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weinoo

A Small NYC Kitchen Reno 2017

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I've started a few topics about various renovation related subjects (here and here), but figured I'd put the overall project in its own. Pix often tell the story even better...

 

It helps to have these. Well, you need to have these if you expect to get anything done in your coop.

 

37727460616_bdedf45694.jpg

 

Then stuff can start...

 

37727466356_ef9569f2dd.jpg%E2%80%8B%E2%8

 

37727468796_6bb6252c89.jpg

 

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And then start getting rebuilt.

 

37517894510_a9210e4e58.jpg

 

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A little better electrical system.

 

37776005941_03c52b1bf7.jpg

 

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New pipes have to be done in the walls.

 

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This Started on September 8th. They've had approximately 25 days on which work was done.

 

Proceeding along nicely, I'd say.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I admire your courage! It is an undertaking that I will take on, but one that I have put off repeatedly. Best of luck and and speedy recovery!

HC

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9 minutes ago, HungryChris said:

I admire your courage! It is an undertaking that I will take on, but one that I have put off repeatedly. Best of luck and and speedy recovery!

HC

 

In our house it goes "omg I hate thus whatever." *brief period researching replacements* *realize how much cost/fuss/mess it would be* *put brochures/info nicely filed on the bookshelf for an undetermined 'later'* Repeat every time some element gets crazy making. Our cabinets are ~1950ish wood with oddly used space and stupidly shallow drawers.

 

Occasionally a burst of frustration coincides with a sale, which is how we ended up with a Bosch dishwasher (home show sale older model, still loads better than what we had) and a Miele fridge (also home show, floor demo model timed nicely with a work bonus.) So we have a not-very-modern kitchen with higher end appliances. They are less annoying though. We lose WAY less food to the leftover gods now than with the side-by-side monstrosity it replaced. (Side by side is downstairs being overflow freezer and keeping drinks cold until it dies.)

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@weinoo 

 

thanks for letting us fallow along.

 

didn't you have a fairly new stove not so long ago ?

 

a keeper ?

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13 hours ago, gfweb said:

Copper pipes are code? No PVC?

 

Yes - everything is being done to code; plumbing has passed inspection. This might interest you:

 

 

Quote

 

Today, the cast iron piping is gone and, according to Bob Bellini, president of Varsity Plumbing & Heating Inc. in (where else?) Flushing, water distribution systems are now made predominantly of copper. “Copper piping is faster, easier and lasts longer,” he says.

 

Plastic piping has also become more popular over the last few years, mostly because of its affordability factor, but Bellini says you won’t find any being used in New York City plumbing systems. “It all comes down to city building code, and the New York City code doesn’t allow for that,” he says. “Plastic piping also won’t withstand the high water pressure of a taller building and, should it burn, gives off noxious fumes that will spread.”

 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, rotuts said:

@weinoo 

 

thanks for letting us fallow along.

 

didn't you have a fairly new stove not so long ago ?

 

a keeper ?

 

Our stove, our refrigerator and our dishwasher were all purchased about 12 years ago. I was actually able to sell the stove, dishwasher, old IKEA cabinets and countertop to someone who had recently moved into the buildings, and just wanted an upgrade from the original stuff the apartment they bought came with.

 

This saved my contractor from having to remove all that stuff...the only thing left was the fridge and sink, and the cabinets that were original to the apartment. So before they even started, it looked like this:

 

37105877833_9a3b787e3f.jpg

 

We're also doing our (tiny) bathroom at the same time. We're putting in a walk-in shower, with a bench, in lieu of a bathtub. It will have a drop ceiling in the shower, for extra lighting.

 

24145645758_29fc2cb2e4.jpg

 

 


Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Thanks @weinoo . I'm not sure I buy that link that says that only copper can withstand the pressure in a tall building...but maybe so.

 

No kitchen and no bathroom...where do you go?

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1 minute ago, gfweb said:

Thanks @weinoo . I'm not sure I buy that link that says that only copper can withstand the pressure in a tall building...but maybe so.

 

No kitchen and no bathroom...where do you go?

My guess is it's mostly about fire protection, but I'd also venture a guess that there's a lot of pressure in some of those pipes, especially in some of the very tall buildings.

