I Need A New Stove - What Would You Buy?

amck2November 12, 2012

I've posted on Appliances and Kitchens, but I'd like to reach out to the cooks & bakers I've come to know here to help me in my search for a new range. I'm looking for a slide-in 30" model.

Currently, I have a dual-fuel(which I loved before the electronic mother board fried) and am thinking of going that route again. Have stayed away from all gas, as I wanted the even heat of an electric oven for baking. However, many have said that problem is a thing of the past. I'd like a gas cooktop, for sure. I'm not prepared to give away all my favorite pots & pans and buy new ones for induction burners.

I cook and/or bake at least 6 days a week and do all the major holidays for our family. Status names don't mean much to me, but heavy cast iron continuous grates do. I would love to know what you would choose if you had to purchase a new range. Thanks

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I have had a Capital Culinarian for about a year, and am very pleased with it. Pros: it's got some powerful burners (23,000 BTU), with which you can do real stir fry. Fit & finish excellent (and it does have heavy cast iron continuous grates). The self cleaning gas oven has a rotisserie in it. I find the oven works fine, but I haven't used an electric oven for years so I can't compare.

Only drawback I've found is that the oven, like all gas ovens, needs to be vented. When you put it on self clean cycle the kitchen does heat up appreciably.

Capital's distribution network is not huge. I'm in SC and bought this from Eurostoves in Boston. Service, fortunately, has not been an issue.

I'm very pleased with the purchase; I got it in black (almost got it in fire engine red, but lost my nerve) and it looks and cooks great. No regrets. The link is to Eurostoves' web site dedicated to the Culinarian.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eurostoves Capital Culinarian

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 3:40PM
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My son has and because I loved it and was head of "The Committee" I got 2 for the church....and everyone really loves them.
GE..gas, I'll look up the model...

Here is a link that might be useful: This one!!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 4:12PM
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I considered a dual fuel range when I renovated 4yrs ago, but ultimately decided on an all gas DCF instead. The overriding consideration was cost - DF models were a considerable upcharge over AG, and as you found out, their life span is short due to their delicate electronics. AG ranges, particularly the "pro-style" ones, are durable, old-fashioned technology, with NO electronics at all, other than the igniters. They only need 110V connections.
My oven has a "convection" fan, which does a pretty good job of keeping temps uniform. I do a lot of baking and roasting, although very little touchy stuff that demands uber-constant controlled temps. I've had a lot of crappy electric ovens over the years, and this one is so much better. Before choosing AG, I polled all my friends and relations who had gas about their experiences. IIRC, only 1/10 complained about the baking behaviours of gas ovens.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I went induction and am delighted. In the past I've cooked on both gas and electric, and this is by far the best. I can melt chocolate without a double boiler and can keep a cream soup warm without simmering, and yet I can boil a pot of water in 90 seconds or less. And I have immediate control like I do with gas, but without all that energy wasted. The top heats just the pot so I can actually spread paper towels around the outside of the fry pan to catch the fat splatters making clean up very easy. And in general, the all glass top is far easier to clean than any gas top.

And I have to admit, I like my new pots and pans too.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:54AM
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I gave up my pots and pans to go induction and would do it all over again. That said, I also had to buy a single burner hot plate to cook on during the kitchen remodel. I kept that along with my big Calphalon soup pots and my pressure canner for those few times I need to go that way.
I've also found that you don't need expensive pans with induction, just not needed.

The slide in Electrolux stove seems like it would be perfect for you. I have the wall oven from Electrolux and it is wonderful. The racks glide in and out so easy and the settings are great. Do yourself a favor and at least take a look.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Thank you for the responses. Capital and DCF are brands I am not very familiar with, but will research. Arley, I loved that you "almost" got the red. There's someone on the Kitchens forum named Marthavila who purchased a red AGA that is the centerpiece of her kitchen. I wish someday I could be that brave.

Lindac, your vote for a GE says a lot to me. I know you as a scratch cook who puts on many meals for many people.

