INDUCTION or no: please weigh in

HulaGalJJanuary 26, 2011

I want a Miele 36" induction cooktop, but DH is very much against it. Here is the list of pros and cons as I see it. A couple of points: kitchen will be shaker inset white cabs. We plan to stay in this house at least 15-20 years. We hope to add solar panels in a few years.

Will you weigh in on this debate and, if you went with induction, whether you like it?


1) Most efficient cooker (and can be cleanest if you have solar electric)

2) Easy to clean

3) Great burner power comparable to high powered gas

4) Much safer than gas or even electric

5) This is the cooktop of the future


1) Modern aesthetic will not fit well in our period-influenced white kitchen

2) Requires special cookware and dedicated circuit that will cost addl money

3) Special cookware is very heavy and as we age it may become too burdensome

4) May turn off potential buyers (if we sell for some reason) No one I know has this cooktop and only one of the GCs I spoke with knew what it was

5) Can't char a pepper or use a grill/griddle on it

6) This is not the cooktop of the future but a 40+ year fad for gadgety folk


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During a power outage you can cook with gas.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 5:35PM
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I grew up with gas, first 2 apartments had gas (all relatives had gas) and the 3 homes and 1 condo I owned/own had/have gas.

I recently sold my Thermador 6 burner gas cooker and switched to a 36" Miele Induction cooktop. I am in absolute LOVE. EVERY benefit of gas, just better!!! Lighting fast water boiling, high heat stir-frying, sauteeing, searing, and then super lower consistent simmer for delicate sauces. Virtually no heat created in the kitchen, quiet and the cleaning....!!!

Seriously, cleaning the glass Induction cooktop is like a vacation compared to gas and it's grates and burners. Even after a super oily, splattery stir fry or pan frying battered chicken in shortening or butter.....just let the Induction cooktop cool for a few mins (cools really fast) then I just wipe with a damp microfiber towel. I still have not needed any Windex or special Miele cooktop cleaner. I look forward to cleaning the Induction cooktop, as much as I want to use it.

SO many times, I avoided cooking a certain dish with the gas cooker, because either I (or the cleaning crew) had just cleaned the gas cooker & I did not want to get the gas range dirty. Now, I cook anything I want anytime of the week...since cleaning the enitre Induction cooktop takes like 30 seconds!!

I WILL NEVER OWN GAS AGAIN. I cannot say enough amazing things about Induction!!!

Le Creuest, Scanpan, Staub ALL make Induction griddle pans. Who told you, with Induction, you cannot use a griddle pan?

You DO NOT need expensive, nor heavy pans to work on Induction. Home Goods carry many Italian, German and Mexican pots & pans that are for Induction. If a regular household magnet sticks to the bottom, it will work on Induction. It is not big deal!

Indcution is the MOST EFFICIENT means of cooking. Roughly 90% of the energy is directly sent to the pan being used. Gas is roughly 60-65% efficient!

Induction is clean, safe, cool, efficient and just awesome!!!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 5:59PM
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Forgot to say...NONSENSE about worrying about Induction in an old fashioned kitchen. Our house and kitchen are VERY traditional. Style is French Country Chateau! Our kitchen has real, tumbled rustic stone floor, light distressed white/beige cabinets with beveled glass doors (think upscale shabby-chic), tradt'l granite counters and even a very Country crystal chandelier over the kitchen sink. If you know what a Clive Christian kitchen is...this is what we have. Nothing looks better than an old fashioned, tradtional kitchen with MODERN, CLEAN and EFFICIENT appliances. Just because our kitchen are old fashioned and period...who in the h*ll wants old fashioned, period appliances?

I LOVE Induction more than any other appliance I have ever owned!!!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:04PM
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2) all electric cooktops require a separate circuit, not just induction. And it can also be said that a gas cooktop requires a dedicated gas line which would cost additional money if none is present.
3) Induction cookware is not heavy, unless you chose to restrict yourself to cast iron. I use stainless. It isn't any heavier than aluminum.
5) There are steel griddles/grill that are induction capable.
6) if it's been around for 40 years, it isn't a fad. Certainly no more than those fancy-shmancy solar panels.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:09PM
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What larsi said........exactly

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:13PM
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Fori is not pleased

Cons #3 and 5 are false. (Although, to char something you'll probably want something heavy like cast they are only kinda false sort of.)

It's not trendy and new--I replaced an induction cooktop that was installed in the early 1980s.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:15PM
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You can eliminate #3. Induction cookware does not have to be heavy. I got mine at Ikea and Walmart. It's no different than any other cookware I've used, as far as heft is concerned.

After having used gas, regular coil electric, ceramic top electric, and now induction, I'll have to go with induction as my favorite. I do understand your concern with aesthetics. Our house is modern so the smooth glass look fits right in. If I had a super traditional/country kitchen I might have gone with gas. Gas is still the upscale choice in our town and induction isn't as well known yet, but I think that's changing now that Sears and GE have got into the act.

My favorite thing about induction is how fast it heats up and how responsive the controls are. If anything boils over it's only because I turned my back and forgot about it. And even then, I don't have to worry about a cooked on mess to clean up. I've had this baby since June, I cook virtually every night, and I'm a slob, and it still looks brand new. My last house had a gas cook top and after 3 months it was discolored and looked 10 years old.

