Author Topic: Induction Range?  (Read 2711 times)

YoungGranny

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Induction Range?
« on: December 01, 2017, 07:00:50 AM »
Shopping for appliances is the most frustrating thing in the entire world. My husband and I are heavy home-cookers (as I'm sure most of you are) so we would like something fairly heavy-duty that will last along time. We started looking at induction ranges because they seem to have even better temperature control than gas and our in-laws have an awesome set of cast iron pans that they would give us since they have a glass-top. The hard part has been finding an induction range in a decent price range that doesn't have crap reviews (burners stopped working after a few uses, some burners are mis-sized and reject pans, the oven doesn't bake evenly, etc.). It seems like most appliance companies have merged over time and are churning out expensive junk. Sorry for the rant, it's been a tough few weeks of research.

Anyways, does anyone have any experience with an induction range that they could share? We're currently looking at the http://www.bosch-home.com/us/productslist/HIIP054U which seems to have a balance of not being as ridiculously expensive as the Wolf/Miele brands while having more stable reviews than LG/GE/Samsung but any personal experience would be so appreciated!

KCM5

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 07:19:21 AM »
I have a cheap induction burner that I use on my countertop to supplement my ancient 3 burner gas stove (that thing is made by Chambers, is practically indestructible, and was cheaper than a new cheap stove).

I like the induction in that it heats quickly, but it definitely is not easier to control the temp than gas - the burner I have seems to cycle on and off rather than having a modulating temperature. So its more like the illusion of control but not actually control. That's probably because its cheap, though. I'd assume a more expensive one would actually heat to the temp it says it is.

Anyway, the point I was going to make is to consider a separate stovetop from oven - then you can get the fancy (expensive) induction burners and a cheaper, reliable electric oven.

topshot

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2017, 08:31:28 AM »
TL;DR - get a gas range and a hob if you love to cook and want great temp control.

I, too, have a hob because the cooktops were over $2K when I redid our kitchen in 2010. I don't believe there was even a range available in the US then.

I also really like it for the efficiency (no wasted heat!), but it depends on what you mean by control. Maybe the newer cooktops/ranges have "infinite" control, but my hob has 10 power levels. At 1 or 2, it will cycle on/off as KCM5's does. 3-10 it will stay on at whatever current it's designed for. When boiling water, which I do a lot, if I turn it down below 3, it will only roll while the unit is in the on portion of the cycle. Mine also has 10 temperature settings (140-?), but I just assumed it was identical to the power levels so have never used them, but I suppose it could have a sensor to change the duty cycle to maintain that temp (but it's in like 30 degree steps or so). When you change the setting it is pretty much immediate so in that regard you have as much control as gas.

We are not big cooks and we wanted a solid cooktop (for easy cleaning and looks) so our range is electric. I rarely use the cooktop though. 99% is on the hob. So I'd recommend you get a gas range and a hob.

boarder42

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2017, 08:43:38 AM »
PTF i will go down this path in a few years when our kitchen remodel happens.  Top chefs in the world go round and round between induction and gas.  I plan to get induction in some form  be it multiple separate burners in the counter or a range - ideally we'll end up with a range.

NorthernBlitz

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2017, 09:25:33 AM »
We bought a cheap induction element for a trip to Hawaii so that we could cook in our hotel room.

It worked well, but it was hard to throttle temperature than our gas stove (it also seemed to provide a lot of heat even at the lowest setting). But, like the post above this was a $25 element...a real stove top would likely be better.

My MIL has an induction cook top. She likes it. When she was at our place over thanksgiving she noted how slowly things came up to temperature using gas...I think this was when she was boiling water.

I think that if you're going to be cooking with cast iron, it probably won't matter how quickly you can change the heat flux into the pan. Cast iron has a lot of thermal inertia. It takes a long time to get up to temperature. Then, when it reaches steady state it takes a long time to move off that temperature. In that case, I don't think I'd pay more for induction if the idea is that you're going to be able to quickly change the temperature of a pan.

