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


teapot
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2 minutes ago, teapot said:

To those of you who have induction...any thoughts about the "freedom" type cooktop that Thermador makes?  Does having the entire surface be a cooktop seem like it would be worth the money.  I'm tempted because I have a wonderful old Griswald griddle that would be nice to use and I suspect having the entire pan in full contact with the cooking zone would be pretty awesome.

  

I could definitely see advantages if I was still cooking large meals for many people but after a lifetime of being accustomed to four discrete zones I bet it would be hard to get over the habit. I can just see me laughing at myself with four pots appropriately spaced on a "freedom" cooktop!  But I can certainly see the appeal of using a griddle that is evenly heated across its whole surface. As to whether I would be prepared to pay a premium for that I don't know. 

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

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6 minutes ago, Smithy said:

This sounds to me like a major selling point.  I like my smooth-top electric stove well enough, given the cost of plumbing our kitchen for propane, but keeping it clean is a pain.  What about power requirements for an induction stove vs. regular electric stove? Is there a significant difference?

 No different requirements at all assuming that your electric range was 220 V.   Although I have heard that some older homes require upgraded electrical systems but I'm not sure why.   Somebody will chime in here I am sure. I know I just unplugged my electric range and plugged in my induction range.

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

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I think 40 amp or better is usually recommended for induction. Some stoves or cooktops will specify. 

 

For example, an induction range at Sears says:

 

Minimum Circuit Rating:
40 amps

 

Edited by FauxPas (log)
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"----- What about power requirements for an induction stove vs. regular electric stove? Is there a significant difference? ---"

 

I am guessing here. Never done a power test comparison. 

 

Regular electric resistance heating element heats by direct conduction and radiation.   The heat that is not used by conduction become radiant heat. At least half of the radiant heat is lost to heat up your kitchen. The heating element is on 100% or 0%, nothing in between.

 

Induction cooktop is like a very badly designed electric transformer. Depending on the magnetic reluctance of the cookware, eddy current is generated as heat. As in transformer design, when there is no load placed on the output (secondary coil) a 1000 watt transformer draws almost no power. Therefore almost all the power used goes to the cookware.

 

dcarch

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3 hours ago, teapot said:

To those of you who have induction...any thoughts about the "freedom" type cooktop that Thermador makes?  Does having the entire surface be a cooktop seem like it would be worth the money.  I'm tempted because I have a wonderful old Griswald griddle that would be nice to use and I suspect having the entire pan in full contact with the cooking zone would be pretty awesome.

  

 

The idea is great.  However...  you are at the mercy of what's hidden under the glass.  The detector circuits on conventional induction hobs are already complex and idiosynchratic; the electronics or these so-called "zoneless" are even more complex.  Likewise, you need to understand how the unseen induction coils fit together, how large they are, etc.  People assume there are many of them and that they interlock, but this is not necessarily the case.  It is therefore less than reasonable to assume that, e.g., a fish poacher or large braiser will be evenly heated.  I would not consider zoneless without a high confidence that the model I want has been thoroughly debugged and has a good service record of 4-5 years,     

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On October 18, 2016 at 7:27 AM, chromedome said:

I've got the quintessential cheap-and-disposable single induction hob, a low-end Salton that goes up to 1800 watts. My father passed it along to me when he upgraded, and I've only just recently started to play with it. As it happens, my flat-bottomed wok was one of the first things I used with it. It heats very well, and in my case I mostly use it screaming-hot for stir fries so I don't need a lot of fine temperature control. So I'd say it's a "go," from that perspective. Bear in mind that a flat-bottomed wok can warp, like any other pan, and become less usable over time on the induction hob. 

 

My main issue is that I just plain hate working with a flat-bottomed wok. To me, it's not a wok at all but a goofy frying pan with a high sides. I've been looking for a "real" wok with a rounded bottom, but they're not easy to find in small-town Atlantic Canada. I have a small single-burner butane stove (this one), which can be used indoors as long as you've got even modest ventilation, and I plan to use that for work cookery once I find a replacement wok. 

