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Do you like induction cooktops? Details, please.

I've always thought of induction cooktops as gimmicks, not nearly as flexible or useful as gas, etc. But it occurs to me that I could be wrong.

So i'd appreciate any comments or stories (from experience) anyone can supply. Can you use all the cookware you used before getting the induction cooktop? Amount of heat it can supply? ETC. I am in the very early stages of planning a kitchen remodelling. Thanks.

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  1. I just moved into a new apartment, and bought 1 portable IH cooktop as my cooktop. I am testing how I like the one, and will have the option to eventually get a second IH or a single gas burner. I am leaning towards a second IH at the moment.

    As I have just moved and started from nothing, I needed to buy pots and pans so this wasn't an issue for me, but that will be the largest initial problem. Not all cookware will work on it. My fiancee's mother gave us an old pot but it was aluminum so won't work. I bought a stainless steel flat bottomed pot and some sort of mineral frying pan that I can't identify but is IH compatible.

    My IH was cheap, only $30, so I am sure even more expensive ones perform better, but I am very happy with it. Mine only has 5 settings, ranging from 160-200 degrees celsius. It is only 1300 watts so isn't the most powerful. I| don't have the finesse of gas, I don't have the complete range of temperature, but that hasn't bothered me in the slightest. The responsiveness I've encountered is the same as gas. If i turn the temperature up, it turns up almost instant, if i turn it down, again almost instant.

    I've had no problems so far, but everything I have done requires medium to high heat. I will try a low and slow curry soon and see how that works out. That is my only concern, and if my IH can handle low and slow as well I'l definitely buy a second.

    1. Check the threads that the Chow software has found. Note that 2 are quite long. Also note that there 3 main topics: induction compatible cookware, cooktops (multiburner), and hot plates (less expensive single burner units). Opinions about the hot plates might apply to cooktops.

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        We started with a double countertop unit 11+ years ago. It sat on top of the counter as a supplement to our electric built-in cooktop, which was later replaced with induction.

        On the counter, the fan noise can be an issue, especially when cooking for 2 hours or more. When we ordered the current built-in, we made sure to add a small air vent inside the countertop to assist with the airflow for the fans. The actual countertop is granite adhesed to marine plywood which is then both adhesed and screwed into the cabinet supporting the cooktop. This takes a little thought and design: If airflow supply and return is not taken into account, the cooktop unit can overheat. That installation eliminated the noise: I would rather hear music than a fan for hours in the kitchen.

        Yes, induction cooks fast and uses less energy. We have no alu pans, only stainless with alu cores, and we know which work better than others. Our Rösle pan sets are the best performers consistently, while some other brands do not do as well. Ultimately, you get what you pay for when it comes to induction rated pans and pots.

        One observation is we have learned to cook less physiically than we would do out on the BBQ or with gas cooktops. One does not want to really shake anything hard resulting in cracks or chips in the induction glass. As mentioned above, we too cook on much lower settings with induction.

        We also have rectangular grill area with our induction unit, a clever idea, but we prefer to cook meat, fish, or poultry directly in a pan. Even if to grill.

        Other experiences here are power losses during the winter snow storms. At that point we either use the BBQ just outside, or an alcohol Fondue rechard or burner. But it can and does happen, so think ahead and plan for it.

        Which also brings us to your current task at hand. I would suggest you try out any and all induction cooktops, and related cookware you can. If you have the time and patience, that is at least informative, and perhaps may even be enjoyable. At times I felt as though we were being prepared for either the quick-kill closing ( the loud, Red-Bull infused salesman ) or a Doctorate in Induction Technology ( the droning salesman on in monotone with a huge specification textbook ). More than once my wife looked at me and asked if we really wanted to go into the showroom that day for the same spiel. Bite your tongue, hold your breath, and go through with it. It pays dividends later.

        We like cooking on ours, but that subjectivity may not quite be everyones experience. Talk directly to any and all sales representatives you can regarding service, warranty, and replacement provisions. This appears to still be a new method of cooking in North America, with an initial expense attached to it.

        Good luck with your homework.

      2. We too have an portable induction burner--one of the Duxtop models--and I love it! As far as cookware, we all ready had 4 cast iron pans and one stainless still "everything" pot so we did not need to buy anything new. The burner get the CI smoking hot in a matter of moments even when set at low (setting 2 out of possible 10 settings). It heats a smallish amount of water a bit quicker than the electric cooktop, but not a significant difference when we're talking a stockpot amount of water. I love that it is very adjustable and responds very quickly to temperature changes (then again, so does gas, but we don't have that indoors). If you have compatible cookware you might want to get a (relatively) inexpensive portable burner and see how you like it before investing in an entire cooktop.

        3 Replies
        1. re: gourmanda

          I tried popping popcorn on my induction cooktop. I used the lowest heat setting, but I not only burnt the popcorn I nearly ruined my favorite stainless steel pan (specifically designed for induction).

          Maybe I'm doing something wrong but, I tried it twice (like a dummy) and same results. It's extremely difficult to get the burnt marks off my pan. Here is a photo.

          Now I'm looking for someone who would like to buy a slightly used nice induction cooktop (like new) at a very low price. I'll stick with electric, thank you very much.

           
          1. re: Bradinppc

            Hi Bradinppc,

            I've cooked popcorn on my GE induction range many times, in a saucepan and in a stir fry pan. Both worked well, and not on low heat. I'm curious about why you wanted the lowest setting. Is it needed for your usual method? Can you describe how the popping went?

            Also, judging by the amber color on the edges of the pan, it looks like more oil might be in order. Admittedly, this is hard to discern from the photo, but I mention it just in case you're not used to cooking popcorn on the stovetop. It should be about 3 tablespoons for ⅓ cup of corn. I usually just eyeball it, and pour enough to cover the floor of the pan.

            Duffy

            1. re: Bradinppc

              Were you shaking the pan (sliding it back and forth over the burner)?

              I don't do popcorn much, but recall my parents do it on an electric coil stove. Once it started popping (I think) it required vigorous shaking.

              They used to make poppers with a stirring paddle.

          2. My single burner induction cooker is a 2000 watt unit which we paid less than USD30 for, the cheapest model we could find in Singapore. I've had it two years and I won't give it up even though I now have gas as well.

            I only had a couple of pieces of cookware before I got the induction cooker (had moved to Singapore not long before I bought the induction cooker), and what I had was induction compatible, which is incredibly easy to find in Singapore since induction cookers are so prevalent here. I've since added more pieces.

            The only reason I use the gas stove now is only for selective use cases. Like my wok is round bottom (given to me - if I'd bought one, it would be induction compatible), my kettle (not induction compatible), and for my 14" pan. My induction cooker only has an effective range of 8", so the outer rim of the pan remains cooler than the inner bit.

            I love the induction cooker. Love. I use it every day for absolutely everything else. I can even use 3" pots on it. I use my pressure cooker on it. I use my cast iron on it.

            The power range on mine is 150 watts to 2000 watts. I'm fairly certain that, if I had a flat-bottom induction-compatible wok, the 2000 watts would be fine for wok cooking. I could be wrong, but it's a guess. Except for boiling water/getting my pressure cooker up to pressure, I almost never use the power levels from 1000 and up. Everything is done at the lower settings.

            1. Induction is not a gimmick, in my experience. I've posted repeatedly about what I bought for a cooktop (Bosch) and what pots I selected when I had to give my older Cuisinart pots away.

              If you read the lengthy threads about this you will come away with a good idea of why so many of us have switched, and what to expect if and when you do.

