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Apr 26, 2014 06:12 PM

Induction. Can portables replace tradition 30" cooktop?

We're getting ready to remodel our kitchen. Space is a little tight. I've been looking at 30 inch induction cooktops. Then I wondered, could I just get 3 or 4 portable induction cooktops, keep them in under the counter storage, and only pull out the ones I need for any given meal? Then I could replace the tradition cooktop space for more counter space.

Is this a crazy idea or does it have a chance?

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  1. I use a portable induction burner to replace half of a 30" range. The range is old, and the plastic knobs are falling apart. I've removed 2 of the coil burners, and placed a large plastic cutting board over the holes, and the induction unit sits on top of that.

    The combination works fine for me (cooking for 2). I'm inclined to the keep the combination even after I replace the range (I don't have enough counter space to place the induction burner else where).

    The induction burner gets most of the action, since it is fast and controllable. A remaining large coil burner gets used for pancakes and tortillas (things that need steady heat). A smaller coil is fine for slow simmer. Sometimes I'll start a dish on the induction burner, and transfer it to a coil for simmering, freeing up the induction for the next dish.

    For long term use I'd suggest getting a induction burner that is designed for commercial use. The case will be deeper, giving better cooling for the electronics. Controls should also be sturdier.

    3 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      Hi, PaulJ, what portable induction burner do you have? I 'm in the market.

      1. re: Pwmfan

        I have the lowest cost Max Burton (Toolup). I've written about for a number of years on this board. The only problem so far is that the surface plastic bubble on a couple of the heavily used control buttons is cracked - but the buttons still work.

        A search on that model should turn up a number of threads.

    2. I vote no! I've been cooking on an induction cooktop for over four years and love it. I own a Burton induction cooktop and it's fair but not great. Others have the Fagor and it sounds better. But I find my minimal dinner uses at least two burners. Once you put those on the counter you've lost any extra counter space basically. Also a big point is that when you're not using your induction cooktop it basically IS extra counter space. You can put things all over it. This is just off the top of my head, knee jerk, reaction so will be interested in others opinions.

      1. Hi, blackwing:

        Yes, you could do it, but visualize yourself with 3 or four cords, 3 or 4x the draw on your kitchen's 110V circuits, and 3 or 4 little islands floating around on your countertop.

        I would suggest that you consider, as Paul has suggested, a commercial 220V induction hotplate. I believe there are several models out there which are 2-hob appliances. The cost of these commercial units hovers around $400-$600/hob, so you're not saving a lot of money, but you still could stow them if you wanted.

        There may even be some 2-hob home induction cooktops available. One of those, plus a stowable 110V hotplate would give you both convenience and versatility in a small space.


        5 Replies
        1. re: kaleokahu

          Got to agree with Kaleo. Your plug-ins are 110V whereas your range is 220V. Using multiple plug-ins you will probably overload the 110V circuits in your kitchen.

          1. re: kagemusha49

            Though an electrician could easily change the 220v (50amp) to 110 (4 25 amp circuits?).

            I have a microwave, toaster oven, and induction on one 25amp circuit. I can use any 2 at a time. While the induction is 1800w, that's max. I usually use half power or less (e.g. 300). Microwave is an old 800w one.

            1. re: paulj

              Easaily, maybe. Cheaply, probably not, unless it's a personnal friend/family.

              You are looking at changing wiring, breakers. And you would/should probably have to have a dedicated circuit for each outlet, which will quickly escalate the costs.

              1. re: paulj

                Only a bad electrician could do that. If the 220V wiring is designed to take a max of 50 amps, it will burn out when you shove 100amps thru it at 110V.

                1. re: kagemusha49

                  I was thinking of the simple wattage calculation. Actually the 220 feed is three wires (or 4); so it's not going to be as simple as that.

          2. The thing about induction is, if the burners are off, it's basically counter space anyhow. The area around the other burners won't get as hot as with other fuel ranges because the heat is going directly into the cookware. And they're flat, so you'd be able to use the non-cooking space to hold bowls of prepped foods, or sauces or whatever you're cooking with. And a cutting board would be safe, there, too.

            2 Replies
            1. Morning blackwing94 -

              You have a great idea.

              It is already being done in some quarters. Take a look at this English video link for example:


              The Chef is Kenneth Hom, born in Arizona, USA, who championed the Wok and Wok-style cooking successfully in the UK for 30 years. Today a respected and well thought of man of the world, Mr. Ken Hom, has earned for his efforts a recently awarded O.B.E.

              Note the kitchen inside his home in France. All the beautiful copperware hanging in the world ( Perhaps you are you watching Kaleo ? ) in a beautiful French kitchen, complete with a conventional oven a stove.

              Yet there is a single induction cooktop, under his wok. Later that induction cooktop and wok goes outside in his garden, as his video continues.

              Initially I watched this video for his tips on a healthier method of wok cooking. Then I thought " Is his induction cooktop following his conventional oven and range, or is it the reverse ? " I think it is Form following Function.

              So it can be either, anyway you want. Do what works best for you.