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Feb 2, 2014 05:42 AM

Boil Water in 90 Seconds?

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I get ads when I'm on CH. Today was an appliance store with an Electrolux Induction range that boils water in 90 seconds. To those of you with induction, how much water can you get boiling in 90 seconds. Is this a real deal or an advertising gimmick? In other words, are they talking about a thimble full or a real pot, say enough to hard boil a few eggs? I'm curious, that's all.

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  1. Good morning mikie,

    On one of my mid-size hobs (2500w), in a 1 qt. pan (covered), I boiled 2 cups of water in 75 seconds.

    That's about the amount of water I'd use for a couple of eggs, or a package of ramen noodles.

    39 Replies
    1. re: DuffyH

      Hi DuffyH, Thanks, I just wanted to know if this was BS or for real. I have a daughter that is looking to remodel and another who is preparing to build. Both have had or have glass top electrics and absolutely hate them. I've suggested induction based on comments here on CH, but to date there have been no takers. I think to them, glass top is glass top and it doesn't matter what's under it. Both have a hodge podge of cookware, most of which isn't all that expensive, so they likely will need to replace some of it. The thing is they've been to our house with our new gas range top, and they both love it as do we. So right now they're sold on gas. I just want them to look into induction, they can make up their mind after they look. I figure boiling water in 90 seconds, should get their attention. At least enough to check it out.

      Thank you for your response.

      1. re: mikie


        IME, there are 2 things to hate about glass tops.

        1. Slow, slow response time
        2. Streaks and fingerprints

        Induction solves 1, microfiber solves 2.

        Seriously, I hate microfiber, except for that one application. It is the bomb at getting my black glass immaculate. Nothing else comes close.

        If they've got easy access to gas or propane, they're lucky, because they can choose. If not, induction is the only way to go. FWIW, even after just one month with it, I don't think I'd choose gas over induction. I speak as a lifelong user of gas cooktops.

        1. re: DuffyH

          DuffyH, I think what turns them off is 1) Slow, slow response time. 2) Slow, slow response time, 3) heat after turned off (small kidos). 4) general difficulty to clean if something boils over, etc. They, like us, both have easy access to natural gas, so that's not an issue. I just don't think they understand the difference between induction under glass and a coil under glass. The other issue my be pots and pans, they both have struggeled with warped bottoms they attribute tot he coil under glass stoves.

          1. re: mikie

            Induction should not have any of these problem. Certainly not 1-3. Maybe a little of 4, but much better than traditional glass top. Induction glass top will still have the requirement that the cookware have to be flat.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              In my admittedly limited experience, there's no 1 and 2 at all. There is some 3, but not anything like with a radiant glass top.

              4 is a non-issue. Nothing burns on, because the only part of the hob that's hot enough to burn is directly under the pot. I have placed my hand right up against (but not touching) the pan, and felt no heat on my palm. I do feel a little bit of heat from the pan on the side of my hand, but the cooktop immediately adjacent to the pan is cool.

              And yes, flat helps. but I think it's less necessary with induction precisely because it is induction. With a radian hob, it's conduction that heats the pan, so it must be flat.

              1. re: DuffyH


                1) No
                2) Hell No!
                3) A tiny bit, but just from the heat from the pan. No radiating heat afterward. Quickly within a handful of minutes.
                4) None at as a whistle!

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Hi Chem,

                The problem is the general missunderstanding that not every technology with a glass top is the same. The issues 1-4 are real with conventional electric glass tops, but not issues with induction, but how do you convince someone of this if they don't see (comprehend) the difference. If you haven't researched induction technology, one glass top looks just like any other glass top. I had the same issue with Mrs mikie, she looked at induction just long enough to see it has a glass top just like the ones she's had bad experiences with. She wasn't going to research induction technology, she knew gas would work for her and that's how it went down.

                1. re: mikie

                  <but how do you convince someone of this if they don't see >

                  Tell them to go to a store where they can do a demonstration for them.

                  At least show them some youtube videos, may be that will at least interest them enough so they will go to a store.

                  If none of these are possible, then get them a $50 induction portable stove plate. :P

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    My approach with my offspring, different approach for Mrs mikie, is to humor ole dad and at least take a look at the possibility and what it can and can't do for you, then make a decision with all the facts in hand. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, the nuts don't fall far from the tree, so they tend to go along with mom who taught them how to cook and continues to move their cooking direction to some extent. Thus the $1500 chocolate tempering machine at our house.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      That's what I did, bought a Waring portable induction plate to try out before I was going to replace my old freestanding electric range with separate cooktop and oven.

                      Also bought an Induction Interface disk for the few times I use glass cookware.