              You will probably have to buy some new pots. But you can use CI, carbon steel, or induction capable stainless--disk bottom or multi clad.

              If you are totally happy with gas, and especially if you have a lovingly collected store of good pots, then I don't know why you need to change.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sueatmo

                <If you are totally happy with gas, and especially if you have a lovingly collected store of good pots, then I don't know why you need to change.>

                I'm sure it's too late for the OP, but for anyone else contemplating a change, I'd echo sue's comment. Induction cooks remarkably like gas. Each has limitations, but on the whole, I'd say they're very similar in 'feel'.

                Now if you're used to cooking on electric, particularly radiant glass, induction is a revelation. It combines the speedy response time of gas with a glass cooktop.

                I'd also add to sue's list of compatible cookware one more - induction capable aluminum. Some "induction ready" aluminum brands barely work, most are so-so, and a few are very good. Check reviews before buying.

              2. Two trends seen here in Europe:

                1. Component cook tops. The induction unit being a rectangle with 2 cook zones. Additional components include a flat surface grill, usually stainless steel, and single concave induction "well" for round bottom woks. Same surround frame size for 1, 2, 3 , or more.

                Want 2 induction cooking zones ? Buy one panel. 4 induction zones needed, then buy 2 panels. And so on.

                Design-Build your own cook top. Have it your way on the counter, rather than a one size fits all purchase.

                2. A few manufacturers are simply marking the pan bottom with minimalist cm size, company logo or name, and " induction " stamped on the pan bottom. No other reference to oven, gas, ceramic, halogen, dishwasher, or electric capabilities.

                Note that as in the EU governmental documents, English is the accepted and increasingly predominant logo language, rather than previous use of the German " Induktion." Ten years ago it would have been French or German.

                Personally, I want to know if the pot or pan will cook in an oven, and be capable of other heat sources for cooking, plus being dishwasher compliant. I want to see all logos stamped or etched on the pot or pan bottom.

                 
                 
                 
                 
                20 Replies
                1. re: SWISSAIRE

                  That wok well is off the charts in cool! I am sitting here as jealous as I have ever been admiring that - Gorgeous!

                  1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                    Evening California Joseph -

                    Yes, they look good. Very modern, dedicated power controls.

                    They are quite common here, but expensive. About € 900 + in France or Germany, and over 1000 CHF here. I think this is actually an industry association / manufacturer attempt to move existing stock, as many were made.

                    With induction woks, and an induction wok ring, ( AEG, de Buyer, etc.), one no longer needs the limitation of that type of wok well. The wok well allows only one type of cooking vessel, a wok.

                    Conversely, using a flat surface induction cook top, many types of cooking pots, pans, induction grills, and even induction tea kettles can be used.

                    There are more practical options with an existing flat induction cook top.

                    Were I to design and build a new cooking island ( looking around to see if my wife is watching -No. OK ), I would most likely choose two induction panels,side by side, and the stainless grill. That would provide me 4 induction cooking zones for large meals and parties, and a grill for skewers, etc.

                    That would require a better exhaust fan, which I'm heading for anyway, versus the existing microwave fan. Time to do some planning and budgeting before Christmas.

                    What do you think ?

                     
                     
                    1. re: SWISSAIRE

                      Yes, yes & yes. Madam Swissaire called and she said you may have a new kitchen and you should simply ship the old stuff to California...

                      1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                        Fantastic !

                        Not even 22:00, and I'm already in heaven.

                        After I make sure all the knives, rolling pins, and other weapons are locked up and secure, I going to read her your reply.

                          1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                            I ............................ chickened out.

                            Better to tell her in the morning when I'm headed out the door.

                            Otherwise, ( to quote the famous Italian comedian Toto ) I might wake up to find that I died in my sleep.

                            1. re: SWISSAIRE

                              "buck buck buck bu-gawk"

                              That's me clucking like a chicken. It's better with audio. :-D

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                Shhhh Duffy.

                                I know, I know: I resemble that remark.

                                Type in a lower register. Don't wake up the wife.

                                We're sleeping.

                                1. re: DuffyH

                                  Hi Duffy-

                                  Attached is a better photo of the induction fry pan /bratpfanne coated with ceramic.

                                  It works very well, with zero oil use so far. The finish quality is excellent, but of course they always are when new, right ? I'm keeping the spatula and other tools use to silicone coated only so far.

                                  States " 400 Celcius limit in the oven." Not going there either.

                                  Cheers,

                                  -R

                                   
                                  1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                    Thanks Rob,

                                    I really like the shape of the pan. A number of the ceramics here, like Thermolon, are sometimes advertised as safe to 850º, but when checking the use & care instructions, we find recs for medium heat.

                                    I wrote to Zwilling about this a while back, asking why Zwilling and Demeyere pans with the same Thermolon coating had different top heat recommendations. Here's what they wrote:

                                    "Why is one listed at 500F vs 850F when they are the same coating? From the technical point of view, the coating is heat resistant up to 850F. You can go up to that temperature without destroying the coating. However, the drawback is that if you go all the way to 850F, the high heat will eventually kill the non-stick properties on the coating. So going up to 850F even though it won't physically and visually damage the coating, it will decrease the non-stick features of it.

                                    Therefore, the proper heat temperature resistance for these items is 500F, this will ensure that the non-stick properties won't degrade and the product will perform better for a longer period of time. "

                                    So your comment, "Not going there either." is dead on. 500ºF/260ºC is plenty hot for all but the most vicious searing. Besides, we've got a Searzall coming soon to take care of that.

                                    Duffy

                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                      Hi Duffy -

                                      Sooooooooooooooooooo.

                                      Yes, 850 F is for quick Pizza.

                                      So, 260 C, or 500 F max for the pan. Thanks, as always.

                                      ?

                                      I know what a Sawzall is, but what is a Searzall ?

                                      -R

                                      1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                        Hey Rob,

                                        Searzall - https://www.shopstarter.com/p/1708738...

                                        We funded it on Kickstarter a year ago, they're finally shipping in the next few weeks.

                                        Duffy

                                        1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                          Hi, Robert:

                                          Pretty sure it's the eGullet guy's Kickstarter project. It looks like it's a plumber's torch fitted with a diffuser head. Sorta/kinda a salamander in a bottle.

                                          Aloha,
                                          Kaleo

                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                            <Sorta/kinda a salamander in a bottle.>

                                            Excellent description.

                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                              Hi Guys -

                                              Mon Dieu !

                                              I can see that you are hopelessly passionate about searing steaks, and will test this device outside away from any structures, or forests.

                                              I look forward to reading your review of the process when you receive the device, and any subsequent reports from the local Fire Department, and Emergency Room services you may wish to include.

                                              Duffy, first take a minute to read over your Homeowner's Assurance policy, and the CC&R's where you reside, specifically under " exclusions." And perhaps a " All Hands on Deck-Ready for Sea " check of your fire extinguishers.

                                              Night

                                              -R

                                               
                                              1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                Hi, Robert:

                                                You should break out your Nomex tuxedo and come over when I wok cook on what Dickens called the "red hot tyrant". Halon or foam, Mein Herr?

                                                Aloha,
                                                Kaleo

                                                1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                  Oh, dear... we won't be hooking our torch up to the main tank, no way! One of the small fat bottles is what it uses.

                                                  Our best friend burned a hole in his wooden deck when some hot coals fell out the bottom of his kettle grill. On Christmas day. With a foot of snow on the deck. We laughed so hard we cried.

                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                    Morning Duffy-

                                                    No. that can still be done.

                                                    What you need is a Rosenbauer.

