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Feb 27, 2011 12:22 PM

electric induction cooktop

building a new kitchen and were considering a gas cooktop with a microwave above it vented outside the house. we've read on-line about people that have had fires, etc, with this type of setup.

considering a GE profile 30" electric induction cooktop because we feel it would be safer and have read good reports (including on chowhound) about induction cooking.

any comments/advice appreciated!

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  1. Over the range MW and vents are essentially useless. Get yourself a proper exhaust vent.

    I don't see how induction is safer, but it certainly boils water faster!

    2 Replies
    1. re: E_M

      E_M: "I don't see how induction is safer ..."

      It is unlikely (not impossible, but unlikely) that one will seriously burn oneself on the surface of an induction cooktop. When the cooktop gets hot, it is only because of the secondary heat conducted downward from the pan that was sitting on the cooktop, and is usually a much lower temperature than that attained by an electric coil, the spider of a gas range, or the top of a smooth-top conventional electric cooktop.

      No one yet has had a sleeve catch fire from extending his or her arm over an induction burner. Spilled flammable liquids will not catch fire.

      All commercially available induction cooktops and ranges have shut-off circuits that prevent pans from overheating when they boil dry.

      A teddy bear left on an induction burner will not catch fire, even if the burner is turned on by little fingers.

      No gas line, no gas explosion.

      1. re: Politeness

        I understand this in theory, but in all my life, growing up with a gas stove and fireplaces surrounded in a community with the same, the firetrucks were more likely to be called for a problem involving a christmas tree than a stovetop. All the childhood burns I have heard about are due to boiling liquids, not the heat source. I'm uneasy about sharp knives and falls in the bathroom. Amidst all of this...I just don't see how a gas stove is significant.

    2. My advice is go to a dealer/kitchen store that has a demo of this model. Take a selection of your cookware and metal utensils along, so you know in advance it's actually going to work--or if your utensils will heat on the stovetop. Cook something on it (not just the water boiling gimmick, maybe bring a stew, something thick). Cook until the fan noise starts and see if it bothers you. Ask if you can get an extended warranty past 5 years. Make them show you the actual coils under the glass, not just the painted-on circles on top.

      12 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu

        kaleokahu: "My advice is ..."

        Except as it applies to the compatibility of specific pots and pans, none of the suggestions is specific to induction cooking devices, and might be said as well of conventional electric or gas cooking devices. Extended warranties are almost always poor investments on all appliances.

        1. re: Politeness


          All cookware, like politics, is local. Especially on induction.

          The absence of offered extended warranties is evidence of the seller's non-confidence.

          NB to Rick: If the seller isn't going to give you a 30-, or 60-day satisfaction guarantee, watch out.

          1. re: kaleokahu

            THanks for the tip, didn't realize they would do that with big appliances. That would actually really make me lean towards making the jump and buying the Electrolux I want knowing that I could return it if I didn't like it.

            1. re: Rick

              Depending on who you buy from depends on their return policy. We have found over the years it is better to deal with local smaller retailers than the big box stores. (I live in a large city) The small local owner's reputation is on the line where big box stores could care less and the lolo stores usually will match prices. It sounds like you going high end and that I recommend. I can't get over how fast stuff gets "outdated" or better products are developed (like tvs) Also be prepared to see the price you paid for something drop dramatically 6-12 months after you bought it. It sounds like you are doing your research and this is important. I wished I would have done my research on my LG fridge that caught on fire. (But that is another story) There is only so much money in the well so I advise you sit down and determine what items you are willing to spend a little more on and what items you may consider downgrading. If you are gutting your kitchen like we did be prepared for the unforeseen. 6 weeks without a kitchen and it screwed everything up from the electrician to floor installers etc. Also, experience speaks volumes. Tap into our friends here at chowhound or your friends that have done similar projects for their tips etc. It's the best unbias advice you can get. I've even shown my kitchen to friends of friends and showed them what I loved about it and what I wish we did differently. Most of all take a deep breathe and just think of when it is all done how beautiful it will be. It is not like any other renovation where you can just close the door until it's finished. Anyone I know that has undertaken a major kitchen project at one time or another has asked themselves What the ***was I thinking? Trust me it is worth it in the end! Have fun.

              1. re: Rick

                If the seller doesn't sell it, get it directly from Electrolux.

          2. re: kaleokahu

            Do kitchen stores actually let you cook something? My impression is that many of these stoves are not even hooked up to the wall.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I'm having a hard enough time trying to even find a display model of the induction range that I want let alone being able to go in and cook with it.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I thought it's a pretty common thing that people bring in their fav cookie dough into the store and test drive all the ovens before they finalize. We've been to this showroom which had a proper pantry in the back to churn out trays and trays of goodies (from scratch), brought them out to the front, stick them into the display oven, and offered us fresh cookies during the visit. They were using whatever appliances they had to make this happen - dishwasher, hood vent, faucets, sinks, fridges...

