I'm so confused! Gas or induction??

lilyfreakApril 10, 2009

This forum is amazing for all the information available and I have learned so much. I had finally decided on a DCS 30" AG when I stumbled upon an exchange concerning induction that put my choice entirely into question. I had never heard of induction until then. Since then I have spent many hours researching the benefits of induction and how many gas users have switched and would never go back. There are others that would never go with induction so this is why I am confused. I have an electric cooktop now and am completing renovating my kitchen. I have never cooked with gas before and was looking forward to doing so until I read about the benefits of induction. I am planning to go to a showroom where I can see induction in action.

My question is, should I decide to go with induction, what is the best brand out there in the 2k to 3k range? I would love to hear from Thermadore owners. Thermadore has the auto spill-over shut off but does 1 drop of liquid cause it to shut off or more than that? I have also read about the DIva but I think that is more expensive. I am in Canada so most appliances are more expensive, in any case. Please let me know what you have chosen as your induction cooktop or range and what you like/dislike about it.

Thanks for your help!

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I don't think you'll find an induction range in that price range. And I assume you're talking CDN$, no US$

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 1:03PM
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actually, the Thermador is 2.6k CAD

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 1:30PM
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I went from a smooth, ceramic top electric range to gas after hoping for induction. I was so looking forward to the ease of cleanup, no burned on food (or plastic packaging), and the safety for my kids that induction offered. However, we have a large family and I need large burners. One of my biggest complaints all these years with a 30" electric range was the limitations presented by having only 2 large burners. Induction couldn't offer me any more, so I went with gas instead. It was a shock and big disappointment to get used to the cleaning challenges of the gas and it took a bit to get used to my kids working around powerful gas flames. I have to say that I love cooking on the gas, and the flexibility it allows me...I now often use a 15 1/2" skillet and a dbl burner griddle/grill pan, neither of which would work on any of the current induction units, because of the limited burner sizes. I would have a hard time using 3 or 4 large pots or pans at a time, which is quite possible on the gas rangetop. So it depends, I think, on your particular cooking needs (pans sizes, number of large pans, and flexibility for things like dbl burner griddle) and your view on cleaning. Our Wolf rangetop is a chore to clean up and it is not possible to return it to 'like new' condition after the grease and food have permanently cooked on. The DCS is sealed and, I think, has a stainless area under the burners, so will not be the exact same challenges of my Wolf, but it will not be the quick and simple wipe-down of the induction either.

Both are great, but offer different advantages/disadvantages.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 1:58PM
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A lot of us tried a countertop induction unit before we settled on it. It's an inexpensive way to get a feeling for what it's like. Induction does require iron or steel pots.

I did a lot of research. Most of the inductors are made by the same company. The differences are in appearance and peripheral electronics. On the latter, some units have as many as 17 power levels. Some have extra buttons to get to various power settings automatically. Some cycle from top straight to bottom while others require you to step down through all the numbers. Some have special keep warm buttons.

A feature that's important to many is "true timers" which can be adjusted for each burner and turn it off after a certain duration. Some units claim to be able to sense and regulate the temperature in the pot, though reports on how well this works are mixed.

Some units have a single setting control and require you to select which burner you mean first. Some are more intuitive for doing this than others. Other units have separate controls for each burner.

Have you checked out The Induction Site? There's a lot of great comparison information there, including prices (though I'm not sure if it has Canadian). It's not 100% up to date, so do your own research as well, but it's a great place to start.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 2:16PM
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I'm in Washington DC, but a couple of weeks ago I was in Toronto. I saw the Kenmore induction range at Sears in Eaton Center. It was on sale at CAD$2799. I just bought the free-standing one here in DC last week for US$2599 (virtually the same price). I haven't gotten it yet as we're in the middle of the kitchen renovation, but I'm really looking forward to using it. I currently use gas which is good, really fast, but hard to do anything on a slow simmer. Good luck

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 2:24PM
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Thermador makes an induction cooktop, but I don't think they make an induction Range. If they did at that price, I'd drive up there with my truck and buy it.

since you had electric before, you need to include the cost of running a gas line to the price of the gas range. Reusing your old electric line is possible with the induction cooktop though you'll need to check with your electrician during the upgrade. And you'll need an oven (or two).

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 7:16PM
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Weedmeister, you're right it was the cooktop. I'm looking at the silver 30" cooktop. The other problem is finding a good wall oven to either go beneath or elsewhere. That's a different thread! Concerning the electricity, I'm having a new panel installed so will arrange for the extra requirements at the same time. If I were going with gas, I would be using propane as we don't have natural gas in my neighborhood

thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 7:56PM
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one advantage with gas not mentioned is that you can use a cooktop during a power outtage -- you light with a match, the old fashioned way. So if cooking when there is no power is a consideration, gas is a plus. just make sure you get a cooktop or range that has sealed burners. they are much easier to clean that those that are not.

two advantages of induction not mentioned -- in this age of energy awareness, they are much more efficient than gas or conventional electric. so you save on utility bills. and they heat the kitchen much less, because nearly all the heat goes to the food, much less escapes into the air. i think they are also much easier to keep clean than conventional.

