Budget Induction range : Samsung or GE?
We are looking into getting a budget induction range. The two that have good reviews and are closer in price are Samsumg for ~$1770 (http://theinductionsite.com/buy-induc...) and GE for ~$2079 (http://theinductionsite.com/buy-induc...).
GE has 5 burners (but probably only 4 are useful) and main complaint with Samsung's is the layout of 4 burners making 1 useless. We don't cook too much food at once, so that's not that big of a concern.
From what I can tell, GE has been making induction cooktops [and appliances in general] for much longer than Samsung [both induction ranges are ~1 year old], so I'm wondering if it is worth spending $300 extra to go with the GE range? Since induction ranges are new, we'll be getting 5-yr extended warranty, but hopefully they'll last much longer.
wavyphoto, I have seen neither in person, but were I comparison shopping, what would draw the most attention from me would be the adequacy of the insulation above the oven. Induction inverters are electronic components, and as with most electronics, heat is an enemy. Every induction cooktop I have seen has a fairly aggressive fan that blows room temperature air across the underside of the Ceran surface above the inverter to dissipate the heat leaking downward from the pots and pans. That works o.k. because the heat naturally rises, and the amount conducted downward through the Ceran can be handled.
In a range, however, the oven is below the induction inverters, and the heat naturally will rise. All ovens have insulating shields above them, and most ranges have fans of their own to dissipate heat that leaks through the roof of the oven. Still, I imagine that there would be differences in efficiency and effectiveness of heat dissipation among brands and models. I am not sure exactly how you would test those differences outside of a laboratory, but it is something to look for.
I have the Samsung. Bought it for about $1200 after discounts. It has one large burner on the left front and three smaller ones on the back and right front. Only cookwares with bottom diameter of 10 inch (guessing, don't have the manual with me) or larger can be used on the large burner. My beloved flat bottom wok won't work because the bottom is about 6 inch diameter. I have to use it on the smaller heating element. The large burner does take up more real estate, so if you don't use a large fry pan or skillet often, this arrangement may not be optimal for you. The touch control takes some getting used to. Adjusting heating level is a two touch operation: first select the burner you want to control, than the level. The oven has steam cleaning function. I think it is gimmicky but it does make cleaning up easier. Cleaning up the cooktop is so easy. It takes me 10 seconds with a dry microfiber cloth and nothing else.
So far I have no problem with the Samsung, time will tell if it will last. Induction cooktop has been around for a very long time, 20, 30 years maybe? My friend has a 20 year old induction hob from Asia and it still going strong. In terms of build quality, I don't believe one is necessary better than the other.
Howdy. I'm considering getting the Samsung as well - I'd love to get some feedback from an owner.
1- Some reviews state that the induction coils "buzz", possibly when all burners are up high, and/or that the fan blows for a long time after the unit supposedly cools down...have you had that experience at all?
2- Any problem with the layout of the elements? Some say that the right rear element is too close to the back of the stove.
3- How is the fine temperature control? Would you say it really compares to a gas stove in terms of speed / responsiveness?
4 - How do you like the convection oven? Done any roasting / baking in it?
1 - The heating elements buzz is annoying for the first few times I use it, now I don't even notice it. I didn't notice any long cool down until last night when the fan kept blowing for more than 20 minutes after all burners were turned off. The problem, I think, was I left a big pot of hot water on the burner after cooking some pasta. Shortly after I removed the big pot of water, the cooling fan stopped. Usually the cooling fan stop a few minutes after the unit is off.
2 - I don't personally have any problem with the layout. In fact, I'm beginning to like it. I usually use the right rear burner for boiling pasta or steaming. My 8 quart stock pot fits nicely back there (I think 8 quart, but I have no concept of how big a 8 quart pot is. It is about 10 inch or so in diameter). The front large element was my biggest complain (until last night) because the only pan I can use on it is my large 13 incher. Last night I finally come to appreciate the large front element after grilling some chicken on a griddle last night. The larger burner surface heated the griddle quickly and evenly. I'm going to use the griddle for pancake over the weekend. I think it should work wonderfully.
3 - Temperature control goes from simmering to boosted. Simmering is the lowest setting and I use it to keep my food warm after cooking. Than you have level 1 to 9 and Hi with .5 increments. I found it hard to use the sliding touch control to quickly set to the level I wanted. If I want 7.5, for instance, it will take my finger sliding back and forth a few times before I got it right. There are a + and - button if you don't like the slider. I have no problem cranking it all the way up or down. After Hi, you have Boosted which I used a lot when boiling water. You cannot use Boosted setting on all 4 burners at the same time. I can't remember, but I think you can use 2 boosted at a time. In terms of speed and responsiveness, I think it is much, much better than what I had before. I've never cooked on one of those high end/high BTU gas stove, but compare to my previous gas range, the induction range is much faster. The heating control is much more responsive compare to my gas range. One thing I don't like is the fact that induction burner doesn't generate heat on its own, so when I'm using a wok, only the bottom part in contact with the heading element is heated. The side of the wok stays warm at best. This is not good for wok cooking. I want my wok to be very hot at the bottom and pretty hot on the side.
4 - I have not done any convection-roasting yet, but baking feels just like my old oven. When in baking mode, the convection fan is turned on when preheating and stopped after it has reached the preheat temperature. This may make temperature reading more precise? I don't know. I also haven't try the warming draw at the bottom.
Another nice feature I found useful is the child proof lock which requires pressing and holding the unlock button for 3 seconds to unlock. One less thing to worry about when my kids are in the kitchen during the day.
We've had ours for a little over a month. Overall, I like it. Getting used to the burner setup took a couple of days. You need a really big pot/frying pan for the front-left burner (min. 10" I think). Smaller ones just won't work. I too like the back burner for boiling water but it is more of a pain when using it for frying something because we have the Samsung Microwave/Kitchen Fan combo above it (very interesting price at Costco). There appears to be less head room that with our other fan. It isworth it though because it really pulls out the steam/smoke etc. - especially when you're frying steak :-).
Cooking on this stove is better than on the gas stove because you can really control the lower temperatures (kind of reminds me of a crock-pot on lowest setting) and the higher ones are great.
P.S. I have the Breville EW30XL Electric Wok with the 425° sear-ability. I don't use the over-the-stove one any more.
10 years ago, we had a GE induction unit. It was private labeled by a Japanese company.
Fortunately, we has insurance as we had four different power units burn out. Finally GE quit repairing the unit and "paid us off' by giving us a free electric coil unit. We sold it and got a DIVA induction unit. It works just fine!
Whatever you choose... Don't go with Samsung!
We had Samsung for about 1.5 month. It never worked right. It kept registering a pan detection error when cooking with induction suitable pots. Samsung offered us no solution and blamed our pots. We went back to the retailer and showed them the video we made to document the strange behavior.
They allowed us to replace the unit with an Electrolux model (more expensive). All the issues with our pots disappeared and we are now happy Never Again - Anything but Samsung customers.