Full surface induction, is it worth it?

panzer1April 25, 2013

Does anyone have any experience with a full surface induction cooktop? is it worth it the extra cost? Is it something that you love or is it something that you would give up for something else in your kitchen?

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Not really worth it in my opinion unless you have more dollars then sense. Sure you can put the pans where ever you like and don't have to worry about pan size, but you can still only use 4 pans at once max. I think the freedom induction is more of a gimmick at this point for people who are more concerned about the cool factor than the function factor. Then again you might have tons of money so go for it if you want to.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 6:42AM
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I agree with realism.

I was waiting eagerly for it to come to the market and I was even willing to invest $$$$ but the "only 4 pots on a 36" cooktop" was the deal breaker. Any other 36" unit (gas or induction) would have 5-6 burners. Where is the "freedom"?

But those who own it might feel different, perhaps.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 9:11AM
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The "freedom" is being able to place the pot /pan wherever you want instead of centered on top of the coil or burner.

It is a nice gimmick, but not a lot of people need or even want gimmicks.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 12:24PM
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I'm considering purchasing the Freedom, but the main attraction for me is the freedom in pan size. . . .Plus, i went to test drive the freedom and was thoroughly impressed. The other freedom is being able to use a griddle (dyemere makes a beautiful on 13 x21) that you are limited if not prevented from doing on other induction hobs. I routinely cook with 11"+ size pans and the regular induction hobs are limited in their size. i'm thinking of pairing the Thermador Freedom with a 15" Wolf multifunction gas hob for long simmers and for wok cooking. Anybody have experience with these personally?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:31PM
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Wherever you place them, you are still limited to 4.

I'd pay extra $$$ for the feature but not $$$$, especially if the counter space is at a premium:-)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:31PM
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You may wish to look at Gaggenau Vario gas modules to match the induction cooktop style-wise, as Gaggenau and Thermador are owned by the same company.

I have seen 12" showroom floor models (never used) as well as on Ebay for ~$500. You can get a 15" wok unit for under $1K on Ebay or from a showroom.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:57PM
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eleena - there are always constraints. You can only have 5 pots or pans on 5 burner cooktop. You can only have 6 on a six burner top. If you want 6 or 8 and you have one of those tops you are not free with those, you'd need a 6 or 8 burner top.

Also, if you use a stove top grill or griddle or long pan you'll have an area in the center that isn't the same temp because the "gap" between burners. Few cooktops have a bridge element or oval burner to eliminate that. This gee wiz induction will do it too.

So what, those are gimmicks too that 99% of the population doesn't miss. It is nice to have a choice though. I don't see only using 4 pans a drawback on this top. Price , yes.

How often do you use 5+ pans anyway? If it's three or more times a week , than a 4 burner top or this one just isn't for that person anyway. You're still limited by width anyway at 36" as even those won't support 3 -12" pans side x side without being off center.

Time for a 48" - 8 burner pro range top if you're into volume cooking.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Thank you. . .I hadn't considered the Gaggenau. . .I will check it out. One reason i thought the freedom induction would work with only 4 'burners' was because I plan on getting the Wolf Steam/Conv oven and using it for some of the items i would normally cook on the cooktop. But thank you for your feedback. :)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Thank you. . .I hadn't considered the Gaggenau. . .I will check it out. One reason i thought the freedom induction would work with only 4 'burners' was because I plan on getting the Wolf Steam/Conv oven and using it for some of the items i would normally cook on the cooktop. But thank you for your feedback. :)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:15PM
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We were seriously interested, but the reduced width was the turn-off for us. Hopefully, Gaggenau will bring out a true 36" Freedom unit at some point.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:02PM
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I think we are in full agreement. Don't get me wrong: it is great to have choices and I DO like the Freedom cooktop!

I am just not willing to spend that much cash on it. The original question was not whether it was a good thing but whether or not it was "worth it". :-)

To me, the answer was "no" and not only because of the price-tag but also because of "real estate" (a.k.a counter space).

As for combining gas and induction, there are 24" inductions units that can be imported from Europe. Bosch has so called Flex Induction and AEG has Maxisense. There were several posts about it in the past.


That is exactly what my thinking was too. I intended to do most of my cooking in a steam-oven (it is not hooked up yet), so I opted for a 15" 2-butner induction and a 15" 2-burner gas unit because having plenty of landing area was extremely important to me - after 10 years of being stuck with hardly any.

For those rare occasions when I need a 5th burner, I have a portable induction unit. It is also good when there is a second cook in the kitchen. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Flex Induction discussion

This post was edited by eleena on Thu, Apr 25, 13 at 17:56

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Thanks for your feedback. We are actually leaning towards purchasing the full surface gaggenau. For me, the fact that I can only cook 4 things is fine since I will also have a steam oven.

