Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Induction Cooktops


Recommended Posts

In response to the original poster,

I remember seeing some of the first induction cookers at IGEHO in Basel in the late 80's. Big song a dance with the demo guys putting a Swiss 20 franc note between the burner and the pot and then boiling water or something.

While gas is plentiful and cheap here in N. America, it isn't very cheap in most parts of Europe. Most kitchens I've worked in Switzerland had electric stoves--big 1 meter solid plates with a simple 5 step temp. control, even the fryers and salamanders were electric. And electricity isn't very cheap either, but it is cheaper than gas.

So the induction stove was created in part to conserve electricity and in part to be as responsive as gas. Over a 5-7 year period, it still is cheaper to purchase a induction stove for a commercial application in Europe than it is to continue using a regular resistance electric stove.

I've used them in catering (great!) in hotels for egg stations on brunches and the like, and they are good. The cheap ones tend to burn out quickly.

Do you need one? Single units sure come in handy at home. When the gas and electricity prices start to rise and the prices on induction ranges comes down, it's just a matter of money, I guess.....

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 9 months later...

We recently installed a Wolf induction cook top (5 burners). It works wonderfully.

We are planning to re-do our kitchen, so thanks for the heads up to watch for heat build up under the cook top!

We thought in our new kitchen we could use all the space under the cook top (which replaced an old electric coil one) for storage. Sounds like we'll need to give the new one room to breathe.

Link to post
Share on other sites

...

We thought in our new kitchen we could use all the space under the cook top (which replaced an old electric coil one) for storage. Sounds like we'll need to give the new one room to breathe.

You should indeed be able to use that space.

I wouldn't use it for anything that minded the possibility of being warm occasionally, or of obstructing the airway.

So, chocolate or a springy pile of towels would be bad choices!

I kept cooking implements in a drawer close under mine.

The requirement is just for a little bit of air through-flow.

Like breathing, its ventilation rather than space that is needed.

Some small rubber bumpers kept the drawer from closing completely, allowing some air in without visible impact.

1/10 of an inch gap all round a 19 inch wide drawer is almost 5 square inches of vent hole ...

And a little work on the rear of the cabinetwork allowed any warm air to exit upwards, by sharing the worktop venting for the under-counter fridge in the next module.

Not at all hard to do, and fully explained in the installation instructions. (As was the fridge's ventilation need.)

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had a Miele Induction cooktop for the last 5 years or so, with no problems, and I love it. It's installed above a Miele oven, in the typical set-up (but with sufficient airspace in between) Both work really well.

I'd never have any other type of cooktop.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Meyer induction burner at Crate and Barrel.

Any experience with this particular brand? It seems like an awfully good deal but I haven't been looking for long (er . . . just since I saw the ad a few minutes ago!). I'm already sold on induction and have an induction range in my kitchen, but I'm going to be teaching a few cooking classes for the first time this fall and would like to have a portable unit rather than be dependent on the equipment at the community center. Do you think I should get this one?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have experience with that particular brand, but I really like my induction burner, as long as I don't need to heat anything in a big pan. That said, the Crate & Barrel one at first glance looks similar in function to the cheaper Max Burton. Both have the same number of heat settings I believe, and both have small actual heating areas.

Reviews on Amazon

Max Burton

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have experience with that particular brand, but I really like my induction burner, as long as I don't need to heat anything in a big pan. That said, the Crate & Barrel one at first glance looks similar in function to the cheaper Max Burton. Both have the same number of heat settings I believe, and both have small actual heating areas.

Reviews on Amazon

Max Burton

Hey Peter -- Could you elaborate (for those of us without induction experience) why it doesn't work with a large pan? Do the parts that are larger than the burner not heat up? At all?