                    2. re: mikie

                      You could add an portable induction burner to your kitchen toys, and play with it. They might be intrigued enough to learn more. I mean, you could boil water or make a killer stir fry on a portable.

                      1. re: sueatmo

                        I used a single-burner induction cooker for *all* my cooking for two years. I now have a gas stove as well, but still do most cooking on the induction cooker.

                        The *only* things I use my gas stove for are for the wok (round bottom - won't work on induction - and I have a wok burner) and my large pans because the single-burner induction cooker only has a useable area of about 6" in diameter for heating, so larger pans are cooler on the outside of the pan. I'm told that induction ranges don't have this problem.

                        I use that induction cooker for everything. Eggs, omelettes, curries, stir fries, pressure cooker... You name it, I've used it for that.

                  2. re: mikie

                    Mikie, I don't have an induction in my current home but I have out of state friends who have used them for years. They just remodeled at the end of last year and put in a high end German model (can't remember the name).

                    On # 1 & 2 - The response is super quick. For # 3 & 4 - It's basically only the heat coming from the food being cooked so the pan/pot will get a little warm but that's about it. His wife makes him put a paper towel down under the pan to catch splatters (literally sit the pan on top of the towel). It freaks out guests who have never seen an induction oven in use before and it makes clean up super easy. (for those who doubt this is possible you can see it in action at

                    For anything that splashes out further than the towel just a quick wipe is all that's needed. Because there's no heat coming from the top itself the splash/spill immediately begins to cool versus bake on as it would on a regular electric glass top.

                    Induction is definitely the best choice for homes with toddlers or preschoolers *AND* for parents who want to teach their younger children to cook without having to worry about them getting hurt on hot coils or open gas flames.

                    Hope this info helps.

              3. re: DuffyH

                How do you hard boil a couple of eggs in 2 cups of water? It takes a lot more than that to cover them. Eggs tend to float to a vertical position in water, which requires about 3" of water at least just to cover them. Even in a small diameter pan (6"), to get 3" of water depth would require nearly 6 cups. For an 8" diameter pan, you'd need almost 10½ cups.

                2 cups of water in a 6" diameter, straight-walled pan only has a depth of about 1". Adding 2 eggs will raise the depth some due to displacement, but not nearly enough to cover them.

                1. re: MaximRecoil


                  My pan 1 quart pan has a diameter of 5". 2 cups of water fills it, as it's size suggests, half full. I routinely cook 2 eggs in it.

                  I'm not going to argue that I use exactly 2 cups of water to cook those eggs, but I do fill it about half full, add the eggs, then add more water if needed.

                  It's a valid test of induction's speed, and that's what mikie was after.

                  1. re: MaximRecoil

                    Tonight I ran a full test, but with 4 eggs rather than the 2 stipulated. Needing some hard-boiled eggs for tonight's dinner salads I thought I'd do a real word test. I realize that 2 eggs would require more water.

                    This was in the same 1 qt pan the same mid-size burner (2500w). I pulled 4 cold eggs from the fridge, put them in the pan, and covered them completely with cold tap water. Then I set the burner to high. I did not cover the pan.

                    The water hit a rolling boil in 2 min, 10 secs. After I transferred the eggs to an ice bath, I poured the water into a cup, thinking it would be close to 3 cups. It was, to my surprise, exactly 2 cups.

                    With 2 eggs, I would have needed more water, but the timing would likely be close.

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      Hi, Duffy:

                      I think we're past the point of diminishing returns on these boil races. If the next generation of appliances can bring 4 eggs in 3 cups to a boil in 70 seconds, would it be twice as good?

                      As with your mise en place experience, the other steps in the dance can soak up any time shaved off of preheating, etc. For example, bringing your eggs to room temperature before boiling, getting out the baking soda, getting the icebath ready, that sort of thing. At some point it becomes like the jaunt that takes 2 hours to get to/through the airports and 20 minutes in the air--you might as well drive.

                      I can see some advantage with water-bath canning and boiling crustaceans, though. That's where my 135K Btu gas rig shines.


                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        But that is the OPs question. The only question.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          That was my example question, but my question was/is more theoretical, simply how much water can you boil in 90 seconds and is it an amount sufficient enough to actually perform some cooking task or is it just a marketing ploy. Sounds like you can get enough water to boil in around 90 seconds to boil a couple of eggs, not bad. Kaleo's point about the entire cooking journey, although relevent for certian, is outside the scope of my OP. But he does have a very valid point, so what if you can boil eggs in 2 seconds, is that really relevent when you consider all the other things necessary to prepare a meal.

                          For me personally this is all mute, have a very nice 2 year old gas range top, not trading. But it would be nice to boil water for pasta in less time, especially when I'm making food to go with/on top of it and I'd like them to be ready at the same time. I know how long it takes to cook pasta, I'm just not very good at how long it takes water to boil.