What our issue is now is that we really wanted a tapped yaki (essentially an electric frying pan that is built into our countertop), but the cabinets above it are only 15" above where we would place it and it needs to be 30", which means we either redesign our kitchen (which I put hours into getting exactly how I wanted) or we move it ( the only place I have enough countertop space is my island, which is large, but we would have to place it either right in the middle of my daily work space to make it easily accessible, or on one of the corners of the island where it would be out of the way, but not very accessible to use).

So we thought another option would be to buy the full surface and buy a pan the size of an electric grill and just use the benefit of the full surface cooktop...now my dilemma...is there a good pan, that is compatible with induction, that isn't totally flat (it doesn't need to be deep, but my kids love things like scrambled eggs so a small lip would be nice!)..and river oak girl, I did check out the demeyere, I just want to see what other options there are and get some feedback about them!

Thanks again for your thoughts!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 11:42PM
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The wave of the future.
Today is not the future.
But downstream, I predict all induction will be zone less

As far as pans- I have 1-3 of almost everything. If the magnet sticks, they work. Layered pans will buzz more than a single metal pan.

I would recommend snagging sample pans and decide your favorites based on function, weight, and noise.

Also, please clarify the lip concept.

Thanks and have fun shopping

This post was edited by a2gemini on Sun, May 12, 13 at 20:36

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 8:18PM
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A2gemini, I just mean that I don't a flat pan, it needs to have sides to it so if I make something like scrambled eggs that spreads it doesn't spill all over!

What brands of pans do you have? Did ou find they were a case of the more you spent the better they were? Or did you find sme that weren't crazy expensive? Can you tell me which brands are layered or single metal pan?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 9:33PM
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I have had the Electrolux Icon Induction cooktop for several years now.

I bought the Emerilware, ( a cheaper version of "All Clad")
We luv em and they were not expensive.

We also have some Caphalon and Circulon.

None of them make any noise, whatsoever, (Need proof)?

Watch the Electrolux cooktop in action, on UTube, I even whispered, so you can compare sounds. The loudest thing I heard was water boiling , until I kicked on the hood.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 9:51PM
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Panzer - I bought the vessels when I went into the store and saw the take home special.
I have
1 qt, 1.5qt, a small fry pan all clad that are over 20 years old.
I added a couple large All Clad skillets and saucier pans - One can make a darn good Paella without an absolute mess.
I then added an 8 qt pasta pot from All Clad. And lastly - one of my favorites - my square griddle from All Clad - It is a non-stick and works very well.

I bought a Staub 2.5 qt pan to test induction before committing - I used it on my little side burner for a year.

I have a Calphalon 2.5 qt pan as well that works with induction.

SurLaTable was having a special on DeMeyere one day - so snagged one of those. Another time, they had a special on the ScanPan IQ and I bought the smaller fry pan - but wish I had purchased the set of 2.

I looked at what was missing - and realized, I needed a 4qt, 6qt and a larger fry pan and walked into the Baldwin Brass Store and guess what - they had a 5 piece set in the missing pieces. So snagged it at about 50% off. And it came with a medium size mixing bowl that I love.

So, I was missing a Dutch Oven and a Grill Pan/panini press - Snagged those at the LC outlet when visiting SIL.

I also received a LC tea kettle for Christmas as my old one was rusting away.

So, now my drawers are overloaded and I cut my pan buying tubes. I might have missed something in the drawer as this was from memory.

My LC dutch oven makes no buzzing at all! Don't know why I bought the oval shaped one but it fits on the burner - I think I thought it would fit in the oven best and might fit in my drawers - but it is too much of a space hog, so it is relegated to the Super Susan. At the same time, I hate my LC tea kettle - it spittles and dribbles

I made the most awesome swordfish on the grill pan with press - I couldn't believe I made it! It looked professional.

The ScanPan has potential - I don't remember the noise level - I made some awesome scallops in this one - but really need the larger one to do it right.

All of my layered pans buzz - especially when they are cold. It is less noticeable once they warm up.

Of note, my old cheap tea kettle also did not buzz at all.

Overall, the buzzing is mild and remember that gas makes noise as well. And with the fan running it is not that noticeable.

Some GW say their cooktop doesn't buzz, but I watched a video of one and I could hear buzzing - maybe I am more sensitive than the average person.

Bottom line - if the magnet sticks - they work. If the magnet is weak - they won't work as well.- I would recommend a decent weight pan as the cheaper ones may not disperse the heat as evenly but you don't have to spend $500 per pan! I also like glass tops so you can peak inside and watch the simmering process :-)

Hope this was helpful

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 4:49PM
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Panzer: what did you decide. I have been considering the Thermador freedom for same reason you are -- possibility of using it with a larger teppanyaki plan as a griddle. I am also looking at Combi-Steam -- especially Miele and Wolf as they have largest capacity. Any thoughts on those?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 5:57PM
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rjemodel, I'm so sorry its taken me so long to get back to you. I saw this in my email box and did my typical, I'll get to this tonight...and then forgot about it!