I sing the praises of induction to anyone that will listen.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:16PM
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Con #4 is also false. I can't imagine that anyone who is used to conventional electric wouldn't want induction. Anyone who is used to gas but kitchen-savvy would also be interested. You would turn off only a minority of buyers, and a good realtor should be able to turn this into a selling point anyway.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:39PM
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I doubt induction is a fad. It has been in use in other countries for decades. However, I do agree that pretty much no one I know IRL even knows what it is! When I say "boil water in 90" then they kind of get it. Consumer Reports rates induction as #1, so more people might investigate what it is.

If your cookware is magnetic on the bottom, it's going to work. I only had to get rid of a few nonstick fry pans.

Yes, you need a dedicated circuit separate from the wall oven(s) for the cooktop.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:56PM
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Get a high quality gas range or rangetop and it will outlast you with relatively little expense.

When an induction element bites the dust it can be very expensive to repair/replace. How long will they make the elements for your induction? The history of electronics is not that they get more durable.

With gas even if they don't sell exactly the ignitors or spark module you have a good repair man can jimmy-rig something. Worst case scenario you use a chimney lighter.

Indcution is the MOST EFFICIENT means of cooking. Roughly 90% of the energy is directly sent to the pan being used. Gas is roughly 60-65% efficient!

True if you are useing solar electric power.

Over 60% of electricity used in the USA is derived from coal. Another 10-15% from nuclear. Coal at power plant to electricity to your cooktop waste energy from the original btus stored in the coal. Natural gas at the Gas company to your house loses nothing. Nuclear has waste. Natural gas to electricity then trasmitting that power to your home waste energy too.

Con 5 is aslo true. Charring over an open flame is different than in a cast iron pan.Particularly when it comes to peppers. The moist heat produced from a gas is just plain different.IF you were charring the entire thing to dust it would not matter.

I will never own induction. Con 4 is very true.

Induction cooktops in an ultra-modern kitchen looks cool.

In a traditional kithcen it looks retarded.

Regardless of how many big name interior designers do it.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 7:11PM
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nice debating style. By the way, dee-agu-eau is like saying "water water"

Thous shalt not should on thyself. Electricity will be produced more cleanly, by solar and wind in the future. In the meantime, transmission lines already import it into NY and New England, from clean hydroelectric power in Canada. Coal consumption will shrink; meanwhile, thou shalt not should on thyself. Industry consumption is far more significant than an individual turning on a burner here and there.

Induction is so good, that it improves your cooking.

It's less heat too! I mean wasted heat that needs AC to cool you down. And less total energy thrown out into the universe.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 7:49PM
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Fori is not pleased

If you're worried about resale, you can swap out the cooktop before putting the house on the market. It's cheap compared to selling a house. You can even put in a gas line (if you don't already have one--not that expensive when you have the walls out and the plumber in for a remodel). But buyers won't know it's not plain old electric unless you tell them. From a design standpoint, use a traditional hood and backsplash and it'll pass for traditional. The people on the Kitchen forum won't let you do anything bad. :)

Do you really want people to think your kitchen is NOT modern? The whole point of remodeling is to put in some new stuff!

I don't know how the kitchens of the naysayers look, or if they've ever tried induction. I like it. But it's just an appliance and it won't kill me if I have to replace it. If I could only afford one cooktop, ever, I'd probably not do anything electric.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 7:51PM
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I probably shouldn't respond to this yet as my induction cooktop hasn't been installed. But I have been lurking here for several months (have learned a lot, by the way, and really appreciate all the advice) and am REALLY looking forward to trying induction (due to be installed in 5 or 6 weeks). I discovered this website by reading everything possible on the induction site, and I am really convinced it is the way to go--for me at least.

We have always had traditional (coil) electric stoves and my husband hates cooking on them. He mostly cooks in cast iron (to keep his iron count up) and we were going to get gas in our kitchen remodel because he felt he wanted the almost instant control. Though I couldn't really imagine me using gas (I'm somewhat accident prone in the kitchen and also am sensitive to fumes), I was going along with getting gas. Until I started reading about induction, that is!!

Yes, I will need to get rid of some pans (most of which I have had for over 40 years), but we have lots that will work as well. I also even think I have one which will work for grilling right on the burner. If it does, I'll post pictures of it for those who miss the grilling. (I myself do most of my vegetable grilling outside on the gas grill--but I know you don't all live in California! LOL) And I think the induction will be much safer when my grandchildren help me cook. I can hardly wait to try it!!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 7:52PM
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I just switched from an electric cooktop to Bosch induction (gas was not really an option for me unless I wanted to hook it up to propane). I love the induction--it is fast, easy to clean, much better to cook on than my old electric.

I needed new cookware anyway, so not a big deal to pick up new pieces (I found a great deal on Circulon Infinite, it is also nonstick and DW safe, you can use metal utensils on it too). It's not heavy. The few pieces of copper I was sad to see go are now decorations on my wall:

As far as induction looking stupid or terrible or whatever in a traditional/old-fashioned kitchen, I disagree:

I think it looks fine, in fact with our counters it is barely noticeable and blends in quite well!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 8:01PM
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I had never heard of induction either, before finding GW.
So I bought a smooth top glass cooktop. Piece of junque and a nightmare to clean, and the thing was toast in less than 2 years.