but you will probably need to change your cooking habits and your pots and pans. some are terrific with induction, and others don't work at all.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 10:44AM
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I went to check out induction cooktops today. I really like the stainless steel Thermador 30". I also like the GE Monogram. The salesman told me that for the Thermador, if one wants to adjust the heat, you actually have to turn it off and then press the appropriate level for the higher or lower level you want. This seems very strange. Does anyone have any experience with the Thermador? Is it really that way? If that's the case, I think I'll go for the GE as it seems more practical. But the decision is made, it will be induction! Looks amazing to work with and clean.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 6:51PM
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I dont have the Thermador, but others here do. You might also look at the Kenmore in the same size or the Electrolux. The Induction site mentioned above is a good place for comparisons. I think their prices are US$. The Miehle is a good choice as well. You could also try the best of both worlds by using a 2 element induction (Diva) next to a 2 element gas. But that depends on your budget and space.

Also remember that gas will require a bit more ventilation than induction.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 7:18PM
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You will love the induction. We just got the Electrolux Icon and it is great. Absolutely quiet, high or low temps.
It vents from the top so you can put an oven below it--alto it's fan has never come on but havent run all the burners at the same time on highest settings. You just use the up or down arrow to turn the heat up or down and a digital display shows the setting, if you remove the pot the display shows an F and the temp setting you were using, set the pot back within 3 mins and it goes right on cooking.
Consumer Reports just rated this one # 1 and the conventional electric cooktop also as #1.
We use paper towels under the pots, especially for something that tends to "Pop", like thick spaghetti sauce----so cleanup is "Just remove the paper towels"
Even without paper towels, cleanup is easy,as the food doesnt get baked on as only the pan gets hots and the cooktop surface below it--(from the heat of the Pan).


    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 7:40PM
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i was in exactly your position one year ago starting research on changing over to gas. after i spoke with my contractor, i was dissuaded by the invasiveness of the conversion, at least at my home (the kitchen has a flat roof over it). then, supposedly, the city would require me to run some kind of test to see if my lines could hold the extra gas pressure (for got what the test is called). the architect said that most older homes fail the test, ets, etc... and i just didn't want this renovation to "go there!"

after many months of research i settled on a miele induction. i mean, i looked at them all. i was not set on a miele, or an induction, at that time. i was looking for a 30" with at least one oversized burner, and WITHOUT touch controls (hard to find nowadays). it all came together best in this model miele below. for the styling i wanted, the miele had the largest burner, and i had to compromise on touch controls (but so much simpler than the wolf and viking, if memory serves correctly. the thermador had nice styling, but i don't think it had a 30" with a big enough burner.) remember, if you have an induction, you have the flexibilty to use a small pan on a large burner, without the wasted energy and heat of a regualr electric burner.

Miele KM5753 Induction 30in. Glass Cooktop w/ Touch Control MIELE 26575350USA 1 $2,249.00 $2,249.00

plus, i got the miele masterchef single oven for underneath. unfortunately, i'm waiting on countertops still, so haven't yet tested either out, sorry.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 1:12AM
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on theinductionsite.com they say Canada has three induction cooktops by AEG. Also Fagor. These may all be "low-cost" whatever that means to you, lilyfreak. Probably close to your budget.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 9:59AM
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I was in your position last year. At the last moment I switched to induction. I asked myself, How do I really cook, how much time do I want to spend cleaning up, how do I feel about the safety risk of an open flame.

Number one, I want to do the minimal amount of work to clean the work area after preparing a meal. Now, after removing the pan, I just take a soapy cloth and wipe down the cooktop - done.

Number two, safety - sometimes I leave the burner on by mistake, or a dish cloth is left too close to the burner. Now ,if I remove the pan, the burner shuts off. If I want, I can cook with the dish cloth actually touching the active burner area.

Number three, style of cooking - as much as I like the idea of a big industrial gas burners, most of the time I just don't cook that way. The induction burners are fast to respond, the kitchen stays cool, the burners themselves are not that hot, and I have added surface area for staging, (since it is a flat suface).

I purchased a Diva cooktop and am happy. Diva is based in Quebec. The one thing I DON'T LIKE are the touchpads. You have to be really careful as you work to not accidentally increase or decrease the temp. Sometimes they aren't responsive if your hands are wet. I expect all the touchpads are similar. I liked the clean look, but now would look for a more traditional knob to improve function.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 11:57AM
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Hi. We live in a medieval village in outback Spain (Extremadura). Induction hobs are very popular - you almost struggle to find a regular ceramic electric hob - and cheap. We recently bought a top of the line one (Fagor) for well under a thousand dollars. Fabulous, better control than gas. Here they sell steel disks with handles - like a waffle iron - that you put on the hob and put your aluminium non stick frying pan (only way to do an omelette,right?) on top. Induction heats the disk which heats your frying pan just like a normal hob.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 5:50PM
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I have the GE Profile 36" induction, no frame. It was one of the lower priced options and I couldn't be happier with it! I could have written your post myself a year ago when I first learned about induction (on this forum) - I was nervous switching from gas to something I'd never seen before based solely on people's recommendations but it was one of the best decisions I made as I built my house.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 11:48AM
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