Challenge: anyone w/ induction exp who'd go back to gas?

olivepearJanuary 1, 2007

A shout out to all induction users, former GAS cooktop users:

We are all set to go on our kitchen reno with a miele gas cooktop, and because of space constraints (gotta love those nyc apartments), we are relegated to a 24" cooktop with max 10K BTUs. However, gas is gas, right? The best.

However I've recently been reading here about induction, and now I'm wondering whether a 24" induction top would be better, to get that higher heat. Having read a gazillion posts, I'm now convinced induction is a better bet vs. electric. But what about gas. My hubby thinks I'm crazy (gas is the best, remember?) and I need to hear from the former gas lovers out there, to serve him back some real "poll" responses from those of you who had the option for gas who chose induction... and whether you are happy or have regrets.

And thank you guys in advance!

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Cooked on gas for 35 years would never go back ....hail to the cleaner,faster,safer,efficient technology.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 11:36PM
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Not me. Induction is a huge improvement over gas for all the reasons garycook mentions and because it doesn't heat the kitchen as much. No burned hands from hot handles, either. Clean up is a spray of Windex and a wipe.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 12:48AM
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I do miss the heavy grates on gas stoves -- pots stay firmly in place, while they tend to slide around on the smooth glass induction surface. I also miss the fact that gas heats the sides of your sautee pans -- induction does not do this, as there is no residual heat rising up the sides. I also miss the sounds associated with gas cooking, and you'll never be able to flambee on induction without a match or lighter. I used to quick heat tortillas and chapatis on my gas burners, which I can't do with induction.

While induction is a great technology, it's not "better" than gas simply because different cooks have different requirements. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. We don't have gas service to our home, so our hands were tied to either induction or the regular infrared ceramic cook tops. However, if we had gas service, I would have definitely gone with a gas cooktop and eschewed an electric stove of any kind.

Not sure if that helps, but I don't think induction will replace gas. I think it's a great option for all electric kitchens, but gas cooking definitely has its place.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 12:58PM
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"I don't think induction will replace gas"

Pretty much already happened in Europe and Japan, as well as many professional kitchens in the US. For the reasons garycook already listed.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 4:05PM
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Induction has replaced gas in Europe? That's news to me -- how do we know this? I doubt many professional kitchens will move to induction... some may have, but the majority will stick with gas simply because it's a known quantity with most cooks and chefs.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 6:02PM
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What a great question Olivepear! I had the opportunity to cook on my neighbor's Viking gas cooktop New Years Eve and I can honestly say, I like both methods for different reasons. Cooking with a flame is romantic and if natural gas were available to me, I probably would have a gas cooktop or stove. Instead I read about induction and I'm very pleased with my decision. I noticed it took forever to bowl water on her cooktop and I also noticed while frying perogis (potatoe dumplings) how hot and uncomfortable the stove area became.

Bottom line is, they both have their good and bad points, but I find for us, there are more "pros" to induction (for our home) then "cons". To answer your question, I believe it's a toss up for me. I like them both equally!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 7:51PM
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You are essentially asking recent converts [recent since induction hasn't been around all that long] if they'd like to switch religions [note the dogmatic tone taken by many respondents] again, right now.

Of course you'll get a chorus of 'no'.

The response may be different in another 10 years...

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 8:42PM
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Before you do anything make sure you have the ability for the proper electrical hook-up. My induction cooktop has a 50 amp line.

As for the comment above concerning heating the sides of your sautee pans, it depends on the cookware you utilize. For instance, the Demeyere Apollo 1.5 QT. Sauteuse. See link for more info.

Here is a link that might be useful: Official Demeyere Cookware Site

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 9:08PM
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It sounds like you may have a case for induction because of space but getting beyond the space issue I want to explore some other ideas to get an idea of what camp a cook like you sits in (more on this later) because that will likely be the over arching indicator of the technology you choose and will be what most people asking this question should be considering.

The company where I work has a restaurant on its campus and I happened to notice they use CookTek units at the breakfast bar. They also use these to do pasta saute at lunch. Having all gas in the rest of the kitchen and using the induction for the eggs and pasta the chefs have ample experience with both technologies.

I asked the chef one day as he was preparing an omelette for me how he liked the induction units and he said he can't stand them. The only reason the units are used is because of space issues in that part of the kitchen. The chef missed the visual indication that flame provides, the cookware he can't use and the constant slipping on the burner. They saute various veggies and meats along with oil, pasta, pesto and then mix in sauce. In a busy kitchen, this gets messy and all that oil on a slick glass surface means you have to be careful not to send a hot pan flying off an induction hob when you set it down in a hurry.

Factor in the reliability wildcard with an electronic device in a hot, wet and shock prone environment not to mention these things aren't sold in 8-12 burner configs and you can see why these are not replacing gas units anytime soon. They are used in niche areas where the cooking technique permits their use and facilities requirements require their form factor. If you need to baby it, it doesn't belong in a professional setting. Frankly, if I have to worry about being more gentle with it than a gas stove in my home, I don't want it there either.

In principle induction has a lot going for it but the technology just doesn't stand up to anything but the most niche application or limited cooking style in a residential environment and even then the chef's I have spoken with prefer gas. The technology still has a ways to go in terms of proving reliability and durability and even then it will never ever do everything a gas flame can do. Efficiency and speed are not the only criteria one evaluates when making these choices. Chef's are very practical people and if this technology was so great it would be sweeping the land as chef's and kitchen managers clamored for it.

What's used in a commercial kitchen does not always apply to the home because of matters of scale, cost, safety and return on investment but pros always want to use the best tool for the job so it's no wonder that simplicity, durability, reliability versatility usually win out. That explains the success of gas with people who are about cooking vs people who are about boil in the bag food and wipe clean convenience. These lessons can be applied in the home. Gadgets, gimmicks, limited use items and the like will rarely see the light of day in commercial settings and for many of the same reasons they should not be getting a spotlight in your home either.

Ask yourself what you will gain and what you will lose before making a switch. I am suspicious of anyone who formally used gas and now uses and loves induction because without very specific reasons and constraints to explain their choice it seems to me that they are not doing a wide range of serious cooking and that their decision is not widely applicable to those who are about more than wipe clean convenience and how fast they can boil water. If you are a flat top fanatic then induction is surely the way to go but then I don't know many flat top fanatic who love to cook - they just want the least visually intrusive, easiest to clean device that will warm their food with as little noise, heat or smell as possible in the shortest amount of time with smallest amount of energy - all cooking be damned. OK, maybe I'm being overly dramatic but you get the drift... :) Folks who cook because they have to choose induction, folks who cook because they love to cook choose gas. What you choose will likely determine which camp you sit in.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 12:07AM
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We've had a GE induction cooktop in our house for the last 13 years. It was there when we moved in. We had a handyman install a gas line immediately, but ended up trying the induction cooktop before ripping it out.

Were we ever surprised. We are not high-end cooks. We make soups and sauces from scratch, and cook pasta and eggs, but can't compare utility the way others probably can.

That said, we would never install a gas cooktop. We currently have a 36" Viking gas cooktop in a second home (that came with the house, which was build only three years ago) and vastly prefer the induction cooktop, for many reasons. It is fast, puts out more BTUs than the best gas ranges, immediately responsive, much easier to clean (30 seconds of spray and wipe vs. 10 minutes of intricate cleaning and buffing), holds the pans in place, and does what we need it to. Flambe? Not in my repertoire, but I can use a long-stemmed lighter if I get there some day.

I'm not putting anyone down, but for basics, go induction.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 12:25AM
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This popularity of the microwave oven is mirrored by the flat top electric in its ability to heat quickly and efficiently with minimal mess in way that renders rotten anything that did not come out of a box, bag, can or jar and even with packaged origins the result leaves something to be desired. Induction has tried to win on the numbers and it does when the competition is other flat tops but it has no soul and will satisfy a true cook the way gas can. Same can be said for drivers and the manual vs automatic transmission - You can guess which one I drive :)
Given a choice real men and women drive stick and cook on gas :)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 12:38AM
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I've currently got an older induction cooktop (~15 years old) and while it's been wearing out for the past couple of years, I've used it more than enough to get the "gist" of induction and I find it's just not a product I'd want to use on a daily basis. Too many quirks as some have eluded to above -- namely the not heating ALL of the pan is my biggest peeve. It's only capable of heating a particular round disc shaped area in the center of the "tile" -- anything that is larger than that just gets minor peripheral heating -- not like you'd get with a good gas unit. One of the other things I find very annoying is how the power is pulsed on-and-off very much like a microwave oven does to control temperatures -- ours does this in the same way since it's not able to do low-vs-high like gas does (it just controls how long to pulse or just keep it constant for "high"). This is OK for some things but bad for others -- very obvious when boiling water. Sure, my induction claims to put out 75K BTU's, but it really makes my electric meter spin (mine is 220V if I recall) with the help of my electric ovens (15 year old Thermador's).. To that end, we're working on a remodel and the induction cooktop will be tossed and replaced with a 48" Bluestar (GAS) -- that should be a great step up from our aging induction cooktop and will be good to have going!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 12:51AM
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With all due respect your post is the most ill informed,trollish,hubris one in my 2 years on this forum.
You certainly don't speak for me.
The world isn't flat.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 7:02AM
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I had a high-end French range in my last house, and now I am choosing induction for my new house. I think the posters above stated most of the obvious pros and cons, and I wouldn't begin to write a comparison essay without having had a lot of cooking time on my induction the same as I have had on gas--something the thread originator wanted: people who have had personal experience with both.

But I've done scads of research, and I am choosing it
1. because I wasn't comfortable ever leaving the kitchen with an open flame going. I would always turn off the range to answer the door, cut herbs in the garden, etc. Additionally, most gas ranges are not ideal for hours-long simmering.
2. Over the years I was often smelling whiffs of gas--something I don't want to do anymore.
3. I don't want to "feature" the range and hood as the most important things in my new 220-yr. old kitchen. My kitchen is so architecturally interesting with a cooking fireplace, early shelving, niches, etc. Dramatic lighting aimed over a worn gas cooktop has never held much appeal to me.
4. We're fairly serious cooks. As young retirees, shopping for and cooking dinner is a big part of our days. But enough BTU's to get a good sear, steady low-end heat to get a super-good simmer, and a well-insulated, perfectly calibrated oven are all we really need to turn out some surprisingly special meals.

Induction IS huge in Europe, but so are smooth-top electric units. Gas lines to kitchens are not so common, perhaps because so much property is rental. Back to the safety issue.

To the above posters who talk about the "slipping of pans," I can relate, because I cooked on a ceramic top in prior kitchens. It seems to me that using the silicone sheets will solve this. I look forward to having that option.

I wouldn't begin to try to tell someone that one heat source is better than another. I can only tell them what's good for me. It's so incredibly wonderful that we have a choice, isn't it?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 9:10AM
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There's something that should be taken into consideration: the age of the cook. Older folks aren't usually inclined to try the new technologies (I've read a few stories here about people afraid of using their advantium or other fancy ovens to their full potential due to the complicated electronic controls).
I'm 32 and am moving from a gas range to an induction cooktop for my new house. I can't see how induction can be bad. I rarely look at the flame to see how strong the burner is because I'm tall and see everything from above so a pan is always hiding the burner. Induction will give me consistent results (a power setting of 8 is always the same, but med-low can vary considerably with a gas burner, especially with the range hood causing a draft) and some fancy things like timers that can turn the unit off after a certain time. It will boil water much faster than gas which is a big plus because I can't stand waiting for water to boil. When I want to melt chocolate, no need to use a double boiler anymore.

