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Electric vs. Gas Burners

chicgail Jun 21, 2013 11:16 AM

I have used a gas range, for most of my adult life. I like the ease of it and that control I have over heat. I have it that gas is always superior to electric on a range and electric is better for ovens.

We're thinking of moving and we looked at a condo this morning that I liked - except that it is an all-electric building and would require an electric range. The one it is already supplied with is an LG smooth top and looks pretty decent. But I know nothing about using an electric cooktop or the difference between smooth top and coils.

Are electric ranges better than they used to be?
Am am outdated in my view that they are harder to control than gas?
Worth considering?
Too hard to teach and old dog new tricks?

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  1. g
    gildeddawn RE: chicgail Jun 21, 2013 11:37 AM

    I have a smooth-top range and I HATE it. It heats unevenly, takes a long time to get hot, and is actually more difficult to clean than either a gas or an electric coil-burner range. Full disclosure - it's the one my apartment building provided and is, therefore, probably a cheaper model.

    If you have to get an electric, I'd suggest a coil-burner style, especially if you go top end. Having cooked with all three, gas is BY FAR the best, followed by coil, with smooth-top a distant third. If you switch from gas to a smooth-top, I think it's going to be a nasty shock.

    You could also get a gas range that uses a propane tank - I hear they exist.

    1. monavano RE: chicgail Jun 21, 2013 11:39 AM

      I cook on a flat top electric in a vacation home, and think goodness it's only for a week! The stovetop heats up very fast, which is great, but I found myself chasing the pots and pans around. The handles were constantly spinning.
      I would never, ever get one.

      1. a
        allyoucanet RE: chicgail Jun 21, 2013 11:42 AM

        That's a dealbreaker. Find another condo.

        1 Reply
        1. re: allyoucanet
          Justpaula RE: allyoucanet Jun 23, 2013 09:26 AM

          Same feelings here. I occasionally cook at my sister's house, on her smooth top electric range and I don't think I could ever get used to it - or any electric range after using gas for so many years.

        2. kaleokahu RE: chicgail Jun 21, 2013 11:45 AM

          Hi, Gail:

          (1) No. They're about the same.
          (2) No. They *are* harder to control, mostly because you have no instantly visible feedback. You have to go by the knob settings rather than the flame, but you get used to that. If by "control" you mean responsiveness, electrics are better than you might think when you *increase* heat, but much slower to respond in turning heat *down*.
          (3) Sure. Lots of great cooks still use conventional electrics. Both coils and radiants are very even-heating (probably the best of all common modes used in homes). The "open" look and clean-ability of smoothtops appeals to a lot of people.
          (4) Maybe, that's dependent on you.

          Speaking of new tricks, you are--guaranteed--to be told by others here to replace the LG with an induction range. That would involve some tradeoffs, but if your cookware now is induction compatible, that might be a viable option for you. Personally, I think there's something a little soul-less in anything but an open flame or glowing coil.


          1 Reply
          1. re: kaleokahu
            Isolda RE: kaleokahu Jul 8, 2013 02:23 PM

            And you will also be told to replace your pans if the bottoms are not flat. The hot spots on those smooth tops are much worse if your pans are even slightly imperfect. This is probably also the case for induction cookers, but I can't speak from experience.

            I cooked on a smooth top for 3 years. I didn't hate it, but I would never want one again.

          2. c oliver RE: chicgail Jun 21, 2013 11:56 AM

            Get an induction range. All the benefits of gas and electric pluse a lot more. There's lot of info on CH about them. I'm several years into induction and could never step DOWN to gas again.

            9 Replies
            1. re: c oliver
              chicgail RE: c oliver Jun 23, 2013 07:00 AM

              I sometimes like to use my gas burners to grill peppers for peeling or to quickly grill bread with a nice smokey flavor. How do you handle those tasks with an induction range.

              1. re: chicgail
                Chemicalkinetics RE: chicgail Jun 23, 2013 07:02 AM

                You cannot.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  c oliver RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 23, 2013 07:11 AM

                  I use my outside grill but don't know why a CI skillet wouldn't work.

                  1. re: c oliver
                    Chemicalkinetics RE: c oliver Jun 23, 2013 07:21 AM

                    The bread (flat) will work, but the results will be quiet different for peppers. The more irregular shape the peppers are, the more difficult to get an uniform grilling from a cast iron pan.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      c oliver RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 23, 2013 07:32 AM

                      I made a salsa recently that called for cooking jalapenos and garlic in a skillet til brown and soft. Mine and others (COTM) had the issue that they didn't get soft and it was suggested that we broil instead. That could work.

                      1. re: c oliver
                        DuffyH RE: c oliver Jun 23, 2013 07:41 AM

                        Broiling is definitely the way to go with standard electric or induction. Yes, it's not necessarily as handy as using a pair of tongs over a gas flame, but OTOH it's easier than gas if you're roasting more than one item. I tend to do it in my Breville SmartOven, but that's a regional heat issue. I don't like to use my large oven because it heats up the kitchen too much.

                        1. re: c oliver
                          Chemicalkinetics RE: c oliver Jun 23, 2013 07:46 AM

                          <that we broil instead.>

                          Agree. Cast iron grilling works very well for certain items like grilling/toasting spices (coriander seeds...etc). For others, the oven baking or boiling will work.

                  2. re: chicgail
                    JayL RE: chicgail Jun 23, 2013 10:39 AM

                    You handle these situations the same way you handle it with any range that isn't gas...you find another way.

                    For "roasted" peppers I like to fire up the charcoal chimney and roast right over top of it. It's easy and imparts an excellent flavor. :0)

                    1. re: chicgail
                      GH1618 RE: chicgail Jun 28, 2013 08:55 AM

                      You can get a culinary torch for the peppers, perhaps.

                  3. m
                    mike0989 RE: chicgail Jun 21, 2013 12:23 PM

                    I'd look elsewhere. I'm not a fan of electric cooktops, water heaters, furnaces, or dryers.

                    1. a
                      AbijahL RE: chicgail Jun 22, 2013 09:47 AM

                      I'm an induction fan. I put an induction cooktop in my last house because I was too cheap to run a gas line. I was sold! I thought it was better than the fancy gas range I'd had in a previous house. This time when we went looking for a house, I wanted one without a fancy gas range so that I could add induction. Induction has the touch of gas, may even be a little more powerful, but doesn't get hot and clean up requires a spritz of glass cleaner and a quick wipe. I really would not want to go back to either conventional electric or gas.

                      When we sold the last house the inspector stated that the cooktop "didn't work" since none of the burners heated up. "Yep," I replied, "and there's no little door for the coal, either."

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: AbijahL
                        c oliver RE: AbijahL Jun 22, 2013 09:54 AM

                        LOL re the inspector's comment :)

                        1. re: AbijahL
                          JayL RE: AbijahL Jun 22, 2013 07:41 PM

                          I'm going to remember that reply about the coal. LoL

                          I haven't even thought of this until now. We have a home inspection (new construction) this coming week. We requested an induction cooktop. Now I can't wait for our inspector to go and turn it on! LoL I'll be ready for him!!!

                          Hopefully he won't realize it's induction. We also have a decent relationship since this will be the third inspection he's done for us...he should get a kick out of it.

                          1. re: JayL
                            c oliver RE: JayL Jun 22, 2013 09:44 PM

                            After we frist got ours, I routinely kept a little saucepan of water on it. People would ooh and ahh :)

                            1. re: JayL
                              kaleokahu RE: JayL Jun 22, 2013 10:38 PM

                              Hi, JayL:

                              Some of us still *do* have coal doors on our stoves (and a ton of good anthracite in the basement).


                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                JayL RE: kaleokahu Jun 23, 2013 07:42 AM


                          2. Chemicalkinetics RE: chicgail Jun 22, 2013 11:55 PM

                            <the difference between smooth top and coils.>

                            A smooth stovetop is easier to clean, though coil design heats up a bit faster.

                            <Are electric ranges better than they used to be? >

                            Yes, a bit better.

                            <Am am outdated in my view that they are harder to control than gas?>

                            It depends on your definition of "control". Electric stoves actually are much easier to control the power output. The reason that some people claim that it is difficult to control is that electric stoves have a longer a heat response time. This slower response time gives the illusion of difficult control.

                            <Worth considering?>

                            Probably not in your case.

                            As others have stated, there are induction cooktops -- which technically is also powered by electricity. However, induction stoves work very differently than the conventional electric coil cooktops. Something to think about.

                            1. irodguy RE: chicgail Jun 23, 2013 07:32 AM

                              It really depends on what kind of gas range you were cooking on previously. If it was a ge... low power range then an induction would be a major step up. If it was a high power , capital, thermador, viking ... then you will hate any electric cook top. Personally I would never go all electric, but lots go into that decision.

                              40 Replies
                              1. re: irodguy
                                c oliver RE: irodguy Jun 23, 2013 08:20 AM

                                As I've mentioned before, we do house exchanges and sometimes I have to step down to gas Vikings etc. Woe is me :)

                                1. re: c oliver
                                  Chemicalkinetics RE: c oliver Jun 23, 2013 09:05 AM

                                  <sometimes I have to step down to gas Vikings >

                                  Ha ha ha. That sounds very spoiled. Like saying, "sometime I have to step down to drive a BMW."

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    c oliver RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 23, 2013 09:08 AM

                                    Induction has done that to me :) We have a second home and after using it for a few years I bought the EXACT same range for the other house.

                                    1. re: c oliver
                                      Chemicalkinetics RE: c oliver Jun 23, 2013 09:12 AM

                                      <I bought the EXACT same range for the other house.>

                                      You didn't even want to try a different brand of induction cooktop? (just to see)

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        c oliver RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 23, 2013 09:23 AM

                                        Where we live it's not possible to "try" them. So, no. Besides the induction function, it's a range with a huge convection oven. Samsung. And at the time, IIRC, $1600. I'm not one to spend unnecessarily. Since I bought the second one I did find out that Thermador has come out with a full surface induction cooktop which is fantastic. I used it in a cooking class. But the range works better for my space anyway. If wishes were horses.... :)

                                2. re: irodguy
                                  JayL RE: irodguy Jun 23, 2013 10:36 AM

                                  Unless I'm way off base a Thermador typically has 20k btu hobs and Vikings have mostly 15k hobs with a single 18.5k on some ranges. Your "low power" GE ranges can come with 18k btu hobs. Really not that much different than your high power, super expensive, options.

                                  I purchased a restaurant once that had crappy 20-22k btu hobs. I cussed that piece of equipment for months before I could save enough money to purchase a decent 30k btu range.

                                  Our new home was scheduled to come with an 18k btu range...we opted for induction.

                                  1. re: JayL
                                    BobB RE: JayL Jun 27, 2013 03:23 PM

                                    If I remember correctly from when I was range shopping, "home-legal" high-end gas ranges like Capital and Blue Star peak out at 22 - 23,000 BTU. My GE induction's largest hob hits the equivalent of 26 - 27,000 BTU. Insanely fast boiling, even large pots.

                                    1. re: BobB
                                      DuffyH RE: BobB Jun 28, 2013 06:12 AM

                                      BobB, is yours a cooktop or range? I'm trying to decide between the Samsung and GE Ranges, but find the GE range's highest output is 3700w, which IIRC is ~12,500btu. The Samsung does better at 4.6kw, or ~15,500btu. That's if my calculations are correct. I make no guarantees.

                                      That's also dependent on my reading of the spec sheets for those ranges. I *think* the wattage shown is the highest for any given burner, yes? Are boost settings higher?

                                      1. re: DuffyH
                                        BobB RE: DuffyH Jun 28, 2013 06:56 AM

                                        Full range (HUGE oven!). And according to this site, its maximum output of 3700W is greater than 26,500 BTU. From its performance I don't doubt it.


                                        Scroll down to the "How much power is what?" section.

                                        There are no "boost" settings on the GE. Each hob is adjustable from min to max in 20 power increments. And one of the biggest advantages of this range over high-end gas is its ability to maintain really LOW temperatures, for very slow simmering. That's impossible on something like a Culinarian without using a clunky heat diffuser.

                                        1. re: BobB
                                          DuffyH RE: BobB Jun 28, 2013 07:42 AM

                                          Thanks for that link, Bob. I feel much smarter and more idiotic at the same time. I keep forgetting about the efficiency difference. Those DOE numbers and inductionsite's formula helped a lot.

                                          I'm still on the fence about which range to buy. Samsung has higher power and Flex Zone burners. GE has a slide-in, which I really like for it's up-front controls and lack of a rear panel, allowing for use of flared/taller pans on the back burners, while still using the front burner. But the GE costs more.

                                          It's a puzzler, for sure.

