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Induction Cooktops


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I have to agree with Chris. Induction hobs are widely regarded as being one of the most efficient cooking methods.

From the Michigan Tech website -

"According to CEG Electric Glass Company, a producer of induction cooktops, "power savings of 40-70% are realistically achievable in comparison to conventional cooktops." The following statistics are taken from CookTek Online. For the reasons discussed above, it is not surprising that induction heating results in the highest efficiency.

Table 1: Efficiency of Cooking Methods

Cooking Method Efficiency

Induction 90%

Halogen 58%

Electric 47%

Gas 40%

This shows that using an induction cooktop can result in greatly reduced power bills. Other tests show that induction cooking is faster than using gas, halogen, or a microwave. As mentioned above, the induction cooktop is extremely safe. There is no risk of fire if food or grease overflows from the pan, no risk of burns from touching the cooktop surface, and no worry about dangerous fumes from gas or other cooking fuels. The ceramic glass surface can be cleaned by simply wiping off the surface with a damp towel. Although induction ranges are currently more expensive than their electric or gas counterparts, when all of these advantages are taken into account, the induction cooktop will definitely pay for itself. "

Also it is not correct to say that the pans need to be magnetic they simply need to have enough ferric metal content for a magnet to be able to stick to them.

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I have to agree with Chris. Induction hobs are widely regarded as being one of the most efficient cooking methods.

From the Michigan Tech website -

"According to CEG Electric Glass Company, a producer of induction cooktops, "power savings of 40-70% are realistically achievable in comparison to conventional cooktops." The following statistics are taken from CookTek Online. For the reasons discussed above, it is not surprising that induction heating results in the highest efficiency.

Table 1: Efficiency of Cooking Methods

Cooking Method Efficiency

Induction              90%

Halogen              58%

Electric              47%

Gas                      40%

This shows that using an induction cooktop can result in greatly reduced power bills. Other tests show that induction cooking is faster than using gas, halogen, or a microwave. As mentioned above, the induction cooktop is extremely safe. There is no risk of fire if food or grease overflows from the pan, no risk of burns from touching the cooktop surface, and no worry about dangerous fumes from gas or other cooking fuels. The ceramic glass surface can be cleaned by simply wiping off the surface with a damp towel. Although induction ranges are currently more expensive than their electric or gas counterparts, when all of these advantages are taken into account, the induction cooktop will definitely pay for itself. "

Also it is not correct to say that the pans need to be magnetic they simply need to have enough ferric metal content for a magnet to be able to stick to them.

Sorry, but I have spent more than enough years on this planet to believe anything put forward by any organization which stands to profit from people believing whatever they say, or to take "widely regarded" on blind faith. Let's find some completely UNBIASED group, which has no financial interest (advertising or otherwise), which has tested the power-in versus power-out performance of induction cooktops, in btu's.

Also, "magnetic" is an adjective which is used to describe anything which exhibits magnetic properties, such as "a magnet to be able to stick to them". And ferric metal is not required; nickel is magnetic.

I don't condemn induction cooktops; neither do I endorse them or believe their hype.

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Sorry, but I have spent more than enough years on this planet to believe anything put forward by any organization which stands to profit from people believing whatever they say, or to take "widely regarded" on blind faith. Let's find some completely UNBIASED group, which has no financial interest (advertising or otherwise), which has tested the power-in versus power-out performance of induction cooktops, in btu's.

Also, "magnetic" is an adjective which is used to describe anything which exhibits magnetic properties, such as "a magnet to be able to stick to them".  And ferric metal is not required; nickel is magnetic.

I don't condemn induction cooktops; neither do I endorse them or believe their hype.

Well, my unscientific experience with both gas ranges as well as induction in a restaurant kitchen supports the conclusion that induction does indeed come to temperature quicker. It brought water to a boil at an alarming rate, much quicker than any gas range I've seen (only exception is a chinese wok burner - but as far as regular sized burners go the induction was much quicker).

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At home I've used electric (slow, uneven heat, no flame), gas (great, versatile, even heat) but settled on induction (very fast, super control, perfectly even heat, buzz at high a high power, no flame).

