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Any defectors from induction?

I have to replace my ancient gas cooktop and I'm thinking of induction. I've heard a lot of great things, but also want to make sure I'm aware of any drawbacks, as it's a one-way decision, cost-wise. I've heard they "buzz" and they all have noisy fans, but I'm not sure if these are major or minor inconveniences. Has anyone regretted their decision? If so, why? If you like yours, are there any challenges that you have had to learn to live with? Many thanks!

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  1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/906436

    I think this is a wonderful link that I've forwarded to two other non-CHs who wound up going induction.

    I've three or four years into and would NEVER go back/down to anything else. As I may have posted in that thread, we do house exchanges and I've had occasions to cook on Viking and Wolf gas cooktops. For me (only) it was a big step down.

    1. I have a Meile 36" 5 zone cooktop we installed over a year ago now. I have zero regrets. It is not noisy. It does not buzz. It cleans up beautifully. I have cooked on gas but IMHO induction is superior in all circumstances except in a power outage!

      I did a ton of research before making this investment and I have no regrets. Meile have a long successful history w induction in Europe. There's a lot of great info right here on CH if you search "Induction".

      1. The fan noise may be more of an issue with inexpensive hot plate models. A small case requires more forced ventilation than a larger, more open layout.

        The buzzing is produced by certain pans, not the burner itself.

        1 Reply
        1. re: paulj

          Yes, I am using a Fagor single burner and the fan is noisy. I've not had any buzzing. I bought the single burner to get ahead on the learning curve in anticipating a move and installing induction in a new home.

          Despite the noisy fan I am very happy.

        2. I'm new to induction, 1 month. On my GE slide in range, the fan comes on at settings above 5 (of 10). It's not loud at all.

          A few of my pans buzz, but again, not at all loudly, and it seems they just need to sort of "settle in", as it were, then the buzzing stops. This is only noticeable at higher settings, as when I'm boiling water or popping corn and it's really quiet. If there's any noise coming from the tv in the adjacent room, it can't be heard at all.

          It's only been a month, as I said. Most of my cooking is done at levels 4-6 (medium) or a bare simmer (level 1.5-2.5). At these levels, there's generally no noise at all.

          I expected to like it about as much as I liked my gas cooktops and am quite honestly surprised to admit that I prefer it to gas. That shocked me, truly.

          3 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              Yes, you did indeed. You're such a smarty-pants, in the best sense of the word. :)

              1. re: DuffyH

                And I take it that way, DH :) A very close friend is going with induction based on a BIG CH thread I sent her. Fist bump :)

          1. There was a very long thread on this very topic at gardenweb:


            The gist of it is that almost everybody who gets induction is well satisfied. As you see from my posts in that thread, I have used induction off and on over three decades and planned to get an induction range when I needed to buy a new stove. However, when I unexpectedly had to shop for a stove, I wound up with a gas range. That choice was not because of any problems with induction. It was simply that, in comparing the stoves that were (a) actually available to me at that time I needed to buy; and (b) within my $2k budget, I found one particular gas stove that I liked a little better for my circumstances and prefefences than the induction ranges that were available to me at the time. A slight change in circumstances would have resulted in my making a different choice such as the Samsung model that (I think) c oliver owns.

            FWIW, I have a portable countertop inuduction burner that I use with some frequency. For example, if I want to toast just two or three raw tortillas in a cast iron skillet, it is far faster to put the skillet on the induction burner(30 seconds to come to toasting heat) than it is to heat the pan on a gas burner.

            As for buzzing and other noise issues, you can search gardenweb's appliances forum for that as well as there have been numbers of discussions on that subject. The issue of buzzing is hard to pin down to one specific thing. Generally speaking, (a) some people are much more sensitive to it that others (so attend a cooking demo or call up a high-end appliance store and see if they will let you run a test on a demo unit, and then you can find out how much it affects you, if at all; (b) some brands of appliance seem to have more frequent issues than others (Kitchenaid-Whilrpool-Ikea cooktops seeming to be the ones most often reported to have problems); and (c) it can be affected by cookware with some clad and disk bottom pans being more prone to noisiness than others. One thing though, most the portable countertop induction burners that I've used have been a great deal noisier than the burners on the induction ranges and cooktops that I used. My current portable unit, a Max Burton 6200 is far noisier than any range or cooktop I've ever worked with. I pretty much need to run the range hood when I'm using it. So, you if decide to try out induction with a portable unit, bear in mind that it will be a great deal noisier than a range or cooktop.