 

In limited experimentation, I'm pretty pleased with the little induction hob. It brought 2 cups of water to a full rolling boil in 2 minutes and 20 seconds, while the same quantity of water in the same pot took 5 minutes and 30 seconds on my conventional electric range (ceramic cooktop). As always, YMMV.

Here is what you need. STOP rest supply in Sudbury has one reduced - I eye it every time I'm in there.

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LOL Yeah, I'll put that on my wish list right behind a Hobart. :P

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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On 10/19/2016 at 0:13 AM, palo said:

The Thermador Freedom has 48 3 inch coils which are side by side, you are limited to 4 pots.

 

p

 

 

I was quite intrigued by the freedom models until I saw the limit on number of pans. I understand why it can't be a huge number, but for the size of surface I always feel like I want at least 6 pans as a possibility. When I cook I often do more than one meal at a time, or components of another meal while working in the first, so I often run out of pan space on a standard 4 burner gas. Even if I was limited in how much power and a few had to be basically warming only, that would make a difference for me.

 

Oh well. Maybe there will be something appealing when we are ready to redo the kitchen.

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On 10/19/2016 at 0:13 AM, palo said:

The Thermador Freedom has 48 3 inch coils which are side by side, you are limited to 4 pots.

p

 

 

Again, I am guessing. There can be a technical reason why they have to limit to no more than 4 pots.

As I said, induction cooktop cooks using radio waves (low frequency). Each heating coil works as a radio antenna when it operates. There have been reports of induction cooking effecting TV or wifi receptions (RFI).

 

On a "Freedom induction cooktop" there are many heating coils. When they are operating, all at the same frequency, they can become similar to what's known as "Phased array" radio antennas, allowing them to transmit RFI farther distance.

 

dcarch

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I only have a Burton  $ 70  induction plate.

 

Ive been lucky , and have had a gas oven everywhere Ive lived.   I have a very fine collection of copper pots from France , bought in the min' 80s

 

in FR for next to nothing brand new    the exchange rate was very much in my favor.

 

I like the Burton so much , from time to time I stop at Yale Appliances near me.   they have ultra high end stuff.   some ' ranges ' cost 25 K +

 

this is the sort of stuff they have :

 

http://www.yaleappliance.com

 

Id trade in all those pots for an induction top'd slide in range  

 

but Id only shell out that king of money    6 K + if the oven was a Combi.

 

personally , starting from scratch today , and induction top of high quality is the way to go.

 

such a shame that Combi ovens available for the home are very small and way expensive.

 

PS :  before you get too far considering an induction top , even though this is the way to go these days ,

 

make sure you can see the one you might get  working .  

 

there are fans involved and , at least w the Burton , a magnetic ' hum ' that you might not get used to.

 

I have not bothered to ask the folks at Yale to demo for me both the induction top ranges   ( 4 zones ) and the

 

various continuous surface induction tops they have  in terms of sound generated , as they don't have a full

 

sized Combi oven   similar to PedroG's  electorlux  to go with it.

 

a must for me.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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light a match , or a candle  or a torch.

 

suprise.gif

 

when I was in college , a zillion years ago  this book was Hot ! :

 

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

 

 

https://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Pajares/Kuhn.html

 

In ended up in 3 - 4 classes !  what a time saver !

 

to save you the trouble of reading it   ( 3 + times )

 

Ill paraphrase and distill its message :

 

Scientific Revolutions occur be cause Scientists get Old and Die.

 

the Revolution of Cuisine Mason occurs because 

 

Le Cuisine de Maison marches on because Home Chef's/Cooks get Old and Die.

 

Q.E.D.

 

:P

 

tongue dans le Cheek.

 

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 Its a valid point @rotuts.  I have 7 fireplaces in my house and only use two and just on ceremonial occasions.  If I were building a house, I'd just have a couple FPs for aesthetic reasons. (but not gas...wood). A big steam boiler has made the FPs obsolete. I'm so modern that we don't use coal anymore to fire the thing. Tho we could.