                                                    1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                      Hey Rob,

                                                      Does a Rosenbauer come with a flaming grill/tank combo? Or is that optional?

                                                      D

                      2. Only 16 months late to the OP's questions, but I just posted this that some may find useful"
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/987590

                        1. Hi Howard,

                          I've lived through almost a full summer with induction, in Tampa, where it's not just hot, it's humid. We keep our thermostat set at 80ºF to save on AC costs (it's still ~$300/month) and run ceiling fans to compensate. We have a fan in the kitchen, above the island. The island is about 36" from the stove. That's the setup.

                          In prior years, we cooked outside a LOT in the summer, choosing to grill about 4-5 nights a week. The kitchen was just too darn hot with the range going. This summer I realize we're outside about half as much, with the rest of our meals cooked on the induction range. It stays remarkably cool. I generally use the cooktop, not the oven, and most meals take 30-45 minutes. This year I haven't noticed myself sweating as I would previously. The kitchen feels no hotter than the rest of the house. This is a first. Whether gas or electric, my kitchen always got hot during the summer unless I cooked outside. Not this year.

                          We've all heard that induction kitchens remain cooler than gas/electric kitchens, but I guessed the difference would be very mild, hardly felt. I'm happy to report that's not true. The change is not subtle at all.

                          Duffy

                          1. Hi Howard,

                            I don't know whether or not you are still interested, but I hope you are. Induction is very different from other cooking alternatives. It could change both your life in the kitchen and your entree preferences, but first you must explore induction itself to fully realize what you are taking on. It took me about six months, and I'm still a beginner.

                            Induction is a process that uses alternating currents of electricity to create sympathetic responses in receptive structures. A really powerful induction source can actually cause a metallic structure to levitate! For cooking, induction has been toned down and tamed with computerized operating systems to bring out the most favorable responses in ferrous containers--especially cast iron and magnetic stainless steel--but many mysteries remain.

                            Induction cooking has been implemented broadly in many parts of Asia-especially China--for safety, efficiency, and cost. It is the proven performance of single unit systems, imported into the United States, that is leading an induction revolution among users, while manufacturers of traditional large stoves still market induction as a variation of electrical/gas heat--with preset numbers mimicking the "low, medium, and high" of traditional gas and electric stoves. They both minimize the capabilities of the technology and charge outrageous prices.

                            I've been using a commercial version of the single unit system from China with improved software control, the Vollrath Mirage Cadet. For my experiences, read my Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/RP9QXI71...

                            Ray

                            103 Replies
                            1. re: drrayeye

                              Hi Ray,

                              <They both minimize the capabilities of the technology and charge outrageous prices.>

                              Without getting into pricing, I think the first part of your statement is odd. You wrote that your unit offers 10º increments, with 20 presets, up to 400ºF. Ranges like mine may have only 17 presets (3 fewer! Oh, the humanity!) but will reach temps much higher than 400º. I understand that some ranges and cooktops have 20 presets. Although it has different markings than yours, IMO it is just as versatile and uses just as much of the technology.

                              I can't see how temperature markings make better use of induction's capabilities than one with simple numbers. It's the rare recipe that calls for heating a pan to 320º, or 390º. Deep frying and candy making may be notable exceptions. The vast majority of recipes call for heats like "low","med-hi" and so on.

                              It seems to me that this leaves everyone to determine what those numbers mean on their cooktops with their pans. A case could easily be made that the ideal markings for any kind of hob are Low, Med and High, with perhaps ticks in between to indicate med-low and such. YMMV.

                              Duffy

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                Duffy,

                                Recipes call for what is possible.

                                Maybe you should try out a Vollrath. One can either cook by temperature or by "numbers" with a relatively inexpensive Vollrath--only by "presets" with megabuck GE induction (or any other). One couldn't cook by temperature with electric or gas even if one wanted to--it makes all sources seem comparable by hiding a special capability of induction.

                                In Europe and in Asia it is very different.

                                Ray

                                1. re: drrayeye

                                  Hi Ray,

                                  You do realize it would be pretty stupid of me to buy a Vollrath when I've already got 4 hobs with more power than yours, right?

                                  Beyond stating the obvious point, that gas and electric cooktop makers could use temp settings if they chose, I have no rejoinder. But maybe you'll think about that, and then reconsider whether you really think induction has special abilities other forms of cooking lack.

                                  Honestly? I doubt anything that anyone says can convince you that induction is just another way to skin a cat and that there's really nothing special about it.

                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                    Duffy,

                                    We're not only on different pages. We're in different books. My comments to Howard 2 have absolutely nothing to do with the issues you raise, and vice versa.

                                    I'm sure that your GE is terrific for you.

                                    Ray

                                2. re: DuffyH

                                  Hi Duffy,

                                  Further thoughts. I am trying to present enough of an overview to Howard 2 to further interest him in the process of induction before he gets involved in induction cooking. I am further trying to contrast the American and world market for induction cookware.

                                  I'm not really interested in tit for tat comparisons between my Vollrath and your GE. I don't think such a discussion will help Howard 2 much.

                                  Ray

                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                    Hi Ray -

                                    We all recognize and appreciate your enthusiasm for induction cooking, especially coming from China.

                                    Unless I am wrong historically, induction cooking and cooktops were first invented, patented in 1900, and produced in North America 40 years ago (GM, Westinghouse, and Delco), a land of many the innovative ideas such as the popular Iphone/Ipad, and Imac.

                                    Induction cooking technology probably did not succeed in the US as it did elsewhere in the world due to the enviable and vast low cost energy supplies of gas and electricity that North America offers.

                                    As you probably know Germany continues to dominate the induction cooktop market, and first introduced the concept to the Asian market, China has recently become the major supplier in Asia ( Japan manufacturing and supplying induction cooktops for it's own domestic market ). China is supplying the bulk of the recent inexpensive induction single cooktops, which are becoming more popular in the US each month. I've seen some 5 zone cooktops in Shanghai and HK which offer very clever features that I wish I had.

                                    Realistically, in 2012, induction still accounted for only 4 % of the US cooking market, but it is growing each year. It has a long way to go to take more market share.

                                    Duffy's point is both factual and valid for the American market, as your comments are for China. CH members come to these posts looking for more hands on, factual information, than guesswork, as can be found on the topic at hand. But as Duffy points out, ultimately this is another form of cooking, albeit quicker, and more energy efficient. Cost figures show a decrease in energy costs too: My use of a built-in cooktop happily results in a electrical cost decrease of 18-20 % per month.

                                    My European induction cookware or cooktop may never levitate, but it does work very well, efficiently, and at a savings that adds up annually. That is what most prospective buyers want to hear, especially in emerging North America market.

                                    1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                      Hi Swissair,

                                      The focus on my post to Howard 2 is to encourage his interest in the process of induction. It is clear that induction technology will be a much bigger player in the world cookware scene in the future, for safety, energy costs, and performance. Only a tiny part of that potential is being tapped here in the USA yet, and induction may not play the role it could here for some time, if ever. Until there is 15% penetration, it's not even part of the conversation.

                                      The European induction units that you have displayed are fantastic in design while being practical and functional. They could be a model for us in the USA, but probably will have little impact. We are wed to huge energy wasteful refrigerators and stoves that we don't really need--especially us empty nesters.

                                      Ray

                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                        Hi Ray -

                                        Thank you for the clarification.

                                        I didn't think anyone was awake on that side of the Atlantic at this hour.

                                        You are correct about your refrigeration needs, but what about the large family with children ?

                                        I think that most households would say that if a family can afford the device and energy bills, they should be allowed to own and use one.

