Induction vs. Gas.. Am I making a mistake?

ChefAddictJuly 31, 2011

Im so tossed up right now about this.. and i only have a couple more days to figure this out.. went to the Wolf Demo last night and really got blown away from induction cooktop.. that thing is FAST... boils water like no one else... amazing..

but then again, I've never cooked with gas.. and its something I've always thought i wanted to do.. but after seeing the induction and knowing that I'm a stickler for cooking fast.. i stopped my order for gas.. did i make a mistake?

Am I missing out on something did I make a mistake.. what the the limitations to induction? is there any clear benefit of why gas is better?

lets hear it guys and girls.. let me know what you think..

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If you do a search of the forum, you'll find that most people who have changed from gas to induction are thrilled with their choice. There are a few who miss the flames and heat of gas.

You can cook fast on gas with an ultra powerful rangetop, like the BlueStar. There are a few others in that category, more if you include ranges.

I have both induction and gas and use induction for most things. I find it just as responsive or more than gas, and it's extremely tolerant of a half asleep cook. You can spill whatever and just wipe it up while you're cooking. Pans do heat up very fast. You can put paper all over to catch the spatter from frying. Etc., etc. No, I don't think you made a mistake.

Limitations: You can only use cookware that's suited to induction, and even the suitable cookware you currently own will behave differently, so there's a bit of a learning curve. It doesn't work during a blackout or brownout. You can't use it to light candles in said blackout when you can't find the matches. You can't char a pepper, aubergine, etc., on it. It won't keep you warm while you're cooking in the Winter. If you have lightweight cookware and tend to stir one handed you might need to put a silicone mat under your pot to keep it from sliding on induction. If you like things to look just so, you might have to invest in some microfiber cloths to keep it from smearing (we use ordinary rags, but when I'm just wiping up, rather than cleaning, I get a lot of smears too). Induction is great for wok cooking if you have the right equipment, but you can't just plop a hammered wok from Chinatown on an ordinary induction cooktop--and the "right equipment" can be pricy.

Other than having an alternative when the electricity is out, or the ease of using a proper wok, I can't think of a reason gas would be "better". A lot of people have a gas grill outside which they figure will do in an emergency.

For wok cooking, the induction alternatives are (a) a dish shaped dedicated induction wok unit--these accommodate any normal wok; (b) a flat bottomed "wok" on an ordinary cooktop--fine for a saute style stir fry kind of thing, but not what wok cooks usually mean when they say stir fry; (c) a cast iron wok which is flat on the outside and round on the inside--handles very differently from a thin, carbon steel wok, though it does work if you learn how to use it, very different methods--also has too small a footprint to use a high power double ring; (d) a footed induction wok, like the Demeyere, which has a proper wok shape and ball feet to conduct the magnetic influence to the sides of the wok--probably the same small footprint problem, though the clad stainless might handle more like carbon steel, heavy enough to also alter the way the cook handles it. Serious wok cooks usually get the dish shaped unit or gas.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 4:38AM
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NO, you are not making a mistake. I grew up with gas, and my first 3 homes I owned as an adult were gas. So, for basically 30 years, my family cooked only with gas, and I only cooked with gas.

I got my Miele 36" KM5773 Induction Cooktop about 6 months ago, maybe 8 months ago. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I will NEVER, NEVER cook with gas again.

Induction is as responsive, if not more responsive than gas. The kitchen stays much cooler and clean up is the easiest thing you will ever encounter! With my gas cooktops or ranges, I would cringe having to fry something if I had just cleaned the grates, burners, cooktop, etc... Even frying something on ONE burner, oil or grease droplets would always make it's way to the entire surface cooking with gas. With's LITERALLY 20-30 seconds with a microfiber cloth and maybe some windex if really oily. Done, clean, shiny. NO grates, burners.

I had an entire set of Demeyere, but found they were just too heavy (the long handled pots were hard to lift). Now I just have acquired my favourite pieces from collections I like, and use them...a few small Le Creuset sauce pans, a Staub pot, one Demeyere, one Schuelte Ufer stainless pot, a small Berndes stainless fry pan and 2 Starfrit Light cast Iron fry pans.

Induction is the way of the future, actually it is for NOW. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER gas again!!!!! :)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 10:32AM
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Yea i know about a more powerful rangetop, such as capital, and bluestar, but i cant see even those "super" powerful can be anywhere as fast as a induction cooktop. Are they? it sucks that the demo was wolf only.. and hard to really tell when there are no demos of Bluestar or capital in my area to show the real difference.

I am in a climate where your right fortunately we have gas bbqs outside and no need for them on the inside really, since almost everyday is a bbq day. Yea the draw back of induction in a storm would face the normal person but we have a inline generator.

well thats good to hear that u can still Wok on a induction.. but can you use a griddle?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:17AM
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Most folks seem very happy with induction -- some not. I like gas generally, and I think that my own gas range is great, but to each his or her own. There are serious cooks out there who do well with all sorts of options. It's partly about the physical limitations (or strengths) of a given system and a whole lot about how you like to interact with the system. Some of this is what you're used to, and it seems as if you're not really used to either of the main options you are considering.

For boiling water, a good induction range or top (with the proper pot, etc.) is likely to be just faster than any residential gas option. High powered open gas burners -- like on the BlueStar RNB (which I happen to have) and the Capital Culinarian (also popular on this board) will, however, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil much more quickly than many other gas ranges with which you might be familiar. 22k or 23k BTU just gets the molecules moving much more quickly than 13 or 15.

Maybe more important for cooking, add pasta and the water will come back up to a boil quickly.

But now we're moving on to questions about cooking, rather than boiling water, and I'd say that these sorts of gas ranges are great for fast, hot cooking techniques. Are you searing something? Setting a wok on a grate? I don't think these types of gas ranges give up anything to any of the alternatives. Very quick response and, at full bore, all the heat you'll care to have in a pan.

This is not to say what you should get. Ideally, you'll get a chance to try various things before you take any sort of plunge (and know the catch -- if you're unfamiliar with a good gas range, or a bad one, or induction, or anything . . . well, I wouldn't say that there's much of a learning curve, but I would say that you learn to get the most out of any system, and feel your way around, with time). The benefits of gas? Well, there's a direct flame -- nice if you want to grab a pair of tongs and hold a pepper in a flame (some folks get a grill option -- I personally grill outside, just behind the kitchen); and the feel and feedback you get from managing a flame; and for some of us, nice heavy grates for a continuous working surface. And, obviously, any pot or pan will work with gas. But there are different ways to heat a pot or pan and different ways to get good results if you know what you're doing.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:24AM
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So will these high powered 22 or 23k BTU burners bring water and keep waster boiling better then induction? During the Wolf demo, it looked like even with the water boiling and adding in the pasta it was only seconds before the boil began again almost no interruption.
Yes i can see how come want to use a indoor grill, and i think i was one of those, but now with induction there is no option for that.. and therefor its a loss for me on the "griddle" or the grill option, since induction is just glass top. unless i go with wolf modules, but then there isn't enough cooking space and that wont work for me at all.

I just cant see how these 22 or 23k burners can beat induction there still burners, they still need heat up time.. when induction is almost flip on and ready to go..

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:42AM
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"So will these high powered 22 or 23k BTU burners bring water and keep waster boiling better then induction?"

No. If that's your question, then the answer is no.

They'll beat an anemic counter-top induction burner easily, and some others too, but a good induction range or top will be faster on the initial boil and -- as you might guess -- will not have any magic lag coming back to a boil that it didn't have initially. My point was not that these burners trump induction in boiling water, because they don't. It was simply that the high powered gas burners also will be quick bringing the water back to a boil after adding the pasta, and will be much quicker than many other gas ranges at this, and much much quicker on the initial boil. That's relevant if you have other reasons to want or prefer gas, but consider the boiling an issue and maybe a pain with some gas ranges. They're on as quickly as they ignite, and they're at full heat as quickly as you can turn the knob (like all gas burners), but there's still time to heat the pot. But they're not better at boiling water. Nothing's better.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 1:34PM
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I'm not an expert. I'm a consumer who has been researching for our upcoming build. I was looking at induction and considering it very seriously. We have room for a 36" range. That's pretty darned limiting with induction. But if I really really wanted it, I can reconfigure things to put in a wall oven with a cooktop. But I've been looking at the more powerful gas burners (Bluestar, etc.)

The reason why we are sticking with gas, but upgrading to a more powerful brand, instead of going to induction? During my research, we had a storm that included a power outage. During this storm, I happened to be cooking and had two pots on the burners that kept right on going. The power outage lasted over two hours but we were able to eat dinner anyway. My husband said, "If we had induction we'd be hungry right now, huh?" That helped me make my decision. It sounds silly but we live in New Orleans where we have storms and outages. It's something to consider. I figure that if I've been cooking with Maytag gas for six years and upgrade to a heavy-duty gas range, I'll be happy and the cooking performance will be that much better.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:36PM
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We made the change this past winter and love our induction cook top.
I have had to alter the way I cook now having to have every thing cut and on the counter ready to go into the pans. It heats fast and cooks evenly ...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:38PM
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I would imagine a good induction will bring a large pot of water to boil faster than my DCS gas range. That said I will add when I add pasta or whatever to my boiling water it is instant return to boil. Induction would not produce the heat that a gas range does, in this heat wave that is a really nice plus. I can cook on my DCS during power outage, very nice when they happen. Minor but I also roast peppers in the gas flame. There is plus & minus to both. In my case, living in the country, fairly often power outage trumped a faster pot of boiling water but certainly not as important to others.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 6:06PM
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Yes, you can use a griddle on induction, but you shouldn't use a reversible one because of the lip. Many induction tops won't even recognize them. Mine will, and will heat them, but hot air can build up underneath and potentially crack the glass.

Also, except for the few cooktops that have bridge elements, spanning two elements with a long griddle can be a problem. Not for the griddle so much, it's about the same as bridging two gas burners--takes awhile for the edges to heat up and hot spots over the flames/center--but it can also lead to heat build up and an issue for the electronics on some units. Some do it just fine. Most say to use paired (power sharing) elements, if they say you can span them, so that you're not tempted to do a double boost, which could lead to failure.

