HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What are you cooking today? Tell us about it
TELL US

would like to install a new induction range instead of gas. Hi, my mom is elderly and she leaves the gas burner on often unable to smell the gas when the actual flame is too low to see.

l
lisaloc Jan 4, 2014 08:27 PM

I would like to install an induction cooktop or range and replace the gas model. my mom leaves the burner on when the flame is too low to see. I can not find a gas cooktop or range that has an indicator light to alert her to this danger so I am now looking to convert to electric- anyone know what I must do?

  1. Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. c oliver Jan 4, 2014 08:51 PM

    If you go to the Cookware board and search for "induction" you'll find lots of information. I've been cooking on induction for several years now and safety is definitely a feature.

    1. v
      vstock Jan 5, 2014 12:50 PM

      Several induction units shutoff if the pan boils dry or is removed. That might give you some peace of mind.

      1. kaleokahu Jan 5, 2014 06:25 PM

        Hi, lisa:

        It sure sounds like induction would be safer for your mom than gas.

        I second the advice to pick an appliance which has a boil-dry-shutoff feature. For an added bit of insurance, you might look into Demeyer's cookware lines that offer their ControlInduc alloy--it becomes non-magnetic at temperatures above 250C, and therefore limits how hot even an empty pan can get.

        My other advice to you is to find an appliance with very simple, intuitive controls with prominent indicator lights.

        Aloha,
        Kaleo

        4 Replies
        1. re: kaleokahu
          c oliver Jan 5, 2014 06:32 PM

          Excellent points, kaleo.

          1. re: kaleokahu
            l
            lisaloc Jan 6, 2014 04:00 PM

            I have been looking for a gas range that has "indicator lights" as ALWAYS included on electric cooktops for obvious reasons-- if anyone knows of a gas range that has this safety feature I'd consider sticking with gas as it is my preference

            1. re: lisaloc
              firecooked Jan 6, 2014 04:19 PM

              My 10 yr-old Dacor range has small blue indicator lights by the knobs. (Side note... I would trade it for an induction range)

              1. re: lisaloc
                g
                gourmanda Jan 7, 2014 07:41 AM

                Our new Bosch 800 series cook top (not range) has an indicator light. Love the cook top, btw.

            2. l
              lisaloc Jan 6, 2014 03:58 PM

              Thanks everyone- before I start my quest just wondering what I might need to do to convert to Electric Power since this is a NYC Co-op and the cooking lines are all gas- do I begin with a plumber or electrician?

              8 Replies
              1. re: lisaloc
                c oliver Jan 6, 2014 04:58 PM

                Or do you need to begin with your co-op board? Just asking.

                1. re: lisaloc
                  kaleokahu Jan 6, 2014 07:47 PM

                  Hi, Lisa:

                  Oh. If there's no dedicated stove circuit (220V/40A), you might have a problem. Even if the co-op board would allow the work, it might be expensive. How is her hot water heated? Gas, too? If that's the case, it might be quite expensive to bring a 220 line into her unit.

                  In your mom's case, would an induction hotplate and a good countertop oven (like the Brevilles in 3 sizes) work for her? The bigger Breville will take a 13" pizza stone, a 9x13, or a half baking sheet. Running both hotplate and oven simultaneously might tax an older apartment's 110V circuit(s), but having an electrician check that would not be too expensive.

                  If such a setup would work, many of these countertop ovens (even some very basic units) have auto-shutoff features so you can't forget to turn them off. I had the same issues with my elderly mom after a stroke, and she did really well with a such countertop oven.

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo

                  1. re: kaleokahu
                    k
                    kagemusha49 Jan 7, 2014 07:25 AM

                    There's always the possibility of just using a countertop unit with a single induction burner. These use 110V and just plug in and draw less than 20amps. I guess this would rather depend on just how much multi-burner cooking your mother does.

                    1. re: kaleokahu
                      JoanN Jan 7, 2014 07:40 AM

                      Coincidentally, I had a dedicated 220/40A line installed just yesterday in my NYC apartment (building constructed in 1964) in order to install an over-the-range microwave. It took the electrician and one helper about 3 hours and it cost me $700. He had given me an estimate of $500 to $900, since he wasn't sure whether or not he could snake a line from behind the range to the fuse box or how much demo might be required if he couldn't. In the end, he couldn't snake, but the demo was minimal. I would think it's worth calling an electrician for an estimate. And the super of the building might know exactly what would be involved for the unit in question.

                      1. re: JoanN
                        c oliver Jan 7, 2014 08:02 AM

                        Good reply. ANd the super may know someone who's worked in the building.

                        1. re: c oliver
                          JoanN Jan 7, 2014 10:20 AM

                          Yes. I used an electrician recommended by the super and definitely benefitted from it. Not only was he already cleared to work in the building (some buildings in NYC require that workers have a certain amount of insurance as well as workman's comp, and many independent contractors do not), but the super pre-approved what the electrician planned to do, meaning I'll have no hassles in having the installation of the new appliances approved once they're in place. I was afraid, at first, that he might be more expensive. (Kickbacks, and all that. This IS NYC, after all.) But after a number of discussions with people knowledgable about this stuff, that seems not to have been the case.