Aside: I agree with your comment about appliance companies merging and being junk. We had a Maytag dishwasher that died because the printed circuits failed 40 days after the warranty was up. I bought a replacement part and installed it myself (avoiding the $100 service call there were happy to send my way). That failed in another year or so. So, I was going to buy something not made by the same company. But, the control panel and printed circuit was made by Whirlpool who made the same part for almost every dishwasher on the market. We went with a Bosch that was on sale (it was the second cheapest one we could find made by that manufacturer because we wanted the 3rd rack for silverware)...wish I would have done that first and spent a bit more on the initial purchase instead of buying for price. We had a similar experience with immersion blenders with multiple units failing after ~ 1 year of work.

afuera

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 09:32:53 AM »
IIRC, BrackenJoy purchased an induction range ~1 year ago, maybe a little more.  Maybe send her a PM and ask for details, brand, and if she's noticed any quirks since she's had it.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2017, 02:15:01 PM »
I bought an induction range, a Kenmore Elite, a year ago and it's fantastic. Boils water incredibly fast, no smell like with gas, no marring of the bottoms of the pots. But, it has the immediate response of gas.

dhc

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2017, 05:03:38 PM »
I have an induction range (cheapest I could find that wasn't Kenmore since I wasn't sure Sears would last long enough to service it). The range is fantastic. Super responsive, boils water ridiculously fast, and since it doesn't get hot, really easy to clean. The oven is only so-so.


Induction ranges are flap top glass, though, so if your in-laws are getting rid of the cast iron for fear of it scratching or something, induction will be just as susceptible to that. If should work well as long as it's flat-bottomed; just be sure you don't care about the scratching.


I think if it didn't require putting a gas line in, I'd still go with gas given the choice - it's more versatile in terms of pots and pans, and a few things (warming tortillas or the like over the flame, or flambeing) are just impossible on induction. If it's between induction and anything else electric, induction wins hands down. And I'd take induction over a low-end, underpowered gas range any day.

APowers

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2017, 08:01:18 PM »
While I haven't cooked on an induction stove, I've seen them in use. I think they're cool, EXCEPT the fact that they make a horrid high-pitched noise (like the noise that a CRT television makes, only more intense). Maybe most people can't hear it, but I can, and it would be painful to have to put up with on a daily basis.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2017, 05:35:59 AM »
Mine definitely makes a sound, but it isn't very loud. I imagine that varies by model.

Dicey

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2017, 07:02:21 AM »
We had a similar experience with immersion blenders with multiple units failing after ~ 1 year of work.
Sorry for the slight hijack, but what kind of immersion blender did you ultimately buy? I've killed several and am looking for my next victim. Cost within reason is less important than performance and durability.

geekette

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2017, 08:29:29 AM »
Mine definitely makes a sound, but it isn't very loud. I imagine that varies by model.
Your age is another variable, if the sound is high.  Interesting podcast here.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2017, 03:38:42 PM »
We are going with induction in our remodel that is about to get underway.

The big issue for us was a gas stove requires much more ventilation (100 CFM per 10,000 BTU). Which for a good stove can get to a high CFM level; for us that risked back drafting our boiler, wood stove or fireplace. Code would have required makeup air (or an analysis to show sufficient air leaking to prevent backdrafting) and with our cold temperatures that makeup inlet would have needed to be pre-warmed, but even if air infiltration was enough the added heating load would have to be handled by the boiler (in a warmer climate additional cooling costs would be incurred).

So we selected an induction cooktop for the kitchen, but there is always the grill with propane burner outside for cooking outside during the warmer months.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2017, 04:16:45 AM »
Mine definitely makes a sound, but it isn't very loud. I imagine that varies by model.
Your age is another variable, if the sound is high.  Interesting podcast here.

I know, but I'm 28 and I can hear that jewelry store noise.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2017, 09:43:18 AM »
Mine definitely makes a sound, but it isn't very loud. I imagine that varies by model.

It varies by two things, brand and cookware.

We bought a cheap single burner induction plug-in (not sure of the brand) a while back and it makes a noise, barely noticeable on cast iron, but sounds like you are inside a kill bee hive with some of our older cookware (cheap multi-ply SS with an AL core).

Whereas we demoed a Miele cooktop and the store had basic single ply SS pans and I didn't hear a thing.