The best option for both optimal griddle performance, and best use of the induction top, if you have a large center ring (10-12"), is a big round griddle. There are many varieties in cast iron, enamelled cast iron, multi-ply stainless steel clad, and even enamelled steel if you want to repurpose a paella. You can also find a round, carbon steel comal if you're in the Southwest, but I wouldn't recommend the "non-stick" ones. Seasoning one is pretty easy and will give you a better surface without risk of toxicity. If you go that route, make sure it's really 100% flat. Sometimes they're a little wonky, which isn't a problem on a grate, but isn't good for induction.

Above is the Demeyere 7-ply stainless which I lust after but don't need. I use my big Le Creuset braiser on the induction, or a double sided one on my gas.

This one, with the red back, is Le Creuset from Williams-Sonoma. The top is also enamelled, but in textured black.

Lodge makes a pre-seasoned (no enamel) round griddle with handle, 10.5", and a 14" "pizza pan" which would work as a griddle if you have a large (12-13") ring.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 7:15PM
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SO i get it guys..

Induction fastest out there... boil and return to boil.. BUT if u want something that will last in a power outage or u want to be able to have a "open" flame to roast peppers and such.. u gotta go gas..

in our case we have a full inline generator, so we never lose power, comes in handy many times through out the year..

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 7:17PM
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i did come across this

Here is a link that might be useful: Fagor Induction Griddle Plate

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 7:24PM
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i did come across this

Here is a link that might be useful: Fagor Induction Griddle Plate

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 9:19PM
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The current induction technology doesn't have a high enough...frequency? affect aluminum. Many makers of pans adhere a steel plate or core to an aluminum pan. Sort of the inverse of a stainless pan which has plies of aluminum and copper for heat distribution. In this case it's steel to heat the pan from which the aluminum can receive the heat. Some of these aluminum induction pans get good reviews here. Some are less great. You can also get cast iron and stainless long and square griddles, if that suits you better.

As to your summary, you nailed it. :)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 9:43PM
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All of the kitchen people I have spoken with suggest induction. For aging in place people this is considered the best and safest..for those of us over 60.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 12:04AM
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It's far harder to burn your house down with induction than gas :)

My fav part is the low low that induction can go. I sauteed some spinach. Well, it was done way before the guy with the grill got done with the meat. So put it on 1 or 2 and 20 minutes later, it was still warm and not burnt. Call it a warming plate I guess. Rice is similar, although I haven't tried it since I have a rice cooker that I've had forever.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 9:29PM
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a few notes:

Any 220V cooking device will be 4 times more powerful than a 110V one. Why? It's because power is non-linear. Power is squared. Double the voltage and you get four times the power. Millions can verify this, and confirm this. It is not news.
== Therefore, a 220V microwave will be far far more powerful than a 110V microwave, a 220V oven will be far far more powerful than a 110V oven. The same for cooktops. And so on ad infinitum.
=== So, a portable induction cooktop (which plugs into a 110V outlet) can not boil water as fast as a 220V cooktop. BUT this is never a requirement in anyone's real life. Yes, it is good-to-know, it's information, it helps understand basic parameters. But nobody ever cares all that much if how much time it takes to boil water.

Induction has a lot of idiotproofing. Here is one example: when a boilover happens the sensors can spot it and then reduce power accordingly. Many other examples can be provided. My writing out what happens in a boilover is to help the gentle reader to see that boiling water does not cause any risks to occur.
== Read the features described in the manuals. They are all available as PDF documents on the web.

Aluminum will never be inductable because it does not respond to a magnetic field. "Induction" is an alternating magnetic field, which works in a millimeter space not larger. As far as i know, no pacemaker person has ever laid their chest flat onto an induction surface to test whether their pacemaker would warm up when the induction cooktop was turned on. However, I already know the answer: the cookware has to be very very near the surface of the cooktop. One can place a 1/16th inch pad between the cookware and the induction cooktop, but not a 1/4 inch pad. ((Also, about pacemakers, by the way, many stainless steels are non-magnetized. Some are, some are not. There are many kinds of stainless steel. Read about this in the wikipedia if you want to know a little bit more. My mentioning pacemakers here is to clear the subject, not t raise fears.))

It is not necessary to get cookware made with layers of magnetized steel and layers of something else like copper or aluminum. The induction surface distributes power smoothly to the the entire bottom plate of the cookware. Cookware manufacturers will keep trying to make you feel you need to spend hundreds but in reality any $10 pan or pot will work well too.
== caveat. some pans and pots can make a humming noise. (I think it's if the steel is too thin.) So, once you know it's magetizable, you only know that it will work, but not whether it might make a noise that you might find unpleasant. Whenever I bought any cookware, I made it clear that I intended to return it for a full refund if it made any noise, on MY induction cooktop, in my house. It is a rarely-seen problem. In 2011 and beyond this may no longer be a problem. Just f.y.i. Some of my best cookware cost $5, and some of it cost $$hundreds.

Everything that I wrote above is intended to add more strength to the idea that induction is good. So I hope it's not interpreted as a negative.

ChefAddict , in a friendly way I'll direct your attention to the fact that there are many previous discussions on induction. Its speed is one aspect that has been discussed. Any discussion of speed is a waste of your time analyzing things. Cooking is not about speed. People will write and write and write forever about all the things they like about induction, and they almost invariably mention OTHER things they like. For example, induction cooktops are clean, because the "glass" never gets too hot to handle. Nothing gets singed or charred or burned on the "glass" top. This is hard to believe. It is almost like magic. How can it cause a pot to boil while not making the glass hot? Even when temperatures are higher than boiling, like when you are searing steak. How can the glass be cooler than the cookware? Loads of people say "I don't get it" and don't believe it. But it's true. The glass is cooler than the heated cookware. After a long long time, some heat does get into the glass, but it's still not much, not much at all, not much compared to the heat in the pan. ETc. Another example: induction cooktops are obedient. Within a millisecond you can get boiling to stop. It's that responsive. You press the button and bingo, voilA, lo and behold.

ChefAddict if you really want the cat's meow, for speedy hot water, get an insta-hot tap. At the press of a button (faucet, lever), you get near-boiling water from a 1/2 gallon tank under the sink cabinet. This is not new technology. Millions have this. Keywords for your web searching: insta-hot OR instant near-boiling water.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 7:33AM
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davidro1 writes: "'Induction' is an alternating magnetic field, which works in a millimeter space not larger. As far as i know, no pacemaker person has ever laid their chest flat onto an induction surface to test whether their pacemaker would warm up when the induction cooktop was turned on. However, I already know the answer: the cookware has to be very very near the surface of the cooktop. One can place a 1/16th inch pad between the cookware and the induction cooktop, but not a 1/4 inch pad."

The effective distance of the magnetic field from an induction cooktop is considerably larger than a millimeter. The Swiss government warns that (theoretically) it can affect unipolar (only) pacemakers at a distance of up to ten centimeters (about four inches). But the person wearing the unipolar pacemaker would need to get her chest directly over (and within 10 cm of) the cooking unit (1) while it was in operation, and (2) when there was no pot or pan on the unit to intercept the magnetic field. Most induction cooktops shut down the burner when there is no pan atop the unit.

Aside from the pacemaker issue, we often have cooked in pots on our induction cooktop that are more than a quarter inch separated from the "glass" top of the unit. The Demeyere "induction wok" is designed with round feet that hold the unit more than a quarter inch off the cooktop, and it is designed specifically for use on induction cooktops.

davidro1 continues: "caveat. some pans and pots can make a humming noise. (I think it's if the steel is too thin.)"

Among all of our pots and pans, we have only one that ever hums; it is a thick gauge Demeyere Apollo saucepan with a relatively thick disk bottom. The cause of the humming is the excitation of the bell mode fundamental resonance of the pot. The great bells have very thick profiles, and the reason why thay are bells is that they have a coherent resonant frequency.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 9:49AM
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Hmmm. There seems to be a lot of mistaken information in the latter part of this thread.

a) Aluminum is di-magnetic, and will heat up in an alternating field, even one as low in frequency as 60 Hz. It is not even necessary to be magnetic, as copper will also heat up. One is in effect transmitting power from one antenna to another. This is an electro-magnetic transfer of power. Introducing a magnetic material to the interaction, however, makes the coupling better and more efficient, particularly when the steel is poor in conductivity.

The problem with aluminum and copper that they are too conductive, and the ratio of power lost in the induction coils to that used to heat the pan would be too high for practical use, at least for the architecture of common induction hobs. I did a lab experiment many years ago in college levitating aluminum cups and copper cups above a toroidal field much like the induction hobs use. They levitated, but got extremely hot in seconds as did the field windings.

b) The field from the induction laminations has to penetrate the glass top and the pan above it. This distance is much greater than a millimeter. The strong part of the field would extend up, when a pan is not present (and the protective magnetic sensor is disabled), to a significant fraction of the diameter of the defined cooking zone. This is why silicone pads cause little degradation in heating performance. The practical limitation on height is how far can the pan be raised before the magnetic sensor asserts that there is no pan present and disables the hob.

c) The power available from a 240V circuit is not four times that from a 120V circuit unless one also declares that the load in both cases has the same resistance. Normally, 240V is used for appliances in lieu of 120V appliances because for a given power draw, the current required is one-half, reducing various secondary costs, such as wiring conductor size. I wouldn't have wanted to wire a Wolf double wall oven for 100A at 120V instead of 50A at 240V. The bending radius limitations alone would be difficult to accommodate in a standard wooden-framed house.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 12:49PM
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If I might add a bit.

What you are doing with induction is INDUCING an electric current to flow (circulate) in the bottom of the pan. Aluminum and copper are low resistance metals. Iron/steel have much higher resistance. Hence they will heat up quickly.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 2:39PM
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One way is to look at the two different technologies involved and their futures. Gas ranges are available today at many different levels of design and price points. This wide choice is unlikely to continue. If a gas range "some day" within the next 10 years is in the cards, better sooner than later.

