Bosch vs. Thermador induction cooktops

eleenaSeptember 30, 2012

Has anyone looked into the differences?

AJ Madison has 3 30" Bosch models: 300, 500, and 800 series, varying from (approximately) $1.5K to $2.25K (a little more if not on sale).

Thermador Masterpiece 30" models are CIT304G and CIT304K, priced at ~$2.5K.

Bosch and Thermador are owned by the same parent company. Assuming the same finish (say, black surface with SS trim), is there a reason to go for Thermador vs. Bosch?

Yes, I know that I can print out all the specs and compare line-by-line but I have been doing it for weeks and weeks for many different appliances and I cannot take it anymore, not kidding. It is all so blurry now and I am really frustrated. :-(

So, if you have done this research and know the answer, I'd really appreciate if you could share some of your key findings. Please?

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I recently got a Thermador induction cooktop; I compared it with the Bosch and the Thermador's hobs have higher wattage. I'm really not sure, though, how much difference it makes? Our friends have gotten a kick out of watching a pot of water start to boil in

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Hubby and I chose Thermador over Bosch because we liked the controls on the Thermador. We hated to pay the extra $$$ for what is essentially the same cooktop, IMHO, but the controls configuration won out.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 8:29PM
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I went with Thermador mainly because of the higher power available. I do a fair amount of high-heat cooking, so this was important to me. It may not be for you.

I like the layout of the hobs, as well as the controls. We got our cooktop at a great price so this was a deciding final factor. I think you would be happy with either.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 11:48PM
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I looked into this a year ago, concluded they are exactly the same underneath the glass, thermador pretty much the bosch 500. Same max wattage both brands, 3600w. Get the thermador only if you want the silvery one not available as a bosch imo.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 8:03AM
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Wattage is higher for the Thermador 36" which is what we have.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 9:53AM
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They are not the same max wattage. Thermador seems to be more powerful. Correct me if I'm wrong here. I am referring to AJ Madison's site for this information:
Thermador's outputs are 3700, 3600 (2), 1800. Bosch's outputs are 2200, 2400 (2), 1800.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 12:29AM
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But doesn't the Bosch have power boost?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Oops, I did not realize that AJ Madison site allows to compare up to 4 units!

Yes, Thermador has more power (3.6 and 3.7 kw) on some hobs vs. Bosch 800 serious (2.2 and 2.4 kw).

But I'd like to ask you, ladies and gentlemen:

What do you do with that power?

I have been using a portable countertop induction plate with 1800 w power. It bring water to boil before I am ready for it (LOL) and I have to lower it to medium heat for most applications. I do not wok on it. It is totally adequate for everything else, IMHO.

Controls are a different issue and I do love Thermador's silver finish. That would be a consideration, of course. I have already paid top $ for some things just for looks.

However, they are less important in this case, I just want to know if there is a true difference in performance.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:26PM
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"What do you do with that power? "

I have no idea ! (LOL) For me, it would be like driving a mega-horsepower car, when all I need to do is drive to the grocery store. No doubt it is important to someone. I've been cooking on GE electric (coil) stoves & JennAir cooktop for decades. Anything is an upgrade from that. ;-)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:39PM
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I use the high power output on the Thermador regularly. As I said above, I want high heat on demand for:
(1) stir-frying. This is a big issue for me, I cook most of my vegetables this way, and I stir-fry meat, fish, seafood regularly. I've converted to a flat-bottomed carbon wok which works fairly well on the cooktop.
(2) heating large amounts. I'm in the middle of canning season. Bringing a 21 qt pot of water to a rolling boil is a snap using the power boost on the Thermador. Same with cooking down big pots of preserves. It's also important to me that the kitchen doesn't heat up. That's where you'll really appreciate induction.

On boost you get 4.6 kW out of the Thermador. And it gets there quietly and efficiently. I don't own a Bosch so I can't say whether I would find it sufficiently powerful. Note that you can boost any of the Thermador elements. I don't know how the Bosch works, but some induction units allow boost on selected elements, not all of them.

Hob layout and controls are sensible. I read on this forum about problems other people have had with controls - not sensitive enough, too sensitive, strange error messages. So far I have seen none of these. The timer controls are intuitive and so far, work perfectly.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:51PM
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Thank you!

