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cgman117

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  1. I have a 1440W Hatco induction cooktop and I rarely use it above the 50% setting (700-900W depending on the size of the pan) except when boiling water. Anything above 50% is usually too hot for what I cook (vegetable stir-fries and stews). I think anything above 1800W is more useful for searing meat and fast boiling.
  2. Also take a look at the Hatco Rapide Cuisine series if you're considering Vollrath. The 1440W programmable model I have has the same 0-100% adjustments. At 0-9% it will pulse from 4-190W to regulate power. From 10-100% the wattage starts at 190, is continuous and can be adjusted precisely. The fan is very quiet and only turns on when needed, and there are no annoying beeps except for the timer. When you lift the pan, the LCD will display a flashing pan icon to indicate that induction has stopped, but you can carry on cooking the instant you set the pan back down. I was also considering the Vollrath Mirage Pro, but I read some bad reviews regarding durability and issues with the lack of warranty coverage for residential use. The new Vollrath 4-series look very nice, but again there's no warranty coverage for residential use.
  3. Yes, the 1800W Canadian model requires a 20A circuit and a NEMA 5-20P outlet. I actually have 20A and NEMA 5-20P outlets in my kitchen, but I decided I don't need the 1800W, and it will be handy to be able to use the unit on a 15A circuit. What I've found so far is the 1440W Hatco is more efficient than the 1800W Salton. The induction coil in the Salton is very uneven and cycles more often. I'm assuming the cycling is caused by the simpler and cheaper electronics, and is also used to prevent overheating. The Hatco induction coil is very even and there's no noticeable cycling when using it in the power level mode.
  4. Yes, except I have the 1440w model. The unit comes with a 1-yr warranty and the terms on their website doesn't have exclusions for residential use. However, for extra protection, I purchased it using a credit card that extends the warranty to 2 years.
  5. I found a video that shows the possible solution As you can see, the switch can also be the issue.
  6. My Hatco Rapide Cuisine is similar to the CF and Vollrath, its burner is also around 6 inches. I only have decent quality 3-ply stainless steel cookware, and they are not the most even, but I find that heating the pans slowly helps. I agree that it would be nice to have an 8-inch+ burner, but that would make these portable units larger and costlier. Also keep in mind that compared to consumer units (Max Burton, Duxtop, Salton) the CF, Vollrath, and Hatco units are at a completely different level when it comes to build quality and temperature control. I have not used the Max Burton 18XL, but based on reviews, it doesn't appear to have good temperature control. If it's anything like my Salton PIC, I would guess that it's only really useful for boiling water. My $50 Salton PIC is not even good for boiling water. It always overheats and gives error messages if you boil water for too long. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.
  7. The door might not be closing properly. Does your unit's door close normally with some tension? The door has a coiled spring and a sensor. If the spring is broken, then the sensor may not go to the correct position. This will deactivate the controller since it thinks the door is not closed. A replacement spring is inexpensive and can be replaced easily. There's a few YouTube videos on this topic.
  8. I have been using a $50 induction cooktop for the last 5 years and I, too, have been eyeing the Control Freak for the last couple of years. Last month, I finally got tired of the loud fan noise and poor temperature controls and decided to buy a proper induction cooktop. I was seriously considering the CF, but the features are far beyond my needs and I really wanted something that is simple to use. I ended up with a Hatco PIC which so far has met all of my expectations. It's definitely a major improvement over sub $100 PICs. My model has similar features to the CF including a temperature probe and programmability.
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