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Induction? Pro-style gas? Please help!!!

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Any pro chefs want to comment on why induction doesn't seem to be the choice in commercial kitchens?

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11 hours ago, gfweb said:

Any pro chefs want to comment on why induction doesn't seem to be the choice in commercial kitchens?

cost.   Commercial gas ranges are cheap (cheaper than residential, in some cases, because they have no bells or whistles, insulation, and lower levels of fit and finish); induction costs a lot more.  They do find a place where the costs of installing ventilation, etc are relatively high, for example in big city buildings and retrofits. 

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gfweb. Chefs are very conservative but more and more kitchens ARE using induction cooktops, particularly in Europe where induction is more popular than other systems in most of Northern Europe. The major advantage, as dscheidt points out, is for new restaurants since you can avoid the massive expensive of a high capacity cooling and ventilation system. This, of course, is also, to a lesser extent, an advantage at home. I had a downdraft ventilation system with my halogen cooktop (a disaster by the way) and when I replaced the cooktop I held off replacing it. I found that with a five burner induction cooktop I simply didn't need a hood or a downdraft ventilation system. I also note that cruise lines have switched almost completely to induction cooking (of course at sea the risk of fire is a huge deterrent to using gas)

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I've been in some high end resto kitchens that had nothing BUT induction cooktops and immersion circulators. 

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@weedy, how's your induction range holding up? @Anna N, I assume yours is still going strong? Mine is about four years old now and I love it. Cooktop is so easy to clean and so pleasant to cook with during summer heat. I love that the oven racks are coated with porcelain, so they stay in the oven during cleaning and just need the usual quick wipe afterwards. Convection seems to work pretty well on it and I like the controls and look of it.  

 

I did buy the Sears extended warranty, wish I hadn't now, but I did have it for three years before Sears went pfft so it might have been useful and it wasn't that expensive.

 

I really hope my Kenmore induction range keeps on going, I really like it. The price was very reasonable, under $1,200 Cdn including taxes. But if it did break down and wasn't possible to repair for a reasonable price, I would still want to buy another induction model. 

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 love my induction stovetop!  I have been using it for about 2.5 years and am so happy with the decision to go with induction.  What I particularly like about it are its responsiveness,  how well it holds a low, low temperature (melting chocolate, keeping rice warm w/o scorching, etc); and the ease of keeping it clean. 


I use a lot of cast iron pans and I've not had any issue with scratching.  

 

The only issue I have had was when my husband made jam.  He put our large stockpot on the big burner and it fried half the motherboard.  It turns out that the stockpot's bottom was only magnetic in the middle and not at the outer edges.  BIG LESSON!  Always test to make sure there is a strong magnetic pull across the entire bottom!  Fortunately, the stove (a Kitchenaid) was under warranty  . . .   

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I liked induction at my old house (actually 2 induction and 2 radiant burners for flexibility). Planning a remodel here, where I have natural gas, which is actually more expensive (don't get me started on the politics of energy). I think for induction, having lots of power levels is really important. The high-end brands here didn't have fine enough adjustment imo, although there was one cheaper one that looked ok. In the end I decided to stick with gas so I could have a wok burner, although it appears some induction burners pump out enough heat.

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On 1/23/2017 at 7:25 AM, weedy said:

I've been in some high end resto kitchens that had nothing BUT induction cooktops and immersion circulators. 

 

I read that there can be significant energy savings with induction because of the lower venting and cooling requirements. Seems like it would make for more pleasant working conditions, too.

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I have now been using my Kenmore five burner induction cooktop for about three years, one of my best decisions. I am a keen cook (I even finagled my way into a professional course at La Varenne's cooking school in Paris many years ago). I did quite a bit of research before installing the cooktop, including buying two individual induction burners to try it out. Burton makes cheap ones that work perfectly well. I bought the Kenmore when I realised that it was exactly the same as the Kitchenaid. Buying a separate five burner cooktop is the way to go because the increased area gives you much more freedom to move pans around, plus I use the surface for prep and serving. A double oven on the wall is much much more convenient than a range (providing that you can find one that works properly, do not buy any US made double oven, Whirlpool makes most of them under different names and their design, service and warranties are disgraceful). Do not worry about flatness of pans, the magnetic field that does the heating (through hysteresis) does NOT need a close contact (in contrast to electric burners). Speed of heating is faster than gas and cooling down much faster. Safety is also a consideration, you can put your hand down next to a boiling pot of water and simmering much easier.

 

Where woks are concerned: there are induction woks but they are prohibitively expensive. Many people swear by gas for Asian cooking but that is a mistake since you still don't get enough contact with the whole of the wok's surface to heat the pan to searing temperatures. After some research I found that an ELECTRIC wok is the solution. This may seem counter intuitive (since using a normal wok on top of an electric burner is a disaster) but the best electric woks have the heating element built into the wall of the hemispherical wok and temperatures can get up to 450 degrees. Breville make the best ones and on sale they are quite reasonably priced, I ended up buying two of them (and another one for my brother)

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2 hours ago, FauxPas said:

@weedy, how's your induction range holding up? ...

 

so far holding up just fine!

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8 hours ago, FauxPas said:

I assume yours is still going strong? 

No issues whatever.  Cannot imagine cooking on anything else.  

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On 10/9/2018 at 2:47 AM, Anna N said:

No issues whatever.  Cannot imagine cooking on anything else.  

