Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Single burner induction cooktop with easy temperature adjustment?


jrshaul
 Share

Recommended Posts

I think that the fine temps you are looking for are not so important in induction as the thick steel on the bottom buffers the heat to the pan.

It's not really about low and slow. My induction cannot do temps below boiling. On it's lowest setting it pulses between a temperature which makes the liquid boil, and completely off. This means you cannot thicken a custard or simmer a dish that should not be boiled. Other units may be more useful at these lower temps, but mine certainly is not and anyone who is purchasing one should be aware this is possible. Pans will do little to mitigate this problem.

There have been many times when I've required a heat setting between the ones available on my induction. Contrast this to the virtually infinite number of settings available with a gas burner. Maybe we don't need the 100 settings available on the Volraith, but for me, ten settings is definitely not enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you considered a "flame tamer"? I forgot the real name, but I have a cast iron disk that can sit between the pan and the burner. I sometimes use it on beanpots that cannot take direct flame. That should promote more even heating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure this belongs here, but here's my Sous Vide setup using my CookTek Counter-top Induction Burner;

I put a pot a little off-center on this:

http://www.cooktek.c...ter-top-cooktop

which creates the necessary circulation. Note this unit can have the temp set on a 1 - 10 scale or by F degrees . Setting the temp is, of course the one to use for SV.

Yes, it costs more than some SV set-ups, but shows the versatility of A REALLY GOOD INDUCTION BURNER.

Voila!

I used o teach some cooking classes for a major kitchenware store, so I've had lots of experience with some of the induction burners that can be had for <$200. Not Worth It At All.

Edited by furzzy (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This could potentially solve the problem of limited levels. And the price is far better than the Volraith one. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who ends up with one of these. Nice fine, Shel_B.

If something sounds too good to be true..... Check out the reviews on Amazon.com. I cooked on nothing but the Max Burton, the Salton and the Eurodib (all inexpensive cooktops) for years and was very, very satisfied. A small windfall allowed me to fulfill my dreams and get the Kenmore induction range else I would still be happily using the "cheap" cooktops.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After skimming this thread, it seems to me you only have three options:1) Buy a budget countertop induction burner, with good reviews, and hope for the best.2) Buy a propane burner (like this one, for example) and use it outdoors. Within in your budget.3) Buy the best, a Cooktek built-in single hob or countertop induction burner. Very expensive, but worth it.I'd skip the better quality standard hot plates -- they're expensive (~$200 for a good one at a restaurant supply store), and they might not offer anything better than what you already have...

I have the CookTek - it has a low-high range but ALSO A SET YOUR TEMP function. And it works! Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Yes.

http://www.cooktek.com/product/cooking-front-house/cooktops/apogee%E2%84%A2-single-counter-top-cooktop

Edited by furzzy (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After skimming this thread, it seems to me you only have three options:1) Buy a budget countertop induction burner, with good reviews, and hope for the best.2) Buy a propane burner (like this one, for example) and use it outdoors. Within in your budget.3) Buy the best, a Cooktek built-in single hob or countertop induction burner. Very expensive, but worth it.I'd skip the better quality standard hot plates -- they're expensive (~$200 for a good one at a restaurant supply store), and they might not offer anything better than what you already have...

I have the CookTek - it has a low-high range but ALSO A SET YOUR TEMP function. And it works! Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Yes.

http://www.cooktek.com/product/cooking-front-house/cooktops/apogee%E2%84%A2-single-counter-top-cooktop

I just looked that unit up. It's over $2,000 here in Australia.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After skimming this thread, it seems to me you only have three options:1) Buy a budget countertop induction burner, with good reviews, and hope for the best.2) Buy a propane burner (like this one, for example) and use it outdoors. Within in your budget.3) Buy the best, a Cooktek built-in single hob or countertop induction burner. Very expensive, but worth it.I'd skip the better quality standard hot plates -- they're expensive (~$200 for a good one at a restaurant supply store), and they might not offer anything better than what you already have...

I have the CookTek - it has a low-high range but ALSO A SET YOUR TEMP function. And it works! Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Yes.http://www.cooktek.com/product/cooking-front-house/cooktops/apogee™-single-counter-top-cooktop

I just looked that unit up. It's over $2,000 here in Australia.

I'm not surprised. I've had mine a few years, and it was around $1,500. Worth every penny - and I use it for my Sous Vide set up to maintain a steady temp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone thinking of using an induction burner for SV would be wise to read the following (and other similar queries):

eG: Portable induction burner for sous-vide?

In short, even a Cooktek will not perform as well as a dedicated SV rig. But, it may get you close for short cooks...