                                        I do not see that energy as wasted at all, especially if it is a new energy efficient model appliance.

                                        Which takes that discussion back to the merits of using induction, correct ?

                                        1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                          Hi Swissair,

                                          You might want to check out my linked evaluation of my Vollrath Unit from Amazon above. As far as energy efficient see my empty nester project:

                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/988409

                                          I deliberately avoided both the big refrigerator/freezer and the stove/oven while creating many exciting cooking options with induction, convection, and microwave. No circuits bigger than 20 amp. Like you, my microwave use has gone down and down and down.

                                          Ray

                                    2. re: drrayeye

                                      Hi Ray,

                                      You know, I'm not looking for a comparison of units, either. But if you want to avoid making comparisons, you shouldn't do it yourself:

                                      <They both minimize the capabilities of the technology and charge outrageous prices.>

                                      Insofar as I have a different perspective, I'm going to offer it.

                                      Duffy

                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                        "I am trying to present enough of an overview to Howard 2 to further interest him in the process of induction before he gets involved in induction cooking."

                                        Unless Howard2 is really Rip VanWinkle or the project manager for the Big Dig, he's already decided.

                                    3. re: drrayeye

                                      " It took me about six months, and I'm still a beginner."

                                      I'm curious about that comment. I've been cooking on an induction top range for several years now and I'd say my learning curve was maybe six DAYS. What are you finding to be issues? Maybe we here can help you.

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        That's about right for me, too, cat.

                                        Aside from recently discovering that a weird wok set-up is pretty cool, it was mostly a matter of getting used to a digital pad, when I had previously only used dials.

                                        Duffy

                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                          We're currently in Rio and cooking on a gas cooktop. I'm having a harder time learning I don't have the rest of the cooktop as work space than I had getting used to the induction :)

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            Oh! You just reminded me. On another thread I mentioned that I worry about cracking another glass top. I found a simple solution. I placed 3 thin silicone coasters up in the center back. Problem solved, and the colors (lime, yellow, white) look good in my kitchen.

                                            I've got a big black square silicone trivet that the dude offered to cut up for me, but coasters just as well. And they're small, I can stack them up when I want the warming zone (never).

                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                              Hi, Duffy:

                                              If anyone's going the "cooktop condom" route, they might consider something like this, so your pans stay centered and you avoid bumps and scuffs: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-11-8INCH-...

                                              When I installed my wood cookstove, I bought (and cut to fit) large, rectangular sheets of this stuff to preserve the finish in/on the warming cabinet.

                                              Aloha,
                                              Kaleo `

                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                Yeah, K, that's pretty much what the dude was offering to cut for me, from our square one (we weren't using it). That would look much nicer, though. Here's my freebie version.

                                                D

                                                 
                                        2. re: c oliver

                                          Hi c oliver,

                                          Learning how to use a specific induction unit to cook, and learning about the possibilities of induction are two completely different things. It took me six months to understand enough about induction to make the cookware plunge. If you're interested in my project, here's a description:

                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/988409

                                          Ray

                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                            I made the choice quite easily cause I have a friend and former CH who is probably the smartest person I know. He talked and I listened. Easy peasy.

                                            Here's a pic of part of my kitchen with my Samsung range.

                                             
                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              Hi Oliver,

                                              Very open and spacious--and very different from me. In mine, I'm surrounded by pots and pans, stove tops, and ovens, ready to cook at a moments notice--sort of like an improv combo.

                                               
                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                Yep, same as I except little clutter and room for more than one cook. To each her own.

                                        3. re: drrayeye

                                          Sorry, Ray. You went with the WRONG Vollrath plate! You should have gone with this one: http://tinyurl.com/kecg6vn This one has 100 presets which gives me (yes, I bought it) a very similar control over fine temperature adjustment that I would get with a gas stove. The one you bought only has 20 presets, and for the price difference between it and a Max Burton from amazon.com, you're only gaining a little bit of improvement.

                                          For the record, you CANNOT cause anything to levitate on an induction cook top!

                                          Also "for the record," 'alternating currents of electricity" do NOT trigger 'sympathetic responses,' but MAGNETIC FIELDS do! Induction cookers are available in both Alternating Current and Direct Current models, 120V, 220V, etc.

                                          What an induction cook top does do is create magnetic fields through magnetic coils in close proximity to full or partial ferrous metal pans and excites the molecules IN THE PAN so they heat up in much the way that MICROWAVE OVENS excite the molecules in food through a MAGNETRON that focuses the microwaves. The two applications -- induction cooking and microwave cooking -- are not exactly the same, but they do share the same scientific principle.

                                          Induction hot plates AND cooktops are available with a range of "PRESETS", and those are what determine how much and how often the magnets have to cycle off and on in order to try to maintain a reasonably steady temperature in your pan. The fewer presets, the longer the magnets are shut down in their cycling phase in order to try to do that, therefore the more presets your unit has, the greater the fine temperature control you will have. Even with my 100 presets, it's not as absolutely discrete as a gas burner, but it is damned close! Close enough that I can temper chocolate without using a double boiler or a bain marie! That's amazingly good! But no, I would not attempt sous vide with it without a lot of modifications to the pan I was using. A LOT of modifications! I'll just stick with my Sous Vide Supreme, thank you.

                                          In both individual induction hot plates and high end cook tops, in all of the commercial models I've seen the presets range from 7 to 100. And it also depends on how you count the presets. For instance, my Vollrath has 100 presets, hut that is counting from "0", so the reality is that it only has 99 presents.

                                          An added piece of information that induction owners should understand is that when the induction unit is set for a specific temperature, it uses a sensor under the glass to sense the PAN's temperature, NOT the food temperature. Therefore preheating a Teflon lined non-stick pan can be VERY dangerous because the empty induction ready Teflon coated pan may go WAY over it's allowable thermal safety limit, so with Teflon pans, be very very careful. Not really a great idea on an induction burner, even if you add a good amount of oil before heating.

                                          Sorry 'bout the interruption, but this stiff *IS* important and I have this life long compulsive disorder about getting thing right. It's because I'm dreadfully lazy and hate to have to learn things twice! Good luck to all. '-)

                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                            Why would anyone preheat an empty nonstick skillet?

                                            I probably have 15 or so "presets" as you call them and I get all I need. I've been using my induction cooktop not single burner for several years now and I couldn't ask for more.

                                            And I think Ray and any of us don't really need to be told we were WRONG. Like you, we all make decisions based on what we need and know.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              Preheating cast iron pans is standard in many applications, ESPECIALLY if you are doing a steak the way they cook/finish them in restaurants for which the cast iron pan is heated to high sear temperatures, the steak is put in the pan and when one side is charred to choice (Maillard reaction), the steak is turned and "finished" in the oven. A lot of less trained cooks don't fully understand the differences between cooking with cast iron, cooking with induction friendly stainless steel, and cooking with induction ready Teflon non-stick frying pans. For THAT reason, it is IMPORTANT for induction users, including you, to understand these differences.

                                              A year or so ago there was a thread about induction cooking, and one Chowhound joined in and was FURIOUS with her Max Burton counter top unit because she put an empty pan on the unit and checked it with one of those "laser ray" super fancy no-touch instant read thermometers and was FURIOUS with Max Burton for "false advertising" because the pan always overheated. Well, there's no false advertising involved IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DEALING WITH. Her pan overheated because it was EMPTY, so BECAUSE there was nothing in the pan to absorb the heat and allow it to maintain temperature, it just kept heating and heating. She REFUSED to understand. I hope she didn't make anyone sick, or worse, cause cancer for some one. I think it is unconscionable to let people make such mistakes because Teflon fumes, for example, are QUITE dangerous! And too many people don't want to take the time to learn and basque in their ignorance. That's DANGEROUS!

