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Breaking in our new induction range

Our new Electrolux range is set to be delivered tomorrow and I'm looking for a challenging recipe to help break it in and explore the benefits of induction - thoughts?

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  1. I don't see why you want a challenging recipe. I'd suggest basic things like boiling water just to get a feel for the settings that work best. How fast do various pots of water boil, what settings let you simmer, what's a good sautee setting, etc. How evenly do various pans heat (observe the bubble patten as the water comes to a boil). Even the basics of which pans don't work on it.

    15 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      I'm pretty swift. I think I can handle a bit more than boiling water and basic heat control.

      1. re: wongadon

        I think what paulj means is that you should probably get a feel for the cooktop before you take it out on the track. Ever played with a commercial stove? I was amazed at how quickly everything moved when I did, and I nearly ended up ruining dinner. I've never played with an induction range, but I'm told that they heat up very quickly, and run very hot. That means no prepping ingredients while you're letting others cook. Times on leaving things will probably also be completely different. If you start by boiling water, or if you prefer, making bacon and eggs, you can get a better sense of how things are going to be different from a conventional stove top.

        1. re: gilintx

          I have experience in professional kitchens on commercial ranges. I understand what you are saying but, again, boiling water does not a supper make.

          Let me rephrase the question -
          "Can anyone recommend some recipes that showcase the benefits of induction, such as precision heat control or power output?"

          1. re: wongadon

            I'd probably try some kind of soup, stew, or braise--something where you brown meat, brown veggies, and combine in a big pot for a slow cook. Maybe Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon? Seems that would give it a good test run! And, btw, I'm jealous! We bought our last cook top about 7 years ago (Blue Star gas); at the time I'd never even heard of induction. Next time...

            1. re: Niki in Dayton

              Thanks for the great suggestion Niki! Exactly the kind of idea I was hoping for utilizing varied methods, I think I'll try it this weekend. Tonight I might do seared scallops with beurre blanc to play with high/low heat, and then something that requires melted chocolate for dessert - just because! :-)

              Your Bluestar makes me jealous! We don't have the option for gas and decided to pull the trigger on the Electrolux when they had a mail in rebate - BUT we ended up finding a floor model locally for $1000, perfect condition...

              1. re: wongadon

                Electorlux range not cooktop? When I was looking two years ago no such thing on the market, let alone for that price, alas!

                1. re: qianning

                  Yup, 30" slide in and freestanding, they list at $3500 and $2900

                  1. re: qianning

                    Just an fyi. I got my first Samsung one a year and a half ago for about $1800. Just bought a second one at Lowes for about $1600. Love it.

                  2. re: wongadon

                    Score!!! That's a heck of a price!

                    Don't be jealous of the Blue Star. It's a great gas range, but for most applications it can't really compete with a good induction unit.

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      Agree; that's why I was jealous of wongadon!

                      1. re: Niki in Dayton

                        We should all have such problems - a great gas range is nothing to sniff at!

                        1. re: alanbarnes

                          You're so right....I've been a "serious" cook for years, but have only had a "serious" cooktop since I got the Blue Star ;-)

                    2. re: wongadon

                      So, how about a test kitchen report??

              2. re: wongadon

                I said that too. The power and heat curve is going to be very different and the way you handle pans will be too so all of that "simple stuff" isn't going to be.

                See if you can fry and egg. And a pork chop. Boil some pasta. Simmer a small batch of broth. Make a soup.

                If you really want to show off precision heat control, set up sous-vide.

                1. re: wattacetti

                  Sous-vide is a good idea that I hadn't thought of... and an excuse to buy a vacuum sealer! :-P

            2. A search for 'electrolux induction recipes' gave me this AU page with a few recipe videos

              http://www.electrolux.com.au/Inspirat...

              The temperature control on my induction hot plate is too coarse to be of much use, but if the Electrolux controls are as good as they claim, maybe you should try some low temperature items, like tempering chocolate, making hollandaise, or slow poaching an egg.

              5 Replies
              1. re: paulj

                @paulj: I'm intensively shopping for a countertop induction unit, and considering the Max Burton 6200. The listings I've seen say it has temperature settings from 140 to 450, but none say in how many steps, or what the temperatures are. It also has ten power settings, and I'd be surprised if the temperature settings don't just correspond. What are they on the MB you have?

                If this is considered a thread-jack, let me know and I'll start a new thread.

                1. re: ellabee

                  There are 10 temperature steps. But keep in mind that the temperature sensor is under the glass, not inside the pan.

                  1. re: paulj

                    Thanks so much, Paul. If I can trouble you again, what are the temperatures?

                    1. re: ellabee

                      The temperatures are 30 or 40 deg steps, e.g. 140 180 210 240 280 etc.

                      I've only been able test the lower ones, with a probe thermometer in water. To test higher ones I'd have use an infrared thermometer that can read the surface temperature of the pan, or a deep enough layer of oil. I suppose I could test temperatures around 370 with sugar (melting/burning) or dancing water (as for pancakes).