It took a while to get used to but now given the choice I would go for induction over gas, but my perfect stove would be 4 induction rings with a central gas wok burner for non magnetic pans, roasting peppers etc.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Has anyone purchased a freestanding induction hob recently?

I'm looking for recommendations based on current models. Would be willing to pay for a Cooktek if it is a significantly better performer than the cheaper models at Amazon.

Just not sure where to start my evaluation.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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Stephen: The Cooktek site lists the power range and BTU equivalent for each model. This gives you a basis for comparison with the induction hobs available on Amazon. Also, consider the number of temperature settings. Unlike gas, which is analog, most induction hobs have discrete temperature settings. If an induction hob has, for example, ten settings, the temperature that you want may be at the inaccessible "six and a half." I have heard folks complain about this. To avoid this problem, the higher-priced Cooktek Apogee line has 100 different temperature settings.

De Dietrich induction hobs are supposed to be outstanding. They can be imported from Woodalls in the UK, but last I checked no warranty support was available in the U.S.

Caveat: we researched induction cooktops, but ultimately chose gas. For safety reasons, we plan to use induction when we add a mother-in-law apartment.

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I can't boast any scientific background, but at the cooking school where I teach, we have used exclusively induction cooktops for about 5 years. I've found that they work very well for most purposes, with their best feature being that they can be moved on and off any tabletop with an outlet -- there when you need them, under the counter when you don't. They also don't need a vent, so can be used in tight spaces, office buildings, boats, etc. Very good for long, slow simmering or precise heat control -- we had one at the old Le Cirque at the Palace hotel and we used it a lot for sugar work and chocolate sauce. Easy to clean and hygienic.

Cons: movable but heavy. Sometimes the convenient-sized pots (especially saucepans and rondeaus) are not induction-compatible. Flambeeing is a pain, and so is reducing or evaporating because it takes so long -- sometimes the unit will simply shut off after abou 45 minutes. No repair service or tech support.

Have no experience with it in the home, although I do remember about 12 years ago in the Philippines they were featured at a Tupperware-type party my mom's friends had. That one was made of pastel fibreglass or something similar and had coordinating pots.

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When my son was studying in France he told me he hated the MI equipped kitchen classroom since in the winter time the room would never heat up during class. Is this a dis-advantage?

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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  • 3 weeks later...

For someone who has been wanting to try an induction burner but was reluctant to part with the $$$, I came across this one at Overstock.com for $99.00 this morning while searching for another appliance.

I am not personally familiar with this brand, however I have a friend in the UK who has this model and likes it very much. She has a tiny "efficiency" kitchen with a two burner electric cooker which has an ok oven but the burners heat unevenly so she uses this. She said she paid 97 pounds for it.

"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've got one of these units and they are fantastic - especially for the price. The only problem I have found with these is that they do tend to switch off (overheating control) if you are using full power into a large pot for a long period of time.

For bringing stuff quickly to the boil and then maintaining a simmer they are unbeatable. Also great for melting chocolate etc. The timer function is surprisingly useful.

One point I've been meaning to clarify (and now that I am posting this it's an ideal opportunity) is with regard to the pots and pans that one can use. Some people maintain that you need particularly flat pans to work on induction hobs - this is categorically not the case. In fact if you think about it there's already a gap between the induction coil and the pan caused by the magnetically inert glass top.

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  • 6 months later...

I have a 4 burner Miele induction cook top and I love it. I live in the French countryside where I formerly used butane gas bottles, and was never able to simmer properly. With induction I can get to high heat almost immediately, or hold the temperature at a constant. Doesn't heat the kitchen, very easy to clean, as only the surface under the pot gets hot, and then only from heat transfer. And mine doesn't make any noise other than the fan if it gets too hot. Does occasionally cut out when using a cast iron pan to make bruschetta, but at least I know that now. I love it and wouldn't have anything else - unless perhaps I was able to have a kitchen twice the size with a fancy range, but maybe not even then.

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  • 2 months later...

I had induction forced upon me (flat that I rent has no gas hookup. It's not bad. Certainly the performance is "gas-like" in terms of temperature response (although as Fat Guy and others pointed out, there is no infinite temp adjustment).