AnnieDeighnaugh, this purchase is a difficult one for me (I'm not a car person, a designer clothes person, etc. but I love my kitchen tools) because the clock is ticking on how much longer I can put off buying plus it's not something I've budgeted and saved for. My head is spinning with the choices and I thought I could easily eliminate one - induction. But now you have me thinking about it again. Both saleswomen who assisted me when I went out shopping (people I'd dealt with before whose opinions I respect) had recently replaced their gas ranges with induction. That said a lot to me, considering they have their pick of anything, with employee discounts. I rationalized that they see it as the wave of the future and they needed to be familiar with it if they were going to promote them. But still... Can you tell me what new pots/pans you got and approx. how much you had to invest in them. And, can you use Le Creuset enameled cast iron pots on induction? If so, do you? Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:54AM
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In general, a gas stove is a relatively simple mechanical appliance, and an electric stove is a little more complicated, but still simple. They are reliable and long lasting. I would focus mainly on style and features that appeal to you. I would also go to a big store like HD, who has done all the reliability studies for you.

Induction stove is a very complicated digital electric/electronic appliance; it is a good idea to check user reviews thoroughly. If you plan to go all electric, also check and see if you need to upgrade your house electric system to make sure that you have the capacity.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:02AM
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We purchased the Electrolux Induction slide-in range last December. If it's possible to be in love with an inatimate object then, I LOVE IT!

The oven is a dream. My favorite features are the Proofing and Perfect Poultry but I also use the Crock Pot feature frequently. Truthfully, the oven has every feature I've ever lusted over all in one product. The self-clean works extraordinarily well. I love the two ovens also.

The benefits of induction were what drew us to the Electrolux and I'm still thrilled with the speed, fast control, safety, less energy, and cleanliness of cooking with induction. No more scrubbing the stove like with our gas or electric ranges.

Pans? Yes, I use my LC on the Electrolux. No problems. I really didn't have to purchase many new pans because most of what I own, other than LC, is AC. I did have to replace one stockpot.

I would highly recommend you broaden your considerations to include induction. I also believe it will be the choice of the future.

We were flooded out of our home by Sandy. The house is unliveable and will be for a long time. Obviously, we lost all our appliances. There is no question - we will purchase another Electrolux Induction.

Happy hunting!


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:18AM
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I was considering induction, and got a little induction 'hot plate'--Le Creuset works great on it.

If you are considering induction, you might want to get a separate cooktop and oven. You can put an induction cooktop over a wall oven mounted beneath the countertop level, so you have in essence a setup similar to a range. Only problem would be cost; a good induction cooktop can be pricey, but might have more power than an induction range. (Some Miele units have a hob with >3000 watts)

If I were to go induction, I think I'd splurge on a Miele cooktop with shutoff timers. Virtually every range has a 'kitchen timer' that makes an audible sound to notify you that a certain amount of time has elapsed. A true shutoff timer, however, shuts off the power to the induction hob. That would be really handy. I know some Miele units have that; there may be some others, too.

The link is to a site that discusses virtually every induction device available.

Here is a link that might be useful: induction site

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:07AM
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I am going to take more time to digest the latest responses. Thanks to all who posted.

/tricia, I'm not plugged into the forum as I once had been (spend most days w/out computer @ my parents' home caring for them)and I had not read about your experience with Sandy. I'm sorry for your losses. Obviously, you're okay, but what a lot to deal with. It brought me back to Earth on how cranked up I'd become about having to spring for a new stove.

arley, you mentioned about virtually every stove having a timer. Imagine my surprise when a Viking DF range we were shown had no timer (or clock or temperature read out.)I was gravitating to "stripped down" rather than bells & whistles. But that really took me aback. I'd never seen a stove without even a manual timer.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:54AM
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Here's another vote for induction. We have a Thermador 36" induction cooktop with Electrolux electric convection wall oven. We took out GE Monogram gas cooktop and electric wall oven, and couldn't be happier. I'm still learning what can be done on induction and it's all good.

I love the smooth simmer, the fast high heat and immediate shutdown. DH loves the ease of cleanup. It generates no waste heat so our venting is simpler. I've started to use the timer regularly. It's great to set something to cook for X minutes and walk away. I'm sorry to lose my huge collection of anodized aluminium, but steel pots with aluminium disc bases work well and clean up more easily. I'm using all my cast iron, both bare and enamelled.

