Induction cooktop impressions?

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nisiprius
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Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by nisiprius » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:31 pm

My wife is eyeing one. (After all, our old stove is 28 years old and the oven is starting to rust through, and not one of the Calrod units, each of which has been replaced several times, is level... it's time). We can read reports and so forth. Magnets don't stick to a lot of our pots and pans so we know we'll need to buy new ones. I really want to know three things:

a) Any surprises you weren't prepared for that took you aback? ("We starved to death in a winter storm because the only thing we had to eat was Jiffy-Pop popcorn with its built-in aluminum pan...")

b) Generally speaking, and ignoring price, is it a pure "we love it" or is it a mixed bag?

c) I have no doubt at all that when we actually start shopping for cookware we'll get whipsawed between the stove manufacturer saying "no special cookware needed" and the cookware manufacturers saying "you must buy our special-alloy Cobal-Thorium G pots." What's been your experience using random pots and pans on an induction range?
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

JohnFiscal
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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by JohnFiscal » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:51 pm

We had a "portable" unit (one burner) that sat on the countertop as a sort of trial. Worked well.

2 years ago we got a new KitchenAid range with induction top (model since discontinued). Wife (who does most of the cooking) has been very pleased with induction. She says that gas is much better than the calrod type of electric range but she now likes induction at least as much as gas (at least as fast, quick to cool down, cleaner than gas, etc)

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:55 pm

JohnFiscal wrote:We had a "portable" unit (one burner) that sat on the countertop as a sort of trial. Worked well.

2 years ago we got a new KitchenAid range with induction top (model since discontinued). Wife (who does most of the cooking) has been very pleased with induction. She says that gas is much better than the calrod type of electric range but she now likes induction at least as much as gas (at least as fast, quick to cool down, cleaner than gas, etc)



Makes me wish I had spent the money for induction.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by AlwaysaQ » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:01 pm

Nisiprius - you have been very helpful for all of us SO

I have an induction cooktop and I wouldn't have any other. I put off remodeling the kitchen for years because I hated the idea of gas (If I were rich I wouldn't have it in my house). Finally my stove was going and it sat in the corner. It was time to remodel because I wanted the cooking area away from the wall. Induction ranges were few at that time (2009) but there were a number of cooktops available. I bought a GE profile 30" because it fit perfectly in a 30" cabinet with no need to shave the sidewalls. The cooktop doesn't get really hot since the heat is created in the pan so little burns on and cleaning is easy. I use Ceramabryte or Windex with vinegar or soap and water all followed with a rinse with water and dry with a bar towel. If you want to splurge you can buy 36" cooktops with no defined rings where you can put pans anywhere though you are still limited by number.

I splurged and bought Demeyere Atlantis frypans (2), saucepans (2), and a medium saucepot. I also have two nonstick frypans from other companies. All work well.

As for the popcorn, do you have a place for a campstove?

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by drummerboy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:05 pm

We had a GE Induction Cooktop for the past 5 years. It was fantastic! (You just need to use magnetic stainless steel pans or cast iron).

We recently moved into a new home, gas range.

I miss induction. Easier cleanup. Faster time to boil water. No worries about natural gas "mishaps" (CO poisioning, accidental leaks, etc).

Induction is really fantastic.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by Mako » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:08 pm

I really liked induction when I had it, way better than regular electric, on par with gas but without the drawbacks. Heats up and boils quick, can control the temp fairly easily, and the surface doesn't get super hot (though it definitely does get hot where the pot is).

I didn't buy anything special as far as pots and pans other than noting that it said "works for induction." I needed a new set at the time anyway so that was no trouble. Cast iron will obviously work if you like that.

We were always paranoid about dropping stuff on it though. With gas you have the grates that are really tough, the induction cooktop was just glass. Nothing every happened though.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by randomguy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:35 pm

I miss my induction cook top whenever I am cooking someplace with electric or gas. The pots are a one time thing and it isn't like you need some crazy expensive set. You can buy whatever quality level you want (from 100 dollar sets to 2k ones).