                        2. re: JoanN
                          f
                          ferret Jan 8, 2014 05:53 AM

                          Welcome to New York. The same work cost me about $250 in Chicago.

                          1. re: ferret
                            JoanN Jan 8, 2014 06:38 AM

                            Why am I not the least surprised?

                    2. m
                      MikeG Jan 6, 2014 04:51 PM

                      This could be anywhere from a big to huge job, and I'm really not sure that one trade would handle everything you'd need to do. But if there's no stove/oven circuit in the kitchen already, you'd probably want to start with an electrician to find out if it's possible to install one. (Normal kitchen circuits are 15-20 amps; an induction range needs 40-50 amps.)

                      1. monavano Jan 6, 2014 05:16 PM

                        My Wolf cooktop has indicator lights when the gas is on, and I specifically looked for this feature as i get paranoid about leaving the gas on when I leave the house.

                        1. p
                          pedalfaster Jan 7, 2014 08:23 AM

                          As one who loves to cook, but has both visual and memory deficiencies I found your post interesting.
                          When I returned to cooking a few years ago I trained myself to ~always~ run both the vent-hood fan and lights whenever using the range. These act as both visual and auditory cues to remind me that I have powered that appliance.
                          Not an answer to your original question, but may be helpful in the short-term.
                          Good luck!

                          1. Sid Post Jan 8, 2014 05:09 AM

                            If you mother is used to cooking with gas and has some memory lapses, going with induction won't work. We went through this with an aunt in a similar situation.

                            Your mother would need to learn new cooking "techniques" and would most likely need new cookware. Without the nice pretty blue flame, you need to rely on a dial or display that probably is fine for the Ipod/Nintendo generation but, a stretch too far for the elderly with memory lapses who grew up in a simpler time.

                            Demeyere ControlInduc cookware is worth consideration as Kaleo suggested.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Sid Post
                              DuffyH Jan 8, 2014 06:13 AM

                              Controllinduc might help, but it's only available in skillets. Saicepans and pots are still an issue.

                              1. re: Sid Post
                                j
                                julesrules Jan 8, 2014 06:31 AM

                                I was thinking the same. Even for people who don't have memory or concentration issues, going from electricity to gas (or vice versa) does require some relearning of habits. Even electrical can have strange quirks (my parents' cheap cottage electrical stove, a low-end model from Sears, runs very hot for electric at the top range but barely seems to heat up at 2 or 3).
                                Good luck with whatever you decide, hopefully you can find a solution that balances her independence and safety.

                                1. re: julesrules
                                  Candy Jan 8, 2014 05:58 PM

                                  On the other hand, 'though induction is electric, it has some interesting differences". You can put paper towels over the burner or a cloth to catch the spatters. Since it heats the interiors of the pan, the food in it, fire is not an issue. I would suggest an electric kettle. It will shut itself off when lifted but if one knocks the power on when tidying up and accidentally turn on the power and possibly burn the unit out and start a fire. I try to keep an inch of water in the kettle just in case.

                                2. re: Sid Post
                                  c oliver Jan 8, 2014 07:29 AM

                                  I think that's a really good point. I wonder if you could get some ideas from AARP's or some other website or a local senior organization.

                                  1. re: Sid Post
                                    kaleokahu Jan 8, 2014 07:28 PM

                                    Hi, Sid: "If you mother is used to cooking with gas and has some memory lapses, going with induction won't work."

                                    This is a *really* good point.

                                    But I think it depends on how open the OP's mom is to learning new things. If the lady is accustomed to judging heat by looking at the flame and feels helpless without that visual cue, buying a $$ induction range might be a lose-lose. I'd suggest a $100 induction hotplate to gauge her interest and willingness.

                                    As you smartly point out, we also don't know what cookware turnover would be required. Asking a well-seasoned cook to give up treasured cookware might be a bridge too far.

                                    My experience with my own elderly parents was that: (a) they would not use things with which they were not familiar and comfortable; and *more importantly* (b) they would not *say* they were uncomfortable--they would not complain, but neither would they *use*.

                                    Aloha,
                                    Kaleo

                                    1. re: kaleokahu
                                      m
                                      mikie Jan 9, 2014 03:32 PM

                                      Hi Kaleo, many good points. When I had to put my mother in assisted living, there was a micorwave in the unit along with a mini fridge. She had never had a micorwave and had no idea how to use it. Ended up jsut being another cabinet. She never said she didn't know how to heat things up in it, but I knew at that point there was no reason to try to get her to learn either.

                                    2. re: Sid Post
                                      s
                                      sueatmo Jan 10, 2014 08:37 PM

                                      Sid Post: You echo my thoughts. The process of cooking on induction requires relearning how to do things your mom probably will have a hard time doing.

                                      However, I do like the idea of a portable induction plug in unit and a counter top oven, if those are feasible. And if the induction unit is easy to master. It might not be easy for her if it isn't.

                                    Show Hidden Posts