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Induction Cooktops


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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....

Not sure who said you can touch the top right under the pot - not true - the pot heats the surface and you will get a burn if you put your hand on it directly after removing the pot. You can certainly touch anywhere other than where the pot was directly sitting.

I have been somewhat successful in moving the pot partially off the cooking surface but would not suggest that this will always work. It is less necessary with induction since you can go so low for your cooking temperature.

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

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The glass on my CookTek remains relatively cool. It may take a few moments to be 'safe' to put your hand on after running the heat up to the max, but it is hundreds of times faster than a halogen or even regular coil elements. Mine has a listed range from 85 F to 500 F. Dave Arnold at Cooking Issues had some photos of the distribution of heat on the bottom of pans including an induction hob.

"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

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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?

I doubt that they are any noisier than a gas burner when it's on high but certainly there is a fan and you can hear it. I no longer notice it at all. I have never had issues with scorching unless I am careless (similar to any heating source!). The heating ring on my Eurodib is 9 inches in diameter and I frequently use a 12 inch saute pan on it with no issues.

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

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We just bought an Electrolux slide-inless than a month ago are ecstatic. We were seriously looking at pro-style gas (Capital Culinare was the front runner) but while researching induction caught my eye. A brief demo at Williams-Sonoma convinced us it was worth replacing over a dozen pots and pans (not-including lids) that weren't induction compatible.

Absolutely no negatives so far. While not infinite adjustment knobs it has small increments for low heat and larger for medium to very high ("power boost"). Super-fast heating and more responsive than gas when changing temperatures. Lowest simmer for making clear stocks is excellent. No more difficult to clean burned food and it cools down quickly. If you're afraid of glass-top ranges it's not for you but I have no issue with it.

As an added bonus the oven of the Electrolux is terrific. Holds heat well and after years of perfecting roast turkey the "Perfect Turkey" setting that utilizes a probe was about 90% as good.

The bottom oven is great for warming and roasting vegetables.

We're truly amazed by this technology we had only passing knowledge of six weeks ago. I've worked in restaurant kitchens and on friend's pro cook tops and IMO it's better.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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To add to what Anna said, Induction is the highest efficiency cooking surface so compared to resistance heating, it will save money and be more "environmentally friendly" if you are concerned about such things.

The limitation on which pots you can use is the only down-side.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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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.

When I bought (for $5) it, I was in a rush, it was covered in dirt and muck, and I didn't know anything about the things, so I tossed it in the back of the car until just now. I cleaned it off and, well, how about this:

DSC00007.JPG

It's a Cooktek C-1500, which I think -- please correct me if I'm wrong -- is a 1500 watt model that's roughly equivalent to this 1800 watt one on Amazon. It works, is very quiet, and is, without question, the best find I've ever made at a yard sale. Particularly considering I had no idea what it was. :huh:

So what's the difference between "Power Cook" and "Hold Temp"?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chris

This is an early generation CookTek. I know nothing about this version. However, call CookTek since they will diagnose and repair what they have built, but that presumes they still support C-1500's. Their repair facility is in Chicago. I have had work done there and highly recommend them.

"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

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... I recently got a vintage induction cooktop ... What sorts of things can this do more effectively than my trusty electric rangetop?

It should be able to do gentle stuff without a double boiler.

And yet it can get to working temperature astonishingly faster than any other type of electric cooker (potentially helpful for searing sv-cooked foods?)

Looking at the reviews on Amazon, it seem that a common complaint is that induction cookers are noisy... Is that true in your experience?

Many (most? all?) induction cookers efforts to keep their electronics cool will include a fan. Fans aren't completely silent, but shouldn't be loud, until their bearings are old or dirty - when they can make a variety of "old computer" type noises - but fans could be replaced cheaply.

However there is another completely different type of noise that can be produced.

This is due to magnetostriction (the effect that causes transformers to "hum").

But with induction hobs the hum is at a much higher frequency than the low tone generally associated with transformers.

The 'whistle' should be way too high-pitched to be heard by humans, and the induction unit itself should be designed so that it doesn't resonate at audible frequencies.

However some pans (perhaps some pan designs) can and do. And probably more do it at borderline-audible frequencies -- which will be noticeable to some people but not others.

I only had one pan that I could hear - and it wasn't loud or unpleasant (for me, anyway).