                                          1. re: DuffyH
                                            kaleokahu RE: DuffyH Jun 28, 2013 08:25 AM

                                            Hi, Duffy:

                                            Friendly advice: Take what theinductionsite.com says with a grain of salt. Just as hempsocksonly.com would push scratchy hosiery, this site is famous for being over the top on induction. The zealots there sell them to the exclusion of everything else.

                                            If you search here on CH, you'll find a lot about efficiency. It's not at all as simple as the theoretical numbers suggest.

                                            A 3700W coil isn't going to be of great practical use. It's a little like having a car with a 160mph top speed. Is that "better" than a car that tops out at 135? And how many useful setting gradations are there between 0 and 3700? Many an induction buyer has discovered that settings 6-10 are too high for anything besides boiling water, and realize they paid $$$ for a 5-speed bike.

                                            But since you're definitely going with induction, I suggest that you find one with simple, ergonomic controls, a wide range of power settings (like 1-100), a proven track record, a warranty out past 5 years, and a very friendly local service tech.


                                            1. re: kaleokahu
                                              c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jun 28, 2013 08:42 AM

                                              Good advice, Kaleo. The induction sight can give info but is totally biased.

                                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                                DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jun 28, 2013 12:00 PM


                                                Your advice is always good. I take everything with a grain of salt. I can admit I was pleased to see numbers from DOE about efficiency, because it gives me a better idea what's going on with gas, electric and induction. I've seen some wild numbers, like less than 20% efficiency for gas, which I've found very hard to believe.

                                                I've always been a big fan of more power, but just as I know that I wouldn't trade my little 300hp BMW for a Corvette Stingray with 460hp, I do realize that pure power only tells half the story. Thanks.

                                                1. re: DuffyH
                                                  kaleokahu RE: DuffyH Jun 28, 2013 12:05 PM

                                                  You're very welcome. Have fun.

                                                2. re: kaleokahu
                                                  BobB RE: kaleokahu Jul 3, 2013 03:32 PM

                                                  Kaleo, I know you just don't have a good feeling about induction, and I agree with you that the higher settings (not 6 - 10, but probably 8 - 10) on a 3700W hob are really only good for getting a big pot to boil more quickly. I certainly use the lower and middle settings much more often than the highest, and consider my range's ability to hold a really, really low simmer to be one of its best features.

                                                  But if high BTU output is no big deal, why do high-end gas fanatics (Blue Star and Culinarian owners, for example) constantly make such a big deal about the fact that they can hit 22 - 23,000 BTU, and that anything less isn't worth buying?

                                                  1. re: BobB
                                                    kaleokahu RE: BobB Jul 3, 2013 04:06 PM

                                                    Hi, Bob: "...why do high-end gas fanatics (Blue Star and Culinarian owners, for example) constantly make such a big deal about the fact that they can hit 22 - 23,000 BTU, and that anything less isn't worth buying?"

                                                    Good question. I think the answer lies in their need to set themselves apart (read: to justify the extra $X,000). I suppose there's some advantage to that high BTU ceiling for wokking, but you better have a good hood and fire suppression if that's the reason to go with the high-output hobs.


                                            2. re: DuffyH
                                              AbijahL RE: DuffyH Jun 28, 2013 07:29 AM

                                              I had a 2005 Kenmore Elite at my last house. It was the cheapest induction cooktop available at the time. An induction hater claimed that ICs couldn't get hot enough th sear a steak properly. I used an IR thermometer and took a cast iron pan to 600+ degrees in under 1 minute to prove that indeed you can cook at whatever damn fool temperature you want. Even though mine was "under powered", I never used the top heat settings for anything other than pasta water. I don't know what the output is on my new Electrolux, but I still don't sear a steak at the top setting. I doubt that it would even be an issue for wok cooking with smoking oil.

                                              1. re: AbijahL
                                                c oliver RE: AbijahL Jun 28, 2013 07:48 AM

                                                I'm just like you. That power setting is for boiling water only. I cooked foie gras a couple of times in the last year and even the second to the highest was too hot.

                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                  DuffyH RE: c oliver Jun 28, 2013 08:06 AM

                                                  c oliver, I never before thought much about efficiency, but I am now, and it's making my head hurt! I do hate thinking and try not to do it very often.

                                                  I fondly recall routinely cranking my gas stoves to almost the highest flame for many things, but on my current crappy electric full power is only good for boiling water and 9/10 is where I pop corn. Nothing else, and I mean nothing, gets cooked at more than 7/10; many things are best done at 5-6/10. For simmering, I have to use the wimpy inner ring of my combo burner and set it at 1-2. My highest output burner is only something like 2500w, not anything to brag about. It really *IS* about efficiency, isn't it?

                                                2. re: AbijahL
                                                  DuffyH RE: AbijahL Jun 28, 2013 07:56 AM

                                                  Not sear a steak? Seriously? That's a true hater. Even my current crappy builder's grade electric smoothtop will easily sear anything.

                                                  I've cooked on gas ranges, both high- and low-end, for most of my life. I've been hating my electric range since the day I moved into the house, and can't hardly wait to change to induction.

                                                  1. re: DuffyH
                                                    JWVideo RE: DuffyH Jun 28, 2013 12:24 PM

                                                    Duffy and BobB: on the Samsung's 4.6kWh "burner," bear in mind that this is the linkage or bridging of two burners together. It results, more or less, in a 9"x18" burner. To function (i.e., recognize a pan), requires (IIRC) 60% coverage of each of the linked burners. So, do the math and see how big a pot you would need to order to get that 4.6kWh heating. Maybe useful if you have very large canning kettles or use 10 gallon commercial stockpots for making beer? Seems to me that the primary practical benefits of the flex zone would be for much lower heat applications, as Kaleo says. Things like pancake griddles or making gravy in a large roasting pan.

                                                    As for the GE slide-in (PHS925?) not having boost mode? I suggest downloading the manual. From what I recall from stove-shopping last fall, the slide-in's manual does state that there are 20 half-steps burner settings plus a boost mode. The demo that I saw of the essentially similar freestanding model (PHB925) included demonstrating boost mode.

                                                    On the GE slide in, you indicated "lack of a rear panel, allowing for use of flared/taller pans on the back burners. . ." You may want to do some more checking on that aspect because, IIRC, the oven vent at the rear projects upward enough to block the bases of wider pans and GE's website Q&A says the cooking area dimension is 31" wide x 19" deep. That's several inches shallower than the freestanding version (even with the backsplash blockage) and could pose a problem with putting large pans front and rear at the same time. If you can find a store model --- or can find a similarly configured GE Profile radiant electric slide-in -- take some of your large pans and see how it works for you. If you can't find one in a store, make a paper mockup and draw the burner circles. Again, try placing pots to see how well it works for what you want to do.

                                                    1. re: JWVideo
                                                      DuffyH RE: JWVideo Jun 28, 2013 07:03 PM


                                                      On the Samsung, that bridging aspect is exactly what I want, and I did indeed have my cast iron griddle (if I can find it among Dude's camping gear) in mind. We often have our 4 grandsons overnight, and they usually demand pancakes. Because it's in my job description to spoil them silly, a griddle's a must for them. I've been getting by with a cheap electric plug-in griddle, but I don't like it.

                                                      On my current GE smoothtop, even when I exactly match the pan to the burner, the left rear burner is pretty useless. The panel overhangs the rim of a 10" frypan, so that grease splatters up onto the panel. If I try to match a tall saucepan to the burner, it bumps into the panel. It's just horribly designed. I know some local stores stock Profile slide-ins, so I'll check that out. Thanks for the tip.

                                                      On my old gas Profile slide-in, pan size didn't matter so much. I miss that range. It's top was brushed stainless with sealed burners and cast iron grates. No scratches, no fingerprints, and I could clean burned-on gunk with a Brillo pad. Sweet.

                                                      1. re: DuffyH
                                                        c oliver RE: DuffyH Jun 28, 2013 07:41 PM

                                                        As 'they' say, "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride" :) If I were buying now, I would definitely have that "bridging aspect." I wouldn't even use it that often, but I'd have it.

                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                          DuffyH RE: c oliver Jun 29, 2013 06:07 AM

                                                          There is a trade-off, though. Can't get Flex Zone with a Flex Duo oven here. In Canada they can have it all.

                                                          Have you used the split oven? I'm wondering how much it cuts down, if any, on kitchen heating and the electric bill.

                                                          1. re: DuffyH
                                                            c oliver RE: DuffyH Jun 29, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                            I don't know what a "split oven" is. Mine's just a regular oven.

                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                              DuffyH RE: c oliver Jun 29, 2013 07:42 PM

                                                              Gack! Looking now I see that the Flex Duo oven with an induction hob is only available in Canada. I must have been still half-asleep when I looked at it.

                                                              Flex Duo has an insert of some kind that splits the oven into an upper and lower that can be set to different temps. It can also be used as one large oven. Pretty nifty idea, but we can only get it on electric and combo ranges. Lucky Canadians can have it with either induction top, the one you've got or the Flex Zone.

                                                      2. re: JWVideo
                                                        BobB RE: JWVideo Jul 3, 2013 03:41 PM

                                                        JWV - having lived with that GE for well over a year now, I can assure you it has no "boost" settings. Each hob is adjustable in 20 steps (0.5 min to 10 max). What it DOES have is a button for each hob that lets you jump to a preset number. On the smallest hob this is labeled Melt and it takes you to 0.5. On the medium ones it's labeled Simmer and takes you to level 3. On the largest one it's labeled Power Boil and jumps you straight to 10. But what happens when you get there is absolutely the same thing as if you manually raised the level to 10. It just saves you a bunch of button pushing.

                                                        1. re: BobB
                                                          BobB RE: BobB Jul 4, 2013 02:31 PM

                                                          And frankly, what would be the point of a boost feature as opposed to simply higher numerical settings? The very concept reminds me of Spinal Tap (MY amp goes to 11!)

                                                          1. re: BobB
                                                            c oliver RE: BobB Jul 4, 2013 04:10 PM

                                                            My Samsung has a boost and, now that you mention it, I have no idea why. Maybe cause it also has "SI, "LO" and HI. Not a clue :)

                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                              DuffyH RE: c oliver Jul 4, 2013 09:20 PM

                                                              c o,

                                                              Isn't boost time-limited? As for whether it's higher than HI, I'm like you, clueless.

                                                              1. re: DuffyH
                                                                AbijahL RE: DuffyH Jul 4, 2013 09:31 PM

                                                                Boost is higher than high and time limited. Additionally when you have one zone on boost, the second zone on that side can't operate at full power. It's useful for boiling pasta water, but that's about all. Even a big pot of water will boil in less than the ten minute limit on my boost function.

                                                                1. re: AbijahL
                                                                  BobB RE: AbijahL Jul 5, 2013 06:09 AM

                                                                  That's exactly how mine works, only it's not called Boost, it's called Level 10 On The Big Hob. Yes, it's time limited (10 minutes, same as yours), and yes, you have limited use of the other burner on that side of the range when it's on. But there's nothing magic about it. You get there either instantly by hitting Power Boil or more tediously by tapping the "power +" button until it reaches 10. Same result. Sounds like on yours they simply declared level 9 to be High and level 10 Boost. Semantics.

                                                                  1. re: BobB
                                                                    c oliver RE: BobB Jul 5, 2013 07:20 AM

                                                                    I have a 9 and a 10 and then P :) And, yes, it is time-limited. After SI and LO, it starts with 2. Just rereading those two sentences; looks like some secret handshake language!

                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                      DuffyH RE: c oliver Jul 5, 2013 07:59 AM

                                                                      I've got another question for Samsung and GE induction owners:

                                                                      I know the GE has a conventional warming burner, but I'm more interested in how the larger burners deal with things like all-day chili, thick soups and spaghetti sauces. On my various gas ranges, I could use any hob and leave the pot pretty much alone. That's not possible with my current electric range, where I've got to dance attendance every 10 minutes or so to avoid scorching. I've found that to prevent this I need to bring the pot to an initial simmer, turn off the heat, come back about 30 minutes later, bring it back to low for 30 minutes, then turn it off again, etc...all day long. I often transfer the contents to my slow cooker to avoid the hassle of burned food and (when I take the lid off to stir) spitting tomato sauces flying everywhere.

                                                                      I'm always amazed when I read that electric ranges are superior to gas for low, slow simmering. My experience is exactly the opposite. I've always assumed this is because my range is a low-end builders grade model, but really can't say for sure. I did once install a Thermador radiant drop-in range, but I only had it for 6 months before we were transferred and now can't recall how it behaved.