                                              Specifically, whether any of this applies to your SPECIFIC Samsung range, I can't tell you because Samsung is one of the few companies that make induction ranges (and presumably cooktops, but I'm not certain of that) that DO NOT publish ANY information on the number of presets they use in their equipment. Since Samsung is a Korean company, and since Samsung is is the heart of some great seriously patented and government protected innovations with induction cooking, it is even possible that the Samsung MAY have a hundred or more presets. I don't know. After all, the Japanese have developed INDUCTION cooktops that work with COPPER and ALUMINUM pans, but of course they do not work with glass or clay pot cooking. But the Japanese government is protecting that technology with an iron fist, so to speak, and will not allow those specific type of induction cookers to be exported from their country, even if you live there and want to send it as a gift to someone outside the country. This information was absolutely accurate up to 3 years ago. China has also developed INDUCTION "on demand" water heaters, which are totally unavailable in this country, BUT Alibaba (the BIG Asian export company) MAY change that. I called them a couple of years ago to see if they could send one of those on demand induction water heaters to me in Texas, and they could not at that time.

                                              In my experience, too little information can be a VERY dangerous thing, but suit youself. Carry on!

                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                Again, I will say, to keep it simple enough for ANYONE to understand, why would anyone preheat a nonstick pan of any sort? I just cooked some 1/4" thick steaks in one with butter and oo, medium heat, about 90 seconds. Others have made mention to mountains and molehills.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  Whatever, Catherine. Hopefully OTHERS will benefit from the accurate information I am offering. If you want to cling to being uninformed, that's your choice. Good luck with it!

                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                    How does your reply address my comment regarding why would anyone preheat a nonstick skillet?

                                                2. re: Caroline1

                                                  Caroline1,

                                                  Our Vollraths have a safety feature that turns the induction off (but not the fan) if the pan gets too hot. It's happened to me with a Thermo clad sauce pan twice. That protects against the nonstick problem you describe.

                                                  Ray

                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                    Aren't we making the assumption, at least on this site, that adults (or very qualified non-adults) are the ones cooking?

                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                      Yes, and that is a technology difference that is not universal in all induction units.

                                                3. re: Caroline1

                                                  Hi Caroline1,

                                                  I'm one of your fans! I once lusted for the Vollrath Pro, but the Cadet has performed well--beyond my wildest expectatiions. If you wish, you can read my review of the Cadet in Amazon.com.

                                                  Studying "induction" and/or "induction cookware" are different. Your simplified analysis for induction cookware is a good big picture practical analysis, so I won't nit pick except to point out that the Vollrath software allows one to cook by temperature or by "numbers." When temperature is chosen, the feedback from the sensors makes "the magnets go on and off," not any predetermined value.

                                                  Induction values are always discrete and digital. With 100 discrete values, your Vollrath blurs the distinction between discrete and continuous, aided and abetted by your knob control, but controlling temperature with induction vs. gas is far more different and complex than discrete vs. continuous.

                                                  Alternating electrical currents for induction need not always be magnetic. Panasonic already makes and sells a high frequency induction unit that will work with non metallic pots and pans in Japan. We are just beginning to find ways to tame the beast of induction, making it safe, allowing refinements in cooking control that were not possible before.

                                                  I find it very exciting!

                                                  Ray

                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                    I've read your review on Amazon.com. I did not mean to imply that your Vollrath unit is absolutely the equal of a Max Burton, but that while it does have "only" 20 presets, which to put it into perspective, is the equal of the GE Profile built in cook tops which have 19 presets, which is the highest number of presets on American made built-ins that I've been able to find. All of that means that your Vollrath *IS* appreciably better than a Max Burton single unit "portable" appliance, BUT it may NOT be worth the price difference to the average home cook. By limiting the unit to 20 presets, it CANNOT allow you to temper chocolate, for example, without using a bain marie/double boiler. That's an important distinction to some, meaningless to others.

                                                    While I'm at it, I'll toss in some information on wok cooking on induction. It is FAR too dangerous to try on a portable single unit burner because of stability factors, BUT!!! I do have a friend who lives in Washington State who has cooked on induction for many years now, and he and his wife DO use a wok and a Japanese footed cast iron pan on their induction cook top with no problems. But again, it depends on who makes the cooktop.

                                                    O'v still a little chicken about trying my wok on my Vollrath because of the stability problems, but the logic of a wok working on a full surface built in is logical IF you have a wok ring that will allow it to sit close enough to the surface. And that would likely give a pretty good approximation of how a wok heats over a high flame, but maybe not quite as good as those giant blow torches they use in Chinese restaurants to produce "breath of the wok" flavors. Anway, for what it's worth...

                                                    To my GREAT chagrin, I found out today that I cannot use my 4.75 inch Mineral Be 99% iron mini frying pan on my Vollrath because it is of too small a diameter to excite the pan sensor in the unit, so the unit keeps flashing "NO PAN!" <sniff> It works just fine on my Max Burton cheapie!!!

                                                    Tonight I mixed up a bunch of Adana kebab meat for grilling after it has had a day to mellow all of the spices, and I wanted to test the flavors in the tiny frying pan. I had to use a 6.5 inch cast iron frying pan to convince it there really IS a pan on the burner...!!! Picky! Picky! Picky!

                                                    Oh, and also for the record, ALL Vollrath "portable" induction cookers are much larger than a Max Burton, for example. Not quite large enough to try a wok on an inverted wok ring on, but close! '-)

                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                      My wok sits perfectly flat on my induction cooktop without any ring or other assistance.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        That's ONLY because you have a flat bottom wok. Not everyone does!

                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                          Well, we all who went totally induction rather than just fooling around with a hot plate, made adjustments. Life is full of change. I love that.

                                                      2. re: Caroline1

                                                        Hi Caroline,

                                                        <By limiting the unit to 20 presets, it CANNOT allow you to temper chocolate, for example, without using a bain marie/double boiler. That's an important distinction to some, meaningless to others.>

                                                        I'm not so sure about this. While I haven't tried tempering chocolate, I can tell you that on my mid-size (2500W) GE hobs, low is *really* low, just enough to keep stuff warm, if there's a lid on the pan. Without a lid, food will slowly cool. I *think* it would work. So it's also possible Ray could do it on his Cadet.

                                                        <Not quite large enough to try a wok on an inverted wok ring on, but close! '-)>

                                                        Try your wok. C'mon, be brave. Do it for all of us. My wok ring sits outside the hob, with only about 1" of wok in contact with the hob. My wok ring isn't magnetic anyway, so it's irrelevant and really does only serve to stabilize the wok. It's possible yours won't work, since your Mineral B is invisible. I can't do it on my large hob, only the mid-size ones, so it's likely a function of coil size. It sucks that there are so many differences in coil size and in sensitivity. Ah, well, it keeps us all on our toes, yeah? :-)

                                                        You're right about my sort-of hack not working as well as a dedicated wok burner. A powerful gas hob will also beat it, too. Our Weber grill does, for sure. That's because of the nature of steel and it's crappy conduction. I'd like to see really high temps just a little farther up the wall, like 1" more. It would probably be a factor with enough food for four people. But food for two works just fine, so I'm not going to complain. Still, if I ever run across a cheap magnetic steel wok ring, I'll buy it. It can only help.

                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                          Hey, Duffy: "I *think* it would work. So it's also possible Ray could do it on his Cadet."