My biggest pet peeve (and this could be a function of the HoB the landlord installed) is that the rings can fault if you place very hot items (say a roasting pan from the oven for deglazing) on them. I now have to deglaze off heat and then put the roaster back on when it cools a bit. Annoying.

It's not bad but I prefer gas. It is MILES better than everything but gas.

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Having just came out of the Harold McGee's seminar where induction is discussed at length. The opinion is that induction is a great efficient way to go. yes, the unit sucks a lot of electricity, but it evens out because it takes less time to cook stuff. The problems, from what I heard, are that most induction designed for home use require a 220 V line to have decent power, and most have not worked out the kinks in the cooling of the unit, so the circuit blows out after heavy use. Infrastructure for servicing the unit is not really there so getting it repaired may be a pain.

The guy who outfits the kitchen for FCI says if it were his own home and he has all the money in the world he's go with gas and get an induction on the side for stuff like boiling water.

Having said that, I am looking for a cheap single burner that uses 220V for my own kitchen. If it blows, I can replace it without crying over it.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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  • 1 year later...

I have a dilemma and was curious to know whether other egulleters have had similar experiences. Having always refused to live anywhere where you couldn't cook with gas, we moved into a flat without a cooker about a year ago and bought a Bartscher portable one ring induction cooker to tide us over until we'd decided on/ordered our real hob. It was the first time we'd used induction and it was a revelation which turned is into complete converts. When we had guests our favourite party trick was 'guess how long the water takes to boil' and we'd stand around and marvel like it was the 1960s and we were discussing the moon landings.

The only disadvantage seemed to be the price... Anyway we decided to save up for a De Dietrich cooktop which was amazing until the electrics cut out. We returned it to our supplier who had it repaired and then the same thing happened again. This time our French delivery service managed to completely destroy it (another story) so we're back to square one trying to figure out what to get. Meanwhile, our Bartscher cooker died about a year after we bought it (again, it just didn't switch on) we took it back to our supplier who replaced it, but the new one, which theoretically has a lowest wattage of 400 watts (which apparently should give a heat of about 60 degrees celcius), seemed to only want to do furnace style cooking. (It was the same model as our previous one which had been OK.) We took it back, got it replaced, and the new one is just the same. You can forget trying to cook anything that needs to be on a gentle heat, like rice (incinerates it if you leave it on for more than five minutes) but even not so 'sensitive' stuff seems to only get the blast boil treatment.

Maybe both of these brands just aren't all that reliable (although I thought Bartscher was German, which normally is a 'guarantee' of reliability) or maybe we've just had a run of bad luck.

My boyfriend is still convinced induction is the way forward, but I'm starting to get cold feet. I'd be very interested to know if other forum users have encountered similar problems.

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I have 2 portable induction hobs. More than a year ago I removed all the electric coils from my range and use only these induction hobs for stove top cooking. One is a Eurodib and the other a Salton. Both are low-end. The Eurodib is totally reliable and I can get a lovely bare simmer using it. The Salton, however, is a bit of a pain. I seem to get hot spots, it will shut off unexpectedly if left alone for half an hour or so and I can't get the really gentle simmer on it.

Even with the issues with the Salton I cannot imagine going back to cooking with anything else! My daughter has a brand new high end flat top - yuck - and my electric coils were always a total pain. I can get so much control with induction.

Don't give up. You may just have had some really bad luck!

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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I had boring reliability (and fun) with a de Dietrich induction hob.

However, when installing it, I was extremely careful to observe the under-counter ventilation and clearance instructions. My guess would be that 'cooking' the electronics might be a real risk if ventilation were ever to be obstructed.

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Thank you for all the feedback everyone. Not sure what I think now... Maybe our De Dietrich wasn't installed properly... and our Bartscher is just a crappy brand... and maybe have just had a lot of bad luck... still feeling not entirely convinced though!

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I'll second the de Dietrich recommendation--I've had one for years without a single problem, except for the time we accidentally activated the child-proof lock and for a few days couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. I wouldn't go back to electric.

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  • 2 months later...

