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Induction Cooktops


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OK- Give me an excuse to get one. I understand how they work and why they are safe, efficient . . .yada, yadda, but if you had to justify your purchase of a single stand alone induction hob for your kitchen, how would you respond to these questions, say from an inquiring SO,

1. Why do you need it or, what are you going to do with it that you can't do on our existing gas cooktop? and

2. Why do you need to spend so much for the Cooktek version when I found one on eBay for $140?

Help me justify, please, because my current responses of "because Chef G's new restaurant is going to be filled with them" and "it's a new gadget, who needs more explanation than that" are not cutting it.

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Amy,

If you are talking about in the trade we use them for reasons of safety, and heat recovery. In the home i can't find any more use for this item then the latter.

Also, the ooh effect for frustrated chefs.

Harry

Edited by chefreit (log)

I Will Be..................

"The Next Food Network Star!"

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I have been using a countertop Iwatani induction cooker for over a year. this is the one

for several reasons.

Sometimes I want to cook something low and slow (as in doing a long reduction) and do not want to have to constantly monitor it - my kitchen is closed off from the main part of the house - as I would on the gas cooker.

And it turns itself off automatically......... a very big plus.

Occasionally I need to take it with me when I am going to cook at the home of a friend who has only marginal cooking equipment, i.e. a very small range or cooktop on which stockpots or large sauteuse will not fit without interfering with a second burner.

I like that it stays cool while heating whatever is in the pan. It heats a pan instantly and is ready to cook as soon as the pan comes in contact with the top, however you can remove the pan and put your hand directly on the element and won't get burned. (This from someone who happened to lean on a glass stovepot which was still hot but noting to indicate it. OUCH!)

I can take it out on the deck and cook with it when the wind is blowing (this is a very windy area) and not have to worry about it blowing out (happens to the gas burner on my gas grill all the time) and also it won't start a fire.

The one I have is not as powerful as some but it is more than adequate for my needs and very affordable. It is less expensive now than when I bought mine (at a discount) and I am considering buying a second one.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I like that it stays cool while heating whatever is in the pan. It heats a pan instantly and is ready to cook as soon as the pan comes in contact with the top, however you can remove the pan and put your hand directly on the element and won't get burned. (This from someone who happened to lean on a glass stovepot which was still hot but noting to indicate it. OUCH!)

Although the burner itself doesn't get hot, the heat from a pan that's on it can cause the surface of the burner to heat up. So you still need to be careful when you remove a hot pan from the burner.

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I like that it stays cool while heating whatever is in the pan.  It heats a pan instantly and is ready to cook as soon as the pan comes in contact with the top, however you can remove the pan and put your hand directly on the element and won't get burned.  (This from someone who happened to lean on a glass stovepot which was still hot but noting to indicate it.  OUCH!)

Although the burner itself doesn't get hot, the heat from a pan that's on it can cause the surface of the burner to heat up. So you still need to be careful when you remove a hot pan from the burner.

Mine is cool within seconds. The surface does not heat up more than a few degrees.

That being said, if you have a pan that is not absolutely flat on the bottom you can get a little heating at the threshold rim, the division between where the flat part of the pan is in contact and the area where it is not.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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1.  Why do you need it or, what are you going to do with it that you can't do on our existing gas cooktop? and

2.  Why do you need to spend so much for the Cooktek version when I found one on eBay for $140?

I got one on Ebay for about $120. The main reason was that I'm considering kitchen remodeling, and I wanted to experiment with one before sinking about 4K into something like Diva de Provence.

What I found is that it's by far the best heat source for making stock. The model I got allows you to preset a desired temperature - it measures the temperature of the bottom of the pot - and simmer for hours without having to baby sit.

After a few months, I tend to use gas for quick, high heat cooking (pan searing) and induction for long and slow. However, induction is also quite capable for searing. I just don't feel like dragging the portable unit out of storage for that. The only time when induction is a problem is when you want to constantly flip the pan during sauteing - you'll lose the contact with the induction coil and the heating won't be continuous.

I highly recommend getting a single hub portable unit. As for replacing gas with induction at home my main concern would be durability of the cooktop surface and the cost of replacement. When I asked the sales guy he couldn't even tell.

The difference between theory and practice is much smaller in theory than it is in practice.

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Thanks all. From what I've read, I do not need to invest in all new cookware to go with the induction unit -- I currently have Cuisinart pots and pans. Has that been the experience?

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Thanks all. From what I've read, I do not need to invest in all new cookware to go with the induction unit -- I currently have Cuisinart pots and pans. Has that been the experience?

I don't know what your Cuisinart pots are made off. I have several different stainless steel pots and pans: All-Clad, Tramontina and Ikea-365 line - they all work, as does cast iron. Aluminum, ceramic and glass definitely won't work. I've heard that some brands of stainless won't work either.

The difference between theory and practice is much smaller in theory than it is in practice.