 

We are in a different apartment that we are subletting for the duration of the project.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:
15 hours ago, gfweb said:

Copper pipes are code? No PVC?

 

Yes - everything is being done to code; plumbing has passed inspection. This might interest you:

 

 

Code or not Code. It may be a good idea to insulate both the hot water and cold water copper pipes.

Hot water pipes insulated will give you hot water quicked.

Cold water pipes insulated prevents sweating on a humid day.

 

dcarch

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

but I'd also venture a guess that there's a lot of pressure in some of those pipes, especially in some of the very tall buildings.

 

Water pipes have to take a lot of static pressure and dynamic pressure. 

The bottom floor at the World trade Center will need to withstand almost 800 PSI of pressure.

 

dcarch

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The plumbing in my home was done with copper pipe and I've had nothing but trouble with it

The hot water runs develop pin holes and I’ve had at least five leaks.  I'm currently waiting for my drywall guy to come and fix this last repair.  The original owner had some of the pipe torn out and replaced with flex but The harder-to-get-to pipe remains.

this is not to say there's anything wrong with copper pipe, I believe that this job was done with poor quality or defective pipe.

In my case, I almost need to keep my plumber on retainer.

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2 hours ago, lindag said:

The plumbing in my home was done with copper pipe and I've had nothing but trouble with it

The hot water runs develop pin holes and I’ve had at least five leaks.  I'm currently waiting for my drywall guy to come and fix this last repair.  The original owner had some of the pipe torn out and replaced with flex but The harder-to-get-to pipe remains.

this is not to say there's anything wrong with copper pipe, I believe that this job was done with poor quality or defective pipe.

In my case, I almost need to keep my plumber on retainer.

 

Copper can have trouble with leaching out metal and weakening over time. IIRC acidic water makes this worse. 


Edited by gfweb (log)
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A couple of things to point out, vis-a-vis the plumbing, etc. Both the architect/design team (who live in our building) and the contractor we are using, have experience doing many apartments, for many years, in our buildings (remember, there are 4 buildings in our cooperative, with close to 1,700 apartments). In addition to NYC building codes, which must be adhered to, they're very familiar with what goes on inside the walls. Any time the wet wall is taken down (as shown above), plumbing has to be replaced before the walls are rebuilt.

 

Regarding hot water, the riser is insulated. There is no wait for hot water (unless, as happens occasionally, the boiler is on the fritz, though we have 2 boilers for the 4 buildings, and one is sufficient to service all 4), and we're on the 15th floor.  Boilers were replaced a few years ago - cost us almost $5mm I believe.

 

Our contractor was one of 3 who bid on the project. I've seen work done by all 3 of the bidders, and like the work done by the one we chose most of all. He also included everything we discussed within the scope of the contract, whereas the other 2 conveniently forget a few things, so their bids were considerably lower. They recently completed (just 2 floors below us!) a gorgeous break-through, combining 2 2-bedroom apartments into a lovely, wide open 4-bedroom space, with expansive views.

 

I'm actually coming in pretty close to budget; well, not the original budget, but once I learned what all the permits/inspections/coop fees/architect fees/expeditor fees and contractor would cost, the rebudgeted budget is pretty close.  Where I was under-budgeted was for lighting - all the new stuff will be LED, dimmable, etc. etc., and it's expensive!  Where I over budgeted was actually for cabinets; we're getting what I would call semi-custom cabinets, as I can only have 21" deep cabinets on one side (yes, due to code, grrrr); we're getting the "boxes" from a company called CabParts, in Colorado, constructed of maple. The fronts of the cabinets, the drawers, and any filler pieces will all be custom made, measured after the boxes are installed, and supplied by our contractor, as part of his fees. 

 

My big disappointment is that even though our building allows us to vent to the outside (via a window, not through any walls), it became apparent once the walls were down, that this was going to be an engineering nightmare. With a short run from our range to the window (we were going to vent out the top of the window in the bathroom), the ductwork would have required 4 90° turns, a big soffit intruding into the shower space, and other aggravating things. After which, even if installed perfectly, I figured wasn't actually going to work all that well from the reams of stuff I read about range hoods and ducting. So, we're going to have a recirculating hood that will look cool, but probably not be too effective. But it will be better than what I've had for years - nothing - and I imagine if the filters are well maintained, will reduce odor and other particulates to a certain extent.