                                                          Maybe so, maybe not. It depends on drawing a good hand of cards as to make, model, steps, pan and software programmer. Five card stud, and most people only get to play a hand or two.

                                                          Aloha,
                                                          Kaleo

                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                            Hi K,

                                                            Sure, there are variables, and I don't even know for sure that I can temper chocolate. I have strong circumstantial evidence that points to "yes", but I make no assumptions.

                                                            Still, given that this task is often cited as a major strength of induction cooktops in general, it does seem like a probability that both my GE and the Vollrath Cadet will do the job in one pan. I'd give them better than even money odds.

                                                            D

                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                Hey Ray,

                                                                I'm the one suggesting the Cadet will temper chocolate. I think you need to send the links to a doubter.

                                                                Duffy

                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                  You better watch those Youtubes, Duffy,

                                                                  Vollrath makes clear that only the Pro can temper chocolate, how, and why.

                                                                  Ray

                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                    And you couldn't have simply written that? I really hate it when I'm instructed to go watch something, without explanation.

                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                      It's always up to you to decide what's interesting, Duffy.

                                                                      What's important is to understand the processes of induction better--at least to me. I think they make a sincere effort.

                                                                      Ray

                                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                                        I think what you just wrote is key to this discussion. Understanding the processes seems key to you. Getting the performance I was looking for was the key for me. I did some reading, talked to some people, tried one briefly (the old boiling water thingy) and bought one. A couple of years later when remodeling a second home I bought the exact same thing.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          Carol,

                                                                          Induction is so powerful that it can be made to do many things--or limited to emulate what we have been doing all our lives with conventional energy sources. There is nothing wrong with choosing a familiar self limiting approach.

                                                                          Ray

                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                            <Induction is so powerful that it can be made to do many things--or limited to emulate what we have been doing all our lives with conventional energy sources. There is nothing wrong with choosing a familiar self limiting approach.>

                                                                            Race car drivers seldom have advanced (or any degree) in automobile engineering. And yet, no one is recruiting engineers to drive Formula I cars.

                                                                            It doesn't take an engineer to get the most from a car, it takes a driver. In the same fashion, history and experience tells me that in order to cook better on my induction range, I should understand how cookware (and food) behaves on it, not the science behind it. Just as a driver needs to know how his car performs on a given track. The science of asphalt blends is not something he cares about.

                                                                            The way to learn how a given pan performs is to cook with that pan. Once that is known, I'm free to cook any manner of food in it, or choose a pan better suited for the food I have in mind.

                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                              Plus one thousand! Somehow I doubt Keller, Boulud, Adria(s) etc. get bogged down in those kinds of details :)

                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                Hi Duffy,

                                                                                Do you put on your helmet every morning before you step into the kitchen?

                                                                                Ray

                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                  Ray,

                                                                                  Do you bring a Magic 8 Ball with you and fairy dust with you?

                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                    Hi Duffy,

                                                                                    I'm about to enter my kitchen, brew up some coffee, toast two English muffins, grab a small packet of raspberries, sit down at my breakfast nook, and read the LA Times while I'm eating.

                                                                                    Tomorrow--2 soft boiled eggs: 2 minutes, 45 seconds--in my thermo clad saucepan.

                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                      Boiled eggs. Yeah, that's something I could never cook before. Really?? Quick boil? That's all you've got? Other cooktops do eggs, too. How is that breaking out of some self limiting mode of cooking?

                                                                                      Remember "Induction is so powerful that it can be made to do many things--or limited to emulate what we have been doing all our lives with conventional energy sources." ??

                                                                                      Do you think boiling eggs is doing something different? Ray, you've been talking for some time about embracing induction, exploring it, letting it "lead" us to new ways of cooking. I ask you what some of those things are and you come back with fast boiled eggs. Way to make your case, dude.

                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                        Sorry, Duffy,

                                                                                        I'm off to face the real world.

                                                                                        My breakfast nook project is about lots of things besides induction, including stress relief. I've been working 60 hour weeks since I was 16, and I've become addicted.

                                                                                        This project helped keep me alive.

                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                          Hi Ray,

                                                                                          I'm happy for you, that your project has been a boon to you. That has nothing at all to do with the question at hand. A question, I'll remind you, you invited when you wrote:

                                                                                          "Induction is so powerful that it can be made to do many things--or limited to emulate what we have been doing all our lives with conventional energy sources. There is nothing wrong with choosing a familiar self limiting approach."

                                                                                          I've asked you to tell me what some of those many things are. That's all. If you didn't really mean that sentence the way it sounds, you can tell me that instead. We all misstate things from time to time, or get carried away in the moment and imply more than we should have.

                                                                                          As I see it, it's past time for you to explain in what ways induction is so radically different from other cooktops that it "leads" you into entirely new ways of cooking food, as you've claimed before. In the alternative, you could stop making that claim. Stop writing that people who don't haven't "explored" induction as you have, who haven't followed where it "leads", are mired in our own "self limiting" habits from the past.

                                                                                          Duffy

                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                            Duffy, I really want to know more about that asphalt :)

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                              Great, Cat. Let me go find some videos for you to watch.

                                                                                            2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                              Hi Duffy,

                                                                                              It's there. It's been said--too many times already. Follow the links. Read up on induction. Or don't.

                                                                                              It's up to you--not me. You'll learn what you want to learn.

                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                I'm now completely confused... befuddled. What's "been said--too many times already."???

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  The same speculative, magickal, unsupported, illogical, miraculous, go-find-it *allusions* just keep getting spewed. THAT's the only thing that's been said too many times. There are no facts, no links. There's nothing to follow. It's all mumbo jumbo, mental hobgoblins.

                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                    Kaleo,

                                                                                                    I couldn't have said it better myself.

                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    Carol,

                                                                                                    YHou're late to the party.

                                                                                                    There have already been many many (too many) argumentative posts exchanged that drift out on a tangent to nowhere. I'm not here to participate in a personalized debate. Such attributions are unacceptable to me. Students who would behave like this in my online classes would be kicked out.

                                                                                                    Many of the scientific details of induction--especially research studies--don't belong in Chowhound threads, IMO--especially when they are not being expressed clearly.

                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                      ray, I've been posting on CH about my experiences with induction for several years. I visit the Cookware board rarely. When I have something to contribute, I post.

                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                        Hi Carol,

                                                                                                        I've read many of your posts about experiences with your Samsung induction oven with interest.

                                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                          ummmm Just for the record, her name IS NOT "Carol." It's Catherine. Just for the record. '-)

                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                            But the name Carol is different and special. It's all there to be found--read the links, unless you want to be limited to the old nomenclature. You'd know the name is better if you'd humbly researched for 6 months...

                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                              Thanks, Caroline,

                                                                                                              I've just broken a golden rule: never get a name wrong--especially the opposite gender.

                                                                                                              Not good.

                                                                                                              Let me practice: Catherine, Catherine, Catherine . .

                                                                                                              I think I've got it!

                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                            2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                              Actually the oven is convection. The cooktop is induction. And the whole thing is a range.

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                Thanks for clarifying, Catherine.

                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                      2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                        Now it's up to me to discover on my own how induction will lead me to entirely new ways to prepare food? Ray, I'm sorry, but it's hard to take those kinds of statements seriously.

                                                                                                        I've looked at induction cooking videos, and read up on how to use induction cooktops. I haven't seen anything that's truly different. Faster, yes. Faster isn't new and different. It's just faster.

                                                                                                        All I'm left now is to conclude that either these new ways don't exist (perhaps they will eventually, but not right now), or that you've imbibed too much induction Kool-Aid and are seeing what isn't there.

