Induction Cooktop with 'Ture' Timers, and Q's onBosch Models

mudwormFebruary 16, 2011

The other day, I almost spent $1600 on a used Miele Induction Cooktop (thread here) after I found an electrician who said that testing would be easy. I thought they were the only one that has the "true" timer feature -- each burner can be automatically turned off after a pre-set time. But right because my final commitment, I did a quick Google search, and found Bosch induction cooktops that also have the feature, and the new one costs a little over $1300! That made me wonder, are there other induction cooktops out there that has the true timer feature?

If you were to nominate some model(s), any user feedback (burner layout? control design? etc.) will be appreciated. Can it allow an oven mounted underneath?

Since I was looking at Bosch, I couldn't make up my mind between the 300 series and 500 serieds.

NIT3065UC:

  • Clean look without any borders
  • Has nine temp settings with +/- controls. Sounded like going from 1 to 9 using +/- can be a test to patience. Also, I wonder if the step between 1 and 2 is too big for simmering.

NIT3065UC:

  • ~$300 more than the 300 series.
  • SS borders at top and bottom. I'd prefer they are not there, but they beat those with all four sides (like an electrolux model I saw).
  • Has temp settings from 0 to 9 besides all the 1/2 steps -- all 17 temp settings at direct touch. That's nice, but can anyone really tell the difference between, say, 5 and 5.5???

Any opinions?

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attofarad

I haven't had hands on, but the user manual for the NIT3065UC shows that it has same 17 levels (intermediate levels indicated by "." e.g. 1 1. 2 2. ...

However, you can't directly access the levels, but need to use +/-

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 6:23PM
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chac_mool

As you first turn on a hob, you can start at high, low, or medium settings (with my Electrolux range). Then, pressing on either the high or low end (from where ever you are) moves up or down, in steps. But you shift directly to the mid-point setting (5) from anywhere, as a short-cut.

Note that steps are not always uniform; you may have (and certainly may want) closer-spaced steps at the low end, for simmering.

I certainly would recommend having true timers (which I don't have). Not sure my Electrolux characteristics (above) are similar to Bosch or Miele, etc. -- but these gadgets seem fairly well thought out, in practice. Best bet, if possible, is to use these hobs in a store, friend's house, or somewhere.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 7:36PM
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mudworm

@attofarad, you are right! It does mention in their user menu about the intermediate steps. It's good to know that we don't loose the ability to fine tune the simmering level. But that probably requires more patience to go from one setting to another.

@chac_mool, thanks for sharing your experience. with Electrolux. With Bosch, in order to adjust the cooking element, it says to "1. Press + or -, 0 will show up", and then "in the next 5 seconds, press the + or - symbols. The basic setting appears: + = heat setting 9 and - = heat setting 4." And "to change the heat setting, press + or - until the desired heat setting appears." So, it sounds like if it's already on 1, you do have to press + for a while (or keep pressing it) for it to roll to 9. Hmmm... not sure if I'll like that on those days when I'm impatient.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 8:45PM
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skit19

I have the Bosch 500 series, but haven't tried out the timer function yet. Thanks for reminding me! I really like the direct touch set up for the hobs especially when a few are going at once. Keep in mind though that the 300 series has separate +/- spots for each hob. On the 500 you select the hob you want to work with from a grid at the middle of the control panel, then directly touch the exact power level you want from the central control area. I was a little worried that might be confusing with multiple pans going, but I haven't had any trouble with it at all. While everyone is different, the tapping would drive me nuts.

Maybe I'm deluding myself (or it's just part of the learning curve) but I do use the 1/2 steps. Depending on what making, sometimes "just right" is 5.5 and not 6.

I also didn't want the metal strips, but actually ended up liking them. They seem to "ground" the cooktop. They're a brushed metal so shouldn't scratch as easily as some other brands that had really wide shiny strips. (I think the Miele looks nice too with the thin metal edge.)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 9:17PM
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plllog

The Bosch doesn't have at least a "high" button? That would start it at 9. Also check the instructions for "boost". It might automatically go to 9 and you could adjust downwards from there.

Lots of induction units have true timers. Check out The Induction Site. It isn't always complete or up to date, but it's a great resource for comparison, and they sell some things too.