 

Our sublet is literally one floor up from our apartment, which allows me to check the work on a daily basis. Contractors are only allowed to work between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM, with noisy work (i.e. demo) only allowed between 10 AM and 3 PM; they can't work on weekends; they can't work on federal holidays; they can't work on Jewish or other major religious holidays. So the work, which started on September 8th, or 7 weeks ago, has seen actual work a total of 29 days. My goal had always been to be completely finished before the end of the year; contractor and architects say 3 months, which would be the beginning of December. 

 

Here's my setup in the sublet:

 

37727461836_0a6dd97c28.jpg

 

I also have my new Instant Pot!


Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Rocky :  good

 

CSB : good

 

 iPot : good

 

Take-Out  : OK

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14 hours ago, HungryChris said:

I admire your courage! It is an undertaking that I will take on, but one that I have put off repeatedly. Best of luck and and speedy recovery!

HC

HC - there was (ok, were) a final straw a few months ago. That was a leak from above, which was first noticed along the tiles in our bathroom, just above the floor. I noticed the grout stating to change color. So this involved the coop coming in, demolishing part of the wet wall, and replacing one of the waste pipes from the apartment above - they have to get to it through our walls and ceiling, if necessary. The cosmetic part of the "repair" job was not exactly the highest quality. Our tub is close to 60 years old, and I figured as I move into middle age, a step in shower might be a better fit. Our kitchen floor had been coming up for years - crappy peel and sick tiles were no match for my kitchen. I could go on - but it was indeed time. 

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Here's an earlier version of the drawing for the side where the appliances are going (an interesting triangle, if ever there was one).

 

37989976752_c4cff338c5.jpg.b7ab7f953cf4efd4438237f4c99ec264.jpg

 

Now, there's no range hood duct run, and there will be no hanging pots or pans - that side will be a shelf as well. To the left of the range are a 15" cabinet and a 24" wine fridge; the countertop above is going to be butcher block.

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

the ductwork would have required 4 90° turns, a big soffit intruding into the shower space, and other aggravating things. After which, even if installed perfectly, I figured wasn't actually going to work all that well from the reams of stuff I read about range hoods and ducting.

 

Have you, your architect/contractor looked into inline exhaust fans? 

I have a superstition  against recirculating kitchen exhaust fans.

 

dcarch

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4 hours ago, dcarch said:

 

Water pipes have to take a lot of static pressure and dynamic pressure. 

The bottom floor at the World trade Center will need to withstand almost 800 PSI of pressure.

 

dcarch

Not really, in all high-rise buildings they have booster pumps at various elevations to increase the water pressure for the higher floors. They also have check valves in the system to prevent the water in upper floors from creating excessive pressure in the lower ones. The only exception is the fire systems which have all their pumps etc. at lower elevations mainly because of the size and in the extreme case of a major fire large city fire departments, FDNY for example have high-pressure pumpers that they can use to pump additional water into the building fire protection systems.

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I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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9 minutes ago, MSRadell said:

They also have check valves in the system to prevent the water in upper floors from creating excessive pressure in the lower ones.

 

There are many methods to pressure zone a highrise plumbing system. 

A check valve cannot regulate water pressure. It cuts off water 100%. A pressure regulating valve is what typically used.

 

dcarch

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13 minutes ago, dcarch said:

 

Have you, your architect/contractor looked into inline exhaust fans? 

I have a superstition  against recirculating kitchen exhaust fans.

 

dcarch

 

Superstitions aside, where does the exhaust air go?


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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1 minute ago, dcarch said:

 

There are many methods to pressure zone a highrise plumbing system. 

A check valve cannot regulate water pressure. It cuts off water 100%. A pressure regulating valve is what typically used.

 

dcarch

That's True, that's why they are put in the system to keep water pressure on upper floors from creating additional static pressure on lower floors!


I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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4 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

Superstitions aside, where does the exhaust air go?

 

The exhaust air goes outside. Inline fan, using turbine blades design, can overcome duct resistance. You will notice recently, many leaf blowers are using turbine inline fan to move air.