If you have exceptionally sensitive hearing, and/or you are unlucky with your choice of pans, this 'whistle' could be a problem for you -- but its no problem at all for most people.

My guess would be that the "Power Cook" button might be a "just give me everything you've got" over-ride, whereas "Hold Temp" would bring the variable power control knob into play ...

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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One of the more interesting uses I've seen for one of those recently is for deep frying. At No. 7 Sub at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan, they've got a freestanding induction hob like that one with a stainless steel stock pot of oil that they just leave on all day, and it's always ready, clean, simple, compact, with no special installation requirements, and no hazard of open flame in case of any mishaps.

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One of the more interesting uses I've seen for one of those recently is for deep frying. At No. 7 Sub at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan, they've got a freestanding induction hob like that one with a stainless steel stock pot of oil that they just leave on all day, and it's always ready, clean, simple, compact, with no special installation requirements, and no hazard of open flame in case of any mishaps.

Yes, it is incredibly secure for deep-frying and you can even cover the whole surface with newspaper for quick clean up.

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

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Anna

I always had heard you could put a piece of paper between the hob and the bottom of the pan, but didn't know why someone would even try that. Thank you for such a nice tip that I should have thought of long ago...I definitely will try this given that I can be a bit messy at times.

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

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OK, I'm sold. Amazon has three units for around $100, a Fagor, a Max Burton, and a Duxtop. Are any worth the money or must I spend a couple hundred to get a decent unit?

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Stealing two ideas:

And yet it can get to working temperature astonishingly faster than any other type of electric cooker (potentially helpful for searing sv-cooked foods?)
Yes, it is incredibly secure for deep-frying and you can even cover the whole surface with newspaper for quick clean up.

Will document and report back after dinner.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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One of the more interesting uses I've seen for one of those recently is for deep frying. At No. 7 Sub at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan, they've got a freestanding induction hob like that one with a stainless steel stock pot of oil that they just leave on all day, and it's always ready, clean, simple, compact, with no special installation requirements, and no hazard of open flame in case of any mishaps.

Yes, it is incredibly secure for deep-frying and you can even cover the whole surface with newspaper for quick clean up.

I love this idea.

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the reason to get an induction burner: getting things to the boiling point really fast.

that being said make sure to get a burner with 2Kw output or higher.

The fan and beeping noises made by the unit can be really annoying. there are not a lot of places you can "try before you buy" so beware.

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"Power cook" mode sets the power output to the level on the dial; equal settings would cause smaller pots to heat faster and higher(assuming boiling wasn't keeping the temperature constant).

"Hold temp" applies full power until the temperature of the bottom of the pan, measured by a sensor in the cooktop, reaches the set temp, then regulates the power to hold it at that temperature.

The newer models like tho one on Amazon have a digital display that indicates the temperature sensed.

There will be some difference between the sensed temperature and the actual temperature of the food in the pot, so if you need precise regulation, you should use a probe thermometer to measure the offset.

I notice that the minimum temperature gets down into Sou Vide range - you should put a big stock pot of water on it, and measure how accurately it maintains temperature.

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OK, I'm sold. Amazon has three units for around $100, a Fagor, a Max Burton, and a Duxtop. Are any worth the money or must I spend a couple hundred to get a decent unit?

I've got the Max Burton, with the mag plate so I can use other cookware on it (my copper works fine and so does my Corning stuff).

I have an old Supentown I used when catering - after a butane burner sort of exploded (thankfully outside) I no longer wanted to use them, and another older one - have forgotten the name and it is in storage.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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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OK, I'm sold. Amazon has three units for around $100, a Fagor, a Max Burton, and a Duxtop. Are any worth the money or must I spend a couple hundred to get a decent unit?

I've got the Max Burton, with the mag plate so I can use other cookware on it (my copper works fine and so does my Corning stuff).

I have an old Supentown I used when catering - after a butane burner sort of exploded (thankfully outside) I no longer wanted to use them, and another older one - have forgotten the name and it is in storage.

Thanks! Do you know how many watts the Burton is?

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OK, I'm sold. Amazon has three units for around $100, a Fagor, a Max Burton, and a Duxtop. Are any worth the money or must I spend a couple hundred to get a decent unit?

