Cooking on your Lacanche/Westahl
Above all our Lacanche / Westahl range cooker is a joy to use. It is simple, robust and offers great power as well as control. It is both practical and hugely versatile. In order to get the best out of it, we recommend attending a Lacanche live demonstration if at all possible (see events section).
The key to remember is that cooking on a Lacanche/Westahl is something of a gear change after any other domestic cooker. It is not difficult, not a dark art as required by some other brands, but does require you to engage with your food and familiarise yourself with your cooker. The results can be truly thrilling. Here are a few pointers:
There are four different sizes of gas burners – 5kW, 4kW, 3kW and 1.5kW. The general rule is that the larger the pot or pan then the larger the burner. You should be able to simmer with an appropriate sized pan on any burner. Similarly on full power, the burners deliver a great deal of heat.
The gas burners have a simmer position and a maximum position. In between the simmer and maximum position the flame is fully adjustable.
All Lacanche gas burners (and gas ovens) are fitted with a flame failure device (FFD). This safety feature means if the flame is extinguished the gas supply will be cut off to the burner after about 10 seconds.
It is reassuring to know that with all this gas power your Lacanche gas burners are child proof. To ignite a burner, push and turn the control knob a quarter turn to the left keeping the knob pushed in, simultaneously push the ignition button and the flame will ignite. You can release the ignition button as soon as the flame has lit, but keep the control knob pressed in for a few seconds before releasing (to allow the thermocouple to heat up), and then release gently.
The 4kW and 5kW burners are especially powerful. They are ideal for boiling large pan of water, using with large sauté pans and for wok cooking.
The traditional hob incorporates a large cast iron solid hob that sits over the 5kW gas burner. This is a very useful feature offering a large hot hob space on which to rest very large, or several smaller, pans. It is a very popular feature, not just for those customers emigrating from a latent heat cooker with a large solid hob, but because it offers great flexibility: The centre of the hob plate can be removed using the spigot provided, to allow direct access to the 5kW flame (faster heating up, and for use of a wok). The Wok Ring (see Accessories) fits into the round hole once the central plate has been removed. With the central round plate in place, the traditional hob is ideal for simmering, for juggling several pans at once, or for large vessels such as stock pots, jam pans, and fish and ham kettles. The large solid hob diffuses heat well on lower temperatures, and can offer powerful performance with a very hot centre when turned up.
Remember to allow the Traditional Hob time to warm up – it is a large, solid piece of metal and will take a good 15 minutes to pre-heat.
Gas Hob Accessories
The Lacanche/Westahl gas hobs are extremely versatile and using in conjunction with the accessories we offer gives you a huge range of cooking.
The cast iron wok ring fits over any of the gas burners and also into the middle of the Traditional Hob once the round centre plate has been removed. It is ideal for stir frying, ensuring that the wok is at the perfect height above the burner flame.
Griddle Plates – Ridged and Smooth
Both griddle plates sit over a set of any two gas burners. The underside of each has brackets which fit over the uprights of the pan stands, locking them into place. The ends with the recessed traps should face the front of the cookers.
Most of the time, both burners are fired up when using a griddle plate, but you can use one only if you wish, or have two burners on different power as you wish. The key to good griddling is to get the griddle plate hot first – allow 5-10 minutes. Food is ready when it comes away easily from the griddle. If it is sticking, it not ready, so give it a little longer.
The ridged griddle plate sears food through the ridges on the surface, giving the food distinctive charred griddle lines. This is often favoured for meat, some types of fish like tuna, swordfish, and for vegetables.
The smooth griddle plates sears the food over its whole surface and is often preferred for fillets of more delicate fish, drop scones and breakfast food, searing joints of meat before finishing in the oven, and for Japanese style tepanyaki style cooking.
Which griddle plate you use for what is entirely up to you. Experiment with different food. Most customers who enjoy using on type of griddle plate will come back for the other.
Small Simmer Plate
If you have not bought a cooker with a Traditional Hob (the solid central plate over the 5kW burner) and you wish you had, do not worry; we offer a solution. You can purchase the Small Simmer Plate. This looks a little like a griddle plate and also sits over a set of two gas burners, but instead of rather than on top of the pan stands. It performs the same function as a built-in Traditional Hob, offering a large solid cooking hob on which large pans or a number of smaller vessels can be used. It diffuses heat well for simmering, and of course you ha control over temperature via the two gas burners underneath.