Link to post
Share on other sites

They work with a large pan, but the heating area is very small - about 4 or 5 inches in diameter. So when I'm using a pan that's 11 inches in diameter, only the very center is getting heated and everything along the outside is just sitting there, so I end up using my 8 inch electric burner (much as I dislike it) so that the heat is much more evenly dispersed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Hi all:

We are thinking of buying an induction range, but we have some concerns about the power requirements. The unit is rated at 50 amps and our house's total electrical service is 100 amps. Will this cause a problem? Some stores say yes, some say no. For those of you with an induction range, what is your experience? It is unlikely that I would ever be running all four burners and both ovens at maximum at the same time. Most likely, the max might be two burners and one oven. The model I am looking at is Electrolux, the slide-in model. Thanks in advance for sharing your experience with this.

Elsie

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this question falls under 'things you need an electrician for'. I'm personally pretty audacious when it come to home improvements, but I would draw the line short of this decision. Regardless of your intended uses, over the life of the installation there will invariably be counter top crawling babies and Alzheimer's affected grandmothers.

But really, if you just purchase installation with the appliance you'll rarely go wrong. Especially if you express your concerns and have someone out to take a look.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Indyrob, I do appreciate your taking the time to respond, but the question is really directed to those who have an induction range and what their experience is. Induction ranges are new in Canada and therefore experience is limited so it is difficult to find an honest answer (from salesmen) to the question I posed. I know there must be egulleters out there who have them and surely not all of them spent what would be many $$$ to upgrade their electrical systems just to be able to use an induction range. Anyone????

PS any electrical work will be done by qualified electricians.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Induction generally uses LESS power than an equivalent thermal electric burner.

For whatever (set) amount of electricity that goes down the wire, with induction more heat will go into the pan (and less into the room) than with old-school electric burners.

Also, some induction designs limit their combined power. A deDietrich I used to live with would limit the combined power of front + rear rings, left and right. So you couldn't have both rings on one side full on simultaneously - if you wanted two rings flat out they had to be left and right. (This was never a problem, because you control induction rather than pull the pan part-way off the heat ...) It did have the effect of reducing the total supply requirement to less than the sum total of the theoretical maximum power of all the burners, though.

If you are dealing with a 'range' (with one or more ovens), you'll probably find that the ovens can demand more power than the (induction) hob/cooktop.

But in summary, induction is no different than any other electric cooker as far as supply goes. Its requirements are clearly stated. The unknown (from a distance) is your residential wiring.

If you are planning to replace-with-a-bigger-cooker, you may have to upgrade your supply.

Replacing with similar effective power, the induction should actually have a lower supply need than an equivalent (number of rings, oven size...) old electric cooker.

That's guidance - as much or as good as you are likely to get online.

For an answer to your specific installation considerations, you need to get your wiring looked at by a qualified electrician familiar with your local regulatory requirements.

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

I upgraded the wiring and breaker when I installed my induction range. But I'd upgraded the panel previously.

Whether you go over your home's total panel availability depends on your other power requirements. Do you have an electric hot water heater? Electric heat? Will you be turning motors on causing peak demand?

An electrician may be able to install a sub-panel for the range and save you a little over having the whole panel replaced. Personally I vote for doing it right. But you really need to talk to a good electrician.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You'll need to get an estimate from an electrician. It will depend on several factors, and there is no way to tell without specific knowledge of everything about your installation and proposed changes.

We had a major kitchen remodeling project planned at the time that we installed our induction cooktop, and the builder hired the electrician to run new wiring and add an additional breaker. We also added an island with outlets for the cooktop, added cabinets with outlets, added twice as many cabinets up to an 11' ceiling,moved the oven location and went to a double convection Electrolux, moved the ref and went to a four-foot Sub Zero, (I saved $4,000 on Craigs list for an as-new unit from a model home that was being forclosed!)

It seems the electrician's bill was $350, and my recollection is that this was one of the smaller bills we received. Your mileage WILL vary. :laugh::laugh:

Our home is a mid century home built in the mid '60s FWIW.

Carpe Carp: Seize that fish!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 7 months later...