Induction is just starting its climb to dominance and the choice in ranges and cooktops is still very restricted and pricy. Most people who try it today like induction a lot and there will come a tipping point in the future where economies of mass production, expiring patents, competition, etc, will result in it becoming the lower cost overwhelming choice.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 9:59PM
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laat2 writes: "Most people who try it today like induction a lot and there will come a tipping point in the future where economies of mass production, expiring patents, competition, etc, will result in it becoming the lower cost overwhelming choice."

My prediction is that the insurance companies will make the decision. The price difference for the insurance premiums of homeowners' insurance between houses with induction and houses with gas will become like the price difference on auto insurance premiums between households with teenage boys holding driver's licenses and households with only over-30 drivers.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 12:34AM
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davidro writes "Another example: induction cooktops are obedient. Within a millisecond you can get boiling to stop. It's that responsive. You press the button and bingo, voilA, lo and behold."

I'm sure it's very responsive, but the water thing . . . a millisecond sounds quick, even if you take the pot off the stove, but I'd think a fairly prompt response has more to do with water and boiling than anything else, no? Induction, gas, camp-fire -- you heat the water to boiling, but without a bunch of tricks you don't superheat it (past that), right? Stop applying heat and the water will start to cool in any room that's cooler than the boiling point of water. It doesn't have to cool much to stop boiling, right? Maybe it seems slow with a coil electric, because the coil itself is still plenty hot a second or ten after you turn it down. But just about anything else, and certainly gas, will pass the same test. And both gas and induction will leave you with very hot pots full of water, unless induction really is magic.

Sorry for the diversion . . . this is nothing against induction at all, just struck by the example.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 8:42AM
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At the time wrote out my stuff I didn't have my best thinking cap on and it prevented me from stating things with the best terms and clauses.

The responses are great stuff. Nothing bad either. But the positive reinforcement is missing, and some of the information provided is TMI in the sense that it's "too much information, that is not helpful to the big picture" and I really hold this view strongly. Of course, the fact that induction is obedient is comparable to removing a pot from any source of heat. But one doesn't move the pot, it stays there and there is no residual heat! With a gas flame being put out, you get that too, as long as there is no heat buildup around it. Many newbies think of induction in the same way the think of Electric coils or Electric Radiant Glasstops. This is why I wrote it all out. It needs to be written down. They need to compare it to the immediacy of a gas flame being put out, and they also need to read and re-read that there is "no comparison" to the other Electric choices. I'll admit this last sentence was inaccurate to an extent, and I welcome those who will correct it positively with a view to creating a big picture understanding for newbies.

My statement of a "millimeter" distance was an exaggeration and an illustration: the way it has been restated is all good, but there is some TMI in the responses: I think that neophytes need to see something in writing to reassure them that the invisible force field works only in a very small plane above the glass, does not heat the glass, and does not heat other things in the vicinity. My statement about distance was meant to refer to the distance of separation above the glass, not from inside the device. It also needs to be written out for newbies that one does not place a pad or a sheet of baking paper under one's pots = not as a usual course of action = as it ends up not being deemed necessary or esthetic or helpful, i.e. not deemed so by most people whose comments I have read here and elsewhere. Naturally, there may be some response in contrast to this. Or maybe not. It all depends on how I phrase it. Also, the induction field does not heat things underneath the cooktop. There, I wrote it out.

4/. I think there is not much gained in telling a neophyte something about aluminum or copper, because (going back to square one here) Unmagnetized steel doesn't heat up on induction, in the first place, so now we might see a rash of misunderstanding new question-asking posts about possible other things heating up. Oh no.

5/. Also, it's close to TMI to mention the effective distance of this alternating magnetic field but not to couch it in terms that can tell the neophyte not to worry, as this field (like all others) shrinks in power per the square of distance measured. Or, perhaps someone knows about this in better terms and can describe it better.

6/. When one connects a wall oven to a 110V circuit, it works, but weakly; then connecting it to a 220V circuit one gets 4 times the power after having only doubled the Voltage. Everyone missed a chance to say this. The point here is for neophytes not to use a 110V induction plate as their comparative inspiration when trying to figure out for the first time if they like induction. I hope this is clear and concise. I welcome all who may wish to confirm (because neophytes need to see that a fact is confirmed) that Four Times Power is produced when voltage is doubled. This assumes in this statement that it is the same "load" that is used to make the 4X statement. Let that be clear. But, the real reason for mentioning this is to confirm to one and all that a plug-in countertop induction plate is weak Because Of The Current not because it's induction.

7/. Good to know that thick pots might also emit a noise, in addition to some think steel pots. Now I'll guess that the shape of the vessel might be the source, whether thick or thin steel.

In the other recent posts, marcydc, laat2 and herring maven explained well why induction is safe, and is here to stay.

Hope I've not missed anything.

Remember this, people: correcting minutiae is not helpful to any newbie / neophyte / newcomer when you forget to come back to bigpicture terms / overall view / general situation. It generates a lot of future misunderstanding, where fine-grained detail information takes on a life of its own. The sum of these details then becomes a bunch of unresolvable obstacles preventing decisions from being made clearly.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 9:43AM
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ChefAddict, you say you have a generator but is that generator powering your whole house (i.e. all your circuits) and would you dedicate so much current in an emergency to powering a 220V 50A induction cooktop? Even if you're just using one burner it will take quite a bit of juice to operate. I wouldn't necessarily say that should guide your decision but the consideration of a generator might not be practical.

While we're on the topics of facts vs fiction, has anyone considered the cost of electricity? We have changed everything we can to gas (ovens, dryer, etc) and our electric bill has plummeted. Gas is much cheaper here so the increase in the gas bill has not even been close. Gas is also more efficient at heating versus resistive elements (note I am not talking about induction) so it's more efficient for us.

I think induction is a good choice for people who appreciate what it brings and can live within its confines. It's the latter part I personally have a problem with. Those who have switched and loved it do so because they don't want some of the things gas brings and don't find induction confining. Once again it all comes down to what you want most and what you expressly don't want.

I don't care about frying on my gas range because the oil just helps season my grates and my hotplate. I wipe down with a paper towel-- no detergents, no nothing. Plus using the right size vessel eliminates 90% of the splatter anyway. That seems to be a real secret (use a pan 2X larger than you think you "need").

Some great posts here from Kaseki, Djg1 and Herring. There's no magic to anything. If the "glass" is somehow cooler for being under a 214 degree pot of boiling water it's only because glass is a lousy conductor of heat in comparison. But like all the talk of cooking paper over simmer burners, how much time do you spend boiling water? Do you run a pasta kitchen? When I saute I'm moving and shaking the pan all over the place and that means no contact on induction whereas with gas I still have lots of convection.

Like others have said, there is no "best" just a very different set of features and limitations that suit different people. If you've never cooked with gas or induction either you're in for a learning experience either way that will surely teach you things you wished you knew in hindsight. That's ok! Experience is good.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 10:01AM
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ditto stooxie.

"with ... either you're in for a learning experience"
"either way that will surely teach you things you wished you knew in" advance.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 10:31AM
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With respect to motor-generators: If you have a significant probability of a power interruption during preparation for an important meal, or for a long-term power interruption that will affect refrigeration as well as food preparation, get a suitable motor-generator set sized for what you want to be able to keep doing.

After days without power once, I decided to resist our gravitation toward third-world status, and put in a generator. Large ones are expensive, including fuel supply installation, underground wiring, transfer switch (about a kilobuck itself), load shedding components, and possibly landscaping costs, but not expensive in comparison to kitchen reno costs. I think the latest Subzero pricing is commensurate with the total cost of my 20 kW installation.

Yesterday the power went off for a half hour due to a nearby lightening strike; the UPS on various electronics barely had time to wimp before the generator auto started. The only impact, if it were running, would have been to the dryer which is load shed along with a few other non-necessities.

My real point here is that if one wants the advantages of an electric kitchen, one needs to have a reliable source of power. But before I attacked an induction cooktop for being subject to the vagaries of the power system, I'd attack electric refrigerators for being more critically at risk.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 11:28AM
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American Range makes hybrid ranges with both gas & induction.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 11:40AM
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Induction is very cost efficient energy wise. Our electric bill runs about $50/month
(Most electric bills here are $150/month +)

It is not necessary to use power boost when boiling water, That is like "Flooring the Pedal on my 59 Dodge with 476 HP!
Lotta tire smoke and the thing takes off like a rocket Yeah it's fun, but just don't need to do that. Induction, even without boost, heats extremely quickly, so In the case of using a backup generator, you just use the induction in a more conservative manner and it aint' gonna gobble up a lotta juice!!

That 50 Amps is "OverKill" Thats assuming you are boosting as many burners as possible and all the rest on High Settings.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 11:48AM
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it is true that the 50 Amp feed is in case you ever want to cook the mostest at the highest temperatures all simultaneously. What stooxie wrote still stands.

The OP, who has an outdoor BBQ, can safely ignore the induction cooktop during a power outage, and worry only about the fridge's thermal inertia.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 12:28PM
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Okay, Kas. I give up. [very big grin] I'm no engineer, and I don't speak the lingo, though I understand it when the engineer types speak it (most of the time). :) Next time, I'm going to say, "thingummy" and "whatchamacalit". :) Last time I said induction doesn't work with anything but iron I was told, oh, no, they're working on that, it does work, but haven't got a high enough thingummy to make it work in a residential appliance; that there will eventually be induction for aluminum and copper. Though now that you bring up the whatchamacalit about being too conductive, I don't know...

Sigh. Whatever.

Cast iron works great, and carbon steel works even better, on my induction cooktop, and that's all I really care about. :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 3:59PM
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I have as of yesterday been reading about induction here and am second guessing getting my capital range top.

I did the magnet test on all my pans... and only one grill pan the magnet gets attached to nothing else... so considering atleast 500-700 bucks cost to change my pans if i do go induction.

My main concern on what is holding me back with induction is the fact that i cannot do "edge" cooking e.g if i wanted the top of the pan to be cooler where meat is and if i have a sauce/butter/whatever on the lower part which is on flame to eat and baste the meat... i wont be able to do that on the induction i am assuming?

What about adjusting heat by lifting the pan when needed in increments instead of lowering the heat?

Its a bonus but i don't do direct flame charring and i will have a outdoor grill for this.

What about being a brute on the range top and not care how hard or soft i slide the pan and throw on ?

