home Forums Kitchen Chit-Chat Induction Burner /Cooktop Roll Call!

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  • #20144
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    Who has one, what type, what do you like/hate about it and what do you cook with it!

    I’ll start:

    I have an el-cheap-o Tri-star 2000w induction burner. I wish that I could set the temperature to a finer point (right now only to 20°C increments).

    I use it mostly to boil water for a big pot of spaghetti (I pressure cook the short pasta), and sometimes pressure cooking – but it can be tricky since I cannot perfectly adjust the temperature.

    Sometimes I love making hot chocolate on it using a small lidded stainless steel milk pitcher- it’s so fast to bring milk to a boil. Italian hot chocolate is thick, like a pudding. To fresh milk we add corn starch, cocoa powder and sugar (these come conveniently in pre-measured packets). So I just mix all of the ingredients cold and whisk the heck out of it for a few minutes. It just needs to boil a couple minutes for the corn starch to activate and start the thickening process. But I do feel that all of this speed is a little risky, especially when boiling hot chocolate starts plopping around faster than I can whisk.

    You?

    Ciao,

    L

    #20147
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    I have a cheap Canadian one that I haven’t used in years due to lack of counter space.

    I did use it to make stock and soup and a few other things and it seemed to work fine.
    I liked the timer feature where it would stop automatically. I had wanted an induction wok after watching Ming Tsai on TV, but couldn’t afford one.

    I ordered a stovetop PC that jonilyn pointed out, so I will try the induction burner with that.

    Not thinking it will work great, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    Helen

    #20152
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have a cheap NewWave 2000W jobbie. While it is branded differently to yours Laura, I suspect it is the same unit. It certainly has an identical looking control panel.

    I bought it to try with my PCs as even after several years practice, I struggle hitting the sweet spot on my gas stove. The induction is even worse though. One setting is too low to maintain pressure. The next is too high. So I spend all my time turning it on and off manually. I am tempted to pull it apart and have a go at reworking the control system so I can get finer control over it. Shouldn’t be too hard. ;)

    What I do use it for is rapidly heating large pots of water. I often preheat the water for my sous vide with it. The controls are far too coarse to use it directly for SV. I also use it to quickly reduce sauces.

    #20155
    NEPolarbear
    Participant

    Have a Burton 1800 watt induction burner.
    Will use it for anything that doesn’t require the vent hood.
    Example:
    When browning meat in the PC for beef stew, I will use the gas stove.
    Remove the meat then transfer the PC to the Burton.
    Then proceed with the making of the stew.

    Great for the PC in keeping the pressure steady.

    #20535
    againstthegrain
    Participant

    I just began cooking with induction a month and a half ago, but already I love it. Water boils before I even have the tea stuff ready. Cleanup is a breeze. The only hard part has been retraining myself to wait to heat the pan until I have my ingredients fully chopped, measured, and ready for cooking.

    How I became an inadvertent induction convert:

    For most of last year I thought about replacing my still-working-but-mismatched and-ugly 15+ yo Kenmore (Sears) electric coil element range. I dreamed of a smoothtop electric range, though my experience cooking on was was very limited. In late 2014 the timing was right to donate the old stove to a charity thrift store while it was still useful to someone (instead of scrap) and get a tax deduction, as well as take advantage of the year-end major appliance sales, supposedly the lowest sale prices of the year when there is still a wide range of models in stock.

    I don’t have a gas line to my kitchen, so it had to be an electric replacement, but as I shopped around, read reviews, talked to people I knew who owned radiant element smoothtops, I became less enthused due to stories of lengthy surface cool-down time and drips, splatters, and spills burning onto hot or adjacent elements while cooking, requiring one to stop, wipe pans, clean stovetops, etc. mid-way through cooking sessions to avoid a difficult cleaning task later, or worse, a permanent burned-on stain.

    Additionally, the Samsung DUO Flex that I initially liked the look of, after reading many buyer reviews, seemed to be especially prone to scratches even with careful use and cleaning. One reviewer with professional glass knowledge said Samsung used substandard ceramic glass for their ranges. Electric coil element ranges were no longer a good replacement option, either – now every coil element model for sale is not only the lowest quality, but also has fewer features/functions than what I already had. I was ready to buy, but had become a bit discouraged about my options.

