Advice: Electric vs Induction

cnmng30January 13, 2014

Anybody have experience with both? Which would you recommend? Thanks!

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Golden David

I've had coil electric ranges and smooth top electric ranges, and cooked for several months on a stand-alone induction burner while my new (gas) range was being installed upstairs.

They're not even really comparable. Induction is great. Electric is a dinosaur. If I couldn't use gas, and maybe even if I could, I would install an induction cooktop in a heartbeat.

This post was edited by goldenguy on Mon, Jan 13, 14 at 17:20

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 3:58PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I've cooked on a smoothtop electric in a summer rental, and I now have an induction cooktop in my current home (having had gas before that). Cooking on the radiant electric was "fine" - things cooked. But there's little fine-tuning, it takes forever for the temperature to change, and the burners are, well "burners" (meaning they're hot) and things get stuck on and are harder to clean. The induction is a dream -- heats up instantly, very easy to clean (I use Windex non-ammonia, and once in awhile cooktop cream cleaner), and most importantly instant temperature changes (on mine, you press the power level you want, so to go from, say, 17 to 1, is just one press of a button). My particular cooktop also has individual hob timers, which I have found to be very convenient - set rice to cook, set the timer, and walk away, and the timer and hob go off when the preset time expires.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 4:04PM
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cnmng30

sjhockeyfan--which induction cooktop do you use?

thank you both for your help. Now to choose a brand...

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 5:18PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I have the Bosch NIT5065 (30"). I've had it for about a month and I just love it (and I don't use fancy pots and pans, nor am I any kind of gourmet cook).

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 5:53PM
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Cavimum

Have cooked on electric coil burner stoves since the 1960s.
Last year, we did a complete kitchen remodel and I learned about induction here at GardenWeb. After some investigation and research, that is what we chose. Hubby and I both agree that our induction cooktop is the best appliance in our remodel.
We both love it. Really. It is very responsive --- it is like cooking with gas, but without the flames.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 6:45PM
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jwvideo

Pretty much agree with everything said above about choosing induction over regular electric ranges/cooktops, but offer a some additional of additional considerations.

Budget: induction is still more expensive.

Do you use large canning kettles or maybe make beer? If so, you may have trouble doing it on a radiant smoothtop. Many of them use heat sensors that get confused by the large pots used by canners and brewers, and have trouble bringing those big pots to boil.

Do you live in a warm climate? Induction throws a lot less waste heat into the kitchen than coil and radiant burners.

Do you take pots off the cooktop and forget to shut off a burner? Induction burners shut themselves off when you remove a pot. Most are supposed to shut themselves down if a pan boils dry, too.

Ever put spoons or utensils on the cooktop and find them too hot to pick up? Or worse, find a pastic turner or spoon melting on the cooktop from heat from an adjoining burner? Doesn't happen with induction.

Cleaning: while SJhockeyfan disclaims being a gourmet cook while mentioning ease of cleaning, it strikes me that gourmet cooks can be just as messy and maybe more so. IMHO, you can't beat induction for ease of cleaning

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 8:29PM
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a2gemini

Great job SJ
I also went from a coil to induction. I was ready to go to gas when I learned about induction.
I also used a side burner for a year and ended up using that more than my range.
The one thing is to make sure your cooking vessels are magnetic.
Have fun shopping!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 6:21AM
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sprtphntc

cooked on gas, coil electric and smooth top electric and without a doubt induction is the best...

we have had our 36" induction cooktop for over 2 years and we love it...best decision we made.!! would never go back to any of the others...

precise heating, easy cleaning, what';s not to love...

good luck with your decision...

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 4:58PM
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Caya26

I had electric my whole life before we remodeled our kitchen this past Spring (2013). I was going to get gas, when i learned about induction on GW. Two concerns about gas that bothered me - the cleaning issue, and also the fact that studies have come out saying that gas may not be the best for asthmatics, and I have asthma.
I LOVE my GE Induction range. As others have said - precise heating, clean up is a breeze, love the oven too - bakes beautifully, great probe feature for roasts, turkeys etc.
Induction is the way to go, IMHO.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 6:19PM
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williamsem

I also took the plunge, about a year ago, and we LOVE induction! DH had no idea what I was talking about and really wanted gas for the control. But he trusted my research and gave in. He couldn't stop raving about it for weeks! Once he saw what it was and understood it, it was the best thing ever in his opinion.