I've got the Max Burton, with the mag plate so I can use other cookware on it (my copper works fine and so does my Corning stuff).

I have an old Supentown I used when catering - after a butane burner sort of exploded (thankfully outside) I no longer wanted to use them, and another older one - have forgotten the name and it is in storage.

Thanks! Do you know how many watts the Burton is?

1800 watts and the top temp is 450, which has been plenty for everything I have done. I've put my 16 quart Calphalon stockpot on it (with the induction plate) and water has reached boiling as soon, if not faster than on my 12,000 BTU stove burner (which had another 16 quart stock pot on it). (Boiling 4 lobsters at the same time)

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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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What sorts of things can this do more effectively than my trusty electric rangetop?

The "quart of water boiling in 101 seconds" (from the GE web site) would be a selling point for me. I have a decent microwave oven and it takes about 7 to 8 minutes to bring 3 cups of water to a boil. On my electric stove it's about 5 minutes to boil 3 cups of water. I would imagine it would be even faster if I had an induction burner.

So time and clean up would be the determining factors for me.

 

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Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

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Tim Oliver

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So here we go:

...

Not quite getting that high heat blast I wanted:

DSC00016.JPG

...

Two questions posed by that picture --

1 - It looks to me as though you were shallow-frying rather than what I would call "searing" (a near dry process). This isn't really induction-related, but you aren't ever going to get a pan of oil up to flame-like temperatures (the oil will burn at a lower temperature than a blowlamp flame ...). You need to be heating the completely dry pan, before exposing the (lightly lubricated) protein to the grill-hot dry pan.

2 - That pan. Does a fridge-magnet stick to the sides? Or does it only have an induction-friendly base? If its only the base, then, to some extent, the base is behaving like a 'flame-tamer' - which is only going to impact you detrimentally when you are going for max heat. If you don't have a ridged cast iron 'griddle-pan', maybe try a plain steel frying pan ... (but make sure the base is flat and not warped).

Because the heat is being generated in the pan base, the pan is part of the heating system - it matters too!

And, I have my reservations about the newspaper as well.

Firstly, its not really needed. The induction 'cook-top' doesn't get hot enough to burn on any spattered grease. So clean-up is as simple as an immediate wipe-down.

Secondly, even the thickness of the newspaper is going to reduce the heating efficiency.

Try using a pan with a slightly warped (so not-quite-flat) base. The heating becomes uneven - hence my concern above about the flat base of a steel pan. The bigger the air-gap, the less that part of the pan is heated. Just lift the pan about a tenth of an inch off the cooktop to quickly stop the heating effect - that was all it took with my deDietrich. So even the thickness of the paper (especially if creased) is going to (even if only slightly) reduce the heating power to the pan.

That newspaper trick makes for a memorable sales demonstration, but its not "best practice" for general use, and particularly not when shooting for maximum temperature.

ADDED - And of course, from technophile50's info above, for maximum temperature, you'd need to be using "power cook" mode, bypassing any temperature sensing in your cooktop...

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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1 - It looks to me as though you were shallow-frying rather than what I would call "searing" (a near dry process). This isn't really induction-related, but you aren't ever going to get a pan of oil up to flame-like temperatures (the oil will burn at a lower temperature than a blowlamp flame ...). You need to be heating the completely dry pan, before exposing the (lightly lubricated) protein to the grill-hot dry pan.

Yes, I poured too much oil into the pan, tis true. Trying to juggle too many things, including a camera.

2 - That pan. Does a fridge-magnet stick to the sides? Or does it only have an induction-friendly base?

Yes, it's definitely induction-friendly.

And, I have my reservations about the newspaper as well.

Thanks for this. I got to thinking about it after posting this last night, especially wondering about the thickness of the newspaper reducing the efficiency of the burner. Oh, and I was using "Power Cook."

I think that these concerns merit another try....

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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...

Yes, I poured too much oil into the pan, tis true. Trying to juggle too many things, including a camera.

...

Suggest you don't pour ANY oil in the pan! Just wet the meat with it before it goes in the pan. You want to be at the oil's smoke point, or as far above it as you can get!
2 - That pan. Does a fridge-magnet stick to the sides? Or does it only have an induction-friendly base?

Yes, it's definitely induction-friendly.

...

Clearly! But is that the whole pan, or just a disc stuck onto the base?

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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