Portable Induction Burner with Dial Control, not keypad

barryv_gwAugust 12, 2014

I am looking for a portable induction burner with a rotary dial control. I have found an Adcraft IND-C120V, but it is limited to 9 inch pans, and a Vollrath Mirage Pro 59500, which is pretty pricey, and can only handle up to a 10 inch pan. Any ideas on other portables with a dial control?

The backstory is my FIL has to move to a new apartment, and can't bring his 60 inch Viking dual fuel range. Instead, the apartment has only a 30 inch smooth surface stove, which I know he will hate, since the burners will be very slow to respond. I know he will miss the turn the knob to adjust the burner height as he had with the Viking, and I am not sure at his age he will be all that fond of pushing buttons to adjust the temp of the burner, so a dial would be ideal.

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I am currently looking at the adcraft IND-C208V. it's basically the 208V version. more power.

the only thing holding me back is I know nothing of the company, so I don't know if it's a quality machine, or if it'll hold up to my plans which involve using it 8hrs a day 5 days a week.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:24AM
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Cooktek has a model.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:07AM
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From personal experience, I can say that Cooktek makes excellent portable induction units. It might be the kind of thing that judo_and_peppers should consider for daily use in the hot sauce business but, unfortunately for BarryV, the 120v Cooktek models are way more expensive than even the "pricey" Vollrath model he looked at. The Vollrath 59500 is in the $450 range, the least expensive Cooktek (Heritage MC1800) runs $700 to $800.

Other knob-controlled models/brands that I know of are Eurodib C16Y ($100 at sites like Sears.com but only 1600 watts) Sunpentown (1800 watt/120v model runs about $370, and reviews on vendor sites and at Chowhound and eGullett) and Avantco (roughly $130 at webstarauntstore.com; I think there are reviews on Amazon, but I have no first hand experience with it.)

Regarding the suggestion for getting a 240v/2500 watt unit: a much more versatile burner but there has be a second 240v outlet for this to work. That is pretty rare in apartments.

Some other considerations:

1. Pan sizing (Part 1) -- the measurements that matter for induction hobs are the bases of the pans. When we talk about a 12" frypan, we're talking about the diameter across the top where the sides have flared out from the base. The pan bases are more like 9" which means they should be fine on a 10.25" burner. If it is really a 10" burner.

2. Pan sizing (part 2). That 10.5" burner probably isn't more than 7 or 8 inches in diameter and somebody else's 9" burner is (like all of the less expensive 1800 watt portable induction units) probably more like 6 inches in diameter. (That's the size of the boil pattern you will see with the heat on 10/high.) No big deal for boiling most liquids but maybe a concern if stir frying in 12" fry pans.

3. Pan sizing (Part 3): I understand that your dad is downsizing from a 60" Viking, but how many big pans will he be taking with him? Is he going to be cooking for others or mostly just for himself?

4. Pan sizing (Part 4): If your dad wants to use oversize pots, there is no more problem plonking a big kettle on an induction burner than on any other electric burner. Actually, there may be less than he might experience with that radiant smoothtop electric that is already in the apartment -- very large pans can mess with the heat-control sensors and not come to a boil on some smoothtops. OTOH, a friend of mine had no trouble using my Max Burton 6200 portable induction burner with a nearly full 13-inch canning kettle when making beer. (Check out brewer forums for more info.) Just be aware that some of the less expensive models may not be up to carrying a lot of weight. With your dad downsizing to an apartment, maybe this is not a consideration, though?

5. Noises: does your dad have hearing aids? Some hearing aids seem to unpleasantly amplify noise from induction cooktops. There is both cooling fan noise and pan noise to consider. The portable induction units make a fair bit of fan noise and some, such as my MB 6200, can produce a lot of pan noise, as well. This problem is much worse with the portable induction units than the induction ranges and cooktops I've used. I haven't had to resort to hearing aids, myself (yet), but a friend of mine who does wear them tells me that the fan noise gets amplified a lot as does the whistling/ringing/buzzing noises that pans seem to make when heating up on the MB. He finds this distracting and uncomfortable. This does not happen to everybody, but definitely is something to check out in this process.

6. Speed to boil and adjustablity: Portable 1800 watt/120v induction units will have the near-instant adjustability that your dad will have had with gas. Be aware, though, that speed to heat/boil with an 1800 watt induction hob won't be noticeably faster than using the big (2500 watt?) burner on that smoothtop electric electric stove.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 1:52PM
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JWVideo, thanks for the post, you have given me a lot of useful info - I love the look of the Eurodip, it looks pretty easy to use. Great point on the size of the pan - top v. bottom, and I will check into the hearing aid issue. I am not as much concerned about boiling water faster, but responsiveness is my main issue with the flat top stove.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 3:05PM
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I have a 10" table top induction unit. the smallest pan I can successfully use is 4.5". I don't think I have anything that is larger on the bottom.

The other good features of an induction top over a smooth top electric are the ease of cleanup, cooler surface temps (less chance of burns), only active when a pan is on the surface.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:52AM
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If memory serves, weed has a Cooktek Apogee MC1800G which is the 120v model with the digital touchpad and the 100-step touchpad control. The one with the knob/dial control is the Heritage MC1800 (about $300 less) which has the same induction "guts" but 25 step settings. That's the model that I used for awhile -- great unit but it was only on loan. Now, if I were looking for something I could run all week long as judo_and_peppers wants to do, I would seriously consider the Apogee or Heritage models. Heavily built to take that kind of commercial use. I still want one but the the $700 entry fee is way more than I want to spend to get one of my own.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 9:47

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 6:55PM
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