            Another possible complaint comes from folks who like to use tiny pans, If you absolutely must have your coffee made in an induction-capable 3.5" Bialetti "moka" pot, it is pretty hard to find an induction cooktop or range with burners that go that small (at least without using an induction disk or cast-iron pan to convert your induction burner into a radiant burner.) BTW, I have to do the same thing if when I've need to use a tiny pan on the 15K btu burners on my gas stove. If the tiny pan thing matters to you, there was a longish thread at Gardenweb from somebody who dearly loved saucepans with 4-inch diameter bases. FWIW, I believe the new freestanding Frigidiare/Electrolux/Kenmore induction ranges have a small back burner which is supposed to handle pans down to 3.5" in diameter.

            In response to your question about challenges in switching from gas, I never thought of induction being a challenge except in two respects for somebody who is used to cooking on gas. Those two points are pretty minor.

            The first challenge is in learning to judge heat without watching a flame. That was easy for me because I learned to cook on induction stoves. A friend who was trained and worked for years as a professional chef using gas burners had a bit of a learning curve.

            As with any kind of electric burner, you will need to watch the pan and figure out (and remember) how much is too much and how much is too little for what you want to do. Unlike what happens with other kinds of electric burners, the adjustments register so quickly with induction that it is pretty easy to figure this out.

            Actually, there can be an advantage in this. When you find that, say, a burner setting of 3 is perfect for, say, frying eggs, it is very easy to repeat that every time you do eggs.

            The other thing that can be a challenge is in timing of tasks. For example, with a gas stove, we get used to heating the pans while we do prep. We often crank a burner to high and then back off as the pan comes to heat. But induction brings a pan to full heat so quickly, you can burn things by turning away from them when you do that. Or wreck a non-stick pan's surface by overheating it. Much better and easier to just pick the eventual desired setting. Or, another example: when using a gas range, you may start the pasta water before prepping to make your sauce. Induction is so much faster in bringing large amounts of water to boil, that you fire up the pasta pot after your sauce starts cooking instead of starting it before your other prep.

            13 Replies
            1. re: JWVideo

              <Another possible complaint comes from folks who like to use tiny pans,>

              The only way to learn how small a pan can go on a given hob is to try it, sadly. On my GE, I have a pair of hobs that aren't supposed to work with any pan smaller than 5.75". A few days ago I heated a 4" canister lid with ease. I don't know how much smaller I can go, but I do know my smallest burner, designed for a min. 4.75" pan would not accept a 2" steel cup. To be fair, the cup barely held my rubber fridge magnet, so there's not much ferritic material in it. Last night I boiled water for pasta in my 6.25" pan on the large hob, which requires an 8" pan.

              Of course, for most of us, the only way to know which units will work with our cookware is to test it, which isn't always feasible.

              <The other thing that can be a challenge is in timing of tasks.>

              The biggest thing I've had to unlearn is starting a pan when I begin prep. I'm not there yet. Sometimes I stick a pan on the hob and turn it on, then remember I've got induction and turn it off until I need it.

              1. re: DuffyH

                Agree with both your points, DH. Especially the last one. I will sometimes start it at a SUPER low setting, say to get the butter melted for cooking eggs. Worse problems to deal with in the kitchen :)

                1. re: DuffyH

                  Yeah, me too duffy. It took a long time to really understand that I don't have to preheat a pan that long before cooking. And that I don't have to start it at medium.

                  My cooking has improved though, for sure.

                  1. re: DuffyH

                    " The only way to learn how small a pan can go on a given hob is to try it, . . . Last night I boiled water for pasta in my 6.25" pan on the large hob, which requires an 8" pan. "

                    I agree but, also, I think a rule of thumb is that induction burners will handle a pan that is as small as 70% of the diameter of the burner. It actually varies between burners and depends on how the sensors are set up, It really depends on the magnetic mass detected by the sensors. With a suitably small but physically magnetically massive measuring cup , you might even find it to be detected (and effective) on one burner but not another.

