Calling all cooks...who's gone from gas to induction?

cevamalAugust 1, 2013

I've cooked on gas all my life, hate electric stoves with a fiery passion, and can't imagine anything else.

BUT I know I've seen mention of people who've gone from gas to induction and been happy with it. Could I get a show of hands?

Conversely, anyone gone from gas to induction and regret it?

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Holly- Kay

Our regular house (my sweet gs calls it that) has induction. Our other home has gas. I don't like cooking with gas but I prefer it over regular electric.

When we reno'ed our kitchen in our main home we went induction. I LOVE it. I brought water to a boil for the first time on on my induction cooktop and I was amazed at how quickly the power boost feature brought the water to a boil.

We are currently renting our other home to friends but at some point the gas will go and I will have induction.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 8:50PM
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Check appliances forum (you can search on google). Most people love it. I am doing it as well and love how fast and respi save it is and how cool it keeps the kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 9:03PM
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I have cooked a lot on both. I prefer gas. But in truth, once you get your cookware to temperature (be it a simmer or a boil) there isn't much difference. Everyone says induction is "safer" because there are no open flames and it cooks with magnetic energy, so the pot gets hot, not the cooktop. True, but bullpuckey nonetheless. The surface under that hot pot is, you guessed it, hot.

I find cooking on induction very similar to cooking on a glass top electric cooktop. It's faster, but that's the only difference (other than the fact that you may have to buy new cookware for induction).

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 11:52PM
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Yes, check out the Appliances forum and Google-search gardenweb for this topic. It has been discussed ad nauseum. I have not seen a single regret. If you want to have the best of two worlds, put an induction cooktop and a small (one- or two-burner) gas module.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 12:06AM
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We are going from gas to induction in our remodel. We bought a little single induction burner to get us through the remodel and it absolutely sold us on induction.

For us, it's not just about ease of use and faster cooking, though, it's about ease of cleaning. I'm tired of trying to keep up a gas range. When cooking, we just cover up the top with paper towels and remove when we are done. Egads, it is so sweet.

Plus, I fell in love with those easy glide Electrolux oven shelves.

I feel so decadent. lol

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 7:35AM
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I just went from Gas to induction. For me, there is no going back to gas. Induction is fast, precise, the timers are amazing and it's SO easy to clean. (I have the 36" Frameless Thermador)

I disagree that it's like electric, the precision is much more like gas without the disadvantages of the open flames and the nightmare cleanup.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 7:58AM
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Did anyone who switched to induction ever use the open flame? I toast tortillas with our gas cooktop and obviously, you can't really get the same effect with induction. (Or can you?)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 8:42AM
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I'm someone who switched from gas to induction. So far I am happy with it, although it is definitely a learning curve from gas, which is what I've always had. I never would have gotten induction if it weren't for GW - I hadn't even heard of it before. Here's my assessment so far (vs. gas):
- boils water like nobody's business
- cleanup is sooooo easy, I smile every time I wipe up a mess
- doesn't heat up the entire kitchen
- never have to worry about flame going out and having a gas leak
- can set a separate timer on each hob, and it turns off the hob when the time is up (can walk away without worrying about overcooking the rice)

- hobs are very sensitive to pan size. If a pan is too small for a hob, the hob won't work. I find this to be a pain as I have to move pots to the correct sized hob instead of placing them in convenient ways for me.
- had to replace some of my favorite pots
- still figuring out the right 'number' for each application - gas is easy to see and adjust by sight.
- I personally find the controls a little annoying - I much prefer knobs to keypads.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 10:05AM
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sorry for the duplicate.

This post was edited by soibean on Fri, Aug 2, 13 at 10:10

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 10:09AM
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At this point, gas has really become outdated.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 12:32PM
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I do have a single gas wok burner for some ethnic foods where I want to use a traditional wok or grill/ toast on flames.

TO EAM's point, induction is very very different that radiant heating. One boil over of something like milk or soup is enough to clarify. With radiant, the surface is hot and the food instantly burns on it. With induction, the surface is warm but never hot and you can just lift the pot and wipe off the mess. When you are frying, you can actually put a layer of paper towels and put your pan above and fry. Cleanup is as simple as throwing away the paper towels. With radiant you cannot do that as the paper towels will go up in flames.