Having said that i am intrigued by the induction... i.e cleanup, little to no energy loss and obviously the cost is a lot less than getting a capital and a gas fitter to install it ... i would say gas would be double of what induction would run me?

Any comments on these for people who cook or use both on how i use my gas burners?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 4:13PM
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it's a learning experience. Many restaurants manage very well with induction only.

yes you can be brutish with the vitroceramic top.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 4:48PM
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Since you're open to getting new cookware, I'm guessing you'd be open to learning new cooking styles? I found the change to induction quite easy. I think the biggest problem I've seen for people who have issues is that they look at the flame height rather than the knob. I've always looked at where the knob was on gas, having checked the flame height enough to know where I want to be.

Just like you'll be adapting to putting paper on the stove when you're making something spattery, you'll adapt your basting style. I do find that if I somehow get a pan half out of the ring, the outside part loses heat. That's in the Le Creuset. I'm not sure that would work with a ply pan with good conductivity, and I don't do edge cooking, so don't know if it would be a sufficient difference. BUT, since you don't have to actually tend the fires, you could put your sauce in a separate pot at the temperature you like and have it hold there. You can pour off the meat juices into the sauce as the mood takes you. No fire if you spill a little! The only downside is another small pot to wash. The DW is your friend. :)

You can't really do the tilt cooking. Most induction cooktops require at least 4" diameter to register a pot. Mine says it does, but it will heat my Turkish coffee pot which is smaller--it doesn't like it though, so I usually put that on the gas. The corner of a pan probably won't register and the element will turn off after a set amount of time. Even while it's still "on" it may not be sending out any juice--just holding your setting until you put the pot back.

No, you can't adjust the heat by lifting, for the same reason as above, but induction is responsive enough that you don't need to. If you want to adjust the heat you just adjust the heat. If you have some kind of two stage heating method that you toggle back and forth on, some models, inc. Gaggenau, have a program memory. You don't need an automatic rice cooker, for instance, you put in the program for two cups of rice to boil just so long then simmer so long then turn off once. Then you just call up the memory any time you want to make rice. You can set different programs for different quantities and types, too, though there are a finite number of memory slots. I think you could probably use the memory function to toggle between temperatures too, though I don't know if it's easier than just adjusting it manually.

Anything crystaline and sharp, like sugar or salt, can scratch the ceramglass cooktop. It's best to wipe those up right away, before you slide. If you drop a cast iron frying pan from several feet, you could break the glass or the pan. It's tough stuff, however. If you don't mind a few scratches, slide away. Or put a Silpat mat under your pot and slide on that. in general, yes, you can be a brute, but perhaps you'd like to be a civilized brute. That is, not baby your cooking, but don't clang around just for the fun of clanging.

Also, "little to no energy loss" is overstating it. The process within the kitchen of getting the fuel to be heat in the pan is much more efficient than other methods, but it's not quite that perfect. And you always have to consider how the energy is getting to your kitchen, and what the losses are along the way. Rather than focusing on that, it's better to look at the noticeable results: i.e., there is no direct heating of the air from the inductors. There's some heating of the air from the pan, but a huge difference from gas. BTW, there's also some heating of the electronics in operation, and there's always a cooling fan and some kind of air volume underneath. When you run the cooktop continuously for a many hours, the air volume may get warm, and even the counter can, right around the area. Not hot. Just warm. This isn't by an means a completely efficient system. It's just darned good.

Your best bet is to get a demo--or several demos--at showrooms with the models you're interested in. See and feel it. Get a portable unit to try out--it'll be a lot less powerful than a built-in, but it'll also give you a taste of the potential.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 1:51AM
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"... Get a portable unit to try out--it'll be a lot less powerful than a built-in, but it'll also give you a taste of the potential. "

This is true. It's a function of electricity, not a function of the cooking thingie. It runs off a 110V circuit. OTOH, one gets 4 times the power from a 220V circuit. This is true for any cooking apparatus.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 10:14AM
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It is Power that is important. Not Voltage.

A 1800w 110v table top induction unit will work EXACTLY THE SAME as a 1800w 220v hob in a cooktop or range. The 220v hob will NOT have '4 times the power' because it is connected to 220v.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 1:13PM
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Yes. The "W" is Watts, and this is power.

A 2800W burner will be more powerful than a 1800W one.

Fagor makes both portable (110V) and built-in (230V) cooktops. Maybe an email to Fagor will give us an answer about boiling speeds on portable and on built-in cooktops. Sometimes the real power is less than the rated power.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 1:49PM
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In my experience, an 1800W 110V induction hot plate is a lot slower than my 1800W element (no boost) on my built in. I don't know anything about theory of volts and wires and watts and ohms and amps and fragglesnaffs and how they relate to it, but according to what's in my pot, built-in is better. Still, the little portable was a great introduction to induction, and better than the underpowered gas cooktop I had in my old kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 2:45PM
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A * V = W. Hold watts constant and it doesn't matter (for the most part) what the voltage and current are.

40 Amps at 220V yields 8,800 watts. That is not achievable with residential 110V circuits that cap out at 20 amps. Don't forget the "everything must only be 80%" rule so really 1,800 watts is the most you should draw from a 20amp circuit.

What some seem to be missing is that if 1800 watts is 20 amps at 110V it's only 10 amps at 220V.

A single portable 1800W induction plate at 110V can still draw a mighty load! For the sake of comparison a standard 135PSI air compressor will draw a good 15Amps while filling the tank.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 3:35PM
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Most residential kitchens have circuits that can only draw 15 Amperes officially, because the kitchen was built before... The OP is considering options prior to rebuilding, so it is a probable scenario.

This makes a portable induction device work with far fewer Amps than it might appear to work with. The circuit is too "small".

Then, derating everything down to 80% of the "official" Ampere rating will bring the current down to a lower amount again: 12 Amperes (!).

In a built-in device, the 80% lowering rule does not apply to each individual burner. The 80% lowering rule applies to the aggregate total current of that circuit, so it does not lower the current going into that one burner that you are testing out.


If you have a recently rebuilt kitchen you might have 20 Ampere circuits in your backsplash and a 20 Ampere outlet on each one.

Or those 20A backsplash circuits might terminate with 15A outlets.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 4:20PM
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At the risk of oversimplification: What current is drawn, what current can be drawn, and what current should be drawn are not the same thing. Further, these all depend on how the house was wired and whether it is compliant with code.

A proper 20A circuit will supply 20A (or a bit more) before the circuit breaker switches. However, if one is doing this through a 15A rated receptacle, one is not complying with the code. (Normally, doing so would be difficult anyway because the standard plug that fits the 15A receptacle is used on appliances not requiring more than 15A. Receptacles rated for 20A accept plugs with a rotated blade.)

The wire used for a given ampacity circuit has to account for a bunch of factors in determining its size. Typically, 20A circuits are constructed with AWG 12 conductors, while 15A circuits are constructed with AWG 14 conductors. These have enough current capability to meet code taking into account likely applicable derating factors, but the acceptability is site and layout dependent.

The current drawn by an induction unit at its specified voltage is determined by its design. It will pull that current at full power unless limited by voltage drop or opening of the circuit breaker or fuse. An 1800W rated unit that interfaces to 120V power doesn't actually operate at one-half or one-quarter of the power of an 1800W rated built-in unit that uses 240V. If it seems weaker, this is due to it having a less efficient design and not because it runs at a different voltage.

I'm not aware of any code requirement that specifies that 120V wiring has to be limited to 20A. It is easy to find single pole breakers with higher current ratings. But in my experience higher powered appliances are usually designed for 240V for the reasons I described earlier -- less expensive copper conductors.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 5:25PM
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I agree with your 4th paragraph, and I never said the opposite.

According to the GW wiring forum and to other sources, it is allowed to install 15A outlets on 20A kitchen backsplash circuits.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 5:55PM
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plllog: Appreciate your comments and suggestions.

I guess boils down to as you suggested that i try an induction stove and see how i like it.

I am not attached to my pots and pans i have a "favourite" pan here and there... but all are cheapy things.. i don't believe in "even heat" or any of that... we humans can adapt to everything easily. Lot of food-nerds or gourmet-wannabes make faces but as long as the product is good i don't care.

Unfortunately when i do cook its all rush rush like its a line here even though i don't need to but that's the only i know how to be in a kitchen.

In terms of changing my cooking method its doable... I haven't been to any commercial kitchens yet that have induction so i haven't used one yet.

I think i will have to find a store that may have one or a friend who owns one.

My only expensive pan is the Le Creuset grill pan and it passed the magnet test... rest didn't.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 11:27PM
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Wait a second! We have power outtages and during them, never have I thought about using the cooktop for something to eat. Think about it. Would I make a big dinner during an outtage? If having company, much is prepared ahead anyway.

We have a new Bosch 30" induction cooktop which has timers on each hob. Will shut itself off.

Never a gas leak with induction.

No vibrations or noise with my Bosch and I do not have expensive cookware. Macy's brand, T.J. Marshall's, aluminized steel Nordic Ware 12" ridged grill pan around $25, Analon (ultimate or such) from Macy's, it all works great.

My cousin who finished reno'ing her kitchen 6 mos. before me, yesterday said she regrets that she didn't know about induction. Her gas cooktop is a big pain to clean. She fondles my Bosch!

I can go from one power to another power without hitting any plus or minus buttons.

Do I ever miss the romance of the flame? or the smell of gas? or, you get it.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 12:44AM
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westsider40: the aluminized steel, do they pass the magnet test... i.e does a magnet stick to them?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 1:52AM
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Thanks guys ... i love reading this every day.. and glad that people keep commenting.. cause im telling you im still tossed up about this..

i will add that i am going to a Miele demo on wednesday next week, should be interesting because i heard there going to be displaying the new no boundaries cooktop, where you can place the pan anywhere.. and induction takes over.. kinda cool to have a Miele factory store in our area to go to..

Im still 80% on Wolf right now, think i may do a 30 inch.. and team that with the wolf 15' grill. or go 36' but lets see what Miele has to show me.. maybe things might totally change.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 1:55AM
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if i was picking between wolf and induction id do induction too... i am biased AGAINST wolf.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 2:19AM
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Yes, Davidro1, it is allowed to connect 15A receptacles to a 20A protected circuit. However, it is not allowed to pull 20A from any single outlet of one of those receptacles.