The only thing I'll miss is the ability to use a huge stock pot and an even larger pot for home canning. I'll have to find one that works with induction.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 9:30AM
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You took the words right out of my mouth! Contrary to sleepyhollow's tirade, I LOVE to cook and I consider myself a REAL WOMAN because I can drive a stick or automatic with EASE. I choose to drive an automatic because I embrace technology and convenience and I don't live in the stone age.

A REAL COOK can create delicious meals on GAS or Induction. Contrary to popular belief, cooking a is NOT brain surgery! It's a craft, an art. Passion is the single most important ingredient, not gas! This constant comparison to what Professional cooks utilize in a busy restaurant kitchen is, in my opinion, ridiculous. A deli uses large meat slicers to cut meat. Does that mean you have to own one of those to prepare a decent sandwich in your kitchen at home? Pro chefs prefer gas because it's a known quantity and a professional kitchen needs sturdy equipment. They could care less about clean up time.

Also, I don't think comparing a single burner "buffet unit" to actually learning to cook on a complete cooktop is a fair comparison, nor is comparing an older induction unit to today's units.

If you need big gas burners or a stick shift to make you look and feel like a pro, then more power to you. LOL!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 9:44AM
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Wow, thanks for the varied - and passionate - responses!

I do drive automatic(though have always wished I'd been taught stick) :)

And I'm 32, a young'in as it goes, so not squeemish of "new technology" (though induction is hardly new).

However, in my particular case it appears I'm stymied when it comes to brass tacks: there doesn't appear to be a 24" induction cooktop on the market in the US anyway! (without going abroad...) Who knew. Diva promises a new 24" 3 burner (dpp 3), but intro keeps being delayed; spoke with them and they are now saying "end of February." Who knows what that will really mean... plus it's a version 1.0 product, so iffy.

So it seems that my decision may turn out to be gas, if for no other reason than availability! Choice IS a good thing, but sometimes constraints can make your life easier in the end, right?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 10:20AM
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I agree with oruboris that it's too early in the game to discuss which technology is "better." I love the look, the feel and the sound of gas, but every time I wait for the pot of pasta water to come to a boil I miss our old Tappan electric range. It was a LOT faster. I'm sure I'd find things an induction cooker did better than either gas or electric too. The good thing is that we have a lot of thoughtful people here working with the three technologies who are willing to share their experiences.

I can't resist commenting on the stick shift vs. automatic discussion. In my view, cars are for wimps. The real issue is whether motorcycles should have electric start or not. All of mine are kick start. [Insert BIG smiley face here.]

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 10:24AM
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I'm grateful to olivepear for beginning this thread because I am facing the choice between an induction oooktop and a Bluestar 30" range. I've read everything on this site about the virtues of both and the limits of both but I still need more stories from actual users of both. Please please please don't get into a flame war! I need plain info!

I'm a serious cook facing the beginning of a kitchen remodel (still in early design stage -- I'm designer and GC). I've always hated apartment electric stoves and as soon as I had my own home I bought a "good" GE gas stove (that was thirty years ago).

I would have been firmly for a Bluestar in the remodel but for a few things:

Getting older (the big 6-0 hit this year) and imagining the beautiful Bluestar I wonder if soon I'll forget the stove is on, or leave the kitchen without turning off a burner, or fail to notice a gas leak (we have LP out here in the boonies). The Bluestar would require a powerful hood and I imagine bonking my head on it (I'm 5'10").

I don't mind cleaning an open-burner gas range or cleaning my oven myself. I love the sizzle-cues from an open flame. I'm used to a gas flame and yearn for more power than the GE which has only one 12K burner and refuses to die a natural death.

I just bought a CookTec one-burner unduction unit to test-drive induction for myself, and after observing that it has been sitting in its unopened package for more than a week, I'm wondering if this is a clear sign that I'm reluctant to switch to induction or simply an indication of my cramped cooking quarters (try designing an 11 x 11 kitchen!).

We have a relatively famous cooking school nearby and recently I asked one of the chefs about this dilemma. He said induction was the future, and that in ten years, no one would have gas stoves in their homes. ????? He was a fan of the Aga cooker, if that helps explain his response.

I think induction would be safer, cleaner, and the best space-saver. I'm not afraid of new gadgets -- I have many, and I love driving stick shift! But what if the power goes out (as if does in rural settings from time to time) in the middle of cooking dinner? With a gas stove, you can always still make dinner.

Back and forth, back and forth -- how in the heck does anyone make a decision? This kitchen remodel is going to be my last one so I don't want to make a gigantic mistake.

So please, tell more stories and anecdotes. Every little bit helps. Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 10:41AM
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Have you considered buying the 3-zone 24" De Dietrich from the overseas supplier many here on the Forums have used and been very happy with? It's the same Fagor/Brandt unit as the Diva, but it's cheaper and has the coveted turn-off timers on each zone.

AND--can you squeeze in a 28" unit? The new AEG zone-free induction cooktop looks to be the next wave. I'll be bold enough to predict all induction tops will be like this in the next 5-10 years. No more little circles to worry about. You can span two zones with a large roaster or poacher, and you can cram as many pots on as will fit.

I'd buy this one in a minute, but the 28" is a little cramped for my configuration. It has cool things like stop-and-go timers where you touch it off to answer the door, etc., then touch it on again and it remembers its setting.

Here is a link that might be useful: AEG zone-free induction thread and specs

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 11:18AM
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Never say this will be your last remodel. You just never know :-)

I'm not here to sell anyone on any one type of appliance. I'm with sshrivastava in that there are things I miss about cooking with gas, but I believe in my situation, there are far more things I would miss about induction if I went back to gas. They both have their benefits. My husband and I are fortunate enough to have the best of both worlds since we have our new hi-tech kitchen featuring our 5 burner induction unit, and an outdoor kitchen equipped with DCS gas cooktop, a Kamodo grill, and a beautiful brick oven for baking breads and pizzas. If this were not the case, it would be so difficult for me as it is for you to decide between gas and induction! I really do love cooking on both for different reasons. Is it possible for you to visit someone in your area that is utilizing an induction cooktop? Really, how else will you know for sure if this will work for you unless you actually use one? Induction also has a learning curve. You may feel you've made a mistake in the beginning until you get used to not relying on flame size and instead relying on sound, smell, and look of the food.

We eat very healthy in my house. I make a lot of soups, pasta dishes, brown rice, chicken and fish dishes. A few steps from our back door, we have a vegetable garden where we grow our own fresh veggies and herbs. My husband and I both love to cook and entertain. Believe it or not, we cooked some of our best meals on a little two burner cheap gas stove in our Airstream trailer, but then again we were traveling across the country and buying incredibly fresh seafood's and veggies from the locals.

It's a tough decision. Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 11:37AM
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Although I'm not a chef, I do love to cook, and induction has worked very well for me. I chose it because I literally had no other choice -- gas is not available in my community, and incurring the ugliness and expense of installing a propane tank and running the lines to the kitchen was not something I was going to do after spending so much money on the house.

Given my limited options in an all electric kitchen, I went with induction. I also live in Arizona where it can reach 120 degrees in the summer, and it's nice to not have to sweat while cooking or have my stove fighting with the A/C.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 12:13PM
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Kimba--a wood-fired pizza/bread oven...smiling enviously...

rcvt--I've lived in the country with many power outages. No matter which range I owned, I would always have an outdoor propane grill with a side burner for pots. It's gotten us through many a bad time. It was amazing how a bowl of soup or a cup of coffee would take me out of "disaster mode."

To move this thread along, how 'bout we meet in a place where we embrace this revolutionary thought: Neither gas nor induction is better. Just different. And let's talk more about the differences.

Since people are so familiar with cooking on gas, we may have to talk more about induction cooking in order to compare. Can anyone talk more about the induction-cycling on-and-off issue? And what about cookware? Many have said that if you don't have the best cookware (strongest magnet test), you're only using part of the cooktop's capability. So what IS the best brand? Are others concerned about sides of their pots not heating? I figured that a good pot conducts heat to the entire surface. Maybe not...

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 12:18PM
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At lower power settings, the induction unit will cycle on and off like your microwave -- you may even hear a slight clicking noise in the pan. It's not a negative, per se, but it is funny when you're watching a pan simmer in pulses.

I have been having an issue with my De Dietrich in that it won't instantly switch from low to high power after you've been cooking for 10-15 minutes... Dennis @ Cookpower (where I bought it) says it's a low quality pan issue, but I'm using All-Clad and I refuse to believe that those are not good enough for induction. He's sending me a replacement unit, hopefully that one will work better, and if not, then there is definitely an issue with pans that I wasn't previously aware of.

I would definitely try out induction before committing to buying it -- you will have to replace your non-magnetic cookware and it ends up being quite a large expense. I spent $2,200 on the cooktop and then another $700 replacing pans. That's almost as much as you'd spend on a pro-style high-end gas cooker.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:46PM
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pamela1: don't worry about the cycling, it happens quite a few times per seconds...

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 3:12PM
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Pamela and sshrivastava,

The only time I've witnessed cycling with my unit is with stainless cookware or when I try to run the two big zones on boost simultaneously. sshrivastava, do you have any cast iron cookware? If I were you, I would try out a piece and see if your problem continues. Hands down cast iron is the BEST cookware to use on Induction. The sides will get hot and retain the heat. Stainless pots and pans do not get hot enough on the sides, which is okay for stock pots, but not for the type of cooking I do (saute). I purchased most of my Le Creuset at TJ Max (seconds) which, IMHO look great and perform excellent. I did splurge and purchased the $250 Le Creuset saute pan at William Sonoma, but I use that pan the most. It's my favorite for cooking everything from chili to marinara to chicken milanese. I spent about $800 total on cookware mostly Le Creuset and some All Clad stainless as well as Tivoli and Tramontina stock pots. I needed new cookware though. My old stuff (All Clad Anodized and copper) were pretty beat up from years of use and whatever I didn't sell on Ebay, is now used outside on my gas range.

Time for me to fire up the induction cooker and get dinner rolling. Tonight, shrimp scampi.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 6:15PM
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One of the things I love about gas is the ability to pick a pan up and tilt while stir-frying or sauteing without losing heat contact. We've been using a borrowed counter-top portable induction unit (looks like a hotplate, really) during our 2 months of kitchenless-ness, and when I tried making a very simple Christmas dinner with a toaster oven and the induction unit it drove me nuts. (toaster oven worked great. :->)Maybe this is just a weird hangup, but I hate being confined to keeping a pan flat at all times to ensure heat is being transferred. It's one of the major reasons I can't deal with the nice, clean, sleek, and easily maintained radiant cooktops a lot of people love so much.

I know that some of the best chefs in the world use induction--Michel Richard at Citronelle in DC uses induction (I was shocked), and if one of the finest French chefs on the East Coast likes it I'm sure it works great. But I still can't pull myself away from the instinctive cave-man need to have a fire to look at. I also do too much wok cooking to ever be happy with a flat-top anything.