                    1. re: JWVideo

                      < I think a rule of thumb is that induction burners will handle a pan that is as small as 70% of the diameter of the burner.>

                      I didn't know that. That could be very helpful info for someone shopping for induction. Now that I'm typing this, I think I saw that Samsung says the FlexZone hobs will work at 60% coverage. But those are squares, not circles, so it's likely about the same as 70% on a circle.

                      <It really depends on the magnetic mass detected by the sensors. >

                      Now THAT I am learning. One pot that boils really fast on a medium hob is slower on the more powerful large hob, and my Mauviel M'Stone stewpot that perfectly fits my large hob takes a while to boil, about the same as it would on gas or my old electric.

                      I suppose It just doesn't have enough ferrous metal in the base to heat super fast. It responds well to changes, oddly, so I'm still really happy with it. Do you know why it would behave this way?

                      I'd try it on a smaller hob, but I'm well covered for pasta pots so it would only be overkill.

                      1. re: DuffyH

                        This sort of thing is what made me finally ditch my Cuisinart non-stick which is supposed to be induction compatible. I felt that I needed to heat it on a higher setting than is good for the non-stick finish on the interior of the pan. I decided that there was not enough ferrous metal making contact with the hob for high function.

                        I am now using cast iron for the jobs I used the non-stick for.

                        1. re: sueatmo

                          Hey Sue,

                          I just finished my first induction fried rice, cooked in my new Joyce Chen Stir Fry pan. It turned out perfect, but my pan warped, badly. It no longer sits flat, but spins and wobbles as slick as you please.

                          I probably should have gone with a proper wok, but was afraid it's base would be too small to trigger either of the front hobs. Now I know one will. I believe a higher wall-to-base ratio helps prevent warping. Like a saucepan v. a frypan.

                          Anyway, I used 8/10 for my setting, on the big 3.7kw hob. I think 8 is really, really hot. Oops. What setting do you use and how many kw is the hob?

                          Oh, well, it worked, and worked well. I'll do it again. I checked and the pan still heats just fine. I could make it stop spinning if I put it on a silicone mat, maybe.

                          1. re: DuffyH

                            Hi, Duffy:

                            Devilspawn would like to tell you that: (a) anything much past 6 will be too hot for all but boiling water; and b) dead-flat smoothtops aren't tolerant of any appreciable warp.

                            You can try shimming your wok with paper towels. And good luck with the smaller wall:base ratio with a thin steel pan.


                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              Hey Kaleo,

                              a) NOW I know that. Well, I think 7 would have been just about perfect.

                              b) At least with induction a pan doesn't have to make physical contact to be detected. I know the field weakens rapidly with distance, but carbon steel is so fine on induction that this pan can still get plenty hot. It's weight and handle make it really easy to pick up and shake, so I'm not too worried about it sitting flat. Still, it's desire to spin across the cooktop might eventually get to be a bother. When that happens I'll swap it out for a wok. Maybe a cast iron one.

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                Duffy, my fave CI skillet (family piece) spins a bit. I don't find it a particular problem.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  I've had a couple of aluminum spinners before, but nothing this light weight. Still, I think it'll be fine.

                                  I do admit to disappointment that it warped the first time I used it. That sucks. :(

                                2. re: DuffyH

                                  Hi, Duffy:

                                  Yes, the field will still allow cooking, even as the pan's handle sweeps around the cooktop like a roulette wheel. The other thing about a warped pan (other than your induction appliance warpING pans) is that your cooking fat will be uneven. You can even work around that, too, if you want to keep the handle in your hand the entire time.


                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                    <You can even work around that, too, if you want to keep the handle in your hand the entire time.>

                                    Funny you should mention that, as I do tend to be a handle-holder. Anytime I'm interacting with a pan, moving ingredients around, I'm always looking for a handle to hold.

                                    Still, your point has some validity, and as I said, time will tell whether it bothers me or not.

