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May 18, 2007 05:36 AM

Commercial induction cooktop

I'm new to this list and I thought I'd briefly share my experience of induction with you.
I used to have a commercial gas range (four burners - two left, two right- with a huge solid top in between, fired by a 10 kilowatts (don't know the BTU equivalent) ). With a commercial hood above. I just loved it!!!! We also had two ovens, one static heat electric, another one gas-powered, with a fan).
Then we sold our house, and I thought I'd trade up in terms of technology.
After some thorough investigation I convinced my wife to allow me the sheer financial folly of investing in a custom designed electric range and a commercial electric Kuppersbusch combi oven (steam/mixed/dry heat).
The range was ordered from a Swiss company called Menu System. It is about 2.3 meters long, with a 1m cutting area to the left. The cooking part is therefore 1.3 m long, 84 cm deep. There are four cooking areas. The ceram glass cooking areas are not as fragile as I feared (after 3 yrs of intensive use there are only minor scratches).
The cooking areas are separated into two distinct units: to the left is the induction part (two large rectangles of 39 x 34 cm, delivering each 4.5 kW of brute force!!!).
To the right are two similar shaped radiant tops, under similar ceram glass tops.
The radiant tops, I use only once a year! When I set about making the year's provisions of jams and jellies (mostly from the garden and from known producers). The induction tops I use ALL the time! The big control knobs are easy to use, and I have learnt to harness to power of these beasts. The front burner is composed of 4 smaller induction units underneath which allow me to move pans or have several smaller pans next to each other.
The back burner I use to bring large quantities of water to the boil in no time. If I need simmering, the back burner can do it but I have to turn it all the way down.
The front burner is not adequate for fast immediate heat, and takes a while longer to deliver its power. It is more suited to simmering or medium fast cooking.
Overspills are dealt with very easily and the range is cleaned in no time. MUCH easier than before with the deep sunken burners of the gas range.
Regrets: not discussing the variety of stainless steel with the Swiss makers. I have definitely come across much better qualities from other top range commercial equipment makers. If I were to do it all over again? Well, I still dream of one day having my own Maestro range made to my specifications by Bonnet ( I've visited the factory in Valence, and you can take my word for it, each one of those Maestro units is a masterpiece. In that case, I would probably combine induction cooktops and one large gas fired solid iron top.
Oh and if I were to get a wok burner, I'd go for one of those hollow ceram glass induction burners.
Sorry for waxing so lyrical...

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  1. Wow sounds like quite hunk of equipment. I have dealt with a few folks that wanted the sort of 'hard core' commercial grade equipment and I guess it is like sports car aficionados that get a retired competition car, many trade-offs/hassles but utterly unique.

    Mind I ask how big your kitchen is, and what percentage of your home's sq. ft are taken up by the kitchen? I can't image that this would be appropriate in a home of moderate size...

    BTW here is a handy converter:

    1 Reply
    1. re: renov8r

      The kitchen is roughly 4 x 4 (metres). Not much room to move about but as I like to be alone when I cook, my kids know better than to come and play basketball around me when I'm cooking. Grrr! Just kidding, my youngest boy, aged 10, is a natural. The finest palate I've ever met, and already eager to cook meals for the whole family!
      So, this tiny kitchen is about 16 sq metres,when the entire house verges on 200+ sq metres, but over three levels...
      Ooops, sorry, I forgot to convert into feet and inches...

    2. Recently the glass top broke on my electric cook top, therefore I am currently making a decision whether to replace it or upgrade to induction cook top. I have a set of Scan-pan Cookware which I just adore, these would not work on the induction stove. I also have 5 or 6 pots in good quality SS. These are OK on the induction but I only use them when I am boiling things, because I feel they do not fry onions as well, and if I fry the meat it sticks a bit, let say it is not non stick.
      Sales personel asures me that food cooked in SS cooks pots will not burn because of the precise and constant heat supply in these units. Whilst the latter is true, I doubt that the food will not stick a bit in these pots. I particularly had a difficulty to believe what they said, since they used Jamie Oliver teflon coated Cookware in the Demo, , and refused to show me how the food would cook in SS pan.
      My question is: does the precise temperature and the constant heat make a big diffence in the way the food gets cooked in the SS frypan, or will I have to spend over $500 in the special Demeyere stick free pan?

      1 Reply
      1. re: arangman

        I'm not sure what the salesman was smoking, cooking on induction doesn't prevent the food from burning! The precise control of induction does make it easier to get the right heat level for what you're doing.

      2. The ideal range for making scrambled eggs for two of a morning... '-)

        It *is* gorgeous, but why do you want such a huge commercial range at home? Just curious.

        1. I just read this on MAKE:Blog.

          From what I understand you can use many different countertop materials. The one shown is granite. The video is very poor and hardly shows much, but the text has some 411.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rilkeanheart

            That's neat, though if it maxes out at 190 degrees Fahrenheit it's really only good for keeping stuff warm for serving purposes, or maybe melting chocolate. I guess they can't run the risk of melting whatever countertop material is being used with it.

          2. madcook, would love to see some pictures!

            Thanks for the informative post.