                      The 140 setting seems to stabilize around 160, and 180 just below boiling. 210 is steady boil, and higher temperature settings don't change the boil much.

                      Heat settings 1 & 2 are intermittent, 3 and up are steady. The manual (which may be available online) lists wattage for the various power settings (200w for 1, 1200 for 5, 1800 for 10).

                      Anyways, I use the default 5 (or higher) to boil water, but 3 or lower for most cooking. Temperature settings aren't accurate or fine enough to be of much use.

                      1. re: paulj

                        Thanks again. I'll probably start a thread in the cookware section soon.

                        Hope you're enjoying your new cooktop, wongadon! What have you made so far?

              2. I've been cooking with induction for about a year and a half and there IS DEFINITELY a learning curve. I don't care who one is or how one has cooked, this is different. Very, very different. There's not a gas cooktop out there that has the senstitivity you're going to be dealing with.

                I'd make bacon and scrambled eggs to start. Sounds like you won't but looking back on my newbie-ness, that's what I'd do.

                1. Mujadarrah or anything with a lot of caramelized onions. I love the long and slow ability. My biggest problem was that I turned burners on hi but did not reduce the heat quickly enough- burned things. It only takes 10-20 seconds to get the pan hot-I can't wait for anything. I never leave the burner on Hi for long-no need.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mscoffee1

                    Love this idea and more good advice - I'm a big nerd and have my infrared thermometer to check pan temp as I go along and things do happen fast!

                  2. Another potential difference - picking up the pan to toss or shake the food might not work as well as with a gas stove. That depends, of course, on how the stove responds when you remove a pan. My first burner beeped and shut itself off. My current one, flashes an error message, but resumes cooking when the pan placed back on it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: paulj

                      Great link and good reminder on removing the cookware from the stove Paul - thanks...

                    2. so for all of you who have had your induction ranges for a while - are you happy? Would you reconsider a gas top if you were able to?

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: smilingal

                        Love, love, love my induction. I would not reconsider. I have had it about 10 months and as long as it doesn't break.... I even convinced my SIL to liberate herself from gas. She got an induction single burner to try it out. I do prefer dials and I don't like that controls are at the back, mine is digital - but there is always something, I guess.

                        1. re: smilingal

                          I had gas and replaced it with induction. We do house exchanges and a couple of the house we've stayed in have high end gas. I always feel like I've taken a step back in time :) And not a good one. You couldn't pay me to go back to gas.

                            1. re: wattacetti

                              Thanks mscoffee for pointing out your minor areas of discontent - I appreciate it and will keep it in mind when doing my shopping. And to Wattacetti - just wanting to be certain that those who switched wouldn't have the desire to go back - guess induction is the way to go. Hesitant of the unknown but seems to be all positive once you get the hang of the different cooking style. I still don't use my convection setting on my oven! Maybe I am one of those that you can't teach an old dog........

                              1. re: smilingal

                                If it makes you feel better I don't use the convection settings either (I don't bake).

                                Once you've done the induction thing, you'll be asking "why?" (as in"why would I go back") too. And a bonus: if you're in Eastern Canada or the US right now and under the current high heat and humidity warning, which would you rather turn on - the induction unit that generates some heat to cool its electronics to heat up the pots, or a gas top that lights an *open flame* that will also heat the surrounding air.

                                1. re: smilingal

                                  I am pretty slow to change, but for some reason this was easier than most things. Just don't do a dinner party the first week and you will be fine. As long as you have the pots for induction or know and are willing to get the ones you need, be brave. I replaced most of my cookware and that was fine - I gave the old to a young friend who was so happy. It was not that expensive. I was able to get wonderful stuff on sale (William Sonoma outlet, etc.) and at the very beginning I used some IKEA to get used to things. I did have one pan that I needed to get rid of (non stick and yes I burned it).
                                  I find little difference in the convection oven. I use it or I don't and it doesn't seem to matter. Convection did not cook faster nor more evenly and therefore I assumed the oven was/ is running a little low, but things turn out fine. I got an oven thermometer and it did seem to confirm my thoughts, but then I promptly cleaned the oven with the thermometer in it - oh well. Good luck.

                              2. re: smilingal

                                I thought about remodeling my kitchen for 15 years and everytime I thought of replacing my electric coil range with gas my stomach flipped over and my brain screamed "NO". I put in an induction cooktop 2 years ago and am so pleased with it.

                              3. Gotta tell a story on myself. I'm making ice cream today and the first step is to bring 2C cream and 2 C milk to a boil. My induction cooktop has settings from simmer to low and then numeric in whole and some half #s through 9, and then high and (power) boost. Well, hey, I'm no newbie so I know to not use the two highest so I started at 9. I never left the area but I did turn away briefly. Until I heard the sound of liquid boiling over and hitting the cooktop!!!!! This pot was deep enough that there was easily 3" of space from the top of the liquid to the edge of the pot. Six ounces gone in a flash. And a big mess. And another trip to the store. Then I heated at 8 and NEVER took my eyes off it. So the moral of the story is...even boiling something isn't the slam dunk some may think it is.

