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Induction cooktop

Getting ready to finally do the remodel. Had been leaning toward high end gas cooktop like Wolf. Friend is urging that I consider induction instead . . . more efficient / easier to control / less polluting / less heat generating. Totally aware of the need for iron based cookware - but already use LeCreuset and cast iron . . . Would love to hear from those who use induction.

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  1. maggilyn, what is it that you want to hear?

    Induction is the best way to heat food outside of an oven. Your friend is right. Your friend omitted to mention (or you failed to relay) another advantage: spills and overflows from a pot can be wiped up immediately from the merely warm cooktop surface and do not burn onto the surface.

    There are major differences among induction cooktops; the maximum wattage of the largest burner is one of the least significant; the depth of the cooktop below the cooking surface is one of the most important. All induction cooktops have cooling fans, and where those fans vent into the kitchen may affect your architecture: most vent into the cabinet below the cooktop, but some vent above the cooktop surface.

    If possible, locate your oven somewhere other than directly below the induction cooktop to reduce the amount of heat migrating upward into the electronics.

    1. A friend whose name may not be mentioned here recently installed the Wolf induction cooktop in his kitchen and bought a set of Demeyere Atlantis cookware. The combination apparently rocks. Water boils in seconds.

      Me, I'm a Luddite. Thog want fire. But the notion of being able to cook a pot of pasta in the summertime without having to crank up the a/c certainly has its appeal.

      2 Replies
      1. re: alanbarnes

        "Thog want fire."

        LOL. Me too. Every time I hear about induction ranges, I feel faintly skeptical, even though everything I've heard sounds great. I like me a nice fire in the kitchen.

        Plus, during a thunderstorm last night, we lost power. With our gas stove, we were still able to make a hot dinner (just lit it with matches, instead of with the internal lighter). But I don't suppose people buy their ranges for that one night every ten years when the power is out...

        1. re: Indirect Heat

          Well, I've got an outdoor propane stove, a side burner on the gas grill, and a couple of white gas camping stoves, so going without hot food isn't the issue. Despite my initial reaction, the more I learn about induction, the interesteder I get.

      2. There was a thread about the advantages of induction here last week. You might want to check it out if you haven't read it yet.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/680049

        1. I have the big, five burner, frameless Wolf Induction cooktop. I decided on it because I wanted it flush to my work surfaces, ie, the countertop. I didn't want buttons or gizmos sticking up. This ruled out most units.
          I got more than I realized. Yes, you can read all about induction all over the place. It is great and is cool and virtually noiseless. Boiling water or frying makes much more noise. I don't notice the sounds much at all.
          What I got was counterspace. I can lay anything, anywhere on the cooktop, except for over the controls. I end up plating food on it. When you turn it off it's like having extra countertop! Lay stuff anywhere!
          I recommend the Wolf. It works beautifully and simply. It has a 3K and 4K (watt) power burners. I think this is one of the two most powerful out there and I do not care for the Viking knobs or frame; you may.
          Some say "it's not gas". That's so true. The advantage of lifting, swirling, etc. while you still have heat underneath is the only advantage I see so far. The Wolf will stay on for 30 seconds while you play with your pan, remove food or add things. While you are doing that it is not giving off heat and when you put the pan back down the heat is immediate, just like gas.
          I can get a rolling boil of two cups of (room temp), water in 80 seconds if I use max power. Much faster than our powerful microwave oven! A nice option is I can then move the water to a smaller, lower powered burner and it is heating again instantly.
          If you can lay out the bucks I don't think anyone would be disappointed. Some add one or two gas burners off to the side. I doubt that I will do that just to satisfy the wok. They also have metal plates that you can sit your non-magnetic cookware on, if you must. That would create a hot object that you would possibly have to deal with.

          4 Replies
          1. re: All Dente

            All Dente: "I recommend the Wolf."

            At nearly $4,000, the Wolf is beyond the reach of much of the hoi polloi, but, aside from the price, it requires a 50 amp electrical feed, doesn't it? Not many homes have 50 amp electrical service.

            1. re: Politeness

              The 5 element Wolf is certainly a nice cooktop but pretty pricey. If you like the brand and can afford it, go ahead but Fagor, Diva are two others that can be considered.

              And if they're doing a kitchen reno anyway, the 50 Amp line can be put in.

              1. re: wattacetti

                watacetti: "If you like the brand and can afford it, go ahead but Fagor, Diva are two others that can be considered."

                Or an LG 30845 for much less than one-half the price of the 5 element Wolf.

                1. re: Politeness

                  True, though you're looking at something other than that LG if 5 elements are required.

          2. I have a Miele 4 element and love it. I have not been able to find any faults during my first 4 months of use. There's a learning curve definitely. I knew it heats up much faster than anything else, but I didn't expect it to be that fast!

            Other than boiling water, I don't need to use power boost at all.

            Do I miss using gas? Not at all.

            - Happy induction user with 3-ply All Clad stainless steel, deBuyer carbon steel, Staub, and Lodge.