                                                                      1. re: DuffyH
                                                                        c oliver RE: DuffyH Jul 5, 2013 08:04 AM

                                                                        This is one of the major advantages for me anyway. I occasionally make a 4X or 5X batch of Hazan's Bolognese sauce which pretty much takes all day. One of the instructions (and she's QUITE strict, ya know) is that only an occasional bubble should break the surface. I can flat out do that with my induction.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                          DuffyH RE: c oliver Jul 5, 2013 08:18 AM

                                                                          On the bigger burners? I can't tell you how critical this is to me, as those all-day thick soups, sauces and chills are the backbone of our winter fare.

                                                                          A couple of days ago I grabbed some meatballs and the last of my latest batch of marinara from the freezer and threw them in a pot to use as a meat side for our dinner salad. 30 minutes later, on the lowest setting, there was scorched sauce covering the entire bottom of the pan and some of the meatballs were extra crusty. This was on my second-smallest burner. Bad burner! Bad!

                                                                          1. re: DuffyH
                                                                            c oliver RE: DuffyH Jul 5, 2013 09:10 AM

                                                                            I only have one large burner and that's the one I use. I don't know that there's any difference in the power, just the diameter.

                                                                            What a bummer. One plus one equals bad. I hate that.

                                                                            1. re: DuffyH
                                                                              AbijahL RE: DuffyH Jul 5, 2013 09:46 AM

                                                                              Some models have different max wattage for different burners, some don't. Simmering will work like a champ on all of them, however, it's just the nature of the beast. I say this as someone who has owned two different induction cooktops. I'm not generalizing from a small sample,it really is how the suckers work.

                                                                              I make my own vinegar from left over wine and I like to pasteurize it so that I don't have to deal with a yucky mother. I don't have any trouble heating vinegar to 160 and holding it there for 10 minutes.

                                                                              1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                BobB RE: DuffyH Jul 5, 2013 09:49 AM

                                                                                I wouldn't do that on my largest hob*, but on the small or medium ones, sure. I make a lot of slow-simmered bolognese, and once the temperature of the sauce has stabilized, I can (and do) leave it for hours, checking in only occasionally to give it a stir.

                                                                                *The reason being that each size has a different range of temperatures, so level 1 on the big hob is hotter than level 1 on the others.

                                                                                My induction range replaced a traditional smooth-top electric, which I hated for exactly the reason you describe, as well as many others.

                                                                                1. re: BobB
                                                                                  DuffyH RE: BobB Jul 5, 2013 01:05 PM

                                                                                  c o, Abijah and Bob, thanks. It will be nice to finally achieve a true simmer again, without the need to constantly fiddle with the range and the pot.

                                              2. Candy RE: chicgail Jun 23, 2013 09:27 AM

                                                I have a 5 burner gas cook top. I've had it a long time and have been pleased with it. I have had some chances to play a bit with induction and will have it in our next home.

                                                1. s
                                                  sueatmo RE: chicgail Jun 23, 2013 08:44 PM

                                                  I am in the minority in that I think the the smooth tops work OK, but I don't know about LG brand. Have never heard anything good about it. Apparently parts are hard to come by?

                                                  If you like the condo otherwise, consider upgrading the electric stove to an induction.

                                                  Cooking on a a glass top is different than cooking on any sort of gas. You don't have instant change, but you can do nice things with a decent quality unit. My present Frigidaire is a actually a decent cooktop with nice simmer options. Too bad the previous owner didn't clean it up. It looks awful.

                                                  1. b
                                                    brooktroutchaser RE: chicgail Jun 24, 2013 02:50 PM

                                                    James Beard was a fan of smoothtops. I am too. Consider what and how you cook. Are you searing big porterhouse steaks or simmering sauces? A good smoothtop can be very precise, and electric ovens are even in temperature. BTW, Softscrub is the best stove cleaner.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: brooktroutchaser
                                                      DuffyH RE: brooktroutchaser Jun 24, 2013 07:03 PM

                                                      I cooked most of my life on gas, then 2.5 yrs ago bought a house with a smoothtop. The learning curve has been really steep, solely due to slow response time. I'm still not over it, and find myself constantly moving pots off the burner, especially when making pan sauces.

                                                      I wouldn't recommend one to anyone who hasn't used one before. Induction would be the way to go if you're used to gas, but don't have a gas line to the house.

                                                      1. re: DuffyH
                                                        juliejulez RE: DuffyH Jun 25, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                        "The learning curve has been really steep, solely due to slow response time. I'm still not over it, and find myself constantly moving pots off the burner, especially when making pan sauces."

                                                        This has been my experience too. I went from a Viking range to an electric smooth-top. Overall the smooth top is not bad once you get to used to what the temps on the knob really mean (like how high is high really... on mine high is VERY high). But doing things that require you to go from high or medium heat to low heat very quickly is difficult, unless you switch burners, which I do sometimes when I'm making things like rice or pan sauces. I haven't attempted something like candy on it, but I don't think that would work out too well. I did "invest" in a couple packages of cork trivets from Ikea, since once you're done cooking you really need to take the pan off the stove since the burner stays hot/warm for awhile.

                                                        The pluses of the electric... well, they are very easy to keep clean :) I've found that just soaking in my usual cleaner (409) gets off most stuck on stuff, and for the really stubborn spots, I use Barkeeper's Friend and a wet rag. Oh and water boils pretty fast on mine.

                                                        1. re: juliejulez
                                                          c oliver RE: juliejulez Jun 25, 2013 10:03 AM

                                                          I'd think moving a pot from a hot burner to a cork trivet (I have a number of them) could burn some of the cork onto the pan. No?

                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                            kaleokahu RE: c oliver Jun 25, 2013 10:22 AM

                                                            Not at normal coking temperatures. But I use a ceramic tile with rubber feet as a resting place for the pan after removal from the smoothtop.

                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                              juliejulez RE: c oliver Jun 25, 2013 04:32 PM

                                                              I've never had that happen.

                                                        2. re: brooktroutchaser
                                                          c oliver RE: brooktroutchaser Jun 25, 2013 02:52 AM

                                                          My induction range came with Cerama Brite


                                                          I use it periodically. Mostly just sponge it off and occasionally use glass cleaner. Softscrub still has some abrasiveness.

                                                        3. p
                                                          pine time RE: chicgail Jun 25, 2013 11:36 AM

                                                          I inherited a Thermador smoothtop when we bought this house. When we re-did the kitchen, couldn't afford to run a gas line in, so we kept the smoothtop.

                                                          Took me awhile to figure out how to really finesse the controls, but I've adapted.

                                                          Smoothtop wouldn't be my 1st choice if I were building a new home, but it's defintely do-able. Just be sure that all your pan bottoms are absolutely flat, and use caution with cast iron pans (could drop & break the top).

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: pine time
                                                            JayL RE: pine time Jun 25, 2013 06:28 PM

                                                            The last time I had a gas line run and plumbed it was $350. What were your people charging you?

                                                            1. re: JayL
                                                              pine time RE: JayL Jun 26, 2013 12:34 PM

                                                              Over $4000 was the quote, the lowest of 3 companies. Would have entailed cutting some of the patio concrete and the kitchen flooring, which we weren't planning to replace at that time.

                                                              1. re: pine time
                                                                irodguy RE: pine time Jun 26, 2013 12:39 PM

                                                                The same thing was quoted to the folks that I purchased my current house from. It ended up actually costing me around $300. The contractor they used was well a crook!

                                                          2. irodguy RE: chicgail Jun 25, 2013 11:46 AM

                                                            I do find it interesting that many folks are saying they couldn't afford gas lines. I have had gas plumbed to 3 kitchens now in houses built in the 70s forward. I have never paid more than $700. This being said the previous owners of my new house were quoted $4000 by a crooked contractor. The gas lines were directly above the kitchen. My plumber quoted me $700 and my contractor did it for $350 with his wholesale plumber. Always get bids and references, but it's normally doable. This being said gas rules if you have the money for a high power gas range. Inexpensive gas ranges are about the same as my portable high power induction hobs.

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: irodguy
                                                              DuffyH RE: irodguy Jun 25, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                              irodguy, my home is all-electric. I misspoke when I referred to gas. I'd need to install a propane tank, which would mean getting a variance from the city (it would need to be very close to my property line and neighbor's house) and permission from the HOA. Then I'd have to contract with a propane company for tank rental and (most likely) burial.

                                                              Given that I live in Tampa with it's really warm temps, induction will keep my kitchen cooler, lowering my AC bill. . If I had gas already on the property, I might have run a line when we first moved in. But induction units are coming down in price, to the point that the Samsung I'm considering costs less than my favorite GE Profile gas range, and the GE induction range I like is the same price as the gas. All said, induction is a no-brainer for me.

                                                              1. re: irodguy
                                                                juliejulez RE: irodguy Jun 25, 2013 04:36 PM

                                                                A lot of new home builders charge CRAZY prices to put gas lines in. My mom purchased a new home in a tract home subdivision and paid a $2500 upgrade charge to put in a gas line for her stove. Crazy crazy, but she had no choice. The builder didn't allow outside contractors in to do work before the home was closed. My SO bought our home new 4 years ago, but it was nearly completed (original buyers couldn't get financing), so he didn't have the option to make any changes to what was already there.

                                                                If you're building a custom home and get to choose your contractor, then yes, you can have one put in for a reasonable price, assuming the property already has gas somewhere.

                                                                We will likely build a custom home in the next few years, but I still may not get my gas, because it would require installing propane, which is doable, but just costs more... we plan on buying the land then building on it, and it likely will not have gas lines already to the property.

                                                                1. re: juliejulez
                                                                  JayL RE: juliejulez Jun 25, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                  On our new build we were charged ZERO to have lines run (our base price included a certain number of lines). Contracting with our gas company consisted of paying the $75 per year rental on the tank.


                                                                  1. re: JayL
                                                                    c oliver RE: JayL Jun 26, 2013 03:36 AM

                                                                    When we lived on sem-rural, five to ten acre parcels IF we'd had gas TO the property, we'd have had to pay by the FOOT to bring it to the house. Having been a city slicker all my life, I had a lot to learn :)

                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                      JayL RE: c oliver Jun 26, 2013 06:16 AM

                                                                      I was talking propane...tank by the house...only lines to run are from the tank to the appliance.

                                                                      1. re: JayL
                                                                        c oliver RE: JayL Jun 26, 2013 06:22 AM

                                                                        Ah, you didn't mention that. Or I didn't notice. And then there's the retrofitting of the range itself to burn propane, right? We had the reverse of that when we had to convert our propane grill to burn natural gas.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                          JayL RE: c oliver Jun 26, 2013 07:30 PM

                                                                          Yep..."usually" one or the other. The kits aren't expensive, but they are necessary.

                                                                          1. re: JayL
                                                                            c oliver RE: JayL Jun 27, 2013 05:34 AM

                                                                            Yeah, IIRC, it was about $100 for the grill.

                                                              2. j
                                                                JWVideo RE: chicgail Jun 25, 2013 07:23 PM


                                                                The comments about putting in a gas line may be off point here for that condo you looked at. Putting gas into an all electric condo is very different than running gas in new construction and/or stand-alone single-family homes. It may be impossible as a practical matter

                                                                You mentioned knowing nothing about the difference between smooth-top and coils. Well, there are induction smooth-tops, radiant smooth tops, and coil-burner smoothtops. If you were thinking of replacing that "decent" LG smoothtop, you will find that coil-burner electric stoves are very basic these days. As in no convection ovens and limited electronic conveniences and burner arrangements. But they are rugged and can handle large canning kettles (doesn't matter if the pan is a lot bigger than the burner), although the coils may not be perfectly level, and coils probably adjust heat a little faster than radiant smoothtops. With radiant smoothtops, there are some limitations on using pans that are much larger than the burner diameter. (The problem is that pans with diameters more than 1" larger than the burner diameter are apt to confuse the burner control sensors so that the take a very long time to boil water if they come to a boil at all. Basically, this is only a problem for things like canning or making beer in big kettles.) Many radiant smoothtops now offer larger burners (up to 11"), "bridge" burners (for heating rectangular pancake griddles) and other tools for flexibility in pan sizing. Also, many mid-range and up models of smoothtops also come with warming drawers. Does that LG in the condo have any of those features?

                                                                Most electric stoves do an very good job with evenly heating pan bases while simmering.

                                                                The smoothtops surfaces can be much easier to clean than coil burners and, for that matter, the stovetop surfaces of many sealed-burner gas stoves. You do have to be careful with boilovers, sugary drips which can etch the surface if not wiped up quickly. A razor scraper is needed for baked on crud, too.Some gas stoves now have a glassed-surface and they will have the same problems with those kinds of spills.

