Induction Cooktop Advice

sweetbabyjames5June 16, 2011

Rather than bringing gas into my kitchen, I have decided on an induction cooktop. Can't wait to try it!!! Because I have very limited counter space, I think a 30" is the way to go. (Will I regret not getting a 36"?) The induction cooktops reviewed by Consumer Reports scored VERY well. I am trying to decide between 30" GE Profile, 30" Electrolux Icon, and 30" Miele. I'd love to hear your experience with any of these!

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I have had the 30" GE Profile for almost 2 years now. I put it over a 3 drawer cabinet with a dummy top drawer to allow for ventilation. It is one of the few cooktops I could find that actually fit into a 30" cabinet without having to shave the sides of the cabinet. I bought L-shaped clamps from the hardware store to replace the staight-line bracket clamps.

Sometimes when I use both elements on the left side I get a humming noise but generally the cooktop is noiseless. I am pleased with my choice.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 10:20AM
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I have the 36" Miele KM 5773 Induction Cooktop. The 30" is very similar, but if there is a way for you to get the 36"....DO IT!! I love the size.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Miele Induction Cooktop. I currently have 9 Miele appliances, and love them all...but the Induction Cooktop is just awesome. Fast, efficient, quiet, looks great and SO, SO easy to clean. I never shy away from stir fry or cooking messy things anymore. No more iron grates, rings, stainless. Induction is the way to go 100%!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 10:57AM
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I got a 24" in order to keep the size of my vent hood down.

you will be happy with 30".

if you want to go towards kitchen perfection, cut a groove to recess it into the countertop.

since it's not siliconed into the counter, it is easy to lift one side at a time, to remove crumbs.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 11:29AM
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I also love my Miele 36 inch. I really like the burner config. The center hob is 11 inches wide, and there are two 9 inch hobs, which are large enough for most of my cookware. Even the small hobs are not all that small at about 6 1/2 inches. I like having the extra room around the pans in the 36 inch, but I do a lot of cooking for 4 and spare kids when they're around, as well as have family over for dinner whenever I can. If you think that a 30 inch will fit your needs, then go for it. Not everyone needs or wants a 36", but for me, it works out beautifully.

As to humming noise--I hear a noise once in a great while when I have 4 or 5 of the burners all going at once. The vibration of the pans is what does it, I think. I do not find it annoying or anything. Clean up is so easy it's laughable--it can be a crumby, greasy, nasty mess and a few swipes with a soapy dishtowel followed by a microfiber cloth to dry and polish, and all is once again clean and shiney. This happens nightly at my house and it tickles me every time. (I'm not a picky housekeeper, so when I can get those results with so little effort, it makes me smile) :-) No matter which induction unit you get, you're gonna like it.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:35PM
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I have the 30" GE Profile and am very happy with it. Four burners is enough for me and the burner configuration works well for my purposes. It does not have the individual timers (like the Miele and the Bosch) which would be useful at times, but it was the top-rated induction cook-top in the most recent kitchen edition of Consumer Reports. (CR did not, however, include either the Bosch or the Miele in their tests, but there were several others such as Kitchen-aid and Kenmore in the tests.) There is sometimes a buzz or hum with lighter weight pans (not at all with cast iron or Le Creuset) but it does not bother me.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 1:39PM
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Very few people use more than three pots on the stove at once. Check your cooking habits. If they'll mostly fit on a 30" you don't need bigger. If you do need more space for a holiday feast you can supplement with a portable. I have five (2 gas, 3 induction) and it's plenty, along with a lot of oven space, for feeding mobs.

When you're looking at CR, remember that they have different criteria than most homeowners. They weight price much higher. CR is right, however, that induction is very good. We regularly have had threads, which you can find by searching, that ask if folks would change after using induction for awhile, and very very few would. Those who would like the heat and flame of the cookfire.

The is very little function difference between different induction cooktops. Instead, there are feature differences. You can check out the power difference, amount of air space you need to build in for ventilation, how the controls work, how many setting steps there are (some still have only 9, most have 17 (1-9 plus half steps), and some have additional buttons for low, keep warm, boil, etc. (BTW, as of a couple of years ago, Miele had a choice between 9 and 17 that you had to set in program mode. I don't know if it still works like that)). Also, there are timers, "true timers" which turn off elements at the end of a countdown, boil over sensors, child (kittycat) lockouts, and a few other whistles. When you're checking power, notice which elements are paired for power sharing, and which can "boost" on their own. I think they all have boost, nowadays. You want boost.

For more information in general, though some of the specifics are a bit out of date, check out The Induction Site.