                                                                                                        Can you PLEASE tell me one thing that induction does that more conventional cooktops do not? Just one.

                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                          Duffy,

                                                                                                          We're looking at induction from very different perspectives. We're not communicating. And that's OK.

                                                                                                          Why repeat the same thing over and over? You can do this yourself. Or not. After all, it took me 6 months. It's not easy. IMO, you already think that you and Kaleo understand induction. You don't even realize how arrogant that is.

                                                                                                          As Caroline correctly pointed out, and as was directly demonstrated on the Vollrath Youtube, they can cook by temperature with the Pro--you can't. In the Vollrath example with chocolate tempering, he demonstrates extreme accuracy of 90 degrees and explains. I reported a similar ability to use temperature to achieve a perfect simmer with my Cadet.

                                                                                                          There are temperature related safety features: automatic turnoff if the pan gets too hot.

                                                                                                          Look, if you disagree, you're right. I really don't want this kind of conversation on a friendly casual Chowhound blog.

                                                                                                          Ray

                                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                            What I understand is that induction cooking is still just cooking. And that's a great thing.

                                                                                                            Anyone using a gas or electric cooktop can cook by temperature. All that's needed is a thermometer and a permanent marker to note the position of the knob.

                                                                                                            Every time I use the Leidenfrost effect to judge readiness in a sauté pan, I'm cooking by temperature. In fact, I'm cooking by the temperature on the floor of the pan which is better (more accurate) than cooking by the temperature on the exterior of the pan. It works on any cooktop.

                                                                                                            I think you're so involved in the whole "gee, whiz!" minutiae of induction that you can't see the landscape. And that means you miss induction's greatest strength. Induction allows people with electric hook-ups to cook with the response times of gas cooktops. That, to me, is worth noting and is pretty damn amazing.

                                                                                                            That you can't truly grasp the freedom induction cooking brings us is sad. The freedom to cook whatever the hell we want. We don't need the cooktop to "lead" us anywhere, to tell us what it wants us to cook. Well, I don't anyway. I think if you'd look up from the tech specs you'd see this too. Or not.

                                                                                                            1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                              Ray, if you don't want the debate, you can do two things. First, don't invite it. Second, don't invite it. Third, if you can't help inviting it, state your case and move on. That's all the control you get over what's expressed in this forum.

                                                                                                              The arrogance you speak of is coming from you, when you make unsupported statements about how the rest of induction users are knowingly, deliberately limiting ourselves. then you get all obtuse in your responses when we call you on it.

                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                  Duffy, I just checked and ray is quite new to CH and only posts on Cookware. He obviously isn't interested in cooking. That explains it to me. Just thought I'd share.

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                    Carol,

                                                                                                                    I've been reading threads and posting in cookware on Chowhound while buying all sorts of things for the kitchen while``1 developing my empty nester project. The project is multilayered, beginning with energy usage. First, I capped my gas line, and eliminated my 220vt. Then went from two to five 20 amp circuits. The challenge was/is to minimize energy usage while improving cooking performance and pleasure--stress relief. This was/is being done as a pilot demonstration for a doctoral dissertation on sustainability.

                                                                                                                    As I've gone along the way, I have started writing up my discoveries/experiences with one pot meals, but not on Chowhound--yet. I did write up my adaptation of a Le Creuset chef's recipe for my 7 1/2 qt. bouillabaisse and post it on the Le Creuset website. I plan to do other such reports for my chicken Parisian, my paella, my roast whole chicken w/vegetables, and family recipe Swedish pancakes w/wild blueberries on my Staub crepe pan.

                                                                                                                    There's much more, tied to the empty nester concept pilot project, but it's going to take about a year to fully implement and roll out. After all, it's for fun and stress relief.

                                                                                                                    There's also a health part. Since I've been doing much more cooking at home, with more fruit and vegetables, fewer carbs, and monitoring calorie intake, I've lost almost 50 lbs. I'm now focusing on building up my strength as I move close to my targeted weight. The whole thing has been a very interesting experience.

                                                                                                                    The last time I focused on food this way was the year I was a professor of hotel administration at Cornell: many many years ago.

                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                  Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                  <There are temperature related safety features: automatic turnoff if the pan gets too hot.>

                                                                                                                  Now this is a good induction feature. I suppose an electric radiant cooktop could add this feature, but I'm at a loss how it could be done on gas. Thanks for bringing it up. Right now it looks like it's available on maybe ½ the induction tops. Let's hope it becomes universally adopted in future cooktops.

                                                                                                                  I do think I'd want it to be a feature that can be disabled. If my cooktop had it I wouldn't be able to use my wok hack.

                                                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                    Duffy,

                                                                                                                    Keep in mind that it's part of cooking by temperature software.

                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                      Which means?

                                                                                                                      1) Can't be added to radiant controls?
                                                                                                                      2) Can't be disabled?

                                                                                                                      I don't get your meaning.

                                                                                              2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                Hi Ray,

                                                                                                Here's something more. Induction technology is advancing, yes. The future may be radically different *if* engineers discover a new way to harness induction. But we have to cook today, with the technology that is available right now, in both cookers and cookware.

                                                                                                The cooktops being made today, even the most advanced ones, are designed to emulate traditional cooking methods, specifically gas. The newest ones simply allow conventional cooking with more materials.

                                                                                                Some of us have "gone rogue" to get around the stated limitations of our cooktops. Some clever hounds have found that several tiny pans will trigger a sensor where one pan will not. The extra pans can be put to use or filled with water. Either way, the cook can use her tiny pan. I've flipped my wok ring on it's head and made a happy discovery. Still, we're cooking the same as we always have. That's all we can do with the cooktops we have.

                                                                                                Until radically different induction cookers come out, you're wrong to blame the cook for cooking as we've always done. Talk to the engineers about "self limiting".

                                                                                                Duffy

                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                  Duffy,

                                                                                                  As long as you are happy with your GE induction unit, and feel that you are cooking up a storm--I'm happy too!

                                                                                                  Ray

                                                                                                2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                  Good God, man, it's not like induction was reverse engineered from the debris field at Roswell.

                                                                                                  Limited? Are the Grays afraid if they let us have unlimited induction we might destroy ourselves?

                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                    Kaleo,

                                                                                                    If you were humble enough to admit that you've a lot to learn, you might actually do something different with induction--and like it.

                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                      Ray,

                                                                                                      <you might actually do something different with induction--and like it.>

                                                                                                      What is it you're doing with induction that can't be done with another stove?

                                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                        Duffy,

                                                                                                        What is it that you're doing that can't be done with another stove?

                                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                          Ray,

                                                                                                          Why are you asking me this?? It makes no sense. Oh, wait... you need me to give you some ideas so you can answer the question yourself! Clever man.

                                                                                                          Duffy

                                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                            When someone answers a question with a question I see no benefit.

                                                                              2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                Really good teply, Car. I would only offer one small quibble: the temp modes *approximate* the desired temp, nothing else.

                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                  Thanks, and YES! "APPROXIMATE" is the key word.

                                                                                  BUT....!!! The more presets you have, the closer the approximation becomes. What many people do not understand is that when switching to "temperature mode" on any induction unit, that DOES NOT mean you can adjust the temperature when heating your deep fry oil in a sauce pan by a few degrees if you want to UNLESS you have a very high number of presets! On my Max Burton, with 10 power levels, I cannot duplicate the "temperature precise settings" that I can get with my Vollrath 59500P Mirage Pro that has 100 presets. TEN TIMES as much "fine tuning! Whether people want to believe it or not, the number of presets do determine how much you can "fine tune" induction cook top temperatures. '-)

                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                    Why not compare your induction to your gas or electric? I have no problem adjusting my induction. Far from it. It's incredibly more sensitive than any gas much less electric. But, wait, I forget. You're using a "hot plate." Different animal I'm guessing.