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My next windfall ( the first BTW ) ill be following A.N.'s lead.

unfortunately I have a lot of snappy FR. very heavy copper pans from here:

http://www.e-dehillerin.fr/en/home.php

they are impressive, were inexpensive at the time believe it or not, due to trade issues in the mid '80's but really out of date. And i dont really want a steel between the pans and the stove.

After the electrician adds a lot of AMP's to the kitchen, Ill get a few of these for high-heat saute:

http://eshop.e-dehillerin.fr/en/induction-cooper-saute-pan-without-lid-24-cm-xml-243_269-1238.html

http://eshop.e-dehillerin.fr/en/induction-cooper-frying-pan-28-cm-xml-243_269-1240.html

http://eshop.e-dehillerin.fr/en/induction-cooper-curved-saute-pan-24-cm-xml-243_269-1243.html

thats it. the rest of the pans will be coming from IKEA. well maybe just a few more of the above.

looks to me Ill be needing two windfalls.

:huh:

I cant imagine anyone having these induction copper pans. Im turning Green just thinking about that.

Edited by rotuts (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I put a pot a little off-center on this:

(link)

Yes, it costs more than some SV set-ups, but shows the versatility of A REALLY GOOD INDUCTION BURNER.

Your link didn't work for me, but I believe that you mean this unit: Apogee Single Counter Top Cooktop

It does look great.

Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"

Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone taken the plunge and tried either of these Vollrath units (mentioned upthread as Volraith)?

http://www.acemart.com/restaurant-equipment/cooking-baking-equipment/hot-plates/electric-hot-plates/vollrath-portable-induction-range-vol59500p/prod240611006.html

http://www.acemart.com/restaurant-equipment/cooking-baking-equipment/hot-plates/electric-hot-plates/vollrath-mirage-cadet-poratble-induction-range-vol59300/prod261511015.html

I have a Duxtop which I’ve been using for over a year and I really like induction cooking but the unit does have some limitations, as mentioned in this thread. Over half my induction compatible cookware is unusable because the unit overheats and shuts down (heavier/larger cast iron pieces, a carbon steel skillet). I take it that’s typical of these small units with a small fan for cooling?

Would these Vollraths be a signficantly better bet than a consumer unit that is more expensive than the basic Duxtop or are they going to be the same quality with a professional nameplate? The Cooktek units that have been recommended are out of my price range.

These will used for home cooking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone taken the plunge and tried either of these Vollrath units (mentioned upthread as Volraith)?

http://www.acemart.com/restaurant-equipment/cooking-baking-equipment/hot-plates/electric-hot-plates/vollrath-portable-induction-range-vol59500p/prod240611006.html

http://www.acemart.com/restaurant-equipment/cooking-baking-equipment/hot-plates/electric-hot-plates/vollrath-mirage-cadet-poratble-induction-range-vol59300/prod261511015.html

I have a Duxtop which I’ve been using for over a year and I really like induction cooking but the unit does have some limitations, as mentioned in this thread. Over half my induction compatible cookware is unusable because the unit overheats and shuts down (heavier/larger cast iron pieces, a carbon steel skillet). I take it that’s typical of these small units with a small fan for cooling?

Would these Vollraths be a signficantly better bet than a consumer unit that is more expensive than the basic Duxtop or are they going to be the same quality with a professional nameplate? The Cooktek units that have been recommended are out of my price range.

These will used for home cooking.

I have been looking at those as well. I was going to try and contact someone and ask some of those questions as mine were the same.

They are a little cheaper here. http://www.webstaurantstore.com/vollrath-mirage-pro-59500p-countertop-induction-cooker-1800-watt-120v/92259500.html

They had a few other brands that I may ask about as well. http://www.webstaurantstore.com/15055/countertop-induction-ranges-and-induction-cookers.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone taken the plunge and tried either of these Vollrath units (mentioned upthread as Volraith)?

http://www.acemart.com/restaurant-equipment/cooking-baking-equipment/hot-plates/electric-hot-plates/vollrath-portable-induction-range-vol59500p/prod240611006.html

http://www.acemart.com/restaurant-equipment/cooking-baking-equipment/hot-plates/electric-hot-plates/vollrath-mirage-cadet-poratble-induction-range-vol59300/prod261511015.html

I have a Duxtop which I’ve been using for over a year and I really like induction cooking but the unit does have some limitations, as mentioned in this thread. Over half my induction compatible cookware is unusable because the unit overheats and shuts down (heavier/larger cast iron pieces, a carbon steel skillet). I take it that’s typical of these small units with a small fan for cooling?