Am I wrong in thinking that induction, like the radiant tops, only works when the pan is flat and in full contact with the top?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 8:18PM
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I find I did a lot more pan tilting when I cooked with gas as opposed to induction since it was a way to have better control of the heat with gas. Induction cooking is different in that the control comes for adjusting the setting and comes instantaneously. I do still pan tilt when cooking an omlet to roll the egg mixture out around the sides, and I do shake and flip (very little) while sauteing on induction. I don't find there's much difference since the shaking is done on both gas and induction so quickly (to move the ingredients) and as soon as it's plopped down again, the show continues. I believe heat loss is about the same regardless. I think there is an illusion of more heat with gas because you have more residual heat (hot air around the pan heating your hands while you cook) when the pan is lifted and the flames just to add to the drama, but really I don't believe there is a drastic difference in heat loss by lifting a pan up from an induction zone or a gas grate for a few seconds, just less heat on you with induction :-)

Again, induction cooking has a learning curve. It's a little different, and if you're not brain dead, you adapt in about in few days. The fundamentals are still there; heat to pan to food. It's not rocket science, LOL!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 8:49PM
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I grew up with gas ranges, but most of my life I've lived in rentals that had only electrical stoves, which I definitely dislike. When researching for my kitchen remodel, I read a lot about induction and thought, "Wow, that's the way to go!" But then I discovered that only two of my many cooking utensils respond to a magnet, and the thought of having to replace everything was like a torrent of cold water. Apart from the considerable expense, these pots and pans are old friends --- I know what each one is good for and what its faults are. Then we had another power outage (live in the boonies), and that decided it. So, I'm very happy with my BlueStar; in another life I'm sure I'd have been equally happy with my induction cooktop: Different strokes for different folks!


    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 9:31PM
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olivepear -- if you are in nyc and seriously considering induction it's best to first check to see if the electricity in your apartment/building would support it. I know in our case it would be a problem. We have a gas range hookup but not a 240 line.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 8:21AM
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Thank you all for the great information, anecdotes, observations, stories, and warnings. I'm gobbling up everything you say.

Here's my gas vs induction question du jour:

Do you wear glasses?

I don't mean to be impertinent, but generally under-40 folks don't need reading glasses, which would mean that they can easily see the control panel of, say, the DeDetreich hob. Some of us wear glasses for some things and not others; many over-40 types need glasses only for reading (like me). Would this mean that I would need to be cooking with my reading glasses in order to see the control panel?

Flames on a gas stove are very easy to see. No glasses needed. Now I'm worried that with induction, I'll begin to cook as I normally would, and then suddenly need to change the setting, and then have to run around looking for reading glasses.

Is this a ridiculous worry?

Many thanks again for your collective wisdom.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 10:33AM
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esq166, don't equate the portable hob's performance with that of a drop-in unit. Totally different animal. A countertop will give you a taste of induction but it's like comparing a racing bicycle to a Ferrari.

rcvt, you should have no problem at all seeing the controls.

Someone mentioned age as an impediment to trying a new technology- I had my parents tear out their gas cooktop and install induction precisely because of their advancing age. No gas, combustion byproducts, venting problems. I decided to bully in when Daddy removed a pot from a flame, forgot to turn off the gas and left the house.

Mother can set the timers and even if she forgets she has something on the cooktop, it will turn off automatically.

I've been happily cooking on my Brandt unit for a couple of years now, but that AEG zone-free unit has me salivating...
Oooh, does anyone have one of these yet?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 1:00PM
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I am soooo close to ordering one of these AEG's, but do me a favor. Make a newspaper square that's 28" wide by 20.5" deep. Then take out some pots and move them around. Does it seem slightly cramped? Then play with the De Dietrich 30" diamond-shaped 4-zone: 31" wide by 20.5" deep. See the difference?
That's my only worry in ordering the AEG. Other than that, I'd do it in a heartbeat, only to enjoy using my oval Le Creuset casseroles, large griddles or grillpans, fish poacher, roaster, etc.
I can't believe I am making such a big deal out of this decision (Oh, sure I can...)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 9:00PM
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Oh. I see what you mean.

Ours is the diamond-shaped 4-zone and yes, I see your point. Hard to think that 3" would make such a difference.

Of course you're making a big deal about this decision. It's a lot of $$ and you're cutting a hole in your countertop for it, for Pete's sake!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 9:18PM
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Wow, this thread took off. It's good to see some of those emotional

Here's my two cents. My wife and I had the old coil type electric cooktop for years. you know the type, the one where you lift up the coil and remove the tray and ring to clean them... Anyway, about five years ago we replaced that unit with a four burner radiant glasstop from GE. It had knobs but was sleek and the burners heated up much faster than the coil type. We like it a lot. About four months ago we began a huge kitchen renovation. A complete gut of two rooms to make one big kitchen. During this trying time (thank goodness it's over) we were fortunate enough that I used to have an apartment in my house for in-laws that is now vacant (;-)). We used that kitchen while I worked on the project. That kitchen has a gas range/oven via a tank outside. My wife and I couldn's stand it. It heated the house more than the baseboard, cooked slower than the sun with a magnifying glass and of course, you couldn't leave it alone cooking for a second for fear of burning the house down. The oven was the worst part. I did not have much control over the temperature and you could pretty much forget about broiling anything because of the size of the broiler. Granted, the unit is old and probably wasn't very good to begin with (GE too, by the way).

We put in a 36" hybrid induction cooktop from Themador and haven't looked back at all. In my humble opinion, the only two questions you should be asking yourself is 1. Does my budget allow for an induction cooktop (I believe your does!) 2. Do I have the electrical service necessary to properly power the unit. That's it.

Good luck.

By the way, I'd venture to bet that, like microwaves, this will be in almost every American household in the next ten to fifteen years. I find myself explaining how it works to a lot of people who have never heard of it before. Induction cooking is not popular yet because it is not advertised and because it is expensive.

I'd buy stock in this...

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 9:58PM
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Wow! Interesting thread... When I planned a complete kitchen remodel I think I looked briefly at induction technology but didn't get past the point about being restricted to magnetic pots and pans with smooth bottoms. Needless to say, but I went with gas. I actually like the big vent hood as a focal point, the big grates that allow for sliding around of heavy pots and pans, etc., but if I had to do it all over again I would probably give induction more thought. I think having a combination of both induction and gas would be ideal.

I wonder which option is better for the environment and/or generally more economical in terms of energy consumption and operating cost?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 2:25AM
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After watching this thread evolve I wanted to respond to some of the comments.

"Induction cooking is not popular yet because it is not advertised and because it is expensive."

Most every person I know who cooks for a living, their pro chef friends and their pro chef friends are all aware of induction, many have used it and those who have still prefer gas. Induction is one of those things that hasn't really caught on because it isn't versatile enough and it limits your choice of cookware, you also can't roast a pepper over it among other things.

Induction is definitely expensive (both initial cost and electricity cost [thru the roof] and food service businesses have to make a profit if they are to survive. Also, how are you supposed to cook when the power goes out (residential use)? What if you don't own a generator?

A few comments on some of the above posts... Anyone who has a persistent gas smell (mercaptan) has a leak and really needs to get it addressed. You simply shouldn't be smelling the stuff with a modern stove. On microwaves, they heat fast but horribly unevenly. They do one thing and don't do it well, they do it fast. Again, the emphasis here is on fast cooking, not quality cooking. On GE gas stoves - I fail to see how a GE gas stove has come to represent all gas stoves - I've sure the conclusion would be different given a more capable brand.

"It's not a negative, per se, but it is funny when you're watching a pan simmer in pulses." Can't say I ever want to see my stove behaving this way. Consistency is an asset and while I'm sure one can learn to cope with this behavior I know I don't.

"This constant comparison to what Professional cooks utilize in a busy restaurant kitchen is, in my opinion, ridiculous.... Pro chefs prefer gas because it's a known quantity and a professional kitchen needs sturdy equipment."
I don't know about you but I like a known quantity and I like my kitchen to have sturdy equipment. Why should I be stuck with anything less?

"Also, I don't think comparing a single burner "buffet unit" to actually learning to cook on a complete cooktop is a fair comparison, nor is comparing an older induction unit to today's units." On a BTU for BTU basis there is really no difference between buffet unit and a cooktop and the unit they use at my workplace is only a year old...

"I don't want to "feature" the range and hood as the most important things in my new 220-yr. old kitchen. My kitchen is so architecturally interesting with a cooking fireplace, early shelving, niches, etc. Dramatic lighting aimed over a worn gas cooktop has never held much appeal to me." And a shiny, sleek induction top looks period??? The gas unit with the exposed flame, metal surface and minimal circuitry is a good deal more primitive than the ultra high tech induction unit.

"If you need big gas burners or a stick shift to make you look and feel like a pro, then more power to you." I don't buy things for ego - I buy them because they get the job done, reliably and in the best way possible. Besides being very practical (you can't start an automatic with a push and a pop into 2nd gear), the stick shift is very enjoyable to use and connects you with the driving in a way that an automatic will never do.

"I'd buy this one in a minute, but the 28" is a little cramped for my configuration. It has cool things like stop-and-go timers where you touch it off to answer the door, etc., then touch it on again and it remembers its setting." That would annoy the S**t out of me. Just one more thing to break, one more thing to remember when you are in a hurry - no thanks.

"I choose to drive an automatic because I embrace technology and convenience and I don't live in the stone age." Wow - that says a lot about you and our culture. Like most others, I embrace technology that is worthy of embracing and I never let convenience get in the way of pleasure or good food - they are rarely compatible. Our culture is so focused on convenience it is revolting. Nothing worse than sitting down at someone's table of convenience food cooked on convenience appliances and cleaned up in a convenient way. Sort of like the Microsoft way of thinking... People have gotten so caught up in technology for the sake of technology they don't know how anything works and can't do anything for themselves anymore or they don't have time for it or they don't take pride in it. Pretty sad if you ask me. Food that has been labored over is an expression of love and an art form that affects all 5 senses and cooking over fire is consistent with bringing all that into being.

The only points I will concede is that older folks who may not remember well may be safer with induction but outside of this situation or some real facilities challenges I am not convinced that induction is worth going to.

For me to go induction I would need to:
- throw out ever pot/pan I own that performs well on everything but induction and buy new ones.
- find another way to roast peppers
- pull out a lighter or match to flambe
- pull out a generator to cook when the power goes out.
- figure out how to fit a 40 quart stock pot on an induction cooktop and get uniform cooking.
- be gentle with the cooktop.
- learn to deal with annoying pulsed power.
- see my electric bill rise.
- lose heat when lifting the pan (gas from flame rises).
- deal with a slick surface that doesn't keep a pan in place like an iron grate.
- forget how much I love my six burner rangetop with a 24" griddle.
- deal with inevitable and glaringly obvious scratches, spots and smears
- throw away my perfectly good round bottom wok for a crummy flat bottomed one
- miss the sights, sounds and versatility of a gas flame.