Like Soibean said, there is a learning curve with the controls. Some work better than others. I personally found the Miele controls to be increadibly hard to use. You had to press hard. YMMV. I liked the intuitiveness of the Gagganau knobs. It was easy and I was fortunate enough to find a close out model in deep discount.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 1:18PM
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I asked this question on the cooking forum awhile ago. Everyone who went from gas to induction loved it. I have no gas option in our new condo so will be going to induction. I will miss being able to char peppers and eggplants on an open flame but using a comal or cast iron also works.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Fori is not pleased

I did. I moved from a remodeled kitchen (where we replaced electric with gas) to a vintage induction setup (1980s Kenmore). Hatred of that cooktop was the main thing that drove me to my kitchen remodel.

Of course by the time I got around to the actual remodel, I loved that cooktop and replaced it with a modern one.

Adjustment can take a while, especially if you haven't prepared yourself for it.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 3:26PM
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I've got both and if I was forced to give up one, I would give up induction. But I'd rather keep both, thank you very much.

It's not that induction doesn't work as well as its touted to do; it's just that its reportoire is more circumscribed than gas.

I can't can on induction because my pressure canners are all aluminum (as I believe all large pressure canners are, still). My large boiling water bath kettles also don't work on induction, though I could buy new induction-capable stock pots, but the sizes don't match induction hobs very well, which is critical for induction, unlike gas.

Some of my best-loved and most frequently used pots won't work induction and can't be substituted for, either, (i.e. my pyrex double boiler, which I use a lot and my copper sauce pans and jam/preserving-making pot and my older SS pressure cookers which haven't got flat bottoms).

I do use the flame part of a gas burner a couple of times per month, though I probably could give that up.

As for the comparison between my high BTU gas burners and my induction hobs in terms of speed, well that's not really spectacular. IInduction is only modestly better, and that alone would not be enough to make me switch.

One thing the induction burners do better than my gas burners is hold dead-steady temps needed for dairy pasteurization and cheese-making.

On the plus side, of course, is the ease of clean-up with induction, but that is balanced (for me) against the fact that the induction burners are all electronic whereas my gas burners are stupid-simple and easily field-repairable and not prone ot any circuit-board glitches.

I would prefer to stop using gas for environmental and climate change reasons (all my gas is fracked gas, which I don't like). And we have solar panels so all my electricity is clean and home grown, and essentially free.

During power outages gas burners work just fine, whereas generating enough amperage to run the induction top takes a lot of generator power (and gasoline to run it).

I have a beloved 48" all-gas commercial-style range, which isn't going anywhere and will probably outlast me (which is why I bought nearly 20 years ago and it's holding up just fine). I am not considering replacing it, but my new kitchen will also have induction burners beside it (or on it, if I can figure out that mod) because, for many things I cook, induction would be perfectly fine, and in some cases even preferable.

If something untoward happens to my range, I would probably replace it with an induction range with a side order of gas hobs, rather than what I have now which is essentially the other way around.



    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 4:31PM
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eve, are you related to oceangirl?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Sorry to post and run...I haven't had much laptop time lately and have been following the emailed replies on my phone.

I very much appreciate all the comments.

I'm thinking of buying a portable induction burner now in advance of the remodel both to see how I like it and to have something to use while the kitchen's in shambles.

Am I correct in my understanding that pots & pans which will work on an inductive cooktop will stick to a magnet?

If so I have exactly one skillet and one stock pot which will work (both from Ikea!). Not the end of the world, add a saucepan and I could make do pretty nicely. Most of my stuff isn't high quality (I have a 15 year old set of SS revereware and misc. nonstick.)

But that means that none of my specialty pans will work. Crepe, ebelskiver, saucier, etc. Plus I don't even know how to make popcorn keeping a pan flat on the stove, I always shake it in the flame. Plus no toasting tortillas on the flame or roasting peppers in the kitchen.

Those of you who have both in your kitchens, how does that work? Are there single units that have 2 induction and 2 gas? Or do you have two completely separate cooktops (one small?)

There's are definitely things about induction that appeal to me (ease of cleanup, safety, speed of boiling water) but at this point I'm not over the negatives.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 1:25PM
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I first tried induction with a max burton portable as well and IKEA pots. It is what convinced me to choose induction as the main cooking surface.