                There's another store nearby touting "9 live kitchen environments". But I've never used their service.

                When I went some years ago, they had induction and gas side by side. I'm sorry, Rick :-(

                1. re: cutipie721

                  Hey if the cookies are real good it might sell some appliances. And don't laugh my mother-in-law returned an electric stove top (white) for the black one after she used it because it showed too many marks. If I tried that I think they would laugh me out of the store. I guess it pays to be an 85 year old sweetheart.

                  1. re: cutipie721

                    I didn't know that. I was just based on my experience that I haven't seen any cooking when I walked pass these stores.

                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Chem: Some do. Many have demo models--maybe 2 of each gas, electric, induction. If they don't have a 30-day return policy, I'd insist that they hook a non-demo up. Why buy a pig in a poke? You don't buy cars that way.

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Maybe because I have never been in the market for buying a stove. I guess more specialized/dedicated stores will offer demonstration service. I have only visited stores like HomeDepot, Lowes, Sears... and those do not seem to offer any cooking demonstration.

                      Yes, you are right. I don't buy cars that way. In fact, I don't even buy my mattress that way (I want to lie on it).

                2. One thing to keep in mind is that an induction cooktop requires a more powerful vent than a gas one. This is because there is much less heat going up the sides of the pot to draw the steam upward. The steam tends to spread more laterally, so you need a stronger fan to pull it up to the vent.

                  The guy who installed my induction cooktop warned me about this point, and my experience after switching from gas (while continuing to use the same vent hood) supports it.

                  1. Since your building from scratch I would not recommend putting the micro above the stove top. You are asking for injury from the likes of steam, spillage onto the gas stove top etc. Also, I am 5'5" and think it would be too high and too far back for me. Also, if you have assistance in the kitchen putting out prepared dishes the stove top area is a busy place as this is where the last minute items are added or put out ready to serve. (gravy mashed potatoes and the like) I put mine above the built in oven which seems to work for me. It really depends on space and personal preference. My mother in law put hers above the dishwasher. This way the built in oven could be raised so she doesn't have to bend over to get in the oven.

                    1. The MW above the stove is a bad idea on many levels. You end up concentrating too many activities in one area, The vent fans in these things are usually pretty anemic. They are impossible to keep clean as all the smoke/grease the fan misses ends up on them. In order to be high enough to clear large pots they're too high to use for less than average height people or kids and they are even less effective at venting. The actual air intakes are pretty far back and don't do much for the front of the stove.

                      Do you get the idea that I hate mine? I pretty much only use it as a plate warmer.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Scrapironchef

                        I have never had a problem with mine. Although I do wish I got a convection MW. I hate cold plates. I find the food gets cold too fast. I have taken to rinsing them under hot water to heat them up. Also, I regret getting a convection over. It takes up too much oven space. The only thing it is good for is baking. I find it dries meat and the likes out. Next time.

                        1. re: 02putt

                          Your microwave will do a good job of warming plates, no need for convection. I scored a double in wall convection oven on craigslist, both boxes will take a half sheet pan with room to spare. I'm not sure how much bigger you need. I've had great results roasting in convection ovens, it just requires adjusting your temps and timing.

                          1. re: Scrapironchef

                            What kind of plates do you warm in the microwave?

                            1. re: paulj

                              Anything that does doesn't have metal decoration or content.

                              1. re: Scrapironchef

                                I do not use Melamine in the microwave because it gets quite hot, and blocks the waves from the food I want warmed. I used Corelle in the microwave because it does not react at all, allowing the waves to heat the food.

                                In another thread the OP did warm her plates, stoneware of some sort, in the microwave. Apparently that material does react to microwaves, though possibly not as intensely as Melamine.

                                I can imagine warming plates by wrapping them in a damp towel. In that case it's the water that is reacting to the waves, not the plates themselves.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  Most of my day to day stuff is stoneware, fairly heavy resto grade. I also have a variety of Japanese stoneware. All of it takes about 30 seconds per item in the mw to warm to a nice serving temp, no need to wrap in towels, I put two plates in and set it for a minute.

                                  1. re: Scrapironchef

                                    I suspect water in the stoneware is reacting with the waves.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      There are any number of trace elements and minerals that would be more likely suspects.

                            2. re: Scrapironchef

                              I do adjust the temp and time but still find it dries out food. Maybe it is the brand I have. Also, it is 6 years old now. Baking is not an issue. I miss the extra space when cooking a large meal.

                              1. re: 02putt

                                I can get a whole standing rib roast in mine, I don;t find that the fan in the back takes up that much room.

                                1. re: Scrapironchef

                                  For one roast or one chicken I agree. But if you have a few things going on like scallop potatoes or roast veggies I find space an issue. Now I really wish I had purchased a convection microwave!