I know these choices need to be made with your own situation in mind but for folks for whom cooking is more about passion, art and love than convenience, speed and efficiency, I think gas is still the heat source of choice. Induction has been around for a long time and it still hasn't caught on here. Truth be told, induction isn't so easy or efficient when you factor in the things you will have to give up or adjust to in order to get there. Good technology sells itself and word of it spreads like wildfire among those who's lively hoods depend on it. Similarly, folks will pay good money for something if it is indeed better, more versatile, reliable or will save them money in the long run. In either case, induction has been around long enough for both of these test cases to have been evaluated and the proof in in the puddin' - gas is still king amongst those who love to cook and those who cook for a living. For those who love wipe clean convenience, gadgets or just don't want to think, remember or be bothered there are flat top electrics/induction for your stove, automatic for your car and Microsoft for your computer. Just remember that next time you eat out and enjoy a great meal the odds are 99.999999% to 0.000001% that your food was cooked on a gas flame and will be for many years to come and there are very good reasons for that.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 2:31AM
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sleepyhollow, I am interested in your opinion of various gas ranges. I will be going with gas in the home we have gutted but I am also trying to keep cost from snowballing. I am an average cook yet healthy cook, no fancy sauces, lots of veggies, broiled fish, chicken etc. Do you have an opinion on mid priced gas range and all gas vs duel fuel? TIA for any information you might share.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 10:37AM
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I wasn't going to comment on your last post, because it seemed you needed to vent and defend your opinions about induction technology vs gas, however since you decided to take a personal poke at me I will again correct you in your misconceptions. FYI, I am not all about convenience and I never allow such to interfere with good food cooked in the manner to which it should in my home. I own a brick pizza/bread for chrissake! We haul the wood and start the fire for our pizza parties that morning. Convenience my foot! Where do you get your bread and pizza from? Where do you get your herbs and vegetables from? We get most of ours from our garden.

I would assume from your post that you don't own a microwave oven. Am I correct?

Personal opinion aside, I agree with many of your statements regarding the "cons" of induction. It's not a perfect medium to cook on. It happens to fit nicely in our life style for reasons that were mentioned too many times to count which have little to nothing to do with gimmickry.

Please do not make sweeping generalizations and assumptions about folks you do not know personally. It's insulting and it fills the forum up with garbage instead of clear, concise information.

PS, I owned two standard shift cars, a 300ZX and a Saab and although I enjoyed driving them both, I wouldn't say it was a particularly "moving event" (no pun intended). It was sometimes a damn pain in the rear on steep hills and in city traffic. Also I'm a graphic artist and I use a Mac computer to do my work. Just as gas and induction have their pros and cons, I feel both operating systems have their place in the world.

A little tolerance can go a long way.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 10:53AM
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Sleepyhollow wrote:
For me to go induction I would need to:
- throw out ever pot/pan I own that performs well on everything but induction and buy new ones.

This is a significant factor for many people.

- find another way to roast peppers

Absolutely; though most people rarely if ever roast peppers. I do it around twice a year, and I do it in the oven. A small minus; if I really cared I could fire up the grill outside.

- pull out a lighter or match to flambe

Oooh, so tough. ;-) Seriously, that's got to be down in the noise unless you're flambe-ing frequently. Most people I know have *never* flambed. I've subscribed to Cooks Illustrated for 7 years and have never flambed.

- pull out a generator to cook when the power goes out.

If the power is out I have bigger problems. There's always the grill, too. A very small minus. Not to mention I can always cook on top of the woodstove; the top gets to 400-600 degrees.

- figure out how to fit a 40 quart stock pot on an induction cooktop and get uniform cooking.

40-quart???? How many people do you cook for? Or do you use it for turning (several) whole turkeys into soup in one pass? You must be referring to real pro stuff, where you're cooking soup for 200. Not relevant to even 1% of home users (not to 0.1% I'd guess, unless they have a home catering business).

- be gentle with the cooktop.

Maybe - though if you don't care about scratches on a gas grate, you probably don't care about them on a smoothtop.

- learn to deal with annoying pulsed power.

Could be, though my understanding is that the pulsing is such that the only effect on the result is how it looks. It may be annoying, but I don't think it will affect the result.

- see my electric bill rise.

And your gas bill fall. Given the efficiency (i.e. gas heats a lot more than the pan), unless you live somewhere with high electric and low gas prices (perhaps parts of CA?) this is a wash or a gain for induction. Doubly so if you're on propane. Gas prices are also a lot more volatile.

- lose heat when lifting the pan (gas from flame rises).

Yes, though gas efficiency drops considerably when you raise it. A minus (small) for induction, depending on cooking style.

- deal with a slick surface that doesn't keep a pan in place like an iron grate.

Probably, though this can make life easier for some operations (shaking - you don't have to lift - and moving to another burner). Or you can do the silicone thing.

- forget how much I love my six burner rangetop with a 24" griddle.

No one is going to argue someone out of love with their cooktop.

- deal with inevitable and glaringly obvious scratches, spots and smears

I always loved gas (grew up with it in NYC, used it when I really learned to cook in college in upstate NY). I'd been living with electric for 10 years, and finally got a nice gas stove - then moved a year later. I did find keeping the gas grates and top clean were a pain (and my wife wouldn't let me keep my bachelor ways of not cleaning well). I like the immediate adjustment of gas; induction has that as well, perhaps even better.

We have a JennAire fast high-btu radiant plus a 35-year-old smoothtop, which we're planning on replacing with induction.

It may get scratches, but so does anything used a lot. The JennAire has a scratch or two; not that bad. They may be more obvious than on a gas unit, but the cleaning time should be much lower. A wash to me.

- throw away my perfectly good round bottom wok for a crummy flat bottomed one

Ok, though a subset of the point about cookware. This is a real minus though, though so long as the bottom keeps a good high stir-fry temp it really doesn't make a big difference in the result. An induction should keep the temps up over a large area. I have a nice cast-iron wok with a large flat bottom and an almost fully-rounded interior. Nice side effect is a lot of thermal mass for when you drop in a bunch of food.

- miss the sights, sounds and versatility of a gas flame.

Ok on sights and sounds, though that's a very personal reason. I like it to (since I grew up with it), but it rarely would improve the food I cook over induction. There are occasions where gas would be an improvement over a fast radiant, though not a huge number.

There are pluses and minuses. For a lot of residential users, induction is a good choice. For others it may not be. For pros, the tradeoffs are different. They use much larger equipment, they have big high-CFM fans, etc, etc. I can't begin to evaluate how a pro would evaluate them.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 10:27PM
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I was very interested in getting an induction cooktop when we were looking at appliances, but the choices were so limited, unless we imported. For service reasons, we opted not to do that. We decided on a gas cooktop instead of a range. We figure that if there are more choices in induction down the road, we can replace the gas cooktop with an induction cooktop. It would be more difficult to do that if we had opted for a range.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 9:30AM
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I'm not a promoter of one technology or another, just the pros and cons of each in my home setting. I think it's way off the mark to equate an induction cooker to a microwave oven -- induction gives you all the control of gas, and the two are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to purpose. Yes, microwaves are supposed to do one thing and do it well -- heat food very quickly. Induction isn't just about heating quickly, it gives you tremendous control and and all the adjustability of gas.

I think the power failure argument is a good one. While it's easy to say that there are bigger things to worry about in the event of a power failure, the last series of big storms to hit Washington has proven to my parents the value of having gas. They live in a town home with an all electric kitchen, and had to drive 50 miles to stay with my sister because they could make some tea and do some basic cooking in her gas kitchen during the 3 days the power was out. I think this is a very valid point, although not so important to us who live in areas not prone to power outages.

Truth be told, if I had a gas line in my home I never would have known about induction because I never would have sought alternatives. My desire for precise power control along with responsiveness led me to induction -- there simply is no equal in an electric kitchen. I *love* the ability to put my oatmeal on in the morning, set the timer for 5 minutes, and then walk away to do something else -- LOVE IT!

I'm not really driven by the same considerations as restaurant kitchens -- I'm not a restaurant. I am, however, impressed by anything that is fast, powerful, doesn't produce residual heat (an issue here in the summers), and can be cleaned spotless in under 5 minutes. Those with solar power or who subscribe to renewable energy can take comfort in knowing that they aren't putting CO2 back into the atmosphere, and are doing their part to mitigate the world's impact on global warming. Everything adds up to a cumulative effect -- even the little bits.

Different strokes for different folks. I'm glad for this thread, though -- lots of opinions from people to help others make up their minds.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 12:17PM
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I'm interested in how folks can use their gas when there is a power outage. My Miele gas hob did not have a pilot, but electronic (i.e., required electricity) ignition. I believe that is the standard for new appliances--no pilots. So gas or induction, at least for me, would have had the same result in a storm that knocked out the electricity.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 4:37PM
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Jdayne --- When the power is out, you ignite the gas with a match.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 5:20PM
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I was having a discussion with a friend about gas vs. induction ccoktops, and Google brought us here.

Fascinating (and perhaps unduly passionate) discussion. My two cents: my S.O. and I are building a home, and it was critically important that our house be as environmentally-responsible as possible.

We're both serious cooks (he, in fact, is a caterer), so the necessity of a gas cooktop was really cramping our green style--despite the fact that a true Ninja Chef can cook up a meal that'll make your tastebuds sing under any circumstances. Given the other already-stated favorable comparisons to gas cooktops (heat control and responsiveness, cooking speed, BTU-range, etc.), our discovery of the magnetic induction cooktop was a real lifesaver: no reliance on fossil fuels (we have solar shingles, so ours will be a Net Zero Energy home).

(Our hot water will be tankless, too. The heat, radiant. The house, prefabbed. Could we BE any greener?)

Anyway, just another point that you might want to consider. We just figured that doing our little part to save the polar icecaps (and to keep my baby brother from being drafted into another oil war... >) was worth the minor inconvenience of buying some additional magnetic pans.

Here is a link that might be useful: More ideas for greening your kitchen...

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 2:57AM
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greenier and SO--
Welcome! Glad you found us and congrats on your thoughtful home project. We loooove professional input on these forums so please stick around and feel free to comment on all sorts of stuff.
We're mostly all foodies here, but when people who make their living through cooking comment, we really listen up!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 3:05AM
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At least in MA, new hobs do not permit the gas to come into the hob unless the electronic ignition is able to work. No pilot--no electronic ignition--no gas.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 1:12PM
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There may be some foodies here I think to say that We're mostly all foodies here, but when people who make their living through cooking comment, we really listen up! doesn't accurately characterize the forum. There is a broad range of people here with varying needs and budgets and a broad range of responders, including the occasional professional, generously providing info and support.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 9:46PM
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Not sure what you're trying to say...but there are several profesional chefs on this forum (cpovey is one) who are also very interested and knowledgeable about home kitchen issues. They understand the mechanics of cooking and have had more experience than most of us. They have been a great help to me sorting out gimmicks and real benefits.

I think it's safe to say that most of us here have come into working contact with a very small number of appliances, so our opinions are mostly limited to what we've owned (like the poster above who is passionate about his gas stove, has never cooked on induction but has strong opinions against it).

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 4:53AM
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I have to add my two cents here. Sleepyhollow, I found your tirade against induction offensive. As though only "serious" cooks merit any of your approval.

My experience with induction comes from France, the capitol of good cooking. On a 1991 tour of Paris restaurant kitchens (a great tour of top-rated restaurant kitchens), we were shown a kitchen of a restaurant in the new Bastille Opera House. The French government would not allow installation of gas ranges, due to safety factors as several hundred, perhaps a thousand, people could be harmed if a fire broke out. So the restaurant installed induction and the chefs praised it. I thought, if it's good enough for Parisian chefs, it's good enough for me. I tried to buy one for our new home in 1999 but was unable to do so, so put in gas.