 

Well, all-metal would be nice, as would be meaningful/accurate temperature settings and more granular power settings.  And maybe a control knob?

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3 hours ago, boilsover said:

 

Well, all-metal would be nice, as would be meaningful/accurate temperature settings and more granular power settings.  And maybe a control knob?

 Not even tempted.

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As much as I’ve tried (and I really have tried) I just can’t get along with induction. Every unit I’ve used from a cheap single burner plug-in unit to a very expensive cooktop, has had limitations I just can’t get past. 

 

The main aim things I hate are:

 

touch controls - awful. What is wrong with a dial that works EVERY SINGLE TIME? Kitchen touch controls are horrific and fail a good 20-30% of the time. 

 

Lack of controllability - maybe none of the units I’ve used have been good enough but they’ve always left me wanting for intermediate settings, I seldom get a temperature that’s just right. 

 

“Smart” functions - the obsession with removing control from the user offends my sensibility more than almost anything. If I want to heat a pan on maximum for ten minutes, just let me. If I lift a pan up, don’t assume that I’ve finished cooking and turn off. If I put a plate or a non ferrous pan next to where I’m cooking, don’t think that means I want everything shut down. Just let me choose - if I get it wrong I’ll live with it and learn. 

 

Aside from sleek lines lines and easy clean up they always feel so compromised compared to a decent gas burner. I’d never spec one in my own kitchen. Am genuinely puzzled why people love them so?

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25 minutes ago, &roid said:

 

 

Aside from sleek lines lines and easy clean up they always feel so compromised compared to a decent gas burner. I’d never spec one in my own kitchen. Am genuinely puzzled why people love them so?

 

Thanks, this is good to know.

 

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1 hour ago, &roid said:

As much as I’ve tried (and I really have tried) I just can’t get along with induction. Every unit I’ve used from a cheap single burner plug-in unit to a very expensive cooktop, has had limitations I just can’t get past. 


The main aim things I hate are... Am genuinely puzzled why people love them so?

 

Bravo!

 

Reasons why some love them (in my opinion's order of precedence):

 

1.  Convenience.  People like glass cooktops, but people tend to hate radiant glass tops.  They wipe (mostly) clean, and you can treat the glass like a countertop extension when you're not cooking.

 

2.  No real choice.  Many induction users would prefer gas, but don't have it available or not at a reasonable price to run lines.  Coil and radiant aren't serious contenders.  Likewise with venting--many people can't or won't put in a good hood for a high output gas range.

 

3.  Control.  What is really means is repeatability.  If you have 20 settings and you learn that 7 is right for X, you can set 7 every time.  Whereas with other modalities, you actually have to be more discerning.

 

4.  Aesthetic and Fashionable.  They tend to "disappear", and technophiles congratulate themselves on how "advanced" the modality is.  It's (and they're) so advanced, they don't mind fooling with touchpads and tubercular glowing digital displays.

 

5.  Cooler.  If you cook a lot indoors in hot climates, this is an advantage.  I say, "if you can't stand the heat..."

 

6.  Safety.  People think they and their little ones won't burn themselves.  This is not true, but they may not get burned as badly and you can't turn on a vacant hob accidentally.

 

7.  Energy Savings.  This isn't true, either, when you take into account the entire utility infrastructure(s).  Electricity savings over coil and radiant is real but tiny.  Cooktop energy consumption is an insignificant fraction of an average USA household's energy use. 


Edited by boilsover (log)
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1 minute ago, ElsieD said:

@boilsover  Re: your no. 5.  Do you live in a hot climate?

 

I've lived all over.  When it's really hot, I cook outside, regardless of the modality du jour.

 

I've heard people say that ##5 and 7 can be interrelated, i.e., that cooking with gas indoors in a hot climate under A/C increases the utility bill for cooling.  This sounds to me like a First World problem.

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I have a Kenmore Elite range at my house in Calgary, and two Polyscience Control Freaks (got the first one because I was living in a basement suite in BC, and the second one because I was impressed). Just recently procured the latter but I've been cooking on the Kenmore for the past 2 years and wouldn't go back (to electric in my case).

 

The speed for boiling water is a huge plus for me. I don't have much experience with gas, but my experience with electric is that it takes forever. Of course it's all relative, but I can get a pot of water boiling in minutes on my Kenmore where it could take 15+ minutes on an electric.

 

Responsiveness. If I want to bring down the heat, I just lower the setting and tada, it instantly changes.


Even heating (with proper cookware); mind you I was cooking on coil tops and not flat ceramic electric.

 

The Kenmore has knobs and I agree that touch controls don't really belong in the kitchen. I like the tactileness and feel of a knob. I also don't like controlling things with my phone (as I discovered with the Tasty One Top). 

 

I've come across cheap portable induction units that are only good for boiling water (too much of a temperature range between settings).... so it could just be that you haven't tried one you like? The Kenmore has 20 settings which I found to be enough until I came across the Control Freak (haha)


Edited by CanadianHomeChef (log)
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Canadian, agree completely that induction is a different world from electric - if that was my choice I’d pick induction every day. My gripes with it are tiny compred to the difficulty of trying to cook on electric coils. 

 

But (for me) gas is just so much better... 

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4 hours ago, weedy said:

I used to think that. 

What convinced you otherwise? 

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