I know this is an old topic, but I really need help! (Okay, maybe not as desperately as I make it sound.) But before anything else:

Study of pacemakers and induction ovens

I hope there's been a newer study than this one! (2005)

We were gifted a single-hob induction cooker that was made in Taiwan. Induction cookers here are really cheap-- about US$30 is the cheapest I've seen, I think, but they work really well. The controls aren't the most helpful, though (and neither is the manual!).

Mine has some timer buttons, function buttons:

Boil (maxes out the temp and keeps on going for maybe 10 minutes)

Hotpot (stays at your desired temperature for 2 hours)

Porridge (starts out high for 2 minutes then low for a few more)

Stir-fry, Deep fry, and a few more I forgot. I always use just hotpot and boil because it's too fussy to try to remember what happens for the other settings.

The temperature dial goes from "Keep warm" (grr) - 120C - 150C - 180C - 210C - 240C.

Anyway. I had to buy new pans because we only had cheap aluminum and stainless steel ones (I only have one cast iron pan). So far, since I'm a pastry and baking guy, I've had great fun making sugar syrups of approximately the temperature I wanted the syrup to come to. Also found it great for simmering soups and reducing sauces, as I don't have to really keep an eye on it, and I like that it's more energy-efficient than gas.

I'm a bit of a klutz when it comes to anything else, though. I have no idea exactly what temperature I should have the pan/oil to saute onions and garlic (bitter bits, yum). I have no idea what temp it should be for a steak to sear properly. (I guess I never really took mastery of heat in the first place-- such an oven guy.) Is it still better to have a pot of baked beans in the oven for a long while or can I crank the induction up to 180C and call it a day? Has anyone tried dulce de leche on one- what temp would be advisable?

Can anyone give me some tips? Thanks!

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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I know this is an old topic, but I really need help! (Okay, maybe not as desperately as I make it sound.) But before anything else:

Study of pacemakers and induction ovens

I hope there's been a newer study than this one! (2005)

We were gifted a single-hob induction cooker that was made in Taiwan. Induction cookers here are really cheap-- about US$30 is the cheapest I've seen, I think, but they work really well. The controls aren't the most helpful, though (and neither is the manual!).

Mine has some timer buttons, function buttons:

Boil (maxes out the temp and keeps on going for maybe 10 minutes)

Hotpot (stays at your desired temperature for 2 hours)

Porridge (starts out high for 2 minutes then low for a few more)

Stir-fry, Deep fry, and a few more I forgot. I always use just hotpot and boil because it's too fussy to try to remember what happens for the other settings.

The temperature dial goes from "Keep warm" (grr) - 120C - 150C - 180C - 210C - 240C.

Anyway. I had to buy new pans because we only had cheap aluminum and stainless steel ones (I only have one cast iron pan). So far, since I'm a pastry and baking guy, I've had great fun making sugar syrups of approximately the temperature I wanted the syrup to come to. Also found it great for simmering soups and reducing sauces, as I don't have to really keep an eye on it, and I like that it's more energy-efficient than gas.

I'm a bit of a klutz when it comes to anything else, though. I have no idea exactly what temperature I should have the pan/oil to saute onions and garlic (bitter bits, yum). I have no idea what temp it should be for a steak to sear properly. (I guess I never really took mastery of heat in the first place-- such an oven guy.) Is it still better to have a pot of baked beans in the oven for a long while or can I crank the induction up to 180C and call it a day? Has anyone tried dulce de leche on one- what temp would be advisable?

Can anyone give me some tips? Thanks!

My wife and I had a 5 burner Diva Induction stove put in during our kitchen remodel, and we absolutely love it. It heats up faster than anything I have ever seen, and the temp. control is fantastic. I can't imagine that we will ever go back to gas. The only downside that we have is that we couldn't use it in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike....no electricity for a while.

I can't tell you what setting is best for your cooktop, but I can tell you that we sear meats on "11", cook bacon at "6", simmer on "2-4" depending on the pot size, caramelize onions on "4" or "5"....the options are endless. The power range on our cooktop is from 1-12. I only braise in the oven, not on the cooktop.

Play around with your cooktop and see what works best.

Josh

Edited by JPipes (log)
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