Any recent feedback on Thermador Freedom Induction?

ellessebeeJanuary 5, 2013

I'm about to plunk down a pretty penny for a Thermador Freedom Induction cooktop and I wanted to get a reality check before I do it. I saw it in a store yesterday for the first time but i have drooled over the "concept" since I first learned about it. I can't say I really saw it in action since the dealer only had one pot but the idea is so sexy. I tend not to use my cooktop all that much - because I have a regular Thermador smoothtop electric cooktop now and hate electric cooking. When I do use the cooktop, it's generally in 1 or 2 large pots or pans, rarely something small so I'm more likely to continue use fewer but larger cookware. I am determined to make the move to induction and am the kind who lusts after new technology when I think it might be useful - or at least fun. (I bought one of the first Apple Macintosh computers when it first came out, oh so many years ago.) However, this Freedom is so expensive - so I'd really like to hear what other early adopters have to say. By the way, for what its worth, I was told by an "appliance consultant" that the stainless rim everyone seems to dislike is actually desirable because it prevents chipped edges. I must admit I prefer rimless but did see more than one chipped edge at various dealers -- plenty of scratched stainless trim too, though.

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I'm also looking for feedback on this cooktop. Let me know if you hear anything or, if you did decide on it, how your experience is so far

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:08AM
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AEG MaxiSense is similar at a much more reasonable UK price. CE certification includes US standards. One quarter the cost.

Here is a link that might be useful: MaxiSense with bridging

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 11:33PM
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I have the Gaggenau CX480 which I believe uses the same underlying hardware as the Thermador (both have the same parent company). Someone correct me if I'm wrong!

Its been a few months of use now and it's truly a dream. Extremely easy to use, reliable, flexible and cleaning is a breeze. No need to worry about pot or pan sizes, just put it anywhere and you are ready to go. I love the degree of control in temperatures. Though you are limited to 4 placements only, which has not been an issue for us. Also, the touchscreen can get a little bit fiddly if you get a lot of oil on the surface when frying, but that is probably be the only downside so far.

We also went with the flush rimless model as opposed to raised stainless steel. Much cleaner and seamless looking. There is simply a small silicone seal where it meets the marble countertop. No issues with chipped edges, the surface itself does not get too hot.

This post was edited by vitra on Wed, Jan 30, 13 at 6:52

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:49AM
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I recently made the plunge and bought the Thermador Freedom cooktop, in November, 2012. And I love it.

Moving from an electric coil cooktop, the speed at which the induction heats up is incredible - seconds to see the bubbles starting to form, on boost. I've never used the zoned induction, which I had imagined would show initial bubbles spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. On the Freedom, I get bubbles associated with what appears to be each mini coil that is activated. The pattern is not anything resembling the shape of the pan, often more of a squiggly line, but is clearly getting the job done.

The dimension of the cook area is 28 1/2"w X 18"d minus a 10"w X 4 1/2"d rectangle in the front center for the controls. This means that the largest diameter round pan can be 13 1/4". After contacting Thermador about the largest rectangular pan, they said the largest they tested was 13" X 21", but saw no reason why a pan wider than 21" wouldn't work.

Pans work anywhere on the surface, as advertised. It's lovely. The heat and timer settings on a pan can easily be transferred to a new location if the the pan is moved. A max of four pans can be used at a time and a max of two per side (left & right).

The controls work fine, though they do not work as quickly as turning knobs. I especially wish there were a faster way to turn the heat down faster on individual pans. It is best to be patient with the controls. They usually register the first time I touch, which takes about a second of continuous touch, but can take two or three attempts to register, especially when I'm in a hurry.

The alarm sound that rings at the end of a timer sequence has very low volume. Don't count on hearing it unless you are in the same room and there is no other sound.

The metal rim was not my first choice since it involves two edges to clean, but I tell myself that it will prevent any chipping around the edges.

The cooking/control surface is so easy to clean! Just wipe and dry. I absolutely love that. Because the surface stays cooler, it doesn't seem to have the same propensity of getting stained with burned food, as does a smooth top electric cooktop. But, my cooktop is only a few months old and I am still very careful to keep the surface clean whenever I use it.

I also use caste iron and am very careful not to slide it, so no scratches, yet, either.

The sound of the cooktop is silent with some exceptions. When I use the boost feature, there is some sound, but is not a big deal, as it is not louder than boiling water. As long as I use cookware that is appropriate, there is no sound. My steamer pot, while magnetic, does not have a flat bottom. There is a noise associated with that, but it still works.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 6:43PM
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A little searching would have found you a very recent and very detailed explanation of the Thermador Freedom on these forums (link below).

The AEG MaxiSense has four zones; it is not as flexible as the Thermador (and its Gaggenau twin), because you must cover the cross in a zone to use that zone. The AEG has fixed touch controls for the four zones instead of the super cool (but maybe fragile) touchscreen of the Thermador/Gaggenau. And, of course, there is the issue that you will have difficulty getting it serviced in N. America, and no warranty (unless you want to ship it back to Europe).

If you want rimless (I would), the Gaggenau is rimless for even more money (a few hundred $$ more, I believe). The Gaggenau is also not as wide as the Thermador - the working area is exactly the same, but Gaggenau doesn't feel the need to pad the width out to 36" with dead area and trim for marketing purposes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Detailed thread on Thermador Freedom

This post was edited by Caliente63 on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 20:55

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:49PM
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Hey EatToLive - thank you for the excellent feedback. i am planning to get the Freedom Induction with a 15" Wolf multifunction gas burner next to it. I'm curious what hood system you decided to go with? Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 7:24PM
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My kitchen already had a downdraft system. It was simplest to stick with that. But, I had to replace the downdraft. So, I went with the Dacor 15" raised vent. Oddly, Dacor works with my older Thermadore exterior fan (a downdraft works in conjunction with a fan), but a new Thermador downdraft was not compatible.

The 15" raised vent works great because the vent is above the top of my tallest pot. As long as the vent is above the tops of the pots, it works great. My old 8" raised vent couldn't handle the spagetti/steamer pots.

The only downside to the downdraft is when I take the lid off of a big pot with lots of steam. The fan, even on high, cannot pull in all the steam of the initial billow. However, I didn't purchase the strongest downvent available, so that may be a factor. I don't cook with oil, so I did not anticipate a heavy duty need in ventilation.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 10:34PM
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