induction cooktop comparison

eugenie11August 10, 2011

Would love some help while shopping different 36" induction brands:

Electrolux Icon E36IC80ISS

Bosch 500 NIT5665UC

Miele KM5773

Fagor IFA90 (they're throwing in a free set of cookware on AJ Madison!)

All have five burners, all around 2K. Anyone have any experience? Advice?

Thanks in advance!

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Go to the bottom of the appliance page, and search for induction cooktop. I guess price must not be a factor if you consider the Miele to be about $2k.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 6:13PM
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you are right attofarad - the miele is $2,999 at AJ Madison, the elex and bosch are both in the $2,100 range.

But how to choose?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 6:18PM
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The Bosch has the individual timers like the Miele (which is one feature many people seem to mention about Miele) for a much lower price. I seriously considered the Bosch because of that, but got such a good price on the GE Profile that I went with the GE so I can't really offer any additional insights on the ones you are considering. I don't think the Elex has the individual timers, but I may be wrong.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 6:51PM
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You need to look at other features, like how much clearance is required below the unit, power requirements, how power-sharing works, size of the hobs, layout, and so on.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 6:59PM
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to weedmeister - I saw something about power requirements and power-sharing on another thread, but it didn't explain what these things mean, only listed them - how does the power sharing work?

I also read that knobs are better than touch controls, due to spillage and damage to the controls, but only one, Fridgidaire, has knobs. It is quite a bit less expensive than the others, but is it any good?

WOuld love to know what you think - thanks!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 11:15PM
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One of the things that swayed us from the Miele to the Bosch is actually the temperature adjustment. The Miele, like many others, uses +/- buttons whereas the Bosch (500/800, but not the 300) had buttons for each temp level, so you could go directly to the desired temp. Others, like the Wolf and Electrolux, have both +/- and a circular touch dial, so you can directly touch how high you can go. It dawned on us late in the game that the +/- only would've driven my wife nuts.

As weedmeister also said, hob placement, cabinetry clearance, required amps, trim/no trim, ability to flush inset into counter, etc. will also factor into your decision. I think induction tops are one of the few appliances where usability/reliability are *generally* similar across brands (there don't seem to be any standouts, good or bad), so features, installation, and aesthetics probably play a larger role in the decision-making.

Regarding your questions above (sorry for poking my head into a question for you, weedmeister), power sharing is when two of the hobs are 'linked', and if you're power boosting on one of the hobs, the other linked hob will have a restricted power output.

Viking has a knob-controlled induction top, but that would be at the other end of the price scale from the Frigidaire. To me, knobs would negate one of the biggest advantages of induction tops -- easy cleaning! Gaggenau has a removable magnetic knob, so that kind of addresses that issue. Just don't lose it!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 12:27AM
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To expand on what bishop8 said, it is typical for two hobs to share the same power circuitry. That power circuity may be designed to run both hobs at their maximum power (not counting boost). If you want to use boost mode, which allows even more power for a limited time (maybe 10 minutes max), then some cooktops automatically reduce the power on the other linked hob. Other cooktops will not let a hob go into boost without the linked hob already being "off." From reports of users, this restriction isn't that important, since boost is only used for a short time, such as to boil water for pasta.

For 5-hob cooktops, the center hob is the highest power, and doesn't share power circuitry.

Some cooktops limit total power to less than the maximum normal mode powers of all hobs. Even without boost, if you crank power to maximum, the power of one or all hobs will be reduced, so that the electronics are not overheated, or so that the rated current (40A, 50A) is not exceeded. This is called power sharing, and some times over-temperature protection.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 2:37AM
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Power sharing is what Attofarad said at first. That is two hobs sharing the same power controller. Usually there is enough power to drive both units to 'Hi'. But it you want to drive one to 'PB' (or powerboost), the other unit reduces (or in some less-powerful models, turns off).

There are some higher end units that don't have this limitation. But they require more amperage to operate.

You can check the induction site for more information.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 3:27PM
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This is not a recomendation, just thoughts on some of the things I would consider having owned one for a while now.

I have an Electrolux (not exact model as you listed) and one issue is the stainless band, it's quite scratched because of how my husband cooks. But I knew that would be an issue from the start so I'm OK with it, but it is a consideration.

The second is the controls. Mine only has +/- and I would love to have something you could slide your finger along to change the temperature. I hate hitting the control multiple times to rapidly change the temp (like to abort a boil over).

OK - now I feel stupid, I went to see how many taps, and discovered that if I hold my finger on the control, it rapidly goes up and down all by itself - no need to "tap, tap,tap". (I won't say how long I've had this cooktop . . .)