Replaced it with induction, about a year ago. Absolutely love it. I have a "Raging Inferno" (DCS) gas cooktop out on patio, -- The Induction blows the doors off that gas cooktop. Boils water at least twice as fast, better control
better simmer. A breeze to clean (usually we don't hafta clean it, as we cover it with paper towels when we cook.
(Don't do that and leave the stove unattended thou)---If you were to run a pot dry---it might get hot nuff to set off the paper.

Regarding Clean electricity, more and more is coming on-line in Calif, every day. Tons of Windmills, If we need
more power from them, We will just aim them towards
San Diego!


    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 8:06PM
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One of the most traditional kitchens over in the Kitchens Forum, Cotehele's, has induction, I think. Flat glass, for sure. Looks fantastic.

My 2 burner gas cooktop needed a dedicated circuit. My electrician didn't believe it, and it worked for a few weeks without, before it failed. He had to come back and redo it. If you want to go really old fashioned and have pilot lights or wood burning, you don't need a circuit. :)

Re modern gizmos, you're obviously not anti-computer. Why be anti induction? If you want it to look period, you can design the cabinet that holds it to look like a dresser or an old style range, or whatever you like. It's not about using period technology, just period style!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 8:13PM
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one question I have about induction - a friend of mine from Europe (where induction is more common) mentioned that she remembered a humming sound when the unit was on. Does that still happen? I can't stand extra sounds - especially electronic ones. (ie the very high pitch sound of an "old fashioned" tv - before the flat screen ones) some people can hear them, some can't. Me, I'd get headaches from it.

So, do you hear anything extra when its on?

another thing she mentioned was if it boiled over, the burner would turn off... has that happened?

I currently have a smooth top electric. HATE it. I've cooked on gas before and LOVED it. but I am intrigued by induction... that being said, if there are no strange sounds.... if it doesn't turn itself off when it's spilled on...

Is it as "fun" as cooking on gas? Cooking on gas makes me FEEL gourmet. does that make sense?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 9:02PM
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Fori is not pleased

Jedi, there can be a hum. If you are sensitive to sounds, you might not like it. It depends on the pan and what's in it and probably the machine itself.

Some turn off if there is a spill I think; mine doesn't.

It's more efficient than gas--you get done faster and that's rewarding. But heck no it's not more fun. Gas has flames!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 10:04PM
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So, if something boils over, you would prefer that it stay there and burn?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 10:12PM
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A lot of the sound thing depends on the kind of pan you use, and some units hum more than others. Mostly it's the steel ply pans that whine. Some make a high pitched, kids only can hear it whine, others are lower pitched and/or thrum or pulse (or it's the fans/elements that thrum or pulse). It sounds like you're probably too sensitive to take a chance. Try out any unit you want to use in a showroom with your appliances when they're not busy. Use the kind of food you want to cook too, not just a little water.

Most units do have a boil over shut off. You have to dry them off if you spill because they will often sense any kind of puddle. They don't like puddles and sometimes refuse to play. Actually, that's more for very wet fingers. The touch controls can't sense your fingers through water. On most it takes awhile, several seconds, to turn off on the boil over or spill. Plenty of time to mop up. Because you can clean right while things are boiling, you know. It's really not a problem. And if it does turn off you can turn it right back on. The sensor is there so that if you go to answer the door, or your little one needs tending, you won't destroy the kitchen with a forgotten pot.

Many have child lockouts, and countdown timers that shut off the element at the end of the time you sent. Some can also be programmed, so if you have something you make regularly that has to be 10 minutes on high, then 15 minutes on simmer, for instance, you can create a program to do it without you.

There's a lot that's very cool! But fun? I think it's fun, because I'm not serving the stove, it's serving me. I loved gas before I found induction too. If you want to play pretend restaurant chef, know that a lot of kitchens are using more and more induction. But if you want to play with fire, no it's nothing like that.

Go try it out. Listen for the whine. Or just figure that it's not worth chancing that you'll be making yourself crazy finding the right combo of unit and pan to cook the way you want with no whine. Might be a lot easier just to decide to have fun with flames and go with what you know works for you.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 10:49PM
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Here is what my Miele 36" Induction cooktop looks like, in my very traditional kitchen. Mixing modern with traditional is an excellent design aesethetic...I think. Cannot say enough wonderful things about Induction!!!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 11:29PM
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We've had ours for 4 years, and we still talk about how much we love it. Ours has 4 burners (or zones). I kind of wish we had chosen the 3 zone model with one small, one medium, and one extra large zone.

Peppers can charred under a broiler.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 12:42AM
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Great responses! Thank you so much!

I'm very glad to hear from the lovers, but the naysayers also help. BTW, I am comparing gas to induction since I can have either. I have used electric radiant in the past and HATED it. Cleaning is a nightmare. I would never choose standard electric personally.

For others still thinking about it: Visit a Miele showroom even if you will go with a different brand. The showrooms have all their appliances hooked up. I've cooked with the Miele induction and didn't notice the whine, but they used HEAVY pans.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:12AM
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it sounds like it might not be the route for me. pun intended ;-). Yes, I drive my dh crazy, but I DO hear those high pitch squeals. I made him return a brand new tv once because it had a high voltage squeal that he couldn't hear - yet I'd hear it and get an instant headache.

and I'm, admittedly, a bit of a pyro. Flames are fun.

as far as the spill over/turn off function, I was thinking in much more minor situations... obviously if I had a full boil over, I'd want to do something about it.

thanks for your input! and for those who are able to enjoy induction, happy cooking!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 9:42AM
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these minor noises are audible when all is quiet, like late at night.

at first, i posted about it because i thought it was less than ideal, and good to ask others about, because the manual doesn't mention it.