I had had my heart set on a Bluestar gas cooktop to replace the GE, but venting was a big problem. So I looked at induction and the more I saw, the better I liked it. Now I wouldn't go back to gas for anything.

The Elux oven is a baker's dream. It has 2 glide racks, the convection makes every part of the oven usable - important if you make double and quadruple batches of cookies like I do. It also has all the bells and whistles you expect of modern ovens - a timer which will shut the oven off after a set interval, a temperature probe which you can use for roasting meats, a bread proofing mode when the kitchen is too cold, convection roast which turns an element on in the roof of the oven so you get beautiful browning. It also has a "perfect turkey" mode which made us laugh. DH asked if it brined and smoked the turkey which is our idea of perfect.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 12:55PM
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And induction doesn't heat up your kitchen in the summer. Bosch cooktop also has shutoff timers. I'd never go back, either. Ikea has induction cooktop for $999. But check the prices at ajmadison.com. prices for induction are dropping.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 1:55PM
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I have a 4 oven aga but I want a wolf with red knobs..

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 3:18PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I had an auto shut off oven one time and had co. and was wondering why the roast wasn't getting done...then i realized it shut itself off too soon! So I'm not sure that would be an attraction.

Yes cast iron works beautifully on an induction so anything cast iron will work well. I bought Emeril pots and pans from Macy's on sale so not that pricey. I also bought Farberware Millennium cookware for my nonstick fry pans as they are harder to find that work on induction. I also bought a nice Lodge enamel cast iron soup pot that I love.

The way you test if a pot will work on induction is simply see if a magnet will stick to the bottom. If it sticks, it's fine. If it doesn't stick, it won't work.

I see now thought that they are starting to make induction plates...a metal plate that the induction cooktop will heat that you can then put a traditional pot on. I have never tried them though. I would imagine you lose a lot of control with them as well as speed.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:50PM
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I've tried induction plates. They do work, but are very inefficient. All the speed and response of induction is lost. I think for something like a big pot of stock, they may work.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:07PM
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I am a stick in the mud.....I like cooking on a gas stove.
And I find that my friends who really "cook" prefer gas, unless there is a reason why gas is impractical. like no gas line in the house, or a venting problem.
If you are used to cooking on a gas cook top, I don't think you will be completely happy with induction. Find someone who has one and ask if you can go and cook their dinner some time.
Induction is a huge improvement over an ordinary electric stove, but I still like cooking with a gas flame.
Try it before you buy.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:44PM
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After suffering with an electric range for many years, I finally got the gas range linked below (roll over pic to see enlarged views). Features I like, in addition to its being gas, are:

Cast-iron, full-coverage grates.
Center oval burner for griddle.
2 high-output power burners (max 17200 BTU)
One all-purpose burner.
One simmer burner.
Convection oven.
Self cleaning oven.

Cost, with various deals rebates and discounts was about $550, which I think is pretty reasonable. Stainless steel is about $100 more.

I've only had it for a few days. So far, so good. I like it. I'm looking forward to doing some wok cooking.


Here is a link that might be useful: Kenmore Gas Range

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:19PM
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You need to think of a few things. There are home stoves (Kenmore) and home stoves that are made to look like commercial stoves (Viking, some GE) and then there are commercial stoves (Wolf, Dacor).

The commercial stoves usually put out a lot more heat for each burner and in some communities, may require additional fireproofing in the kitchen, as well as better exhaust systems than the typical home kitchen.

The commercial stoves are made of thicker metal and they get a lot hotter physically and stay hotter longer. In the summer, that may not be desirable.

Look at where the knobs are in relation to the top of the stove. Sometimes they're slanted and facing slightly up - that looks nice but it's stupid as any splatters or spills go right on to them. The Wolf has a slight lip over them to prevent that sort of thing.

The interior size of the oven space varies from stove to stove even tho the external dimensions may be very similar. Get the dimensions - they'll matter if you do a lot of baking or roasting and want to do multiple things at once. Wolf for example, has more interior cooking space than some rival brands of exactly the same outward dimensions.