Buzzing usually comes from where there are two different kinds of metal, in a combination pan. Often, changing the power setting will make it go away. There can also be a very high pitched sound that only the very young can usually hear. If you have kids, take them with you to shop and see how they react, or the cooktop can be an excuse to leave the room when they're supposed to be helping.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 3:17PM
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I have a Wolf cooktop for the past year. Its been great!

My choice was influenced by the size of the cut-out. This is a new installation in a new granite countertop, but the Miele--which was my first choice--has a larger than 30" cutout (its a 31" cooktop). I wanted to be sure that we could "back-out" of induction into a 30" gas cooktop if we wanted...or replace it with the next "best and greatest" cooktop in the future. Having replaced most of my appliances at some point over the past 10 years and thinking that this is my "last" kitchen remodel, I didn't want to be stuck with a non-standard opening in the event that I wanted to change things in the future. Perhaps some will think that this is overly cautious or even wrong, but it influenced what I choose. AJ Madison gives cut-out sizes for most cooktops.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 4:44PM
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I'm still trying to decide on which 30" induction. This is some of what I've found: The GE requires 12" clearance underneath. The Electrolux requires 7.5" on the side, and I think the LG might, also. The LG and Kitchenaid KICU509x have bridge elements. The Miele has the biggest elements.

plllog gave a great synopsis of the variables you should consider. Most of these are discussed in various posts or in the owner's manuals for the different models.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 6:11PM
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Ginny20 writes: "I'm still trying to decide on which 30" induction. This is some of what I've found: The GE requires 12" clearance underneath. The Electrolux requires 7.5" on the side, and I think the LG might, also. The LG and Kitchenaid KICU509x have bridge elements. The Miele has the biggest elements."

The LG LCE30845 does not need anywhere near 7.5" clearance on the sides. We have had an LG LCE30845 for about 42 months. We selected the LG because it has the least under-counter clearance of any cooktop: not only is it pancake thin -- 2-3/16" inches below the counter -- but also it vents its cooling air out of coin-thick vents at the back of the unit above, not below, the counter, which means that the under-counter space is pretty much free for any use to which you choose to put it. The unit also requires very minimal clearance on the sides; our LG sits completely inside a standard 33" wide counter fixture, so our side clearance is less than one inch on each side after accounting for the structural rails at the top of the counter unit.

The LG has a slightly lower maximum power requirement (32 amps) than most of the alternative induction cooktops (which typically specify 40 amps maximum). Probably the main reason is that the LG's largest (ten inch) element draws lower wattage than the largest element in some other units; but beware getting caught up in the numbers game: in more than three years, we have not yet found an application where we needed to turn the large element to "9" (2.4 kw), much less any need to boost it to "P" (3.3 kw, its maximum output) -- but we typically do not boil 20 quart pots of water.

My understanding is that the induction inverter in the LCE30845 is made by a company (Luxine) that in 2009 was acquired by and now is a part of Vollrath, but I have not been able to confirm that information.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 7:35PM
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When you say "clearance" for the GE, I'm not sure you are using the correct term. It does need 12" between it and any combustibles. But you can have a drawer that has pots and pans in it, as long as the bottom of the drawer (which is likely combustible) is at least 12" below the cook-top. As I have said before, I have two 15" drawers beneath my cook-top and it works fine. But I could not have the three drawer configuration the KD wanted to do (one 6 inch and two 12 inch). I'm okay with that.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 8:07PM
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To echo what Pllog said, you can always get a portable unit for holiday overflow. I don't need extra counter space because I have tons and a big wall to fill with a pretty hood, so I'm going with the 36" bosch. :D

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 8:40PM
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Thank you for all of the responses! I will definitely go induction. Now I just need to decide which one!!! Sounds like there are a lot of good choices.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 7:05AM
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paulnextdoor -- how would you rate the performance of your Wolf induction now that you've had it?

I have a switch out issue and it's the one that fits but I've learned to be very cautious.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:04AM
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the space clearance requirements are all written by CYA people. And the written guidelines are unclear or selfcontradictory. Within a few more lifetimes these guidelines will be written more clearly.

In real life, I have a drawer closer than the written guidelines prescribed. My drawer can be filled with any product, material or substance, and nothing inthe drawer heats up or gets hot. (Perhaps a few degrees, but nothing to write home about.)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:24AM
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Rococogurl, the wolf induction is great. We've had it almost a year. Responsive, easy to clean, and reliable. There may have been some noise issues initially that either we've gotten used to--or changed when we got high end cookware. I have nothing to compare it to, except for a portable Viking unit that I had purchased to "try out" induction prior to committing. It certainly is much better than the portable unit! No regrets at all.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 12:03PM
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paulnextdoor -- a few more questions.
Do you know if the Wolf cooktop is resistant to power outages? We tend to have those and my Miele oven & DW are great in that respect. No issues.