                                                                So, are electric ranges better than they used to be? Sure, but that does not mean you will like changing from gas burners. For one thing, there is downward heat adjustment responsiveness. As Kaleo and Chemical Kinetics said, that is probably what you meant by "control." On a gas stove, when you want to reduce the heat, you turn down the flame and the pan responds quickly. Except when using cast iron pans, and then it takes a little time because the CI pan is holding heat. Cooking on electric burners (other than induction) is a lot like cooking with heavy cast iron pans. You compensate by lifting the pan for a little bit or or shifting it mostly off the burner to give the burner a chance to radiate off the excess heat. This is what you do, for example, if you've got a pressure cooker on high heat to bring it to a boil and then want to reduce the heat to hold a specific pressure.

                                                                As Kaleo also observed, some folks cook by using visual flame cues for heat control. If you are used to doing that, you may find switching to an electric stove a bit irritating. Personally, I work more by watching what is happening in the pan, so I'm fine with electric stoves (and I'm particularly partial to induction). It is just personal style and ymmv.

                                                                Also, you will find electric stoves have different ergonomics than what you are used to. You are probably used to having the burner controls down front but freestanding electric stoves like the LG in the condo will have the controls on the backsplash. So, there can be reaching over and around pots to run the burners. That is an issue for some folks and not others. The only way to avoid this with an electric stove is to change out the freestanding version for a slide-in version.

                                                                And that leads me to ask if you had even thought you might be replacing that "decent" LG stove in the condo that you said you liked?

                                                                If you are really just asking if the LG is a decent enough electric stove so that you can buy that condo, that's a different question. Consumer Reports testing indicates that the LG smoothtop models are excellent for speed in reaching high heat, do an excellent job with simmering and other low heat applications, very good for broiling and excellent for evenly baking. The annual membership surveys show LG electric stoves as among the least reliable brands (exceeded for breakdowns and problems only by Whirlpool's KitchenAId and JennAir brands of electric stoves.) Searching on www.consumeraffairs.com turns up a lot of customer complaints about LG warranty service, as well.

                                                                Other posters have been suggesting replacing that LG with an induction range. Although I currently have a gas range, I've used induction off-and on over three decades and like it a lot. Unlike Kaleo, I do not find cooking on induction to be "soul-less." The burners are as quickly adjustable as gas stove burners. (However, they all work in digital half step settings from .5 to 1 to max heat, and most of them are operated via digital touchpads, which may contribute the soulless feeling that Kaleo mentioned.) Induction smoothtops do not suffer from most of the downsides of radiant smoothtops. For example, because induction makes the pan heat itself, the cooktop does not get anywhere near as hot as with radiant burner stoves. If something spills, you just wipe it up. Easier to keep clean. Also, overzise pans can be used, as with coil burners. (As with a coil burners, and depending on the construction of your pan, you find the heat is more concentrated over the burner and not fully spread across the base of the pan.)

                                                                All that being said in praise of induction, it is expensive. There may be budgetary stumbling blocks. The least expensive induction range that I know of is a Samsung (NE595NOPBSR) which costs somewhere around $1500. Numbers of them run in the range of $1900 to $2200, and go up considerably from there.

                                                                If that does not phase you, you can search here for other induction posts and also search the gardenweb appliances site where there have been a lot of threads on specific models of induction ranges and cooktops. A good general introduction to induction appliances can be found at www.theinductionsite.com. Another thing to do, if interested, is see if your area has any appliance stores that have an induction range hooked up and available for demos.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: JWVideo
                                                                  c oliver RE: JWVideo Jul 8, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                                  Speaking of gardenweb (where I see you post), here's a pretty long list of posts. I read a few. Seem pretty balanced.


                                                                2. c
                                                                  chezmom RE: chicgail Jun 28, 2013 02:08 PM

                                                                  I had the same problem. Love the new condo, but no gas here. I got a GE 30" (not induction, didn't want to replace all my expensive pots and pans) and am finally getting used to it after 40 years using nothing but gas burners. The learning curve is steep at first but after a few months I am figuring out how to cook without the instant control you have with gas. Even do stir-fries now successfully with large flat high-sided pan.

                                                                  You realize pretty quickly that high heat on an electric cooktop is probably higher than you'll ever want. Don't believe what they say about not using cast iron. Works fine, just don't drop it ;) And make sure you have a really good exhaust fan.

                                                                  Sure, old dogs can learn new tricks! If the condo is perfect for you, don't let the electric stove stop you.

                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: chezmom
                                                                    DuffyH RE: chezmom Jun 29, 2013 06:05 AM

                                                                    <Don't believe what they say about not using cast iron.>

                                                                    +1! I see so many reviews of cast iron, or glass topped ranges, where people make the claim that you CAN'T use CI on glass. That's news to all of us who do it regularly.

                                                                    1. re: DuffyH
                                                                      pine time RE: DuffyH Jun 29, 2013 02:31 PM

                                                                      I regularly use CI on my glass smoothtop, no troubles at all.

                                                                      1. re: pine time
                                                                        AbijahL RE: pine time Jun 29, 2013 02:59 PM

                                                                        I use CI on my induction cooktop all the time too. I have no idea why it would be a problem.

                                                                        1. re: AbijahL
                                                                          DuffyH RE: AbijahL Jun 29, 2013 07:55 PM

                                                                          I've seen claims varying from "it WILL scratch your cooktop" to "it can break your cooktop". To which I say, "So what?" We're not likely to be sliding our CI pans all over our cooktops, those suckers are heavy. I'm one who considers a cooktop to be another tool in my kitchen toolkit, and if it gets scratched, c'est la vie. My largest burner has almost no paint left on it, because it fits almost half my pans, and is my only 2-zone burner. It gets used more often than all the other burners combined.

                                                                          As for breaking it, well, any heavy object dropped onto a glass cooktop can break it. I've never dropped a pan on a cooktop, can't quite see how that would happen under normal cooking conditions, but I suppose it's possible.

                                                                          Some people like their cooktops and pans to remain pristine, but if so, they're going to be disappointed if they toss a lot of food or cook popcorn as often as I do.

                                                                          1. re: DuffyH
                                                                            c oliver RE: DuffyH Jun 30, 2013 11:47 AM

                                                                            Can't just click "recommend." You're 100% correct. As I've mentioned, my induction cooktop is several years old and has no scratches and I don't obsess about those things AT ALL. It will eventually happen. BFD.

                                                                            1. re: DuffyH
                                                                              Querencia RE: DuffyH Jul 8, 2013 06:15 PM

                                                                              I love my ceramic cooktop because it is so easy to keep really clean, but I send a caveat. Once when I took a hot steamy wet-inside pot lid off the pot and laid it on the cooking surface, it set up a suction so strong that the cooktop cracked on the diagonal from one side to another. We had to replace the whole cooktop. So it's important to set a lid down with one side over the edge--you want air to get under it.

                                                                              1. re: Querencia
                                                                                c oliver RE: Querencia Jul 8, 2013 06:18 PM

                                                                                Well, now, isn't that interesting? Learn something new every day. Thanks. Did you have to replace the cooktop or 'just' the 'glass'?

                                                                                1. re: Querencia
                                                                                  DuffyH RE: Querencia Jul 8, 2013 08:04 PM

                                                                                  That's a new one, but I can so easily see how it could happen. I've had to slide a "stuck" lid around a bit trying to find a way to break the suction. And yes, I've learned to make sure there's an air gap when I set the lid down, usually the same way you do.

                                                                            2. re: pine time
                                                                              AbijahL RE: pine time Jun 30, 2013 09:35 PM

                                                                              My last IC was 7 years old when we moved. There was a lot of scratching on the stainless frame, but the glass itself was pristine. I didn't take any precautions with it either. Glass is actually very hard, but brittle. Don't drop the CI pan and you should be okay.

                                                                            3. re: DuffyH
                                                                              sueatmo RE: DuffyH Jun 30, 2013 10:42 AM

                                                                              I am another who uses CI on a glass top cooktop. I confess to sliding CI pans around. I've yet to see a scratch.

                                                                              If you drop a heavy CI pan on a regular range, you would probably chip the enamel, at least. You might damage the coils, if it is electric. I suppose the damage would be less if dropped on a gas cooktop or range, The contents of the pan might put out the pilot light and make an awful mess. The point is, for me, don't use CI if you can't handle it safely.

                                                                              I slide pans around on my glass top when I want to stop the cooking process. I consider it a useful technique with electric stovetop cooking.

                                                                              I suspect that some glass tops are more susceptible to scratching than others.

                                                                          2. j
                                                                            josephnl RE: chicgail Jun 28, 2013 04:17 PM

                                                                            We have friends who just went through the same thing. They love cooking!! They bought an induction cooktop and love it!!

                                                                            88 Replies
                                                                            1. re: josephnl
                                                                              chezmom RE: josephnl Jul 3, 2013 07:50 PM

                                                                              OK, since I posted a few days ago I've been reading everything on this thread, and now think maybe induction would have been a much better choice 11 months ago. Seriously thinking about replacing the 30" standard smoothtop now. Two questions: Anyone use that disk thing that supposedly makes it possible to use your old cookware? http://www.amazon.com/Max-Burton-6010... Also: Do you need to install a bigger capacity electric line for an induction unit when you replace a standard smoothtop?

                                                                              1. re: chezmom
                                                                                kaleokahu RE: chezmom Jul 3, 2013 08:08 PM

                                                                                Hi, chezmom:

                                                                                The converter disks work fine. But bear in mind that THEY work by getting hot, and so detract from the vaunted "efficiency" and coolness of induction. They will also make the already-inaccurate temperature settings even more so.

                                                                                Regarding electrical service, you need to be sure the unit you're considering doesn't require a 50A circuit. Most don't, but if you need it, the install can be $$$.


                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                  c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jul 3, 2013 08:30 PM

                                                                                  k, have you ever USED an induction cooktop? I don't mean boiling some water but actually cooking on one. It doesn't seem like you have.

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                    kaleokahu RE: c oliver Jul 4, 2013 08:21 AM

                                                                                    Hi, c oliver:

                                                                                    Why, yes I have. The Aroma was my (first) experiment. Prolly won't be last, either. I bet that comes as a big disappointment not being able to resort to *that*. And a local appliance store is graciously allowing me to fool with their demo units.

                                                                                    What I mean by the temperature settings is that, lying beneath the glass, the sensors are not measuring the temperature of the pan or food, but rather the temperature of the glass and the air beneath it. So it is highly unlikely that, when you set for e.g.,145F, you'll actually get that in your pan. There's also the issue of different materials' different performance.

                                                                                    My point above about converter disks was that they further confuse already-confused temperature sensors. Another person here (paulj?) badly warped a heavy carbon steel crepe pan when he used it as a converter disk.


                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                      c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jul 4, 2013 09:01 AM

                                                                                      That last sentence set off an alarm bell for me! Having been to Turkey and fallen seriously for their tea, I now want one of the teapots. But they're not induction capable. I'd had the thought of putting one of my CI skillets on the burner and the teapot on that. I think I shall go to the local metal fabricator and have a disc made. Thank you VERY much.

                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                        JayL RE: kaleokahu Jul 4, 2013 08:51 PM

                                                                                        Maybe this is just me...but I don't really know why any of this would be confusing.

                                                                                        If it's too hot, turn it down.

                                                                                        If it's too cool, turn it up.

                                                                                        1. re: JayL
                                                                                          c oliver RE: JayL Jul 4, 2013 09:01 PM

                                                                                          True. The learning curve for me was just that. It's SO sensitive that my gas range experience was of no help really.

                                                                                          1. re: JayL
                                                                                            kaleokahu RE: JayL Jul 5, 2013 09:45 AM

                                                                                            Hi, Jay:

                                                                                            It's not confusing to *me*, it's confusing to the sensors. And to anyone who thinks the same temperature is going to be attained in the pan as is displayed on the cooktop.

                                                                                            The idea of just making adjustments at the hob is great--that's what many sensible people like you do anyway. For preps calling for specific a temp, many cooks on induction will default to the display setting, and will wonder if it's them or the recipe that's bad. When in fact it's the sensor. At least with gas (and to some degree with electric), you have some visual and tactile feedback besides the "knob" to guide your adjustment.


                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                              c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 12:39 PM

                                                                                              What kinds of things call for the 'burner' to be a certain temp? My visual is if something is cooking too 'fast' or too 'slow.' I truly don't understand but then when you kids start getting all techy, I kinda zone out :) It gets the job done for me better than anything I've ever cooked on...and I'm on Medicare!

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                kaleokahu RE: c oliver Jul 5, 2013 01:05 PM

                                                                                                Frying with different oils, and double- and triple-dunk frying, for example.

                                                                                                Unless the appliance has a thermocouple, these temperature settings are worse than useless.

