Boil water in 90 seconds?????

soozFebruary 9, 2010

I've been seeing ads on TV for Electrolux. One claim is that it will boil water in 90 seconds.

Now, I'm not all that with Physics, but if this is true, what magic is at work here? I'd love to be able to boil water in 90 seconds, but I don't want to replace my old favorite gas stove to do it.

Someone clue me in, okay?


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Doesn't say what quantity of water.....
It's an extra powerful burner...3,200 watts.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 11:59PM
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I should run a test on my induction cooktop, I'm always amazed at how fast
things come to a boil. Are the electrolux ads targetting their induction appliances ?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 6:40AM
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Wow! That's fast. I assume it's one cup of water.

I use an electric kettle for the task because it's faster than a kettle on the stove or a microwave. The only thing faster is an instant hot water dispenser.

When you heat water on a stove, it's not energy efficient because you have to heat the kettle, which in turn heats the water. If you have a gas flame, a large percentage of the heat goes to the air around the kettle, not just the kettle. In an electric kettle the water is heated by direct contact with the heating element inside the kettle.

mitchdesj - I'd be interested in how long it takes an induction cook-top to heat 3-cups of water to a full boil.

I have a review on electric kettles and a test boiling 3 cups of water:

-Electric Kettle: 3-minutes 23-seconds
-Microwave: 6-minutes 20-seconds
-Gas Stove: 6-minutes 51-seconds


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 7:45AM
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It all depends on how cold the water is when you start out to boil, and:

Air relative humidity,

And if you live on high altitude, say in Colorado, water will boil much faster.

If you cover the container, water will boil faster.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 8:17AM
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I was thinking like Linda C - how much water? (What does that say about me that I was thinking like Linda C lol!)

I think it's funny that they use Kelly Ripa to promote kitchen appliances, someone who I would guess would need directions to FIND the kitchen let alone cook in one!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 8:25AM
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Remember also that everybody's mileage will vary depending on many factors including where you live, the weather, the size of the vessel (deep v. wide pot), salt in the water?, etc.

Water boils at 212 degrees at sea level. But, for each 1,000' above sea level the boiling point of water drops almost 2 degrees. For instance, at 5,000' water boils at 203 degrees.

So, tests in Denver at about 5,500' & at my house sitting at 7' elevation are going to produce very different results no matter the type of heat applied.

You wouldn't think it would make much difference, time wise, but it takes forever to bring a pot of water to boil here for pasta compared to when we lived in CO. Even after 20+ years here I'm still amazed & fidgeting waiting for water to boil.

But, once boiling, pasta & potatoes cook faster here because the water is hotter.

How about an egg we want to cook while we're camping on top of a high mountain, say at 10,000 feet?

There's a very good law in chemistry that states "You cannot get something for nothing" (the left-hand value of an equation must equal the right-hand value). Time multiplied by temperature equals a hardboiled egg.

If the temperature of the boiling water on the mountaintop is about 20 degrees less than at sea level, then the time taken to cook the egg will have to increase considerably to get our hardboiled egg. Our equation to equal a hardboiled egg cannot change. It is no different with cooking a piece of steak or cooking the potatoes. You can cook at a low temperature for a long time, or a high temperature for a short time.

It is time and temperature that does the cooking. It has nothing to do with whether the water is boiling. That is only a physical phenomenon that you can see. You have to measure for temperature and time, as these are the two factors that determine when the egg is hardboiled.

Some very fussy people even swear that coffee/tea isn't as good at high altitude because the water's colder.

Anyway, all these "tests" have a lot of variables.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 8:45AM
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it takes forever to bring a pot of water to boil here for pasta compared to when we lived in CO. Even after 20+ years here I'm still amazed & fidgeting waiting for water to boil.