    However, each passing week in December my shopping patience (and indecision) was rewarded with better sale discounts, so I kept looking and waiting for the best sale price on a conventional smoothtop with oven features/overall looks that I liked, and at least reasonable reviews/test performance. Some stores didn’t actually lower their prices, but they would price match competitors’ sale prices.

    By the last week of December several induction ranges finally were within the upper end of my shopping budget (just barely) and weren’t likely to be discounted any further. I read that induction didn’t suffer from many of radiant’s negative aspects, so I took a closer look and narrowed my choice to Frigidaire and Electrolux induction ranges. I pounced right before the year-end sales were over, even negotiating an additional price-matching reduction per the store’s PM policy.

    I chose an Electrolux 30-inch wide induction free-standing range with convection oven.*

    I’d used a friend’s Electrolux induction cooktop the year before and had really enjoyed the experience, even with the learning curve, especially for gently frying eggs. Most of my cookware collection was already induction capable, which further greased the decision to buy induction.

    What fun this new induction range has been! The large convection oven performs really well as I expected it would, but the induction rangetop is like getting a high performance car after a lifetime of driving a sensible car. In addition to the benefits of induction element responsiveness, quick surface cool-down time, a bridge function that syncs control for the matched elements on the left side to accommodate a long griddle, and easy clean-up, there’s another huge side benefit that actually has nothing to do with cooking with the induction elements.

    Now I can use my 1 yo Instant Pot DUO and new Instant Pot Smart electric pressure cookers on the smooth range surface under the hood fan/lights (with rangetop elements underneath turned off, of course), which was one of the main reasons I wanted to ditch the coil elements.

    The smooth glasstop surface does become a little warm when the oven is in use, but large round cork trivets (from IKEA) on the glasstop under the IPs insulate them from direct contact with the warm glass surface (I also keep the IPs well away from the oven vent in the back left when the oven is heated).

    If I need to use range elements, the IPs can always be moved to a countertop. More often than not, especially if one or both IPs is in use, no more than one medium rangetop element is needed for additional cooking tasks anyway, so one IP can often remain on the opposite side of the range top, usually over the back right lower powered small diameter element that I almost never use. I don’t think I could have been able to use and store the IPs on the rangetop nearly as much if I had bought a radiant element smoothtop range.

    I don’t own a stovetop PC (yet), so I can’t comment on how the induction works with one. If I do every acquire a stovetop PC, it’s likely to be a short skillet size or a very large one, like an induction capable pressure canner (or both). But I’m so happy with my two Instant Pots that any new PC purchase isn’t going to happen any time soon.

    The one very tiny (no more than 1/2″) scratch that has appeared on the glasstop probably was from a bit of stray salt that got under a pan (I often grind unrefined coarse salt) so I’m being more careful about salt now. I relaxed a little, too, when I learned about the parchment paper trick for cast iron pans (as long as the element isn’t used on the highest settings or Powerboost for rapid water boiling). I stocked up on several boxes of half sheet pan sized parchment sheets when I happened upon a good supermarket sale. My supply should last a very long time – the flat sheets can often be wiped off and folded in half or quartered for storage and reused, even used several times unless heavily soiled by spills/splatters or slightly browned from lengthy medium-high induction settings. Sheets of newspaper placed around the pan and adjacent countertops catch any heavy splattering. I won’t say cleaning the stovetop has become fun or I no longer think about scratches. However, easier, faster cleanup and being able to protect the glasstop from scratching with the parchment paper is worth paying the higher price for induction, IMO.

    I doubt this induction range will last nearly as long as the simple coil element range it replaced, and Electrolux’s below average position in Consumer Reports brand reliability survey isn’t as reassuring as I’d like, but nonetheless, I am probably a permanent induction convert at this point and I’ve completely stopped wishing that I had a gas line to the kitchen.

    Induction veterans undoubtably already know all the benefits of induction, but I’m still very much in the “wow” stage, LOL. I can’t believe more people aren’t aware of induction ranges, especially as the prices have come down so much in the past few years.

