Cooktops: Induction + gas, side by side

Alex HouseAugust 16, 2012

In the spirit of recognizing that the things you don't know can often undo a project I thought I'd put this question out there:

I want to configure a cooking surface consisting of the following - an induction wok next to a 4-5 element induction cooktop next to a 1-2 burner gas cooktop. Anyone have any concerns or see a showstopper in the mix?

Do I need to worry about spillover heat from the gas affecting parts of the induction cooktops?

Of course the venting would be extended to cover the entire cooking surface area.

Surprisingly no manufacturer has this combination in a ready-to-go unit. :)

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Sophie Wheeler

Why do you think you want gas when you'll have induction? It will never get used.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:53PM
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Alex House

Pressure canning, with an aluminum canner, doesn't work to spec, or at all, on an induction element. It's either gas or electric coil.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I wouldn't plan a kitchen setup around what is only a couple of day a year activity. Do an outdoor "canning kitchen" with a kettle propane burner, like you do for large gumbo pots. Look at macybaby's shed canning kitchen for inspiration.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 6:55PM
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weedmeister

If that gas unit was a grill, I'd get more use out of it. But no, I don't see a heat problem. The gas units are probably 'taller' than the induction.

Doesn't Wolf et al make units that you can mix and match like this?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 7:12PM
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Fori is not pleased

I'd skip the induction wok and use good old fashioned gas for that. And--wait a minute! I've canned on induction. Maybe a new pressure canner would make more sense.

But you can do it all.

You can do combo units--Miele and Gaggenau make modular ones and I'm sure there are others.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:33PM
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jadeite

By induction wok element, do you mean one with a curved surface to take a standard round-bottomed wok? I don't think anyone makes this as part of a cooktop. You would have to buy a standalone hob. For the kind of power needed for wok cooking, this is going to be fairly expensive. I looked into this before deciding to buy a flat-bottomed carbon steel wok which I use on my induction cooktop.

For pressure canning, we decided to get a propane gas burner which we will use outdoors. Lots of people who can a lot have a setup like this, regardless of what kind of cooktop they have in the kitchen. Outdoor canning keeps the heat outside the house, and the cost of the propane burners is absurdly low. You can get single electric (non-induction) elements if you want to keep everything indoors.

I would not give up my cooking real estate in the kitchen for gas, not after cooking on induction for the past few months.

Cheryl

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Alex House

I would think that most people who are prepared to drop $1,200-$2,400 for a residential induction wok are doing so not because it is the less expensive alternative to gas, so when they decide to go that route they're probably at the point that they know that they want to do it.

I've canned on induction. Maybe a new pressure canner would make more sense.

You have? What brand of pressure canner do you use? Here's the one I use. All the threads that I've read (I don't claim to have read every thread) follow the basic script, like this one where the conclusion was that no pressure canners of any significance works on induction tops.

My pressure canner weighs 39 lbs empty and a whole LOT more when full and the manufacturer warned against using on ceramic cooktops due to likelihood of cracking the ceramic surface, so I imagine that the same concern would apply to the surface treatment of an induction top, would it not? Do you have that worry when you use your pressure canner on your induction cooktop?

Hollysprings, I can more than just once a year. I did plan on doing this in an outside kitchen but as I thought about it the hassle of moving all the canning gear outside, the movement of the food from the prep zone to the outside, the need to be in proximity while the canning is taking place, all soured me on using an outside kitchen as a permanent location for canning - I want the option of working in the kitchen while still reserving the option to do this task outside if my mood or other circumstances warrant.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:08PM
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Alex House

Jadeite,

By induction wok element, do you mean one with a curved surface to take a standard round-bottomed wok? I don't think anyone makes this as part of a cooktop.

That's exactly what I'm referring to and you're correct, I haven't found anyone who has incorporated this into a cooktop. What I like about this product is that it is sleek enough to blend in aesthetically with most induction tops. Wok on one side, induction in the middle, and a gas or coil unit on the other side.

Outdoor canning keeps the heat outside the house, and the cost of the propane burners is absurdly low.

I already have all the gear and I do use it on hot summer days for the exact reasons you describe but I don't want to rely on this setup on a cold, snowy, windy January day.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:16PM
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jadeite

Alex - the Fagor pressure cooker is perhaps what hollysprings meant. It's mentioned in the thread you reference. Some people use it(macybaby on Harvest) and seem to be pleased with the results. The problem is that there is no way to know what the pressure is inside the cooker. It has never been tested by NCHFP so for the Harvest forum, it isn't acceptable.

I understand not wanting to can outdoors in winter, though I know some who brew beer outdoors year round. I live in the Southwest where the weather is mild enough to cook outdoors just about any time. I don't know what I would do in your position, but I still wouldn't want to have gas in place of induction. But if you have the space, you could have both.

Good luck,
Cheryl

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:58PM
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Alex House

jadeite, it's not a matter of gas instead of induction. No way to that. It's a matter of gas/electric coil next to induction. One or two burner, that's it.

I suspect that my doubt is unfounded but I just want to cross the t's and dot the i's. Induction cooking doesn't produce heat ON THE COOKTOP like we see in other forms of cooking, so would a gas burner right beside an induction cooktop, placed to look like it's integrated as a whole unit, have a heat spillover effect which poses some risk to the induction cooktop? I don't know and I suspect that there is no problem, it's just that I'm not certain of my hunch. So I ask.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:31PM
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eandhl

I for one think the set up you proposed is the best of both worlds and you can still cook during a power outage. I know some posters have done 2 burner induction and 2 burner gas in the past and no one ever posted about a problem.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 6:52AM
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jscout

When I was planning my kitchen I was looking into something similar. This was about 2 years ago. At the time I did consider an induction cooktop with a gas wok hob. I'm thinking if you did that, the wok hob might also serve your canning needs. Just a thought. I ended up going with all gas, because I didn't think induction was ready for my needs yet, namely zone-free induction.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 10:29AM
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Fori is not pleased

As stated, there are modular units available. It isn't all that special, but you can spend quite a bit on it which should be close enough to special. If you don't want a modular setup, you are out of luck and will have to suffer with the same equipment the hoi polloi use.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:12AM
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weedmeister

I see you referenced the Cooktek unit. I have their 1800wt tabletop unit. Built like a tank.

IMHO, their wok unit is a 'one-trick pony'. The bowl you get has to fit their curvature and you can only use it for wokking. I think a gas unit would serve you better. A high-BTU wok burner would be great for your canning. You could use additional gas modules for something else. Me, I would pick a grill.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 3:09PM
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