Yes, a 240V 20A circuit can supply twice the power as a 120V 20A circuit at each circuit's current limit.

Yes, a 240V 20A circuit can supply four times the power as a 120V 20A circuit to a specific fixed load of sufficiently high resistance that neither current limit is breached. However, we are not allowed to plug devices into outlets irrespective of their voltage rating.

None of these facts have anything to do with the power supplied to a pan by an 1800W induction hob, whether designed for 120 Vac or 240 Vac. The heating will be equal unless one unit has a less efficient design than the other, or the marketing is more removed from the truth for one unit than for the other.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 10:57AM
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Thanks, Kas! Before the whole discussion of wires, I had kind of thought the difference was, as you said, the quality (efficiency) of the built-in, expensive, fancy unit vs. the $100 countertop adequate one. The countertop unit is slower, and, because it has fewer steps between highest and lowest, it's hard to control properly (I would have to change between two settings because one was a little too high and the other too low). But while it's slower, it's not far and away different.

I've noticed with induction that seeimingly small differences in power ratings make a bigger difference in cooking than I experienced with gas.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 11:29AM
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Yes, jmith, aluminized steel passed the magnet test. I believe it is also advertised as induction capable on the Nordic Ware site.

I found it at Walmart---with my magnet.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 12:50PM
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Kas' explanation is right on. The main point is that saying that 240v appliances supply four times as much power is technically accurate if equal load is assumed but if you plugged your 120v induction cooktop into a 240v circuit, you would have a nice little fire in your kitchen. Ultimately, the whole 120v vs 240v argument is a bit of a tangent since we are really talking about efficiency in generating heat to the pan.

One important thing that hasn't been discussed is resistance verses inductance. Impedance is the combination of resistive and reactive loss. What this means is that an old resistive heating coil burner rated at 1500W has the same impedance as the best 1500W induction burner made today. But just because both consume the same amount of power does not mean they are equally efficient at heating food.

The old electric coil burners converted electricity into heat directly using a resistive load. The actual conversion efficiency is quite good *but* heat was lost through transfer through the pan to the food. Also, half the heat was lost because it radiated downward as well as upward. On the other hand, an ideal induction burner would have zero resistive heating (loss) and all of the input power would be converted into the EM radiation; i.e. 100% reactive load. And due to the nature of magnetic flux, an iron core would draw surrounding flux which reduces "back side" losses. The net affect is, more of the energy put in goes into the pan and therefore is one step closer to the food.

Now we all know that nothing is perfect in this world. All circuits have both inductive and resistive loss. It is not hard to imagine that cheap table top induction hobs have higher resistive loss in the system thus less net induction affect for a given power input. One key stage where I think loss often occurs especially in small cheap burners is in the frequency multiplier.

Back to the original question of induction vs gas. It's such a subjective question that I don't think anything new can be presented here to help you decide. plllog gave a pretty concise summary of all the various pros and cons that have been posted over the years. I went with gas because the cost of a dedicated wok hob is high and, frankly, I like open flame. :P Also, I like using my old pots and pans.

It's really what you are use to and what you prefer to cook on. I have nothing against induction and aside from a few nits, I've enjoyed cooking on them when I've had the chance. With the right cookware, induction is hard to beat with regard to speed and efficiency. That said, I still have a hard time imagining induction replacing gas in demanding environments like a commercial kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 2:25PM
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Another item in the apples and oranges watts is magnetic field strength and its area of coverage. Portable units initially show a very active circular area close to the center of a pan of water and the liquid farther away is very dependent at first on water circulation to pick up heat. 240v units have much more powerful "reach" and uniformity over much larger areas within shorter periods of time.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 3:18PM
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I don't think there's any question that induction is more efficient then resistive elements, but it still draws a heck of a lot of current and electricity tends to be expensive. These induction ranges aren't rated for 40 or 50 amps because they don't need it. My gas bill was $22 last month, including dryer, range and water heater. Obviously that goes up in the winter.

I'm not arguing one way or another, I think induction makes a lot of sense for a lot of folks. I just personally can't get over the juice they take:

Bosch NIT5065UC
Current (A): 40 A
Voltage (V): 208-240 V
Frequency (Hz): 60 Hz
Approval certificates: CSA
Plug type: No plug
Location of 1st heating element: front left
Power of 1st heating element (kW): 2.2 kW
Location of 2nd heating element: back left
Power of 2nd heating element (kW): 1.4 kW
Location of 3rd heating element: back right
Power of 3rd heating element (kW): 2.4 kW
Location of 4th heating element: Cooking zone front right
Power of 4th heating element (kW): 1.4 kW

40 amps at 220 is equal to 80 amps at 110!! If you have just one 2200W hob on you are consuming 10 amps@220V which is the equivalent of a full 20 amp 110V circuit.

Efficient they may be, but I don't think it would ever cost less than gas unless you lived next to a hydro plant. That said, my only point is that if the OP is going to choose induction I'm not sure "efficiency" should be much of a consideration.

For the sake of argument, btw, let's assume both a gas burner and induction hob are on for 10 minutes. You might be able to boil water in half the time of gas but onions aren't going to suddenly brown in half the time or that soup simmer any more quickly. Proteins and sugars act very differently from water molecules!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 4:39PM
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Stooxie is correct about costs. Of course, it depends on your electricity rates. Here in San Jose we have steeply progressive rates, and my last incremental kWhrs are at about 34 cents each. That 2200W hob running full blast for 1 hour would cost me 75 cents, where in N.C. Duke Energy would charge about 20 cents. The equivalent 16000BTU/hr gas burner would cost me about 22 cents -- in the winter it would also help heat the room, in the summer it may add to A/C cost (no A/C at my house). Induction can help the cooks to keep their cool.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 4:57PM
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I am mulling replacing my 48" range w/something smaller. Also we are looking at installing large-ish photovoltaic system this Fall, so I'd have access to on-site generated electricity. I looked at the American range hybrids, and studying the specs I see that they wouldn't handle my large canners and then I thought: Duh! Induction won't handle any of my pressure canners (all aluminnum), or probably not even my boiling water bath canners, either (thin enamel on "steel", with not-flat bottoms). Though I suppose I could find very large, magnetic stock pots to replace those. So maybe what I need is a more module-like arrangement, with some huge gas burners and some induction for daily cooking. Does that mean I only have pricey Gaggennau to chose from? Anybody make a range that isn't divided horizontally like the American, but more front to back between gas and induction sections?

I have a portable induction unit now (nothing special, just the Viking model) and I am quite fond of using it, but I like the feel of gas, too. No pressure canning on it, though. I have canned little batches of specialty stuff w/induction in a stockpot, but when my kitchen is done I need to get back to major canning where I use 16 - 20+" diameter pots.

If the OP was thinking of canning, esp. pressure canning, then an all-induction unit may not work. I don't know of any non-aluminum pressure canners available on the market today. There are obviously ferrous pressure pans -Fagor, KuhnRikon, Wearever, etc., - but none big enough for serious multi-pint/quart pressure canning batches. Using a heat transfer plate with a larger aluminum cannerr might alter the highly critical pressure/temp/timing relationships required in pressure canning. I haven't seen any comments about this on canning forums, however.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 6:51PM
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Major home canning activities and most non commercial induction cooktops don't mesh. For one thing there are shutdown cicuits to protect against overheating from unusually long periods of high power use. This isn't something to be welcomed in the middle of a canning frenzy.One maker suggested alternating between the left and right sides of the cooktop while canning to avoid the problem.
Determine the task first then choose the equipment to get it done.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 7:36PM
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amcook writes: "That said, I still have a hard time imagining induction replacing gas in demanding environments like a commercial kitchen."

Actually, commercial kitchens are where induction appliances have their highest market penetration. A sous-chef's sleeve will not catch fire on an induction "burner" (lower insurance premiums), and the reduced HVAC load from less waste heat going into the kitchen saves a lot of money -- and the bottom line is what "commercial" is all about. If you have dined at a Michelin 3-star restaurant in Paris, you probably have eaten food cooked on induction burners.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 7:55PM
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Not trying to be argumentative but I am interested to know where your statistics come from. Also, I'm not sure what "highest market penetration" is in relation to. Are you saying that induction has highest adoption rate in restaurants as compared to residential? I don't think you are saying that more induction hobs are being sold to restaurants than gas burners are you? Your last sentence seems to imply just that. I do find that a little hard to believe. I don't dispute that commercial adoption of induction might outpace residential adoption but I would think that is only by a small margin. I've been out of the commercial cooking world for quite a number of years so I may be a bit old fashioned compared to modern restaurant owners/cooks but my friends and family that are still in the business still prefer gas without exception. An in-law of mine who owns a restaurant and catering business only uses portable induction hobs at locations that don't allow for open flame. He says the cost of induction ranges is too high and cost of induction cookware is way too high. He goes through about 50 saute pans in a single 60-80 cover service *and* those have to be replaced about every 6-12 months. He also feels that most line chefs prefer, and are more use to, gas which makes things easier to manage. I know just one person's opinion but I've heard similar from others. That's why I'm so curious to hear alternate opinions from people in the business.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:59PM
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It takes my induction cooktop 6 minutes to heat the water for my 2-qt teapot to ca. 190F. At 2000W, say, this would be 0.2 kW-hr. At 20 cents per kW-hr, I would have paid 4 cents for the electricity. The "waste" vs. gas would be 4 cents minus the cost of the gas that would be required to heat the water for maybe 10 minutes to get it to the same temperature. This latter value is unclear, but I would be surprised if it were less than 2 cents worth.

I could also save 5% or so by using an electric kettle where all of the heat gets to the water instead of the 95% more or less of the induction hob.

On the other hand, the electricity cost pales into the background, if not insignificance, when I consider that the 5 to 10 gms of tea I use for these two quarts costs about 50 cents to a dollar, depending on the tea plantation and picking time.