Last spring, DH and I spent a month in a 500-year old refurbished home in Provence. It contained a 24" Brandt, three burner induction cooktop and I am a convert. It did everything I needed to do and we did a lot of cooking because eating out was quite expensive. We are going to build another new house this year and induction cooktop is a must.

I loved the rapid response, the ability to simmer (can't get the temps that low on my gas cooktop) at very low temps, the absolute ease of cleaning up (professional chefs don't do the cleaning, their helpers do), the safety of it (a sleeve of my bathrobe caught fire when I was cooking breakfast on my gas cooktop once), and the efficiency.

If you need a 24" cooktop, AEGs are now available in the U.S. If I can find a link, I will post it. But I was able to find the US importer through a Canadian importer, Euro Appliances (I think), a company I found on this website.

I say, go for it. You won't be disappointed.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 5:57PM
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Would be great if you were able to find a link for AEG 24" from the US - my husband doesn't want to void the warranty by importing. I just did a google search and turned up zilch; same from Electrolux website (AEG's parent brand)
Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 7:40PM
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I expect we'll have a similar debate in about 5 years when electric/fuel cell cars are finally a reality. There will be Luddites who claim that you can't really drive in anything that doesn't have the ability to explode. In 20 years we'll look back on fossil fuels for cooking or cars as a pretty silly thing to have done.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 9:17PM
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You can try this link for the AEG
I believe there are 2 units, a 24' unit 68001K-mn and the 30' unit (88101K). Euro-line appliances is out of Ontario, Canada and they ship to the US. I believe the AEG units are CSA approved which is the equivalent of a UL listed product.

I am still waiting for the Diva 24' unit. I was told by Diva on Jan 15 that they are hoping to receive CSA approval by end of this month, and that ship date would be 8-10 weeks from that date. My local distributor advised yesterday, to expect a ship date of March 15.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 8:25PM
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Been cooking with induction for twenty years. Cook occasionally with gas. I like both. There is something to be said for that blue seductive gas's, well, pretty. Then, there is something to be said about that mysterious induction's, well, fast, efficient and very clean.

What would I like to see in a cooker? Two gas burners and two induction hobs.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 9:03PM
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Like everyone else, I'm driven to put in my two cents. We are switching over to Induction, probably Diva. As an electrical engineer, I would like to make a point about the electical consumption. Induction is the most cost efficient way to cook - period, no discussion. A lot of power is used, but only for a short period of time. The energy transfer is extremely efficient to the pan as it is directly coupled and the air not heated. In fact, to make it even more efficient, put in a 60 amp service. A 60 amp will have less voltage drop and deliver more power with less wire heating. No one mentioned the major league problems with cleaning these large gas ovens. Takes longer to clean than to cook and if you don't clean quickly and often, the stainless becomes stained and looks awful. Also, to prevent sliding just use a paper towel, parcement, or one of the silicon pads. Overall, all the gas folks strike me as very defensive. As far as pots go, people on this site are routinely talking about putting $20-30K into appliances in a kitchen. Can't believe the cost of new pots is an issue. My wife can't wait to get new stuff - it was one of the reasons to buy induction.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 6:44PM
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How does anyone wok cook, stirfry (in a wok), or khadih cook on an induction top? Don't think you could use those types of pots. I'm assuming if you like the odd ethnic cooking at home, you're sol with an induction top. I think induction tops are more suited to "Northern European cuisine"...

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 8:25PM
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Its almost nine months since I last posted on THS and what is the first thread I encounter but this one! ItÂs great to see the same spirited discussions I remembered so fondly...

We have been cooking on our De Dietrich DTI308X 4 zone induction cooktop since August of 2005. We switched from a coil top although I had cooked with gas for many years before that. I am an experienced cook for whom the culinary arts are one of lifeÂs great pleasures. What follows is not at all theoretical, but based on 19 months of practical experience use.

WhatÂs clear from this thread is that the discussions regarding induction continue to become more sophisticated and many issues have been put to rest. For example virtually no one here questions the high heat and instantaneous response of induction technology and indeed they shouldnÂt. The number of satisfied users in this regard are well document on these pages.

After all this time the only negatives vs. gas that I have with induction have already been discussed: 1) Pans slide on the glass cooktop; 2) Specific cooking techniques that require a flame or non-magnetic cookware are eliminated outright. As an aside, our electricity bills went down, not up, when we switched to induction and I agree that the drastically more efficient heat distribution of induction vs. cooking over an open flame points to lower overall energy costs when you add back in the cost of fuel.

Giving up a few old treasured copper pans and pans was wrenching at first but IÂve kept them and still plan to use them using a some sort of iron plate as an interface. Clearly this hasnÂt proved to be very important since I havenÂt gotten around to it after all these months! I did have to give up a few aluminum pans but, like others writing here (Hi Kim!) they badly needed replacing so there was no love lost there...

Not much I can say about slippery glass cooktops except that itÂs not a big deal to me and I much prefer the instantaneous cleanup that a smoothtop affords. In addition, the coolness of the surrounding area means you can mop up spills while you cook using induction. This is a BIG problem with radiant smoothtops! I have some silicone pads and they do work to keep the pans from slipping but IÂve gotten to the point where I just donÂt bother with them.

But the point goonda raises is important. With respect to wok cooking I had to give up a fine old round bottom wok when we switched but the flat bottom wok I have now is just fine so I can report that high temperature wok .cookery is excellent on induction. No sacrifice here. But styles of cooking relying on stovetop vessels made of pottery are impossible. With respect to flambees I use a match and when it comes to charring peppers I use the broiler in our oven.

Would I go back to gas? In a new kitchen built from scratch I might consider it, but it would definitely mean giving up some big pluses to do it. I would miss the precision ,the instant response and the cool running of my induction cooktop . We also appreciate the safety and security that comes with the lack of an open flame. This allows unattended slow cooking which we never felt good about using gas. Lastly, the neatness and easy cleanup that induction allows is a real plus. Induction involves a sort of "cooking by numbers" approach and it can become addictive! I love the individual timers on our De Dietrich,. Combined with the exact repeatability of the numerical "temperature" settings, the timers permit me to have multiple cooking processes going on at once while ensuring exactly the same results every time. Considering gas at this stage would be based largely on the sort of primal nature of cooking with a flame. Induction cooking is a far more abstract experience. Gas definitely has its own appeal, but, as I said, it would involve denying myself some recently acquired pleasures, which would be very hard to do at this stage.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 1:35AM
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One more thing I forgot about induction vs. gas - induction provides vastly superior low temprature control when compared to gas. That is one thing I would absolutely not want to give up! So, all in all, I guess I would be hard pressed to go back to gas!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 1:46AM
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I have had my Viking 6 burner induction cooktop now since December of 2006. I initially had the 6 burner Viking gas cooktop, you can read my comments about that in the "Viking, all owners thread" and if you dont want to find that post, suffice it to say, that gas cooktop could not get out of my kitchen fast enough.

I was a bit reluctant to go with another Viking, but had little choice as I had installed new granite countertops and once the hole is cut in granite, you need something that will fit that same hole.

The Viking 6 burner induction and Viking 6 burner induction unit have exact same cut out sizes for installation, so went with the Viking induction cooktop.

I LOVE IT!!! The control is absolutely amazing, at either hot or simmer ranges, almost instantaneous.

I only had to replace a bit of my cookware utensils, most of mine was already induction compatible. I had to find an induction wok, and 2 large stockpots, that was it.

Cleanup is a snap.

My electricity bill has not gone up at all, the induction is BY FAR the most energy efficient of any method of cooking. For one thing, the only part of the burner that actually is used for energy is the part that comes in contact with the pan you are using. So if the outside 2 inches are not used, nor is the energy, at least not in mine.

I have no idea what people are talking about when they say "pulsing"??? My induction cooktop does not do that at all, normal cooking mode for me. And with the Viking 6 burner induction cooktop that I have, each burner operates independently, so you can use all at once at maximum power, power is not shared by burners.

You will need a 50 or 60 AMP service, not a problem for me since my son is an electrician. And you will need some clearance below your unit, this is different for each manufacturer. Mine needs around 6 inches, again, not a problem for me. I have my induction cooktop installed in a huge 5' by 5' island, same place my regular electric cooktop used to be, and the storage space below is quite open, not confined and cramped like in regular cupboards.

For those who love their gas, good on you, glad it works for you. Gas was a pain in the derriere for me for the few months that I had it. To each his own, but I am one happy camper with my new induction unit. I dont need to see a flame to cook, I respond to what is happening in the pan, not what is happening with the flame. I am not a professional cook but am more than familiar with most methods of cooking and consider myself more than just an average cook.

I dont think it is a matter of your age, I am 59 and embrace new technology, but only if that new technology works or is superior to what I had prior. My induction cooktop meets those requirements for me and I am a happy camper.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 12:04PM
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Fori is not pleased

The driving force behind my upcoming kitchen remodel isn't the pink Corian, sparkling pink vinyl floor, and yellowed cabinets that don't hold enough--it's replacing my induction cooktop with GAS!!

And yet, I'll miss many features of the induction--the quick boil, the easy clean, the control...maybe my next house will have a big enough kitchen for both. Induction is really nice in a small kitchen because it gives you extra working counter space (unless you're using all the burners of course!). You can get that with regular electric of course, but then you're stuck with regular electric. Love having a nice flat spot to chop onions under the hood!

I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend induction. But if your budget and space allow it, a little of both would be ideal.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 12:24PM
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Late to the party as usual.

With the 2-element units out there, having both is not that difficult nor expensive nor space consuming (2 + 4 is almost the same size as 6). Right now, it's what I'm considering due to non-induction pans.

But the timer thing is an absolute deal breaker. I will never have a top that doesnt have the ability to turn itself off when I get occupied elsewhere.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 6:48PM
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I live in Southern California, the bit about my electricity bill going up is a deterent, but I've been using an old coil now for 25 years. Would my electric usage still go up using induction??

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 7:31PM
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Since induction is very efficient I would expect the usage to either go down or the change to be unnoticeable. (Unless you liked it so much that you do more cooking with the cooktop than before.)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 6:24AM
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The in-house chef at the Thermador/Gaggenau Showroom told me to buy a $10 wok from Chinatown with a fairly shallow wok ring, and it'll work great on the induction cooktop...

He said that most of those cheap steel woks are highly magnetic, so they're perfect for induction cooking. And the round bottom is not a problem since the wok just has to be close to the magnetic zone, not actually touching it.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 10:52AM
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Regarding the scratches that all glass ceramic cooktops evenually get with use as a negative for induction, do the newer "patterned" glass decrease either the scratching or their visibility? For instance, the Thermador has a slightly raised pattern all over the shiny black glass, which may not show scratches as obviously as Gaggenau or Diva's sleek black surface?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 10:58AM
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I had the same question and wound up going with a combination. I bought a pair of Gaggenau 12" modules, one is electric ceramic smooth top two burners, the other is a two burner gas module. Best of both worlds!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 1:33AM
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I've never used induction but just have salivated over the concept. I have gas and am ever so thankful for it and for being able to put my coil stove rental days behind me (crossing fingers here). Love the gas stove and all that. With all that out of the way, I have to comment on the observations of the gas advocate - sleepy_someone!