We did decide on the Gaggenau full surface, simply because I really wanted a tappen yaki but couldn't get the right space because of code issues and because I didn't want to move the location I'd chosen for it. I looked at some of the stovetop griddles that were suggested (primarily the demeyere) and I decided sacrificing the tappen yaki wasn't that big of a sacrifice...and then I didn't have to give up counterspace permanently!

I also thought of how I cook, and only having 4 potential spots isn't an issue for me. I have a large family and don't tend to do a lot of fancy cooking (literally the only time I can think of that I run out of space is at Christmas!), but I do often find cooking on small burners annoying, so this way I can do what I need.

For the combi-steam, we went with the Gaggenau (I found the capacity of all three were very close), because I wanted the plumbed option. I did look at the Miele and the Wolf and between the two I would have gone with the Miele. A year ago I would have chosen the Wolf because of the exterior water tank giving more interior space, but now they both have the exterior water tank and large inside, I would go with the MasterChef features of the Miele (I think they call it something different, but if I recall right there is still programming available, which for a distracted person like myself would be glorious!)

Let me know if you have any other questions, I obsessed over this decision for a good year so I will definitely tell you any opinions I had!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 1:01AM
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Panzer- is it installed yet?
When I first saw induction, I asked why it wasn't full surface zone less and the appliance guy said "that will never happen..."
Gag/thermador came out shortly after I ordered my appliances.
I would live to hear how it is working.
(And what pans you purchased as well?)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 5:46AM
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Panzer1, How is your full-surface induction working out? We are needing to rebuild after losing our house in a fire this summer, and I'm considering either the gaggenau or the thermador full surface induction cooktop, but haven't found any reviews from actual owners. I'm also wondering if there are any comparisons between the gaggenau and the thermador full surface units. I know they share the same parent company, but I'm not sure exactly what the differences are (other than price).

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 9:20AM
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Was talking to a very knowledgeable salesman yesterday. He told me the "regular" induction cooktops have very mature technology in them, but that the zoneless one's are too new to tell if they will be reliable. He said at this point it also doesn't make sense to spend more for less, since the same sized regular cooktop can fit 5 pots vs 4 on the zoneless.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 10:08AM
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For me, number of pots isn't the issue. Size of pots is (and shape, in the case of griddles). I want the flexibility of being able to us larger pans, as I consistently 'run out' of large burners and end up trying to cook with large pans on small burners, which doesn't work well. Anybody have any experience with full surface yet?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 1:15AM
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Not yet, but I went with the Thermador Freedom. Should be installed this month. :-)

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:36PM
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Hi everyone!
We are almost ready to start building and I'm revisiting the Freedom induction cooktop choice I made almost a year ago.
Does anyone have first hand experience with the Thermador or Gagganau version?

Thank you for your help! riveroakgirl

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 4:27PM
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I tried the Thermador at an appliance store (I didn't get it - partially due to cost - got the Bosch 500 instead). The one thing I'd want to be absolutely certain of is that you can use any size pan anywhere on the surface, otherwise there may be no point (because there is still a limit to the number of pans you can use concurrently).

(As an aside, I think the thing I like most about my cooktop is the individual hob timers, which I have used on numerous occasions - for rice, oatmeal, etc.)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 5:25PM
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AR Kiki, how is your Thermador Freedom working? I just bought one too but won't have it installed for a few months until my kitchen is ready.

I bought based on two demos I saw. one was by a chef at a demo place called Luxe in Toronto. he's used it almost daily for over a year now and LOVES it. Luxe demos Bosch, Thermador, Gaggenau but does not sell there and this chef (Devan) is not a salesman so was not trying to convince me of anything. I have used only 4 burners my whole life so limit of 4 is not an issue. what is an issue for me is putting a 13"x21" griddle on it or two 12" or larger pans at once. I just hope it works (and lasts problem free) as it appears to. I admit I am taking a chance but there are riskier things in life than thisâ¦.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 5:20PM
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Oh boy, how I wish I could tell you! Seems like we have been in one of those 'if anything can go wrong, it will' stages of life lately. That, coupled with the weather, seems to keep slowing us down. We are waiting for a replacement cab to be installed Monday. Then the granite guy will cut and install the countertops and we will finally get to install the cooktop. Hope it all comes to pass soon. On a brighter note, I finally did get three appliances installed today. The warming drawer, microwave drawer, and the Miele steam oven. But, true to form these days, the steam oven make a horrible noise during the initial setup for the boiling point so I guess I need them to come back out on that also, When it rains, it pours. lol Good luck with your reno. I hope it is smoother than ours. I can't hardly wait til we can compare notes!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 9:29PM
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yikes AR. I hope things have improved some. let me know when you are all installed and up and running. I really want to know how you like the cooktop after using it for a while. congrats on the Miele steam oven (once you get it working). I really wanted one but opted for an AEG steam convection as it was considerably larger inside.

my demolition starts tomorrow morning so I am a ways away from comparing notes.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 7:57AM
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