Absolutely yes you want the 17 steps. Some hide those, by the way. Miele has them as a "program" (or did last year--they might have fixed it) so you see it listed as 9 levels. When you see something like "21 levels" it usually means the standard 17 plus low, medium, high, and maybe a special keep warm or they count boost as a level. With the 17 steps you have control equivalent to gas. It doesn't feel the same, but you can get similar results. With only 9 levels (for real, not Miele), I find myself adjusting up one/down one/up one again a lot. With 17, I've never felt like I needed a step in between.

Once you've seen a model on an appliance seller and The Induction Site, if you like it, read through the documentation on the manufacturer's website to get the most up to date info.

I have true timers on my Gaggenau, but I haven't gotten around to using them. My new kitchen is a pleasant place to hang out, and I've been cooking too long to really need them. It also has a "program" (as does Miele and some others), where you can set it to change settings and times. For instance, you can create a rice program that will boil for 5, then turn it to simmer, then off. If you regularly make the same amount it's like having a rice cooker without the extra appliance.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 9:34PM
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boschboy

I have the 800 series NIT8665UC. I like being able to select the hob and then press the exact setting I would like to use. This seems easier to me than having to press the +/- buttons. It appears that the 500 series would allow you to select the exact temperature in the same way the 800 series does.

You asked a question as to whether you can tell the difference between 5 and 5.5 and I can definitely say 'yes'. When I am simmering, and this seems to occur a lot when I am making oatmeal, I need to gradually decrease the temperature. It is easy to see the decrease in the simmer amounts as I move downward in power output.

I have also used the timers a few times and found them to be very useful. On mine the user has the choice to automatically turn the hob off when the time is done or to leave it on and just sound the alarm.

I have had my cooktop since the beginning of December last year and love it. I had the option of gas or electric and chose the induction after reading the comments in GW and also on The Induction Site.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 7:34AM
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numbersjunkie

I have the Bosch 800 36" induction - it was installed in November and I love it. I agree that its nice to be able to select the exact temp you want with one touch. The Boost works great for boiling water. I just discovered that the timer will turn off a specific burner - if you press timer twice a little diagram of the burners lights up so you can select the burner. Not sure if you could use it on more than one burner at a time - probably not. Maybe I should read the manual again now that I've got the basics down....

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 9:29AM
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larsi_gw

My new Miele Induction 36" cooktop (Model KM 5773) has a true timer, than can be set for one, or multiple burners. It is such a GREAT feature. I use it at least 2+ times a week. It is the BEST for rice. Set the timer, and just do other things in the kitchen. Burner turns off, and rice is done!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 11:43AM
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mudworm

The more I think about, the more I feel that I want the direct touch for the temp settings. I'm quite excited about having a true timer for each burner (I believe that's what Bosch offers). Of course, I'll look closer on theinductionsite to learn about other options. The few I clicked on in my price range mostly do not offer that feature. Oh, the Miele cooktop is a beautiful piece of work there. I just cannot afford it new. :D

Boschboy and numbersjunkie, you have the 800 series. If I'm not mistaken, the main extra feature (on top of 500) it offers is some AutoChef feature. Do you really use that feature and does it really "cook for you"? I'm a bit suspicious about letting an "autochef" take over my cook.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:26PM
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nextguy

I considered all three models of Bosch before settling on the 500. After messing around with the 300 and other brands that had the + and -, I decided I wanted the direct temperature buttons. I then considered the Thermador but 3 different salespeople assured me the internals were exactly the same as the Bosch (I know they are the same company). I then considered the 800 but didn't want to pay more for the AutoChef which from what I understand requires you to use the pan that comes with the unit. I did like the styling and how the buttons are on the SS border but I couldn't justify paying more for it. I should be receiving the 500 in a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:51PM
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boschboy

I use the auotchef mainly for deep frying everything else I let my experience guide me with how to cook and what level to choose. It does do a fantastic job when I do french fries or fried chicken. I tried it with omelets once, but I saw no advantage over my own way of cooking. I think the autochef would be good for beginning cooks as they can look up the item they want to cook and pre-set the correct heat level.

What I really liked about the 800 series was the integration of the buttons into the stainless steel. I just liked the look. That is what sold it for me.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 2:37PM
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