Regarding the pan size --> Unlike Liriodendron, I have not found the pan size issue to be critical. I use my single hob induction for a 2 cup saucepan as well as a 12in skillet. The larger skillet takes a bit more time to heat up. The edges may take a bit longer. The surface area in contact with the hob heating zones heat up first and the edges heat up when the metal conducts heat (similar to how handles heat up when the pot gets hot). No biggie.

Popcorn - there are stainless steel popcorn saucepans. Tortillas work on griddles.

You could do combi units from Miele, Wolf or Gaggenau that allow you to get 2 gas and 2 induction or 2 induction, 1 big gas wok top. Lot of combination options to play with.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 1:33PM
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@GWlolo --My pan size issue is related to canning kettles (for boiling water bath, not pressure canning as so far I haven't found magnetic pressure canning-sized pots anywhere).

Canning kettles are much wider than normal, even extra wide ,burners and on gas they rely on the trapped heat being spread around under the bottom of the pot. With induction there's less spread-around heat, so parts of the water bath are unevenly heated, potentially leading to food-safety/ processing issues. I haven't studied this in detail because I don't yet have induction-ready stock pots large enough for BWB canning. (They are quite pricey, too.) But using high-grade testing instruments on my largest pots shows there is significant temp difference within the pan at the edges where it is beyond the magnetic area . Hence my concern about abandonning gas altogether. (Aside from the issue that unless my big range dies, I'm not replacing it.)

Canning kettles are 18-24" in diameter. I even have an oval one that spans two burners and it is nearly 28" long. For regular pots, I don't have pot-size issues running from butter-melter size to pasta-boiler or large skillet or dutch oven size.

@Ceramal: - It's a good idea to get a good quality portable unit to try before committing if you're only planning on having one fuel. But most portable units are only 110V (normal plug in current) so they may be less powerful than a 220V built-in one. I've had my Viking portable for four years, and really like it. A mixed-fuel kitchen is possible (I believe) with Gaggengau units, and possibly other brands where you can choose various cooktop components to mount side by side. Don't expect this to be the economy route, though.

If you're a pan maven, like me, be prepared that some of them simply will be rendered obsolete with induction. For instance, I easily can cook things in my All-Clad SS double boiler, but I really prefer cooking the stuff that needs a DB in my glass Pyrex pans. The whole point of pyrex is to be able to see the water simmering under the cooking pot. Other specialty pans, for instance my copper jam kettle, can also be replaced in usage, but they also have special qualities that can't be perfectly matched in other materials.

In general, I have no "sets" of cookware, just pans bought for specific needs and methods. That's the rub.

But the fuel choice (for me electricity made at home by my own solar panels) vs fracked propane gas, and the clean-up ease of induction is very seductive.

I was cooking up a kettle of bee-feeding syrup yesterday and clumsily sloshed some out. I was using the induction hob, so all it took was a some quick swipes with paper towels, vs. chasing after sticky, caramelizing goo down deep into the entrails of the gas burners.

And though it's unlikely you will need it, milk pasteurization on induction is much easier, as is tempering (or clabbering) milk during cheese making. Induction holds the temps rock steady. This steadiness gives me hope that if I can find - and afford - induction ready stainless steel pressure canners that method of canning will be easier and less fraught with chances for trouble than when using gas. Ordinary aluminum pressure canners of the size I use (ginormous!) are hundreds of dollars apiece. Induction-capable ones would probably require a bank loan.

The magnet test for induction possibility is only so-so. It rules out pans (no attraction = no induction) but it also rules in some pans that are only weakly magnetic, but not enough so for good heat, efficient, transfer. This is especially so for cheaper grade pans w/o much mass in their bases, and I think also for some of the higher-end carbon-y steel pans foodies get the hots for.

And pan-bottom is another critical factor: I have several beloved cast-iron pots that have been in my family for more than a hundred years. Some work like gangbusters (as they should being deeply magnetic) but some have a little circular ridge on the underside of the pan. These pans arer not as satisfactory because of thte ensuing distance between magnet and iron. I have several stainless-steel pressure cookers (for food not canners). Quite maganetic, but unfortnately they have ridged bottoms which maes them unsuitable. Of course, newer pressure pots are fine, but I bought my old ones over many years. They still work just fine. I really don't want to replace them as it would be expensive. And I just like my old stuff, too!



    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 4:02PM
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When I chose appliances last year, I seriously considered induction. We ended up going with a Wolf gas range because I found a floor model at deep discount. Not being able to use most of my expensive pans gave me pause, and there was not an induction cooktop available in the US that I really loved.