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On 10/18/2016 at 4:26 PM, teapot said:

To those of you who have induction...any thoughts about the "freedom" type cooktop that Thermador makes?  Does having the entire surface be a cooktop seem like it would be worth the money.  I'm tempted because I have a wonderful old Griswald griddle that would be nice to use and I suspect having the entire pan in full contact with the cooking zone would be pretty awesome.

  

 

On 10/18/2016 at 8:09 PM, boilsover said:

 

The idea is great.  However...  you are at the mercy of what's hidden under the glass.  The detector circuits on conventional induction hobs are already complex and idiosynchratic; the electronics or these so-called "zoneless" are even more complex.  Likewise, you need to understand how the unseen induction coils fit together, how large they are, etc.  People assume there are many of them and that they interlock, but this is not necessarily the case.  It is therefore less than reasonable to assume that, e.g., a fish poacher or large braiser will be evenly heated.  I would not consider zoneless without a high confidence that the model I want has been thoroughly debugged and has a good service record of 4-5 years,     

 

I have a Bosch induction cook top and am happy with everything but the inability to put my roaster on the cook top for gravy-making or have 2 large pots going at once. Previously I had a Kenmore (made by Electrolux) that worked fine for about 2 years then required a major repair then died 3 years later. When I was shopping for the Kenmore replacement I was intrigued by the zoneless models but would have had to replace a Corian counter top because the existing hole was too small. Multiple contractors said they would not cut the existing Corian. The cost of a new counter plus the cost of the zoneless models was just too much. I now regret that decision (after all, it would have been cheaper than a year of owning racehorses, my husband's hobby). If I get another chance at a redo I will go zoneless, taking boilsover's advice into consideration.

Edited by cyalexa (log)
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1 hour ago, cyalexa said:

I have a Bosch induction cook top and am happy with everything but the inability to put my roaster on the cook top for gravy-making or have 2 large pots going at once.

 

That would be a problem but I think the new Bosch Benchmark series has a bridge between burners that would allow you to put a roaster pan or griddle across both burners. I don't know about the two large pots going at once. Will have to explore.

 

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re: induction Wok-king

 

on one of the early seasons of Simply Ming   Ming Tsai had an induction unit specifically for a wok on his counter top.  built in.

 

he demo'd  two wok dishes.   that steel wok got blazingly hot.  Wok On !

 

I eventually tracked that unit down :   10 K +   nice to have a sponsor that supplied it Id say.

 

this was only on one show,   bet it migrated to SomeOne's  Home Kitchen 

 

suprise.gif

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On 10/20/2016 at 9:23 AM, teapot said:

That would be a problem but I think the new Bosch Benchmark series has a bridge between burners that would allow you to put a roaster pan or griddle across both burners. I don't know about the two large pots going at once. Will have to explore.

 

When I recently purchased a new range, I ruled out induction because of the limitations. The big 3 for me are 1 - cannot bridge 2 burners with a single pan, 2 - you cannot run all burner on high, 3 - limitation on pan material.

 

instead I opted for a dual fuel range with an over the range convection microwave (small kitchen). This configuration has worked very well and I get to use my spring steel wok.

Edited by MArkF (log)
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When I moved from downtown DC to the Maryland countryside fifteen years ago I had to given up gas. I looked into propane (I wanted a La Cornue range) but settled for electric. A disaster. However, after using induction cooktops in Europe (they have been popular for decades there) I became a convert and have used a five burner induction cooktop for the past ten years (supplemented by two more individual hobs). You CAN bridge two elements to use a large pan (I have a couple of large le Creuset dutch ovens that I use that way). You don't miss exact control (with eighteen levels I don't really think that you can get more exact control with gas). You reduce the risk of injury dramatically  and have much more work space because you can use the rest of the cooktop while you are using some of the burners (since it doesn't heat up). Cleanup is MUCH MUCH easier because even the "burners" don't get really hot; cleaning an electrical or gas top is a real pain. You may not even need a hood because there simply induction works directly on the pans. There is absolutely no shortage of induction capable pans; I can't use my Dehillerin copper pans that I got while I was doing a course at La Varenne thirty years ago but they are too nice and too difficult to clean to use anyway. Oh, and all new cruise ships use induction, to avoid air quality problems in confined spaces and for safety reasons. Moreover, the claim that it takes fourteen years for a commercial kitchen to pay for induction versus gas cooking is wrong; the major advantage is not any lower energy cost but the need for massive air circulation capability with gas because of carbon monoxide dangers and heat. The additional costs for gas amount to a minimum of tens of thousands of dollars up front.