An inline fan can be anywhere in the duct system, giving you some flexibility in locating the fan.

 

dcarch

 

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7 minutes ago, MSRadell said:

That's True, that's why they are put in the system to keep water pressure on upper floors from creating additional static pressure on lower floors!

 

But a check valve cuts off water at any pressure.

 

dcarch

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3 minutes ago, dcarch said:

 

The exhaust air goes outside. Inline fan, using turbine blades design, can overcome duct resistance. You will notice recently, many leaf blowers are using turbine inline fan to move air.

An inline fan can be anywhere in the duct system, giving you some flexibility in locating the fan.

 

dcarch

 

That's what I mean - the air still has to go outside, via my bathroom window, and in order to get there has to make 4 90° turns in order to do that. Coop allows 2 90° in ductwork (well, perhaps u can get away with 3).  

 

In our case, it was undoable without some hideous, ineffective modifications to the interior of our apartment.  I've seen one or two apartments where people have run right out to their kitchen window, via a large soffit, taking away part of their view, their light, and their interior space; that wasn't worth it to me.

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7 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Coop allows 2 90° in ductwork (well, perhaps u can get away with 3).  

 

90° bends are always a problem for regular fans to overcome back pressure. A centrifugal blower can work much better. But they don't make residential kitchen  exhaust fans using centrifugal blowers.  BTW, exhaust fans using more than one fan is not any better. Because the fans work against each other, not with each other.

 

dcarch

 

 

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    • By boilsover
      I. Introduction
       
      This article reviews the 3500W all-metal commercial induction single-hob hotplate by Panasonic, which I believe is the first “all-metal” unit to hit the U.S. market. Where appropriate, it is also compared with another commercial single-hob, the 1800W Vollrath Mirage Pro Model 59500P.
       
      Some background is in order. Heretofore, induction appliances would only “work” with cookware which is ferromagnetic. Bare and enameled cast iron, carbon steel, enameled steel and some stainless steels were semi-dependable for choices, and the cookware industry has worked hard to make most of its lines induction compatible. But alas, not all cookware, past and present, has worked; copper and aluminum don’t, at least without a separate interface disk or it’s own ferromagnetic base layer.
       
      The reason why non-ferromagnetic cookware hasn’t worked on induction is technical, but it relates to the magnetic field and what’s called the “skin depth” of the pan’s outermost material. With copper or aluminum, the field will not excite the metals’ molecules to the extent that their friction will generate useful heat to cook food. And the way the appliances come equipped, unless the appliance detects something sufficiently large and ferromagnetic, they will not produce any field at all. Therefore, to the consternation of many cooks, pro and amateur, older (and in the opinion of some, better) cookware needs to be retired and replaced if/when they wish to switch to an induction appliance. Some cooks don’t mind, but others who, like me, have invested heavily in copper and are habituated to it and aluminum, would forego induction altogether rather than discard our cookware.
       
      But what we’ve really meant—all along--when we say or write that only ferromagnetic cookware will “work” on induction is that the frequency chosen for our appliances (20-24kHz) will not usefully excite other metals. If that frequency is increased to, say, 90-110kHz , then suddenly the impossible happens: aluminum and copper, with absolutely no ferromagnetic content, will heat in a way that is eminently useful in the kitchen.
      While Panasonic has made dual-frequency induction hotplates available in Japan for several years now, they didn’t make it available here until recently (My unit indicates it was manufactured in early 2016!). I speculate the reason for the delay relates to the detection circuitry and the switches that determine the frequency at which the field will operate.

      The introduction of all-metal induction in USA is especially interesting because it allows a direct comparison of cookware of all (metal) types. For instance, cookware nerds have long debated how copper cookware on a gas compares with disk-based stainless on induction. While the veil has not completely lifted (for that we would need extremely precise gas energy metering), we now have the ability to measure and compare copper, aluminum, clad and disk-based on the same induction hob.
       
      II. Dimensions, Weight & Clearances
       
      The Panasonic, being a true commercial appliance, is considerably larger than most consumer and crossover hotplates. It stands 6 inches tall overall, and on relatively tall (1.25”) feet, so that there is space for ample air circulation under the unit. It is 20.25 inches deep overall, including a standoff ventilation panel in back, and the angled control panel in front. It is 15” wide, and weighs in at a hefty 30.25 pounds. Suffice it to say, the Panasonic is not practically portable.