NOw, I'm sorry I posted about it because it's taken on a life of its own, and some people are using it to say they'd never want induction.....


autoshutdown is good whether the boilover is big or small.
autoshutdown also happen when you leave something simmering and it goes dry. It's sensitive enough to know when you've forgotten it.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:26AM
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Thanks Davidro1. I was worried about the noise, but you put me at ease about that issue.

The two remaining issues I'm working thru are: resale (can I just switch out to gas if I do gas hookup during construction?) and our elderly parents who will occasionally cook on our cooktop. I need to find these pans that are not heavy because that is a real issue. Any recommendations on brands and where I can check them out?

Again, thanks so much.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 11:55AM
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The minor sounds that come from an Induction Cooktop or Range are SO minimal. Does the sound of the gas burner on high bother you? That's about the decibel of the sounds that sometimes can come from an Induction burner.

The ONLY times I hear a super faint clicking or buzzing, is when you have the Induction set to super low (Settings 1-3) and/or when you are using an Induction suitable stainless pot or pan that is made from many layers (3-8 ply steel). When I am cooking, I almost always use my Miele vent hood on the first or second speed setting. It is very quiet, and it still covers any sound that may or may not be coming from the Induction.

If someone is going to weigh going Induction or not going Induction based on some super faint noises Induction "can" possibly make....I do not think you should even be allowed in a kitchen or near appliances!!!! :) LOL

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 11:57AM
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Fori is not pleased

Yes, you can switch to gas (or tell potential buyers that there is a proper gas hookup).

For lightweight cookware, All Clad if you're feeling spendy, Macy's store brand (Belgique) if you're not-so-spendy, Ikea 365+ if you're being really frugal.

More and more lines are available that are induction capable and most are marked now so you don't need to shop with a magnet.

I used to think induction was great for older people and encouraged my parents to get it (my mom wanted gas but can't get it where she lives). It's true my mom can't burn down the house anymore. But they keep hitting a child lock or something and won't read the manual so they have to reset the circuit. :/

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 12:02PM
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I just tell the shop that I will return the pots if I find they make a hum when my induction is on "High" and the pot is both cold and empty. Within a half second I know if the pot will be OK.

Yes, it could be more work than I thought it would be (thought back in 2008), but no it's not going to make me want to tell anyone to "wait" years before getting induction.

Do you realize that you can get an induction cooktop for half the price I paid?

Very soon in the future, there will be no more electric radiant cooktops sold at all, because the price will make it worthwhile to sell only induction. Maybe three years from now. (I don't predict the future, or if I do, I refrain from predicting a date too!) That will change everyone's perception about it being somehow unusual or different or european or faddish or new or unknown or a third-alternative, or you-name-it....

Every Advantage Explained ABove is worth it. The Con arguments are false Cons.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 12:29PM
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Fori is not pleased

You can't tell me this looks modern! This induction cooktop was over 25 years old and functioning perfectly before I replaced it. It probably cost more than Davidro's. I hadn't really thought about it, but he's probably correct about the old style electric being on the way out. This one was before its time.

And anyone with a sensitivity to electronic noises really should be cautious. It is definitely a possibility that it'll get to you, and probably more likely than a gas burner would. I'm not that sensitive, but sometimes I do pick up a resonance.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 1:45PM
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There is a place for both. Some people love gas others have embraced induction. I have induction - LOVE IT!!!
RESALE - I think the biggest problem with induction is that some people associate it with glass electric cooktops. Induction is a completely different animal. Nothing bakes onto the cooktop, instant heat or cool - as noted above.
Education regarding induction is all that is needed. We all changed our opinions didn't we? A cooktop is not going to be a deal breaker on resale, believe me.
NOISE - yes there can be a hum, click, vibration - depending on the setting or pan. My 15 yo notices it the most - she can't tolerate the exhaust fan either
It doesn't bother me at all. It only happens occasionally
THE ELDERLY AND INDUCTION - I actually think this is a huge selling point for induction. It is SAFER than gas - there is no flame - if you remove the pan the unit shuts off. I think they should market the induction towards the elderly especially when you consider that most of us will become forgetful at some point. Paper set near the induction ring doesn't catch fire.The cooktop doesn't get as hot as gas grates and cools quickly so there is less chance of burning oneself on the cooktop. It does get hot so don't go setting your hand on it to prove a point. As far as heavy pans - I have some Demeyer pans - OK they are HEAVY - really heavy, but you don't need that. I have some cheap light weight pans that work well too. Needing heavy pans is just nonsense. And as far as heavy goes, what about lifting the heavy grate to clean the gas grate??