I would conjecture that the imputed interest on the value of the floor space that the cooktop sits over exceeds the cost of the electricity it uses, per year. (Production canning activities excluded.) The imputed interest on the induction cooktop certainly does, and so would the imputed interest for a Wolf or CC range if I had one.

The electricity cost is a small price to pay for convenience and efficiency.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 11:57AM
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Kaseki, so far boiling water is all anyone talks about in regards to efficiency. Can you give me some other examples? How much time do you save searing a steak? How much time do you save reducing a stock? How much time do you save caramelizing onions?

The efficiency of induction won't mean that all your food suddenly gets cooked in half the time.

If we're going to make arguments in support of induction let's see something more than "I can boil water lickety split". To me that ranks right up there with how long can one keep a piece of paper on a burner before ignition.

Now, I agree that the utility cost might be a minor consideration and, in fact, I said that a few posts above. It probably isn't worth the consideration. That is just in response all this talk that the efficiency is itself worth anything. Wikipedia claims that induction is only about 13% more efficient than regular elements.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 1:25PM
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My message was directed toward electricity cost and not total cooking time making a meal. Induction will speed up getting a pan warm in many cases, but one cooks food at a specific heat input/temperature/time and this part of the process is going to be independent of the means by which heat energy is induced into the pan/pot as long as the heating means can meet the requirement. Sufficiently powerful gas burners will equal counterpart induction hobs in this respect.

A possible exception might be the higher powered Cooktek hobs, such as their induction wok. The gas burner required to equal the heat input from 3500W of induction might exceed some safety limit for residential use. On the other hand, this level of input is likely rarely needed. (I think caramelizing a large amount of marinated meat would be an example. I haven't tried yet to see how well it can handle a quantity of meat and liquid that would overpower a lesser heat source.)

So, as noted, the issues that separate induction from gas are pyro-primitivism, ease of cleaning, reaction time for heat changes, waste heat into the kitchen, look and feel, difficulty of upgrading wiring or gas lines, safety, and dependence on electricity supply (although note that some gas ranges may inhibit operation without electric power.)

If none of these dominate the selection process, then we are into the area of personal preference, which is somewhat outside our ability to advise.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 10:01AM
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Laat2 brings up a good point about the limits of hotplates. I'd forgotten the circle thing. My oval dutch oven on my cheap induction hotplate pretty much only heated in the center where the circle is. The corners heated from spread, but not directly at all. I ended up scorching it that way, though not irretrievably. On the built-in, it takes a little while to heat evenly, but it does.

Regarding costs, I suppose I could do a measured analysis by watching the electric meter, but I haven't. I have a five [insert units of measure--I forget] solar station on my roof. It more than covers everything in the house but a/c and the new electric kitchen (old one was gas and not used much for real cooking). I'm pretty sure that the added refrigeration and oven usage account for a big chunk of the difference, and quite possibly the lighting and even the DVR, but I'm sure the induction also contributes to the difference. Since my bills are pretty consistent, I can't say that making stock or soup provides big electricity suckage, though that's probably offset by a reduction in oven usage for the same period due to said long boils.

Liriodendron, good point about the pressure canning. I always forget that one. Several people who can have mentioned ending up using an outdoor big flame, like a turkey fryer, and induction inside. I get a little nervous around pressure cookers in general, which probably explains this, but I feel a reluctance to put a pressure cooker on induction. That's just a feeling, not anything reasonable. I have water bath canned some small jars of marmalade in a big dutch oven on my induction hot plate, and that went fine, but that's a totally different animal. So... I think what it is is that it with a water bath you can see what the water is doing, and it will hold very steady on the induction. With a pressure cooker/canner you have to rely on the gauge and can't look at the flame. After more than a year of using the induction I'm only just getting to the point of being able to cook by number. I started off feeling the heat over the pan, and going from there. So maybe that's the source of my discomfort.

Re induction in commercial kitchens, I think world wide adoption is higher than U.S., same as with residential. We've had a lot of professional cooks stop by over the years and talk about induction. I get the feeling that in the U.S. it is used a lot to add cooking surface to a small kitchen that has no room for another range, has taken over for buffet service, and when it is used as primary heat, it's more in smaller kitchens with limited oven use (i.e., no range). Much of the usage seems to be portable units rather than installed cooking surfaces. What Amcook has said about reasons to resist induction jibes with this. That is, that it's used additionally rather than as a replacement for gas. OTOH, where someone is putting in a hole in the wall cafe in an ancient building abroad, where gas is only available in balloons with delivery issues, but electricity is nuclear and plentiful, and there are limitations on ventilation, it seems like induction might be much more appealing. I don't know what is actually happening in those situations, other than vague rumors, but it's an interesting question. I wonder if there are commercial units being developed with zoneless technology? Like, can you imagine an induction French top, or the equivalent?

I wonder if the availability of gas, or lack thereof, is also why they're working so hard on induction ovens. I don't know if the current residential induction ranges have induction or conventional electric ovens, but induction ovens do seem odd. So far, the only design I've seen is where induction is used to heat a cast iron slab.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 2:27PM
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ChefAddict and jmith:
Wondering why jmith is biased against Wolf.
ChefAddict, what did you decide after the Miele demo?
Would love to hear feedback--Miele or Wolf?
Thank you.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 12:04AM
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@makmo73: I have cooked on commercial wolf and other commercial brands... I always assumed the residential wolf would be similar but alas it was not what i expected, so i have negative feelings towards it, hence the bias.

To me i would get something cheaper (Bertazzoni) and save my money instead of getting wolf rangetop.

People i think get wolf for just the name, also i could be completely wrong and home cooks may love wolf because it may do what they want perfectly.

For my home i will be getting a CC, i always thought having different btus on ranges was a silly concept.

Wolf ovens are great though.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 3:47AM
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So ChefAddict what did you end up with? My gas stove just died and "induction" looks very good because I hate cleaning stovetops and have a husband that keeps leaving the gas jet on:).

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 12:09PM
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If I had a husband that kept leaving the gas jet on, then I would think it would be a "no brainer" choice between induction or gas! If he were to leave the induction turned on, it would turn off automatically if there no longer were a (magnetic) pan on it. Of course, induction was the choice for me anyway for many reasons. And I so far am extremely happy with my choice. It works great and clean-up is a breeze.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 4:51PM
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A lot of induction units will turn off automatically after they haven't been adjusted for 4 hours (or whatever their preset is) even if there's a pot on. A little flummoxing when you forget about that and it turns off under the stock. :) Those also often have "Sabbath Mode" which prevents them from turning off, though that setting sometimes is also limited in its temperature setting for safety since if you're using it for actual Sabbath you need a very low temperature anyway.

Get the induction with the automatic off and hide the Sabbath Mode instructions from the forgetful husband and you're all set!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 5:02PM
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@p111og: Intresting point you brought up so if i was reducing a few hocks (usually the whole day) then after 4 hours it would stop.

Which Induction tops would have this behaviour or all have them?

I am looking at the bosch 500 series and read the manual (well skimmed through) but did not read about sabath mode or a 4 hour time out.

I am getting more and more interested in induction but at the same time i am a bit cautious.

I like the sleek/modern look and the cleanup, thats about it.

Here in toronto (canada) not sure if gas (13.6891 c/m3 or 13.6891 c/36000btu) is more costly or hydro (6.800 c/kWh - 7.900 c/kWh).

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 12:16AM
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Induction isn't about the looks, and it's not even about the clean-up. It's about the responsiveness and power! I really do prefer it to gas, and I have both! Your caution is understandable. The two things that standard, residential induction isn't as easy for are wokkery and pressure canning, which are both things that are best done with specialized burners. Induction also isn't for a beloved collection of Mauviel, or other copper cookware. Before you decide, try out induction and see how you like it. If you miss the flames and heat, it's not for you. If you're not used to adjusting the heat by number, give yourself a chance to get comfortable with it before deciding.

Re the auto-shutoff, check the manual thoroughly before you buy to be sure. My own (bought in England) unit has it, and does not have Sabbath Mode. It will run continuously for one to ten hours, depending on the power setting. I don't leave things unattended on the stove for whole days, so wiggling the temperature control every few hours is no problem. If the setting is perfect, then it's just turning it up and back.

It's certainly not safe to leave a pot simmering on gas without anyone to look after it, so it's really not different from using gas except for having to actually touch the control every few hours.

Not all units have the "automatic time limiter", or, at least, they don't mention it in their manuals. The only time it should really be a problem is if you're actually using it for Sabbath, and want it to be on for as long as three days running (temperature below the level of actual cooking). If you want to leave the house with a simmering pot on, however, it would be safer to use a crockpot.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 2:52PM
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@p111og: Your first sentence kind of sold me a bit more on the induction... not only will i get better looks and easier cleanup but also will have better control of heat and have it work in my favour/efficiency.

I do some "wokkery" and none of the canning. I think in my search today i have found many woks are being made to accomodate the induction but nothing will beat a wok burner and i don't think a BS or CC would beat a wok burner either.

I think i read this thread twice today and i am about to cancell my CC order and switch it to an induction.

I am going to get the Bosch 500 series 36" unit (NIT5665UC).

I am vaguely excited to be amazed with the induction now when the construction finishes.

Any comments positive/negative on the bosch 500 36" unit?
Also for venting should i stick to a vah 600cfm or i can take it down to 300cfm or whats recommended?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 7:07PM
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in addition to plllog's first sentence, induction is foolproof. Autoshutoff prevents massive accidents; it senses when things are beginning to burn or spill over, so you end up with a small accident. This enables you to feel some guilt or sheepishness, but also gratitude that the technology is that good! In addition to plllog's first sentence.

in ontario manitoba and quebec, "hydro" will always be low cost compared to gas. It doesn't matter if it's lower cost or not. It will be a low cost energy, compared to gas. There is a huge supply of hydro.

It doesn't matter if you get a 30" or a 36" width of induction cooktop. It really doesn't.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 11:25PM
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If the cost of replacing your cookware is a factor in considering induction, you should look at Ikea's 365+ line of cookware. I have several of their pots and saucepans. The quality is great and the price is unbelievable.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 11:35PM
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@dividro1: I have been doing some calcs... here is what i came up with the bosch 500 e.g vs the CC.