                  2. Switched to induction 2yrs ago and would not want to switch, but I would be happy with gas as well. Just happen to prefer induction

                    1. I like the _idea_ of induction...have done some cooking on such a stove and appreciated the ease of cleanup. But cooking on it is certainly no better than a good gas range (and for some things, it is markedly worse).

                      But mainly, as someone who is devoted to Asian (particularly Chinese) cooking, I'd never have an induction range in my home. It could _never_ produce satisfactory results as a gas stove for that style of cooking.

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: The Professor

                        Why do you think it could never do satisfactory Chinese. I have a flat bottom wok that works great. In addition to Asian, for what other use would it be "markedly worse." I'm not trying to be argumentative but would appreciate some specifics. Thanks.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          It can do 'satisfactory' Chinese...but I guess the bottom line is that it boils down to being a personal preference. Having had the opportunity to try both and compare, I simply like the results on gas better. And for me, the rounded bottom of a traditional wok is essential for the way I was taught to cook Chinese food.

                          So whether induction is better than gas is, in the end, simply a matter of personal preference.
                          Either one will do the job. Which one does it "better" is partially decided by the technique of the cook.

                        2. re: The Professor

                          I would never argue that food cooked on an induction range is better than food cooked on a gas range, but I'm also curious why you think some is worse. Response times are virtually the same and it has power levels equivalent to high residential BTU gas ranges. Additionally, cast iron and carbon steel heat up incredibly fast on induction, faster than on residential gas ranges, further aiding heat recovery. What's not to like?

                          1. re: The Professor

                            I am not not an Asian cook. However I get great stir fries on my induction. I am using a flat bottomed cast iron wok.

                            By all means keep your gas cooktop. An awful lot of us wanted gas, but ended up with electric. So ultimately we got an induction range or cooktop. However if you are ever in a situation where you can only get electric for your range, induction would be a great alternative. And it would probably be better than you imagine.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              I replaced my gas with induction!

                            2. re: The Professor

                              Simple...get an induction wok burner.

                              Hey, it's only money...

                              1. re: The Professor

                                You could also get an Electrolux E:motion Wok Support and use a round bottom wok.

                                I wonder if anyone has any real-world experience with this thing?

                                1. re: JayL

                                  I can't figure out how there's enough metal there to make the whole thing work? I know there must be, but still.

                                  It is a work of art. I'd hang it on the wall when not in use.

                                2. re: The Professor

                                  I don't know if you can read Chinese, but here's an article about professional Chinese chefs adopting induction and seem to like it.

                                  1. re: cutipie721

                                    Oh dear, how could i have completely missed posting the links??

                                    Quality of food seems to be the same, and the "breath of the wok" has nothing to do with the heat source, they said.

                                    Kitchen workers seem to have healthier lungs in induction environment because they're exposed to significantly less CO, NO, and NO2.

                                    1. re: cutipie721

                                      If I understand the Google translation correctly, the big difference when using induction is that you can 'toss' the food, but instead must stir. So videos of the process won't be so spectacular - no flying food and leaping flames. And fewer wrist injuries. They also mention fewer burns - though whether from the cooking oil or fuel oil isn't clear.

                                      These professional wok induction burners have a dished surface, matching the curvature of the wok.

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        I think it depends on the cooktop. I've got 30 seconds to return the pan to the hob before it shuts down. Plenty of time for tossing.

                                        But no leaping flames, sorry.

                                        On the plus side, all the food that flies out of my pans no longer tries to fuse itself to the hot glass. Instead it just sits there, cooling it's little heels, waiting to be picked up.

                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                          The first article said tossing is bad for wrists, and is a waste of fuel. Chef Mo said the “breath of wok” has nothing to do with the fuel source as long as the wok is hot enough.

                                          A restaurant group spent HK$1.5m (~US$200k) to convert from gas to electric, out of which HK$4m (US$513k) went to the cost of new stoves. Kitchen temperature cools from 40C/104F to 24C/75F so employees don’t have to constantly hydrate themselves. The initial investment of electric is slightly higher than that of gas. In return it saves energy costs by 30%, increases productivity, and reduced number of sick days due to injuries (to the wrists and caused by splashing hot oil). It took the chefs just one week to transition from tossing to stirring.