The seal around the oven door is thicker and stronger in a commercial stove than in a home stove.

The hinges on the oven door are usually stronger on a commercial stove - you can stand on the open door, whereas on a home stove you may break it. But if you want to rest a heavy turkey or roast on it, that strength helps.

The burner grates on some home stoves are light and move easily and that can be dangerous if you have heavy pots full of liquids that are cooking. The burner grates on commercial stoves are usually cast iron and heavy.

The commercial stove is usually a lot heavier than a home stove.

Commercial stoves are a pain to clean. You can't simply wipe them off like you can an electric home stove. You lift up the heavy grates, take apart the heavy metal top, and it's a real chore. In restaurants, they have someone whose job is cleaning. In your house, it's you.

If you have cheap or not even cheap, but home-ware pots and pans, the commercial stove may not be a perfect fit for them. We have some Farberware pots that I got 30 years ago. The flames are so hot from the stove and they circle the pot that we've ruined several of them. You're better getting commercial cookware.

Many famous chefs have home stoves in their homes, rather than the big commercial stoves they work with every day.

We have a Wolf stove with red knobs. It's one of the most expensive things in the house. It's a pain. The solenoid ignition clicks continually when you turn a burner on unless you get the repairman out to precisely align things. I love the heat it puts out in the winter. I don't bake at all in the summer any more. It boils a pot of water for coffee in no time. It then stays hot for an hour.

Just some other stuff to consider. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:12AM
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Another induction user here. I've had induction for 7 years and wouldn't go back to any other method. Cleaning is so simple, control is as good or better than gas, safety is better than gas, less heat is created in the kitchen. We're moving in a few weeks and the new house is getting an updated kitchen with an E'lux cooktop. When we were looking at houses I considered the big, expensive gas ranges to be a flaw!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:09AM
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Just want to add I love my DCS AG range. Infrared broiler is great, there is a convection fan and sure works good for cookies as well as roasting. I especially love all 5 burners are dual stacked so you can simmer on all of the burners. My 30 inch range has 3- 17,500 BTU and 2- 12,500 BTU burners. Since switching from electric to AG two great features are anything roasted is more moist and I can cook during power outage.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:50AM
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Personally, I disagree with lindac. We are "real" cooks, as she puts it, and we would never return to gas after using the Electrolux Induction for 10 months. Change is more difficult for some than others. But, if you're looking for quality easy and fast cooking, simple clean-up, suburb control, safety, less energy use, and a dream oven consider the Electrolux Induction. Watch the video at the link below.

Our house is gutted. We could put in any range we wanted. We've already repurchased the Electrolux.


Here is a link that might be useful: Electrolux Induction

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 11:58AM
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I was happy to see more replies to this post. This decision is so important to me that we decided to improvise with our countertop oven, microwave & small appliances (electric pressure coooker, Nesco roaster) until after the holidays. Since I'm torn between DF, AG, and now, induction, I needed more time to research and determine which best fits my wants & needs.

Though I don't delude myself to think I'm an outstanding cook, cooking and baking aren't simply chores to me. They're my favorite hobbies and creative outlets. I want to end up with a stove I'm really pleased to use each day which is why the impressions from the contributors here on CF are so helpful.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 3:56PM
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I must correct a few things rosinney said. Wolf and Dacor are HOME ranges, and are not commercial in any sense. It is a very bad idea, and usually contravenes any local safety codes (as well as home insurance policies), to put a commercial range in a home kitchen. There is an FAQ over on the Appliance Forum that details all the reasons.

Wolf, Dacor, Viking, DCS, Capital, Bluestar, and some Thermador and GE models are described as "Pro-style", which mainly means they look more industrial than your average range, although designed for home use. Generally, they have higher BTU burners (15K - 23K BTU), which are more useful for certain cooking techniques than those of cheaper mass-market brands (12K BTU or less). The all-gas versions have minimal electronics - usually no clock or timers. Dual fuel models are loaded with electronics, and usually die long before the AG ones because the electronics get fried due to the high heat of their cooktops.