"I've been cooking on GE electric (coil) stoves & JennAir cooktop for decades. Anything is an upgrade from that."

I know, right?

My current gas cooktop has (probably) 3K-5K BTU burners and I have cooked on it for almost 10 years. IDK how I did it, LOL

I do hate it but mostly because the design.
I use the induction plate to bring pots to boil as it takes forever on the cooktop.

I rarely stir-fry and I don't can (only lacto-ferment), so that's out.

What else?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:51PM
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Despite what many have written here, the entire line of Bosch induction cooktops have a 4400 watt (36') or 3600 watt (30') 11 inch burner. See specs in link below.

If anyone can find a feature that the Thermador has that the Bosch doesn't, post it here. I can't find any, other than the availability of the light color glass.

And no, I have no idea what you'd do with all that power, except for heating water to a boil really fast.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bosch induction cooktops

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Lee676, on the Thermador you can go directly to a power level (e.g., touch "6"), or use the +/- to incrementally increase/decrease the power level. At least a year back the Bosch models did not incorporate both of those in a single model. For that, I would pay one or two hundred more than for a Bosch 500 (which was my choice until I was driven to get a range), but not more than that.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:40PM
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I have the Bosch 500, 30 inch cooktop. I go directly to a power level, one touch. Do not have to increase or decrease by increments. My appliances were installed in late spring 2011. I have all the power I could possibly use but I do not can and am able to stir fry at high heat.

I thought Bosch, Miele and Thermador were similar in their features. Bosch 800 has auto chef which is to maintain temps when frying. (Whenever you add food to an already hot frypan, the temp goes down-but not in auto-chef.) I rarely fry so I felt I could manage that aspect without buying auto-chef.)

For the relatively low price, I got shut-off timers, and direct selection of power. Under unit clearance was important-so I could have a utensil drawer right underneath the unit. The hob layout continues to make me happy.

The Bosch website wattage may be the amount when using boost, rather than the unboosted power offered.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 9:20PM
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The directly settings via the number pad are often cited as a reason to choose the Bosch/Thermador over the GE or other brands that have only up & down buttons.

I checked online - both brands have exactly the same wattage on all four locations, and each has a power-boost setting that can be used if you're not using more than 2 at a time. If all four were on with the power-boost setting at the same time, it would exceed what the 240V/40A electrical circuit can supply. The specs for both brands of cooktops, cut and pasted from the manufacturer's website:

Left Front Element (Size/Watts/Watts with PowerBoost): 9" / 2,200 W / 3,300 W
Right Front Element (Size/Watts/Watts with PowerBoost): 6" / 1,400 W / 1,800 W
Left Rear Element (Size/Watts/Watts with PowerBoost): 6" / 1,400 W / 1,800 W
Right Rear Element (Size/Watts/Watts with PowerBoost): 11" / 2,400 W / 3,600 W

Questions of this sort about the detailed operation of an appliance can usually be answered by downloading the owner's manuals for any models you're considering, and comparing them.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 12:47AM
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I know I could but I just couldn't take it anymore, after printing and reading a gazillion of manuals, LOL. So, I asked folks to indulge me (in the first post) if they had already done the HW.

In the later post, I took the numbers from the specs on AJ Madison site, as they are normally pretty detailed, though not always accurate. It seems that they specified only "non-booster" numbers for Bosch and while both (with and w/o booster) numbers for Thermador. This is where the confusion came from. Those numbers usually come from the manufacturer, so I wonder why.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 10:01AM
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Since I'm not able to get the Bosch FlexInduction anytime soon, I'm in the same boat deciding whether to purchase the Bosch 800 or the Thermador Masterpiece. The 30" inch models. Just to bring it back up again, both these models have the same power and seem to have the same features. Reading both manuals I don't see anything different between them. Does anybody know of a difference?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 5:21PM
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The visual design and layout of the controls is different, between the two brands.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 6:49PM
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Cool, I read the manuals twice to see if I could find a difference. We do like the way the Thermador looks over the Bosch 800, but I can't justify spending the difference, especially with the $300 rebate going on.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Thermador controls look more like the Bosch 500 to my eyes, with the numbers on the glass rather than the frames. The work the same way.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:07PM
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I can tell you the difference between the Bosch 500(30) and the Bosch 800, 30 also, at the time, 2011, when I bought the Bosch 500. The main difference was that the 800 had auto-chef, which maintains the frying temp of oil when, during frying, food is added to the pan. Normally, when cold or room temp food is added to a frying pan, it lowers the temp of the fat in the pan. Auto chef prevents lowering.