                                          Hong Kong Productivity Council provided guidelines and tips for the food industry to create “Cool Kitchen”, including the use of high efficiency stoves, layout, and air circulations.

                                          This is a video of such induction stove in action from a different restaurant.

                                          Here’s what I think - since “tossing” is pointless with induction (and chefs are adapting to “stirring” anyway), what’s the point of a wok being concave anymore? A flat induction stove with a flat pan works just as well AFAIC… you see where I’m getting at?

                                          1. re: cutipie721

                                            I see where you're going. I was referring to tossing in general, not just with a wok. I make my stir frys with a spatula in one hand the pan handle in the other. OTOH, when cooking a simple veggie sauté, my most common way to cook most veggies, I don't use anything but a pan.

                                            I like to keep my options open, and my range allows me to do that.

                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                              Well, now I feel like a backwoods dodo. I've never tossed in a wok! I've always stirred.

                                            2. re: cutipie721

                                              ATK claims that a large diameter skillet is better for the home cook than a wok, using that same sort of reasoning. But their adaptations of 'ethnic' cooking methods are frequently criticized by people versed in the traditions (and resistant to change?).

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                For years I made perfectly decent stir fry in a nonstick frypan ala CI. Even though fried rice is all I've made so far in my stir fry pan (not even a "true" wok) it is by far the best fried rice I've ever made.

                                                Not saying a lot, it's just fried rice, for pity's sake. but still, it was markedly better than the same dish made just 2 months ago using a !2" nonstick frypan on a radiant hob.

                                                It was easier, too. I used a combo of toss and stir, as is my preference.

                                              2. re: cutipie721

                                                I made a fairly decent stir fry in my 6 qt saute pan on the induction stove this weekend.

                                    2. WOW, everybody! Thanks for so much useful info and all the links - you're the best and I am so appreciative!

                                      1. regarding Wok and other high heat cookery, my plan is to put a 60k BTU Firemagic burner outside, that way I don't have to worry about extreme ventilation and can put a smaller, more stylish hood indoors with an induction cooktop, probably the 36" Miele.
                                        Of course, it's warm most of the year here, so that may not work for everyone.

                                        1. We're petsitting in NYC for some friends and I'm roasting a couple of chicken breasts and will serve some linguine with vegetables on it. We live at 6400' elevation and cook with induction. Here we are at sea level and cooking with gas. I thought I'd die of old age before the damn pot came to a boil :)

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            It all depends on how old you are, right? ;)

                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                              Yep :) I'm turning 67 in a few months so I'm betting it will boil by then!

                                          2. I have a single-burner induction cooker and four gas burners. I use the induction cooker whenever possible, but the wok I have isn't compatible with it, so use gas for that.

                                            As well, the induction burner I have only heats up my pots or pans in the center about 6" in diameter, so larger pots and pans don't heat up anywhere near as well outside of that 6", so for those purposes, I still use gas as well. On the other hand, I can easily use a 3" pot (yes, I do have pots that small) without needing an induction disk or that sort of thing. I don't know how induction ranges compare. It's something to find out about if you haven't already. And it's my *only* complaint about induction, which I've been using constantly for two years.

                                            If the induction cooker worked for larger pots and pans, I would never use gas again.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: LMAshton

                                              The induction "hot plates" have that issue. The cooktops don't. I use huge pots on mine.

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Good to know. Thanks!

                                                Now I can only hope that induction cooktops become available here...

                                            2. They "buzz" if you put them on turbo, but also boil a pot of water in about 45 seconds. The fans are quiet on mine, no louder than the hood above. I am very happy I switched.

                                              1. I really like the fact that I can put something in between the pan and cooktop to avoid getting it dirty, not to mention how easy it is to keep it clean. This morning I was making oatmeal and had a boil over (because I was too slow and the cooktop was too fast!).

                                                I was able to immediately wipe it down with kitchen towel and just leave it there on the stove, underneath the pot (because I was afraid that the sticky oatmeal might somehow fuse the pot and cooktop together), and let it continue to cook.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: cutipie721

                                                  We do that now whenever we pan fry, it really makes cleanup easy. I've also found it's a plus when popping corn, for cleanup, and to prevent scratches from shaking the pan.