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by curmudgeon » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:43 pm

I'll be interested to follow this thread, in particular folks that have switched between various forms. We've had gas cooktops (with electric ovens) for many years, and vastly prefer them to the various forms of electric resistance cooktops. We may be moving, and a number of the likely locations don't have natural gas service. I've been debating whether it is worth the hassle of maintaining a propane tank and service just for cooking, or giving in and just using electric. Induction might be a worthwhile investment in that case.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by metalworking » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:03 pm

We went from electric and considered gas or induction. We decided on Jenn air 36" induction 1 year ago and the difference is incredible. It is easy to clean. It is PRECISE in temperature control from melting chocolate to keeping warm and a really rapid boil. It has a bridge feature that we use to make pancakes/sandwiches with a griddle and again the feature is really convenient. It does occasionally make a clicking sound for a short time when using our big burner which your salesman can probably explain why. I don't find it annoying and it usually only lasts for a brief time. My wife has expressed several times how much more she likes to cook and it has benefited me greatly :happy . I also do some cooking and can say from personal experience that cooking is really much more enjoyable now. We use Duxtop pans. Make sure you get a very good quality griddle if you use the bridge feature as it helps distribute heat evenly. Hope that helps

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by Ping Pong » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:20 pm

Most of the induction stoves I have seen only have 10 discrete power settings. On my regular electric stove which has a continuous knob from 0 to 10, setting it to 2 will burn eggs while settting it to 1 will cook them so slow they will stick to the pan and taste yucky. I have to cook them at 1.4. Induction stoves can't be set to 1.4. Everyone says induction is so precise but this seems like a limitation. It's possible my stove isn't normal. Maybe my stove's 0-2 range is equivalent to someone else's 0-8.

It also seems that induction stoves require you to press up and down buttons to set the power level. I would much prefer a knob even if it got translated into a discrete setting in the backend.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by barnaclebob » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:38 pm

I'd recommend looking at a miele. The electric oven is fantastic but we have the slighltly imperfect gas cooktop, maybe the induction model is good.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by JFKtoSFO » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:52 pm

I am a gas stove lover, but now a complete induction convert. I moved into a condo where I was unable to run a gas line and was devastated. A realtor selling a neighboring unit suggested induction. I originally looked at higher end ones, but went with a Samsung because I didn't think any of the higher end brands were superior enough to justify the price difference, and I'm old-school and liked the feel of knobs vs. pressing buttons to adjust the temp control. It behaves just as my old gas ranges did, minus the open flame. I can get a quick boil, but also fine-tune cooking temps. I only had to replace one or two old pans, so it wasn't a big deal at all.

My favorite part is that because of how induction works, the stovetop itself doesn't get that hot. If I splash something on the cooktop I can wipe it down right away. If I accidentally leave the burner on after I've removed a pot, it's not the end of the world. I'm going to buy my elderly parents one for this very reason.

I love to cook, and I love this range. Highly recommend. :beer

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Induction cooktop info

Post by FraggleRock » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:13 pm

More info than you can shake a stick at http://theinductionsite.com
Hours of reading.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by madbrain » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:45 pm

nisiprius wrote:a) Any surprises you weren't prepared for that took you aback? ("We starved to death in a winter storm because the only thing we had to eat was Jiffy-Pop popcorn with its built-in aluminum pan...")

b) Generally speaking, and ignoring price, is it a pure "we love it" or is it a mixed bag?

c) I have no doubt at all that when we actually start shopping for cookware we'll get whipsawed between the stove manufacturer saying "no special cookware needed" and the cookware manufacturers saying "you must buy our special-alloy Cobal-Thorium G pots." What's been your experience using random pots and pans on an induction range?


I installed an 30" induction cooktop in my first house in 2005. Was one of the best purchases I ever made. Put a 36" in my second home in 2010. Both Kenmore brand. They have both been great.

The only issue I ever had was trying to cook on a cast iron pan. It got so hot that it split in the middle. Costco fortunately took it back . I have never bought cast iron since . I prefer cookware I can wash in the dishwasher anyway.

You definitely need special cookware. We mostly use a $200 18-piece set from Costco, Kirkland brand, that was made in Italy.

Cheap aluminum cookware definitely doesn't work. For making crepes, I had to buy this :
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002J ... UTF8&psc=1

It was expensive and really is quite heavy, not ideal for flipping. I don't know if there is anything else thinner that would work.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by Wolkenspiel » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:49 pm

Like most who replied, I love the (Electrolux) induction cooktop we installed in our kitchen reno last year. Instantaneous response, more power, easier cleanup compare to the previous electric range. Probably even prefer it over gas. No problems using any of the steel pots and pans we had, from cheap sets to All-Clad and Le Creuset.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by ReadyOrNot » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:57 pm

