my long fagor induction review (ifa 90 bf)

fencesitterJune 14, 2010

First, apologies if this is a duplicate, it didn't seem to post from a different browser.

I'm not really a regular here on GW, I just come and go depending on what I'm planning on doing to my house at the time, however, it was this forum that turned me on to induction cooktops, so here's the longwinded feedback on the induction cooktop I eventually got.

Everybody's requirements are different, so let me point out what my constraints were- I was replacing an existing 36" electric flat top cooktop that was pretty poor. I assume it was a regular coil element underneath a ceramic top, so it was slow to heat and even slower to cool down. I guess that was pretty much the only thing wrong with it, but after living with that in our new (as they say in the automotive biz, "pre-owned") house for half a year, that was a good enough reason.

I chose the Fagor 36" induction cooktop for a number of reasons:

  • Thinness: There were drawers under our old cooktop that I didn't want to lose. The Fagor was the thinnest and had very little clearance requirements under it.

  • Price- It was relatively cheap and I was able to rationalize why not to get the cheaper units.

  • Power- This was actually a big deal. Though the Fagor does not have a lot of power, it also does not draw that much power. This was one of the few/only 36" induction ranges that only required a 40 amp supply. Though my old cooktop had only a 30 amp feeding it, the oven (which I also replaced) had a 40amp supply going to the same junction box. Since I put in a 30amp oven, I was able to swap lines and get 40 amps for the cooktop without having to run new wires.

  • Presets- Though it only has 12 power levels, it did have three preset buttons to get power levels 6, 10 and 12. Yeah, you could easily hit the buttons up or down the right number of times, but this is convenient.

  • Bonus- Hey, it comes with a free set of pots. Well, I lost the receipt so didn't get around to picking up the pots. I did find the receipt a year later and the dealer is seeing what he can do about getting me something.

  • Dealer- I could have mail ordered it, but I was able to find a local dealer. Yeah, I paid more because of local tax, but I figured it would be easier to have any issues dealt with if I could stand in someone's showroom complaining loudly. As it was, I didn't have any issues.

So, after owning this thing for almost a year, how do I like it?

First, since everyone seemed to be asking before, yes, this thing hums. How loud? Well, that's very hard to quantify and it also depends on the pot. I've got the Emeril pots with the sandwiched bottoms- cheap stuff made in China for All Clad and the lids even rattle on some, making it louder. My previous Calphalon stainless was nicer, but unfortunately, all Calphalon's stuff seems to be non-magnetic. I may have posted before about the noise- maybe a bit louder than my Bosch 500 series (SHE-55) dishwasher which claims to be 48dB.

As it was, all my old pots had warped bottoms...

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't know why the post title changed to all lowercase. Weird.

Anyway, one more thing to add- someone was mentioning pulsing of an older induction unit. The Fagor also audibly pulses under the 6 setting, probably a couple of pulses a second with the duty cycle decreasing (shorter pulses every half second) as you go lower.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 3:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The spot in the middle is normal. The induction drivers are round and the center contains the pan detector and temperature sensor.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for posting your review. I've been trying to decide between the 30" GE and the Fagor. Based on your review, I'm now leaning toward the GE.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 1:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good to know about pulsing.

I've been reading about induction for two years and have never had so much clear information all in one place.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 9:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for the helpful, comprehensive review. 30" for me, with 2 6"diameter hobs and 2 9" hobs on the Fagor. The Fagor price and thinness is alluring, but I haven't decided yet.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 10:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very nice review, fencesitter. I'm sure there are many that will benfit from it.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 1:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my induction cooktop (an AEG bought in 2008) I hear a pulsing noise, too.
There was NO noise to be heard at the retailer (in 2008) when their working demonstrator heated a pot there.

At high power I hear another noise, not a pulsing noise.
So far, it's noisiest with low-cost cookware, and almost imperceptible with expensive cookware.