I rarely fry and even if I did, I felt that I could monkey with the controls to increase the heat a bit, when food is added. I didn't want to spend even 5$ for an admittedly nice feature. Just wasn't worth it to me. Ymmv.

The other difference, which I didn't know at time of my purchase, was that the controls on the 800 or 500 for that matter, were located a few inches away. That really didn't matter to me.

The single most important feature, to me, was the clearance required under the cooktop. I think most induction tops would cook equally well and powerfully. They'd all clean easily and all look neat and modern. Keep the kitchen cool. It wouldn't have mattered to me if I had to touch a couple more buttons to achieve a particular heat or change heats.-Certainly not worth hundreds of dollars when I could touch a pad here and there. No big deal. Just my thoughts.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:19PM
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I just installed a Bosch 800 30". Purchased at outlet as a floor model, but new in box unopened, for less than the 500 series brand new. Minute differences in the 500 and 800 series; the power button on the 800 are on the stainless strip on the 800 versus the glass on the 500 (less fingerprints maybe?) and the Auto Chef.

I haven't tried Auto Chef yet as my free pan for it has not arrived yet, but it is for more than just frying. With the pan, you can select one of 9 preset programs and it will bring the pan up to proper temp, beep to alert you to add your fat or oil to the pan, the cooktop adjust the temps as you are cooking and then turns itself off when complete. Different preset programs are things like ground meat, steak - medium rare, fish, eggs, stir fry vegies.

I was cooking on a 28 year old Jenn-Air electric coil top before this; this thing amazes me! I can boil water faster than in my microwave and the instant response is amazing. Bought Tramontina cookware for it, very pleased with the ease of cooking and cleanup with it.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Wow, Sandra, I didn't know that Bosch Auto Chef did all that. One cannot brag about being a good cook because the cooktop does all the work! That's wonderful. Enjoy your new toys.

For the record, the 500 has shutoff timers, too, and I really like them. And I love the triply Tramontina, too, but I have only one piece.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 3:18PM
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Please be careful with Thermador.

I'm having a terrible/beast of a time with my $5K range. PRG364G US model.

I need another repair on it. First, an igniter board went out, then the circuit board. . . now, it does nothing but broil. . . .imagine trying to cook with a jet engine, full on all the time. . . .

On top of it - imagine a company that sold a product that didn't have the plate with a model number and serial number on the inside. (Not kidding)

The Thermador brand is not what it used to be. . . .please be careful. Be very, very careful. I'm into this 5K range for over 7K now, and it still isn't working.

Difficult to find "certified" techs (and by difficult, I mean impossible). . .Sears wouldn't touch it without a serial number. . . .

Please do me a favor before picking a Thermador. . .go read up on the brand now, the problems, reviews. There are problems across the board for every single product. Not just the ranges.

Wish I had read reviews first. I would have gone with Viking or Wolf. Now it's either fix it again (if I can, for another $700.00) or cough up another 5-6-7K for another 36" stainless steel pro oven/range.

Another person out there, angry at his 6K "heap." And that's putting it mildly. . . .

I just want to give you that insight as a current Thermador owner who wishes that I wasn't. . . . .boy do I wish that I wasn't. . . . .

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Technodweeb, you have an induction cooktop or induction range, right? Or is it an electric unit? Or gas? let us know. thanks

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 1:29AM
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Free standing 36" Gas (not dual fuel) 4 burner plus griddle convection oven/range. Monster.

There were thermadors I had experience with that were 15 years old and never a problem.

So, during a remodel of my current home, I bought another one. Loved it, bought it, regret it now.

Of course, I didn't do my research before jumping and buying another Thermador. That was my big mistake, and boy am I wearing it. Boyyyyyyyy am I wearing it. . . . . .

Come to find out I'm not the only one now with a very, very expensive "heap." (grin) Guess I'm now one of thousands and thousands of people who made this mistake.