- For one thing, equating the needs and requirements of not just a pro chef but a cafeteria chef with a homeowner is pretty fantastic. I use gas and let me tell you that very little about the way I operate in my kitchen with my gas appliances is anything like the way the cafeteria cook operates his or her gas appliances. I JUST don't have their bandwidth needs! (and personally, if I did, I think I'd probably opt for induction to meet those but that is a purely academic inference since I've never cooked on induction).

- roasting peppers on gas - I roast peppers under the broiler in the oven because I don't want a mess over my grates or the SS cooktop and the subsequent cleanup. My oven does a fine job of it.

- " lose heat when lifting the pan (gas from flame rises)" ... Why in the world would this be any sort of attribute and to whom?! I can't say that I think I'd enjoy standing holding a pot above the grates merely because I know the flames will still be able to get to 'em. I prefer to use the knobs to turn down the flame and, as in the case of induction, the power output.
Perhaps sleepy is thinking of the original open wood flame cooking viz. something even more rudimentary and primeval than a gas stove? :-)

BTW, I drive a manual and prefer it to the automatic but have to wince when caught in Boston/Cambridge's galactically slow rush hour speeds which are probably hell on my clutch.
OS? Mac-shmac. I like the unices. One of my PC's is now a Mac and only ever considered one when Apple deigned to consider a Unix based one; the other one is a linux box. But how do either of these choices drive how you impart energy to your food?
Speedy cooking? While I love the high output of my power burner & I would definitely appreciate the even faster AND ecologically sound induction high, it is the simmer that I particularly appreciate - but induction offers that too. I like cooking just fine but I've really never needed to feel one with the food and the source of thermal energy deployed to it. Its all about exciting molecules.

When we redid our kitchen, induction was a bit of a bear to get at with only the one brand being offered here and most GW induction pioneers going overseas to acquire one. The latter is not something I really wanted to get into - we had enough of a hair-raising time during the remodel with the local yokels and their issues. However, if I were to do this again, I will definitely go induction.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 11:32AM
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Fori is not pleased

A little late, Eleeny, but my 20+ year old induction cooktop is unscratched (except for the metal trim). Maybe it's because there's less sliding required to cook with it.

Induction has all sorts of cool tricks. Control of pasta boil-overs is amazing. And don't get me started on candymaking (sure, you have to find an old iron pot for it, but then you are set). Cook on paper towels! Impress your friends!

Gas, not so many tricks, but overall more fun. :)

Paul, are your electric Gagganau burners induction? Induction/gas should be a very nice combo.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 12:13PM
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Will you please explain the fun factor?


    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 1:31PM
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Speaking of fun, has anyone seen the mobile induction cooking unit below?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 2:24PM
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Oh, man, Chipshot!!! They don't say how big the cooking area is, or what power, but man! Now not only am I lusting for Pyrolave counters (worried that it would be gilding the pig) but if only I could get the induction installed beneath it. Wouldn't that be cool? Just set the pot on the counter and have it heat up????

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:34PM
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Very cool. But how would you know where the induction was?

I'm in the process of getting a quote for a Pyrolave counter (no induction, sorry) and am curious to see how much more it will be than CaesarStone.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 12:36PM
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Well, on the Nomad-Cook and on other induction tops there's a marking. And the Pyrolave enamel can be done in any pattern :) I can think of all kinds of interesting artistic patterns which could clearly mark the pot rings without looking like rings :)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 2:00PM
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Hello to everyone. I consider myself a gourmet chef, although I have never cooked professionally. Once I finish my degree at the Oregon Institute of Technology, I am planning on pursuing my Master Chef Certification (currently, there are only two certified Master Chefs in all of Oregon).

Personally, I love to cook and eat, but love sharing my passion more. I cook for friends, relatives, and on occasion I cook at local events (never for money, usually just for friends having parties, etc.) Nothing makes a crowd (or relatives) go "WOW" as much as flambe. Lighting it with the gas flame is absolutely irreplaceable for me - the magic of a sudden flambe dish goes away considerably if I had to light it.

That being said, I am a student of change -- I love future technology.

There is one huge, huge, HUGE problem with induction that will absolutely permanently deter me from it until the issue is solved -- stray electromagnetism.

I purchased a counter-top Avanti induction cooker to test the technology. Like I said, I am about the future: I use multiple computer interfaces in the kitchen, and in fact, every room of my house.

Here's the reality of the situation: Many other posting members have said that induction will replace other forms of cooktops in 10 to 15 years. HOWEVER, in that time, we will have no more paper -- electronic books, newspapers, even semi-automated kitchens. Your recipes will be kept on a tablet PC, and your juicer will greet you by name in the morning. All induction stoves that I am currently aware of cause severe electromagnetic "static" -- in other words, having them within 20 feet of a computer is deadly (just like putting a strong magnet next to a hard drive).

I am aware of this, and therefore have never tried my Avanti with the kitchen electronics on.

I love the idea of induction -- and I've read some articles on universally-compatible induction. When this happens, the cookware issue will cease.

The Avanti, *even with cast iron*, is completely and totally uneven. I have checked all the obvious things -- the cast iron pan I use is within the weight and size constrictions of the Avanti. If I boil water, I can literally see a RING of water boiling, with the dead center and outsides of the pan just barely simmering.

This has caused many rings of black upon my fish and steak, not to mention the uneven wear of the seasoning -- it removed a perfect ring from the pan -- and thats super-aggravating.

I also think that the danger of scratching any glass top cook surface is a con. My current gas burners get beat up all the time, and the damage is barely noticeable, if at all. The first time I used my cast iron on the Avanti (the glass is black), huge scratches appeared -- in fact, they prevented me from returning it to the store where I bought it.

On the whole, I am going to stick with my gas for now, after gaining experience with both induction and gas.

I am looking forward to moving to induction, when it is improved.

Here are the problems that need to be solved before I move to induction:

1. Electromagnetic interference with other electronics and computers in the kitchen
2. Glasstops need to be resilient - super easy to do with a special coating, but its expensive to produce right now
3. An inconspicuous way to light flambes(perhaps a special small burner that heats up to the temperature of combustion?)

This is simply my personal opinion, and I am not trying to be all-knowing. If someone knows a solution that I have missed, or if I'm just being a general idiot, please let me know!

I think the issue is how your going to use it. Myself, a chef who puts a lot of weight into presentation, and uses lots of computers in the kitchen, will stay with gas. For you, these things may not be issues -- in which case I would say go with the induction.

One thing is for certain -- I like technology, and induction is about as tech as you can get. I will certainly keep my eye on the induction market, and am looking forward to the responses to this post.

Anyway, my other question for those on this forum, is how is infrared compared to gas and induction? Personally, I have only used it once -- on a Viking grill. I loved it -- it seared my steaks like I've never seen -- but I'm curious about its application as a main cooking surface.

Thank you!

P.S. -- I am looking into the Pyrolave built-in induction counters. I think if I can get those, I will rip all the electronics out of my kitchen in an instant. That would be so cool, just put the pan on the counter and it would heat. You wouldn't need markings, its your kitchen! You'd know where they were hidden.

Lawrence The Lion

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 3:21AM
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Okay, I got out my tape measure - My pc is 15 feet from my induction cooktop with no walls in between. Both work fine at the same time. I've had no problems running the microwave or any other electronics either.

My GE 30" unit heats amazingly evenly. I made crepes yesterday and they were the best I've ever made. I was using a brand new all-clad 8" omelet pan and I figured, new pan + new cooktop = the first few crepes would be tossers. Nope! Even the very first one was evenly golden and paper thin.

I've been using my cooktop for about 7 weeks and there's not a single scratch on in. A microfiber cloth gets it mirror shiny and beautiful.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 1:27PM
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I bought a refurb Viking induction burner to try out the technology and I've had a very, very different experience than Lawrence. First, it sits about 10 feet from my computer and has not, to date, bothered it in the least. I'm sorry, but I have to question whether that stray electromagnetic interference that you're talking about is a valid worry. The only problem I've had so far is that my Polder Digital Thermometer didn't work, but there we are talking about less than an inch between the electronic device and the induction cooktop, not feet. I can get over that with an old fashioned thermometer that hangs on the side of the pot. :-)
I have been completely amazed by the fast and even heating that this thing achieves with the pans I'm using on it, which are cheap Ronco-ware. My good pans are all anodized aluminum, which is the downside of this technology, but I'll soothe any angst I have about parting with them with some new All Clad when the remodel is done! The heat control is stunning, it's absolutely instant. And the heat distribution is totally even in throughout the burner area. There is not a hint of a 'ring' in the heat pattern. Seriously, Lawrence, I have to wonder if the Avanti is either defective or just not all that good of a product. (Sorry) It doesn't sound like you're getting a true indication of what this technology can do. I am not going to go with a full sized Viking cooktop--way too expensive for me, but I really do feel that this little refurb has given me a true snapshot of what it would be like to cook with induction, and I'm liking it. It wasn't cheap, but I didn't want to spend $2K+ on something and find out that I didn't like cooking on it, so $300 was, in my opinion, a very fair price to find out.

And that's my $.02...


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 4:34PM
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I wouldn't go back in this house there is only electric. I have used gas and was disappointed in my not insisting on gas when I bought this house. That being said, I've since switched to induction and absolutley love it. I have the hybrid and wish I had forked out the extra cash to do all induction. If I can sell this one, I might do it because I hardly ever use the regular electric eyes. If I could though, I would have both. I do feel safer with induction though. Many times I've worried about a sleeve catching fire with gas. But, I would want the option of using gas with some recipes. I do have the problem with sliding pans too - oh, boy, that's not safe!!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 7:52PM
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Lawrence, if it were April 1st, I would be enjoying a good joke. Unfortunately, you are sincere. I think you have not had the opportunity to use a properly functioning induction unit. My experience has been polar opposite from yours. A Mr. Induction 1,800 KW single unit has been my primary cooktop (ha!) for about one year. On the whole I love it. However, I do have several frustrations that are not the fault of the unit. It does not have enough power, and the heat surface is too small. I cannot wait to get a built-in cooktop. In short order I purchased four cast iron dutch oven-style pots in varying sizes, two cast iron skillets, and in December a non-stick skillet. In addition to the increase in arm strength from lifting and moving the cast iron, cooking is a joy. The digital heat control has numbers as well as temperature settings. Heat change is instant.

I slide and flip the pans & skillets all the time. The enamel is chipped on the bottom of several of the pans. The glass top is pristine, no scratches, chips, and sparkling clean, which is a real achievement for me!