Thought of one more thing, I was use to ranges with controls on the back, and still get annoyed at how far back the hobs are because the controls are all in the front. Not sure if I'd like side controls though, as that might mean reaching across a hot pot to control something. it is very nice not having to reach over steaming kettles to adjust the heat. I pulled my cooktop as far forward in the cabinet as possible too, and still feel the back hobs are too far back.

For me, another big consideration was support. I don't think there is a single authorized Miele or Fagor dealer in the State of South Dakota. My project was complete DIY, but I did not want to be in a spot where I would have to pay someone to travel 400 miles if something when wrong with one. Or have the company contract with the local appliance shops for support - the same guys that told me I'd short out an induction cooktop if I accidentally put a non-magnetic pan on it (they new a woman this happened to TWICE - almost burned her house down).

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 8:33AM
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wow- thank you macybaby - this is why I love these blogs - real, useful information from someone who is already living with the appliance you're still thinking about.

In my town, there is a Wolf/Subzero showroom that invites people to 'play' (that's their word) with the appliances before you buy them. I'm not buying a Wolf, but I'm going to go down there and try cooking with their induction cooktop and see if I like it.

I didn't like the stainless rim around the Elex, either - it was the first thing I noticed, it actually looks like the old coil cooktop I have now, kind of dated, and all the other induction cooktops are rimless... but I thought I was being petty. OTOH, my salesman did say, when demonstrating the Wolf, that a pot accidentally slammed against the slightly raised glass can crack it... so maybe that metal rim has a purpose.

So is it true you can short out the top... No. I think you were saying those guys didn't know what they were talking about? And I will take extra care with the location of the controls. My salesman also mentioned this, in reference to one model that had controls in the lower right corner, he thought that was less user-friendly than controls along the bottom edge.

Thanks again for all the info.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 6:09PM
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IIRC, the Elux sits high on the counter because it vents below that rim. Others vent inside the cabinet, some requiring additional cutouts for fresh air.

There were anecdotes about people spilling liquids on their Elux units where the controls were separate and there was a gap between the controls and the rest (covered by stainless). Apparently enough got in to short out the unit.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 6:23PM
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We have a clone of the Electrolux (at least of the Electrolux Icon of 2007) sold under the Kenmore name at Sears. This unit differs from the Elux by NOT having the steel band between controls and hobs. (And of course as a consequence it doesn't have a gap there either.) It does have a band at front and back. Since we always use silicon pads, no significant scratching has occurred on these bands.

The height over the counter is slight, even with the vents. In my experience, the air in the cabinet below the unit does not appreciably warm up. However, I use wire racks storing pans in these cabinets to provide the maximum air capacity and the minimum of "fire hazard" risk. (UL generally demand some distance to flammables under induction units, and I suspect this is required on the grounds that the electronics might slag themselves and somehow get hot parts or sparks past the steel shell of the units. This is the counterpart of the duct tape one adds when just using a belt and suspenders is insufficient.)


    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 9:23PM
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yes, I was trying to point out the ignorance(or lieing). That appliance store (there are two of them in town) didn't sell induction, but this was a story about a unit that had gone bad that their repair team had to go out and do "warranty" work on.

So apparently the cooktop went out twice, and his "team" came up with the idea the a massive short happened when someone tried to use an aluminum pan on the cooktop. In truth, they simply do not turn on if they don't sense that the pan is magnetic.

There is a chance the salesman made the whole story up, he was sure I'd be much happier sticking with a radiant heat cooktop.

Electrolux did do away with that metal band separating the controls from the hobs. That one really looked horrible (in my mind). Like mentioned, this cooktop ever so slightly hovers above the counter so air can flow around it. When I'm using it, sometimes I can feel the airflow, but it's not like a hot blast, just warm air movement. But it needs very little clearance underneath, and nothing in the drawers below it gets even warm - even after hours of simmering tomato sauce.

It's not hard to clean under the rim if needed, I open a drawer and then lift the cooktop slightly with one hand on the bottom of the unit, and wipe under the rim with the other hand. I've had some pretty bad boilovers (from putting it on boost and NOT paying attention) and so far nothing has seeped under the rim into the drawers below it.

We decided the metal rim would be OK because we planned on a drop in stainless sink across from it, so figured that would be a matching look on both counter runs. Then we had a change of direction and went with an apron front sink, so now that metal band does look out of place, since I have all white appliances and a white sink. It's the only visible stainless in the kitchen.

