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Portable Burners for the Kitchen


Shel_B
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I'm going to need one or two extra burners for my kitchen when I move to my new apartment, so I need some information.

Are there any portable burners that can run off propane that would be suitable for use indoors?

Are there single, and maybe dual, portable induction burners? Would they just plug into a standard outlet? What type of cookware can be used on these burners? Stainless steel? Anything else?

Thanks!

 ... Shel


 

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Here you go, induction, plugs into the wall. Any magnetically reactive metal will work, notably steel and cast iron

http://www.amazon.com/1800-Watt-Portable-Induction-Countertop-8100MC/dp/B0045QEPYM/ref=sr_1_4?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1364946728&sr=1-4&keywords=induction+cooktop.

If you're not using clay pots and copper and stuff that's how I'd go, but that said you can also get a package that includes an adapter disk (a metal disk that heats up like a hotplate, upon which you can place a cooking vessel of any material)

http://www.amazon.com/Max-Burton-6015-Induction-Combination/dp/B00213L3PU/ref=sr_1_3?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1364946814&sr=1-3&keywords=induction+cooktop

You can also get these small propane burners at any Asian supermarket, but their max flame is weaker http://www.amazon.com/Grillex-GB-10K-Portable-Gas-Burner/dp/B0055QMXJK/ref=sr_1_3?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1364946866&sr=1-3&keywords=propane+burner

Edited by Hassouni (log)
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I'd go with induction, but if you want gas, look at camping stoves, the kind made for "car camping" attach to bbq gas bottles. I'm not sure about ventilation etc though, they will give off CO and you might not want to have that in the apt. I'm not sure how regular gas stoves avoid killing people, but it's something to keep in mind. The mentioned cheap ones from the Asian store (and sports stores carry those too) are great for the occasional extra flame or using at the table, but with those small gas bottles, things would get expensive quickly I think.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I'd go with induction, but if you want gas, look at camping stoves, the kind made for "car camping" attach to bbq gas bottles. I'm not sure about ventilation etc though, they will give off CO and you might not want to have that in the apt. I'm not sure how regular gas stoves avoid killing people, but it's something to keep in mind. The mentioned cheap ones from the Asian store (and sports stores carry those too) are great for the occasional extra flame or using at the table, but with those small gas bottles, things would get expensive quickly I think.

Yes, as something to use every day and for long cooking, the gas canisters would start to stack up. Each one can run a few hours (maybe 3-4) max.

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Can the inducton models increase and decrease the temp quickly, similar to a gas stove? Or is there a lag like electric ranges?

From what I've read thus far, my inclination is towards an induction unit.

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I've never used induction, but as far as I understand it they are just as fast (in every day use) as gas ranges. Since there's no heating coil inside, you turn off the power (or turn it lower) and the induction will just stop or "go slower" immediately. I'm considering one as an extra burner. Pretty cheap too.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I have a portable (single) induction burner that I use for outside and for occasional needs for an extra burner. It came with a tester for compatible pots: a fridge magnet. If it sticks, the pot will work.

The burner is more powerful than my gas stove, at least for boiling water. It boils at about 75% of the time.

There are two potential downsides. On high, it uses quite a bit of power - pretty much all of the standard 15 amp house circuit. For this reason, I thinks double burner, if it exists, would be limited. Whether this is an issue depends, I guess, on how your apartment is wired. I don't know these things. For me, I have to be sure I have everything else on the circuit turned off to avoid a tripped circuit.

In recollection I seem to recall a dual burner unit. But my recollection, perhaps faulty, is that it would cycle between the units to keep under the 15 amps. And my recollection was that some did not like the cycling.

The other is ventilation. You can do some serious searing on this sucker, but there is no ventilation hood above it. But it's great for boiling, simmering, pressure cooking, etc.

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The portable butane ones that run of canisters work pretty well, and can be bought fairly cheaply at Asian supermarkets. But I think some of the ~ $70 induction burners are also supposed to be decent, assuming your cookware's induction capable.