                          1. re: mikie

                            There are LOTS of threads on CH that will give you all sorts of info AND opinions.

                            There are induction "hot plates" that would probably be perfect for you. I used to always be bad at not starting large pots of pasta water soon enough. My induction has taken care of that.

                            1. re: mikie

                              Let's do this in metric units and then worry about converting. If you start with 500 grams of water (about 1.1 pounds or US pints) at freezing (0 centigrade or 32 fahrenheit) and zap it with 1 kilowatt of perfectly and instantly absorbed heat for 90 seconds what happens? Well in order to bring 500 grams of water to boiling (get it to 100 centigrade) you will need to supply 500 times 100 times 4.18 (Joule's constant) Joules. That's 209,000 Joules. A 1 kilowatt zap for 90 seconds will only supply 90,000 Joules. So you won't be able to boil 500 grams of ice cold water with a 1 kW source in 90 seconds. Now, it will only take 188,000 Joules to boil a pint(US) of ice cold water - still can't do it in 90 seconds. I can almost do it with my 1800 watt induction unit as that (with prefect instant transfer) would supply 162.000 joules in 90 seconds. So are we screwed? No! Because water in our kitchen does not start out ice cold - it starts out close to 15 Centigrade or 59 fahrenheit. So I need 15% less heat to bring it to boiling. That's 160,000 joules. So, with the 162,000 joules my 1800 watt unit supplies in 90 seconds I can bring a (US) pint of water from 15 centigrade to boiling.

                              1. re: kagemusha49

                                Dude's got the math degree, but my calculator tells me that 90,000 Joules x 2.5kw = 225,000 Joules, more than enough to do the job.

                                Of course, we don't get perfect transfer, but as you pointed out, we're not raising the temp by 100ºC, either.

                                But really, 2 cups (or even 500g) isn't much water. An electric range ought to come pretty close, and a gas range shouldn't be far behind. It's large pots of water that separates induction from the boiling poseurs.

                                1. re: DuffyH

                                  In my kitchen, 1.8 kW is about the max I can get from a 110 Volt wall socket without tripping the circuit. Sure 2.5 kW will do the job faster. I was just talking folks thru the calculation for an example figuring folks could then scale up or down appropriately.

                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                    <Of course, we don't get perfect transfer,>

                                    Even if you get perfect transfer (which induction is close to 80-90%), the problem is more of heat loss from the water, not from the pan. I believe this is why kagemusha49 was talking about heat zap -- an unrealistic, but very helpful simplification for eliminate the heat loss factor.

                                    Induction stovetop transfesr heat very quickly at high power. Even high end residential gas stoves can hardly compete.

                                    Back to mike's (original poster's) point. Induction cooktop will not have anywhere the same problem as an electric radiant stovetop. One has a slow heat transfer, while the other one is extremely quick.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      Not to mention evaporation. Oops I just did

                                      1. re: kagemusha49

                                        And right after saying you wouldn't. Talk about impulse control. ;)

                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        My original question was about true capabilities from a practical stand point vs marketing hype. In other words, I'm not questioning if you can get any water to boil in 90 seconds, but can you get enough water to boil in 90 seconds to actually be usefull. The answer appears to be yes.

                                        Secondary to this was, and it really wasn't a question, conventional electric glass tops have a lot of issues. It's already been well established that these don't pertain to induction glass tops for various reasons. However, if one does not do the research, they LOOK about the same when you walk past them in the appliance store.

                                        1. re: mikie


                                          There's an interesting side effect to the fast boil. I've had to change the way I time hard-boiled eggs. I used to follow the boil, remove from heat and cover for 10 min, then move to ice water method. That no longer works.

                                          The water boils so quickly the yolks don't have time to set in 10 minutes. I've increased the time to 15 minutes, which seems to work pretty well, but it does negate the time savings, in fact it adds time to the whole process.

                                          Streaming them is one way to reclaim that time, since it doesn't require the eggs go into cold water. Or I could pull my eggs from the fridge earlier in the day. The ones I used last night were ~37º.

                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                            That's interesting, and it reinforces Kaleo's point about it not really saving time overall, just based on the faster boil time.

                                            So, how does it work on 4 qts of water and pasta? Pasta doesn't go in until the water is boiling, so it really shouldn't effect the way it cooks, I wouldn't think.

                                            You've been so good about conducting all these experiments and getting burned and all, thank you is just not enough, I think you need a CH lab coat.

                                            1. re: mikie

                                              <it reinforces Kaleo's point about it not really saving time overall>

                                              Absolutely. Real World time saving seems to be very application specific. With most recipes developed on gas ranges, it's easy to think of any number of times induction could throw a monkey wrench into the works and give us undercooked food.

