Gas isn't an option and while my current five year old electric stove is just fine, I find myself wanting something better. Was curious what your thoughts are on induction if you have one or have used one. Thanks!
You will find a ton of information using the search function on this board, or you could look at last week's thread at Garden Web: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/...
Bottom line: if there is a person who formerly used coil electric, radiant or halogen electric, or gas -- excepting those who do a very significant portion of their cooking in woks with flames licking high up the sides -- and who, having tried induction, voluntarily would cook uisng any other energy source, you will have a very hard time finding him or her. Those who have used induction never want to go backward to any other method of cooking. (Except wok afficianados.)
[We have used induction in our home since 1999 and yes we do like it. We used gas for decades; we used coil tops for decades; we had ribbon radiants for a few years; we do know the difference.]
I've never used induction before, but I'm wanting to make a change to something that's much more safer and convenient to clean. Gas has always been my fuel of choice due to it's speed and lack of increasing my already overinflated electric bills. However, cleaning my gas stove is the bane of my existence. I currently have a regular white Maytag sealed burner gas stove with irreparable discoloration on and around every burner due to burnt on food stains. Even with the deepest sunk-in spill catchers, all liquids seem to flow to the bottom center of my cookware before dropping below and charring to the burners. And before I can use that particular burner again, I must thoroughly clean up around it otherwise suffer scorching the previous spills to the drip pans. (I end up just not using that burner again until I have time to clean it again once it cools off--usually a week or two later--Hey, I'm a normal guy!).
Besides all the massive scrubbing and staining to the stove top, burners, grating, and cookware sides and bottoms; one other major hazard I've found with these sealed burner gas stoves is that if any amount of water spills over the sides of my pots and collects in the drip pans it continues to be heated up by the burners and when it boils away, the steam extinguishes the flames but the gas continues to flow. On several occasions I've returned to my kitchen just to check on boiling water or steaming vegetables, only to find the room filled with enough gas vapors to explode! (How these appliances ever passed UL testing is beyond my understanding). So, I'm all for induction cook tops for both the safety and ease of keeping clean.
I recently did a remodel on my kitchen. I went with a 36" Kenmore (made by Electrolux). I purchased it at the Sears Outlet at 50% off retail as it was a demo unit (never actually used .. simply "shown"). I would not go back to the radiant coil I had previously. The induction has the benefits of gas but without the heat and noisy ehaust fan. The unit I purchased came with full warranty, etc. I have enjoyed it since the first day. I would recommend induction. Yes, I had to replace some of my cookware, but through selective purchasing, you won't spend all that much doing so.
Check the Sears Outlet store near you online. It will show you their inventory and a brief summary of the condition of the item you might be interested in.
I've had my GE 30" slide-in range with induction cooktop for going on two years now and am absolutely thrilled with it. When I bought this house it had a flat-top electric with halogen burners; the longer I lived with that, the more I hated it. I wanted to put in gas but that was prohibitively expensive, so I looked into induction, and the more I looked, the more I liked.
It has the near-instantaneous heat control of gas (it can literally take a large pot from a full boil to a simmer in 2 seconds flat), and is capable of holding a really steady, very low heat much better than the high-end gas ranges. I do a lot more simmering and braising than searing, so that's important to me.
Oops! Just noticed that the OP posed this question almost three years ago. Still, it's useful info to share.
We have been having an ongoing discussion about induction in the Cookware forum.
I bought my new Bosch induction cooktop last summer. I really like it. It cleans easily. We lock it and wipe it with general purpose cleaner, and buff it up with a microfiber cloth. For better cleaning, we use a little regular stovetop cleaner, and it cleans up nicely. The black glass does show fingerprints, though. And if you use a regular dishcloth, you cannot get it shiny clean.
There is a bit of learning curve with induction. The pan heats up fast, and it can cool down fast if you lower the heat right off the bat. A good pan will be very responsive. But CI works well for me, as does stainless with a thick aluminum bottom ( Sitram Profiserie) Any good induction friendly (magnetic bottomed) pan should work well for you.
There are few non stick induction friendly pans, but it seems they are becoming more common. You can use carbon steel. I bought a flat bottomed CI wok at Costco that works well on my induction burner.
So, there are plenty of pots and pans that will work on induction. But the cooktops are pricey. I decided to buy middle of the road. I like the way this model Bosch turns on and off. I like being able to lock down the stovetop, especially for cleaning. I can time a burner, but for no more than 9 minutes, I believe.
It heats up fast. You won't believe how fast CI heats up. Within a minute or two, no kidding. It holds a simmer very well. You can hold food on the lowest setting with no problem. You can boil water for tea, using boost, in 2 minutes or so. (Depends on the size pot and amount of water.) If you get a boilover, it cleans up fast. (Some stovetops have a non boilover feature.) It accommodates a good pressure cooker nicely.
Usually people who have these become great fans. If you want to experience this without first spending a bundle, you could buy a single induction burner first. Fagor makes some nice ones.
Have fun looking and deciding.