We drove 400 miles in hopes of seeing one of these installed in person. Found one store that said their other store had one on display (even called to make sure). Drove to the other side of the Twin Cities in traffic only to discover it was a Wolf, not Elux -

here are some in progress pictures showing the profile.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 9:19AM
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Based on the list of induction cooktops you provide, I can tell you without reservation that you should buy the Miele. I have just spent a month researching induction cooktops because I am totally renovating my kitchen. The demo is scheduled to start in two weeks. I have spent dozens of hours reading about cooktops and going to showrooms to test the products. From the beginning, I have known that, for me, the choice was between Gaggenau and Miele. (I chose the 36" Gaggenau, $4,400) Thermador was also in the running because I have a Thermador non-induction cooktop in my kitchen now. (I have had the cooktop for almost nine years and it is a terrific appliance.)

I have typed my opinions below each cooktop model.

Electrolux Icon E36IC80ISS
True Timer: This cooktop does not have a true timer. In other words, you cannot set the elements to power-off automatically after cooking for a preset time. For example, you cannot program a cooking element to power-off after fifteen minutes of cooking a pan of rice. For me, an induction cooktop not having a true timer was a deal breaker.
Power: All the elements of this cooktop are under-powered compared to the Miele. (Of course, this cooktop is only about $2,100. So it is almost a thousand dollars less than the Miele.)
Boil-over sensor: The unit does not sense boil-overs

Bosch 500 NIT5665UC
No, not for me. But the Bosch would not be a bad choice.
Price: this cooktop is $3,200. The Miele is $3,000. The Miele has the benefit of not requiring the other element in the pair to be powered-off to boost an element's power to its maximum. The Bosch requires the other element in the pair to be powered-off before a burner can be turned to its maximum power.
True-Timers: Yes, the Bosch has true timers on all elements
Power: Yes, the Bosch is powerful
Boil-over protection: yes
Snob Appeal: In Miami, where I live, Bosch is not considered as high-end as Miele. For resale, this is a factor. Plus, it costs $200 more than Miele so it would not make sense to buy the Bosch over the Miele.

Miele KM5773
This is great cooktop. It is powerful. It has true timers. It has boil-over protection and more features than any other cooktop at any price. For example, it has a feature where if someone knocks on your door, you can instruct the cooktop to drop ALL elements to a very low power until you return. When you return to the kitchen, you can then return all elements to their previous settings with one-touch and continue cooking. Only two things made me pay $1,400 for the Gaggenau over the Miele. 1) I like the Gaggenau control know versus the Miele touch panel and 2) the large burner on the Gaggenau is about 15% more powerful than the same burner on the Miele.

Fagor IFA90
I did not consider Fagor. However, because you have it listed, I went to the Fagor site and downloaded the manual. I have included the link to manual in this post
This cooktop is powerful. However, that is its only strength. It has no features such as true timers. (It doesn't even have a countdown timer.)

By the way, you don't want a Wolf induction cooktop. They are very powerful cooktops, but they don't even have true timers. Very disappointing. I like Wolf products. But their induction cooktop is a big miss.


Here is a link that might be useful: Fagor induction cooktop manual

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 3:21PM
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Rob and macybaby - a million thanks for your valuable information and photos. this is so helpful to me in my decision making.

Rob - I think you have convinced me of the value of the Miele. Your comments are so informative and practical and you have obviously done your research, and saved me the trouble... and I have enough to research as it is (while getting older son off to college apartment next week and pestering younger son to write college essay before school starts. Like I need a kitchen reno right now? Unfortunately, 30 year old SubZero just died. A wonderful fridge, except for it's timing to expire!)

BTW, SubZero refrigerators seem to be the only appliance no one complains about, even at that price. I am replacing mine, it's the only decision I made without endless back-and-forth. They seem to be worth every penny. And I thought everyone's meat and veggies kept for weeks... I guess I just don't know any better, always having had a SubZero.

So I think I'm just about set... except for the double ovens... Anyone want to weigh in on the Electrolux EW27EW65G vs. the Bosch HB5650UC, both 27" (all I have space for?) The Bosch has 4.2 cu ft and the look I like (love those knobs!), the Elex 3.5 cu ft but gets better reviews... Almost there!

THanks again!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 6:45PM
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I really liked the Bosch oven, but wanted true convection in BOTH ovens, and at the time I was looking, the Bosch did not come that way. Limits the capacity a bit, but I bake more with convection than without.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 6:54PM
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Wow, miamirob, I'm shocked that the Bosch is more expensive than the Miele in Miami. Here in Canada, the 36" Miele goes for $4K while the 36" Bosch 800 series goes for $3300 at Sears. The 500 series is even cheaper at $2800, and these prices are before any sales that Sears occasionally has; it goes without saying that the Miele's don't go on sale. :)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 7:32PM
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Well, "To Me", it looks like we have a "Recruiter" here for the MMTB Club.