Don't get me wrong - monster wonderful range. Awesome centerpiece. . .when it works!

Does everything with amazing speed, and wonderful lines, beautiful style, a dream to cook on!

But gawd forbid if you need service. You are in for a terrible, terrible experience. And of course, when you need service is when you are under pressure. Like ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, thanksgiving? (grin) That was just the latest adventure.

Delivery damaged it. They "crushed" it like a tin box with the straps (unboxed it to get it through the only functioning door.) Getting replacement panels was a horrendous problem. Months and months. That was my first indication that there were going to be issues.

Then one board went, then another circuit board went, and now another board seems to have gone out. (I suspect the same circuit board, again.)

No "certified" technicians in the area, either. Search on their site, and there aren't any qualified service people within 120 miles. Search for dealers, and there are 12 within 25 miles.

Have a sub zero fridge (known cooler issue), and a bosch dishwasher (known motor problem, fixed immediately). When both needed service, I had not a single problem. Quick, knowledgable, efficient.

The complete opposite of my Thermador experience.

Had I known, I would have gone with a Wolf or a Viking. All options being about equal in that price range, I liked the lines and style of the Thermador better and went on prior experience.

Just understand, if you choose Thermador, you are rolling the dice.

Want to know what is really angering? As I was sarcastically laughing last time about the $700.00 circuit board, saying that I should have gone with a Wolf or a Viking, the repair person told me that Viking and Wolf parts are readily available here, at a fraction of the cost. He even told me Viking parts are available from Sears.

Pouring salt into an already open wound. Ohhhhhhhhhhhwuh! Thanks a lot! (grin)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:38AM
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thanks for all the info! i've been a lurker for years and finally joined to ask a question (and to contribute my thoughts after my purchase :) )

To the owners of Bosh 500 and 800 series cooktops, how do you find the response of the controls (glass) on the 500 and on the SteelTouch panel for the 800?

I'm struggling between the 2 and I was wondering which one to get. The AutoChef, from what ppl have described here, is interesting, but I'm not sure how much I'd use it, as I like to control my cooking rather than let a computer sensor and pre-programmed algorithms determine when my food is ready.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 6:33AM
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i decided on the the Bosch 500. I decided the nicer controls on the steel strip wasn't worth the extra $800, and didn't need the AutoChef..

here's a picture of it installed!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:13AM
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See the thread "any positive thermador reviews" for a full discussion of this issue. Many people, including me, have had a great experience with thermador products, including service. There are horror stories on the web on all appliances; it's not a great way to make a decision. It's understandable why someone with a bad experience makes a lot of noise, but it's not a reliable way to assess a products overall quality and potential benefit to you. In fact, you're "rolling the dice" with any appliance decision. You may or may not be the one who has problems and/or doesn't have a good local service network to address them.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 6:26PM
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I read an article a while back that said when looking at reviews never look at the 5 star or the 1 star reviews and only pay attention to the 4 star and 3 star reviews.
The 5 star reviews are generally FanBoys
The 1 star reviews are generally haters trying to get back at a company.
The 4 and 3 Star reviews will really assess why they liked and disliked a product and are generally a more honest review.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 6:49PM
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We are in your exact same boat, except we are also trying to decide between induction and gas. If we go with gas its going to be the 36" Bosch 800, plus we really like the AutoChef feature. The Bosch is a great value when pair with other Bosh items. Add to it the fact that we simply couldn't see any reason to spend the extra money on the Thermador, unless you wanted the silver top. We didn't like the silver so it made it an easy choice. There is no reason to believe the Thermador will give even the slightest better preformace. That said I'm sure both are outstanding cooktops.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 7:18PM
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We have a Bosch 5 burner induction cooktop with the middle burner that is suppose to change from small to large depending on the size pan that you are using. I love everything about this cooktop except that middle burner is a lemon and Bosch just makes us run around in circles and will not work with us. We have paid to have it fixed but it still doesn't. The parts we replaced it with had to be ordered 6 times, because the element is made of very brittle plastic and they send it to you in a flimsy envelope. We paid 2500 for this and chose it for the large burner. The small portion of the middle burner works, but the larger part does not. Because of this, I don't have any large burner. I would buy induction again, but I will never buy a Bosch product again.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 10:48PM
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