                                              Then there are foods like your pasta, where the difference in TTB (Time To Boil) is quite pronounced with that large volume of water, and induction gains a clear and pronounced advantage.

                                              I'm not certain, but I think perhaps induction heating may also give us faster recovery times with some cookware. Mom tells me, and I've noticed in my cooking too, that some foods seem to cook faster over induction. I can't think of any other reason this would happen.

                                              <I think you need a CH lab coat.>

                                              I'd wear it with pride, my friend. I'd wear it with pride. :)

                                            2. re: DuffyH

                                              In other words, your limitation has changed from "heat source energy transfer to cookware" to "hot water energy transfer to eggs". There is always a limitation/bottleneck somewhere.

                                              It is still a "good problem to have". One can always lower the heat setting for a slower boil, but at least now you have the options.

                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                I start my water lower and never take it all the way to high for HB eggs.

                                                As far as saving time, unless bringing a big pot of pasta water to a boil, I find it inconsequential. If it takes 90 or 180 seconds, is anyone actually in such a hurry that it matters?

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  <If it takes 90 or 180 seconds, is anyone actually in such a hurry that it matters?>

                                                  No, not all the time. However, the water boiling does illustrate one important point. The induction cooktop can transfer more energy per time to the cookware -- basically more powerful.

                                                  People often talk about it is useful to get a more powerful gas stove even if you don't get to use it all the time. Well, this is it. This induction stovetop basically is more powerful than many gas stoves.

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                    CK, you're preaching to the choir :) I'm three or four years into induction cooking and, as I've said here and personally, you could not offer me the most expensive gas cooktop and a thousand dollars to switch back. And that is NO exaggeration. As I've also said, we do house exchanges and I have occasion to cook on the real high-end gas ones. Can't come close to induction.

                                      3. re: mikie

                                        I boil water routinely for brewing tea. I haven't timed it, but I get boiling water fast. Sometimes its too fast, as I suddenly remember that a roiling boil is not good for brewing green tea.

                                        I use my stove top grill pan almost every morning when I make turkey bacon. It takes about a minute on high for my grill pan to "wake up." At which point I turn the heat down to proceed further with the bacon.

                                        When I do a saute, I don't turn on the pan until a minute or two before I want to start. The pan becomes hot very quickly.

                                        To me these are advantages. The other thing is the reverse. When you turn down the heat, the heat immediately diminishes.

                                        So a fast boil time is indicative of the fast response of induction. I don't think the fast boil has changed my actions as a cook, but the responsiveness has definitely changed my actions, and my results are almost good.

                                    2. re: kaleokahu


                                      This was absolutely NOT a "gee whiz look what my stove can!" do thing.

                                      This was a direct rebuttal to MaximRecoil, who questioned my initial results.


                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                        Hi, Duffy:

                                        I understand you weren't waving your pompoms.

                                        The point is the same. On my 1905 wood cookstove, if I know I'm going to be boiling water any day, I keep a pan on the cool side of the stove, much like rasputina keeps her Zoriushi hotpot. If I have a good hot fire going, shifting a pan (up to say a 5Q) to directly over the firebox will bring a roiling boil in just a few minutes.

                                        Real pioneers had the reservoir integral with the stove, so you could tap off 20G at a time for fast boils, canning or baths.

                                        Tomorrow I'll try this using your 4 eggs/3C water.


                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                          Hi, Duffy:

                                          Well, moving 3C of water in a copper pan from the side of the stove to directly over the firebox, it took about 30 seconds to boil, and about 45 to a roiling boil. The spot where I set the pan read 995F on my IR gun. It would be a little hotter/faster if the pan was set down inside the hole (cover omitted).

                                          Now I'll try the 4 eggs starting from ambient temp.


                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                            OK, 3C of tapwater in the same pan at ambient with 4 eggs out of the fridge: right at 3 minutes to the boil.

                                2. The original comment has been removed
                                  1. That is seriously impressive, Duffy. For comparison's sake, 6 cups, uncovered, boils in just under 5m on my 25k btu gas burner in a 6q saucepan.

                                    1. I can boil water on gas in 90 seconds, all I have to do is start with water from my Zojirushi hot water pot. It holds water at 208

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: rasputina

                                        Thanks, now I have something to research ;), I may want one of those.

                                      2. Thought this would be interesting so I tested it on my setup - AR Performer, 2C water at room temp, Sitram Catering saucier. Far as I know, that's my most conductive saucepot and it didn't seem fair to heat up the water in a skillet. So... 90 seconds, the water was at about 180*. It took a full 2 minutes, 20 seconds (140 seconds total) to come to a full boil. I'm honestly impressed it boiled that quickly, but it doesn't hold a candle to 90 seconds on induction, no pun intended :)