(1) The $2100 Elux is incredibly fast at boiling water, even on its smallest hub (5 inches) I think, but as if that would not be fast enough, I could go to the 10 inch, but in the year or so, I've had the Elux, I have never seen the need to do so.

(2) "Real" Timers, Yes some may use them but most of us won't. We had a very fancy Ceramic cooktop, (Caldera), it had "Real Timers" even "Bridging" between elements, Wife never used it Too much button pushing, She said, When cooking she likes to follow the "Kiss rinciple"!

(3) One button turn down due to door bell. How often do you have 4 or 5 burners going near full blast?,More that likely 1 or 2 and more than likely at a mid to low setting.
So ya got 2 going, OK that's 2 buttons to push instead of 1, for that I'm gonna pay an extra grand? Apparently it wasn't that big a deal as a Knob was more important than this feature?

(4) Knob, You can buy 2 reasonably priced induction cooktop for the price of that knob, which sooner or later will get misplaced and you don't even wanna know the price of a replacement and how long to get one, do ya?

Yep Good choices, if you want to be in that club, I would rather cook, and have the extra money for things that really count-----Not impressing some ppl I could care less about


    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 7:57PM
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Bishop8, WOW! $4,000 for the Miele! The price here in Florida and at many places on the web is $2,999. If you Google, "miele induction 36" price" you can see that pricing. In terms of Bosch pricing, I just Googled pricing for the Bosch and that I see there is a range of prices some a little below the Miele. I got my pricing from one website that I felt had good across the board pricing. The Bosch would have to be significantly less expensive than the Miele for me to go with Bosch over Miele.

eugenie11, You can definitely find some people on these forums and other places that have bad things to say about SZ. But to most people, SZ is the gold standard and most people just expect to SZ in well done kitchens. And I agree with you that they keep food very fresh. The Miele has much better lighting and some more advanced features but I am sticking with SZ. (And I really spent a lot of time looking at alternatives.) Right now, I have a 36" SZ freezer and a 36" SZ refrigerator. I did not install these units. They were here when I bought my condo. In my new kitchen, there will be a 36" SZ refrig\freezer combo because I just don't need 72" of refrig\freezer. I am buying the five-year extended warranty for the SZ. The warranty costs $199. At that price, I think getting the warranty is well worth it. I don't normally buy extended warranties other than for my flat screen televisions. But for a $7,000 product, I am will to pay the small price for the warranty.

Yes, go with the Miele cooktop. It is a great induction cooktop with every feature. Anyone I have every talked to who has the Miele cooktop loves it. I have cooked on it. It works great and it is beautiful. If I was not getting the Gaggenau, I would absolutely be buying the Miele.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 8:20PM
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Now, Gary, there's no need to be calling names.

The latest favorite thing to use a true timer for in this forum is making rice. It turns your cooktop into an automatic rice cooker. Even more so if you use a memory program to set the true timer.

The one button off may be overkill for answering the door, but it's a boon to Mommies who don't have another 30 seconds to turn off the stove because the child is going to do something horrible NOW.

The knob (I assume you mean Gaggenau) does NOT get lost unless you have inquisitive little ones who want to play with it. Then it lives on top of the hood when not in use. For those of us with cool little fingers, it's much more responsive than touch controls, and it's fun.

There's a HUGE difference between MMTB and EMTGWOW (enough money to get what one wants). If you want that one extra feature and don't mind paying for it, it's self-indulgent, but not stupid.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Of course you are right, but note the "To Me" also I said He was a "Recruiter", I didn't mention any successes or in fact if there were any members of "Mentioned club" on GW.

I always try to provide a 2nd (Opposing opinion) ---if you will, perhaps, "Sometimes" with a bit more "Emphasis" than necessary???

What can I say, Antss learned me all I Know!!!!

Glad You are enjoying yours Pillog!!


    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 10:15PM
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Okay - so what is the MMTB club? My Money Tastes Better?? Seriously... I'd like to know. I'm new here.

Maybe the price variation between the states and canada has to do with import taxes/tariffs? God knows, here in America, taxes is a four letter word, so we probably pay less for our foreign appliances? Or are they made in Tennesee?

So back to my 27" double ovens... Anyone gonna talk me out of the ugly but practical Electrolux into the beautiful but less-well-liked Bosch?