If you want gas because you love gas, go for it. There are plenty of people that love it. For me, I love induction - I'm happy as a clam that I switched at the last moment and got induction.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 1:58PM
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I thought I'd come back over here and see what else was being said...

a low hum etc. is ok... the hood/vent would certainly cover that. My fear is a high pitch electronic squeal - not everyone can hear it, so if you can't hear it, you don't know what I'm referring to. My dh half-jokingly refers to my hearing as "dog hearing" - but many electronics do emit high voltage squeals. my concern was whether or not induction is known for this. As I said, the fat tv's before the flat screens would emit this sound, some brands worse than others.

I replaced my cookware about a year ago - with induction in mind. I really thought I was going to make the switch when we remodelled the kitchen... now I keep wavering, with a preference towards gas. time will tell. In the meantime, I'm enjoying my tri-ply stainless -- but really have fallen in love with cooking on the cast iron. that stuff ROCKS!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:01PM
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Fori is not pleased

I know the squeal.

It's not the humming or the clicking you're talking about. Cast iron is much less likely to pick it up and amplify it, but that doesn't mean it won't still make you batty.

I can't make any recommendations. Even if you try one out in the store, the one you have delivered might be bad. If you use an upscale shop that promises to let you exchange it should it be squealy, maybe...but I dunno.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:08PM
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Everybody, I hear most fluorescents and that's bad enough. I think when I was younger I did also hear some of the electronic noise that bothers Lawjedi, but only a little. It would be awful to really hear it and not be able to stop it!!! There is a whine that stainless ply pans make on induction that many adults can't hear, but which I think Lawjedi might. I don't know if some induction units also make an electronic sound that ordinary ears, post rock and roll, can't hear. That's why I cautioned about finding an induction unit/pan combo that would work for this one person.

For just about anyone else, the noises aren't a problem, though some members have talked about sounds they couldn't hear annoying their kids to the point of driving them out of the room.

Re pans, I never hear any machine noise nor pan noise with cast iron. Under certain circumstances I can hear a faint, low pitched pulsing with my 7-ply stainless or carbon steel pans. Kitchen noise could mask that, but it's there. Mostly happens with empty pans, or ones with just a little water in them. Each induction unit is a bit different, however.

For very light weight, the DeBuyer carbon steel pans are terrific. I bought them for making crepes, socca and the like, but have been experimenting with them for other things lately. DeBuyer also makes some high sided carbon steel pans. They have to be seasoned like cast iron, and handled similarly vis-a-vis water (don't soak, heat to dry, etc.). They're not non-stick, but they get hot so fast that it's easy to get a pan that's correctly heated to release, and the oiled (seasoned) surface, while not non-stick, they aren't "stick" either.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:33PM
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Interesting. Should I put driving the kids from the room in the pro or con column?!

Well, now you've raised the noise issue again. I used to hear the high pitched sounds that others didn't notice, but I don't hear them anymore. So I may have damaged my hearing enough to be unbothered by any squeals. However, rhythmic noises like a clicking or whatever would annoy me to no end. How significant is this for those who've heard it?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 8:23AM
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Also good to know: wiping up anything, at any time.

I find I don't need to wait ever, not even a second. Of course, nothing burns (like on electric radiant cooktops) so there is no penalty for waiting. But I just don't need to wait a second or two to begin wiping up, even with pots boiling. So what if it's as hot as boiling? (The stuff that overspills is as hot as boiling not the glass top). You don't harm the glass when you wipe stuff that is boiling. THIS can be hard to believe if you've seen electric radiant cooking, where the glass is as hot as coals and embers in a fire, and any wiping risks thermal shock sufficient to crack the glass. You simply cannot crack an induction glass top because it never gets that hot.

Induction is space age cooking.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 8:27AM
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Fori is not pleased

I rarely hear mechanical clicking--when I do it's a lightweight empty pan on a low speed. Keep in mind you'll hear a gas burner at simmer as well because of the igniting. It's not annoying.

On my old cooktop, which was a little noisier, at first it was annoying when the cooktop cycled because the lights in the house dimmed and throbbed along with it. Yeah according to the fire department and the emergency electrician, that wasn't the cooktop's was also one of the few electronic devices in my house that survived that. :)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 10:27AM
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plllog, thanks for the compliment! I just spent a week taking care of my 86 year old dad. He has an electric coil stove. The contrast between electric coil and induction is astonishing and extremely frustrating. But I digress; that is not what you asked.

1) Modern aesthetic will not fit well in our period-influenced white kitchen
If you are going for a true period look, induction will not be authentic. But neither will a modern gas cooktop. There are ways to disguise an induction unit. The inspiration for my design was this from the workshop of David T. Smith.

2) Requires special cookware and dedicated circuit that will cost addl money
This is accurate, but hardly an issue. Any cooktop requires a dedicated circuit. Induction cookware is available at almost any price point. I started with a few pieces and add as I need. Some expensive, some very inexpensive. It gives me time to determine what works best with particular cooking methods.

3) Special cookware is very heavy and as we age it may become too burdensome
Depends on what kind of cookware is used. I have to admit, the cast iron cookware has been a blessing. I can lift more weight now than before I started using it. At some point, I may not be able to manage the cast iron. In my mid-50s I am not there yet.

4) May turn off potential buyers (if we sell for some reason) No one I know has this cooktop and only one of the GCs I spoke with knew what it was
GCs don't know everything! Only the appliance stores knew about induction technology when I was making that decision in 2008. Induction's advantages are becoming well known and prized as the price drops.

