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KennethT

Countertop induction burners

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I've been searching around, but I can't find a unified topic where we can talk about countertop induction burners of all makes and models, so I'm starting this.  Mods, if this exists, please merge...

 

Does anyone have any experience with this item (or this brand):

http://www.trueinduction.com/Commercial-Single-Induction-Cooktop.aspx

 

It's a 220V, 3200W single countertop induction burner.  It seems that you can either set it by power level (400-3200W in 200W increments - 15 levels) or by temperature (150-450F in 10deg increments) and will accommodate pans as small as 4.5" in diameter.

 

Currently lists on Amazon for $279....

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Also, does anyone have any experience with any 240V burners at all, not just the one above?  The 240V versions will be much more powerful than the standard 120V ones, but I'm also looking for one that has a decent amount of control - to keep things at a gentle simmer, or boil water quickly or high heat stir fry...

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If you want control, the Vollrath Mirage Pro is the way to go. It has 100 power levels that you can quickly scroll through with a knob. It responds basically like a gas stove, though it's not as powerful as 240V. I will say from experience that having only 15 levels of power control is far from ideal -- especially on a 3200 watt unit. Those are good for high-heat applications like boiling water, searing, or stir-frying but they're awful if you want to dial in the perfect simmer or keep your pressure cooker pressurized at a constant level. Most units also tend not to have a lot of control at the low end of the temperature spectrum, but the Mirage Pro was specifically designed to go as low as 80 degrees for tempering chocolate, and has a lot of range both at the hot and cool ends of the temperature spectrum. Also, as a general rule I don't trust induction hobs that pretend to hold a specific temperature unless they have a probe (e.g, Control Freak or Hestan Cue). The claim that induction burners can warm up to specific temperatures are mostly marketing nonsense. Even if the hobs have temperature sensors built into the cooktop, the readings there depend on the cookware you're using. Lightweight pans are liable to be much hotter than the intended temperature because the sensors don't register them as well as heavier weight pans. At any rate, I'm a big fan of the Vollrath and a major critic of low-end units with few power settings and membrane switches. I also like the fact that it will run on normal power, so I can take it with me if I'm going to be cooking somewhere with questionable cooktops. The only thing that I don't like about it is a lack of consumer warranty; Vollrath only honors the warranty for commercial use. I can't say exactly why they do this, but I suspect that idiot customers have something to do with it.

Also, I know it's not induction but I'm also a big fan of the Iwatani 35FW portable butane stove. It is extremely powerful and supremely portable -- no electricity required! The downside is that it runs on butane cartridges and those only last about an hour (and the power falls off as the cartridge approaches empty). Iwatani gas burners aren't likely to be permanent (or only) burner in your batterie, but I find them useful in all kinds of situations. The 35FW is more powerful than the burners on the two crappy gas ranges I used for years in past rental homes. My current house has a GE electric range with a glass top, so I picked up the Iwatani burner to use with clay cookware that requires a flame. But I also find it useful for searing outside (so I don't smoke out my kitchen) and for going car camping. They're cheap and fun and provide the real "cooking with gas" experience. 

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hmmm... that Vollrath is really expensive... I could get a control freak for not much more... so now I'm thinking about getting 1 low priced, high power 240V model for fast boiling, high heat searing, and maybe a control freak for all the stuff that needs a bit more finesse...  I understand looking at the Iwatani, but I think I'd rather find a propane powered stove (I can get bigger canisters that will last longer)... more research to follow...

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10 hours ago, KennethT said:

Also, does anyone have any experience with any 240V burners at all, not just the one above?  The 240V versions will be much more powerful than the standard 120V ones, but I'm also looking for one that has a decent amount of control - to keep things at a gentle simmer, or boil water quickly or high heat stir fry...

 

Probably not much help but I have a low-end 240 V burner since I live in Australia. It works but I think they just dropped the power level to match your cheap 110v ones. I agree with you that there are two goals, absolute power and finesse of control. I use mine mainly for boiling pasta water so I would tend towards power. If it had a lot, maybe I'd use if for searing but I use the gas wok burner for that.

 

Pro-Tip: Don't put the induction burner too close to the gas stove when using both. But the melted side doesn't seem to hurt anything 😀

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10 hours ago, haresfur said:

Pro-Tip: Don't put the induction burner too close to the gas stove when using both. But the melted side doesn't seem to hurt anything 😀

 

LOL Sounds like something I'd do...I've owned a lot of half-melted appliances and utensils over the years.

 

I've never done something as egregious as my former neighbour in Newfoundland, though (not overly bright and I suspect just a bit inbred...the kind of Newfie who gives rise to Newfie jokes). He kept a pig, as many of us did in that time and place, and on one particularly cold morning he decided - being a good-hearted soul, whatever his intellectual limitations - that they might appreciate a warm breakfast. So he put their (plastic) bucket of slop on top of the wood stove to warm up a bit, and went out to stand on the porch and enjoy an early-morning smoke.

We heard the sudden shriek from next door as his wife entered the kitchen, and heard the door close as poor Truman went in to see what she was upset about. A few seconds later the door burst open again as he flew across the porch and onto the ground on the far side, already making top speed as he landed and fled with his wife in hot pursuit, flinging kettle and frying pan with malice aforethought.

 

It must have been pretty smelly in the house, because it was three days before she let him back in.

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Posted (edited)

On the complete OTHER end of the spectrum from the 240V commercial heavy duty $$$ induction hobs is the Tillreda by IKEA.   It's light and meant to hang.  The weirdest thing is the assertion that "60 minutes ON in a two hour period" on the back of the unit.  Uh, WTH?  $50.  I won't be buying this one.

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Screen Shot 2019-08-11 at 9.35.09 AM.png


Edited by lemniscate (log)
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I have  couple. The cheap high powered ones are great for boiling and high simmers (not great at low stuff) and doing things like sauté. I couldn’t go back to even a good gas cooker if I have an induction cooker for bringing things to a boil it just is better. 

 

But you’ll need a good one to really show you how good induction can be and how it can be better then gas by miles! I have a. Second hand made by cooktek that’s designed for be variable powered with hundreds of steps and is super stable in power output and cost a couple hundred dollars (AUD) and I would and will pay twice that because I want a breville control freak. 

 

You can also get ones that work with woks and I’ve heard pretty cool things about them as well. 

 

I really wish we had more options of good hardware at more consumer friendly prices but you pay through the nose for high control induction units but its worth it.

 

 

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