I think I know the answer!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 10:18PM
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Not me, We have the Elux Icon oven, and to us, it's Beautimous. Love the cobalt blue inside,
The Large viewing window, the glide out racks, the large wavetouch controls, I can see without my glasses, and the way it bakes!

I went and got a "Take and Bake Pizza" tonight (Papa Murphy's) and that is the best pizza crust, I've ever had, even without using a pizza stone.

We've had the oven for more than 5 years now and completely trouble free.

As far as MMTB, My "Bad" but another old saying,
"Ignorance is Bliss".


    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 11:18PM
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Yeah, I can't explain the US/Canada pricing difference except that we're a meek lot up here that are willing to take it for bilingual manuals. :) It's actually quite a hot button issue up here, which is why many of us shop south of the border. I bought all my plumbing fixtures online in the US and, delivered to my door, I saved ~35% for the exact same product from the best local price I could get. Who can blame me for being unpatriotic in that instance?

Rob, not to belabour the point, but I just took a look at AJMadison and the Miele's listed at $2999 while the Bosch 800/500 are listed at $2558.59/2141.11 respectively. Whoever you were dealing with really didn't want to sell any Bosch's!

Kind of curious as to what MMTB is now too.....

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 11:53PM
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I forgot to tell you that I have had a kitchenaid 27" true convection in both ovens for about nine years. It is a great oven. I got KA, because at the time, it was the only model that I could delivered to my place in a couple days. The old oven that was here when I moved in was really ugly and I wanted a new one fast. But I can honestly say that the KA has been a terrific oven. I bakes totally evenly. It roasts great. The self cleaning works fine. I haven't done any research into KA, but just thought I would throw that out there.

Don't get an oven that you think is ugly. It will be in your kitchen for years. If you like the Bosch and the price difference is not outrageous, the you should get it. Update: I just looked at pictures of both ovens -- get the Bosch.


I won't lose the knob. Really, it will be okay.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 1:45AM
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Gary - "Ignorance is bliss?" Really? on this blog? Out with it!

I LOVE information, that's why I've been living on this blog for two weeks, even though I left a family behind somewhere.

And yes, the Electrolux Icon IS beautiful, but they only come in 30" wall ovens, not 27". Why did they have to change the styling on the Wave Touch? I love everything about it, the blue interior, the glide out racks, the door that closes like a Mercedes, but the styling is too much for me, like an Escalade, maybe. I can't get the 30" because of layout restraints in the kitchen, I like the idea of two smaller ovens for when I'm just baking a pie, and I don't want to buy two single ovens because it's too expensive. Thusly decisions get made. Eventually. I hope.

I'm going back to the showroom today with DH (funny - those happen to be my DH's real initials), and will look at the Bosch one more time. Some people on GW say "Never!" about Bosch ovens. I have their washer and dryer. Don't love them. They look boss, but the rubber seal on the front loader gets black mold no matter how much I wipe it down and the dryer, if I dry a bed sheet with clothes, wraps everything into a parcel with damp clothes inside.

Rob - I love the styling on the KA ovens, but like the Bosch, they don't get great reviews. The new ones, that is.

Thanks to all for posting! Will let you know, I'm making my decisions and moving on to the Kitchen blog for countertops... Anyone here want to weigh in before I go? I'm not a granite girl, but I do like slate... And recycled glass...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 10:53AM
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MMTB = More Money Than Brains

I appreciate when Gary and others advocate for the middle: Good appliances that get the job done well, aren't annoying and have moderate prices. It's where most of the people here want to be. But no matter what cranky people around here might do, Gary is a nice guy, and I'll call him out when he's acquiring bad habits. There have been times when there's enough rancor around here that people who need the advice of this forum have gotten scared away, so I think it's important to check our tone when we can. I don't mind when Gary twits me, gently, for enthusing about the high end appliances with those features and looks that most people can live without and cost more than you'd think their marginal value would require (I can explain it economically, but that's not the point). For some folks, they're not at all worth the money. My argument is that for those folks for whom it is worth the money, it's not stupidity, it's having the freedom to like what one likes and get what one likes. That's not lack of brains. It's EMTGWOW.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 5:21PM
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thank you, pillog, for sharing.

I'm one of the olds, so it takes me awhile to get all the acronyms. Was so happy to figure out DH immediately and, as stated above, those are my DH's initals IRL, which might have helped.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 6:11PM
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thanks for all the info so far but interested in updated 2012/2013 induction cooktop info. we are doing a kitchen remodel and soon to order appliances.

requesting report from those who have had their induction cooktops awhile, especially miele, bosch, thermador or electrolux induction cooktops.

thank you!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 1:00PM
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