 

Where wok cooking is concerned, normal gas tops have no real advantage over induction; you only heat the bottom of the wok in both cases. Some Chinese restaurants use a "supercharged" gas burner with a foot control that brings the gas flame up around the wok, great if you can afford one but even most Chinese restaurants can't. There ARE specialised induction woks with a recessed top that provide an induction field around the sides of the wok but they cost at least $2000. However, for around $100 you can get an electrical wok that has an element around the wok part and that gets up to around 500 degrees (fahrenheit) ample for home cooks.

 

As for "anywhere" induction I would suggest that a five burner top is preferable to a four burner "anywhere" one and I suspect that the added complexity of such a top may cost one dearly in the future

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Bought a Kenmore induction cooktop back in July. Previous to this, it was an electric. I have some experience on gas in a house I rent a few years back.

 

I love induction. I can boil soup in less than a minute. Temperature control is amazing, and the response time is immediate. I can be boiling water on high, then I turn the burner down to low, and the water instantly stops boiling.

 

The Kenmore only has about 20 settings (.5 increments) but I find that's more than enough. On the very lowest setting I can temper chocolate.

 

I think, if I had the money, I'd get a really nice gas stove... but induction seems to be almost as good at the fraction of the price.

 

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11 hours ago, IANSTUART said:

I can't use my Dehillerin copper pans that I got while I was doing a course at La Varenne thirty years ago but they are too nice and too difficult to clean to use anyway.

Love those Dehillerin copper pans and it's a pity you can't use them. I've seen induction pan converters advertised...would those work for you? 

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about induction -- it will help shape my questions when I go to test drive various options next week.  A question regarding the wok. Do you think it would be possible to use a round bottom wok on the cooktop if it was surrounded by towel roll or something to hold it in place? And if so, could you use a power boost to create the kind of heat you'd want? 

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5 minutes ago, teapot said:

Do you think it would be possible to use a round bottom wok on the cooktop if it was surrounded by towel roll or something to hold it in place?

 

Hi teapot,

 

Thanks for starting this very interesting discussion.

 

I'm no scientist, but the answer to your question I quoted is absolutely not. If a warped flat bottomed pan is a problem, don't you think the tiny contact area of a round wok would? I know your question was born of wishful/magical thinking, but it sure would be nice, wouldn't it? :)

 

I love a round wok too, but I have learned to work around it with a conventional electric stove and a very heavy KitchenAid stainless tri-ply bottom skillet that is oversized with high rounded sides. I bought it when I was younger, and the weight is beginning to be a challenge, but I still pull it out for stir fries. I also love the ideas that have been brought up about the portable wok burners that are available in my Pan Asian market. There are so many good ideas here, including the super output outdoor propane wok burners. When there is a will to cook, one will find a way.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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On 10/20/2016 at 7:49 AM, gfweb said:

The lack of fire is an aesthetic problem for me.

 

I like the lack of fire (and gas) because of the reduced risk. But I am biased because the house i grew up in blew up and burned down in pretty spectacular fashion due to a natural gas explosion. I am so grateful that no one was home that morning. And that we lived on an acreage and no neighbouring homes were immediately threatened by the explosion and fire. There was no blame, no lack of maintenance or anything like that - just a risk associated with natural gas. 

 

I also worry about an open flame in the home with kids or animals or just forgetful people (like me). Induction gives me a bit less to worry about and I love so many features. I'm not so paranoid that I have never lived with natural gas again, but I have to say that I would never choose to live with it for long. It's not just what you do as a homeowner, or even a restaurant owner, it's also the quality of the lines providing the gas or the aging infrastructure in some areas.  

 

Edited to add: or the risk of contractors randomly chopping the lines - which shouldn't happen, but still seems to occur with depressing regularity. 

Edited by FauxPas (log)
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