Because of their increased firepower, pro-style ranges, especially if equipped with grills, require more powerful ventilation systems than simpler ranges. Depending one where you live and the local building codes, the vent system can easily cost more than the price of the range itself (ask me how I found out about that....).

As for ease of cleaning, there are no absolutes. My DCS is no more difficult to clean up than the previous POS electric smoothtop that preceeded it. And I have heard of builder-grade gas ranges that are horrendous to clean - every minor overflow fuses to the deck. I sure wouldn't expect an appliance salesman to be a source of honest criticism where this is concerned.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:56PM
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I have a gas range in my cottage and an induction cooktop in my remodeled kitchen. I am old and have cooked on other gas stoves and electric coil cooktops. Induction is way better than either.

Only three things are better on gas; one is watching flames, charring peppers, or cooking during an outtage. The appliances forum has gobs of threads about the virtues of each heat source.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 12:13AM
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These are the major costs for operating a restaurant:

1. Air conditioning system
2. Cleaning and sanitation.
3. Exhaust system for burning gas.
4. Fire suppression system for using gas.
5. energy use cost

I don't know one single restaurant that uses induction cooking.

I do however agree with many home cooks who prefer induction cook tops. There are advantages for home cooks whose cooking habits work well with induction.

I happen to prefer cooking with gas.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 12:52AM
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dcarch - Heston Blumenthal chose induction for Kitchen, his new restaurant in London (http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/13/07/2011/339048/My-New-Kitchen-Dinner-by-Heston-Blumenthal.htm). Ditto for Noma in Copenhagen (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2009/aug/12/noma-restaurant). Ditto again for Per Se in your own back yard (http://news.cnet.com/2300-11386_3-10004050-12.html).

Are those three enough or do you need more proof?


    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 9:40AM
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Exhaust systems are not for venting the combustion products of gas. Gas burns very cleanly, producing only water and CO2. It is the smoke and aerosolized grease that needs to be vented, and the higher the heat used, the more of these products that are produced. If you cook with high heat on an induction cooker, you will need just as powerful a vent system as if you burned gas.

A franchise restaurant owner I know installed a few induction burners in his kitchen. His big problem was staff stealing the induction compatible cookware, which was of much higher quality than that often used on gas.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 8:19PM
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cooksnsews - venting is far more problematic for gas than induction because so much heat is wasted when cooking on gas. Only about 30% of the energy generated from gas goes into actual cooking, the rest is wasted. This excess heat needs to be vented. Induction delivers about 80-90% of its energy into cooking. See link below.

Venting is precisely the reason many owners turn to induction - it was for us. By going with induction instead of gas, we were able to install a 600cfm vent instead of the 1200 - 1500 cfm the gas cooktop would require. The higher powered vent hoods also require make up air in many parts of the country, which is a whole separate problem, often a very expensive one.

We also ended up with a lot more power than the gas cooktop would have provided. As I said earlier, we would never go back.


Here is a link that might be useful: how induction works

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 10:24PM
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I can totally understand Per Se, Noma and Heston's restaurants using induction cook top for their kitchens.

These are not your conventional restaurants with your typical serving style and recipes. First, if you are lucky, you need maybe only 3 months to get a reservation, to get a chance to spend $400.00 to $1,000 per person for a dinner.

The food they serve typically are multi-course tasting menu style, one dish is about one mouthful. Their foods tend to be raw, or rare without the use of high heat cooking. The services tend to be very relaxed and unhurried with overwhelming numbers of staffing both in the kitchen and in the dining room.

Yes, induction cook tops would be very possible in that environment.

Perhaps I should rephrase my question: of the 560,000 restaurants in the USA, how many of them cook with induction?

I will repeat, I have nothing against induction. I think induction works great for many people, However the OP asks for advices to make a decision, all I am trying to do is to present facts in different situations.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 11:31PM
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To quote your post "I don't know one single restaurant that uses induction cooking." I responded with three, all distinguished by their reputation for excellence. I suspect that these restaurants can use any cooking system they want. They chose induction.

I don't know how many restaurants cook with induction, but the link below indicates that the number is growing. The article cites the cons as well as pros so I think it presents a reasonable set of facts.

However I agree that what restaurants use or don't use is irrelevant to the OP's question, so I don't know why you raised this point.