You know what's strange, though? It's not only altitude that can contribute to a noticeable time difference, and sometimes the end result is the opposite of what you'd expect (at least it can be at "intermediate" altitudes; maybe not in Denver). Case in point: every year my husband's family vacationed in the PA mountains, and pasta water was much, much slower to boil than I was used to. That was at just over 2000 feet. I live at less than 500 feet, so any noticeable difference should have gone in the other direction; at the higher altitude you'd expect the water would boil faster, not slower. It drove me nuts, trying to understand it. Finally I found out it has to do with a lack of nucleation sites in the water.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 9:25AM
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Yes those ads are for induction.

Grainlady - 3 cups of water (by weight); starting temp 59 deg (Thermapen); Calphalon anodized/nonstick; covered; ceramic cooktop preheated just as long as it took me to weigh the water:

4.5 quart sauce pan on largest burner - At 3:08 I was at my computer in another room and heard the lid rattling. Ran back and it was (obviously) at a full boil.

2.5 quart sauce pan on smallest burner - At 5:10 I peeked in and saw it was already at a full boil. So a few seconds under that I guess.

Sorry I wasn't more exact in those times.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 9:42AM
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I was reading about this new stove. I'm working on a kitchen redo..

I like the sound of it...but what about all my older Calphalon? I don't think I could use it with Induction.

Here is a link that might be useful: Electrolux Induction Range

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 9:50AM
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Nancy, your old aluminum Calphalon will not work with induction, or so the instructions say. If I remember, it's hard anodized aluminum.

Stick a magnet on it and see if it sticks. If it does, it'll work. Plus, someone on another thread told me that they have "hybrids", a combination of gas and induction burners. Or maybe it was electric and induction....

At any rate, I'm not that impatient that I need water to boil in 90 seconds, not even for a cup of tea.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:03AM
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Cloudy, I am sure the diffefrence in the boiling time in the Pa. mountains had to do with the efficiency of the stove....
Well I remember years cooking on vacation at about 9,000 feet. Boiled potatoes fell apart before the cooked agt the center, pasta was goey because it spent longer in the water....bread was wonderful...popped right up....frying roasting or broiling was the best way to cook!
dcarch, how does humidity affect the time it takes water to boil?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:12AM
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Nope, it wasn't the stoves, Linda. Many years, different houses, many stoves, some better than mine. The water was hot enough; it just didn't boil.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:21AM
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I have induction -- it is ridiculously fast. When I put water on for a cup of tea it is boiling before I can get the cup out of the cabinet and put the tea bag in.

The biggest advantage of the induction cooktop is that you can simmer way low and "power-boil" on ANY burner. I've had gas and electric stoves that had certain burners only good for high heat, certain only good for simmmering etc...

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:25AM
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They sell discs that you can use as an interface for non-magnetic metals. But from what I understand they aren't the most efficient. I could see using them in a pinch, but I would tend to think that buying induction requires a commitment to buy new cookware, unless of course your existing set is compatible.

For me the biggest attraction to induction is not so much the speed of boiling water but the quick heat response as compared with traditional electric cooktops. Cost aside, to me choosing between traditional electric and induction is a no-brainer; between induction and gas would be a tough call.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:28AM
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"Posted by lindac --------
dcarch, how does humidity affect the time it takes water to boil? "

Water evaporates faster in low humidty. When evaporation takes place, latent heat of vaporization occurs (phase change) and carries away heat. That why if you cover the water, it boils much faster.

BTW, it is a great opportunity to get young folks to be interested in science. Get them involved in the kitchen. Get them to boil water.

For instance, it makes a little bit of difference scientifically speaking, that a black pot boils slower then a white pot, becuase of black-body radiation energy lost.


BTW, it's actually true that watched water boils slower. Why? because you have to take the cover off.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:32AM
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Annie, maybe induction is why Calphalon came out with the newer tri-ply cookware. I have bought a couple pieces of that and really like it. Have you (or anyone) heard much about canning with induction?

I really like the smooth top factor with the induction cooking. Easy cleanup and the speed. Since I plan on incorperating it into my island, I think it would look better...