                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                  josephnl RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 03:52 PM

                                                                                                  Who would use a cooktop temperature setting to get oil to the proper frying temperature?? That's what thermometers that you can submerge right into the cooking oil are for!

                                                                                              2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 01:02 PM

                                                                                                Aloha, Kaleo,

                                                                                                Now I'm confused.

                                                                                                The induction ranges I've investigated don't come with the same kind of temperature controls you describe, where they can be set to xº. The hobs have reference numbers, for lack of a better term. To be fair, I'm talking about ranges only, not cooktops or portable units, and only ranges widely available in the U.S. This is the same sort of set-up I've encountered with every range I've owned, including the higher-end models. At least one of my gas ranges only had 2 marked settings on it's rheostats, 'Off' and 'Hi'. All the rest, gas and electric, ranged from 1-10, or something similar.

                                                                                                So what I'm saying is that the point of confused sensors would be moot, since without degree-set temperature controls, no confusion could exist between the sensor and the pan.

                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                  kaleokahu RE: DuffyH Jul 5, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                                                  Hi, Duffy and Crew:

                                                                                                  Well, that's progress if there are no temperature settings on your induction appliances' controller. A simple 1-whatever is all that was ever needed. I take their disappearance on higher-end cooktops to be a step forward. Now if they would build the display to show the *actual* wattage used at each position, we would have real progress...


                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                    pikawicca RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 04:51 PM

                                                                                                    Why would a home cook need (or want) to know "the actual wattage used at each position?" I've never required this info when cooking with gas or electric; why do I need it with induction?

                                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                      c oliver RE: pikawicca Jul 5, 2013 05:14 PM

                                                                                                      Alright, dammit, I went to the effing manual :) After the first day with the range, I've only used p. 20 and that is when showing someone how to turn it on, off, etc. There actually ARE different wattages, one 2400, one 1800 and two 1400 and logically they relate to the size of the "cooking zone" - I didn't know that they were called that either :) And now that I know that it makes no difference to me. Obviously it hasn't mattered in the approx. three years I've cooked on the damn thing! As JayL said "If it's too hot, turn it down. If it's too cool, turn it up." I feel like there's some agenda that kaleo has that the rest of us haven't gotten a copy of.

                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                        kaleokahu RE: c oliver Jul 5, 2013 05:35 PM

                                                                                                        Hi,c oliver:

                                                                                                        I think what you found in your manual was the *max* wattages for each of the coils. What I'm talking about is a readout of what wattage you're actually using at the various numerical settings. I tried getting these from a famous induction manufacturer once, but they refused to provide them. But they *did* tell me that 10 is not necessarily the max, and 1 isn't 1/10th of max. Apparently its as arbitrary as the numbers themselves.


                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                          chezmom RE: c oliver Jul 5, 2013 06:29 PM

                                                                                                          Finally, some sense to all this. I was beginning to think induction was WAY too complicated for someone like me who just loves to cook, was used to gas, and didn't like a standard electric smoothtop. Maybe I could actually handle induction after all without a degree in thermodynamics.

                                                                                                          1. re: chezmom
                                                                                                            c oliver RE: chezmom Jul 5, 2013 06:33 PM

                                                                                                            GF, I've said on other threads that we do exchanges and I sometimes have to lower my standards to something like Viking or Wolf :) But it's true. I'm 66 y.o. and this is about a million time easier than my new cloud-based computer :)

                                                                                                            1. re: chezmom
                                                                                                              AbijahL RE: chezmom Jul 5, 2013 07:57 PM

                                                                                                              Chezmom: No degree required. It's just heat. If you need more, turn it up. If you need less turn it down. The good news is that it will respond instantly to your command. The only thing you need to learn is that you don't need to start the pasta water before the sauce. However, you also get to forget how to remove burned on food from the surface. Even the cheapest, lowest powered one will give you all the power you need to do anything short of smelting metal,

                                                                                                              Did you know that some of the high end ones will shut off the burner on a timer? I can't see how I would use that so I was too cheap to buy it. Actually I bought my current IC as an open box return. The salesman said that they didn't sell many of them because nobody had heard of induction. He wanted to know all about my experience with it so I bent his ear for a while.

                                                                                                              We were looking at houses in a fancy, horsey community where everybody had a giant, ugly propane tank in their yard so that they could run their hot water heaters and their giant gas cooktops. If we had purchased one of those houses, I would have had that hideous sucker out of that yard in no time flat. Induction and a hybrid water heater for me, baby, technology rocks!

                                                                                                              1. re: AbijahL
                                                                                                                sueatmo RE: AbijahL Jul 6, 2013 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                enjoyed your post. I was just saying to Mr. Sueatmo as he heated his soup, remember, we can't turn on the burners and just walk away when we have induction. (More to remind myself, really.)

                                                                                                                Do you happen to know how long it would take to heat a CI grill pan? Surely not instantaneously. But quick? Or relatively quick?

                                                                                                                1. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                  AbijahL RE: sueatmo Jul 6, 2013 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                  Sueatmo: At the highest setting you should begin to burn the seasoning off the pan in under 60 seconds. You may not want to be that aggressive, though. ;)

                                                                                                                  1. re: AbijahL
                                                                                                                    sueatmo RE: AbijahL Jul 7, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                    Just saw this reply. OK. I guess if I start at medium setting, maybe 2 minutes?

                                                                                                              2. re: chezmom
                                                                                                                sueatmo RE: chezmom Jul 6, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                chezmom, I certainly hope so. My new induction cooktop is scheduled for installation in 3 days. My degree is in Library Science! ;D

                                                                                                                1. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                  JayL RE: sueatmo Jul 6, 2013 07:11 PM

                                                                                                                  We've have one in our new home that we closed on nine days ago...but we still haven't fully moved in, have not spent a night there, and worst of all...we haven't cooked on the induction cooktop yet!!! LoL

                                                                                                                  Bed is being moved tomorrow so we will have no choice but spend our first night in the new home. Looking forward to it!

                                                                                                                  1. re: JayL
                                                                                                                    c oliver RE: JayL Jul 6, 2013 07:14 PM

                                                                                                                    Pre-induction... been there, done that :) Still looking forward to reading about your adventures.

                                                                                                                  2. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                    chezmom RE: sueatmo Jul 6, 2013 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                    Pretty funny -- My husband has an MLS and is a great cook on whatever heat source you give him. Please let us all know how your new induction cooktop is. What are you coming from, gas? Bet you'll be fine, you librarians are invincible.

                                                                                                              3. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                kaleokahu RE: pikawicca Jul 5, 2013 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                Hi, pikawikka: "Why would a home cook need (or want) to know "the actual wattage used at each position?"

                                                                                                                Well, it might verify (or disprove) the *practical* "efficiency" of induction over electric or gas. All we ever seem to hear about is how much more efficient induction is, but there is only DOE's theoretical word to take on that (along with some wild anecdotal reports based on utility charges) to back that up.

                                                                                                                *I* am interested in this because AFAIK no one has quantified the relative efficiencies of, say, cast iron on induction vs. copper or aluminum on conventional electric. Or for that matter of using a converter disc on induction with high-conductivity cookware. If we are to talk meaningfully about value and ecological responsibility, this information is important.

                                                                                                                It would be relatively easy for the manufacturers to provide an "energy used" function in their electronics. I ask, "Why not, if it's so flippin' efficient?"


                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                  c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 06:13 PM

                                                                                                                  Ah, the agenda has finally been distributed :) Energy efficiency is a factor. But the joy of cooking is what it's mostly about for me.

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                    kaleokahu RE: c oliver Jul 5, 2013 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                    Me, too. But practicalities tend to intrude into decisions involving outlays of thousands of dollars for stove and new cookware...

                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                      c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 06:26 PM

                                                                                                                      And just what ARE those practicalities? I still don't get it. If I and others have had no problems, why do you think you would? And my range, not just a cooktop, was about $1600 and the cookware, not counting the CI etc. that I already had was $200,

                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                        sueatmo RE: kaleokahu Jul 6, 2013 02:26 PM

                                                                                                                        The thing is, no one is advocating that you buy an induction cook top. For me it is an upgrade that is easily, if expensively, made.

                                                                                                                        Truthfully, if the induction cook top does not outlast a gas cooktop, then I am unprepared to say the induction is more cost effective.

                                                                                                                        For us, the ease of installation is a major factor.

                                                                                                                        I also think that induction will come down in price, as other appliances have in the past. (Microwave ovens, for instance.)

                                                                                                                        What I get from your posts is a reluctance to embrace induction--for whatever reason. I would have been reluctant 13 years ago when we remodeled our kitchen. I didn't even know about induction. But it is becoming more common. And if it didn't work well, I don't think it would have enthusiastic users.

                                                                                                                        In terms of new cookware, for me, this is less an issue. Although I will give up some very nice Cuisinart pans, the truth is I don't use many of them all that much any more. I have other pans that will work, and I am obtaining a few to fill in the gaps. My old cookware is already spoken for and is going to a new home. So, everyone's circumstances are different. For some of us, induction is a good option. For others of us, not so much.

                                                                                                                        1. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                          c oliver RE: sueatmo Jul 6, 2013 02:52 PM

                                                                                                                          When one has thousands of dollars worth of copper cookware then induction's not a good option. But I think those situations are the exception rather than the rule. BTW, sue, you write quite well :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                            sueatmo RE: c oliver Jul 6, 2013 03:58 PM

                                                                                                                            Well, thanks.

                                                                                                                            I agree with your post, and that's all I'm posting on this issue after this.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                              c oliver RE: sueatmo Jul 6, 2013 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                              I made the same decision right after I posted :)

                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                              kaleokahu RE: c oliver Jul 6, 2013 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                              Nah, if it were any good, you'd just buy a $60 converter disk.

                                                                                                                            3. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                              kaleokahu RE: sueatmo Jul 6, 2013 06:15 PM

                                                                                                                              Hi, sue:

                                                                                                                              Well, sure, convenience factors are important.

                                                                                                                              You are right, I *am* reluctant to embrace induction, if by that you mean switch to it to the exclusion of gas, electric, and solid fuel hobs. But I *have* embraced it insofar as I bought one and have used it and others. And I remain unimpressed.


                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                JayL RE: kaleokahu Jul 6, 2013 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                Why is it you are unimpressed?

                                                                                                                                Could it be that you are using portable units?

                                                                                                                                I've used a ton of the portable, butane gas hot plates and they are not exactly awe inspiring. But I don't discount actual gas ranges because of it...

                                                                                                                                1. re: JayL
                                                                                                                                  kaleokahu RE: JayL Jul 6, 2013 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                                  Hi, Jay:

                                                                                                                                  No, I've used both the <$100 and the >$2,000 units. I'm actually more impressed with the high-*er* end tabletop units than I have been by the cooktops and ranges. They make really good hotplates for buffets, etc.

                                                                                                                                  The "why" has more to do with the facts that: (a) I see no improvement in responsiveness over copper+gas; (b) I see a *decrease* in heat evenness; and (c) I like the sensory feedback of the other modes. To me, it is like changing from cooking in 3 dimensions to 2. What I *have* been impressed with is convenience features, but at the expense of a downgrade in pan quality.


                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                    DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 6, 2013 08:08 PM

                                                                                                                                    < I like the sensory feedback of the other modes.>

                                                                                                                                    I still don't understand what you mean by sensory feedback with electric hobs. Gas, I get it. Sure. But electric? The pan sits on the burner, so there's nothing to see. Are you saying you like the heat radiating out from around the pan?

                                                                                                                        2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                          pikawicca RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                          As a home cook, I don't give a shit about "practical efficiency," whatever that is. I just want a stove that performs really well, and my induction range does just that.

                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: pikawicca Jul 5, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                            pika, tell us how you REALLY feel :) Oh, yes, and ditto!

                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                              kaleokahu RE: pikawicca Jul 5, 2013 06:49 PM

                                                                                                                              Hi, pikawikka:

                                                                                                                              Well, perhaps we should all give at least one tiny turd over whether replacing a major appliance (and oftentimes cookware with it) is worth it when it comes to dollars and sense.

                                                                                                                              But if you don't, Godspeed.


                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 06:53 PM

                                                                                                                                What's the "sense" that continues to escape you? This has been going on with you for a few years, IIRC. You're certainly smart enough to get it so maybe it's some emotional reaction to change that you're dealing with. Just a thought.

                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                  JayL RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 07:59 PM

                                                                                                                                  I can't figure out why someone who seemingly doesn't want induction continues arguing about it. If it's not for you, it's not for you. Are you trying to talk other people out of it?

                                                                                                                                  I also can't imagine that someone who seems to be so astute feels they aren't smart enough to use an induction range.