Here is a link that might be useful: induction - pros and cons

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 11:50PM
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I am sorry that I made a mistake in stating what you have quoted me, and I rephrased as per above. I hope you see the point I am trying to make is, perhaps it would be interesting to find out why so few restaurants use induction. I don't know if the answer is relevant or not.

My own personal view is this; the ultimate purpose of the kitchen is to produce good tasting food, based on one's food preferences and cooking skills. If you can make better tasting food with induction, I don't even think you should be discouraged by power outages that can last for weeks. Go for it. I am serious.

I certainly cannot reason out the money savings from the efficiency in induction can offsets the much more costly equipment purchase and the upgrading of your house's electric power system, and that it should be a consideration whether you can make better tasting food with one or the other.

I hope I am not being disagreeable, I also don't understand, in general, why exhaust system for gas cooking is so problematic.

I do agree induction is ultra clean and boils water super fast.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 12:38AM
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dcarch - I take your point. I didn't mean to be argumentative either, I hope you weren't offended. But many of these gas versus induction discussions are so superficial - real cooks use gas, you can't cook in a power outage, no professionals use induction. These points are trivial when you consider how many hours we spend cooking.

I get that power outages are a sore point after Sandy, but honestly I've lived through many a storm, blizzard and tornado with outages aplenty. I would still choose induction because 99.9% of the time there IS power, and that's more important than the .1% there isn't. I would install a generator rather than go back to gas.

I enjoy cooking and have cooked on gas, electricity and now induction. I grew up using my mother's Garland (6 burners, a separate grill, 2 massive ovens) so I know what high power gas means. When we went shopping, I knew exactly what I wanted - a 36" Bluestar cooktop or rangetop. My only question was whether I wanted a grill or not. Then I ran into the venting issue and make up air (MUA).

If you go to the Appliances forum and search on MUA you'll find hundreds of posts. The short, oversimplified version is that if you are venting 1000+ cfm, you draw air from the rest of the house, and if you have other gas appliances - furnace or boiler, hot water heater, fireplace etc. - you can draw carbon monoxide into the house. This has changed building codes as modern housing has become more airtight. Taking care of MUA can involve drawing air into the house with a separate blower system, and conditioning (heating or cooling) that air. This means BIG bucks, sometimes much more than the cooking and venting system being installed. Until this problem is addressed, no one should rush into buying a pro-style gas cooktop.

The choice of a range or cooktop means a lot of money and hassle. It should be made with careful consideration and thought. I went with induction knowing there would be compromises, but after 6 months I absolutely love it, and love it more as I learn how best to use it. This is the general consensus of just about everyone who has switched from gas. They would not go back. To me that is persuasive.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 10:05AM
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Cheryl, your statements about induction are spot on. I'm a believer and wouldn't trade it for anything.

I didn't know anyone with induction when I made my decision and was very nervous. I had always thought I would go with a new gas pro style cooktop. I knew I wanted wall ovens. I am so glad I choose to try induction and two years later, I love it so much there is no turning back. If I ever have to move, it will have to include induction.

Induction is still relatively new compared to gas and electric coil here in the US. We have a long way to go to catch up with Europe.


This post was edited by wizardnm on Fri, Nov 23, 12 at 10:54

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Neither of my induction cooktops required an upgrade in electrical service. They both simply replaced an electric smoothtop in houses built in 1962 and 1972. As Nancy has pointed out, it's not even new technology since it's been commonly used in Europe and Asia for decades. My first one was installed December 2005 and I've used it a bunch.

Since I live in southrn California, a bad event that took power out for an extended time would also take out the gas supply with a good hard shake!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 12:11PM
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I'm struck by the positive feedback from the people with induction. It's like the way I felt about my glass top electric stove when I switched from electric coils, and then how I felt about a gas cooktop when I went from the glass top.

Aside from not being able to use most of my pots & pans, can any of you with induction list downsides. How long did it take you to adjust to a new method of cooking?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 7:27PM
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Cheryl, no offense taken. Everyone here can see you have valid information to share.
Judging from the cooking preferences and recipes used, I would say that induction cooktop would be better than gas for 85% of the people.