The Trivet is a simple cross of metal which sits over the 1.5kW, 3kW and 4kW gas burners to support smaller pans (milk pans, butter pans).
Integrated Hob Elements on Over One Metre Cookers
Additional Gas Burners
The additional gas burners (a pair of 3kW burners, a pair of 4kW burners or a single 5kW burner) work in exactly the same way as the burners which come in a set hob configuration (above). Pairs of burners are useful for accessories like griddle plates and the small simmer plate; the wok ring can be used over any of these extra burners.
The Electric Griddle Plate or Plancha
This is essentially a built in griddle plate. It is operated by an off/on switch and a temperature control knob. To operate, lift the lid until the catch locks it in the upright position. Place the splash guard around the plancha to help contain spitting food etc.
The plancha is designed for cooking food directly on its surface. You can use for anything from fried eggs and griddled breakfasts to drop scones, to fillets of fish and whole joints of meat. Do not be afraid of using the high temperatures for searing meat or vegetables. This is a very healthy way of cooking, requiring less fat and grease. Remember that most of the time you should season the food and not the plancha itself.
To clean, allow to cool, wipe down with a soapy cloth or sponge and then rinse. Ensure that the plancha is dry turning it on for a few minutes. When not in use, remove and store splashguard and lower cover.
Because the fryer is of professional design, it is capable of delivering the delicious crisp, golden results of properly deep fried food that we tend to enjoy on the Continent, rather than the ubiquitous saturated, sludgy offerings still typical in so much of the UK. Forget the battered mars bar and think goujons of sole, apple fritters, crisped calamari rings and zucchini flowers - you get the idea. The key is large capacity and high temperature.
Before using, give the fryer a good wipe down with a damp cloth.
Fill to the indicator level with a good quality frying oil: be fussy with the oil – try fine, light oils with a high smoke point such as ground nut oil, or good sunflower or corn oil and remember that fresh oil is best. Turn the fryer on (switch) and then turn up the temperature. Be patient and let the oil get really hot before you attempt frying. Test the oil first by dropping in some batter – if it spits and bubbles immediately and starts to colour then the oil is ready. Place the food into the basket and gently lower into the oil. the basket is lowered into the oil first and then lower the food into the oil. When ready, raise the basket netting the food in it, and place the basket on the catch at the rear to allow the food to drain over the oil below.
Place food gently onto kitchen towel to drain further.
To clean, allow to cool, drain oil by turning the drain tap in the cupboard below the fryer. Turn the power off lift out the element block and housing and then wash out with hot soapy water. Ensure to rinse out fryer afterwards and refit the element block.
Replace lid over fryer when not in use.
This is a highly effective indoor bbq, but controllable. Use it for all the usual items, but do not be shy of charring off a whole leg of lamb or large cut of beef, or griddling vegetables or fish fillets just like in the restaurants. Importantly when bbqing or grilling, if food refuses to move or come away easily from the griddle, it is no ready, so leave it a little longer.
Again remember that it is not bbq you season, but the food.
The chargrill works in two ways: either you can place the folded, enamelled zigzag grill over the burner: Let it get hot (7 or 8 minutes) before cooking on it. Place the food directly onto the grill.
The tray for holding the lava rock, the lava rock itself and the top stainless steel griddle will not be required in this mode.
Remove the enamel griddle, insert over the burner the tray for holding the lava rock, fill with lava rock and then place the steel griddle over the top (rear end mounted on hinges at back). Some people prefer the real coal/lava rock flavour; some prefer the straight griddle technique.
Either way, you can adjust the heat with the temperature control and the height of the food above the heat by way of the mounting hinges at the rear of the grill.
Cleaning: the steel and enamelled grills will largely burn themselves clean, but if required, when cool, run a plastic scourer/sponge over them or a scrubbing brush. The lava rock will burn itself clean. The interior to the burner compartment is removable and is enamelled for easy cleaning.
There is a drip tray accessed through the top of the cupboard/oven underneath for catching fat/grease during cooking.