    *A mail-in form for free bonus accessory cast iron griddle was included with the range’s documents, much to my surprise. The griddle arrived just a couple weeks after I mailed the form. I’ve only use it once so far. Except for weight when moving it from storage and during cleaning, I like it – so far.

    An conventional enamel coated steel broiler pan was included with the range when it was delivered – the other ranges I considered didn’t include a broiler pan, let alone a free compatible griddle.

    #20550
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    I tried my new Fagor Futuro on my old induction cook top today with the hot water test and 2 cups water.

    Put it on High (LEVEL 6)and it reached pressure in 2 minutes. Put it on Medium for 2 minutes, then on next lowest, then lowest (level 1). maintained PRESSURE FOR 7 Minutes on lowest so I turned it off.

    This seemed better than I expected from a cheap 8 year old Salton cooktop?

    Is 1400 watts with two modes
    Boil:
    Level 1 270 watts Low/Simmer
    Level 2 400 watts Low
    Level 3 800 watts Low/Medium
    Level 4 1000 watts Medium
    Level 5 1200 watts Medium/High
    Level 6 1400 watts High

    Fry:
    Level 1 176°F / 80°C Low
    Level 2 230°F / 110°C Low
    Level 3 266°F / 130°C Medium
    Level 4 320°F / 160°C Medium
    Level 5 356°F / 180°C High
    Level 6 392°F / 200°C High

    I am quite confused as to the difference/correlation between Watts for boil and temperature for fry.

    Maybe I will measure the water temperature and see how stable it is with an open pot.

    Any insight appreciated.

    Helen

    #20551
    Anonymous
    Participant

    What I seem to be getting from the comments here is that using an induction burner with a PC is hit or miss. If you are lucky enough to have one of the settings about right to maintain pressure then you are on a winner. If not, then it gets relegated for other uses.

    From Laura’s comments here and elsewhere, she seems to have a sweet spot at Temp=120ºC where it will maintain pressure. So she is one of the lucky ones. On the other hand, mine slowly loses pressure @140ºC but gains it at the next setting up ( @160ºC) which means I can only use mine if I watch it like a hawk. It continually gains pressure on the lowest power setting.

    I think the temperature setting on these is more than a bit iffy. They don’t have an external sensor. At least mine doesn’t. Which means that at best, they have a sensor mounted under the glass. If you are VERY lucky, they will have calibrated it with a pot of oil sitting on the burner. SO the nominal temperature is likely to be fairly close to actual in the pot. Again, I wasn’t so lucky. I measured 70ºC water temperature when the burner was set to 100ºC (212ºF – Boiling). When I left it sitting there for about an hour, it would rise to a rolling boil briefly every 10 minutes or so then drop back to a steaming but not even simmering pot.

    Mine is a nominal 2000W unit with 10 settings for temperature and 10 for power.
    I checked mine with a power meter, and the power settings seem to be pretty much spot on, except for the lowest 500W setting. This was actually switched 1400W (on for a few seconds. Off for a few seconds) which may have averaged 500W, but I lack the means to tell.

    The temperature settings also used the 1400W power, but switched it differently. the lowest – 60ºC – was almost always off. The highest was almost always on. Hopefully this switching is controlled by a sensor under the glass, but it may also be simply timed by a programmer. One day i may pull it apart to find out. But not today.

    #20552
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    Thank you Greg.

    My cooktop seems to have a sensor because the fan stays on until the pot cools even with it turned off. That one puzzled me for a bit.

    I am understanding the Fagor a bit better after rereading Laura’s review.

    I am having thermometer problems. My TruTemp digital thermometer faster (+/- 1.5 degrees) when I boil water on the induction burner. It will not show over 199 degrees even at a rolling boil until I turn of the induction burner, Then it immediately leaps to 212 degrees. Magnetic interference?

    The thermometer measures boiling water on the stove at 212.

    Hope I am not off topic again

    Helen

    #20553
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    Oops found the thermometer answer
    http://www.cdnw.com/products/retail/proaccurate/candy-deep-fry

    Helen

    #20615
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    Replying to Original as to what I like and don’t like about my Salton 1400 Watt Induction cooktop.

    Like:
    Easy to operate.
    Small and light.
    Seem consistent.
    Works well with my 6L Futuro.
    Timer function.
    Can change heat/time on the fly.
    Nice loud beep when timer is done.

