Legitimate concern or silly question about induction cooktops?

martinkk333September 2, 2013

While shopping for an induction cooktop, I have noticed that the large hub most always seems to be in the middle toward the back of the cooktop. My everyday pan is an 11" square and I am fairly short at 5' 2" tall. I'm concerned that the large element that I will need to use most often is too far back for me to reach it comfortably, without causing back strain; Especially since I only seem to be getting shorter with age and the cooktops need to sit at least 2 1/2 inches back from the front edge of the counter top. Am I making a mountain out of a molehill or is this a legitimate concern?

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What is comfortable to you can only be answered by you.

I don't know how many 5'-5'2" cooks we have hear to give their opinion of the ergonomics of cooking on the rear burner for cooks of that stature.

Appliance engineers would but the big power hob in the rear to help the ranghood evacuate all the effluent. But if you really don't like it why not get an induction cooktop with the power hob in front?

Or if in your price range full surface induction?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 8:11PM
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Fori is not pleased

I'm 61" and haven't had a problem. (Sinks and faucets though--make sure that spout reaches far enough forward!) I think what you'd want to do is try it out. Measure where the big hob will be, mark it on your counter, and pretend to cook. Or make yourself use the rear burners on your current cooktop and see if they're tolerable.

There are things you can do if you are remodeling--some 36" cooktops have the big one in the middle, so go with 36". Or lower your cooktop run counter. I think Rhome4ten has done this--look her up on the kitchen forum if you haven't or check it out her blog. I don't know if she's short but a short person could be happy in her kitchen. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: http://rhome410.blogspot.com/p/my-kitchen.html

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Fori is not pleased

By the way, totally legitimate concern. :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Thank you so much for answering. When I asked the salesperson this, she looked at me like I crazy, and didn't answer.

fori...You are so right about 's kitchen. It is fit for a queen. I should be so lucky.

It looks like I may have to take deeageuax's suggestion and go with full surface induction. The only one I have seen around here is the Thermador Freedom and it is only available at one store that I can find and the price is up there. It's a few hundred less than what I've seen online but still more than we wanted to spend on the cooktop, but doable, if necessary.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:21PM
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I am 5ft 2'' and have the gagg induction with 5 hobs and the big hob in the center. I do not find it difficult at all. But I did lower my cooktop counter lower by 3'' so it is 33 inches instead of standard 36''. Works for me and my elderly mom who is the other cook in the kitchen. She is shorter than me and loves the lower counters. That may not be an option for you though. I would check to see if you can install your cooktop closer to the edge if possible -- that changes your effective angle as well.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Am now 62"and have absolutely no problem using my induction hobs at my standard ht. cooktop. Front and back hobs. They are designed fo almost all sized people. I respectfully disagree with Fori. Do you have trouble with your existing stove? Using that pan? How short is the handle? Btw, I have no problem with pots of two handles,as opposed to one long handle.

Even tho I anticipated difficulty with a 10 inch deep sink, it has been another delightful thing in my new kitchen. That may be due to the Kohler Karbon faucet which adjusts every which way.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 11:58PM
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For me having the big hub at the front was an absolute must, not because I'm short, (I'm 5' 10"), but because I don't like to have to reach over the other pans to stir fry and bang my head on the hood while doing so.

We could not do a 36" and we did not see the need for it, so we went with a Miele 30 with the biggest hub in the front. With a family of 6, we use a large pan almost everyday so having the pan in the front is really nice.

BTW GE also have one with the large hub in the front. We did get strange looks when we ask for the large hub in the front when shopping around.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Fori is not pleased

My issue with sinks isn't the depth--it's where the water comes out. So I buy big faucets and have my sink as far forward as possible now. I've never had a problem with a cooktop, but just like using a sink, everyone does different things there and has different ways of injuring themselves.

I'm more concerned with what gives me a back ache than if I can manipulate that crepe on the back burner just so.

I guess I don't really tend things on the stove. As long as I can see and reach, I don't care. I'm not there long enough to strain myself and the food items that do require maneuvering (pancakes?) don't give me trouble on the back burner.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 10:58AM
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My Kenmore slide-in induction (older model) has the two largest burners in the front -- that is what sold me!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 11:10PM
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A big burner on the front makes it easier to lift heavy pots, flip pancakes, and stir things. A big burner on the back means you don't have to go over or past a big hot pot to get to a smaller pot behind. Plus, having it at the back makes the steam more likely to get captured. So both formats have benefits. I'm 5'3", and the 11" hob on my 30" cooktop is in back. I do notice that I have to reach a little, but I prefer it in back.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:38PM
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Using a cooktop is different in front to back dimension than a slide-in range. A cooktop is less than 20" to about 21.5" deep so the rear burner areas may be usable. If you do a layout on a piece of cardboard you can get more first hand info on what works with your pans.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Thanks for your responses, everyone.

That is a great thought about the sink, as well. I currently have a SS undercount and usually "lean" on the strip in front of the sink while washing dishes. I tried an apron sink in a display and now plan to go that route. I like that its closer to me and I don't have to "reach over" the strip in front.

As for the cooktop. I really wanted the mirrored finish, but right now I think I've decided to just close my eyes, swallow hard and order the Thermador Freedom 36".

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Kiki, How many pots can cook at one time on the Freedom? Four or five but not six?

If ur happy,go for it.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 11:28PM
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Only four, but they can be large ones. We use the griddle quite a bit. I'm also counting on being able to put several smaller pots on the griddle if I need to use more than four.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 11:51PM
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