Do you have the 36? Do you use the big burner to boil, say a 6 to 8 quart of water for pasta? And if so, approx how long does it take?

I've read about buzzing related to the cookware. Which cookware did you find works well for you?

Wondering if the heat proves even under the pans given the cloverleaf arrangement of the magnets. Do you get a typical browning pattern on something like a crepe or omelette -- that is circle in center with lighter coloring going outward? Or is it different.

Also, do you miss the auto turn off others talk about with their units?

Any issues at all?

I'm asking because I have a Viking radiant and we've both accidentally left the burners on. Dh has low vision and that's really a fire hazard for us.

I went to the Wolf showroom to take a look and it seemed fast and responsive. I like the rainbow which he will be able to see and the large markings. We both like the auto turn off.

But I know from experience it's best to talk to an actual user who has had something for an extended time as you have. So I appreciate any feedback.

The Viking radiant is relatively new -- replaced for the second time last year so the Wolf purchase would be a luxury. I'm cautious -- as you seem to be having purchased the single unit as a test.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 4:45PM
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herring maven: I got the 7" clearance thing from reading the installation instructions on the owners manual for the LG. It's not about how much space it needs,it's about how close you can have the nearest combustible wall. Because the flame from the induction unit will jump up and burn the wall? (kidding) More likely because when I set dinner on fire, the flame will jump up and burn the wall. I'm sure it is just CYA, but I didn't want any arguments about warranties, so I'm going with one that doesn't specify this sort of thing. The 12" under the GE and where Miele specifically says "no drawer, only a false front" are also probably CYA. I'm sure it doesn't get too hot under there. Nevertheless. I want a shallow utensil drawer, so I'm getting the KA with bridge burner because it doesn't say I can't put a drawer there. And the nearest wooden cabinet will be about 3" away, and I don't want to set any hypothetical fires!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 5:44PM
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Ginny20, So the clearance you were reading about was from a wall ABOVE the cooktop, not from the electronics UNDER the cooktop? Our LG induction cooktop is installed in a peninsula, so it is well away from any wall above the cooktop; but I should think that the aboveboard clearances would relate to the position relative to the walls of the BURNERS -- of any cooking surface, any brand, any type -- more than to the position of the edges of the drop-in cooktop. The cautions should not be brand- and model-specific.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 6:18PM
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Rococugirl. I'll try my best to answer you questions.

I don't know if the Wolf cooktop is resistant to power outages. We've never had one.

I have the 30" with four burners. I have an all clad 7 qt stockpot with the pasta insert. It works great despite the lack of a supersized pad on the 30" model. I can boil a "standard amount" of water for you, if you tell me how much to do. (Perhaps this would be a fun appliance forum thread). Its much faster than our old gas range.

We bought all-clad based on reviews. The Demeyere pans were too heavy. We never tested other cookware. DW agrees that we've grown accustomed to the hum.

Our crepes on an all iron (inexpensive) lodge pan are evenly cooked.

I believe that auto-off means that the unit will turn itself off after a specified number of minutes. We don't miss this, probably because we have a Miele steam oven which is timed (and because we never "had" this feature. Safety wise (perhaps others will correct me) it is my understanding that there is little risk if the unit is left "on" but the pan is removed. The unit senses that there is no pan and shuts itself off. I believe that without a magnetic object to heat, there is little risk of fire.

We've had no issues at all.

We went Wolf because I wanted superior customer service and a company that seemed, at least within some limits, to maintaining standard cutout sizes over the years.

I suspect that we would have been happy with any of the well rated units described in this forum.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 10:47PM
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Thanks so much for taking the time to respond paul. It's very helpful to hear your experience and what works with the cooktop.

I actually saw it in the Wolf showroom but the person "helping" me was too important to spend much time discussing it -- she had to get back to lunch with her coworkers. She did deign to tell me that when you remove a pot from the burner that's on, it turns itself off -- which is great for us safety wise. Ditto for overheating. If we were to forget something and it boiled dry, the unit would turn off. Those are great features for us -- we don't need it to be more complicated.

I'll call Wolf about the power outage issue and ask.

Could you do me the favor of putting 4 quarts of cold water in your 7 qt all clad, without the pasta insert, and let me know how long it takes to boil? I'd be so grateful. We do a lot of soups and pasta. They didn't have a large pot at the showroom -- 3 cups of water boiled quickly in a saucepan but it would on any range really.