5) Can't char a pepper or use a grill/griddle on it
Everyone has their own cooking style, and some features are more important than others to each of us. There are ways to compensate for no flame induction. I roast peppers under the broiler. It is not as fast, but it works. A little torch would work as well. I use more than one grill/griddle at a time (on separate burners) quite frequently.

6) This is not the cooktop of the future but a 40+ year fad for gadgety folk
It may be a 40 year fad, but it will be replaced only when something better comes along. For now, it is the best we've got! The gadgety technology may be difficult for older people to master. I am sure my mid-80s parents and in laws could not get it right. If selling your house in future, you will likely have younger buyers who will demand the best technology. That is not gadgety or gimmicky, it is good sense not to prefer out-dated appliances.

Here are a couple pictures of induction in my period-inspired kitchen. HTH

Using a large cutting board over the cooktop for proofing bread under the lights. The house was cold!

The cooktop in context

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 11:18AM
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Cotehele.....YOUR KITCHEN IS AMAZING!! I really love it. Stunning!!!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 4:03PM
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larsi --

What is the black front/skirt made of, that your cooktop sits on. Some purpose, or just aesthetics?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 5:49PM
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I've cooked on gas, radiant electric and induction. Induction wins hands down. I have the 36" Miele and it's an awesome piece of equipment. EASY to keep clean. Control is instant. On the Miele, you can set a timer for EACH burner--either to just tell you that X minutes have passed or to turn itself off. I set the timer for 20 minutes and let the cooktop turn itself off when the rice is done. I love that feature. If there's a boil over, cleanup can be done instantly or later--and it really won't matter. No burned on goo. No catching the corner of the towel on fire if someone carelessly leaves a corner too close to the burner. No problem if someone leaves a burner on. (I have teenagers). The induction cooktop 'knows' when there isn't anything on the burner and turns itself off. If you just lift the pan to shake it, however, it won't turn off immediately--there is a grace period. :-) Power is there, responsiveness is there, and I think it looks nice in my Craftsman style kitchen--it kind of dissapears rather than being a focal point. It doesn't look any more out of place than my stainless ovens or fridge! Cookware doesn't have to be expensive or heavy--I got a 10 piece set of Tramontina that's really nice for $250 and every single piece is useful--that's not the norm for sets, but this one rocks. They don't hum, and neither does my cast iron, but my uber cheap Ronco nonstick with the disks on the bottom does buzz a bit on high. I think others have adequately covered the other high points, which I agree with, enthusiastically. Not to dis your husband, but if he likes to cook, he needs to go play with an induction cooktop in the showroom before dismissing it. If he doesn't do the cooking, well, get the final say and you can tell him I said so. LOL!!!!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 6:14PM
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Thanks, Larsi! You used a very creative way to adapt the existing cabinetry for the induction unit. It gives it some heft and is attractive.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 7:32PM
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fori: did your house catch fire??!

Cotehele: Wow! What a beautiful one of a kind period kitchen! What induction cooktop did you get? I notice it is flush with the counter, which I really like. However, I was told by Miele that I probably could do this with their cooktop, but it would be hard to replace if necessary. They do allow you to install without the ugly silver rim, but you lose some utility (catching liquid spills, getting crumbs in the space, chipping).

cj47: Is this the Tramontina set you got?

Here is a link that might be useful: Tramontina cookware

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 9:57PM
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HulaGalJ, Thanks! I have a Miele 36'' induction cooktop. Miele has installation instructions for flush mount. The opening is 1/8'' larger around than the cooktop. It seats nicely, and can be pushed up from the bottom for cleaning. It has the trim, but it is not very noticeable. The soapstone is not chipped or scratch around the cooktop. I trust it will not need to be replaced soon, but another 36'' Miele should fit without any problem.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 10:53PM
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My Miele cooktop sits in a "frame" of black granite. We used to have a 36" Thermador Range there. When we went Induction, we had to put something in the front above the cabinets. So, we found some granite, that matched the darkest swirls in our counters, and made a frame. We could not find the exact granite, so the next best thing was to pick up the colours of the black swirls and specks in our existing granite. I know not ideal setup, but it person, it actually looks great, and even had 2 compliments about the beautiful black granite accent pieces :)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 11:22PM
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    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 11:32PM
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HulagalJ, yes, that's the set. I saw it recommended by Cooks Illustrated as comparable to All Clad. It was a nice surprise that it actually does--I went and looked at the All Clad. Works fine on my Miele.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 1:53PM
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In my perfect kitchen I would have both, gas and induction, and I'm sure I would love induction. BUT I'm also one of those love the fame folks and you'd never get flame away from DH:-) I'm still planning on an induction hob if I can find a good one.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 6:24PM
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I knew I wanted Induction about 25 years ago, when I first saw the Kenmore Induction Cook-top. It was the first Induction unit I had ever seen, and may have been the first marketed in the US.??? It's cool to see fori's picture of that same Kenmore on the Jan 27 post here. Induction finally became a reality for me last year when Induction became available on Ranges, instead of just as separate cook-tops.

I am quite sensitive to noise. Yet, the slight buzz from my induction range hasn't bothered me a bit. It is relatively "quiet" noise, and usually only noticeable at the highest settings. I love the exceptional control, speed, and responsiveness.