This is one of the most versatile options on a Lacanche hob. It is essentially a large stainless steel basin with a huge electric element at its base. Operate the tap to fill with water via the switch on the control panel. The tap is mounted to the rear of the Multi-cooker and is fully plumbed. Turn on and control the temperature using the knob on the control panel.
By filling the Multi-cooker to various depths (using the indicated levels on the inside), and using the various accessories you can use it to boil food (submerging food in the boiling/pasta baskets); steam food, using the perforated steaming trays; or as a bain marie using the solid containers. The various types of containers may be used in varying combinations. There is a draining rack for resting baskets on as they come out of the multi-cooker.
The multi cooker allows you accurate temperature control and therefore a huge variation of styles: you might use the boiling function for cooking pasta, or shellfish – the control and volume of the multi-cooker allows for accurate timing and optimum results (as opposed to over boiled and spoiled food); the steaming function gives you clean, colourful vegetables, fish etc still rich in nutrition and goodness. You might also steam several different things at the same time in different trays; the bain marie function can be used for holding cooked food and sauces ready for serving, or for cooking gently (melting chocolate for example).
The potential is limitless – we have steamed lobsters, boiled shellfish, simmered puddings, as well as the usual delicious al dente steamed vegetables and succulent fish. The best thing is to buy some accessories and try things out.
To clean, allow to cool and then simply drain the Bain Marie by turning the tap in the cupboard underneath. Wipe out, use a detergent and hot water, and be sure to rinse down (using the tap). It’s that easy.
One clever feature of the Multi-cooker is that when it is now in use you can place over it a Lacanche chopping board. This gives you a food preparation area right at your range cooker and is incredibly useful. It also looks good.
Induction Rings – various powers
Induction technology offers the advantage of fast heating up times with very precise temperature control. Ideal for simmering, bain marie work, bringing off a delicate sauce or custard. The induction rings sit under an easy to clean black vitroceramic hob surface. Lacanche hob top accessories designed for use over gas hobs (wok ring etc) cannot be used over the induction rings, and suitable cookware (induction approved) only should be used. Lacanche induction rings and hobs are powerful, utilising multiple rather than shared generators as required. They are operated by turning the traditional Lacanche contol knobs on the control panel. A digital power display on the hob top indicates which ring is on and at what power, and there is a residual heat warning light.
To clean, simply wipe down. A glass surface cleaner may be used if required.
Perhaps the best option is to include two induction rings as an addition to you gas hob (on over a metre cookers) giving you the advantages of induction alongside the famous Lacanche gas hobs.
Radiant Rings – various powers
Rather superseded now by induction, except that you can use any cookware on these powerful rings housed underneath an easy to clean black vitroceramic hob surface. They are operated by the traditional Lacanche knobs on the control panel. There is a residual heat warning display on the hob top. These are a nice option to go alongside gas burners if induction is not your thing. Cleaning as above.
Lay Off Area (blank hob top space)
On the hobs of the larger cookers, sometimes customers like to leave a blank space rather than specifying a optional hob element. This can be extremely useful as a preparation (“prep”) area, for plating up food, resting dishes etc. Any such space will simply be stainless steel and integral to the hob. Clean by wiping down, or using stainless steel cleaner as required.
100% genuine professional ovens offer outstanding power and performance. Because Lacanche cookers are genuinely duel fuel, you can have a combination of gas and electric ovens in your cooker. Most people’s choice includes at least one gas oven and one electric oven. Remember, a gas oven can be incredibly useful for cooking when there is a power cut.
Cooking with Lacanche ovens does represent something of a gear change after a normal domestic oven. The key thing is to try with some simple recipes which you know well and feel free to adapt timings and temperatures as you wish. The process is not so much one of setting a temperature, putting the food in and then coming back after the prescribed time in the recipe; but rather checking the food during cooking, looking at it, maybe turning it, testing it by feel, smell, sight and taste (being careful not to burn yourself). If required alter the temperature. One of the advantages of the Lacanche ranges is that the ovens will recover their temperature quickly after the door has been opened – remember in the commercial kitchen oven doors are opened continuously, and a Lacanche oven is based on a commercial oven. So don’t be shy of it, but engage with your food and dishes and the cooking process, and be prepared to adapt. You will soon get the hang of it and will enjoy the benefits of these versatile ovens.
