Which induction range? Please help!

magn1jesApril 23, 2014

Hello everyone!

I have been scouring the internet and this site for about a month now trying to decide on whether to go with gas or induction on my next freestanding range. You all have convinced me to try induction and I think I have it narrowed down to two options, but would like to hear your experiences with either! Any advice, suggestions, and input would be greatly appreciated.

First is the Frigidaire. I like the price point of this one, the knobs, temp probe, and smudge proof steel. It also has great reviews.
http://www.frigidaire.com/Kitchen-Appliances/Ranges/Induction-Range/FGIF3061NF/

Then there is the Electrolux model. I love the fact it adjusts to pan size, can accommodate a square pan, and has gliding racks. It is a bit more expensive though. It also has great reviews.
http://www.electroluxappliances.com/Kitchen-Appliances/Ranges/Induction-Range/EI30IF40LS.aspx

Is one brand superior to the other? I know Electrolux owns Frigidaire, but I am still torn. Please help me decide!

Thanks in advance.

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andy47

look at the ilve-they make very good products

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 11:40AM
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magn1jes

Thanks Andy, but ilve is WAY out of our price range.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 12:37PM
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aamassther

I've had a Frigidaire (Professional line, all electronic controls, unavailable now) since late 2011. It's been trouble free and would purchase one again in a heartbeat. There are multiple threads on the advantages of induction cooking, as you've found, so no need for me to go into that here.
My budget was limited as well, one of the best purchases I've ever made.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 1:36PM
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jwvideo

To try to answer your questions:

(1) Both ranges are made in the same factory in Memphis, Tennessee. The differences are in features and conveniences, not really in quality of construction.

(2) For feature comparisons, most vendor sites (AJ Madison, Lowe's, Sears, etc.) have a "compare" function which I'm guessing you've already used. If you have not yet done so, that may help you identify features and conveniences that might matter (or not) to you.

(3) Basically, the Electrolux branded models are aimed a bit up-market from the Frigidaire Gallery line and so have a bit more in features which may or may not matter to your cooking. The Elux has a marginally larger oven wth the convenience of one gliding oven rack. The E-lux bottom drawer is a warming drawer which some find very useful and to which others find thmeselves indifferent. The electronics that run the digital touchpad controls on the Elux have some additional convenience functions. Again, these additional features will be important and useful to some folks but others will not care about them. (No right or wrong here, just personal preferences.) One thing that the Electrolux has that the Frigidaire does not is the bridging control for the two left-side 7-inch burners to make it easier to use a rectangular griddle or deglaze a large roasting pan.. Some people will prefer rotary knob controls for the burners (Frigidiare) while others consider digital touchpads an upgrade (and they are a bit easier to keep clean).

(4) If you regularly use pans with 8" bases --- remember that it is the base that matters for induction, not how wide the top rim flares out -- you might find it more coonvenient to have the E-lux's two 7" burners on the left side. If you mostly use only one larger diameter pan at a time (say a 12" fry pan or large cast-iron dutch oven) and mostly use saucepans, smaller fry pans, and stockpots, then the Frigidaire's having a 5" and 6" diameter burner in the back is fine for you.

(5) As for "adjusts to pan size, can accommodate a square pan," so can the Frigidaire. Basically, every induction burner "adjusts to pan size." The E-Lux website's listing of these "features" is just bloviating marketspeak. Every induction burner induces heat in the pan rather than radiating heat from the cooktop, so (obviously), only the pan gets hot. You could say that the pan's base becomes its own burner. That's what all induction burners do. It is only in comparison to radiant electric stoves that you would say that the burner "adjusts to pan size."

Same thing with square griddle pans. You've got essentially the same 10" diameter right front burner on both stoves (marginal but imperceptible higher boost rating for the E-Lux). The Elux burner does not magically convert itself to a square shape as the marketing baloney might make you think. The big deal here is going to be in the pan you select -- some spread heat more evenly than others -- assuming you've done the requisite preheating time. Some are better at this than others. (You do understand that the magnetic field works best up to about an inch out from the burner ring and that you won't immediately get a fairly even heat across the full surface of a larger pan. You can still use larger pans, and the difference won't matter when you are, say, boiling water in a canning kettle as opposed to trying to get the perfect sear on steaks in a 14" wide pan.)