1/ For the induction cooktop with 6 hobs:

- avg power of all hobs about 2kWh.
- Assuming in ontario current peak time hydro cost is about $0.08 / kWh.
- Assuming avg of 1hr of use per day for 365days.

I get cost to operate 1 hob @ 2kWh for 1 year = $58.40

2/ For the gas rangetop with 6 burners.

- avg power of all hobs is 23000btu
- gas price in therm is about $0.37608
- Assuming avg of 1hr use per day for 365 days

I get cost to operate 1 burner @ 23000btu for 1 year = $31.57

Assuming induction is atleast 70% efficient (Meaning instead of using everyday for 60mins... one is using it for 40 mins) so you would save about $17.52 a year because items will get to the heat that much quicker and cooking times will be reduced.

So based on 70% efficiency for induction over gas the corrected yearly cost to run the induction would be = $40.88

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 11:43PM
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My rates were a bit off.

In ontario worst case scenario for Elec is $0.0709 / kWh
In ontario worst case scenario for Gas is $0.6099 therm

SO Costings change a follows:

Cost to operate 1 hob @ 2kWh for 1 year = $51.76
Cost to operate 1 burner @ 23000btu for 1 year = $51.20

70% efficiency savings per year for induction = $15.53
Final cost to operate 1 hob @ 2kWh for 1 year with 70% efficiency = $36.23

I am not sure if this makes sense that in Toronto, Ontario gas usage vs induction is exactly same but after efficiency calc elec is cheaper?

I got my pricings from

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 1:43AM
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The irony meter is pegged: jmith is now shopping for a Sabbath-mode induction cooker in order to be able to reduce ham hocks....

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 1:58AM
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LOL!! Angie, Sabbath mode also works on Sundays. ;)

Jsmith, there are a few different ways to wok with induction. All are something of a compromise, but each in its own way. The easiest is if you're okay with a flat bottomed wok. It doesn't have the same whooshing as a round bottomed wok, but it's very well suited to induction. The hardest is to have a special wok unit, either a dish shaped one that you can set your favorite old carbon steel wok into (these also come as portables), or the ultra expensive Gaggenau 15" wide super powerful one for which you have to buy the separately very expensive special wok ring and wok which transmit the induction, supposedly for good wokkery (I haven't tried it, and I'm not very good with a wok). The advantage of the latter is that you can throw all that power at your hocks as well.

The other two options are middling on the compromise scale. One is the Demeyere induction wok. I haven't seen any others like it. It's a round bottomed multi-ply stainless wok with little ball feet that look a bit like the Gaggenau wok ring. One presumes that the little ball feet do the same thing to transmit the induction up the sides of the wok. Again, I haven't tried it or seen it in action, but I believe it has gotten good reviews.

The last option that I know of is a weird one, but the one I chose. It's the flat bottom, round interior cast iron wok. Both Le Creuset and Lodge make them. The big issue is that the bottom isn't big enough to trigger the powerful outer ring of a large double element, and that's usually where the big kW's are. The problem is that it takes a long time for the cast iron wok to get hot in the first place on induction, since the energy has to travel up the sides, and it might be more efficient to heat it in an oven first. The compromises, however, are in the handling of the wok. It's totally different to using a carbon steel one. It's heavy. You don't go tossing it with one hand to mix the contents unless you have wrists of steel. But, being that this is induction, you also don't need to lift it to adjust the temperature. The reaction to changes of setting with induction, even with something as dense as cast iron, is just short of instantaneous. So instead of lifting the wok to lower the heat, you adjust the setting. Also, while the reaction to setting changes in the depth of the bowl is immediate, because of the mass, adding items doesn't cool off the whole wok like it does on a regular one, and induction is passing excitation rather than heat itself, so the recovery time is good. You also should be good with your tools, because it's more about manipulating the food rather than manipulating the wok.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 5:18AM
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Oh, sorry. Re the Bosch, if you use the search box at the bottom of the page of threads I think you'll find some recent ones that discuss Bosch units. The big differences in induction are in the size and location of elements, the power and power sharing arrangement, the number of power levels, the way the controls operate, the way the timers and memory (if there is one) operated, and other similar electronic features. And appearance.

We don't get a lot of negatives about specific inductions units. Many of the brands buy their inductors from companies like Fagor that have been making them for decaces, though some make their own. I think more make their own than make microwaves. As far as I know they're all pretty reliable.

Some of the earliest models we heard a lot about on this forum were De Dietrich, where were a specialty import from when induction was big in Europe and Asia, but all but forgotten here. Fori had an old induction cooktop from the first wave a couple of decades ago, but they kind of came and went at the time. There were a number of people who brought in the De Dietrich units who did have repair issues down the road. It may be that there just isn't enough time in the current wave of induction in North America. So far, however, in the last four or so years since I've been on GW, induction has gone from a secret known mostly to GardenWebbers, to Kenmore and Kelly Ripa mass distribution.

Which is a long and round about way of saying that I don't think you can go wrong with any unit that suits you. Check the manuals online, and go to The Induction Site for some comparisons. They're not always up to date, but it's a very useful resource.

As to the vent, stick with the 600 cfm. A more powerful hood on a lower setting is supposed to do a better job than a lesser unit working at top power. Also, you might be glad of every bit of it when and if you do use your wok.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 5:31AM
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@p111log: Appreciate the detailed responses re: wokkery and misc induction info. re: vent will stick with my 600 vah which is magically charged to higher but i think its just 600cfm.

I also spent a few mins looking at health hazards re: low level emmisions from induction and seems like as far as we know so far in science its a non issue unless i decide to put me head on the HOB.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 11:42AM
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I am going to go try out the induction and culinarian in the same day and report back my findings.

I am having hard time deciding on a day to day basis as some days i am sold on induction some days when i go into a kitchen and cook or even see a video or two of the culinarian i go back to the gas camp!

I will report back in a week or two.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 2:26AM
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We'll look forward to it. Meantime, consider if you might like to get both gas and induction. :) Several of us have. Some have a range with a small induction unit to the side. Others have induction with a gas wok burner to the side. I make my own combo cooktop with a two burner gas unit and a three element induction unit (from Europe) side by side.

I mostly use the induction. I knew I would. I like the gas for toasting and charring, and it's good to have an alternative in an emergency.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 2:28PM
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Just finished reading this and was amazed at the see-sawing between scientific jargon and gee whizzing. (smile)
Count me as a gee whizzer. I learned about induction here and went through some ridiculous hoops putting in a dedicated 220 for it. (Excuse the simplification of 220. I wasn't interested in the process, just the result)
We finally settled on the Bosch 5065, mainly for looks and the smallest steel strips that food could collect in.
Already, within a few weeks, it has saved me. First time was when I was making soup and our tree fell on a neighbor's house (don't get me started). Naturally I forgot about the soup, it boiled over, the unit shut off, and clean up took about 2 minutes. Amazing.
The shut off timer that I thought I would never use just turned off the unit while I was happily lost on GW without a care in the world. I've run out to get some last minute groceries while something was on the cooktop and was at peace knowing the shut off timer would save me if I got stuck in traffic (or chatting to a friend!).
I live in Southern California and every single time I made pasta, I ate dinner flushed with heat. For the first time, I don't have to open a window and turn on a fan just to eat comfortably!
I have a smaller kitchen and was replacing a beautiful 42 inch Chambers but I really wanted more counter space. I went all the way down to a 30 inch cooktop and there is NO way that I regret that.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 3:52PM
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Jsmith: unless you have a metal plate in your head, you may rest your head comfortably on the induction hob with no radiated EMF. The hob will not activate.

All bets are off if you decide to put your head in the pan while cooking...;-)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 4:18PM
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Weedmeister, I think Jsmith meant to put the head next to the pot on an active element. With induction, one could do just that with no ill effects bar spatter. Not a good idea to fall asleep there though, and snuggle up to the warm pot. Gradual heating can lead to serious burns. ;)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 7:23PM
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great narrative, amela. I'll admit to doing similar things too. Induction has saved me from a lot of embarrassment.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 10:17PM
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@amela: You basically summed it up what i go throw when i cook and when done basically require a shower! Your opinion has been valueable to me and is pushed me a bit closer to the induction-camp.

@weedmeister & p111og: lol but i meant the hobs produce radiation similar to the mobile phones (as i gathered from few euro govt published docs) and as long as your head is not on the hob while its on i am good. I probably get more radiation from my phone on a daily basis than anything else.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 11:28PM
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The frequency of my Kenmore (Electrolux Icon clone) induction cooktop is about 40 kHz on low settings, dropping in frequency as the power level is increased. Forty kilohertz is 25,000 times lower in frequency than a typical cell phone.

The field seems fairly weak at the edge of a hob. That is, it is not easily coupled to with a wire loop, and probably less easily coupled to with one's head. I used a short wire loop hooked to an oscilloscope probe positioned next to a Demeyere steel kettle. The kettle was displaced about one inch from concentric with the hob. Under these conditions, the induced waveform was about 1 mV, peak, at the cooktop surface at low power, rising modestly towards 2 mV with increased power.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 11:13AM
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Plllog and others: Wht brand do you have when you create your own hybrid? I am remodeling a house on a lake and will have a small kitchen (unfortunately)... have a Gaggenau combi oven steamer and am trying to determine what other appliances to get. Was happy with previous dacor 36 gas range, but am also trying to be more frugal and not get the best of the best. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 1:23PM
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I didn't put big limits on my appliance budget. No custom built Molteni range, or anything like that, and I did draw the line when Gaggenau did a 38% price increase two days before I went in to buy (I hadn't been online for awhile so didn't see any warnings).

My cooktop area is under a 48" hood. It was going to be three Gaggenau Vario 15" units before the price increase. I also was jealous of every inch of counter space just there, and wanted the top drawer underneath, so I nixed Plan A, and went with the relatively much cheaper, but still by no means frugal, Wolf 15" two burner gas, and a self-imported Gaggenau 3 element induction cooktop, an extra few inches of counter on either side, and a shallow top drawer (which could have been full utensil depth but I wanted it to match the others instead of being lower and capturing some extra space from the drawer below).