I have a cheap single burner portable unit. The cookware doesn't really need to stick to a magnet. Non-magnetic stainless steel works. But you cannot use a simple metal with high conductivity like aluminum. The portable unit came with a cheap aluminum skillet with a steel plate attached to the bottom outside. So I guess it works with lower conductivity metal on the outside (where eddy currents are induced and heat up the resistive metal). Everybody would recommend against the following (do not try this yourself; this is just to indicate that cheap metal works): I use a cheap oven-safe stainless steel mixing bowl. It is non-magnetic. It is probably dangerous to use something this thin. Oven-safe is not stove-top safe. But in general, something which sticks to a magnet is iron or steel with enough resistance to heat up with induced eddy currents. Sufficient but not necessary. Use stuff which is labeled "works with induction stovetops".
The temperature control is a mystery -- I don't think the temperature is really controlled. Could any temperature sensor really sense through the pot the temperature of contents? I would guess it just controls the power, which may work for an average pot with average contents in it. The "warm" setting is supposedly 140 deg. F but it can boil water. The "boil" setting should keep things at 212 deg. F, but obviously can get much hotter. I was boiling some potatoes (probably too many) so a potato on the bottom against the metal with no water in between started to burn. I have burnt oatmeal, once it gets too thick, on the supposed "212F" setting, and I suspect the lower settings would burn as well.
But realizing it doesn't really give the indicated temperature, I guess I like it, if only because it boils water very fast. Probably comparable to an electric kettle -- faster than a microwave.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by ash000000 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:12 pm

We have a 36" Bosch induction cooktop and love it. You can get an inexpensive set of stainless steel pots from Walmart. We also use cast iron and ceramic cookware.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by Boston Barry » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:22 am

Love my induction cooktop. Had gas before that and haven't looked back. Easy to wipe down and keep clean, easy to use as a surface when not cooking (putting a plate or bowl on it for instance. One tip I'd highly recommend if you are willing to pay extra is to get a zoneless model-- the cooktop is able to sense the placement and size of the pot and heat up that particular area. Works great. I went for the Gaggenau for this reason.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by DTSC » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:34 am

We have a 4 burner Whirlpool induction range with a double oven and absolutely love it.

Very easy clean up with a smooth glass top

It is wicked fast; we can boil 2 quarts of tap water in about 2 minutes.

If you currently have a gas range, you might need to get an electrician to put in a 220V outlet.

If you decide to buy, consider using Abt electronics. (abt.com) It is a family owned appliance business in Chicago, but their prices are competitive even after shipping is included.
Last edited by DTSC on Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:35 am

Really want want. Still trying to convince my DW.
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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by DTSC » Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:15 am

TheTimeLord wrote:Really want want. Still trying to convince my DW.


Buy a counter top one and try it out!

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by myleaf » Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:30 am

We got the kenmore 95103 free standing induction range a couple of years ago.
We have been holding off buying a new range for 20 years until this new technology was affordable. Induction cooktops are the best. You can be cooking on one burner while prepping over the adjacent burner which remains cool. Boiling water is very fast and he heat control is instantaneous. We would highly recommend it. Getting a feel for induction cooking with a small separate induction burner is a good idea, although these units maybe lower power and you may not get a feel for the capability of a complete range or cooktop. Also gave us an excuse to switch to All Clad cookware.
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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by nisiprius » Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:58 am

Twenty replies, twenty "I love it"-s, not one complaint. And, yes, we'll need new cookware, got it. I'm particularly impressed that people liked induction best, regardless of whether they preferred gas over traditional electric or the other way around. Thanks to all. I have my answer (but I won't stop reading the thread).
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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by West of Chicago » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:01 am

We used a portable unit while I was remodeling our kitchen and got hooked on the concept. They are relatively cheap, so you could always pick one up and try out the concept. We still use ours for a variety of things like outdoor cooking, heating fondue at the table, and when we need an extra burner for demanding dinner prep.

There are lots of options for induction-ready cookware. Last time I was there, Costco had a large Tramontina stock/pasta pot that was marked "induction ready" for $39.99. The Demeyere line Sur La Table sells is very nice, but a bit pricier.

When we moved to Chicagoland four years ago, we replaced the gas cooktop that came with the house with a 36" Bosch induction unit. We do a lot of cooking and it has been great--very precise temperature control, fast boil times with the "boost" function and easy clean-up. It has one scratch on it (don't know how it happened), so it's not entirely bulletproof.

We would never go back to gas or traditional electric.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:11 am

TheTimeLord wrote:Really want want. Still trying to convince my DW.


I actually have one I pick up at Costco and have yet to unbox. So I agree it is a good idea.
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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by meowcat » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:01 pm

Boston Barry wrote:Love my induction cooktop. Had gas before that and haven't looked back. Easy to wipe down and keep clean, easy to use as a surface when not cooking (putting a plate or bowl on it for instance. One tip I'd highly recommend if you are willing to pay extra is to get a zoneless model-- the cooktop is able to sense the placement and size of the pot and heat up that particular area. Works great. I went for the Gaggenau for this reason.