Bumping up this old topic...

GE has launched a web site to try and explain (and promote) Induction cooking to the American consumer:

Induction 101

I'm not a shill for GE. But I've heard that induction cooking is commonplace in Asia and Europe but hasn't gained a foothold here in the US.

Is the difference cultural? Is it due to poor PR work by Induction cooker manufacturers here in the US? Or do we blame the American consumer who refuses to give up their aluminum (or other non-magnetic) cookware?

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to post
Share on other sites

How interesting that you bumped this up. I recently got a vintage induction cooktop (yes, you read that right) at a yard sale for $5 and was going to clean it up and see what's what this weekend. I don't really know anything about it nor what I'll be doing with it (assuming it works). But for big holiday meals and party prepping, it seems useful.

I guess, anyway. What sorts of things can this do more effectively than my trusty electric rangetop?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to post
Share on other sites

Induction is a great technology. As you probably see when you walk through a warehouse club or department store, many of the new kitchenware products are now made so they may be used on induction induction hobs. I have a couple CookTeks that way out perform any other type of electric element and they are safer when shut off because the do not retain heat. They do not give off heat since they use magnetic waves and when a pan is lifted the surface remains cool (relatively) to the touch-a fairly good safety feature if your counters are crowded or there are lots of people around you. There is the ability to regulate temperatures somewhat akin to how one might control temperatures with gas. Many induction tops can plug into regular home outlets, which means they are portable (relatively) and can be used outside, in a dining room, on a serving table or at another location. I think they are also perfect for simmering and I have heard many bakers like to use them to melt chocolate because lower temps can be maintained.

Edited by JBailey (log)

"A cloud o' dust! Could be most anything. Even a whirling dervish.

That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

Link to post
Share on other sites

How interesting that you bumped this up. I recently got a vintage induction cooktop (yes, you read that right) at a yard sale for $5 and was going to clean it up and see what's what this weekend. I don't really know anything about it nor what I'll be doing with it (assuming it works). But for big holiday meals and party prepping, it seems useful.

I guess, anyway. What sorts of things can this do more effectively than my trusty electric rangetop?

What brand is your 'vintage induction cooktop'? I own an old Mr Induction that is probably only good for parts right now - but it is nice and big and pretty to look at.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Three things I love about the induction hobs that I own are:

a) ability to maintain a very low simmer - very useful for pressure cooking

b) ability to set a time on the hob itself so it will shut off automatically when the set time has passed - makes me feel very secure when I am easily distracted

c) does not heat up my kitchen - a very big plus in summer

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

is there anything you dislike about it?

Nothing. I have pulled all 4 coils out of my electric range and two induction hobs sit in their place. I couldn't imagine going back to any other type of range. I admit that I have never used a gas range but have used a portable butane burner, a smooth top, and coils and induction wins on every single count. People who complain that they can't toss the food because the induction shuts off are just not used to how fast it recovers and how quick it is to turn it back on. I toss food all the time. It is safe, responsive, easy to clean, efficient - damn I should have bought stock in one of the manufacturing companies. :biggrin:

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it interesting that you say the cook top does not really get hot, despite the hot pot or what ever sitting right on it. You can really remove the pot and put your hand on the surface after cooking up a storm?

Also, can you move the pot half off the element? I do that sometimes to slow down cooking or for everything in one pan but this piece needs a bit longer cooking.

Just for fun I checked the jenn air site, doesn't seem like they offer induction inserts as replacement, just the flat ceramic ones (at $290 each, hahaha!). I guess I'll live with the crappy coils until I can afford a nicer stove. And it for sure won't be a jenn air, ever again. A downdraft "hood" is utter nonsense, but great for collecting odd food bits and grease....

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the reviews on Amazon, it seem that a common complaint is that induction cookers are noisy, only heat a 4 or 5 inch ring and are prone to scorching. Is that true in your experience?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...