Would these Vollraths be a signficantly better bet than a consumer unit that is more expensive than the basic Duxtop or are they going to be the same quality with a professional nameplate? The Cooktek units that have been recommended are out of my price range.

These will used for home cooking.

I have the Vollrath 59500P 120v "Mirage" Portable Countertop Induction Range and love it. I have had it for about two years now and it has never once shut down or misbehaved. One thing I love about it that has been brought up earlier in the thread is that the heat control has 100 steps and when I am simmering something like beans or spaghetti sauce for hours the difference in two or three steps usually in the 10-15 range is the difference between boiling and below simmer. You really do need a lot of steps especially at the low end.

The only problem I have ever had is with my one quart sauce pan, It is just not quite big enough to be sensed by the coils and is often read as pot missing. All induction coils have a practical min and max pot diameter based on the coil size.

I am very glad I opted to spend the extra dollars over the max burton that I was looking at.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone taken the plunge and tried either of these Vollrath units (mentioned upthread as Volraith)?

http://www.acemart.com/restaurant-equipment/cooking-baking-equipment/hot-plates/electric-hot-plates/vollrath-portable-induction-range-vol59500p/prod240611006.html

http://www.acemart.com/restaurant-equipment/cooking-baking-equipment/hot-plates/electric-hot-plates/vollrath-mirage-cadet-poratble-induction-range-vol59300/prod261511015.html

I have a Duxtop which I’ve been using for over a year and I really like induction cooking but the unit does have some limitations, as mentioned in this thread. Over half my induction compatible cookware is unusable because the unit overheats and shuts down (heavier/larger cast iron pieces, a carbon steel skillet). I take it that’s typical of these small units with a small fan for cooling?

Would these Vollraths be a signficantly better bet than a consumer unit that is more expensive than the basic Duxtop or are they going to be the same quality with a professional nameplate? The Cooktek units that have been recommended are out of my price range.

These will used for home cooking.

I have the Vollrath 59500P 120v "Mirage" Portable Countertop Induction Range and love it. I have had it for about two years now and it has never once shut down or misbehaved. One thing I love about it that has been brought up earlier in the thread is that the heat control has 100 steps and when I am simmering something like beans or spaghetti sauce for hours the difference in two or three steps usually in the 10-15 range is the difference between boiling and below simmer. You really do need a lot of steps especially at the low end.

The only problem I have ever had is with my one quart sauce pan, It is just not quite big enough to be sensed by the coils and is often read as pot missing. All induction coils have a practical min and max pot diameter based on the coil size.

I am very glad I opted to spend the extra dollars over the max burton that I was looking at.

Do you know what the range is on temp. settings? 10 degrees, 20 degrees, 30 etc...Have you used the Max Burton units or something similar?

I hate buying something that is $100 five/ten times when I could have done it up front and not had the hassle.

Thanks for the reply!!

edit: One thing I wanted to use this for is fondue. My wife wants something to have cheese or chocolate for parties. Have you done this? If so how did it work out?

Edited by stckciv (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

have the Vollrath 59500P 120v "Mirage" Portable Countertop Induction Range and love it. I have had it for about two years now and it has never once shut down or misbehaved. One thing I love about it that has been brought up earlier in the thread is that the heat control has 100 steps and when I am simmering something like beans or spaghetti sauce for hours the difference in two or three steps usually in the 10-15 range is the difference between boiling and below simmer. You really do need a lot of steps especially at the low end.

The only problem I have ever had is with my one quart sauce pan, It is just not quite big enough to be sensed by the coils and is often read as pot missing. All induction coils have a practical min and max pot diameter based on the coil size.

I am very glad I opted to spend the extra dollars over the max burton that I was looking at.

Thanks for the report. There's an Ace Mart a few miles from me so I think I'll go take a look and talk to a salesman. I've got to get some rewiring done to get another circuit in the kitchen.

ETA: I will appreciate any further comments by anyone, too.

Edited by brucesw (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This could potentially solve the problem of limited levels. And the price is far better than the Volraith one. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who ends up with one of these. Nice fine, Shel_B.

If something sounds too good to be true..... Check out the reviews on Amazon.com. I cooked on nothing but the Max Burton, the Salton and the Eurodib (all inexpensive cooktops) for years and was very, very satisfied. A small windfall allowed me to fulfill my dreams and get the Kenmore induction range else I would still be happily using the "cheap" cooktops.

I've actually used a NuWave (my mom is weak for infomercials, it's an issue) and it's okay. I've never tried to do anything particularly low or controlled on it since it primarily gets used when we go on vacation, but in general I've found it tolerable for stuff like eggs and simmering a large pot of chili. It probably wouldn't be my choice if I wanted induction specifically for control just because it doesn't seem that well made so I'd be suspicious of it holding temp accurately and so on. (I also completely ignore the stated temperatures and just treat them as power settings, since I doubt they're accurate. I've never used a thermometer with it to actually compare.)