While cooking in the 13 x 13 kitchen, I use a laptop with wireless Internet, an iPod, Blackberry phone, and a microwave. All at once, occasionally. There is no interference from the induction hob. cj47, my Polder Digital Thermometer works, too. Maybe yours needs a new battery.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 8:56PM
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My thermapen electronic thermometer works fine, as well. I also have a computer close to our induction unit. No problems at all! Our Kenmore unit heats evenly across the bottom of the pots and pans--no ring. No scratches from cast iron. I'd take that Avanti unit back to the store, scratches and all, and insist on a refund.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 1:02AM
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Well, I'm finding this interesting--that Polder is brand new, it's the one with a probe attached to the unit. I put it in the pot while I was warming milk for yogurt and it went all weird on me. Maybe it was a fluke--and maybe it was the Viking, but definately I'll give it a shot on whatever cooktop I end up with at the finish of the remodel. (Currently, Miele is a front runner--I want those timers on each burner...) Thanks for the feedback on the digi thermometers! Cj

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 2:26AM
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I've been using my De Dietrich 308X induction cooktop for about 18 months now and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I stayed with my sister up in Washington state last week, she has a DCS gas cooktop. I was using her most powerful center burner -- I know it had a lot of BTUs and the jet-like flames looked quite intimidating -- and I kept thinking something wasn't working. It took so much longer than I am accustomed to get the pan hot. Every time I moved the pan around while stirring the contents, I would almost singe my arm on the plume of hot air rising from the cooktop.

I was looking forward to using gas for a few days to remind myself of what I've been missing, but after using it I remembered that I wasn't missing anything! Induction is truly the best technology, in my opinion, as it gives all the power and control of gas without any of the disadvantages (carbon dioxide, wasted heat, etc.).

Some day when I build my custom home, you can bet it will have an induction cooktop.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 11:26AM
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On scratching, we went to an appliance store that had a number of induction units. They also had a commercial pan sitting around. We put the pan on the various units and gently slide it around. In all cases, it caused scratches of various sort. Often it damaged the non-stick pattern on top of the surface. Note that the level of roughness here was less than what we subject our gas grates to.

We are still getting induction to augment our gas unit. The above is one reason we chose to not go with Induction only. Maybe there are other units that work better in this regard. But we just didn't want to baby our pans as we put them down, slid them back and forth, etc.

Maybe before you buy, you can bring some of your heavier pans and do the above test.

Another thing to note is how slippery the surface was. We were surprised at the level of difference here. Some units were far better than others. This is important as you don't want the pan to dance around when you stir.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:58PM
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I believe CookTek, at least, offers induction wok units with a circular concave cooking area.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 9:41AM
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Finally looking for my induction unit and thought others might be interested to know that Gaggenau (now part of the Bosch empire) sells a wok for their single zone WOK VARIO induction unit. The accessory is listed for that model "only" so you need to look into why...what might be different about the induction unit itself, if you would like to use it on another brand cooktop. I like gas as well as induction so have decided to go for the 36 inch Blue Star RNB, with grill, and supplement with a Diva "domino"--all under the same vent hood. Am looking for QUIET and durability so would appreciate advice on brand of hood. Does anyone use a model with a booster unit at roof level (designed for added power and quiet). I will need a 48" wide model. Does anyone own a Broan? Thanks, Sunshine

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 3:17PM
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Decided to solve the mystery myself. The single zone unit affords more power that can't be "robbed" by another zone, hence, "wok" BTUs...a pretty unit with a pretty price for only one zone. Healthy eating! Sunshine

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 3:29PM
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Question for those of you who have gone Induction (and have the ability to use gas), what type of oven do you use? Electric or Gas? I am assuming that an induction cooktop can't bake bread or biscuits for you so you will need an oven of some type.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 12:12PM
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After cooking with gas all my life, and having a hellish experience using a Viking "professional" range, I can say in all honesty that I much prefer cooking with electric. Despite what the naysayers will tell you, electric cooking has come a LONG way from the coils and uneven/uncontrollable heat of days gone by...

I've got a smoothtop range with radiant elements, and a Salton 1500 watt portable induction unit. BOTH appliances outperform every gas range I've ever used. I couldn't believe it myself, but the boil time for water and other cooking tasks was absolutely astounding to me. I also got fed up with cleaning my walls and ceilings all the time. The persistent yellow greasy film that stuck to everything made me want to pull my hair out. Also, the smell that some gas ranges produce can be irritating, especially to those who have allergies or sensitive lungs. Believe it or not, there are people out there who are allergic to natural gas appliances, just like you can be allergic to real Christmas trees.

In summary, my advice and opinion? Go with induction. Easy, clean, sleek, and VERY responsive. The technology has proven itself in Europe and Japan, and they are finally starting to catch on over here too.

Good luck on whatever you decide.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 12:50PM
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As far as ovens go, one performs just as good as the other, although they say electric ovens have a more even, consistent heat. Also, keep in mind that the old dial thermostats are HORRIBLY inaccurate. Make sure you go with a digital thermostat, found on most ranges today.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 12:53PM
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I'm surprised at amrim's experience with scratching. As I posted in another thread the other day, I've had a ceramic cooktop for years that while somewhat discolored, you'd have to practically put your nose on the surface to see any light scratches. Are these different materials?

Amirm - what brand was that you scratched up? (I wonder how much money someone's going to save because of you! LOL)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 1:22PM
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When I did a kitchen remodel 3 years ago, the only option for induction was CookTek. I opted for gas (DCS 48" because of the 18,000 BTUs). During the 3 month remodel, I needed to be able to cook. Sooooooo, I took advantage of CookTek's offer of a free demo (60 days, I think?) of a freestanding plug-in induction burner. I loved it. It was better than anything I have cooked on before. Water boiled quickly, it didn't matter what diameter pan I used, and I didn't have to worry about kids and burners. I became an induction fan from then on. Friends laughed at me that I had just spent tons of money on a new remodel and knew I had made the wrong choice about rangetop/cooktop before it was even installed. I was happy enough with the DCS I installed, but was pretty sure that had my induction choices in 2005 been better, I would not have chosen gas. The house I just moved into unfortunately has a perfectly adequate new kitchen with a new 30" Dacor (which is pretty good. I like the burners better than DCS) so I can't justify a kitchen remodel with a new induction cooktop. Sigh.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 9:10AM
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The one person's warning about electro magnetic field straying is a bunch of hogwash. There is no other word for the fear mongering he did.

My father in law has a pace maker, no problem with it, and no problem with any other appliance or electronic gadget in my kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 12:11PM
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Whoever said that no commercial kitchen would ever use induction was way off the mark. I just returned from a Caribbean cruise, during which I attended a gourmet cooking demonstration and toured the ship's galley. I was surprised to learn that the entire cruise line used induction cook tops and that there was no open flame in any of their shipboard kitchens. I was so impressed with induction cooking that I just ordered a Viking portable counter top unit (refurbished) so that I will be able to try it out myself.

Ironically, I recently completed a kitchen makeover, including all new appliances. Part of the impetus for this project was to replace my electric stove with a dual-fuel model because I had missed the immediate control of gas burners. My recent "discovery" of induction cooking might just change my cooking habits. At the least I will have a handy and safe portable cooking unit, and I may find myself becoming a convert.

As for the pacemaker issue, the user manuals I have read all say that the unit "should" be safe but that persons with pacemakers should keep at least one foot away from the induction unit.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 3:29PM
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The one person's warning about electro magnetic field straying is a bunch of hogwash. There is no other word for the fear mongering he did.
yes it is too bad He did not do a little bit of research before He posted that. A study was done on the effect an induction stove might have on a pacemaker. The conclusion was none, unless the pace maker was made before 1995 and that pacemaker was so sensitive to magnetic interference that you darned not even keep a compass in your shirt pocket(LOL)
Yesterday, I had my laptop just on the right side of the sink, The Electrolux Icon Induction cooktop is on the other side of the sink. The laptop is linked wirelessly to my main computer upstairs. I was using the laptop to read a recipe from a web-site about tamale pie that was actually on my computer upstairs(laptop is not actually on-line) and everything worked great and I had 2 burners going on the cooktop, no interference to the laptop or the connection it was making to the cmptr upstairs.
Not all the induction units are the same--even on the lowest settings, mine is completely silent no clicks etc and I do not see any "Cycling" in the pan on low or high settings.One thing I really like is how evenly it heats the pan--some of this probably has to do with the pan itself as it is not solid Stainless but layers of SS, Copper and aluminum. I still enjoy cooking outdoors with my DCS, but due to the uneveness of the heat (Usually the edges are cooler), I have to keep stirring the outside in, or what is on the edge of the pan never gets cooked alto it is a cheap aluminum pan or pot I usually Use.

Saw the comment that us old folks are reluctant to try the "Latest Things" I'm 66. Not so with me. How many of you link your cmptrs as I do, are you able to sit in your easy chair,with your laptop choosing,and playing from the computer upstairs,any of the 100,000 songs in it, and have it come thru any stereo in your house, patio or even my car?
Sorry about the Digression, but like Kitchens, ppl in general, etc etc "All Us Old Folks", aren't the same!!!


    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 5:43PM
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I need to do some research regarding induction cooktops and pacemakers. My mother has a new pacemaker and was told by her doctor to avoid induction stoves. She was very disappointed not to be able to cook in my new kitchen. =(


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 1:08PM
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This is from a medical abstract article from a couple of years ago regarding pacemakers and induction cooking. A portion of the article is below. Things may have changed since then, but...

Do induction cooktops interfere with cardiac pacemakers?
In induction cooktops, coils produce time-varying magnetic fields that induce eddy currents in the ferromagnetic bottom of a pot or pan, thereby heating it, while the cooktop itself remains cool. Interference with pacemaker sensing could conceivably be produced by voltages induced directly by induction or indirectly by leakage currents.

Patients are at risk if the implant is unipolar and left-sided, if they stand as close as possible to the induction cooktop, and if the pot is not concentric with the induction coil. Unipolar pacing systems can sense interference generated by leakage currents if the patient touches the pot for a long period of time. The most likely response to interference is switching to an asynchronous interference mode. Patients with unipolar pacemakers are at risk only if they are not pacemaker-dependent.

From NIH (National Institutes of Health) PubMed: 2006 May;8

P.S. I would suggest speaking with your cardiologist about the use of and contact range if you have a pacemaker.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 10:42PM
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Why not have both gas and induction?

I suggest you try cooking on a relatively inexpensive induction hot plate, as I did. I am now a complete fan, especially considering the restaurant-quality unit I bought delivers precise heat control. The best part is, after you're done cooking (I have a 24" Capital gas range too), use the hot plate to keep food warm, safely, and at a real energy savings.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 6:17PM
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I find it interesting that one of the things that people like is the 'ease of cleaning'.

My current kitchen has a glass smooth top electric stove top.
I have never hated an appliance more in my life. This unit is NOT induction, but I am assuming that the glass surfaces (not cooking performance) are similar?
Notwithstanding the horrid cooking performance of the thing, the cleanup is a nightmare. Any small drop of sauce that dribbles down the pan is instantly seared onto the surface. Nothing short of steel wool and a paint scraper will remove the baked on item. Additionally, it's downright dangerous to use if you put a wet pot on it. Rather than evaporating the water like a gas top would, this thing shoots out boiling water from underneath the pan at you, the cook. I am wondering if people have experienced similar things with their induction tops?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 4:27PM
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Might not be a problem in NYC, but induction cooktops don't work without electricty while the gas variety will. Despite buried lines, lost power again last winter and am now about to swap our old electric cooktop for one hooked up to our more reliable natural gas line.

PS: adding a 50 amp load for cooking probably isn't in the cards for most portable emergency generators.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 3:19PM
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Pulaski -
Comparing a smooth top electric surface to a smooth top induction surface is like comparing apples to donuts. Totally different animals for cooking and clean up.

