Wolf 36" Induction cooktop reviews

AJinNHApril 6, 2013

We are considering a Wolf 36" induction cooktop with 5 burners. If anyone has been using a Wolf induction cooktop for a while I would appreciate any comments. What are your likes/dislikes?

We are between the 36" Wolf 6 burner range top and the induction cooktop. The induction would save us from having to bring a propane line into the house, but I'm not familiar with induction cooking. I know that I'll have to buy new pans, that's okay. I'd just like to hear from users who cook a lot.

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I have the 36 inch Wolf. It took a bit to make friends with it but I have done so. The Wolf uses 4 magnetic zones per burner - so you will see a boil pattern with 4 sets of bubbles.
Also - ask for the diagram explaining the settings - Medium on one burner is not the same as medium on a different burner.
The Hi-Power will boost the burner - and it gets HOT - so make sure you have water in the pan (OK - I didn't have much water in a pan and it dried out - and that pot was hot) -No damage
-It has never shut off a burner unless I fail to press the buttons or leave a vessel off the burner for a period of tim.
- heats everything quickly
- Maintains temp perfectly - once I have the setting - it can go on for hours
- I like the burner arrangement -the BAMR burner in the back is awesome - large enough for a griddle or grill pan or a giant pasta vessel - BAMR is my name for the burner - it is large and powerful - this burner does not share its power with the others.
-I love not cooking myself while cooking food - recently visited a friend who has a high end gas cooktop - it took forever to heat the water and I was sweating bullets
-Love the melt and simmer settings on the burners.
-It is easy to clean - I just use either the Wolf or Miele (the cheap version from BBB left streaks) - but it is black and you will see dust.
-I like the appearance - since it has a grid - it will hide some dirt - I liked this better than the shiny black versions
-No gas by-products going into the environment
-Energy efficient - only the vessel heats - lots of fun demonstrating this! (Remember that paper towels do have a combustion point - I don't use paper towels but someone managed to ignite paper towels - not sure what brand or who it was)

-I do hear some low grade buzzing - but once the fan is on, I don't notice it as much or even at all. Single metal pans are the quietest and layered pans make more noise - especially at start - up - it is not bad - but you can hear it
-I do hear the cycling - same deal
(but you have noise with gas as well)
-Sometimes hard to see the cooking zones (in low light)
-New pots - About half of my vessels worked - I had to replace the others with a variety of magnet pans - I kept my Calphalon for now but gave my SIL my lovely All-Clad griddle (and she hasn't tried it)

-No bridge element - although the Wolf folks told me that it would be OK to bridge as long as I don't go over the controls
-Lack of auto-off (I think thermador and miele have auto-off for each burner - but others can chime in) - it does have a basic timer.

If you can find a demonstration center - I would recommend trying it out. I didn't know about these and it would have been helpful in decision making.

Would I buy again - absolutely - although I would look at the Thermador and Miele. Thermador folks claim no buzzing - but I would have to hear it for myself... Having the auto-off burners would be a nice touch.
I think 2LittleFishies just bought the thermador.
Thermador has also come out with a zoneless but I believe it only supports 3 vessels at at time. I do use 4 on multiple occasions, so I am not sure if I would go that route (and expensive) now - but when I need to replace this in 10-20+ years - hopefully it will be ready.

I might have considered the flush mount but it wasn't available - the Wolf rep said if you need repairs downstream - it costs more to yank it out of the counter top.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:59AM
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Wow! Thank you a2gemini for such a thorough review. I have a few questions for clarification, if you don't mind.

When you say that it uses 4 magnetic zones per burner and that you can see a pattern of bubbles, does that mean that it doesn't cook as even as you thought that it would? Are there hot and cold spots?

When you say that it has never shut off a burner, does that mean that you can lift a pot off temporarily, such as to toss veges or an omelet, and it won't turn off and make you reenter the settings? Or are you seeing this as a negative?

I too looked at the Thermador induction cooktops. I didn't care for the zoneless model, you could only put 4 pots at a time on it and I need at least 5. It's also new technology and that always makes me a bit nervous to buy the first of any product. The 5 burner Thermador is nice, but I didn't like the hob arrangement, the two biggest burners are right next to each other and I would find that awkward. I liked the big center burner. I'm not sure how often in reality that I would actually use the auto-off timer, but it is a nice feature.

I did go to a Wolf demo in MA and didn't hear any buzzing when they boiled some water. I plan to go back with a selection of my own pans and see what happens. I plan on buying individual pans one at a time to see how they work instead of buying all of one line and then not liking them.

I emailed Thermador to set up a local demo, but they never responded.

Also, I just bought a portable induction burner, a Duxtop, to try out and see how I like induction in general. I know that it isn't really apples to apples, but I am getting a general idea. Plus it'll be nice to have around during the remodel.

I really, really like the Wolf 6 burner range top, you can put a pan anywhere on 5 of the burners as they are identical. But I'm slowly thinking that the induction might make more sense in the long run.

Thank you so much a2gemini for sharing your experience with your cooktop.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:09PM
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P.S. a2gemini, I love the pix that you attached to your post. Your cooktop, cabinets, hood and backsplash are beautiful together!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:11PM
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AJ - here are the answers for you.
Once the vessel is warmed up - it cooks evenly - by having 4 magnets instead of one - probably more evenly than with one. But you can have a panic attack when you first look at the bubbles...

Yes - I can lift the pan off - shake up the veggies, etc and put it back down without it shutting down and resetting the temp. I haven't timed or read in the book how long it will hold the setting. I see this as a positive - hope I put it in the right spot.

I bought a portable one to test also - I think mine was a Cosi - I used part of my Elux rebate to by it and 2 vessels.

Good idea on the pots - I have a variety of vessels from All Clad, CIA, Calphalon, Staub, LeCreseut, ScanPro, etc
None totally overlap in function except maybe an extra saute pan.

The Wolf folks came over to listen and watch my cooktop in action. They felt the buzzing was within normal limits and of course - my omelette came out perfectly for them...

Thanks for the compliment on my kitchen - I am loving having my new kitchen up and running :-)

Good luck on your decision - I am so glad you are trying it out first - I thought maybe the thermador folks have hearing problems and there is some buzzing - but they claim to have excellent hearing - I am more prone to be bothered by flickering lights and buzzing than some folks - so maybe it is just me.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:13PM
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