That said, it is enough that I'm pretty firmly in the 'going to try nicer induction' camp when next I find myself needing to purchase cooking appliances. I'm not 100% set on induction vs gas as a general rule, but performance seems close enough that if I did have safety concerns (children, people with certain types of disability, etc.) then I'd probably opt for induction. At the moment I suspect my ideal would be a combination of induction and gas - induction as the primary cooking surface and then a gas module or 4 burner cooktop for applications where the gas will perform better.

ETA: I've never seen the actual infomercial for this thing or read any of the advertising information, so I have no idea what they claim it will do. I don't think I'd want it as my primary cooking surface. (As I said, we mostly use it on vacation, places like cabins where it's basically the NuWave or cook over the fire. I did use it once at a place that had a proper gas stove, but the stove was quite old and seemed prone to blowing out and I decided that I just didn't want to mess with it.)

Edited by quiet1 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I saw a NuWave tonight. First induction unit I have ever seen, so I don't have a whole lot to compare it to. The unit looked kind of light weight and cheap, however it belongs to an instructor from FCI, so it probably holds up...although he added he had not had it long. He said he saw it on an infomercial. I asked if it worked for low temperatures and he said it did. I can vouch it cooks very fast.

The NuWave also has a temperature setting control. I asked if he had ever tested against a thermometer. He said no, he has not tested, he just relies on his thermometer.

I must say I am tempted. Are there any other units that work well at temperatures well below boiling, without fluctuations?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW, I have a NuWave, mainly because I don't have enough amperage to support an 1800 watt unit. Works pretty well. As quiet1 says, though, the "temp" settings aren't accurate as such (and, yes, I've done lots of testing). OTOH, they work as power settings and the wide range of fine gradations make this cooker much more useful IMHO than the (better built) Fagor, which has only six power levels. In particular, to answer your question, it does nicely holding sub-boil temps.

Be aware, if you've not used induction before, that it can be a bit annoying. Well suited to things where you leave the pan alone, e.g., simmers and braises, but not when you want to move the pan around, especially sautes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Years ago I got a Max Burton unit to use with my pressure cooker, but was disappointed that its limited (10 level) controls would often either overpressurize my PC or else not be able to maintain pressure. This didn't happen all the time, but it happened often enough to be a major annoyance. Another major annoyance was the high pitched whine that the unit would emit -- which would become louder and louder as the power increased. I'm a musician and am hypersensitive when it comes to auditory stimuli, and this drove me nuts. Eventually, the Max Burton met with an unfortunate accident (I set it on fire) and I've been without a burner for a couple years.

 

Initially, I planned on buying another inexpensive model but noticed that pretty much everything out there (that wasn't $500 or more) had all the same problems. As it turns out, most manufacturers don't actually build induction coils themselves but import them from China, which is why all of the cheap induction hobs have the same (or extremely similar performance). The Vollrath Mirage Pro came to my attention and became the apple of my eye. But I wasn't about to pay that much money for a single portable burner. So I've done without, and kept watching eBay for used Mirages, hoping one would turn up at a reasonable price.

 

Last week I got a total steal on a lightly used Mirage -- $125!!! -- and couldn't wait for it to arrive on my doorstep. Now that it's here, here's my report.

First things first, the 100 levels of power (the main draw of the unit) gives exactly the level of control/precision that I'd been missing. My house's cheap gas range really only has 3 settings (barely on, all out, and 50% in the middle) and the Vollrath is a vast improvement. It gets hotter faster, goes lower and more gentle, and has tremendous range in between.  Having a knob to control it is also much more natural than pressing buttons to change levels up or down. So glad to be able to once again bring water to a rolling boil and sustain it after adding frozen peas or a ton of dry pasta. 

I'm happy to report that it doesn't emit that horrible high pitched sound that I've heard from the cheaper units. I can cook without noise-canceling headphones now. Praise Vollrath!

I'm also happy that the Mirage will detect my 1 quart All Clad saucepan (after hearing reports from some users that theirs would go undetected.

The build quality is tremendous. Steel all around, aluminum bottom, chunky knob... it feels solid and is hefty but not too heavy.

One thing I'm sort of disappointed in is that the hot spot of the induction coil isn't significantly larger than on my previous unit. It's just shy of 4.5 inches in diameter, which is a hair bigger than my old unit but I wish it was bigger. This caveat aside, the Mirage is clearly on a different level than the cheaper units (even the cheaper commercial ones). It's the best thing you can find without spending $1000 or more. I'm just glad I didn't have to pay the new price!

