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Feb 26, 2013 10:48 AM

Portable Induction Burner For Shabu

Does anyone have experience using an induction burner for shabu or nabe, instead of the usual portable butane devices? From the bits and pieces I've read it seems an induction burner sounds ideal in terms of safety, but my other concern is heat response, is it able to keep boiling temperature as things are removed and added constantly. I'm guessing pots of particular material construction also comes into play.

Up until about two-years ago I never heard of induction burner, but recently been seeing more and more showing at various retailers, with many attractively priced below $100. Anyone have any insight/experience and recommendation for brands to look for (or avoid)? Thanks much in advance.

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  1. Depends on where/how they're going to be used. Can be fairly loud (although some are quieter than others).

    1. I don't have a induction burner for shabu, but I will answer the best I can.

      <but my other concern is heat response, is it able to keep boiling temperature as things are removed and added constantly>

      Heat response from induction cooking is very good assuming you have the correct cookware. Its temperature control is also very precise. As things are removed and added constantly, you will just have to adjust the heat setting as you would for a gas portable stove.

      Since induction works well with ferromagnetic materials, the ceramic or aluminum based shabu or nabe pots will not work.

      Induction has a lot of advantages over portable gas stove. It is safer in many aspects. It is less messy.

      Now there are some advantages to go for a gas based portable stove. First, you can use any cookware. Second, you basically has a back up unit in case of electric or gas shortage at home.

      Good luck.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Thanks for the quick replies.

        Wow, never even occur to me that induction burners can be "loud". I'm guessing there's some sort of magnetic coils involved? Thanks for the warning! I'm still young enough where high pitch whines can be very distracting if not annoying.

        Very true about portable gas burners. They are very convenient and relatively cheap to operate, but something about the safety issue keeps nagging at me. I do however keep a spare set with spare fuel around, just for when the 9.0 quake to turn California into an island nation- so we are constantly told - hehe.

        1. re: goodthyme

          <never even occur to me that induction burners can be "loud">

          I believe that is mostly due to the fan in the induction unit. Some units are louder than others.

          "...It's wonderful, but the fan is a little noisy...."

          "The fan is quite loud. For the life of me I cannot figure out why this induction cooktop has a loud fan."

          1. re: goodthyme

            It's the fan. I bought a Tatung unit for about $50 a couple of years ago and we use it mainly outdoors in the summer. It's not unbearable outdoors, but if I were going to put it on a table inside and attempt conversation around it, it would certainly be noticeable.

            1. re: ferret

              I think that's the best way of describing the noise. It's not loud enough to be irritating when I cook with it, but if I were trying to have a conversation around it, it might be a bit bothersome. It's not that bad, though - just a fan.

              I don't use my induction cooker for shabu, just for all my regular cooking. I've been using it nonstop for half a year and, honestly, I love it. We bought it because the radiant heat cooker wasn't working when we moved into this apartment, and now I only use the radiant heat burner if I *must* cook two things at the same time. Given my ideal kitchen, I would have a gas range and an induction cooker. Mine is a single burner and cost me S$35, which was the cheapest model available where we are (Singapore).

              As for boiling - oh, yeah, really not a worry. Seriously. It boils water faster than a gas burner. Say, five liters of water in about, oh, three minutes at a guess to a full rolling boil. Fast.

              But yes, you *must* have induction-cooker-compatible cookware, meaning the bottoms of the pots/pans must be magnetic and flat. If they aren't, it won't work.

              Safety wise? Yep, it's ideal. I can't burn myself on an induction cooker, and it's not because I haven't tried. Seriously, I'm clumsy, so this is a concern. But in terms of safety? Induction rates at the very top of the pile of all cookers as far as I'm concerned.

              If it were me, I'd get one. Induction cookers are a beautiful beautiful thing.

              1. re: ferret

                The heavier the pot the less vibration (noise). Try swapping out your pot for a heavier pot.

          2. I use a portable induction burner as my only cooking element in my kitchen. I have made nabe on it though I have an electric nabe/shabu pot I would typically use instead. I love my induction and if it ever dies I will replace it with a dual burner portable unit I have found. I have been using it many times a day every day for a year now. Mine was on sale from $60 to $30 and is quiet. It is Yamazen brand, Any of the higher end Japanese models should work well for you.

            1 Reply
            1. re: TeRReT

              Thanks all, for your comments, I think it did help to clarify some concerns I had. I'll add a postscript to this thread once I do find a burner that perhaps will be of some help to some other hapless.

            2. Hi everyone , I need help please. I am trying to find a induction cooker/burner/stovetop that can be place ontop of my dinner table. I am trying to find a round one, because i have a 12" hole that i have drill into my stone table top. I have trouble finding one burner that is 1-> round , 2-> about 12" wide . Please , any advice or suggestion will be most welcome, thank-you.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jtang21g

                Better to buy a unit before making the hole, I think. If you can enlarge the hole slightly to a rectangular shape, you could use this:


                You should have started a new thread for this, by the way.