We have a GE Profile freestanding range, the model now being clearanced out because the new one just appeared. So you may be able to get a great deal on one!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 8:23PM
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gin_gin

Hands down, induction. No contest.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 12:49AM
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okpokesfan

Induction, induction, induction. I have the Bosch 36" 500 series and love it.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 10:46AM
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Ed-C

CNMNG30:

I've had experience w/ gas, smooth top electric, coil electric & induction. I prefer induction. My least favorite is smooth top electric, if forced to have electric I'd rather have the old fashioned coils. My complaint with the electric smooth tops is that the material used for the smooth top is a very poor conductor of heat, therefore it takes a long time for the resistor to heat up the top and then the top to heat your cookware. The electric smooth top is the least responsive to the controls.

Before we bought our first built in induction unit we got a cheap portable unit to try it out. Here's a link to a cheap one. Of course we liked it & subsequently lent it to friends after we installed an induction unit. After using the portable, our friends also switched to induction.

Here is a link that might be useful: $60 Induction Cooktop

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 5:27PM
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MizLizzie

Induction. Bosch.
Induction. Bosch.
Rinse. Repeat.
Change your life.
Yes, really.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 7:47AM
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cnmng30

Thanks for all of the advice. Sounds like it's induction hands down. So any of my pots that are not magnetic on the bottom will have to be replaced?

Thanks again for your input.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 5:07PM
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jwvideo

>>> So any of my pots that are not magnetic on the bottom will have to be replaced? The answer is a resounding "maybe."

If you have inherited heavy-duty, antique, tin-lined copper from your French great-grandmother or have particular pans you are absolutely wedded to, then you might want to look at "induction disks" or large cast-iron pans. In essence, these allow convert an induction burner into a radiant electric burner for when you want to use one of the existing non-induction pans. Cast iron gives you the widest range of choices. Depending on the pans you want to continue using, and how large they are, you might want to look at something like one of the large Lodge cast iron pieces (a 17" diameter cast-iron skillets for about $75 and or a slightly smaller 15" one runs about $35 as does Lodge's low-sided pizza pan, and about $15 for a 10.5" round griddle pan). Using these will be a lot like cooking on sold-surface and coil burners.

Induction adapter disks are thinner and lighter and, at least in theory, give you more rapid adjustment responses. About a year or so ago, Cooks Illustrated tested several purpose-made induction "interface" disks. They preferred the one sold under the Max Burton brand (about 8.5" in diameter and runing between $40 and $60 depending on from whom you buy it.)

Otherwise, for things like non-stick skillets and stock pots, you have lots of potentially inexpensive choices for replacement cookware. If you need to replace several pots, you might want to consider a set. For example, Costco offers a 7 pan set (with lids) of Circulon Premier Pro annodized, NS induction-disk-in-the-base pans. Right now, it is priced (in the warehouse stores) for under $200.but I saw as low as $159 last summer. Lots of other choices. Search in the cookware forum here and at Chowhound for long lists of suggestions.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:31PM
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kaseki

The only induction caveat I can think of (assuming your electrical wiring can be made to accommodate it) is that your intuition for how long it takes various quantities in various sized pans to heat up based on your years of cooking will need recalibration. My advice is to not wander off from cooking at the higher settings for the first few weeks of use. Induction doesn't yet include automatic boil-over detection and correction.

kas

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 9:55AM
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sjhockeyfan325

Kaseka, I haven't tested it out, but I thought some induction cooktops DO detect boil overs and turn themselves off (?). Or maybe on rereading you meant they don't just lower the temperature.

As for electrical wiring, yes, do be aware - our 30-in Bosch required a 40-amp dedicated circuit (which we already had) but the 36-in. Requires a 50-amp circuit.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 12:16PM
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Cavimum

"The only induction caveat I can think of (assuming your electrical wiring can be made to accommodate it) is that your intuition for how long it takes various quantities in various sized pans to heat up based on your years of cooking will need recalibration."

This is so true. I have burned more pots by cooking vegetables, and wandering off to the computer .....

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 10:05PM
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repac

I too was convinced by this forum to change from electric to induction, and I'm so glad I did! What a difference in cooking. Pinpoint accuracy in temperature is fabulous, and the immediacy of changing temps has saved many a pot from boiling over. There is a bit of a learning curve because everything heats up so much faster, but it's easy to learn. You'll love it!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 4:24PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I tried the paper towel trick last night and it worked!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 4:42PM
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Cavimum

"I tried the paper towel trick last night and it worked!"

LOL, yes it does. My local independent appliance store demos the inductions that way.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 4:59PM
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