 

If you're interested in a more in-depth review of the Mirage, I just came across this excellent article on the Mirage from Century Life. Check it out.

 

 

Edited by btbyrd (log)
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 11/8/2013 at 11:56 PM, pbear said:

FWIW, I have a NuWave, mainly because I don't have enough amperage to support an 1800 watt unit. Works pretty well. As quiet1 says, though, the "temp" settings aren't accurate as such (and, yes, I've done lots of testing). OTOH, they work as power settings and the wide range of fine gradations make this cooker much more useful IMHO than the (better built) Fagor, which has only six power levels. In particular, to answer your question, it does nicely holding sub-boil temps.

Be aware, if you've not used induction before, that it can be a bit annoying. Well suited to things where you leave the pan alone, e.g., simmers and braises, but not when you want to move the pan around, especially sautes.

 

One thing I'm particular curious about on the NuWave is if the low power settings are just a crude low frequency PWM similiar to the DUXTOP models (seen here: https://youtu.be/ungCQD4lqRE?t=8m10s) or is it actually on a lower power. Are you using the NuWave PIC, PIC2 or the PRO?

 

I'm planning to get a cheaper induction top mainly for cooking hotpots at the table (Nabe, shabu shabu, yudofu etc.) Sustaining a low simmer is really a feature that I need, but I have a feeling all the cheap models are probably pretty bad at this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

For BTByrd: Sorry for reviving thread with this late question. Am just wondering if you still love your Vollrath Mirage Pro. I've had my eye on that unit and have researched quite a bit. It is my choice for all the reasons you mentioned. I also read, however, that because it's a "commercial" unit, the warranty is void for home use unless you can guarantee it is on a dedicated circuit (and maybe not even then). Other than this it looks like a perfect unit, but I am concerned about this warranty issue. Can you provide any information about this? Thanks in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, KitchenHack said:

For BTByrd: Sorry for reviving thread with this late question. Am just wondering if you still love your Vollrath Mirage Pro. I've had my eye on that unit and have researched quite a bit. It is my choice for all the reasons you mentioned. I also read, however, that because it's a "commercial" unit, the warranty is void for home use unless you can guarantee it is on a dedicated circuit (and maybe not even then). Other than this it looks like a perfect unit, but I am concerned about this warranty issue. Can you provide any information about this? Thanks in advance.

 

I'm still loving it, but I can't really comment on the warranty issue since I got mine used. Try calling or e-mailing Vollrath directly to see what they say. Their website emphatically (bold allcaps) says that they do not offer a written warranty on items purchased for personal or household use. What that means in practice, I cannot say. I do know that there are a lot of people (like myself) who use the Mirage in a non-commercial setting and have no worries about doing so. It's a very well made unit, and I wouldn't expect it to malfunction or break (pretty much ever). However, given that it's an expensive unit I can understand wanting to be sure that you'd be covered in the event that something goes wrong. Someone asked a question about this on Amazon, and GlennR replied:
 

Quote


"I never noticed that limitation in warranty but in reading some customer reviews from home users, they reported they received great service from Vollrath when they had a problem with their 59500p unit(s). I suggest that your only option is to telephone Vollrath Company and speak to them personally. I found them to be very friendly, responsive and help to clear up concerns. I called them before I made my purchase and found them really great to deal with. I think calling them is the only way to resolve your doubts and l get a clear picture of what your warranty will truly be. In any case I have 2 59500p units since July 2014 and they work flawlessly. No buyers remorse from me at all :-)  "

 

That sounds about right to me. Call or e-mail Vollrath and see what the deal is. And report back with your findings!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking through a few more reviews, it appears that someone had theirs malfunction during what would have been a warrantied period (13 months after purchase, with a 2-year warranty). Vollrath didn't cover it. The consumer was understandably angry about the whole thing.

 

I don't understand Vollrath's policy here. It seems to be the exact opposite of what it should be. Vitamix, for example, offers a SHORTER warranty on commercial units, precisely because they'll be used and abused far more than they will in your average home cook's kitchen. The idea that you would sell a piece of equipment that functions perfectly well in a home kitchen, but only give a warranty for professional use is bonkers.

 

Given that I don't have unlimited financial resources, if I were buying again, I would stick to my original strategy of watching eBay for heavily discounted used or open-box units and just accept that it doesn't have a consumer warranty. They are much, much better than the inexpensive burners in every possible way (noise, temperature control, build quality, ease of use). The risk is tolerable, given my preferences.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...