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:51AM
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Nancy - I have a couple pieces of Calphalon Tri-Ply. I like it, too, but it is NOT magnetic! Won't work on induction.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:56AM
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Nancy, my boss has induction and says her Presto pressure canner works on it. I'd guess that the All American won't, but she doesn't use that one because it's too "big and heavy".

My old waterbath canner is enameled over steel, so it would probably work, as would stainless steel.

And I just made a crucial decision about my kitchen when we build the new house. I do NOT want induction, what a PIA to figure out which pans work and which won't, geez.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 11:49AM
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I have an induction cooktop we imported from New Zealand before it was all so popular here.

I just did a test - not very scientific but here goes:

3 cups water, 75 degrees starting temp measured with a Thermapen.

2 qt saucepans

Altitude - Chicago - what's that - 600 feet above sea level?

3600W uncovered to 210 degrees (Roiling boil) 180 seconds
3200W covered to 210 degrees 103 seconds

And in another 1/2 qt saucepan on a different hob, I have a pot full of chocolate melting for tempering. No double boiler, no steam to seize my chocolate, just a nice gentle heat.

I bought all new All-Clad to go with the cooktop and it has definitely improved my cooking skills. I was using a set of Le Creuset we got as a wedding present for everything which it obviously isn't good for.

My big Tramontino (walmart) stockpot works fine for canning using a WB. I haven't found a pressure canner that works on induction although my WMF pressure cooker does (wouldn't recommend it for canning though). Annie I will need to check out the Presto canner, thanks for the tip.

And FYI: Use the magnet test!! Not all stainless pots and pans are induction capable. The asparagus steamer, by All-Clad no less, is not. Ask me how I know :)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 12:45PM
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This is fun. I just put 3 cups water on in a 2 qt saucepan. The water was 64 degrees. It's snowing & we've got a storm system nearing that is undergoing bombogenisis (bombing out). The pressure is currently 29.1 and falling. My elevation is basically sea level (7').

On my gas stove, 3 cups of water covered came to a full rolling boil (212 degrees) in 4 min. 51 sec.

I'm going to repeat the test this evening as the storm system approaches us offshore.

I HATED science is school!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 1:18PM
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WOW! Thanks, everyone! Lots of good info here, and mini science experiments and physics lessons, too!

For me, where I am, gas stove, it takes about 6 minutes to boil a big pot of water for pasta. I'll just leave it at that rather than adding all the details of pan size, weight, water temp from tap, burner stuff etc lol


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 3:30PM
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I did some boiling water tests back when I was renovating my kitchen. I tried to keep volumes and temps the same, and the clear winner was my electric kettle. Following in order were: 2) 1600wt countertop induction hob, 3) 17.5K BTU burner on my new gas stove, 4) largest burner on my old smoothtop Kenny cooktop, and 5) microwave.

When I lived in Texas 15 yrs ago, I had quite the sideline bringing in electric kettles from my home leave to Canada each year, mainly for other Canadian and British ex-pats. I still cannot understand why electic kettles are so little used in the US. They are very cheap - $20 and up - considerably cheaper than induction cookers, which are definitely NOT CHEAP.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:38PM
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beachlily z9a

Annie! Annie!! Induction is awesome! If you have a question, just ask. I've had mine since July and love it! The best part is when water boils for pasta, add pasta, turn the temp down and turn it down again and again. My pasta cooks at a much lower temperature than it would on electric. Good thing with induction, when you turn the temp down, water temp goes down immediately.

You are too smart to be defeated by pans. Just use a magnet on the bottom of it. If it sticks, it's good for induction. If the magnet doesn't stick, replace the it! I gave two friends all of my 15 yr old cuisinart cookware. Looked like new. I've made a few false starts, but now love what I've got.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 10:48PM
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LOL, Beachlily, by the time I spend extra money for the induction, I won't have enough money left to replace every darned pan I own and what am I going to use to pressure can things on?