(5) But, since you mentioned using a square pan, is that for a griddle pan? If so, the E-Lux might have a real advantage for you. The bridging left side burners will accommodate cast iron griddles like the ones from Lodge (which, I believe, are about 10.5" x 20"), That can give you more usable griddle space if you are doing griddle production for a crowd. For example, you could cook two large pancakes at a time. You also might be able to use one of the large (14" x 23") relatively inexpensive induction-suitable carbon-steel Chef King griddles. (I'm not sure if the Elux has 23" of space between the lip at the front edge of stove top and the backspash/vent/riser at the rear. Worth checking out if you are looking for griddle capacity. Also, if interested, it might be worth searching for the longish thread we had here last year discussing rectangular griddles for induction stoves and cooktops. )

This post was edited by JWVideo on Thu, Apr 24, 14 at 23:01

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 3:15PM
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magn1jes

Wow, Thank you JWVideo! Your response is greatly appreciated! I do commonly use two 12" skillets at a time, so maybe the Electrolux would be a better bet. I have also been trying to find a rectangular pan to fit the stove top but have been completely unsuccessful until you pointed me in the right direction.

Also, thank you aamassther.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 4:20PM
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dancingqueengw

I have just ordered the new Bosch Induction slide in range. It should be delivered within the next two weeks. You might want to take a look. It's listed under Bosch Benchmark. I am replacing an existing drop in Jen Air that is 26 years old and electric. Could not get gas to my location but from reading this forum decided it was worth it to do the induction. I'll let you know what I think of it when it is in.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 9:03PM
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jwvideo

fancyshmacy:

"I do commonly use two 12" skillets at a time,.."

Well, the front left burner on the Frigidaire is also a 7-inch diameter unit, just as as on the Electrolux. (It is the back left one that is the 6-incher of the Frigidaire and another 7 incher on the E-lux).

Also, one other thing to consider about using a 12-inch fry pan on a 7 inch induction burner. The base of most 12-inch fry pans will be between 9 and 9.5 inches. Some induction stove makers have their owner's manual say that they want pans to be no more than 1 inch larger in diameter than the burner markers, at least for most-effective heating (i.e., they will be recommending not to go over an 8 inch base on a 7 inch burner). Others will recommend the pan be no more than 1 inch beyond the markings (i.e., up to 2 inches in diameter larger than the seven inch markings will be okay, so the 9 inch diameter base is fine). You'll want to look at the user's manuals for the Elux and Frigidaire to see what how they phrase it.

Having said all that, I have to confess I have no direct personal experience in working a 12-inch pan on the E-lux and Frigidaire 7 inch burners, Maybe aamassther can chime in on this?

Dancingqueen:

I'll be interested to read your report when the new Bosch comes in. In the pictures I've seen, it had an interesting burner layout that looks like there may be a bit more cooking surface room than with the GE and E-Lux slide-ins. I suspect that the initial pricing may be that same neighborhood so maybe outside the budgets for some of us. Can you share where you are getting yours and for how much?.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Wed, Apr 23, 14 at 22:56

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 10:54PM
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andreak100

I like the "no knobs" version better. I don't have either of the models you have. Actually, I'm using an induction cooktop, not a range. But one of the things that I love...really love...is that I can just wipe everything clean at the end...I don't have to work round knobs or anything like that. I'll admit that I'm a lazy cleaner...but, I don't like cleaning to be any more time consuming than is absolutely necessary, so no knobs is a definite plus IMO.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 6:15PM
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sjhockeyfan325

Ditto what Andrea said - I love the look of knobs, but not actually dealing with them. Flat surface, spray on, wipe off, done!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 6:19PM
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aamassther

Add me as another fan of no controls to have to clean. Clean-ability was one of my must haves when range shopping.
I regularly use a 12" All-Clad sauté pan, I've never had any issues with heat distribution. Though, I have noticed a slight decrease in heat at the outer inch of the pan, but only with this pan, because of the straight sides. My 12" skillet, also All-Clad, heats very evenly. This is an advantage to me when searing and sautéing, I like to use the centre of the pan for cooking and to push the more done stuff out, much like using the upper parts of a wok. When heats turned down for simmer a sauce, it's always very even, with no perceived hot spots. HTH

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:34PM
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magn1jes

Thank you everyone for the awesome responses! Seriously! I am definitely leaning toward the Electrolux. I guess it comes with its own rectangular griddle and was unsure if I would like having no knobs, but you all have swayed me. I will let you know if/when it gets ordered and what I think!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 6:03PM
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