      The KY-MK3500’s Ceran pan surface is 14.25 inches wide by 14.5 inches deep, almost 43% larger in area than the VMP’s glass. Panasonic tells me they have no recommended maximum pan diameter or weight, but the tape tells me that a 15” diameter pan would not overhang the unit’s top (Compare the VMP, which can accept a maximum pan base of 10 7/8”). Common sense tells me that—unless the glass is well-braced underneath in many places, 25-30 pounds of total weight might be pushing it.
       
      For those who might consider outfitting their home kitchens with one or more of these units, in addition to having 20 amp 240v (NEMA #6-20R receptacles) electrical circuits for each appliance, 39 1/2 inches of overhead clearance is required to combustible material (31 ½” to incombustibles) and 2 inches to the back and sides (0” to incombustibles). The overhead clearance requirement and the tall 6” unit height call for no (or only very high) cabinetry and careful design of a “well” or lower countertop/table that will lower the Ceran surface to a comfortable cooking height. In other words, a tall pot on this unit on a regular-height counter might be a problem for a lot of cooks.
      III. Features

      A. Display
       
      The KY-Mk3500 has an angled 8-key spillproof keypad and red LED numerical display. The keys are large, raised and their markings are legible. All but the four Up/Down keys have their own inset indicator lights, which indicate power, mode and memory operation.
       
      The numerical display is large and bright. The numerical display area is divided between time (XX:XX) to the user’s left and power/temp to the user’s right. If the timer or program features are activated, the numerical display shows both the set time and the power/temperature. There is also a small “Hot Surface” LED icon on the panel.
      The Panasonic also actually uses the Ceran surface as a display of sorts. That is, there is a lighted circle just outside the faint positioning circle, which glows red whenever the unit is operating, awaiting a pan, or the Ceran is hot. Panasonic also claims that this display also changes brightness with the set power level, implying that the operator can judge the heat setting by a glance. Thus this display serves three purposes: (a) pan positioning; (b) burn safety; and (c) intensity.

      B. Safety Features
       
      As one would expect, there are a variety of safety features built into this appliance. In most cases, these features are controlled by detection circuits, some fixed, some defeatable/variable. This being a commercial unit, Panasonic has set the unit’s defaults with commercial users’ convenience in mind. If consumers want the full spectrum of safety settings, they need to vary these defaults. For instance, if a home cook wants to make sure the unit powers off if the pan is removed and not replaced within 3 minutes, they have to manually vary a default. Likewise if the operator wants the power to automatically shut off after 2 hours of no changes. But others, like the basic “Is there a pan there?” detection and overheat shutoff, are there no matter what and cannot be defeated.
      C. Settings & Programming

      The KY-MK3500 features both power and temperature settings. For “regular” induction, there are 20 power settings, which range from 50 watts to 3500 watts. For non-ferromagnetic pans, there are 18 power settings, which range from 60 watts to 2400 watts. The display shows these settings in numerals 1-20 and 1-18 respectively. When the power is toggled on, the unit defaults to Setting 14 in both frequencies.

      The temperature settings are the same in both modes, with 22 selectable temperatures from 285F (140C) to 500F (260C). Other than for the very lowest temperature setting, each setting increase results in a 10F temperature increase. Usefully, the display shows the set temperature, not 1-22; and until the set temperature is reached, the display indicates “Preheat”. The unit beeps when it reaches the set temperature. The Panasonic measures pan temperature using an IR sensor beneath the glass; this sensor sits about 1 inch outside the centerpoint of the painted positioning markings, yet inside of the induction coil.

      The timer operation is fast and intuitive. Once the power or temperature is set and operating, the operator merely keys the timer’s dedicated up/down buttons, and the timer display area activates. Timer settings are in any 30-second interval between 30 seconds and 9 ½ hours, and the display will show remaining time. The beeps at the end of cooking are loud.
       
      There are nine available memory programs, which can be set for either power or temperature, along with time. Programming entails pressing and holding the Program mode button, selecting the program (1-9), then picking and setting the power or temperature, then setting the timer, and finally pressing and holding the Program button again. After that, to use any of the entered programs, you simply press the Program button, select which program, and the unit will run that program within 3 seconds.
       