I also have the Gagg combi-steam over single convection oven. I love the combi-, but wouldn't be without a conventional oven. I use the broiler one a week or so, I use it for baking, I do use the rotisserie, though it's messy, and the pizza stone with its own heat element is excellent.

Having said all of that, if you have an outdoor grill which you use year round (if you'll be there in bad weather), with a broiler and maybe a rotisserie, and you don't bake a lot, you might not miss a regular oven. And if you won't be entertaining large groups from your small kitchen, you might do okay with only the combi- for an oven. You could butterfly some chickens, for instance, and cook them on different levels in the combi-. I'd cover with foil to keep the oven from getting too icky, as it has lots of crevices that can be a pain to clean, but that way you could cook enough chicken for a crowd.

If you are going to do most of your cooking in the combi- I really suggest getting extra pans. I often don't need them, but I'm glad I have them when I do. The Gaggenau ones aren't cheap, but they're as big as the cavity. They come in 2/3 sheet pan size and 1/3 (you can use two 1/3's on a single level), solid and perforated. Although I sometimes do put a pan of my own in there, I mostly do use the ones that come with it. If you're putting your own pan on the rack, put the solid pan underneath it to catch drips. Cleaning around the drain is pretty awful! Others have said that half sheet pans from the restaurant supply will also fit on the racks and are much cheaper. I think those also come in perforated, as well, so it's worth checking out.

A mid-range oven that people seem to be happy with for all kinds of uses is the Electrolux, though I don't know that I've heard specifically about the broiler.

As for induction, I really do think that most of the name brands are just fine. As I said before, it's early days yet, but we haven't been hearing complaints. Choose the one with the best arrangement and sizes of elements, power, power levels, timers, etc., and price, that suits you. There are plenty to choose from nowadays. If you want to add gas, check out what's available in the size you want. Kuppersbusch is reportedly pulling out of North America, so you might get a good deal on one of theirs, for instance.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 3:25PM
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As promised I tried cooking on both induction and gas for most of the evening and did identical dishes on the same pan, here are my thoughts:

I was more than impressed with capital and every single bit of information here has been accurate about the culinarian. The simmer was fantastic high heat was more than anyone will use in a day-to-day residential kitchen but it�s there if you need to do wok cooking or some quick water boil.

I was very happy with the culinarian and was practically sold but had to reserve my judgment until I had tried the induction.

Now I have waited a good day or so before writing my thoughts so I can process everything I experienced and be as objective to my needs as possible.

My one word experience with induction has been "magic". The induction usage was same as the culinarian, i.e. I made the same dishes and I did not alter my cooking at all. I tossed the items (vegetables) by lifting my pan and it made little to no difference as you do it once or twice and put it back on. The amazing magical factor was the lack of sweat on my forehead even as few burners were going doing various things. Magical aspects included lack of atmospheric temperature increase and accuracy of level of heat - holding sauces directly in the pan (butter without burning and cream based sauce, sure would be true for chocolate also).

Without going overboard praising induction cooking I will say everything people have mentioned in terms of lack of heat loss, efficiency & cleaning of these cooktops have been very humbly stated.

I am more confident than before that I will be going the induction route and enjoy a clean looking contemporary kitchen with little to no cleanups after cooking and not to mention a much cooler kitchen in summer.

One thing that concerned me was power sharing issues and I realized even while water boiling the bosch if group 1 or 3 is used it shuts the shared hobs off but water boiling is something I don't do everyday and if I do what are the chances all groups are being used?

Water boiling for pasta can be done on group two whose boosting does not disable anything. So the power sharing is a non-issue for me. I personally cannot come up with any reason to go to boost except water boiling and trying to heat oil for deepfrying, the high level of heat from the hobs is already hot enough and the hobs reach the set level so quickly that you don�t have to blast it on powerboost to get the temp and reduce it down.

Someone had mentioned water boiling (I did not do this test on both times but I did boil water and I was gobsmacked at how quickly the induction boiled water at 9 without any flames)is quick but how quickly would it carmalize onions. I did cook some vegetables and I decided to carmalize the onions for funs sake on both culinarian and the induction. For both devices I did not go max heat and lower it down I set the heat level with oil in and started to cook, I timed both and the induction was a wee bit quicker. This is of no huge importance to me on which device you can quick faster on, they are both excellent devices and for me personally the pros outweigh the cons for the induction.

I think whoever is trying to decide between gas and induction; that you should atleast go out and try to cook on both devices and then make up your mind. I am looking forward to cooking without dripping sweat all over and requiring showers after most cooking sessions.

I did not do any steaks or burgers or pork chops. I cooked some eggs, a quick stir fry, boiled some pasta, thawed frozen sauce and just held butter on low.

All this was done on a capital range top and a bosch 800 series induction in the same location and same day.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 4:52PM
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Thanks for the great report!

And, yes, you can melt chocolate directly.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 7:10PM
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Thanks for the compliments on my post.

Pllog, I melted chocolate yesterday using a double boiler...I had no idea you could do it directly! Excited to try.

I also just remembered another reason why we chose Bosch and that was for the ease of use and clear convenient controls with half power steps as well as the look.

In the interest of complete disclosure, some induction ready pans do hum on the Bosch. At first, it was slightly annoying but now I listen for it to remind me that cooktop is actually on and working! Also, we rarely have power loss and that issue never entered my mind. Besides, I have a gas grill right outside the kitchen door.

Happy to help and share. My kitchen was completely designed and outfitted with the help of wise and generous GW posters.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 7:49PM
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@p111log: thanks and i am looking forward to the induction.

@amela: One thing in my use of the bosch i forgot to test or find out (did not find info in the manual) is the centre group b burner it has two rings so essentially its a 2 in 1 hob. Do you know if you power boost the middle hob does it use the inverter for both to give it juice and use (detection) whichever size pot is on or ?

I guess what im asking is the middle hob is specd at showing two different wattages:

"Location of 3rd heating element: middle back
Power of 3rd heating element (W): 1.8 ; 2.8 kW "

So how exactly the middle hob works on the bosch 36"?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 8:50PM
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My brother in law is going to Germany next month -- can you get a better deal when you buy an appliance in Germany?? Wondering if that would be practical... Hmmm.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 9:20PM
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no you cannot get a better deal by flying a half a day to another time zone.

here, for $999 you can get a full size induction cooktop from one of the world's biggest retailers. (part number: 501.826.20)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 10:35PM
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There is much greater choice in Europe especially in the smaller units meant for smaller kitchens or supplemental use.
Also high end units with advanced features we won't be seeing soon, if ever. So straight cash savings not the main feature.
Bringing one to the US would be totally grey market, no warranty, no support. With luck might be able to get the VAT refunded.
Link has a selection from a French online seller which is probably similar to what is available in Germany. VAT is extra.

Here is a link that might be useful: Previous thread

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 1:37AM
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Amela, with melting chocolate remember you still need gentle heat. No higher than #2, probably better on #1, and be patient. I use a 1 qt. cast iron saucier. Also for toffee. Induction makes a lot of candy issues seem ho hum. :)

Jsmith: If you're describing a large element with an inner and outer ring, the way it works is that the inner ring is like any similar sized ring running rated 1.8 kW so long as the pan is smaller than the ring. With a large enough pan to trigger the sensor for the outer ring, the rings combine and are rated 2.8 kW. You can boost the inner ring by itself if you're using a pot that fits within it. If you're using a larger pot the whole thing will boost.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 1:43AM
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We moved into a home that has no natural gas available. I looked at the propane option but since I’m in city limits the propane tanks would have to be buried and have concrete barriers around the spot where it was in the ground. Total cost of tank, concrete barriers, permits, gas line installation BEFORE buying appliances? About $18 to $22k. Plus the cost of a real restaurant high BTW cooktop and the ultra-high powered vent hood and make-up air units required for safe installation (by codes here in Scottsdale). The total cost of my installing a Propane high BTU cooktop, tanks, pylons, venting, air make-up, fire suppression system and such, was soon approaching the $50k mark. No thank you!!

Needless to say I went for the induction. I bought Miele because I’ve got two Miele dishwashers that are the best I’ve ever owned and a Miele washer and dryer that are amazing. I got the 36” Miele induction cooktop on sale and paid a little under $2000 for it, tax and installation included.

While Miele isn’t the bargain basement of Induction Cooktops, there is something to be said for buying an appliance with the expectation that it will last the length of the mortgage. Most appliances are dead in six to seven years today. Miele builds most of their appliances for a 20 year life cycle. That’s worth paying for, IMHO.

Like Induction? I wouldn’t go back to gas if you paid me to do so! Not if it were Free! The induction is safer, faster, cleaner, and cheaper to run by far! And a big benefit for us - living in the desert and running A/C 7 months out of the year - is that induction heats the food and the pan but it does not heat or overheat the kitchen the way a high powered gas stove does. Many larger homes with the big 72” or 60” Wolf Stoves have to allow for and install an extra 1-2 tons of AC just dedicated to keeping their kitchens comfortable when using a few of those burners and running the ovens. Of course you have not only the initial extra cost of the A/C unit, but also the ongoing operating cost of having approximately 20% more A/C than you would otherwise require.

If you are a pro chef (my spouse is) you may want to look at a commercial Induction unit. They can be purchased in single and dual drop-in modules and the sizes run from 2.5 KW per burner to 5.5 kw per burner unit. They start in terms of power, where the residential units are topping out - or close to it. They may also take some serious dedicated circuits to run them and your service entrance needs to be at least a 200 Amp Service Entrance or larger if you have AC/electric heating, pool motors, electric ovens, etc. Our little 2000 sq foot house has a 300 amp service entrance because of the fact that we’ are an all-electric home.

We do not do as much cooking or entertaining at home as we did when we were both younger, so we could not justify the extra expense of those units. However I’m sure in a large home that cooks daily for a big family and/or does a lot of entertaining, too, then two or more of the ultra-high powered commercial induction units might be a nice option to have, in addition to a 5 or 4 burner residential induction cooktop.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 5:35AM
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Nice and realistic post. But even the world's best restaurant chef Heston Blumenthal of the Fat Duck just uses a 36" Gagg at home even though he has commercial units at various work sites. His vids show him at home and are very instructional and entertaining.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 6:49PM
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