A quality unit coupled with the proper pans should make no more noise than a gas flame, easily quiet enough to be drowned out by normal kitchen operations; now if you were sitting in a quiet house at 2 AM trying to secretly boil some water you might notice it.

While I have never experienced the jewlery store noise . . . I can almost every laptop power supply or LED light buzz, most likely the AC->DC rectification.

APowers

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2017, 06:47:43 PM »
Mine definitely makes a sound, but it isn't very loud. I imagine that varies by model.

It varies by two things, brand and cookware.

We bought a cheap single burner induction plug-in (not sure of the brand) a while back and it makes a noise, barely noticeable on cast iron, but sounds like you are inside a kill bee hive with some of our older cookware (cheap multi-ply SS with an AL core).

Whereas we demoed a Miele cooktop and the store had basic single ply SS pans and I didn't hear a thing.

A quality unit coupled with the proper pans should make no more noise than a gas flame, easily quiet enough to be drowned out by normal kitchen operations; now if you were sitting in a quiet house at 2 AM trying to secretly boil some water you might notice it.

While I have never experienced the jewlery store noise . . . I can almost every laptop power supply or LED light buzz, most likely the AC->DC rectification.

I haven't been around one in a while, so the tech may have improved lately. I just remember walking past the demonstration booth at the home improvement show (very loud background noise level) and I could still hear the high pitched sound. It likely isn't any louder than a gas burner...but it sure is far and away a more irritating pitch/timbre.

katscratch

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2017, 06:06:38 AM »
We had a similar experience with immersion blenders with multiple units failing after ~ 1 year of work.
Sorry for the slight hijack, but what kind of immersion blender did you ultimately buy? I've killed several and am looking for my next victim. Cost within reason is less important than performance and durability.

Dicey I bought a Cuisinart three years ago and have used it 5-6 times per week with no trouble. I bought mine new but have noticed since that there are always higher end immersion blenders new in the box at my local thrift stores. Mine's an older version of the 2-speed:

https://www.cuisinart.com/products/hand_blenders/

YoungGranny

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2017, 06:53:44 AM »
Thanks everyone for your advice! After lots of research and chatting with some fine mustachians we're going to go with an induction. I'll be sure to report back after we get some mileage on it.

NorthernBlitz

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2017, 09:11:06 AM »
We had a similar experience with immersion blenders with multiple units failing after ~ 1 year of work.
Sorry for the slight hijack, but what kind of immersion blender did you ultimately buy? I've killed several and am looking for my next victim. Cost within reason is less important than performance and durability.

After reading many online reviews, we went with a "Bamix Classic Immersion Blender". It has an all steel drive train and is one piece (i.e. you can't take it apart to put it in the dishwasher). It was always the coupling in the detachable part that failed on our previous blenders. It was on clearance at William Sonoma for $60 (they have the same one on Amazon for $100).

lilvixen

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Re: Induction Range?
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2017, 04:47:42 PM »
We just completed our kitchen renovation yesterday, and we replaced the old electric stove with an LG induction range from Costco when it was on sale in Oct. Costco doubles the manufacturer warranty, and the Costco Citi card doubles that, for a total of a 4-year warranty. We used it for two weeks before the renovation started and finally got to use it again last night.

During the renovation, we used a portable induction burner, and it cycled, as mentioned, and couldn't hold a steady temperature. The stove is much, much better, and I can leave a covered pan on simmer, and it simmers perfectly.

The portable burner squeals/shrieks/hums audibly, but the stove doesn't. Though, the stove has a vent fan that runs when the burners are on, so maybe that masks some of the sound? I don't know.

The bummer about LG is the access to parts. We have two companies in town that service LG, so with the extra warranty years, I'm willing to risk it. We have other LG appliances in our house that are 10 years old that - knock on wood - haven't needed any service calls, so I'm hoping our luck continues.

I agree that the quality of the pots makes a difference on the evenness of cooking. Our wedding present to ourselves - in anticipation of the kitchen renovation - was a set of AllClad induction-compatible pots, and they cook much more evenly than the hand-me-downs we had before.