Here is a link that might be useful: vibration noise in induction cookware

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 9:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I find I do have physical vibration of the pots- as I mentioned, the lids will rattle on some. If you get a very high pitched rattling (without the lid), I'd assume there's flex in your cookware such that it's hitting the ceramic surface.

As others have suggested- a silicone mat would help not only in cleanup and slip prevention, but it may also damp the vibration a bit.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 6:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I tried padding underneath, and it never changed the noise.

I guess I should conclude that it's got to do with the induction cooktop, and secondly, with some other factor in the cookware, like perhaps the mass of magnetized steel. Cast iron makes no noise at all. It is interesting that the most expensive of the stainless steel products make less noise. I'm still purchasing and returning products, every month.

Perhaps my noise is not your noise. The lids don't rattle, or if they did I didn't notice it because the irritating buzz was so strong.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 7:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

fencesitter- Love your username by the way, feel like it should be mine! Do you have any cast iron cookware? If so, does the Fagor make the same noise with cast iron? Just wondering...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

fencesitter- another thanks for your review. I have gathered info on the Fagor units and am glad to see a review posted here. I haven't found retailers locally so a lot of what I've looked in to is online.

Some of your considerations match exactly for the research I am doing for a family member (mom). I don't see it as a negative against Fagor at all.
In addition to your thinness, price, power, presets - I would add layout. In realizing the habits of how someone cooks it is important to see what layout would match that. For instance, if someone uses the big burner the most, the Fagor is one of the few I've seen that offer that on the RH side front.

Knowing some limitations of the unit the user can then make accommodations accordingly. (In our case, new pots is a given!)
Hard to say without actually using an induction range but power sharing wouldn't be an issue because she rarely uses more than one burner at a time - period. Timers - don't have them for burners now - so wouldn't miss not having them. Sep power button? Don't see that as a negative here. I guess where this is going is for folks considering this as an alternative - how do they really cook on a day to day basis. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the "best of" discussions here.

Do you have any feedback on the simmer? If it is pulsating as mentioned earlier does it hold the temp adequately?

Again - thanks!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 8:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

numbersjunkie- I wasn't to sure whether to got with this username or "vacillator." I'm still not sure I made the right choice :)

Cast iron- yes, I've got a few pieces of cast iron, both bare and enameled. The hobs all hum to a certain extent. I assume it's more the power going through the coils than anything else- sort of like power lines hum. The hum might be a bit more muted with the cast iron, or it's just cognitive bias.

Interestingly, I noticed that on max with the cast iron, the hob pulses for a few seconds before going to a steady drone. With my Emerilware (sandwiched stainless bottom pots), it goes immediately into a steady drone. I assume this is the same for levels 6 through 12 but I'm not at home to verify right now.

plumorchard- as I mentioned, sometimes I feel that a half setting might be nice, but I attribute that to lack of skill more than anything else. As for the simmer and pulsing, since the pulsing is about a couple of times a second, I don't think the temperature has that much time to vary.

I assume the simmer is not as bad as on some gas hobs that turn the gas on and off over (I assume again) the course of many seconds (tens of seconds? a minute?), allowing more time for the pot to cool.

Even then, for my long slow simmers when I'm making a big pot of stew, gumbo, or whatever, the thermal mass of the whole pot is so great that even pulsing the power on and off over the course of thirty seconds probably wouldn't cause the temperature to fluctuate that much.

Also, I don't think I've ever used the lowest power setting since my big pots have so much surface area they'd radiate more heat than the lowest setting puts out. But again, I need to add the caveat that my cooking isn't that adventurous, so I haven't really explored the lower limits of the range (pardon the pun) like others might.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 2:27PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Wolf oven error on self clean: TCO detect as open
I've had two Wolf E series for nearly 2 years (single...
Need advice on combining induction and gas
This is my first post. Please forgive the length or...
Need A New Keurig - Suggestions?
Our Keurig at the lake bit the dust. The single cup...
Cabinet front dishwashers
We are putting in two cabinet-front dishwashers in...
Need help picking out the right appliances
Hi Im trying to decide on a slide in electric double...
Julie Hall
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™