Curious how these "zoneless" models work. How many control knobs are there? If I put the pan in the direct center of the stove, which knob do I use? If I have 2 pans on the stove, which knobs work each pan? How many pans can I use at the same time? Which knobs control them? When I say "knobs" I'm referring to the temp controls, weather they are physical knobs or touch sensors.
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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by DTSC » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:09 pm

One negative is that our electric bill did go up substantially, maybe $30 per month. We switch from the gas range in the oven to electric induction and electric oven. In our region (Chicagoland) gas is definitely cheaper then electricity

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by nisiprius » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:32 pm

DTSC wrote:One negative is that our electric bill did go up substantially, maybe $30 per month. We switch from the gas range in the oven to electric induction and electric oven. In our region (Chicagoland) gas is definitely cheaper then electricity
Interesting. We're starting from a traditional (Calrod resistance unit) stove. I probably need to ask whether it takes more electricity to do the same cooking job with an induction stove than a traditional stove; I'd assume that the whole induction system is fairly high efficiency and that it would take either the same or a bit less because of less wasted heat escaping from underneath the cookware.
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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by DTSC » Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:27 pm

nisiprius wrote:
DTSC wrote:One negative is that our electric bill did go up substantially, maybe $30 per month. We switch from the gas range in the oven to electric induction and electric oven. In our region (Chicagoland) gas is definitely cheaper then electricity
Interesting. We're starting from a traditional (Calrod resistance unit) stove. I probably need to ask whether it takes more electricity to do the same cooking job with an induction stove than a traditional stove; I'd assume that the whole induction system is fairly high efficiency and that it would take either the same or a bit less because of less wasted heat escaping from underneath the cookware.


Actually in our case it might be because of the oven. It's s convection oven but with a fan. The fan stays on for another 2 hours after you turn the oven off.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by madbrain » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:15 pm

DTSC wrote:Actually in our case it might be because of the oven. It's s convection oven but with a fan. The fan stays on for another 2 hours after you turn the oven off.


Induction cooktops are very energy efficient. It's unlikely to result in a $30 monthly electric bill increase.
At a nationwide average of 12 cents/kWh, you are talking about 250 kWh per month.
One zone will typically use 1 to 3 kW depending on the setting - let's simplify it to 2.5 kW.
You are talking about 100 hours of induction cooking per month, or more than 3 hours a day !

Even if you use, say, 4 zones at once, that's still 25 hours of induction cooking per month or nearly one hour per day with all zones in use. As you surely know, induction cooktops are so quick that they are usually left on for much shorter periods of time - unless you are using them at very low setting for slow cooking something.

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Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Post by hand » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:34 pm

I did similar research in the past, and came to the conclusion that quality induction was likely equal to or better than gas in many cases.

Hidden negatives / surprises I read about were as follows:

1) Occasionally users noted a buzzing sound from the stove / pots when cooking
2) Glass top less durable than heavy cast iron grates
3) Induction does not work when the power goes out
4) Cost / hassle of running sufficient electrical power to stove (likely non-issue if replacing electric stove) in older houses with insufficient service (100 Amp or less)
5) Inability to roast peppers other items over open flame

Obviously most of these items do not impact typical users, but worth considering just in case they impact you.
These edge case negatives were balanced by efficiency, control and power of induction as well as the ease of cleanup and safety.

I ended up with high quality gas (BlueStar cooktop) because I suffer frequent power outages, and because of an irrational fondness for the tradition of gas cooking, but would happily cook on induction in other circumstances.

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costs

Post by FraggleRock » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:43 pm

nisiprius wrote:
DTSC wrote:starting from a traditional (Calrod resistance unit) [cooktop]. I probably need to ask whether it takes more electricity to do the same cooking job with an induction [cooktop] than a traditional stove

Much less electricity.
Induction cooktops are the most energy efficient cooktops.
Gas is way less energy efficient, but gas typically costs way less than electricity.

If you have an electric cooktop now, then moving to induction is a no brainer.
If you have gas, then induction will incur higher capital and operating costs.

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Induction cooktop impressions

Post by FraggleRock » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:44 pm

Previously, all my advice was theoretical.
Now have experience.

Our kitchen is being renovated and we were reduced to: outdoor gas grill, toaster oven.
Decided to buy a countertop induction hob for $70 - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GMCAM2G/

My summary is: amazing!
1. Can set precise temperature of pan.
2. Fast. Heats up very quickly.

What to ignore during your evaluation:
1. The noise of the cooling fan as the expensive embedded units are not as noisy.
2. The maximum limit due to it being a 110volt unit.

Why I am not buying one:
1. We have gas installed. Installing the additional electric circuit would cost over $1000.
2. We have have time-of-year pricing (Summer is double) for electricity and gas does not.
3. The Wolf gas hob http://www.subzero-wolf.com/wolf/cookto ... as-cooktop is being installed ery soon.

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