                                                                                                                                  So...if the knob on a gas hob has 8 hash marks...is it that important to you to know how many BTUs you get at the 5th mark? Have you ever asked a question like that...or did you reserve these idiocies for induction only?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                    DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 08:15 PM


                                                                                                                                    <...whether replacing a major appliance (and oftentimes cookware with it) is worth it when it comes to dollars and sense.>

                                                                                                                                    Everyone I know who's replaced a range or cooktop has done it because 1) their current unit broke down in some way or 2) some aspect of it had become such a pain that it was sucking all the joy out of cooking.

                                                                                                                                    I absolutely agree that it needs to make economic sense. That said, unless one is buying a pretty basic unit, there isn't much price difference between gas, electric and induction. So if we can agree that, in general, efficiency increases as we move from gas to electric to induction, it then comes down to a matter of fuel preference and features. In other words, finding our cooking bliss.

                                                                                                                                    I know you think only gas ranges have soul, but when I think of easy cleaning (like my old GE Profile SS-top gas unit), or easy rolling oven trays (like my old Thermador smoothtop), well, those things make cooking easier in that I don't have to make allowances for a sub-par feature. This lets me concentrate on the food itself, which brings joy and yes, soul, to my cooking.

                                                                                                                                    I suppose this is my way of saying that it's not always, or even mostly, about the numbers or facts. Cooking for me always has been, and I hope will always be, about finding my groove, my bliss, my soul. Even in an appliance without a flame. :)

                                                                                                                                2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                  JayL RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                                  I didn't get one for any sort of efficiency.

                                                                                                                                  I got it because I like cool shit...and I'm confident I can cook on anything you place before me.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: JayL
                                                                                                                                    c oliver RE: JayL Jul 5, 2013 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                                    God in heaven, JayL, regardless of your gender, if I ever divorce Bob again, watch out, I'm coming after you :) :) Cool shit is very cool...shit :)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: JayL
                                                                                                                                      kaleokahu RE: JayL Jul 5, 2013 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                                      Hi, Jay: "I got it because I like cool shit."

                                                                                                                                      Bingo. You and a lot of people. That's fine, until something more "cool" comes along. Get that, too.


                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                        c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                                        I'm noticing that you're not answering questions but rather nitpicking others. I'm not a trendy person. I just went for the best way of cooking.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                          kaleokahu RE: c oliver Jul 5, 2013 09:23 PM

                                                                                                                                          Nope, I think Jay is onto something that is generalizable to others, too. Just like the issue of ignoring the hot-spotting the coils produce. It's clean, it's sleek, it's cool, it's trendy--that's all a lot of people need to know. But I'm sure *you're* different.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                            DuffyH RE: c oliver Jul 5, 2013 09:44 PM

                                                                                                                                            <I'm not a trendy person. I just went for the best way of cooking.>

                                                                                                                                            Dude and I used to be early adopters and I've got to admit that I really do miss being the coolest kid on the block. It was a definite ego stroke.

                                                                                                                                            But early retirement changed all that and now I'm just looking to find the best way to cook in an all-electric home. My POS builders grade smoothtop is not it. It works, but that's the best that can be said of it. Induction rules, and it might even bring back some of that cool factor for me. :)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                              josephnl RE: DuffyH Jul 5, 2013 09:56 PM

                                                                                                                                              I know several people who live in all electric buildings and who have switched from electric cooktops to induction. Without exception, after a short learning curve, they all love their induction cooktops. I've read through most of this thread and see lots of theoretic objections to induction, but is there anyone out there who actually has one and has used it for say 6 months, and wants to switch back to an electric cooktop?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                DuffyH RE: josephnl Jul 5, 2013 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                <...there anyone out there who actually has one ... and wants to switch back to an electric cooktop?>

                                                                                                                                                That's the real question, isn't it? I haven't had the pleasure yet, but nowhere do I see anyone touting electric (especially radiant) as superior in any way to gas or induction.

                                                                                                                                                Reasonable people can disagree on gas or induction, but it seems to me, after months of reading here and researching, that the two are very close in performance, with each being superior in some minor ways to the other.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                  kaleokahu RE: josephnl Jul 5, 2013 10:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Hi, joseph: "[I]s there anyone out there who actually has one and has used it for say 6 months, and wants to switch back...?"

                                                                                                                                                  Why, yes there is. In a recent thread, too. I'm too tired to pull it up right now, maybe tomorrow... The problem forcing re-evaluation was unevenness/hotspotting, IIRC. In this regard, conventional electric is clearly superior.

                                                                                                                                                  Aloha ahiahi 'ia oukou,

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                    AbijahL RE: kaleokahu Jul 6, 2013 01:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I haven't had any problem with hot spots on either of my induction cooktops. That sounds like a defective unit. My mom hasn't mentioned that problem either.

                                                                                                                                                    Induction isn't really new. It's been around since the 80s, but more popular in Europe and Japan where domestic power is more expensive. My reason for buying my first unit was to save the expense of running a gas line and because it uses less energy. I also did not like the slow response of conventional electric. However, once I got the first one I was really pleased by not just the power and touch, but also by the comfort, safety, and easy clean up. Honestly coolness didn't factor in. If anything, I think the giant, high end gas units are purchased more for coolness. The induction units don't look like much.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AbijahL
                                                                                                                                                      c oliver RE: AbijahL Jul 6, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I agree with all you say, esp. the end of your post. Induction has no sex appeal whereas those huge industrial looking gas things just shriek "I know what the eff I'm doing. Just look at my cooktop!" :)

                                                                                                                                                      And, yeah, hot spots? Not with the two I have.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AbijahL
                                                                                                                                                        kaleokahu RE: AbijahL Jul 6, 2013 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Hi, AbijaL: "The induction units don't look like much."

                                                                                                                                                        Yes, that's true. IMO, the minimalist aesthetic is one of its major selling points.

                                                                                                                                                        Regarding the hot-spotting issue, the way the induction coils are designed (at least at present) and positioned under the glass makes this inevitable to some degree. This is because the induction field drops off sharply as you move even a tiny bit away from the coil. Everyone looks at this flat, shiny piece of opaque black Ceran *thinking* heat is being induced evenly within the little painted-on circle, but in fact there's a torus-shaped area where it's happening--right over the coil. If you were to make a "scorchprint" or take a thermal photograph, you would see this donut shape very clearly.

                                                                                                                                                        Now, as with any hob, using highly conductive cookware ameliorates the problem. So if you buy first-rate clad or thick disk-bottomed pans, you might not notice it. But if the pan is carbon steel, cheap clad or cast iron, you might.

                                                                                                                                                        Try this experiment. Speed boil some water in your largest pot. Watch where the vapor bubbles first form. I bet you can clearly make out where the coil is. With conventional electric (and the best gas hobs), what you see is uniform bubble formation across the entire hob. And if you were to try thick aluminum or copper pans on that same conventional hob, you can sometimes see the water boiling *from the walls* as well.

                                                                                                                                                        But if you have no problem with unevenness on induction, that's really good. That would make induction's greater responsiveness an even more attractive feature, because there would be no trade-off.


                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                          DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 6, 2013 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                          <With conventional electric (and the best gas hobs), what you see is uniform bubble formation across the entire hob.>

                                                                                                                                                          Here's where you lose me. I don't understand how a gas burner, with it's ring of fire, can produce uniform bubbles, unless it heats the pot so slowly that the heat has time to disperse across the pot. I can see that this wouldn't be an issue with a radiant or coil electric burner where most of the pan bottom is exposed to more or less direct heat, but gas? I don't get it. When I owned gas, I never looked to see where bubbles form so really have to trust others like you to help me understand.

                                                                                                                                                          <Speed boil some water...>

                                                                                                                                                          Is this only a factor on the fast boil setting? If water were boiled on a lower setting so that it took the same amount of time as a gas stove, would the bubbles form all over the bottom of the pan?

                                                                                                                                                          I'm a little concerned that you referenced "the best gas hobs" because it reads like you're stacking the deck, which I can't believe you meant to do. Do you include an average gas stove, like GE Profile, in "the best", or do you mean ones that have double ring, star shaped or other burners that spread flame better than the more common single ring?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                            kaleokahu RE: DuffyH Jul 6, 2013 02:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                                                                                            You cover some ground here.

                                                                                                                                                            Gas hobs *do* obviously have a kind of "ring of fire" effect, but many have more than one ring, and more still have jets which are effectively directed *outward* as well as upward as pressure increases. The classic (bad) example of the ring effect on gas would be something like Tom Keller's recipe for caramelized onions in a CI oven set over a cheap, single-ring hob at the lowest possible flame--unless you stir constantly, you *will* scorch the onions. Similarly with tempering chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                            But on higher settings, the ring (and the hot gases) spreads out much more, and you have heat delivered to the pan far further out than an induction field could reach.

                                                                                                                                                            Re: speed boiling... Of course you can avoid *seeing* the induction coil if you boil your water slowly. You won't see that effect because doing it slowly allows the convection currents to even out the water temperature. But the *coil* is still heating the pan unevenly, even when you can't see it, and unless you have exceptional cookware, the food *in* the pan is going to receive uneven heat. Depending on your prep, this may or may not make a difference in quality of outcome, need to stir, shift, etc.

                                                                                                                                                            Re: "best" gas hobs... My reference gas hob is a $49 propane-fired, 2-burner camp stove. But it has triple rings. So I don't think I'm stacking the deck, but a larger number of jets spread out over the greatest practical area do roughly equate with "best" in my opinion. What were your Profile's jets like?


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                              DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 6, 2013 03:56 PM


                                                                                                                                                              My GE Profile had one ring of jets, pointed outwards. But they still cooked in a ring. I do recall that I noticed a difference when I bought my current home; on my radiant, when food scorches, the entire bottom of the pan scorches, as you'd expect. On my Profile, the center of the pan and the outermost edges would remain pristine, with a ring of black crud from approx. 1/2-3/4 of the way out to the edge. This would be with a large-diameter soup pot, about 8" or so in diameter. So I'd say it would have to be fairly comparable to induction in that respect.

                                                                                                                                                              Of course, using a small pan, food tended to cook very evenly, because most of the pan surface was in contact with the flame.

                                                                                                                                                              I'd definitely say that a 3-ring burner is stacking the deck. Most home ranges here in the U.S. have a single ring for each burner, so I don't see how it's possible to have truly even heating over the pan surface unless we preheat long enough for the entire pan to get hot. But the parts of the pan that sit directly over the flame will still be hotter than the rest of the pan, yes? Sounds a lot like induction to me.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                kaleokahu RE: DuffyH Jul 6, 2013 06:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                                                                                                We can differ, I guess, if a $49 gas hob is an unfair advantage, but it sounds like your single-ring burner was not particularly good. So perhaps with those parameters, we can say it was in rough parity with a typical induction hob. Except for the effect of the combustion gases.

                                                                                                                                                                Of course, another thing to consider is the pan's conductivity. Other than with the rare hybrid disk-bottomed pans, regular induction-compatible wares are not going to compete on induction well against thick straight-gauge aluminum or copper on gas when it comes to evenness or responsiveness. In other words, good conventional pans are going to improve any gas "ring" effect more than virtually all induction-capable pans will improve the induction "ring" effect.

                                                                                                                                                                Anyway, thanks for your courtesy.


                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                                  DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 6, 2013 07:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Aw, c'mon, Kaleo, it's not the $49 at issue, it's the 3 gas rings, which most gas ranges in the U.S. simply do not have. My GE Profile was a pretty typical mid-price range, going for about $2000 in 2004. A similar model is a bit less now. At that price, you get one ring per burner. So we really are talking an unfair comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not trying to argue that induction heats just as evenly as gas. I have said, very recently, that each is better at some things than the other. But all in all, for most cooking applications, I would think that you'd concede they're pretty close, especially when comparing them to other modes of cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                    c oliver RE: DuffyH Jul 6, 2013 08:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Duffy, having cooked on nothing but induction for a few years I can't think of a single thing that was less than what I wanted it to be.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                      DuffyH RE: c oliver Jul 6, 2013 08:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I have high confidence that will be my experience, too. After using crappy radiant for over 2 yrs, I'm itching to switch.

                                                                                                                                                                      I laugh when I read posts suggesting it's easy to control heat on electric ranges by just moving the pot or lifting it up for a moment. Mine is so slow to respond that I would need to have another burner going at the lower heat level. Add in ladles, spatulas and such, yeah, I want a nice red-hot burner just waiting for me to set something on it. Tried it once, won't do it again, thanks all the same.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                      kaleokahu RE: DuffyH Jul 6, 2013 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                                                                                                      Well, if $49 isn't the issue, then $49 and a bottle of propane will get you an uptick in performance. GE is doing an amazing job for its shareholders in getting $2,000 for a 4-single-ring 'top that doesn't perform as well as a 2-burner tabletop unit, circa 1930.