                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                    Duffy makes a good point, and one that works for any rough surfaced pan on induction as long as you are not doing a high-heat cooking that takes the pan over 450F. I've found the paper trick especially handy when making surgary syrups.

                                                    For high heat searing, I once tried cutting a burner sized hole out the the paper so the pan wouldn't burn it. Clean up was then just a matter of tossing the newspaper sheet into the trash -- and then still having to wiping the walls, floor and rangehood. For me, it seemed easier to just spritz and wipe the induction top along with everything else.

                                                  2. re: cutipie721

                                                    I've never actually done that - the surface on my burner cleans up so ridiculously easy already as it is.

                                                    1. re: LMAshton

                                                      I find ways to be lazy whenever I can. 0:-)

                                                  3. I'm still on gas but pondering a switch.

                                                    As far as I can see the two differences between induction and gas are speed of heating and the possibility of a very low simmer....and greater safety when deep frying.

                                                    Have I missed something?

                                                    15 Replies
                                                    1. re: sal_acid

                                                      Hi, Sal:

                                                      A good gas hob can temper chocolate. Wolf has burners that go as low as 325 btu.

                                                      The other two are real, but not significant IMO.

                                                      The truth is that the biggest advantages of induction over gas are convenience- and aesthetic-related.


                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                        In ranges, I like the look of big honking gas units. For cooktops, smooth glass is nice.

                                                        What I don't like about big industrial looking gas ranges is the cleanup. That sucks.

                                                        But yes, I think you might be right. Although I'm rapidly becoming convinced the in warmer climes there's just no comparison. My kitchen is much cooler than it used to be.

                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                          Hi, Duffy:

                                                          Yes, definitely, if added heat in the kitchen is a big issue for anyone, induction has an advantage.

                                                          I think reasonable minds can differ on induction when it comes to applications where gas is not possible or economical. I'm still of the opinion that conventional electric holds an edge in terms of evenness, but the atrocious downward responsiveness (especially of the glasstop electrics) is something that many people hate.


                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                            HI K. I used a standard electric stove for three months in 2012. I hadn't cooked on a coil range since mid 1990s. I had been using a glass cooktop since 2000. I honestly could not tell any difference in the cooking. I was surprised. I cooked exactly as I had before. (I don't remember too much about my previous electric experience.)

                                                            The most even hobs I ever used were cast iron burners. I used them for several years, and actually liked them. They heated up sloooowly but held their heat very well.

                                                            You can't get them anymore though. My kitchen remodeler had a fit about them and insisted I buy glass, even though I initially wanted to retain them in my kitchen.

                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                              I had a Jenn-Air cartridge setup with a pair of CI hobs. The other was a grill, totally useless b/c the cleanup was a bitch. And it was that between-the-hobs downdraft, with no fan to speak of, so no way was I running that grill.

                                                              I did like the way the CI burners cooked, but you're right, they took forever to warm up.

                                                          2. re: DuffyH

                                                            I live in a tropical country. The heat difference is significant. Induction wins hands down for that.

                                                          3. re: kaleokahu

                                                            With all due respect, a big advantage is availability. If you don't have gas, then induction is a real good alternative which happens to have its own advantages and strengths.

                                                            If I had had a gas line to my cooktop, I'd have gotten gas. The cost of having a gas line run + buying the cook top would be roughly the same as buying induction. We opted to go the easier route. Of course, there is expense in buying new pans!

                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                              As I've written a number of times, I replaced gas with induction. And would never go back.

                                                          4. re: sal_acid


                                                            Another thing that I've mentioned in passing is cooking times. Mom first mentioned to me that her favorite Spanish rice (about the only thing she still cooks) takes less time on the induction top than on either my old radiant or my brother's gas cooktop. Since then I've noticed reduced cooking time on a few things, too.

                                                            I'm not sure what is responsible, but it is happening. I don't think it's worth investigating, I'm happy knowing that it will help keep my kitchen cooler, something else induction seems to be doing.