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 11:19PM
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Beachlily: which pans did you end up buying? We're building a house and I want the GE Profile induction cooktop. I'm thinking of the Ikea 360 pans because they won't break the bank, but doing some research. Please let me know. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:00AM
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beachlily z9a

Well, I'm close to finishing the updating of our kitchen. In the process, we've purchased a new induction range--Electrolux. Awesome! I'm baking bread this afternoon.

Pans--I've got a mishmash of pans. A dear Canadian friend picked me up a large set of Lagostina pans (no skillets, just sauce/stock pans). Skillets include new Cuisinart and KitchenAids pans purchased at Marshalls (really good deals). I did purchase a couple of All Clad and within 6 months gave them away to friends who have gas. Didn't work well with my previous range. Don't know about the new one.

I live on the east beach of Florida, and would have to drive 80 mi. to Orlando to look at Ikea. I've never been to one of their stores. Marshalls/HomeGoods have really good prices on pots and pans, just carry a magnet with you to weed out the non-induction pans.

Good luck with your GE cooktop. I have zero experience with cooktops, but love the very complex range I bought. My kitchen is too small for cooktop+wall ovens. Can't spare the cabinet space!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:45AM
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Beachlily, we now have the same range. I love our Electrolux. It's not just the induction - the oven is fantastic as well.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:32PM
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beachlily z9a

Oh, goodie! Love you Tricia! You have gone through something I would go through if, if a hurricane directly hit us. Highly unlikely, just like you! I've printed out your experience so that we would have it if we needed it! I have never seen a primer of what to do when you are the target. I'm baking this afternoon for the first time. Understand that it is a wonderful oven. So, so happy right now! You take care, Tricia!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:50PM
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My aga takes about 45 seconds

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:09PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I went with Emeril pots for my induction and I'm very happy with the see-thru lids esp with induction as with the fast boil, you do need to watch stuff. His lids also have holes in the edges and a lip on the pot for quick and easy draining of veggies and pasta....

I also use cast iron on my cooktop...after I had DH grind off any burrs so the bottoms are smooth and won't scratch the glass.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 5:03PM
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Some interesting info. I usually just use the coffeemaker for hot, albeit not boiling water. I bought an electric kettle and having been thinking a lot lately about trying it. Had it here a couple years now and never had a reason to use it. The last time I roughly timed it I think it was about 4 1/2 minutes to get a pot of water heated up in my old $10 Proctor Silex dripper. That was about 10 of their "cups". I'm not sure if that's actually a true measuring cup of water. Seems to me the coffee producers figure 6oz as a coffee cup, although now that I think of it, I doubt that a full "12 cup" measure on there is over a half gallon! Need to do some measuring! Anyway I guessed it was faster than the stove heating up (this was when I had that Corning topped stove) and probably faster than the microwave from what I remembered when I tried it before.

I don't usually have to pull the lid to see if it's boiling, especially when I'm using a glass lid! And even with the others, I can see the steam start coming out and hear when it gets to a simmer and I know a boil ain't far behind.

I've been so intrigued with induction since I first heard about them. I know several people who are using the single unit induction units and no complaints from them

I never thought about the black vs white pan for heat loss. Interesting. And of course I prefer black to white cookware. Oh well, not that big a thing anyway I'm sure.

Annie, Annie, Annie... I thought you were a cast iron only lady! :)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 4:02AM
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Boiling water in seconds has never been a requirement for my cooking.

I was considering a portable induction stove, but it will not work for me for table top Paella, shish kabobs, satays, ---etc.

I bought a $20.00 butane stove. Works perfectly and no extension cords. Plenty of fire power and the butane cartridges are cheap and long lasting.

Here is a very nice use for a table top butane stove:

Food always gets cold no matter what. You can actually put a ceramic plate on a butane stove set at low fire. It will keep the food hot the entire meal. I have never cracked a plate all these years.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:06AM
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