Which 36" induction to choose?

weespxxJuly 4, 2014

Hi All:

Switching to induction after years of planning this! Now overwhelmed with the volume of options on cooktops ... Bosch, Miele, GE, Kenmore, Thermador, Gagg ,,, ugh.

Never used induction and want flexibility as nearly all of my cooking is on the cooktop. Reliability also huge, but I've read they are all assembled in China so can't count on that.

Prepared to pay up to $3,000 but want it to be a worthwhile amount. My mom's glass cooktop is a bit of a pain because of the recessed buttons but I think I'm trainable for most anything. The silver finish could be cool but again, not for thousands more.

I've read so many reviews but would love your final opinion as experienced induction users! Thanks!

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Look at the various models for these things and prioritize them:

*type of buttons - on mine, you push one button to change the temperature (want to go from power level 9 to power level 3, its just one press). Others require you to tap-tap-tap the up and down arrows. There are also other variations.

*another feature of mine that I love (but other people couldn't care less about) is the individual hob timers. I can set rice, for ex., for power level 3 to cook for 9 minutes and at the end of 9 minutes the power to that hob goes off. I use it for rice, oatmeal, and other things where I know exactly how long it will take to cook. It also has a "regular" timer, which will just ding, but not turn off the power, when time is up.

* mine has stainless trim at the top and bottom. I like the look. Others like stainless all around, no stainless trim at all, flush mount, etc.

* burner layout - I like to have the biggest burner in the back, others want it in the front.

* burner size - I have 2 6", 1 9" and one 11". Works for me.

Others will chime in with other things to look for. In the end, I bet you can't go wrong - induction is incredible!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 12:04PM
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sjhockeyfan -- great suggestion on burner layout. I do like my bigger pots on the back so that was a good way to start narrowing down the options!

Haven't been able to find a showroom with lots of induction cooktops to compare, unfortunately. That would be incredibly helpful - hard to picture the different types of buttons, etc without seeing and zooming on the ipad is a bit challenging - ha!

Thanks so much for your input -- I love the excitement that comes from induction loyalists and can't wait to get started!!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 6:47AM
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I am not an experienced induction user; however, I'm very excited to be switching to induction with a new house project so I've been researching the same. (admittedly, my budget is not as high as yours at $2000 which means I have not looked at the higher end units)

I will say I've found a few features that appeal to me the most. One is the already mentioned individual countdown timers on each burner. Seems awfully useful to me, so why get one without it?? You can put food on, go for a walk (or whatever!) and know you're not returning to scorched rice. Also, while the bridge element is appealing, it seems with the proper burner layout (2 same size burners in line with each other) you can achieve the same result without actually having this element.

For me, I'm leaning towards the 500 series 36" Bosch. I'll admit I like the appearance of a few others more (the starlike burner markings over the circles of this one) but it gets good reviews here on GW and has the two mentioned features I've determined are important to me.

I look forward to seeing other feedback you receive!

sjhockeyfan: Can I ask what cooktop you have and are happy with?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:00AM
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I have a 30" Bosch 500, but I got mine last September and I'm told the new model 500 series does not have the "direct input" for power levels. I love mine for the features I mentioned, but if I were getting it now, I'd have to go for the 800 series. I know MizLizzie has a 300 series and loves it despite the lack of direct input of power level, but it would drive me crazy to have to tap-tap-tap. Another thing I like (probably true of all brands) is that ai can put a too-small pot on a large burner and a too large pot on a small burner, and both work just fine.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:54AM
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Thanks for the quick reply. I think the 500 36" still has the "direct input" but I'll be sure to check that out before finalizing my choice.

Not trying to hijack, but cooks tops and wall ovens go hand in hand.... have any feedback on what you have (if you do) and like or dislike? I am think of going Bosch double to keep same manu but have seen mixed reviews.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 1:28PM
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I had certain height constraints because my oven had to go under the cooktop. I ended up with a 30" Fagor, which is a great oven - alas, the company is in bankruptcy (which happened right after I bought mine) so I'm not sure what their status is. It won't affect me at all unless the oven breaks and I can't get warranty service. It's too bad because it's really an excellent oven - unlike the KA I had in my previous house, in this oven, convection bake really means you don't have to turn cookie sheets around or switch racks during baking!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 2:01PM
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Congratulations on your decision to go induction! I love induction, even if there are some things (specifically clicking; you may have seen my earlier posts) that I don't like about my KA. I chose mine partly because I wanted the bridge hob, and it is nice to have. But I don't use it very often, so far only for pan gravies. My fish poacher would work on it, but I so rarely poach a whole fish anymore. And I haven't found a lightweight double-burner nonstick griddle (although after a lengthy earlier discussion, someone else did get the Vollrath and liked it). If I had a big griddle, then I'd be using the bridge more regularly. So taken all in all, I'd say the absence of a bridge hob should not be a deal breaker.

The only other thing I can add to sjhockeyfan's excellent summary of induction features to consider is the "required clearances" each manufacturer specifies. Although in some cases they are just CYA, I did find that different brands had different requirements for space under, behind, and next to the unit. One of the reasons I chose the KA was that I could put it tucked into a space near a cabinet with a drawer directly under it. It was a very shallow unit. Some other models would have required changing my layout. I found the clearances online in the installation instructions for each unit.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 2:06PM
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They aren't made in China. Most are made in the US, Canada, or Europe. They innards of them are all pretty similar, but there are some differences. I think there are 3 main things to consider when going induction:

-Beware of Whirlpool/Kitchenaid, many reports of excessive noise

-Which burner and control layouts do you like best?

-How much power do the burners have and how is it divided among the burners?

There's no question about it, induction is a great choice. I've tested a lot, gotten excellent results, and had fun doing it. I think it's what I'm going to go with for my new range. I'm probably going to get the Electrolux slide in induction, or the new Bosch Benchmark. I didn't look at cooktops, so I can't comment on the offerings of those brands there, but those are a couple you could consider.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 15:12

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 3:08PM
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