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I have a portable induction burner. It works reasonably well, I would put it's power on par with a 9000 btu gas burner, give or take. The one thing I hate about it is the lack of analog control. For most things, it really isn't a huge issue, but I can't use my pressure cooker on it as there is no setting that is exactly right - I'm either over pressure and it's venting, or under. This is on a relatively cheap unit, I believe I pad around $100 Canadian a few years ago, I would assume better units would have better control.

It is a godsend in the summer if I am going to have something simmering on the stove for sometime, far less waste heat.

Hope that helps,

Thanks

Brian

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induction. cheap inexpensive IKEA pots and pans ( not all of them ) used by MC and MC@home. fast. easy. $ 80 / 'burner' they stay cool and are easy to clean up. a little bulky.

but check your circuits to the various outlets. you might need two separate circuits to run both at the same time on 'full'

excellent for a magnetic PC.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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I just picked up a Max Burton 1800W induction burner from Amazon and used it for the first time today. It got top marks from Cook's Illustrated in a recent test, and so far I'm pleased with its performance - especially for the price. It heats up faster and hotter than my gas range, but it's a pretty lousy range. I used it to sear off and then pressure cook a leg of lamb. The sear was deeper and faster than I can achieve otherwise, and my PC came to pressure very quickly. Once there, it held a perfect simmer that I didn't have to babysit (again, unlike my range). And it didn't make my kitchen hot. The response is very similar to gas; you can stop a boil in its tracks by nudging the power down (or turning it off). I bet it will be useful for deep frying.

The only real downside to portable induction burners (aside from their inherent power limitation) is the sound they emit. It's not the fan noise, but a high-pitched buzz that may or may not bother you. I'm pretty sensitive to these things because I record and produce music in my spare time. I may just wear some noise canceling head phones when I use it. Like Brian, I also wish that my unit had more control over the heat. A continuous analog controller would be nice, but it could be done in digital if there were 20 or 30 power levels. 10 power settings is too coarse grained for me.

The dual burner models offer similar performance, but the wattage will be split between two burners. This just means that you'll never be able to crank both burners up to 11. I like this technology a lot, and am considering eventually having a commercial 220V cooktop in my kitchen. But if those things buzz like the portable ones do, I'm not sure that will happen.

Edited by btbyrd (log)
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I like this technology a lot, and am considering eventually having a commercial 220V cooktop in my kitchen. But if those things buzz like the portable one's do, I'm not sure that will happen.

Thanks for your comments. My GF's daughter has has an induction cooktop at home, and I've never heard it buzz.

 ... Shel


 

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When I'm not willing to fire my 1910 solid-fuel cookstove, I use a 2-burner propane rig like this: http://www.whatsitworth.net/cse/images/2013/01/19/226/1918-antique-glenwood-no2-cast-iron-double-burner-propanegas-hot-plate-stove_1.jpg

A 20-lb bottle lasts me 6-9 months, and it hasn't set off the CO detector yet.

An advantage of these is that, with very little effort, you can pimp them out to do >100K Btu for wokking--but do that OUTSIDE.

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When I'm not willing to fire my 1910 solid-fuel cookstove, I use a 2-burner propane rig like this: http://www.whatsitworth.net/cse/images/2013/01/19/226/1918-antique-glenwood-no2-cast-iron-double-burner-propanegas-hot-plate-stove_1.jpg

A 20-lb bottle lasts me 6-9 months, and it hasn't set off the CO detector yet.

An advantage of these is that, with very little effort, you can pimp them out to do >100K Btu for wokking--but do that OUTSIDE.

Where did you get that?? It's gorgeous. And I see it is a Glenwood--I used to have a Glenwood stove, and absolutely loved it.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Just an update:

I ran into an issue with the Burton burner using it with a dutch oven to do some deep frying. Well before the oil could get hot enough, the burner begins to beep and issue an error message indicating that the surface is too hot. It really doesn't seem that hot, but tell this to the sensor. All this is disappointing since I was hoping to be able to crank this thing up hotter than my modest gas burners. Alas, I'm stuck with them for now!

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Have you followed the instructions on the size of the base of the Dutch oven? My recollection is that some Amazon reviewers had a similar issue with, IIRC, too large pots. Frying temperatures aren't very ot at all, right? <400F?

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