                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                              Faster heating is the only thing that I can think of that would produce shorter cooking times, especially for things that cook at boiling water temperature.

                                                              One Pressure Cooker site claims you many need to increase the pressure time a bit to account for the shorter 'coming-up-to-pressure' time.

                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                Just to clarify further, when talking "speed," if we are talking about the speed in getting the pan to a particular heat level, then any large electric burner will generally do that faster than almost any residential range's gas burner. If we are talking about speed of adjustment, then pans on induction and gas burners will adjust up or down much more rapidly than coil or radiant electric burners.

                                                                On Duffy's mom's Spanish rice recipe, I suspect it is cooking faster on Duffy's new induction range not because induction is inherently faster but because the induction burners are more efficient at putting heat into the pan that the burners on radiant ranges (which she previously used) and more efficient than whatever gas range it is that her brother has.

                                                                Of course, as paulj says, that starts with simply spending noticeably less time in getting the pan to heat at the start, which is an inherent advanatge to induction. I can think of four additional aspects that could be contributing to the recipe cooking faster.

                                                                (a) Induction is so much more efficient at heating that the pan may be running a bit hotter than formerly.

                                                                (b) In the same vein, having a new stove, you might think you are using the same heat level that was used on your old radiant range but the equivalent setting on your new stove actually may be running the pot a bit hotter, which thereby speeds up cooking.

                                                                (c) The new induction burner is very likely heating that rice pan more uniformly that your old radiant range did or your brother's gas stove does. (Some models of gas ranges do a better job of this than others, and we don't know what range her brother is using, so this can be a little hard to pin down.

                                                                (d) Did you get some new pans when you bought the induction range? Some pans do a better job of spreading heat than others. More uniform heating means more uniform cooking and that can mean your dish gets done a little sooner than it used to. (Again, I don't know that Duffy has better pans than her brother, but it could be a factor).

                                                                1. re: JWVideo

                                                                  Hi, JWV: "(c) The new induction burner is very likely heating that rice pan more uniformly that your old radiant range did or your brother's gas stove does."

                                                                  Doubtful. But results with individual appliances may differ.

                                                                  Your other points are good.


                                                                  1. re: JWVideo


                                                                    You've given some good options there and now you're making me think about exactly what is going on with Mom's rice. We can rule out D to start. Although the pan is new, it's the Mauviel M'Stone sauté and is considerably slower than my other pans, based on boiling water. It's induction speed seems comparable to what I'd expect from gas or electric.

                                                                    I also think C is a non-starter, but can't prove it, because the radiant hob heated a huge area of pan, the entire size of the hob in fact. It all glowed bright red. But that doesn't mean the pan isn't better at spreading heat, which gives the same result.

                                                                    The rice used to be cooked in a 12" Tramontina aluminum nonstick frypan. The Mauviel sauté is HAA, nonstick, about 9" diameter. Both get covered.

                                                                    That leaves A and B which are sort of functionally the same thing, it seems. I'd be inclined to go with that, but Mom's rice is at the same low simmer it's always been. I do agree that the settings are vastly different. 7 used to be about 70%, now it's more like 80%. That doesn't sound like much to me, but it sure makes a difference when cooking.

                                                                    We might simply be seeing a different aspect of the faster heating capability, in that she first sautés the rice, then adds liquids and brings it to a boil before turning it down to simmer. This gives the pan two chances to show off it's speed. But that brings us back to the fact that the pan is one of my slower ones, but it does respond quickly.

                                                                    Maybe it's magic?

                                                                  2. re: paulj

                                                                    I cooked beans today in a PC, and I noted what I have noted before. Shorter cooking times. I can cook presoaked beans in the PC in about 15 minutes. Today I used 12 minutes (after bringing the PC to pressure) but simmered off some of the liquid with the lid off later. I did let the cooker come down naturally though.

                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                      Yes, I do that. I add an extra minute or two to the cooking times when I use my pressure cooker on my induction stove.

                                                                2. Does a single induction burner need a special circuit? My all-electric house has a typical 200amp panel. The available kitchen outlets are 120-volt. I have often considered getting an induction burner but it's been unclear, when I read the Amazon info, if that would be safe. Don't want to risk starting a fire inside my walls!