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I highly recommend getting a single hub portable unit. As for replacing gas with induction at home my main concern would be durability of the cooktop surface and the cost of replacement. When I asked the sales guy he couldn't even tell.

I would have to second that opinion. A guy that I work with is a big time Cajun cook. In the new house, he got this damnably expensive induction cooktop. Then, some of his "heirloom" pots wouldn't work. When his grandmother's cast iron skillet wouldn't work (warped bottom?) that was the last straw. He sold the house, moved across town and went back to gas. (Not because of the cooktop but I continue to accuse him of that. :biggrin: ) He said that the thing also made him really nervous. He envisioned dropping some heavy cast iron gumbo pot and breaking it.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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are the magnets in these things strong enough to mess with pacemakers or defibrillators?

Don't know, I try to cook younger cuts of meat :wink:

The difference between theory and practice is much smaller in theory than it is in practice.

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  • 1 month later...

My uncle is building a rather large country home.

He refuses to use Propane for fire reasons. Mainly because depending on time of year he may not be there for a month at a time.

So the next best idea seems to be induction. Does anybody have a recommendation on manufacturer?

Never trust a skinny chef

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think cooktek is supposed to be it.  Check out the kitchen topic in the Alinea Project forum for what seems like a reliable endorsement.

Yep the only problem is he need something built in. I had suggested that he go with table top cooking. Basically a couple of cookteks and a gas griddle. He wants something "built in" I finally talked him into going with Induction if he can find something built in and going with a nice built in propane grill outside.

He simply does not want propane indoors due to the fact that unlike natural gas it can gather in one spot and blow up.

Never trust a skinny chef

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You are right about the propane. It sinks and gathers. Natural gas is lighter than air and dissapates given an adequate "way out". That is why compressed natural gas is the fuel of choice on boats. I wonder what the availability of CNG is as a "remote" cooking fuel? You can get it for CNG vehicles here, and of course for boats.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Yep I had suggested CNG. There are several places in the area that will refill tanks. He still did not like that idea. It's the whole house in the country thing. Even though he does have ranch hands there at least 3 times a week, he does not want any "gas" in or around the house.

I have been trying to talk him into a nice Grill island for his back yard which overlooks a 20 acre lake he had built. I suggested he put it away from the house if he has "issues" We will see how that works. His wife now has the "no gas" thing in her mind as well.

Of course personally since land is not an issue I would have built a much larger commercial style kitchen. :rolleyes: But then again it's not my money :laugh:

Never trust a skinny chef

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Cooktek has 'drop in' as well as tabletop induction units, so you could do a built-in setup. But if you can talk him into tabletop, I used an earlier version of this Sunpentown model: http://shop.store.yahoo.com/kitchenhome/suincoblsr.html (not endorsing this store, just using the photo) for about a year and had zero problems - and depending on the model, it's 1/5 to 1/10 the cost of a Cooktek.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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  • 6 months later...

I opened my latest edition of House and Garden (the Kitchen Issue), and was surprised by an article that touted electromagnetic stovetops as the next big thing in cooking. They use electromagnetic waves to heat up the cookware (and thus, the food) without actually heating the stove, the kitchen, the chef etc. Call me a luddite, but the whole thing sounds a little too Jetsons to me.

To top it off, I can't find any good information on the technology used in the stoves (unlike in microwaves), but I did find an abstract of an article that showed the electromagnetic waves change the properties of water as it is heated. :unsure:

Somewhat Scary Abstract

So does anyone have an opinion (informed or otherwise)? Has anyone used such a device? Am I being overly skeptical?

-Linda

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I have countertop induction "burners" and they work great, as well as being very portable. You do have to use cookware that is absolutely flat on the bottom and is a magnetic metal.

I have Sitram induction cookware that was relatively inexpensive, with a very thick base plate. The heat/cool response is rapid and precise.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have countertop induction "burners" and they work great, as well as being very portable.  You do have to use cookware that is absolutely flat on the bottom and is a magnetic metal. 

I have Sitram induction cookware that was relatively inexpensive, with a very thick base plate.  The heat/cool response is rapid and precise.

I'm curious about yours. Do you have 240V or 120V models?

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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I've found several articles on ths.gardenweb.com/forums/appl forums.

Personally, I'm very interested in induction cooktops - they seem like a good fit for us. I especially like the idea of easy cleanup compared to our existing stove. Unfortunately for us, we found out about them after we had completed our kitchen remodel.

-john

Edited by JohnN (log)
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I have countertop induction "burners" and they work great, as well as being very portable.  You do have to use cookware that is absolutely flat on the bottom and is a magnetic metal. 

I have Sitram induction cookware that was relatively inexpensive, with a very thick base plate.  The heat/cool response is rapid and precise.

I'm curious about yours. Do you have 240V or 120V models?

I don't know if this is what Andie has, but it sounds like CookTek is a popular brand of stand alone "hobs", both drop-in and free-standing.

-john

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