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Can't find the Induction cooktop I want, pls help!

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  • E_M Feb 10, 2011 10:13 AM
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So I finally found the induction cooktop that I want, it's by AEG and, unfortunately, not available in North America. Here it is in the UK: http://www.aeg.co.uk/Products/Cooking...

Basically, it has 4 zones, but no set burner size. As long as you cover the very center of the zone, you can use any size or shape pan. Freakin' awesome.

Some people have suggested I have it shipped to friends in England and then Fed-Exed here. Of course, then I have no warranty or service.

Does anyone else have any suggestions, or seen this type of "maxi-sense" available elsewhere?

PS - Broan in Germany also makes them, but again, not for export.

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  1. Fagor also makes a zone-free cooktop, but it's not available in NA either. Ditto Miele, though theirs has one multi-variable zone and multiple fixed.

    You could risk importation, but the electricals are going to be different and you could potentially fry or invalidate your insurance or both.

    Do you absolutely need this type of hob? Or can you live with say, the 5-element Fagor or something similar from Miele?

    1. E_M: Why not get an induction hotplate for now, and wait for 'tops with this feature to be imported? No warranty + Induction = Big gamble.

      1. I don't *need* this type, it's just that I'm a little nervous about giving up gas for something that runs on a computer chip, so I figured I should get the best unit I can. I have roasting pans and oval LCs, and would like to use griddles, as well, and I have heard of cool spots in the middle, if you span 2 burners.

        The backup is an LG, which has a bridge element between 2 burners. One of those zoneless cooktops gives me the ultimate flexibility: oval LCs, one giant round paella pan, etc.

        I would totally wait, if only I could get a sense from the manufacturers on when/if these units would ever be for sale here.

        3 Replies
        1. re: E_M

          This "zoneless" thing is relatively new, compared to the decades of history of induction. The first zoneless unit released only a few years ago.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/727773

          I guess this is starting to get popular in EU. Even if you get one, servicing will be really painful. Be prepared to FedEx parts over.

          The biggest burner on my unit is 11", which is more than enough to fit a 31cm oval DO. I know, it sounds wrong because 30cm is essentially 12 inches. Probably because the base of the pot is a little rounded and hence smaller than the top. I don't have a big griddle pan so I can't comment on cool spots.

          Induction started to take off in 2003/2004(?) in the US. 7 years later it's still considered new to a lot of people. AEG is related to Electrolux so you may ask them. Maybe they can do a special order for you?

          But I'd say we won't see zoneless cooktops here for at least another 5 years.

          1. re: cutipie721

            I did ask Electrolux, and the 3 people I spoke with at their customer service department had NO IDEA what I was talking about.

            Now, AEG is distributed in NA through Euro-line, but they only have 1 type of hob available: the 36" wide, 3 zone one. It is only 1 hob deep, so it is very much a rectangle. I have never seen a size and shape like it, and am somewhat hesitant to 1) commit to a 3 zone hob* as opposed to 4 and 2) buy such an un-standardized size cooktop.

            * not zones, exactly, but 3 areas denoted by the little cross

            1. re: E_M

              Out of curiosity, are you doing a kitchen remodel? I imagine you'd have to somehow fit it into your current countertop otherwise. Since almost everybody in EU measures in cm, I just can't think of the possibility that it cannot go into the hole after going through all the hoops... oh yuck.

              If you need my vote, it would be a firm no. The whole pray-it-works-well-or-cross-country-support thing is making my stomach churn.

        2. Can you get Neff appliances in the US? They have a Flexinduction hob - one half is multvariable zoneless induction, the other half has two traditional induction "burners"

          Siemens also do a similar half zoned, half zoneless induction hob here in Europe.

          8 Replies
          1. re: serah

            Sarah, are you in Europe? I am considering Neff for my electrics in my new kitchen there however almost all of the kitchenplanner I met recommend Bosch. After reading agony of Bosh Dishwasher here in this board, I am doubtful. Can you share a bit of your experience for induction and dishwasher choice in Europe? Thanks :) Miele is ideal but I don't have a budget for that .....sigh. Sorry EM, I don't intend to hijack your post..

            1. re: hobbybaker

              Be very very careful with these things. I live in Spain, we had a three-circle Zanussi induction hob installed when we rebuilt our house. Three years later, after multiple visits from the factory rep and a couple of months-long stays at "The Shop," Zanussi finally replaced it with a new one that works properly and doesn´t short out the electricity in the entire house. (thankfully the warranty covered the expense... the hassle was ours to keep, though)

              I can´t imagine what it would cost in America if you got a bad one like we did.

              1. re: rebrites

                Hello rebrites. Thanks for sharing your experience. Never heard of Zanussi ... I only hear Bosch manytimes there and they say Bosch, Siemens, and Neff, all manufacture at the same outsourced entity so they are all same but Bosch is more or less "Brand" which I have no clue. I wish I could afford Miele....

              2. re: hobbybaker

                Miele is very nice, but another alternative may be Fagor (they also make De Dietrich).

                I didn't like the Bosch I saw and the Gaggenau variant is even more expensive and has the control puck that kills the use if it's ever lost. NEFF is another brand of BSH Bosch und Siemens.

                1. re: wattacetti

                  hi, wattacetti. I know Fagor name only from a pressure cooker :) I just hoped my appartment had already a kitchen but I heard it is typical in Europe to buy a own kitchen - even for rent not for your own property - and carry it with you wherever you go, which I find very impractical! I have never heard of Fagor or De Deitrich from my kitchenplanners but will check if I have this option. Thanks.

                  1. re: hobbybaker

                    Well, they're big and they're European (Basque region of Spain). As you are also in Europe that means that you should have plenty more model options than we do over here.

                    The Fagor pressure cooker works well on the Fagor induction hob. :-)

                2. re: hobbybaker

                  Yep, I'm in England. I'm beginning to think that Bosch are moving towards a slightly lower-end product - they're owned IIRC by Siemens, and I think that the Siemens brand is trying to occupy the high-end niche. Which is why I'm tending towards Neff - I'd like the Siemens double oven/induction hob combo but it's a few hundred pounds more expensive. The Bosch equivalent comes in slightly cheaper than the Neff but as I said, I'm beginning to doubt whether they are the best bang for the buck.
                  My parent's Bosch dishwasher gave 25 years of perfect service - my 3 year Bosch doesn't seem as good. And, in our last rental place we had an almost new Bosch fridge freezer break down constantly and we weren't impressed with the Bosch washing machine either. So it's a combination of a few niggly things that is steering me away from Bosch.

                  1. re: serah

                    OK. so it is kind of typical new things are not made to last.. sigh.... One of my neighbor's house in NJ was sold becase they calimed that the had a BOSCH highend applicance. Difference almost $20,000 in sold price. Poor buyers! Becoming skeptical enough to go with as soon as I land at the other side in two weeks. I need to scrutinize what was recommende etc. Appreciate your input a lot. I might set up a separate thread asking your opinion later !! Thanks sarah!