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                    The one I have does not, nor do any of the ones available here require anything special, but I'm also in Asia, where appliances and outlets are 220 volts.

                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                      If you have proper wiring and circuit breakers, at worst you'll trip the breaker, not overheat the wiring

                                                                      The highest power rating that I've seen for 120v induction hot plates is 1800w. So at max power it would draw 15w. I have mine on the same 20amp circuit as a microwave (800w) and toaster oven. Since I rarely use the induction burner above half power, I can use any 2 of 3 without tripping the breaker.

                                                                      Units designed for restaurant use might use 220v and draw more power.

                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                        Does a single induction burner need a special circuit and will they be unsafe if you do not do so?

                                                                        To be precise, it depends on what kind of single burner induction unit you are running. If you are asking about the kind of single burner cooktops that are pemanently installed into your countertop or the 2500-3500 watt commercial countertop units made by the likes of Cooktek, Garland and Vollrath, then all of these will require their own 208/220/240 circuits and outlets, and it is physically impossible to insert a 220 plug into a standard outlet.

                                                                        But, if you are asking about 120v portable countertop induction units, then Paulj is correct that you will be safe with them.

                                                                        The formula for matching appliance watts to circuit amperage capacity is watts divided by volts = Amps.

                                                                        Numbers of tho portable units (Fagor's come to mind) max out around 1300 watts. So, 1300w divided by 120v = 10.8 amps, which is well within the capacity of a standard kitchen wiring with 15A outlets and circuit breakers. Other induction units -- say the popular Max Burton 6200 or Cooktek's commercial MC1800 unit --- draw 1800 watts when used on full power and dividing 1800w by 120v = 15 amps.

                                                                        Note that 15 amp is not the maximum circuit capacity but, instead, is the maximum appliance draw you should connect. (The outlets and circuit breakers actually have built-in headroom -- the rating means that you can use any appliance that draws 15A or less).

                                                                        If your kitchen has 20 amp circuits and outlets -- as do my kitchen and paulj's --- there is ample headroom for running something else with the induction unit, provided the other thing does not pull a lot of power. (You can tell if you have 20-amp outlet because the left-hand plug slots are "T" shaped).

                                                                        If you have standard 15A outlets (as many kitchens do), you are still fine with an 1800watt induction unit but there isn't enough headroom to run something else when you run the induction unit at full power. Thus, you want to avoid plugging the countertop induction unit into the same circuit that is used by your refrigerator. YOu avoid this not because of risk of fire but becuase of the inconvenience of having to re-set the breaker when the overload trips it. as paulj says. The whole point of having the breaker trip is that it avoids the kind of overheating of the wiring that that "risks starting a fire in my walls" which was your concern.

                                                                        Now, bear in mind 120v portable induction units will give you the responsiveness of induction but won't give you the much-vaunted high-speed boiling. All the talk about fast-time-to-boil-big-pots-of-water -- comes from using the larger burners on cooktops or ranges where burners that go to 3700wats or more. To get that kind of power, you need a 220/240v circuit.

                                                                        There certainly are some 220-240v portable induction burners rated for 2500 and 3500 watts and they most certainly will give you speedy high power boiling or allow you to quickly melt lead in a cast-iron pan if you are so inclined. These 220v units are mainly commercial products simple because: (a) they are comparatively expensive and (b) most people do not have extra, unused 220 outlets in their kitchens.

                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                          Hi, greygarious:

                                                                          You should be fine. If you live in an older house that may not have more than one kitchen circuit, you may want to watch running other 1500-1800W appliances (e.g., MW, hairdryer, teakettle, toaster, etc.) at the same time, or you'll trip a breaker or blow a fuse.


                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                            Thank you. The house is all-electric, built in 1970. The entire service panel was replaced last year. There are three outlets in the kitchen, including the one into which the fridge is plugged. Out of an abundance of caution, because I am not certain if they are on the same curcuit or not, I never run another small appliance when the microwave is in use. If I ever get a portable induction burner, I'll apply the same rule to that.