Static Electric Oven with Grill
This is a thermostatically controlled oven with natural heat zones (hotter at top) and independently controlled grill (for closed door grilling). The wide temperature range (50ºC - 260ºC) makes this a versatile general purpose oven, with a large powerful grill (for closed door grilling). Be sure to allow warm up time (c. 20 mins) for best results.
The Convection Oven with Grill offers faster cooking, minimal transfer of smell & taste, and again with an independently controlled grill. As before the wide temperature range (50ºC - 260ºC) makes this a very versatile general purpose oven, fast heating with even temperature, and a large, powerful grill (for closed door grilling). Heat-up times are quicker than for a static oven. You may find that the power of the convection oven is greater than that you are used to, so be prepared to shave maybe 10⁰C or so off indicated cooking temperatures. If the food is catching at the back it is because of its proximity to the convector, so simply turn the dish during cooking.
The rapid heating means the oven recovers its temperature quickly between door openings, and also makes it a good oven for batch cooking and using multi layers in the oven.
The Dual Function Oven
Some models of Lacanche offer the option of a dual function electric oven (available on models with a 74 litre oven). This oven converts from a traditional static electric oven with grill to a convection electric oven with grill by means of a simple switch. It offers the advantages of both in a single oven, and is consequently a versatile and popular choice.
The Simmer Oven is a brilliantly versatile tool
Its huge cupboard like capacity offers plenty of room for plate warming, holding food, proving dough, slow cooking stews, meringues, fruit etc; slow roasting joints (e.g. shoulder of lamb, pork belly); and drying out ingredients (mushrooms, tomatoes etc). This is a very versatile oven which makes light of entertaining and large and long meals, taking the pressure off the cook. Once you’ve used one you will not be without one. Many customers coming off latent heat cookers with simmer ovens adore this option.
All of the Lacanche electric ovens have an LED next to the control. While the oven is heating up the LED is illuminated. When the oven has reached the selected temperature, the LED will extinguish.
The Lacanche Gas Oven is very powerful, with a temperature range of 150ºC -300ºC. It is a good general purpose oven, but remember the lowest temperature is 150ºC and so cooking at temperatures below that is not possible. There are ten power settings on the control, each corresponding to 15ºC; the settings therefore increase from setting 1 at 150ºC by15ºC (so setting 2 equates to 165ºC and so on) all the way to 300ºC. These gas ovens are ideal for high temperature cooking – brilliant for roasting, soufflés, pizzas etc, and for sealing joints/meat/poultry with a very hot blast (the “20 minute sizzle”) at the beginning of cooking. You may then to move the dish over to another oven for further cooking. You should be able to use the oven for roasting and baking (for example roast potatoes in the gas oven should be easy). Remember to check the food, and turn as required. The electric ovens are recommended for lower temperature cooking and for cooking more slowly e.g. casseroles, stews, puddings etc.
If you have both a gas oven and one of the electric ovens on your cooker, then you have the best of both worlds.
The Gas Ovens are heated by a powerful base element, so there is strong base heat. It is very important to allow the gas oven to get up to temperature before trying to cook. It will do this very quickly (c. 10 minutes). Putting food into a cold oven may result in overcooked or burnt food as the oven will be working flat out to come up to temperature, possibly causing food to catch on the base.
The gas ovens do not have an LED temperature indicator, but they are fast to heat up and c. 10 minutes should do it.
The standard 55L Lacanche oven is large enough to roast a very large turkey – we’ve cooked one over 24lbs in weight. The 74 litre oven fits a standard catering “gastronorm 1/1” size dish.
On some of the more recent models an interior oven light is fitted which turns on and off automatically as the oven door is opened and closed.
Lacanche Range Cookers are equipped with storage drawers. The drawers are for storage and are not constructed or designed for cooking. They are useful for storing accessories, roasting dishes etc. They may be removed for cleaning if required by extending, tilting the front up and then lifting out. When an oven above them is in use, the drawers may get warm or hot.