      In addition to Heat-Time programmability, the KY-MK3500 also provides the ability to vary 9 of the unit’s default settings: (1) Decreasing the power level granularity from 20 to 10; (2) Changing the temperature display to Celsius; (3) Enabling a long cook time shutoff safety feature; (4) Enabling the main power auto shutoff feature; (5) Disabling the glowing circle; (6) Lowering or disabling the auditory beep signals’ volume; (7) Customizing the timer finish beep; (8) Customizing the Preheat notification beep; and (9) Customizing the interval for filter cleanings.
       
      D. Maintenance
       
      The KY-MK3500 has a plastic air intake filter which can be removed and cleaned. This is not dishwashable. This filter is merely a plastic grate with ¼” square holes, so it is questionable what exactly —besides greasy dust bunnies—will be filtered. Panasonic recommends the filter be cleaned once a week. Besides that, the Ceran surface and stainless housing clean just like other appliances.
       
      IV. Acceptable Cookware
       
      Panasonic claims the unit will accept cast iron, enameled iron, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum with two provisos. First, very thin aluminum and copper may “move” on the appliance. And second, thin aluminum pans may “deform”. Panasonic does not address carbon steel pans, but I verified that they do indeed work. They also warn of the obvious fact that glass and ceramics will not work.
       
      Buyers are also warned against using cookware of specific cookware bottom shapes: round, footed, thin, and domed. Trying to use these, Panasonic warns, may disable safety features and reduce or eliminate pan heating.
       
      As far as minimum pan diameter goes, Panasonic claims the KY-MK3500 needs 5” diameter in ferromagnetic pans, and 6” in copper or aluminum ones. My own tests have shown that in fact the unit will function with a cast iron fondue pot, the base of which is only 4 1/8” in diameter, and also works with a copper saucepan, the base of which is almost exactly 5” in diameter. Obviously, the field will be most active at the very edges of such small pans, but they do function.
       
      V. Evaluation in Use

      I can say that not only does the Panasonic KY-MK3500 “work” with copper and aluminum pans, but that it works very well with them. Thermally, thick gauge conductive material pans perform in close emulation of the same pans on gas, even though there are no combustion gasses flowing up and around the pan. I found this startling.
       
      Nevertheless, a searching comparison between copper and ferromagnetic pans on this unit isn’t as straightforward as one might expect. The Panasonic is capable of dumping a full 3500 watts into ferromagnetic pans, but is limited to 2400 watts for aluminum and copper. Despite copper’s and aluminum’s superiorities in conductivity, that extra 1100 watts is going to win every speed-boil race.
       
      I initially thought I could handicap such a race simply by using the temperature setting and comparing the times required to achieve a “preheat” in a pans of cold water. Alas, no—the Panasonic’s IR function signified the copper pan was preheated to 350F before the water even reached 70F! Obviously, the entire thermal system of cold food in a cold pan needs to come to equilibrium before the Panasonic’s temperature readout becomes meaningful.

      A. Temperature Settings
       
      Unfortunately, with every pan I tried, the temperature settings were wildly inaccurate for measuring the temperature of the food. I heated 2 liters of peanut oil in a variety of pots, disk-base, enameled cast iron enameled steel, and copper. I thought it might be useful to see how close to 350F and 375F the settings were for deep frying. The oil in a Le Creuset 5.5Q Dutch oven set to 350F never made it past 285F, and it took 40:00 to get there. I kept bumping up the setting until I found that the setting for 420F will hold the oil at 346F. A disk-based pot didn’t hit 365F until the temperature setting was boosted to 400F. The only pan which came remotely close to being true to the settings was a 2mm silvered copper oven, which heated its oil to 327F when the Panasonic was set for 350F, and 380F when set for 410F.
       
      The temperature function was a lot closer to true when simply preheating an empty pan. With a setting of 350F, all the shiny stainless pans heated to just a few degrees higher (about 353-357F) and held there. This is useful for judging the Leidenfrost Point (which is the heat at which you can oil your SS and have it cook relatively nonstick) and potentially for “seasoning” carbon steel, SS and aluminum, but not much else, since it doesn’t translate to actual food temperature. There’s also the issue of the temperature settings *starting* at 285F, so holding a lower temperature for, e.g., tempering chocolate or a sous vide bath, or even a simmer would be by-guess-by-golly just like any other hob—your only resort is lots of experience with lower *power* settings.
       
