi! So I’m going to try to revive this thread a little because I’m having a hard time finding ANY info on these Frigidaire/GM Compact 30’s. Mine is a RBE3-539N-CH. That’s on the data plate under the burner. Anyway, our oven stopped heating up properly and I saw in the first reply on this thread, a “hydraulic thermostat” on the Heat Minder burner. I also noticed that this wire/tube/whatever it is, goes from the control, over to the burner, then down into the oven.

Is this for the oven? The burner heats just fine but the oven, when set to even 500°, doesn’t get even close to that hot so I assume it does. The element seems to be intact so...

I was also wondering if this is even worth getting fixed if it’s the problem. I really like this old stove. It cooks very well and looks great, but if it’s going to cost me an arm and a leg to repair, I may as well spend that arm and leg upgrading to this decade.

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Post# 962556 , Reply# 43   10/14/2017 at 16:59 (345 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Your problem could be caused by a bad relay or a bad element. Does the bake element glow red a few minutes after the oven is turned on? If it doesn't, there must be something wrong with the wiring, with the bake element itself or with the relay or with the thermostat itself. Many parts are getting hard to get if you want to keep the self-cleaning oven feature but I'd say it's worth searching for if you like it (and I like how it's matched to your cabinets!).

Post# 962764 , Reply# 44   10/15/2017 at 21:44 (344 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I was able to locate a replacement control for one of the 8" burners, just by googling, so I figure you could do the same by googling the range model number and "oven".

It could be the oven element, or, more likely, the oven control/thermostat. If the oven has seen a lot of use I'd try replacing the element first. If that doesn't do it then replace the oven control and thermostat. All *should* be available.

If you're handy with a volt-ohm meter you might be able to detect if the element is good or bad, and if the control is sending the right voltage to it.

BE CAREFUL with that.

I doubt that the hydraulic control Heat Minder has anything to do with oven operation. But I've been wrong before.

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