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                      Please back off. Go and enjoy your trip. You seem incapable of understanding the things I explain, so let's just let it go at that. Thanks!

                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                        What are you trying to explain that I don't understand? I've been cooking full time on induction for several years so I think I understand most questions and comments. When you bring up topics, I think one of the purposes of CH is to discuss.

                                                                                    2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                      Hi, Car: "The more presets you have, the closer the approximation becomes."

                                                                                      I don't think this follows. Certainly, there is a smaller incremental temperature difference between 99 steps than there is between 19. But the electronics are still extrapolating from the *internally-sensed* temperatures to those that the engineers *expect* a typical pan to generate *in* the pan. Since we know that not all pans perform equally in generating heat in the field, what we have is a very indirect approximation. Depending on the pan, it might be spot on or miss badly. Adding silicone or paper sheets 'twixt glass and pan probably exacerbates any such windage.

                                                                                      Put another way, the sensors *are* measuring temperature (and I assume they're measuring it accurately). But it's measured from the underside of the glass in a fan-ventilated case. So I believe the actual temperature cutoff measured in the case is substantially lower than the "typical", i.e., set, temperature the user expects in the pan.

                                                                                      Aloha,
                                                                                      Kaleo

                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                        Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                        This is a great leadin to some real data gathering--that probably has already been done, but not disclosed. Speculatively, one might suppose that software designers and engineers would identify a middle "energy value" close to the boiling point of water, and then identify further values, up and down, on some basis. For the Max Burton and others with fewer "numbers", the intervals may be close together around the boiling point, and further apart as one goes upwards. The consensus seems to be that seven such values, properly spaced, are adequate for most cooking--induction or otherwise.

                                                                                        It appears that Vollrath has standardized these values with a larger number of intervals, and then tied them systematically to on-off temperature controlled feedback loops. If one goes with the "numbers", one gets naked predetermined energy levels. If one goes with temperature, one gets modulated values.

                                                                                        To know what we've got, we need actual temperature values for the numbers and/or 95% confidence intervals for both to estimate temperature resolution. I've never seen such values published, but by experience, I'd guess that resolution near the boiling point is within 5 degrees or less for Vollrath. I can produce the perfect simmer by temperature every time once I've worked with a particular enameled cast iron pot.

                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                          Hi, Ray:

                                                                                          I know that you're really into marveling and speculating on all of this, so have at it. I really can't make much sense of your latest post, though.

                                                                                          I encourage anyone with induction, curiosity, abundant time, and an IR gun (w/ adjustable emissivity) to "shoot" every single one of their many pans at every single temperature setting on every one their particular appliance's hobs. Find out how far off the temp settings are from what's happening in the pan.

                                                                                          What I don't encourage is anyone assuming that there are generalizable conclusions to be drawn across the great many possible permutations of size, shape, construction, weight, wattage, step ##, ad infinitum. Outside your own kitchen, it would be uselessly ad hoc and anecdotal.

                                                                                          Knock yourself out Ray, but channel your inner Joe Friday--just the facts.

                                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                            Believe me, Kaleo,

                                                                                            There are well established applied scientific protocols for answering these questions--which almost certainly have been answered with real data in developing the software systems that operate induction appliances. That's what really separates Vollrath (and a few other units) from myriad competitors with lookalike units.

                                                                                            After all,with a modest investment in a Chinese partner, you could begin marketing a "Kaleo", or Duffy could market a "Duffy" that would look and seem almost identical to a Vollrath Cadet--and sell for less than $100. Look at the guy who responded to my Amazon review: he seemingly got one for a fraction of the cost of a Cadet.

                                                                                            It wouldn't take you, the importer, long to discover how important those scientific protocols and confidence intervals are for systems design when you start fielding complaints from users--and get the units sent back.

                                                                                            Ray

                                                                                            1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                              You're getting closer. The technology is improving fairly fast, but not as fast as possible. Here's some Vollrath PR that helps explain things a little better -- they use 4 of their particular G4 engines in their units -- and if you apply a bit of deductive logic (pun intended) you will see that the number of presets are what determines how discrete a temperature progression you can get.

                                                                                              http://tinyurl.com/jvsbo7s

                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                Good, but dated Caroline (2011),

                                                                                                There is a lot that is not disclosed when they talk about their "G4 engines."

                                                                                                They've moved on to adapt other software solutions--especially a "Fajita" version and a number of other more specific (and expensive) commercial applications.

                                                                                                If you watch the Youtubes, you'll get to know Chef Ritch and his techno partners.

                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                  And exactly how much induction technology do you think is already on the market AND IN PEOPLE'S HOMES
                                                                                                  that is post 2011 technology? Come on, Fella, put on your thinking cap!

                                                                                                  I'm outta here!

                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                    Calm down, Caroline,

                                                                                                    These are just informal discussions among users.

                                                                                                    Vollrath doesn't market to the home user. When I registered my Cadet it was as a commercial user: hence my Amazon title about not being an omelette Chef. Since 2011, Vollrath has expanded the line, primarily through software development. To get a taste, either look at the Vollrath catalog, or go to EBAY under Vollrath Induction.

                                                                                                    And it's not only Vollrath. I've purchased Two Max Burtons, one for my Doctor son, and one, about 6 months later, for my Doctor student/assistant from Japan. There already was a new model available for the second one with new software.

                                                                                                    Induction is exciting and it is rapidly changing.

                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                        Everyone on Chowhound knows that, Caroline.

                                                                                                        We've read your thread.

                                                                                                        But, there is still plenty for all of us to learn about induction--and better apply it to cookware and cooking.

                                                                                                        You may understand it all, but I certainly don't.

                                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                  2. Wow....I've been following this discussion since I plan to buy an induction stove in the next 6 months. Y'all are very passionate about your particular units! My takeaway from what read is that I'll like it plenty and use it more since it won't heat up my Florida kitchen. I don't think I'll need a lesson in physics (or whatever) to use it. With any luck I can get on the good side of Duffy and get a hands on demo...in the meantime I think y'all need to lighten up just a tad....just sayin

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Babscanfish

                                                                                      So agree with you! While some are trying their darndest, this really isn't 'rocket surgery' ) Hell, I don't really understand how airplanes fly but I flew 6000 miles on one a week ago! It's a GREAT tool. It's not going to save humankind :) You're gonna love it. And, yeah, Duffy is a great source.

                                                                                      1. re: Babscanfish

                                                                                        Hi Babscanfish,

                                                                                        I'd be happy to let you cook for me, any time. ;-)

                                                                                        I agree with you and Cat, it's cooking, and not at all difficult to figure out how to use. From there, it's just playing around to find out what it does and doesn't do.

                                                                                        Duffy

                                                                                      2. If you're still around, Howard, you've gotten plenty of perspective from users. The conversation at this point is not very constructive.

                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                        1. I am a retired electrician. Have done many hundreds of hours doing fire re-wire work in kitchens. I now have four induction nuwaves in addition to gas top. We use the gas very little now. In fact I had a stainless cover made so I can place the nuwaves on gastop when not using gas. The induction units do not create hazards of open flame and electric heating elements. The nuwaves allow for more precise cooking temps and can be put out of the way when not in use. In a small kitchen this is a big plus! I also purchased nuwave cookware and my little lady(going on 45 years) loves it.