    Don’t like
    Limited temperature range. 6 levels.
    Interferes with digital thermometer. (I assume they all do?)
    Fan is noisy.

    I have run the hot water test at a variety of levels. (two cups water)
    Level 6 reaches pressure at 5 minutes. Button pops up at 4-4 1/2.
    Level 5 takes 6 minutes.

    Levels 3-6 build pressure.
    Level 3 maintains pressure for about 15 minute then goes into over-pressure.
    Level 2 maintains pressure for 30 plus minutes, but must have good pressure to start or will drop.
    Level 1 also maintains pressure if the pressure is good to start but not sure how long.

    I only started using the Futuro/induction cooktop Monday, but they seem to perform well together. The Futuro sides and lid heat up fairly quickly and uniformly. There is very little liquid lost.

    What I like best is the timer function. I can set the timer for 4 minutes, turn it on again and watch it for a minute until I am sure the pressure is good, then set the cooking time.

    I have steamed spinach (1 minute), steamed Asian dumplings, (giant pot sticker type 8 minutes), and made the eggnog cheesecake from hip pressure cooking (15 minutes).

    Everything turned out excellent. The dumplings were better than when done in the Instant Pot Smart.

    Probably too much information, but the Salton line is very inexpensive in Canada and not always the best performance, so I was very pleasantly surprised that my 8 year old 1400 Watt cooktop seems so stable. Better than adequate IMO although I know there are better.

    Helen

    #21617
    Plant Chef
    Participant

    I HAD a Max Burton 6200. It was 1800 watts and I used it as my main cooking element for 18 months before it suddenly stopped working last Fall. Fortunately I had the foresight to insure it so I got my money back from Square Trade. Although I used it a lot I can’t say I really miss it. I’m not sure if I’ll replace it or not.

    The thing that I least liked about the induction burner is that I could never adjust the heat low enough. It also wasn’t really all that fast at boiling water so that was a bit of a let down. I did like that it got really hot and I could make a killer stir fry with it.

    It died before I got my pressure cookers so I can’t really comment from that perspective. What I can say is that I would never want an induction only range. One burner is plenty. If manufacturers would offer one induction burner as an option that would be great.

    #21622
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    I wanted to get an induction burner range, but two things stopped me. They are very expensive, and the burners have no timers. The lack of timers was the deal breaker for me. Price is an object, but I could manage it.

    There are combo induction/smoothtop ranges but pretty pricey and again no timers.

    Well you can tell I like timers. Loud beeping timers even. When I am cooking several dishes at once it is nice to know your onions won’t burn when you are chopping your carrots or distracted by a hone call.

    #21720
    Jonilyn
    Participant

    I have a Kudouri induction burner still in the box. It is from the product line of Home Hardware in Canada. Hope to find time soon to become friends with it.

    I, too, have been giving thought to an induction stove or stove top. they are pricy and something I found out is that very few if any of the repair companies know anything about them. So one could be left with an expensive appliance and no repair service. Fridgadaire and Electrolux ( the same company) are the two brands available here in Atlantic Canada.

    #21727
    Anonymous
    Participant

    One other thing my brother found out when he bought a full 6 burner induction cooktop (F&P) and actually read the warnings in the manual: It said that they can interfere with a pacemaker and to make sure anyone with a heart condition stay out of the kitchen. No mention of it in my el cheapo single burner job though.

    #38735
    Greg Lee
    Participant

    I’ve had this one, Vollrath (59500P) Mirage Pro Countertop Induction Range (1800-Watt, 15-Amps, NSF) — $424 from Amazon, for 2 years now. I like it. But I don’t have a stovetop PC. The only thing is, it burns things at the very beginning of cooking unless I start it at low heat.

    #890334
    oldwood
    Participant

    We have a Duxtop 1800 watt unit. I use it to heat a whistling kettle, cook eggs stirfry in a cast iron wok and poach eggs. I like the temp and time settings you can set the unit for high and 6 minutes and it will have the 12 cup kettle right at a boil.

    I found the fan a little irritating at first but don’t notice it now. Overall if it quit working I would get another one. I would of course like more power to boil faster.

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