      With heat-tarnished copper, a 350F setting resulted in a wide swinging between 353F and 365F, which I attribute to the copper shedding heat far faster than the other constructions, once the circuit stops the power at temperature. Then, when the circuit cycles the power back on, the copper is so responsive that it quickly overshoots the setting. Aluminum, on the other hand, *undershot*, the 350F setting, registering a cycle of 332-340F.

      I conclude that the IR sensor is set for some particular emissivity, probably for that of stainless steel. If true, the Panasonic, even though it automatically switches frequencies, does not compensate for the different emissivities of copper and aluminum. And even if Panasonic added dedicated aluminum and copper IR sensors, there is enough difference between dirty and polished that the added cost would be wasted. Bottom line here: the temperature setting mode is of extremely low utility, and should not be trusted.
       
      B. Power Mode – Pan Material Comparisons
       
      Given the differences in power setting granularity and maximum power between the two frequencies, it is difficult to assess what X watts into the pot means in, say, a copper-versus-clad or –disk showdown. What is clear, however, is that Setting X under disk and clad seems “hotter” than the same setting under copper and aluminum.

      I will need to precisely calibrate the Panasonic for wattage anyway for the hyperconductivity project, so I will obtain a higher-powered watt meter to determine the wattage of every power setting for both frequencies. Until then, however, the only way I can fairly handicap a race is to apply a reduction figure to the ferromagnetic setting (2400W being 69% of 3500W). Given that we know the wattage at the maximum settings, we can infer that Setting 14 (actually 13.8) on the 20-step ferromagnetic range iis approximately the same heat output as the maximum setting (18) for copper/aluminum.

      The boil times for 4 liters of 50F water in 10” diameter pots shocked me. The 10” x 3mm tinned copper pot’s water reached 211F in 36:41. Not an especially fast time at 2400 watts. The 10” disk-based pressure cooker bottom? Well, it didn’t make it—it took an hour to get to 208F and then hung there. So that left me wondering if the Panasonic engineers simply decided that 2400 watts was enough for copper and aluminum. I have a theory why the copper pot boiled and the SS one didn’t under the same power, but getting into that’s for another time.

      C. Evenness Comparisons
       
      The wires which generate the induction field are wound in a circular pattern; when energized, they create a torus-shaped magnetic field. The wound coil is constructed with an empty hole at its center. As matters of physics, the magnetic field’s intensity drops off extremely fast as a function of the distance from the coil; a few millimeters above the Ceran, the field is so weak no meaningful heat will be generated. This means that most induction cooktops heat *only* the very bottom of pans, and in a distinct 2-dimensional “doughnut” shape.

      All of the above can result in a pan having a cooler central spot, a hotter ring directly over the coil, and a cooler periphery outside the coil. It is left to the cookware to try to even out these thermal discontinuities when cooking. Some materials and pan constructions are better at this than others: the successful constructions utilize more highly-conductive metals such as aluminum and copper, but unless the material is very thick, there can be a ring-shaped hotspot that can scorch food.
      Until the Panasonic arrived to market, hotspot comparisons between ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper pans depended largely on comparing induction’s flat, more discrete heat ring with gas’s more diffuse, 3-dimensional one. Dodgeball-style debate ensued, with few clear conclusions. But now, for the first time, equally-powered flat heat rings in two different frequencies allow us to directly compare evenness in ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper cookware.

      The simplest and easiest way to assess cookware evenness is the “scorchprint”, which does not require infrared or other advanced thermal imaging equipment. I’ve posted on how to conduct scorchprinting elsewhere, but basically a pan is evenly dusted with flour; heat is applied to the pan bottom. As the flour is toasted, any hotspots visually emerge, giving the viewer a useful general idea of evenness.
       