For me, some of my cooking requirements which gas cooking can be an advantage:

I do quite a bit of wok cooking.

I have a preference for light weight aluminum cookware and aluminum's even heat distribution.

I have a few very large, 16" diameter Paella pans which need the heat to go all the way to the edge and up the sides.

I use my large cast iron for ultra high heat searing, up to 600F. Yes, 600F. I would be hesitant to use a glass top induction unit for that.

When I sear food, I like to get the pan's edge to be at very high heat also. This allows me to push the food to the edge and sear the bottom as well as the sides at the same time.

From the very large pans to the very small. I use very small cup size pots for sauces, fat, butter etc. This can be a problem for some induction cooktops.

I do charring of tomatoes and peppers.

I do some flambe

I heat up coffee on the stove using the glass pot.

I have a couple of terracotta pots for special recipes which must use gas.

To keep food warm, I actually put the ceramic plate on low gas fire. Works very well.

Can't think of a few other reasons now.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 8:10PM
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I got my induction unit a little after Jxbrown. I remember both of us participating on the Appliance Forum. My kitchen is all-electric, however, I could have installed a gas cooktop fitted for propane with no problem. I could have bought a newer, smooth top electric unit too. But after everything I read on the Appliance Forum, I really wanted to give induction a try. And when Sears came out with its first cooktop, I took a chance. And, like all the others, I do not regret my choice at all and would be bummed if I ever had to go back to regular electric or gas. I've told my husband several times that if we moved again, installing an induction unit would be the first priority.

Amck, the only real learning curve for me was keeping myself from instinctively trying to press down on the controls. I kept treating them like buttons that needed to be pushed. When I finally got used to just barely touching the controls, I was OK. If you are used to cooking with gas, you often judge the heat by the height & vigor of the flames. With electric, you judge by the redness of the burner. Induction is different. You judge what's happening in the pan. If it's bubbling too fast, then turn it down a bit. If it's doing nothing, turn it up. I didn't find that hard to adapt to. I'm a real cook who produces real food, so I always paid closer attention to what was going on in my pan rather than what the burner was doing. Using induction was an easy transition for me.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 8:19PM
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I would go with induction for sure -- extremely responsive and easy to clean.

And you don't have to get the top of the line by any means -- the "cheaper ones" (none are particularly cheap) work exactly the same way and just as well...

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:46AM
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The downside is that you can only use pans with a magnetic bottom. You can use enameled steel like Le Creuset, cast iron and most stainless. Non-stick choices are limited, but increasing. Most new pans will have suitability marked on the packaging, if not on the bottom. I even use a moka pot that is "too small" without the slightest problem. Only a few of the available induction models have a bridging unit for deglazing a roasting pan, if that is important to you.

I've always charred peppers under the broiler anyway.

I doubt that most people judge their cooking by the height of the flame, so adjusting to using the induction cooktop is pretty instinctive. I wrecked a couple of non-stick pans at first because I started them at the highest setting before I learned that was really only needed for pasta water. Additionally, I learned to make the sauce first, then start boiling the water.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:04AM
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cooksnsews - I'm not sure how you define commercial vs home, but when I used to be involved in construction, we often put Wolf ranges in the commercial kitchens. Garland was probably the most frequently spec'd, but Vulcan, Hobart, and Wolf all got used. I've included a link if you're interested.

As far as building codes go - they vary depending on the community, which is why I suggested checking. Because of the extra BTUs put out by the commercial ranges, the walls should have better fireproofing, usually there has to be a fire-suppression system, and the venting, at least in NYC, has to be heavier gauge steel than the sheet-metal most home kitchens have. It's not a bad idea to install a commercial stove / kitchen if that's what you want, and I know many people who've done so, but it takes some checking beforehand.

As far as induction models, I don't know. Haven't used them. As compared to electric, gas was always a more supple heat source and I would always prefer it. But I'm intrigued by induction. When we bought our house about 12 years ago and had to gut it, I didn't even consider induction. Now I don't know - I'd definitely like to try it for a while before making a decision.