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: c oliver

                                  Thanks, c oliver, that is instructive. What are the top two levels there for, supposedly, if it's not a good idea to use them? I was assuming the suitable use would be a big pot full of water for blanching, etc.

                                  1. re: ellabee

                                    Sorry. I wasn't clear. I definitely use high and power boost. And, yes, it's for getting something to a boil FAST! But they're really not for cooking. Even plain water will boil over if left at that setting. People scoff at the boiling water thing but, I tell ya, pre-induction I can't count on all my fingers and toes how many times I've waited too late to start the pasta water going and we're waiting forever. I use every setting on the cooktop regularly.

                                  2. re: c oliver

                                    sometimes I get myself nauseous thinking about how I would ever learn the various steps of the induction top and also........how did all of you feel about replacing all of your pots and pans? Do you have to replace ALL (of course not the newer ones that are induction safe) - but cast iron, non-stick etc etc? And what about a wok?

                                    1. re: smilingal

                                      You replace anything to which a magnet doesn't stick.

                                      Woks are extra-special because unless you have an induction unit for a wok, the round bottom will not work particularly well without an induction wok ring. And there's the underlying issue of flipping with a wok that's not going to work too well. I've gotten around it by using a large saucier.

                                      1. re: smilingal

                                        Cast Iron works perfectly on induction. There are also flat bottom, induction capable woks. Check The Wok Shop. I got one at a very reasonable price.

                                        http://www.wokshop.com/

                                        The cookware I got from Circulon is nonstick. I did have to replace some that were rather dear to me. But my 30 y.o. daughter described it as "This is like Christmas in February!"

                                        I walked around with a magnet for quite awhile. There's alot more availability now than even 18months ago. And the labeling is catching on also.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          going to dig out a magnet now - so that will initially answer one of my concerns! thanks for the suggestion!

                                        2. re: smilingal

                                          If you use a lot of aluminum cookware, you'll likely have to replace that. And if you've dropped $15,000 on an extensive collection of Mauviel copper, induction is probably a bad choice for you. Also, anything that stands more than an inch or so off the stove surface (like a dutch oven with legs) or has a footprint narrower than 4" across (like a round-bottom wok) won't work. Aside from that, though, everything in my kitchen works like a charm. Stainless (yes, I know, supposedly some stainless isn't induction-compatible, but if mine is any indication it's pretty rare), cast iron (plain and enameled), carbon steel (ditto) - no worries.

                                          As far as the "various steps," it really isn't that difficult. You turn the heat up; you turn the heat down. It looks a little different, and most stoves use a touchpad rather than a knob, but the fundamental idea is the same.

                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                            All of my stainless had to be replaced. I knew that before I got an induction. It was decent stuff that I had picked up through the years. It was not a set of any one type, so there was and i think still is a lot of stainless that is not "magnetic."

                                            I was told the degree or strength of the magnetic pull does have influence that way the cookware works on induction, but I don't know. In any event I have easily found new cookware that is better than my old stuff at good prices. Getting new cookware has been fun, but now I need to stop.

                                            I completely agree that it is not hard to lean how to use the stove. Most new stoves takes some getting used to especially if you were working on an older, slower stove. Such a relief to have four burners that all work at all settings.

                                          2. re: smilingal

                                            I have two induction plates which I haven't used a lot, but after reading a couple of posts of alan barnes, I decided to get one of them out today to make a beef-stew-type dish. I set it on the electric cooktop underneath the uptake fan, and set it about 5 (out of 10) to brown the stew meat. I think browning meat is a good place to start to see the 'outer limits-number'.

                                            Setting aside stew meat, then deglazing is another way to learn a control setting.

                                            Then adding your onions, then adding garlic, this is another way to learn another control setting.

                                            Adding ingredient after ingredient continues on down the line of learning your numbers. And you will learn how to learn the numbers to keep it at a simmer.

                                            So -- I am suggesting that this is a good way to learn your 'numbers' fast and easy.

                                            I did not worry that I would ruin 'grass-fed beef' purchased at an extravagant price, because I believe I was in control all the time; I don't get that feeling with an electric cooktop where/when it flashes bright red way too often.

                                            BTW, After two hours, my electric stovetop was cool as it started.

                                            1. re: Rella

                                              Excellent post and guidelines. Sorry we haven't heard back from OP. But for others, there's good info here.

                                              1. re: Rella

                                                Rella - thanks for these suggestions. I am a bit out from my purchase of the new stove top but am almost definite I will be going in this direction of the induction range. I will value all these tips when I enter that learning curve - as I am sure there will be one.