If I was buying this year, with the new options available, I would probably choose induction. It would be so much easier to clean than my gas range. I prefer knobs to push button controls, but the Gaggenau options are very expensive. Bertazonni now makes very attractive induction cooktops with knobs (I love the shape of their knobs). Berta also sells 2 combo cooktops: 1 with 3 gas burners and 2 induction & 1 with 1 large gas burner, 2 induction and a griddle. Of course, the combo units would not be as easy to clean as straight induction.

Zoneless induction is also now available in the US from Thermador, and possibly others too. With zoneless, you don't have to worry about pan size.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 4:15PM
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Also: price is very much a factor.

I haven't done much pricing of induction but it seems like gas will be much more affordable. Plus if I go with induction only then I just have to throw out my ebleskiver pan and never make them again!

Or am I totally off base?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Have both, then you don't have to pick one. Seriously, why not?

I do (or I will, to be more precise, when the gas cooktop is finally hooked up next week).

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 9:13PM
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Fori is not pleased

Induction can also be pretty!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:15AM
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I switched from gas to induction and I love induction.

It heats so fast, I can get pasta in the table in 15 minutes. It is very, very quick to adjust temperature, even faster than gas, IME. And it is the easiest stove top to keep clean I have ever had.

No regrets at all and no plans to ever go back.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:25AM
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Aren't there discs that you can get that you put on the induction hob to conduct the heat up to the non-ferromagnetic pan? I've never looked for one, but I think they've been discussed here before. For a pan you only use once in a while, it could work. So you could have your induction and make your ebleskiver, too!

(what are ebleskivers?)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 5:30PM
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Fori is not pleased

I thought ebleskiver pans were usually cast iron. Might be able to find one...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 5:59PM
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I love my induction Electrolux range. Although I have never had gas, I have cooked on my in-laws gas stove. I would never give up my induction stove (my husband loves it too).
I find I can use my smallest pots on the largest hob without any issue. Most of my pots were already magnetic, so no issue there. I did need to find new frying pans, which was difficult at first. Finally found some wonderful ones at Ikea.
I bought a couple of larger pots from Winners (do you have this store in the U.S.? Similar to Marshall's) and just took a fridge magnet with me when I tested the bottoms.
My daughter swore she would never buy anything other than induction - this after she accidentally let a massive potful of porridge boil over . . . but it cleaned up in minutes (along with the outside of the pot) and she had it back on the burner boiling away again in no time!
My friend was remodeling her kitchen last year and fell in love with my stove - she switched her gas stove for the same Electrolux induction range (slide-in model though) and says she loves it. Her sister-in-law then tried hers and bought the same model for her new home a few months later.
I'll stop gushing now:) LOVE my induction.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 8:27PM
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After having cooked on gas and both glass top and coil electric, I can say I love my induction range. I have a GE slide-in; the hobs aren't very picky about pan size; it is both incredibly fast and incredibly precise. I disagree about the ceran glass top not getting hot though; while the hob itself is not the source of heat, the radiant heat can certainly make the area under the pot HOT, not warm. How do I know? because I burned my hand wiping up a spill right after I pulled the hot pot off the hob.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 8:47PM
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We went through the same process as you with our remodel. I bought an induction hob to use during the remodel and to help us decide. I went to countless appliance stores, read all kinds of literature and watched demonstrations. I was convinced that we were going induction.

We're going with a 6 burner LP gas range top. It's all about how you cook and live. For us, the induction wouldn't suit our canning needs. We didn't like the placement of the large hobs (you can't put a large pot on a small hob).

You have to be very careful if anyone in your family has a pacemaker with an induction cooktop.

We have an electric range now and I end up using the same burner all of the time. The gas range top has 6 equal sized burners, so you're not limited as to where you can place something. And we're getting a closed burner range top, so cleanup should be easier. Plus we have the induction hob to use if needed. The feature I liked best about induction is that it doesn't produce as much heat as gas or electric. But in New England that isn't an issue the majority of the time. Maybe it is in your neck of the woods.

You'll have to take a close look at how you cook and decide which system fits your needs best.

Good luck with your search!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 5:08PM
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This wouldn't work for a lot of you, but it's a near-ideal setup for our household of two: I have a 30" gas cooktop, with a Max Burton portable induction unit sitting on an aluminum cookie sheet over the rear left burner (which was a rarely used and unreliable small 'simmer burner').