Interesting to hear it's faster than your gas. Surely, it's faster than my smoothie.

Funny you mention standard opening sizes. I didn't find any. I'd be retrofitting into a stainless counter and Wolf is the only unit I'm sure will actually fit as my opening cannot be altered. Wish Miele would fit but it doesn't. Thermador's too deep, etc.

Also, we're in the country here so Gaggenau is out but high-end dealers in the area carry and service Wolf/SZ.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 9:02AM
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Four quarts of cold water from the sink (not refrigerated) were put in the 7 qt covered pot with the setting of Hi-Power.

I didn't realize how hard it is to judge "boiling". Bubbles form within a few minutes. Hard boiling is about 8 minutes.

Good luck with your decision. Many people have new installations. From what you describe, it sounds like the "best" induction unit is the one that will fit your existing space.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:17AM
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I very much appreciate your taking the time to test that for me paul. Gives me an excellent benchmark and your feedback has been invaluable.

No luxury of a new install or much choice other than one that will fit and not become a repair problem when the power goes out. But our kitchen was reno'd 7 years ago and we haven't lived here full time until now. So it's a chance to update, be safe and hope to go a little greener.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:47AM
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herring maven - I agree completely, they shouldn't be brand specific, but they apparently are. The Miele and KA said that you could have the nearest side wall only a couple of inches to the right or left of the edge of the cooktop if you wanted, but Elux and LG specified several inches - 7 or so. Since the back wall for all of them could be a couple of inches away, the side wall space requirement doesn't make sense. But there it is. On an island, this constraint doesn't matter at all. I agree with davidro 1, there's probably no real danger, it's just CYA.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:23PM
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Agreed about the CYA, but the reason for the divergence is about the design. The inductors work pretty much the same for all of them. OTOH, the location of the electronics, the location of the fan(s), how the electronics are shielded, where the hot air underneath vents, etc., etc., are different. I don't know if this is true, but it makes sense to posit that the more expensive units have smaller clearances because they put in more heatshielding for the electronics, fancier fans, etc. Like why a thin watch costs more than a thick one, or a laptop costs relatively more than a desktop. All that design and fitting things just so, and perhaps making assembly more expensive and bothersome, might create a more expensive to produce unit. I mean, sure, tack on what the market will bear, but looked at the opposite way, perhaps some of the less expensive units are so because the makers, by reducing the unit costs, can set a lower price point and make up on volume what they lose on marginal profit. Or something like that. :)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:48AM
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pillog, I understand that you are coming in late on this subthread of a subthread. The factors you suggest all apply to the UNDERside of the unit: "...location of the electronics, the location of the fan(s), how the electronics are shielded, where the hot air underneath vents..." -- but I had pointed out that the LG LCE30845 (which, incidentally, is below the median in terms of price, and is a skosh wider than 30") requires less than an inch side clearance underneath the counter. In fact, that is the approximate side clearance in our installation in a 33" wide counter module, and it is quite ample.

Ginny20 very reasonably suggested that she understood that the 7.5" minimum side clearance that was mentioned in some installation instruction for the LG that she had read most likely applied to ABOVE the cooktop clearance, to avoid the heat from the cooking pots from affecting the side walls next to the cooktop; I responded that that logic properly ought to apply to the distance from the burner areas to the side walls rather than from the edges of the cooktop to the walls, and should not be brand-specific or model-specific; it should apply across the board to all cooking surfaces, gas, induction, or resistive electric. (I did not add, but should have added, that, further, any above-counter clearance considerations should apply to the distance from the burners to the rear wall, if any, as well as to the side walls.)

Ginny20's further elaboration -- that "... Miele and KA said that you could have the nearest side wall only a couple of inches to the right or left of the edge of the cooktop if you wanted, but Elux and LG specified several inches - 7 or so..." only adds to the mystery. I doubt that any of us will come up with a better explanation than "CYA," period.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 7:52PM
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Herring_maven, I did see that. My point was that the heat output, cooling, insulation, ventilation, varies, so the CYA varies. Might not apply in this case. Might apply. Just speculation on my part, but the distance to cookware is a weird big brothering. I figured it had more to do with whose steel studs got hot. :) No big deal.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:36PM
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I bought a 30" Electrolux (not sure if it was Icon), and the circuit board went out on Christmas Day only 3 weeks after our remodel was completed. It was under warranty, soI received a new cooktop, but the circuit board went out again! It was replaced with a 30" Bosch, and I love it. Six years later and the Bosch is going strong.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 11:52PM
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