Before getting induction, I had a conventional glass top for a while and hated it. The worst thing for me was the daily cleaning, usually with a razor blade, to remove all the cooked on food. With Induction, I have been able to keep the surface in perfect condition with nothing more abrasive than a micro-fiber cloth. I vote a huge Yes for induction!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Electrolux Slide-In

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 1:58AM
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I have no axe to grind here and would not want to talk the OP into or out of a particular type of range. I'm more curious: how many induction users have had to modify their techniques at the stove/range-top in moving from gas? I often work quickly, and by feel. Pots get shoved from front burner to rear, routinely, pans get shuffled and jiggled and jerked as I cook. I know that people have used induction tops for years, without issues, and that the tops are not fragile. It just seems to me that, for the way I cook, solid cast iron grates actually make a very functional surface. My techniques are pretty common, although more or less important to different folks, and maybe not much at all to some. Has this been a concern for any induction users in moving to induction? Have you changed your methods in the kitchen at all?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 9:35AM
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I haven't changed my methods at all. Shake, shuffle, problem.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 1:06PM
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Cotehele, I have been looking online for a flush-mounted cooktop and most seem to have a stainless or beveled edge. Would you mind sharing your model # or can all the Miele induction cooktops be flush-mounted? I plan to do soapstone countertops and wany exactly the look you have with the smooth counter.

I love all the kitchens everyone is showing.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 2:56PM
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Djg1, I've been using mostly Le Creuset cast iron from the rental with coils through the gas that came with the house to the induction/gas combo I currently have. Other than adapting to the peculiarities of each cooktop, I haven't changed my methods. The pot on induction heats up so much faster that I have been changing my order of work. For instance, on the old gas (underpowered, probably an old Dacor) I would start a pot before I did most of my prep, especially if I had to heat water or oil. With the induction, that happens when most everything is done. Also, with the induction, I make sure to have the serving dishes and utensils at the ready because things will be done fast. That's the kind of thing that has changed more than my cooking methods.

With induction, however, comparing how you describe your own way of working, it's not so much about "back burnering". You match the pan to the best element size. Tending to pans in the back isn't a big deal because the cooktop itself doesn't get hot. I don't know about thinner ones, but the tops of my cast iron pots don't get very warm when I have something cooking along, so it's easy to reach past it to stir something in the back. That is, there's not a lot of rotating pots, but it's also not necessary. It also means that one isn't constantly fiddling with the controls to change each element as the pots move around.

You can also, on many models, program in a temperature change to save some intensity during the cooking process, and program a countdown time for the element to turn off. For instance you can set a pot in the back to, for example, boil rice for five minutes then simmer for 15 and then turn off. Instead of fussing with it at all, you basically have an automatic rice cooker without having to deal with an extra counter top appliance.

In all, I think if you got a full suite of features and used them to their maximum, you might find your cooking a lot less frenetic. If you really love all the hustle bustle and flinging things back and forth and constantly changing the levels of flames, and feeling the heat and all, induction is probably not for you. Induction is a waltz and (powerful) gas is a polka. Both get you across the room on the same path and in about the same time, overall, but there's a lot more movement and sweating with the polka.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 3:58PM
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I've had an induction cooktop for 5 years now and I would hate to have to go back to cooking over an open flame like a caveman. (OK, so that may be a little hyperbolic). We are planning on retiring next year and moving and if I buy a house with a gas cooktop, I'm planning to rip that sucker out and replace it with induction PDQ. When I first bought the induction, I had a set of aluminum bottom SS pans which I had to replace. I bought an inexpensive and fairly lightweight Sitram set at Costco. They've been just fine. They are certainly no heavier than the previous set.

As far as elderly parents using an induction cooktop, I should think that belongs in the "pro" column. Induction is much safer. My 74 year old mother and 80 year old father remodeled their kitchen last year and installed an induction cooktop. My mom hated the heat from cooking on gas and my dad hated cleaning the grates. They like the new cooktop much better. Of course, I'm not calling them "elderly"....

As far as durability of the cooktop goes, the glass on mine is unblemished after five years of use. Shaking, lifting and moving pans is no problem what so ever.

The very best feature though is the clean up! Windex, spritz, wipe, done!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 4:03PM
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CJ~ My 36'' Miele is model number KM5773. It has a stainless steel edge. All the Miele induction cooktops should be able to be flush mounted. So many people have cautioned that it would be hard to keep the gap clean between the cooktop. I think it is actually harder to keep it clean between the cooktop and the counter of a surface mounted cooktop. Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 6:26PM
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A few questions...

Regarding the strength and durability of induction cooktops and the elderly or frail: What about dropping a pan or pot from a few inches above the surface onto the cooktop? My mother-in-law lives with us and cooks every day, usually in a wok. She sometimes has difficulty lifting the Calphalon non-stick wok that we use, and will get it within a few inches of the gas grate before kind of plopping it down heavily. Are there any reports of people cracking the cooktop from pot falls from, say, a foot or less above the surface?

We're trying to decide between a Blue Star 30" range or an induction cooktop, specifically to get the high heat for wok cooking. The Blue Star and its cast iron grates and bowls is appealing both because of the heat and because the MIL can't break anything if she plops a wok down hard.

Speaking of woks...what's the consensus on the specialty induction woks with the flat bottom plus round bowl? My wife says flat bottom woks (like what we've been forced to use on our current range) don't work as well as round woks, so we'd probably invest in a specialty induction wok...*IF* it's really worth it.