Accessories for the Multi Cooker
End Grain Chopping Board
This sturdy chopping board sits over the multi cooker when not in use, offering a preparation or carving area on the cooker.
Perforated Gastro Containers with Lid (for steaming)
These are used for steaming food using the multi-cooker, and come in two sizes: a large single steaming tray which covers the whole multi-cooker, or two smaller ones covering half each.
Gastro Container with Lid (for Bain-Marie cooking)
These are solid containers to hold food for cooking gently, or warming by sitting them in hot water in the multi-cooker. They come in three sizes and you can combine them as you wish: a full size container covering the whole multi-cooker, a half size one and two quarter sized ones.
Pasta Baskets (for boiling in the multi-cooker)
These baskets are used to submerge the food into boiling water (such as pasta, vegetables etc). They are available in three sizes allowing four combinations to be used; 1 large basket filling the whole multi-cooker, 2 half size baskets, 4 quarter size baskets, and one half size basket with two quarter size baskets.
Electric Fryer Lid with Splashguard
This smart lid with the Lacanche logo sits over the fryer when not in use.
Stainless Steel Cover for the Traditional Hob Simmer Plate
This is a simple, smart stainless steel cover which sits over the large central simmer plate of the Traditional Hob when not in use.
If you are using a griddle plate, you will find this tool invaluable. It comes with two sets of blades – flat for clean scraping the smooth griddle plate, and grooved for clean scraping the ridged griddle plate.
For connecting cookers to a gas supply. One metre in length, to fit female 15mm as supply. We supply two types, one for use with natural gas (mains) supply and one for use with LPG (bottled gas).
Oven racks are available for the various size Lacanche ovens. They are of sturdy construction and can be used as a shelf on which to sit cookware such as your own roasting dishes, baking tins, casserole dishes etc.
These are simple sheets of metal which sit on top of the corresponding size oven rack. They act in two ways: as a base onto which you might bake (using a liner) biscuits, flan or tart cases, quiches etc. The solid base distributed the oven heat evenly giving even baking for a dense base. Or you can place them on their oven rack towards the top of the oven when baking something delicate like a cake batter; here they act as a baffle from excessive top heat, and aid gentle, even rising (e.g sponge cakes).
Roasting Trays are available for the various size Lacanche ovens. They are coated in enamel to ease cleaning, and have louvered sides to allow optimum air circulation within the oven. You can place food directly into them, but also use them as a shelf.
These are trivets or racks which fit into the roasting dishes, on which you place food directly. They are ideal for grilling, keeping the food off the base of the roasting dish (and out of surplus fat). They can be used for roasting, giving circulation of heat around the food and thus all over roasting. They can also be used to keep a joint of food off the base of a dish in which a secondary item might be cooking (e.g. roasting a joint over a layer of sliced potatoes).
Backstrips are a piece of metal which runs between the rear of the cooker and the wall at hob top height. Their purpose is to increase ventilation of the cooker by allowing for better air circulation around the cooker. They are made of the same stainless steel as the hob top and lend a professional finish to the cooker, rising a little above the cooker like a mini backsplash against the back wall.
Backstrips are not obligatory but are recommended for installations were the cooker is going into confined spaces (e.g. chimney places), or where there will be tiles above the cooker rather than a backsplash.
The effect of installing a backstrip is to increase the depth of the cooker from back wall to front (excluding towel rail), by 70mm, so from 650mm to 720mm. This should not adversely affect a kitchen scheme as the cookers are designed to sit proud of adjacent cabinetry in any case – see Installation Instructions.
Stainless Steel backsplashes are offered for all cooker widths, to go on the wall behind and above the cookers. They may be ordered either with holes for mounting a utensil rack, or without holes if no utensil rack is required. They compliment any cooker in their stylish brushed stainless steel finish, and are easy to clean.
Utensil racks are mounted onto backsplashes which have been pre-drilled with holes for the purpose. They are supplied with hooks on which to hang utensils. The brackets can be ordered in either a brass or chrome finish to compliment your cooker.
Cupboards / Simmer Ovens
Our cupboards (providing they are not under a fryer or multi-cooker) can be specified as simmer ovens. These large ovens can be used for pre-heating dishes, slow cooking and keeping food warm (see above).