For instance, if you boil over milk on the electric - yes, it immediately scorches onto the top and it's a mess to clean up. Been there, done that!

If you boil over milk on the induction, it doesn't scorch onto the cooktop, because the cooktop isn't nearly as hot as the electric cooktop would be. In fact you can even quickly touch a burner that was just boiling water and not get burned. You have to keep in mind, the heat on an induction top is between the pan and the magnetic field. The induction cooktop is only warm from the transfer heat of the pan. Unlike the electric where the cooktop DOES heat up and then transfers that heat to the pan. It stays MUCH cooler than the electric cooktop. And you can even place your thumb on the burner surface 1/2" from the pan and it's still cool, only where the pan is sitting on the burner is it mildly hot, the rest of the burner and top is normal temp.
If I'm cooking and a potential mess boils over, I just pick up the pan and wipe if off right there with a damp rag or dry paper towel. The surface is easily cool enough to do that, or sometimes I will cook with a paper towel between the pan and cooktop to catch the drips.

So yes, there is a huge difference in cleanup. In 18 months of owning one, I've only had my ceramic cleaner out once or twice for stubborn spots. Usually its a simple wipe down and then a microfiber cloth buff to remove the streaks from the washcloth. Literally done in less than 2 minutes.

As for performance in cooking - again - no comparison! It responds immediately, unlike the electric smoothtops where the surface must heat up or cool down before you get the pot to do likewise. Literally, one second after a pot is at full boil, it will stop if the burner is turned off (just like if you lifted a pot up off the burner). That's how responsive induction is. And then if you turn it right back on, back to full boil in about 3-4 seconds.

So huge difference between electric smoothtop and induction. Hope you can see it working in person - it's truly worth the extra money in my book.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 5:44PM
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What dlspellman said.

I love love love love love my induction cooktop. I think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It is a dream to use, extremely responsive, and easy to clean. I also love the way it looks, it is very streamlined and unobtrusive.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 12:28PM
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Think you meant to reply to someone else. My point was that all electric cooking appliances tend to require electricity -- and I think I'm pretty safe with that. This thread is about gas vs induction. I'm going to a natural gas cooktop for the simple reason we frequently lose our electric power when it snows more than 4' or so -- which is most every winter in our part of the Rockies.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 1:41PM
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Pulaski -
My are correct, I was replying to Wintertime, the post just above yours...

And you are of course correct, induction might not be the right answer in an area that loses it's power frequently.

Again - so sorry...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 2:52PM
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Toss up question: Which comes on first (is safe to turn on) after a major earthquake, electricity or gas? I got gas and induction, both. (Though it might be a good time for the barbecue or campstove...)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 3:49AM
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"This thread is about gas vs induction."

Actually the original poster was asking people who have induction now if they'd go back to gas.

We had gas before, then electric smoothop, now induction. I'd be disappointed to go back to gas, very unhappy to go back to electric smoothtop. I like induction best.

I have a canister-powered teppan yaki pan that I can use in a pinch if the power goes out. We're on a well, so if our power goes out we lose access to water too. After frequent power outages this past winter here in the Northeast, many people I know installed whole house generators. We plan to do the same next year.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 4:17PM
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bumping to see if others feel the same.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 11:38AM
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Times have changed since this was originally posted and I am interested in any feedback members can provide on products currently available.

I am most concerned about the following:

1. All 30" induction units have only *1* large "burner". I am not a professional but I am an avid home cook and I frequently have 2 or even 3 large pots on the cooktop at one time. How do the induction cooktops manage that?

2. I have many pots and pans that are larger than 11". How does induction manage a 14" saute pan or a 12" 20-qt stock pot? Some of my Le-Creuset pots are HUGE!

3. We currently have a GE ceramic glass cooktop which I hate passionately, especially the fact that any setting less than high will cause the heat to cycle on an off which means the the unit has, effectively, only two settings -- high and off -- which makes it impossible to cook anything on low. Does induction cycling do the same thing?

I am asking because I know that with continuous gas grids the first two would not be any problem and, a low gas flame is consistently low. I'm tempted to go with induction but, knowing how much I loved gas, I'm afraid I will regret it.

Also, I see no induction cooktops with a downdraft -- does that mean induction cooking does not need a vent?

Thank you,

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 5:58PM
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Please ignore this post. I am going to start a new thread.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 9:24PM
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The perspective of a pro chef, for what it�s worth (long post):

Induction vs. Gas

Advantage to INDUCTION: It heats up faster and doesn�t waste time on conduction to grates.

Slight advantage to INDUCTION. For mcst cooking, the two are basically a push. Both can be adjusted with near-instant responsiveness. However, induction burners can be set at lower settings, where gas flames would just die out. For example you can melt chocolate on induction without a bain marie. Also, gas cooking transfers heat to the grates, so there is a definite lag in responsiveness especially when lowering the heat (one reason why cooking "off the burner" is sometimes necessary).

Basically a push. With gas, you can see the flame. With induction, you see the number. After learning the levels on induction, there�s no difference in this category.

Advantage to GAS. Gas can be used for wok cooking, roasting peppers, flamb�ing. The induction equivalent requires a flat-bottomed wok, and a butane torch from the hardware store (not the dinky ones at kitchen stores).

Huge advantage to INDUCTION. Cleanup on induction is a breeze. Since the cooktop itself isn�t hot, there�s no cool-down time before wiping, and no caked on/burnt food & liquids. Or just cook on top of newspaper and throw it out afterwards. Cleanup for pots & pans is easier too - No more scorched exteriors to scrub.

Huge advantage to GAS. Gas being low-tech, you can use pots/pans of any material and size. With induction, you need ferrous pots/pans (cast iron or stainless).

Advantage to GAS. Gas stoves are generally low-tech, meaning fewer repairs and lower expected cost per repair. I would expect a quality gas range to outlast a quality induction cooktop. Also glass cooktops are at risk of cracking under abuse� There�s not really anything you can "break" with gas.

Advantage to GAS (assuming an existing gas line). Mid-range induction cooktops run about 50% more than their gas counterparts.

Slight advantage to Induction. While induction in 90% efficient vs. 50% for gas (plus ambient cooling), natural gas is so cheap in North America right now that you won�t see a noticeable difference in your bills, if at all. Of course that could change down the road� And with the ambient cooling costs incurred with gas, induction still has a slight advantage in this category.

Advantage to Induction. No risks associated with open flames, hot grates, or combustion fumes.

Advantage to Gas. There�s just a huge selection of gas cooktops out there, in all sizes and ventilation options. There is no downdraft induction cooktop (not that downdraft is really effective anyway). There is currently no 36" induction range/oven combo (Viking makes a 30").

Advantage to Gas. Most people in American are just not informed about induction. They will walk in and assume you have radiant electric, which could be a deal breaker. And even if induction is explained to them, they may still be wary. This forum is a prime example of the mentality out there. Some people are just staunch advocates of gas, and no amount of information can change that view.

How you weigh these pros and cons will depend on the individual. For me, the clean-up with induction was a major factor, as I'm fed up with scrubbing caked on crud and grease from hot grates every day. Regarding the argument of what pros use... Yes, restaurants use gas. They are cheap, sturdy, easy to repair, and take a lot of abuse (banging & clanging). You can use crap pans, and no staff training is necessary. Most people (including my fellow chefs) have never cooked on induction, and feel no reason to explore it. There is NO TRUE PERFORMANCE ADVANTAGE to gas. Decide what features are important to you and don't listen to all the nutjobs out there!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:35AM
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I can't answer this question quite yet, but surely will do in 2014. We are planning a complete kitchen remodel, and will definitely be buying an induction cooktop, it just depends which model.

Currently considering the AEG zone-free model HK953400FB 36" wide, but more narrow, around $1,800 Canadian.

A little history:
I'm closer to 50 than 40, I drive a stick shift 4.2 liter, 340 HP V8 (although I don't see what this has to do with liking gas hobs), DH cooks the majority of the time but I am a competent cook in my own right, however, I am not one to tilt the pan when I'm cooking, AND since I do the majority of the cleanup -- I can say that I detest cleaning gas grates!

When I was young and single, I purchased a ceramic cooktop oven. When I got married, the house we purchased came with a new Jenn-Air gas stove. I preferred the gas cooktop over the electric, but found the electric oven superior to the gas. We sold the house and moved into a condo in 2013. Now we have an electric oven with electric coil cooktop. There is no option for gas in the condo, but DH is excited about getting an induction cooktop. He even talked about it when we were still in the house.

So, we are not pro cooks, but we cook often (as opposed to my friend that just wanted a kitchen that looks pretty because she doesn't really cook), and after we have our induction installed, I would be happy to weigh in as to whether I would ever want to go back to gas given the option. Even though this thread is old, more and more people are now considering induction for their homes and I'm sure that this post will be read by some current consumers in the market.

oneTXchef -- I would like to say thanks for your post, you really summed it up nicely...and frankly, yes, it is appealing to have an easier cleanup after cooking and enjoying a fine meal !!

Fortunately, hybrid induction gas combi cooktops and hybrid induction gas ranges are available, for those who truly value and insist on having both. ;)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 4:34PM
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I know this is an old threat but maybe somebody can still use it. I just installed a Wolf two burner induction cook top and a Wolf two burner gas cook top.
Background story for this is the versatility to be able to still cook when we have a long power outage which seems to happen more and more.

To answer the original question. No, after experiencing the induction (always had ceramic before) I would not go back to gas only. The induction seems a lot more responsive to "fine tuning" than the gas and is a lot easier to clean with they same speed as the gas. We timed it! The only reason I am happy that I also installed gas was when the induction unit became "wonky" and unresponsive. This happened a couple of times (since then I got a new unit which seems to be fine) and I was really happy to be able to finish cooking our meal on the gas :-)

The downside is that the inductions are fairly expensive.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 8:31PM
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We would like to do both and are exploring the option of putting a 36" Bluestar range under a 54" hood and having 4 gas, 2 induction, 1 griddle. Bluestar gas and griddle, ? induction -- maybe Wolf. Stay tuned.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 9:46PM
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I love my induction cooktop and would never go back to gas. For brewing beer there is no finer method as you can get exact control of the temperature of the boil with induction.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 10:31PM
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We are facing the same issue. Had every type of range in the past including induction for the past 4 years.


So basically investigate the brand and model to ensure that there are not cases of this occurring with the induction stove you buy. Otherwise, I did get used to it and it is equal to gas, just a bit different. Of course gas has its recognized dangers too, but I wanted to make you aware of this potential issue

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 10:19AM
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We are facing the same issue. Had every type of range in the past including induction for the past 4 years.


So basically investigate the brand and model to ensure that there are not cases of this occurring with the induction stove you buy. Otherwise, I did get used to it and it is equal to gas, just a bit different. Of course gas has its recognized dangers too, but I wanted to make you aware of this potential issue

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 10:20AM
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S**t happens. It means you had a defective glass top. I once bought a bottle of club soda at a liquor store and the bottle exploded (pre-plastic) on the counter in the store. Fortunately it was already in a paper bag so no one was hurt. It doesn't mean I stopped drinking club soda, or buying Safeway branded soda. It means one defective bottle exploded.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 10:28AM
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