The induction top is where all boiling operations happen, from daily water boiling for the coffee press to pasta to blanching veg to (frequent) pressure cooking. A big advantage of this setup is that the placement at the back corner of the stove, directly under the under-powered vent hood and slightly elevated, ensures that steam is carried right up and away. Before, we had to use the front right burner, the most powerful, for boiling, and it's too far forward for the vent hood to capture the steam efficiently. In the heat of summer, the combination of dramatically less heat from the burner itself plus the steam removal makes a huge difference in kitchen comfort.

A second big advantage of the induction rig here is for long, low cooking -- simmering down apple butter, or ketchup, or making carnitas. Our cheapo gas stove has real problems with the flame guttering out at low settings, particularly if another burner is in use; the induction unit makes a long simmer worry-free. Likewise, some pressure cooker operations, like chicken stock, spend 45 minutes to an hour at pressure, and it's a blessing to be able to regulate the burner precisely and with no worry about the effect of using any of the gas burners while it's going.

This arrangement frees up the powerful front right burner for the more hands-on kinds of tasks it's suited to: searing, stir-frying, browning meat & veg before braising, crepe-making, etc. There are a lot of reasons I'd be very reluctant to give up gas: I've cooked for forty years on nothing but, I have some wonderful copper and aluminum pans that take maximum advantage of the flame, it works when the power goes out (several times a year in our rural area), I regularly toast tortillas directly on the burner, and (for me, at least) skillet operations are induction's weak point.

But the 'hillbilly hybrid', while not a thing of beauty, gives us the best of both worlds, seriously increasing the usability of the existing cooktop at an extremely low cost. If I were to get a completely new kitchen, I'd probably go with an induction cooktop: Full induction cooktops have much finer-grained power levels than the portable, with the lowest settings much more usefully low. But I'd add a big gas burner for all the reasons in the paragraph above.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 1:51PM
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Love your coining of the phrase "hillybilly hybrid".

For all the reasons you list, that's exactly what works in my household, too.

I really wouldn't like having one or the other by itself. I'd be reluctant to give up the steadiness over very long cooking times of the induction which is a compelling and unique feature of that particular fuel source, in my experience.

OTOH, flames, and flames alone, are what work for me for things that need rapid, moved-about, cooking in a skillet and for the occasional charring of things.

There are fuel-source evangelists on both sides of this issue that assert each is exclusively better than the other, for all types of cooking.


Since it is possible to buy both freestanding induction units (110v) and built-in induction segments (220V), I think it's curious that we keep agonizing over the one-or-the-other issue here on GW.

It's not like many kitchens here don't have fancy fridges, freezers, double -or sometimes triple - ovens, built-in grills, griddles, warming drawers, toasters (with or without the toaster oven), DW (often 2 of them!), MW, GD, wine fridges, instant hot and chilled water, RO water filteration, coffee makers, slow cookers, deep fryers, vent hoods, make-up air heaters, trash compactors, blenders, standmixers, Vita-whatzits, TVs, computers, cell-phone chargers, toe-kick heaters, vac pans and even heated counter-tops!

Did I miss anything??? Obviously these are not plain and simple, low energy-demanding kitchens.

So why not have some induction capacity to go along with your gas burners - or if you want to switch it up, why not have a gas hob to pair with your induction top?

Until more ranges (and range tops) come with both fuels, it isn't that hard to work it out for yourself.

Just my take on this long-running debate.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 2:48PM
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ellabee -- I'm going to try your 'hillbilly hybrid', and not just because I love the name :-) I've been wondering how to make use of my portable induction hob, the one I got for during the renovation, and was stumped by the issue of how to deal with the HOGS it generated. A cookie sheet on the back burner of my gas stove might just do the trick. Thanks for the idea!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 2:50PM
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Fori is not pleased

The hillbilly hybrid does sound sort of ideal. My version of the hillbilly hybrid was using the nice flat induction surface as a crockpot station under the hood. I hate smelling stuff cooking all day (if I can't eat it)!

I also like to use the hood for things other than stovetop cooking and a flat surface is better than gas hobs for that--onion and hot pepper chopping is much easier for me under a well lit and ventilated hood.

Fire is super fun though. It's flames!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 4:25PM
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