                                                                                                                                                                      I was once castigated here for not appreciating the difference between the $100 induction hotplates and the $$$ cooktops. But other than basic build and finish (and the useless top-end's 240V power advantage), after using a few, I just don't see a difference.

                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, induction can be close to gas in some applications. And I'll go you one better: induction has a certain advantages which, for some people in some applications, make it THE better choice.


                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                                        JayL RE: kaleokahu Jul 6, 2013 09:34 PM


                                                                                                                                                                        Which applications is induction close to gas?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JayL
                                                                                                                                                                          kaleokahu RE: JayL Jul 7, 2013 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Hi, Jay:

                                                                                                                                                                          Well, I think Duffy has already put her finger on the big one: applications where a single-ring gas hob is set so low that the flame does not spread appreciably, i.e., where the "ring of fire" approximates the discrete shape of the induction coil.

                                                                                                                                                                          And I'm mostly talking about evenness here. In VERY low heat applications like chocolate, gas (without resort to a heat diffuser) is actually worse--the flame blows out, it's hard to set a precise level, it scorches, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                          What I'd like to see is an induction-fired solid top (or better yet, a partitioned multi-top).


                                                                                                                                                            2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                              JayL RE: kaleokahu Jul 6, 2013 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I actually have boiled water and watched what happened (way before you suggested it here). Bubbles started forming uniformly across the bottom of the pan.

                                                                                                                                                              I really don't know where you're getting your information.

                                                                                                                                                              Again, maybe it's because of the cheap portable unit you use.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JayL
                                                                                                                                                                c oliver RE: JayL Jul 6, 2013 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I also. I was standing "waiting for water to boil" recently cause I was going to poach eggs. As you say, the bubbles were starting from all over the bottom of the pot.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                          c oliver RE: josephnl Jul 6, 2013 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                          If there are any such folks, I haven't noticed them. We have a second home that we did a total gut to in the last two years. There's natural gas to the house and I could design my kitchen any way I wanted space wise. I bought the exact same Samsung induction range. My only regret is that now Thermador has an induction cooktop where the whole top is one big cooking unit. I used one in a class and it was fabulous.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                            kaleokahu RE: c oliver Jul 6, 2013 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Hi, c oliver: "...an induction cooktop where the whole top is one big cooking unit."

                                                                                                                                                            Well, not really. There are still discrete coils under that Thermador's surface, so unless the coils are tiny and pixellated, it's like placing a large pan astride two (or more) conventional hobs. The trick of these zoneless units lies in the sensor circuitry which makes it appear to be magic.


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                              c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jul 6, 2013 08:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                              There you go again. Focusing on what's going on below the surface which I clearly don't give a rap about. It's what goes on above the glass that matters to me. You know, like cooking. There are a ton of things that I don't understand the technology of but that doesn't close my mind to their usefullness/superiority. I'm too busy cooking, flying in airplanes, listening to music to care how that "magic" as you call it occurs. BTW, at the local appliance store where they're letting you play around, what have you cooked so far. Just scorch rings? :)

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                      JayL RE: kaleokahu Jul 6, 2013 07:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Me and how many hundred of thousand Europeans? LoL

                                                                                                                                                      I do like cool stuff when that cool stuff works. That's what induction is...cool stuff that works.

                                                                                                                                                      I've used gas for years and years...from wimpy residential ranges to just as wimpy "high-end" residential ranges to 33,000btu commercial ranges.

                                                                                                                                                      I asked for induction in our new home because I absolutely detest cleaning gas ranges. Every meal...break it down, wash everything, dry everything, put it all back together. Been there, done that, do it at work, and don't want to do it at home if I don't have to. With the induction I "should" be able to get higher performance than the highest btu residential range AND have an easy to clean cooktop.

                                                                                                                                                      I'm still laughing at how you like arguing about something you have no intention of purchasing.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JayL
                                                                                                                                                        c oliver RE: JayL Jul 6, 2013 07:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                        JayL, the cleaning thing came as a big surprise to US. I say US cause Bob was the one who was doing the bulk of the scrubbing on the gas cooktop. A couple of time recently I've cooked a great Trinidad-Chinese chicken recipe which is fried. It makes a real mess. Do WE care? Not one bit. Not why I bought it but, man, it sure is nice.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                          JayL RE: c oliver Jul 6, 2013 08:23 PM


                                                                                                                                                          Are one of you from T&T?

                                                                                                                                                          My apologies if we've had this discussion before...I have a terrible memory.

                                                                                                                                                          My wife was just refreshing my memory as to which recipe you were referring to...and she agrees, it makes a MESS. LoL

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JayL
                                                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: JayL Jul 6, 2013 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Here's the recipe. Just MADE for an induction cooktop :)


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                              JayL RE: c oliver Jul 6, 2013 08:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Oh we have a recipe...my wife is Trinidadian! LoL

                                                                                                                                                              Off Topic...I'll add that Trini Chinese food is NOTHING like what you get here in the states. It's flipping good! They actually make REAL food that is modified only to use some of the local ingredients. Holy cow it's good eating!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JayL
                                                                                                                                                                c oliver RE: JayL Jul 6, 2013 08:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I've no doubt :)

                                                                                                                                          2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                            pikawicca RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 01:16 PM

                                                                                                                                            I've never seen a built-in induction range or cooktop with temperatures. My Samsung has settings from 1 to 9, with some .5's thrown in, as well as "Power Boost." It's a little different, but not all that hard to figure out. Easiest thing to do is just play around with a pot of water on different settings -- pretty simple to see the results.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                                              c oliver RE: pikawicca Jul 5, 2013 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                                              Duff and pika, I'm with you. Kaleo, I fry with a number of different oils and none have been a problem. Sign me confused. Still. I wonder if you're conjuring up hypotheticals that simply aren't going to occur in a real kitchen. As I've said, I've been cooking on one for several years now and have never come across a single thing like what you describe.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                              JayL RE: kaleokahu Jul 5, 2013 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                              You undoubtedly are referring to portable units that use temps as their level setting. If you are talking about a range/cooktop, I do not know of that particular make/model.

                                                                                                                                              Anyway, the concept is simple. Too hot...turn it down...//...too cool...turn it up.


                                                                                                                                      2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                        DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 3, 2013 09:08 PM

                                                                                                                                        Hey Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                        <They will also make the already-inaccurate temperature settings even more so.>

                                                                                                                                        I'm not sure what you mean by inaccurate. Please explain?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                          c oliver RE: DuffyH Jul 3, 2013 09:25 PM

                                                                                                                                          Yes, please.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                            JWVideo RE: c oliver Jul 4, 2013 12:45 AM

                                                                                                                                            I'm guessing that kaleo is drawing on his experience with portable/countertop units. If memory serves, kaleo posted last year about buying and using an Aroma brand countertop/portable induction unit from Costco. Some of the portable induction units offer the ostensible option of setting heat by a target temperature in addition to the the arbitrary 1 to 10 step scale. (In other words, you can choose to set the heat for 250F rather than "5" or vice versa). I say "ostensible" because the previous threads on this say that the temperature settings are pretty much as arbitrary as the 1-10 scale. I know the Athena/Max Burton units also offer this option and I believe that commercial induction hobs, such as Cooktek's, offer it as well. AFAIK, this kind of optional control settings are not generally available on 240v residential induction cooktops and ranges.

                                                                                                                                      3. re: chezmom
                                                                                                                                        AbijahL RE: chezmom Jul 4, 2013 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                        If you have a recently installed 30", installing a more efficient induction model shouldn't require a new electric supply. Countertop openings can be a problem, though, so you might want to check AJMadison or Sears to compare opening size and amperage.

                                                                                                                                        Any pan bottom that will stick to a magnet will work. That precludes anodized aluminum unless there is a layer of steel inside the bottom. I use inexpensive stuff for the most part; Sitram, Farberware Millenium non-stick, Lodge CI, store brands. If you wok, you need a flat bottomed wok, because the round ones won't work. I also have a solid element portable burner that I use for my aluminum canner.

                                                                                                                                        Also, I think that with the disc you are going to lose the nearly instant temperature changes that are one of the cool features of induction.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: AbijahL
                                                                                                                                          chezmom RE: AbijahL Jul 4, 2013 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                          Very helpful, thank you!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: AbijahL
                                                                                                                                            JWVideo RE: AbijahL Jul 6, 2013 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                                            I think Abijahl's reply is correct, and just want to supplement.

                                                                                                                                            Power supply: many houses have range circuits with 40 amp breakers and that is the spec for most induction ranges sold in North America. The ones I recall specifiying 50 Amp service are: Viking ($7.3k), Dacor ($5k), Ilve ($5k), Electrolux slide-in ($3.2k) and the Frigidiare's "hybrid" radiant-induction combo range ($2.8k). Easiest way to tell what the range circuit is: open the electrical panel and look at the breaker. The amp rating should be embossed on the top of the switch.

                                                                                                                                            For width, almost all of the current induction ranges are the North American standard of 29 7/8" wide. Cutouts/range spaces are supposedly 30 1/8" but, as Abijahl says, it is a good idea to check. AJ Madison, Lowe's, and other vendors often have links to the manuals and installation instructions. I would check those, as well, for any stove you are considering.

                                                                                                                                            With induction "interface disks" (plates), you are basically converting your induction burner into a radiant electric burner, more or less making it function like a coil burner. Some plates work better than others according to Cooks Illustrated magazine. Last year, they ran a test on three of retail versions. Here's a link:


                                                                                                                                            They tested a couple of expensive disks from Mauviel and Emile Henry but only "recommended" disk the $50 Max Burton one. Beyond that, they said, you might just as well use a large induction pan with a thick and wide base.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JWVideo
                                                                                                                                              c oliver RE: JWVideo Jul 6, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                                                                                              Thanks for this info. I just checked on Amazon and the Max Burton is just $39 but not eligible for free shipping :) But I SO want that Turkish teapot that maybe I should get it?

                                                                                                                                      4. Charles Yu RE: chicgail Jul 3, 2013 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                                        It all depends how serious a cook one is!!
                                                                                                                                        If one likes to 'toss' the contents inside a pan or more specifically, a 'wok', then Gas burner is much better. It is much easier to 'ignite' or 'flambee' the contents with naked flame and create the desired 'wok-hay' so cherished by foodies who love Chinese food in particular. Even western chefs like to ignite the oil and/or alcohol to create the 'smokiness'.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                                                                          AbijahL RE: Charles Yu Jul 3, 2013 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                          Oh, I assure you that you can make oil smoke on an induction cooktop. It's a boo-boo when I do it, but it definitely can be done!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: AbijahL
                                                                                                                                            DuffyH RE: AbijahL Jul 3, 2013 05:36 PM

                                                                                                                                            I did a cast iron flambé not long ago on my smoothtop electric. When Dude asked why I was setting the cookware on fire, I said "I meant to do that!". I was lying, but we maintain the polite fiction that I know what I'm doing in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                            To give Charles Yu his due, though, he's right, it is much easier with gas, especially when it's something we want to do, as opposed to my latest oops.

                                                                                                                                        2. c oliver RE: chicgail Jul 7, 2013 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                          I'm unwilling to reread all these posts to find the 'right' place to post this pic. It's not the greatest picture because of the glare but you can see that the bubbles are uniformly over the bottom of the pan. This was on boost. I don't have time to start at a low temp. I'm making Hazan's green lasagna today which is a multi-hour labor of love.

                                                                                                                                          28 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                            kaleokahu RE: c oliver Jul 7, 2013 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                                            Except in the center and at the edge. Try it with cast iron and see what you get...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                              c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jul 7, 2013 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                              Nope. All over. The photo just couldn't show it. I just finished about three hours in the kitchen. I won't be returning for quite a while.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                kaleokahu RE: c oliver Jul 7, 2013 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                Hi, c oliver:

                                                                                                                                                Well, these photos coudn't help but show a little more clearly what I'm talking about when it comes to induction coils delivering localized heat.


                                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                  DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 7, 2013 07:46 PM


                                                                                                                                                  What you didn't show is that cast iron also heats unevenly on gas. And though the aluminum pan from the same series of tests does well on the gas burner and poorly on the induction burner, the blogger points out that his induction burner is too small for the pan. One presumes that with a proper size match, this would be mitigated. How much, I can't say.

                                                                                                                                                  I'd love to see a similar test from someone who's got an induction range.

                                                                                                                                                  Here's the full link: http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/02/...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                    kaleokahu RE: DuffyH Jul 7, 2013 09:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                                                                                    Of *course* cast iron heats poorly (on all but solid tops and conventional electric). Frankly, all it's really good at is oven use.