I don't *think* we have room - physically or budget wise - for a single curved wok hob....but maybe....

Also we have two young kids. Trying to balance saftey/heat and durability + woks. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 11:26PM
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I love mine but I will add one con:

sometimes light pots and pans slide around on the burner when you are stirring or flipping. You have to keep the pan centered on the circle.

don't know if this would also be an issue with gas.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 12:24PM
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If you do a lot of Wok cooking, I would suggest either a separate single gas burner and the rest induction, or go all gas.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 2:37PM
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I have a Le Creuset wok, which has a flat bottom and round interior. It works very well but very differently from a traditional wok over a flame. One of the most different things is that it takes a long time to heat up because the contact with the induction element is small, though the "pot" is big. The sides do heat, but not fast. Once it's really hot, it's really hot. It doesn't cool down a lot during use--you don't lift and shake it to cool it off, you turn down the stove control, etc. Because of the small contact area, it doesn't take advantage of the full maximum power of the induction unit either.

The Gaggenau wok unit (a single element) with their wok might work better, but I don't know that the other stainless induction woks are all that great. I checked out a number of them and wasn't impressed, but I'm not very good with a wok altogether, and someone with more skills might find a way to make them work well.

They also make single induction wok bowl units that have a dish shaped surface for the wok to fit into. These are very popular in Asia so I assume they work well, but have never tried one.

The ceramic-glass surface of an induction unit is pretty tough, but the more often things are dropped on it the great the probability that one of them will be the one that hits just right to crack it. It does happen.

For all of these reasons, and because I don't think your m-i-l wants to relearn how to cook, I think you're better off with the blast furnace range. :)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 3:09PM
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For us to re learn to cook on induction was at most the first day we used our induction cook top. There is not a lot to learn...

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 3:19PM
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My mother and mother-in-law are die-hard electric range people. So, contemplating this. Does anyone know whether induction ranges give off much in the way of electromagnetic fields?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 4:12PM
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I'm waiting for this one!

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread: For all you induction fans, or anyone considering it

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 7:23PM
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The learning curve for my husband went like this.

First morning, he wanted to make cocoawheats (like he has been doing since he was about 12).

Grab favorite pan and put in water - put on cooktop and it won't turn on. Favorite small pan is too small (lots of crabbing now).

Get slightly larger pan and then put in too much water (he never measures). Turn on boost and walk away - water is boiling and spilling all over cooktop - way more crabbing.

Turn down burner and dump in too much cocoa-wheats (remember the part about no measuring?). Turn away like normal to get coffee - cocoa-wheats boil over and have huge mess all over the cooktop - major use of naughty words going on, and "why did we buy this ---- thing!".

Removed pan, grabbed sponge and wiped up mess with almost no effort - in seconds the boiled over mess was history. Now all of a sudden - "WOW!!! I LOVE THIS COOKTOP!"

Anyone that has had to cook boiled over, cooked on cocoawheats off either a coil or smooth top electric cooktop can understand how this caused my husband to go from angry to in love in seconds. From that point on, he considered every new thing with the cooktop to be worth the effort to learn.

It doesn't take long to learn - main thing is it's fast, you don't want to turn it on and walk away while it heats up like the old style electric. The almost instant control and ease of cleaning is so great. I can make jam and never have to remove the pan from the heat as I can shut the heat off instead. I've about forgotten the "pan is too hot, turn it down, now it's too cold, turn it up" over and over again trying to get a good simmmer going.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 10:00AM
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There is a big difference between learning to use induction for standard cookery (really easy) and learning to wok on it. Other than the wok specialty units, there really is no way to handle a standard hammered carbon steel wok in the normal way on induction. One has to change to cast iron or clad stainless, or a flat bottomed wok, and one's gestures are very different. Things that a lifetime of cooking may have made automatic, like shaking, flipping, and tossing, don't work the same way as in a standard wok over fire. And a lifetime of doing it that way might not be a lifetime of knowing why, that is, which gesture is for cooling, which for mixing, etc., and thus be harder still to adapt.

I am a great fan on induction, but it's not always the best answer.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 5:29PM
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Here's a con: no one makes a slide-in induction range in white. We have all white appliances, and a kaput dual-fuel Thermador in an island. I would put induction in immediately if I could get white, but looks like Electrolux gas for me :( I'm at least skipping the dual-fuel to try to reduce number of things that can go wrong (Thermador's problems are all electric).

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 3:10PM
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jaz50y, concerning the desire for matching white, the Bosch HBL5420UC wall oven (which has a smaller than average top to bottom mounting hole requirement for the capacity of its interior) is available in white, and can be mounted in a standard kitchen counter cabinet unit (substitute for the dual-fuel Thermador in the island). (We have a Bosch wall oven -- ours is stainless, not white, finish -- mounted that way in a counter cabinet in our kitchen.)

Atop the counter cabinet, you can install an LG LCE30845 induction cooktop, which is very shallow (less than 2-1/4" undercounter), and has no undercounter venting requirements. (No surprise: we have one of those, too.) Together they make a composite "range."

Of course, the choice of the countertop surface, into which the cooktop would be dropped, would be up to you. (Our LG cooktop happens to be mounted into a white porcelain tile counter.)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 7:33PM
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