      I will later post the photos of scorchprints I made of 4 different pans run using the Panasonic KY-MK3500: (1) a Demeyere 28cm Proline 5* clad frypan; (2) a Fissler Original Profi disk-base 28cm frypan; a 6mm aluminum omelet pan; and (4) a 32cm x 3.2mm Dehillerin sauté. To make it a fair race, I heated all the pans at 2400W until they reached 450F, and then backed off the power setting to maintain 450F. I did this in order not to compromise my saute’s tin lining. As you will see, both the clad Demeyere and the disk-based Fissler did print the typical brown doughnut, with a cooler center and periphery. By far the most even was the thick, all-aluminum pan, which actually was even over its entirety—even including the walls. The copper sauté was also quite even, although its larger size and mass really dissipated heat; once 450F was dialed in, no more browning happened, even after 30 minutes.
       
      I conclude that the straightgauge pans were far more effective at shunting heat to their peripheries and walls (and also to some extent into the air) than the clad and disk-based pans. The latter accumulated their heat with most of it staying in the center of the pans. Eventually, even the “doughnut hole” blended into the scorch ring because the walls were not bleeding sufficient heat away from the floor. This was especially pronounced in the Fissler, the high wall and rim areas of which never exceeded 125F. The aluminum pan, in contrast varied less than 30F everywhere on the pan.

      D. Other Considerations

      The Panasonic’s fan noise at the cook’s position was noticeable at 63 dBA, higher than with the VMP’s 57 dBA. These levels are characterized as “normal conversation” and “quiet street”, respectively. Interestingly, I found two other, potentially more important differences. First, the Panasonic’s fan stays on, even after the unit is powered off, whereas the VMP’s fan shuts off immediately when the hob is turned off. Second, the Panasonic’s fan steps down from the louder speed to a much quieter (47 dBA, characterized as “quiet home”) level until the Ceran is cool to sustained touch, at which point it shuts off completely. I think the Panasonic’s ability to continue to vent and cool itself is a great feature, especially since a cook could leave a large, full, hot pan on the glass.

      The glowing circle is useless for gauging heat setting or intensity. And while it works to indicate a hot surface, it remains lit long after you can hold your hand in place dead center.
       
      VI. Summary and Lessons
       
      The Panasonic KY-MK3500 is a solid unit, well-conceived and rugged. It is extremely easy to use. It works well with both the common 24kHz frequency used with ferromagnetic cookware, and the 90kHz frequency chosen here for copper and aluminum. It effectively and automatically switches between the two.

      In my opinion, it points the way to expanding the worldwide induction appliance market to include dual frequencies. It also obviates the need to: (a) junk otherwise excellent cookware merely to have induction; and (b) retrofit designs to bond on ferromagnetic outer layers. In fact, in my opinion, my tests indicate that, in a dual-frequency world, adding ferromagnetic bottoms may well be a drag on pans’ performance.
       
      I also consider the Panasonic Met-All to be ground-breaking in what it can tell us about *pans*, because all metallic pans are now commensurable on induction. Clearly (to me anyway), watt-for-watt, the copper and aluminum pans performed better than did the clad and disk-based pans on this unit. Boil times were faster, there was less propensity to scorch, and the conductive-sidewall pans definitely added more heat to the pans’ contents. We may ultimately find that 90kHz fields save energy compared to 24kHz fields, much as copper and aluminum require less heat on gas and electric coil.
      In terms of heat transfer, the copper and aluminum pans came close to emulating the same pans on gas. And at 2400W/3500W it has the power of a full size appliance in a relatively small tabletop package.
       
      The Panasonic is far from perfect, however. It can’t really be considered portable. There are far too few temperature settings, and what few it has are not accurate or consistent in terms of judging pan contents and attaining the same temperature in different pans (and even the same pan unless clean). The luminous ring could easily have been made a useful indicator of intensity, but wasn’t. And it lacks things that should be obvious, including a through-the-glass “button” contact thermocouple, more power granularity, an analog-style control knob, and capacity to accept an external thermocouple probe for PID control.
       
      Most importantly for me, the Panasonic KY-MK3500 portends more good things to come. Retail price remains $1,700-$2,400, but I jumped on it at $611, and I’ve seen it elsewhere for as low as $1,200.
       
      The manual can be found here: ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/commercialfoo...
       
      Photo Credit:  Panasonic Corporation

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