                                                                                                                                                    If you take the time (which I know you do) to look at the induction photo progression showing the aluminum pan on a high-output gas burner, guess what? Pretty even heat. Compare that with the progression of the induction-compatible aluminum on the *same* hob--guess what? Still ring-around the-induction-coil.

                                                                                                                                                    And it's not a blogger, it's Dave Arnold.

                                                                                                                                                    Your presumption concerning "proper size match" would make some sense if you could point me to a triple-ring induction coil which covers an entire 8-10"ainted-on circle on the Ceran.


                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                      DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 8, 2013 07:19 AM


                                                                                                                                                      3 things.

                                                                                                                                                      <If you take the time (which I know you do)...>

                                                                                                                                                      I wasn't hiding anything. I did note that the aluminum pan on gas did well, and that the induction fared poorly. I also included the author's note that the burner was too small for the pan. He didn't explain if that's a problem with his burner, or induction as a whole.

                                                                                                                                                      I don't know who Dave Arnold is, so that's why I didn't reference him by name.

                                                                                                                                                      About proper size match - you keep referring to the triple-ring thing as though that's how most gas ranges are configured. I assure you it is not. I'd venture to guess that about 90% or more of gas ranges in the U.S. have a single ring set-up. It seems to me that when comparing gas and induction, you're using the best-case gas set-up and the most common induction. Again, stacking the deck.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                        kaleokahu RE: DuffyH Jul 8, 2013 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                                                                                        The thing about single-ring induction hobs (and I think all of them except the "zoneless" ones are) is that you're still going to have the same ring effect, it's just going to manifest as a bigger ring. And in the case of a bigger coil, you'll have a bigger cold spot in the center to boot. So yes, the problem is intrinsic to induction.

                                                                                                                                                        My fancy $49 gas hob--the one you think I'm using to stack the deck--how large do you think it is? It's a whopping 4.5" in diameter. Watch out Wolff, Bluestar and Culinarian!

                                                                                                                                                        You should also know that until I installed the solid fuel range, I had and cooked on a builder's grade, single-ring gas range--for about 18 years. It *still* heated more evenly than any of the induction units I've used.

                                                                                                                                                        Dave Arnold is a pretty well-known culinary teaching professional. They do interesting stuff over at Cook's Issues/ICC.


                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                          DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 8, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Hey Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                          <You should also know that until I installed the solid fuel range, I had and cooked on a builder's grade, single-ring gas range--for about 18 years. It *still* heated more evenly than any of the induction units I've used.>

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, that's the kind of real world info I've been interested in. Knowing that induction doesn't heat as evenly as gas is instructive to me. It doesn't mean I'll keep my current radiant or switch to coil. It gives me info into how I'll need to modify my cooking style to fit the parameters of the new range.

                                                                                                                                                          After 2+ years on radiant, I still haven't got into the habit of moving cookware off the burner to rapidly change the heat. I think this is mostly because I normally have 2 pans going at once, sometimes 3. This, coupled with my laminate countertops, makes moving a pan problematic. Uneven cooking I can counter by moving the food in the pan, a much easier proposition, imo.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: DuffyH Jul 8, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                            As I posted a picture yesterday, Duffy, my induction heats uniformly evenly.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                              DuffyH RE: c oliver Jul 8, 2013 05:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Hey c,

                                                                                                                                                              Have you tried using your range as a slow cooker? Like most modern slow cookers, mine all tend to run hot. As a result, I often have timing troubles.

                                                                                                                                                              High on all of mine will boil soup. Even low will give a vigorous simmer. Of course, using the warm setting doesn't really cook the food. I wouldn't mind regaining the low temps that older crockpots provide.

                                                                                                                                                              I won't turn up my nose at regaining the cabinet space, either. I've got a 7qt oval, 5.5qt round and 3 2qt rounds. That's a LOT of cabinet space.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                pikawicca RE: DuffyH Jul 8, 2013 06:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I do steel-cut oats on the lowest setting overnight -- works great. (I first bring the water to a boil, add oats, then lower the temp.)

                                                                                                                                                                I'm doing a photo shoot in my kitchen tomorrow for my next newspaper column about induction cooking. One of the shots is going to be "polenta gone wild," with the stuff sputtering all over the cooktop, with a quick clean-up. I think the other shot will be of blanching green beans: the roil of the green beans in the madly bubbling water should be a great shot, and a good illustration of induction's power.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                                                                  c oliver RE: pikawicca Jul 8, 2013 06:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Can you share the pix, p?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                    pikawicca RE: c oliver Jul 8, 2013 06:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Probably not, as the photos are taken by staff photographers and are behind a pay-wall. I'll ask tomorrow if there's a way around it.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                                                                      c oliver RE: pikawicca Jul 8, 2013 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe take your own pix? Oh wait, you'll be cooking. Maybe somebody on the crew could use your camera. I'd really like to see.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                                                                    DuffyH RE: pikawicca Jul 8, 2013 07:58 PM


                                                                                                                                                                    Good test, steel cut oats. If that works, anything will. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                    c oliver RE: DuffyH Jul 8, 2013 06:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I haven't and won't use it as an SC cause I have one and the space for it. I might use my oven if I had to. I DO make Bolognese which demands that only an occasional bubble break the surface.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                      DuffyH RE: c oliver Jul 8, 2013 07:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      When I-day finally arrives, one of the first things I cook will have to be my Mexican pulled pork tenderloin. It's an obvious choice, because it's so easy to know when it's done. If it shreds, it's ready.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                        c oliver RE: DuffyH Jul 8, 2013 08:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        You make pulled pork with tenderloin? That's interesting. With practically no fat, that would probably not be my first choice. And it's so much more expensive. What made you decide to use that cut please?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                                          DuffyH RE: c oliver Jul 8, 2013 08:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          To me it's completely logical. I do it for a couple of reasons. First, I once had a very bad experience with a shredded beef taco that included a HUGE glob of fat. I'm the poster girl for the phrase "gag reflex". It put me off shredded beef for 10 YEARS. So I go lean whenever possible for shredded meat.

                                                                                                                                                                          Second, with only 2 people to cook for, I get great mileage from a pound of tenderloin. Shredded, it's 2-3 meals for us. I pay about $3.50/lb at Costco, not too spendy at all.

                                                                                                                                                                          The beauty of slow cooking, like smoking, is the ability to turn lean cuts into meltingly tender stuff, yeah? And with a nice rub and some of my homemade picante sauce, it's not relying on fat for flavor. Carnitas it isn't, but it's so much more flavorful than chicken for tacos, and costs no more than the ground beef most people use.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                      chezmom RE: DuffyH Jul 8, 2013 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      You have the same problem I do! On slow cookers -- I have had 3 of them -- "low" still boils thick stuff like oatmeal (please notice that I am not saying WATER). Can anyone recommend a brand that has a setting low enough to let something like that go overnight?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chezmom
                                                                                                                                                                        c oliver RE: chezmom Jul 8, 2013 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I think that's a different thread. I'm in the middle of cooking dinner so can't take the time but I believe if you do a search for slow cooker steel oats or something like that you'll find what you're looking for. I did it last went and was really amazed at how good it was.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chezmom
                                                                                                                                                                          DuffyH RE: chezmom Jul 8, 2013 07:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          We tried overnight steel cut oats in one of our 2 qt units. Total bust! Cooked it to mush and despite oiling the crock, it still stuck and burned on.

                                                                                                                                                                          Your best bet is to haunt garage sales and thrift stores, maybe ebay, for an old model. My Mom gave hers away a few years ago. I'd have taken it, but it didn't have a removable crock, a deal breaker for me.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: DuffyH Jul 8, 2013 08:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I can't immediately find the recipe but I made it in a relatively new SC and it was great. So I'm guessing it was your recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                      kaleokahu RE: DuffyH Jul 8, 2013 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Hi, Duffy: "It doesn't mean I'll keep my current radiant or switch to coil."

                                                                                                                                                                      I wouldn't expect you to. I cooked my mussels last night on a radiant, and I know *exactly* what you're talking about concerning moving pans. It's a big deal if you can't get in the habit. And switching to coil has its own problems, not the least of which is product selection. The calrod elements on coil stoves these days are steps backward from what was available in the 50's-60's-70's. I still keep a 1950's GE Airliner with thick, tightly-wound coils to remind me of what used to be commonplace.

                                                                                                                                                                      Speaking *only* for myself, cooking on the solid-fuel flattop has ingrained in me the habit of moving pans all about. "High" is on the far left over the firebox, and "Simmer" is on the far right. "Keep Warm" is a fold-down trivet next to the stovepipe or in the overhead warming cabinets. Visualize no knobs.


                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                                        DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 8, 2013 05:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        <The calrod elements on coil stoves these days are steps backward from what was available in the 50's-60's-70's.>

                                                                                                                                                                        Hay Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                        Those coils weren't all roses. Mom had one (new home built in 1965) that blew up 3 yrs later. Imagine flying bits of red-hot metal and you've got the idea. She was burned (mildly, I'm happy to say), the countertop (laminate) was a loss and Dad had to buy her a new cooktop. To no one's surprise, she got a gas one. she flat out refused to use the remaining coils and has never used one since. That incident still colors my thinking on coils to this day.

                                                                                                                                                                        We learned from talking to appliance salespeople and friends that this was not uncommon. Not frequent, or likely to happen, but not that unusual.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH
                                                                                                                                                                          kaleokahu RE: DuffyH Jul 8, 2013 06:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                                                                                                          That's good to know. Maybe I'm just lucky, but my 50's Airliner has never lost a coil, and my one 90's-era coil stove went through one (mostly dead spots) about every 18 months.


                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                                            DuffyH RE: kaleokahu Jul 8, 2013 07:51 PM


                                                                                                                                                                            If your 60 yr old unit hasn't blown a coil yet, I'm thinking it's not likely to do it ever. Don't you love cooking with antiques that still work? I've got my grandmother's wooden rolling pin, circa 1930, and I wouldn't trade it for a nice new French one for anything in the world.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                          c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jul 8, 2013 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                          While cooking a little something last night, I put a CI skillet on a 'burner' and had the same uniform bubbling result.

                                                                                                                                                      2. GaKaye RE: chicgail Jul 7, 2013 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                        We recently built a new home in an area that has no natural gas. Not wanting to have a huge propane tank in my yard, I opted for an induction cooktop. I absolutely love it. I find it more responsive than gas, and definitely easier to clean. Mine is a Wolf 36" five-burner cooktop. You will need to use magnetic steel cookware with it, so if you don't already have that, it's another investment.

                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GaKaye
                                                                                                                                                          c oliver RE: GaKaye Jul 7, 2013 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                          As someone said here, I wonder if there's anyone who made the switch to induction who regrets it. I sure haven't seen them.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                                            kaleokahu RE: c oliver Jul 7, 2013 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Hi, c oliver:

                                                                                                                                                            And, as someone as also said, there was just such a poster about a week ago.

                                                                                                                                                            If the switch is from entry-level electric to "now we have some disposable income" level induction, you aren't going to find many people wanting to go back to cheapo electric. But the fact remains that, in terms of evenness, the cheapo calrod coil trumps induction. IMO, the biggest reason a lot of people say they'd never go "back" is the horrible downward responsiveness of electric coil.

                                                                                                                                                            I'm doing mussels in ancho chile sauce as I type this (on a radiant electric smoothtop) and the lack of responsiveness on an electric smoothtop is more than made up by a watchful eye and a 3mm copper sauteuse evasee.


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                              c oliver RE: kaleokahu Jul 7, 2013 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Cool. Link, please.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                                josephnl RE: kaleokahu Jul 7, 2013 07:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Kaleo...maybe it's time for you to acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of persons who own and cook on an induction cooktop/range (as you'll note on this thread, other threads, and in many reviews) love them. 'Nuf said!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                                  kaleokahu RE: josephnl Jul 7, 2013 09:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Hi, Joseph:

                                                                                                                                                                  Being correct isn't a popularity contest, last time I checked. If it were, we'd be extinct.

                                                                                                                                                                  But OK, Joseph, on your sayso, "'Nuf said!"


                                                                                                                                                          2. applgrl RE: chicgail Jul 7, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Gaaaar my elderly parents have a smooth top (I use natural gas) and I. Just.Hate.It! I cook for them frequently and usually I opt to cook and home and transport the food.

                                                                                                                                                            I'd investigate the new induction tops before going coil or smooth---- a friend has one and its very responsive.

                                                                                                                                                            1. c oliver RE: chicgail Jul 9, 2013 07:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Here's a current comment worth reading. Apropos.


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