Here is a link that might be useful: some commercial ranges

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Roses - I think the confusion is that there are two Wolfs. One being a commercial range, and then the residential line which was sold to Sub Zero. Kind of how Garland had commercial and residential, but then their residential line became Blue Star. In both cases, now completely separate entities as far as I know.

I'm certainly not up on contemporary commercial equipment, but it surprised me that you mentioned "solonoid ignition" because I was under the impression commercial ranges still use standing pilots, like the Wolf ranges you linked have. I was also not aware that Dacor made commercial ranges, but again, I'm not up on all that.

But from what I do know, I certainly agree with discouraging people to put commercial ranges in a residential setting.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

To answer amck's questions, I found I can't char on the induction, but I didn't do that anyway. I also can't make pan gravy on the cooktop as my roasting pan doesn't work on the cooktop. Otherwise I've been able to do everything.

It didn't take long to learn to cook on induction. I had to learn not to leave an unwatched pot on high as it boils so quickly. I had to relearn that, like gas, the heat will build up so you have to turn the power down on the pot until it reaches an equillibrium, and you have to turn it down more than you think and sooner than you think. And I had to melt chocolate to believe that it won't burn...it doesn't. I also found that I can leave cream soups on the cooktop on low and they won't boil or simmer. I remember MIL on her gas stove and even w asbestos pads, she often burned things trying to keep them warm because gas just can't go so low.

I also haven't missed cleaning up the gas cooktop once...such a pain, sealed burners or not.

DH had to grind any burrs off the bottom of mt cast iron pots as they can scratch the glass.

We cant use the cooktop in an outage, so DH wants to get a single plug in burner to use when we lose power, and we'd be able to use it for patio parties too, though I don't think it's necessary...we can live well with a microwave and hot shot.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:49PM
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food - you're right. I didn't even know that Wolf had a residential line but at some point Wolf divided itself.

Now, depending on what model you have, it's either "Gourmet Residential" or commercial. And some parts fit both - for example, one ignition part reads:

"Wolf ovens and ranges model series KCH, KCHSS, CH, CHSS, KF, KFS, KFXP, KFXPS, XCH, XFS
Also compatible with many residential models/series: A, AS, AFS, CAF, KAFS, KCAF, R30, R36, R48, PS48."

In any event, most chefs I know use regular home stoves at home and it's not the tool, it's the craftsman (or woman).

In my ideal house, I'd have an outdoor kitchen and stone oven like many people have in Hungary and that would have the commercial grade appliances. The inside kitchen would be a little house kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:34PM
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I don't know that I have much to add relative to the appliance forum, except to say that everything driving my interest in Bluestar had to do with cooking, and the way I cook, rather than any grand design plan (we don't have one and our kitchen, while pleasant looking and very functional, is nobody's idea of awesome, beautiful design). I like the more powerful burners both for fast searing and for, e.g., bringing a pot of pasta back to a rolling boil quickly, so that you are not poaching the life out of it. It's also very nice for wok cooking -- not my specialty, but something we really like here and there. The medium burners are versatile and the simmer burner rounds things out nicely. The large (gas) oven seems to be very stable once it's properly pre-heated; and the broiler is great, although not all that large. We had looked at the 30" before settling on the 36" model. Of the smaller ranges, it offered very nice spacing of the burners, which might be a plus for this range (and an issue with some alternatives) if you often work with 2 or 3 large pans at a time. Very good heavy continuous grates, which are nice for moving things around while you work.

This is, of course, a large up-charge relative to many perfectly good ranges. For myself that was acceptable because (a) the range really mattered to me, (b) the cost, while substantial, was not great relative to many other things that might be done for a kitchen or home, and (c) the cost was manageable . . . for us -- we all operate under different budget constraints.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 2:45PM
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I do alot of cooking,love to cook,bake,I have the aga like it but Im not crazy about gas,the new wolfe has gas & electric Ill be using the electric more,we also own a construction company so we know the codes etc.I already have concrete pad down and its going in a brick arch,
I have this fear I cant shake about gas when I was a child a home blew up the next block down from us the roof blew out in the street Im afraid of gas now that said( hubby) decided we need gas stove,gas dryer..gas heat

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 9:43AM
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