Induction cooking

My wife is getting antsy after this article came out.

Anyone have induction cooking? Pros cons?

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big fan of induction - been using it since 2009. i’m sure this is not factually correct, but i feel like i have way more precise control of temperature with it than gas (it’s obviously superior in every way to electric…). i’ve also never felt limited by it in any way - there are a small number of things it can’t do such as charring, but you can use a blowtorch for those instances, or keep a portable butane burner on hand (also can be used for hotpot).

but it is critical to get a cooktop or range that has knobs and not the stupid touch interfaces!

edit: dayum the technology has advanced some! they have wok cavities now!

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Wow that wok cavity is kinda crazy lol

If you live in a home, you can re-pipe/wire stuff, but our condo (per one neighbor, who is a general contractor and renovated much of his unit < 10 yrs ago) said that our setup wouldn’t accommodate an induction range. :frowning:

I think the main con is making sure you have induction-compatible cookware. Otherwise, most of what I have read suggests that people love their induction ranges.

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Honestly been cooking 75% induction for last year or so. We don’t have fancy cooktop, just a portable unit. Honestly prefer it over gas. Quicker to heat up and boil, doesn’t warm up house as much, more responsive. Haven’t had too much issue with cookware compatibility.

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During a recent renovation project we replaced our gas cooker with an induction hob and separate oven. The induction hob is not as controllable as the gas cooker. It takes too long for the control panel to respond when something is about to boil over. Also the changes are discrete not continual as the gas cooker was. A new set of pans was necessary as aluminium does not work with induction. I am not convinced that the hob achieves the same higher temperatures as gas rings were capable of doing though having taken no readings prior to decommiissioning the cooker my observations are highly anecdotal. Had I known this ahead of the renovation would an induction hob be my choice? No! Empathically no.

I got an emissions detector and it gave me no reason to ditch our Wolf 304 or some of my favorite pots and pans.

Plus our house is 115 years old so it’s far from airtight.

Yeah, I’m not an engineer and so I can’t really analyze the article itself very well, but some parts of its sort of raised my eyebrows (and not necessarily for the headline reason)…

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Here’s the actual study:

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.2c02581

Should’ve clarified that when I said I can’t analyze “the article” itself very well, I was referring to the actual study. It’d be interesting to read feedback about the study itself (both from the gas industry and just from the publication’s readership).

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Just saw this. Busy. I’ll come back tomorrow and report as a long time user of induction. You know. That person who wouldn’t trade her range for THE most expensive gas range plus $10K! Sweet dreams :slight_smile:

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Yes the article seems quite alarmist but if benzene is released and there is no safe limit for that and it’s carcinogenic that seems to be concerning. Overall it seems really hard for consumers to discern what is safe and unsafe nowadays and what is critical vs non critical.

I personally wouldn’t trust any rebuttal from the gas companies or related trade associations. They don’t care about anything other than $$$.

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Benzene is some nasty stuff - highly carcinogenic. If you work in a chemistry lab there are many compounds you work with on a regular basis which can have some quite negative effects on your health but after a while you tend to forget the “dangers”. Benzene is one of the solvents you are always very, very careful to never get even the smallest amount on your skin etc. Or as a professor said - if you get benzene on your skin it’s not the question if but when you get cancer

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I think this is the actual study (per the LA Times article):
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.est.2c09289

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I’m going to leave the science to the chemists.

I’ve been cooking on induction for more than ten years pushing 15. During that time we’ve done a number of house exchanges that had nice gas ranges. So, yeah, I had the opportunity to compare them. And far, far prefer induction.

People, including me, say there’s a “learning curve” and there is but it’s brief. It’s the sensitivity of the induction. HIGH is really high. You can probably boil a cup of water in a minute. And I pretty much only use it for boiling water, i.e., for pasta. Once it’s boiling I turn it down a couple of ‘notches.’ If, say, I’m making a sausage patty for breakfast, I start it at medium and once I get a sizzle I flip it and turn it down one notch. “SIMMER” really is simmer so if I want to just keep something warm I go to the lowest setting. Primer for learning curve over :slight_smile:

As far as compatible pans they have become SO available. Here’s the icon:

For any cookware that’s not compatible there’s an induction adapter plate. I have one for a particular pan that I rarely use but it’s there.

2020 Newest Heat Diffuser Stainless Steel Induction Adapter Plate Removable Handle Coffee Milk Cookware Induction Hob Heat Cooking Diffuser for Electric Stove 5.5inch

For cookware there’s a 10 piece set (couldn’t copy/past the link) at Costco that looks pretty much like what I got all those years ago. It $100 now. It’s in like new condition.

Something that hasn’t been mentioned is CLEANING!!! Er, wipe it off with a hot, soapy sponge, use glass cleaner and all manner of other things. A minute maybe. Oh, and here’s something silly. If you’re going to something that’s really messy you can cover your cooktop or part of it with newspaper!

@paranoidgarliclover I guess it must vary from place to place. We had a condo and move the range in and it plugged right in. YMMV.

Have I forgotten any thing. Really and truly, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Nuttin’ honey :slight_smile:

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Our condo stinks on multiple levels. That’s all I’ll say about that! :stuck_out_tongue:

But, yeah, everything I’ve heard about induction indicates that most people really, really like it.

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@catholiver Can I ask what the size of the largest pan you tend to use on your induction? I was watching the below video a while back and she mentioned what seems like an almost ubiquitous maximum diameter on induction:

I believe Americas Test Kitchen recently reviewed induction burners (not stovetops) and the limit on the size of the burner came up again. If I recall correctly they said it’s possible to get a larger diameter burner but the price difference was absurd, like for a Breville Control Freak or something.

I’m writing on my phone in a hotel room so it’s a little tricky looking up what the max diameter of the burner was but I believe it was below 10” which isn’t a dealbreaker for me but it seem like it could be onerous for some applications.

EDIT: After looking it up, the $1200 Breville Control Freak was the only burner that could handle above a 10" pan as described in the video in reference to the ATK equipment test. 10" and below is honestly fine for pretty much anything we’d need to do in our household. However, I also remember that that 2019 ATK test of burners seemed to handle deep frying very badly with with none but the Control Freak doing better than conventional burners and some induction actually doing much worse.

The YouTube video from above noted that burners aren’t really representative of full stovetops for a few reasons but also that manufacturers are abysmal at posting the specs for their induction stovetops so until that happens I can’t help but think you’re rolling the dice buying such an expensive cooktop. Then again, I have no personal experience with induction of any kind and tend to go a little overboard looking into equipment before buying so your mileage may vary.

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there exist full-surface cooktops where you can put your pans anywhere, e.g. this one from gaggenau (400 series):


they work as advertised, and will fully cover your largest pots

i don’t know if this is still or ever was actual good advice, but i advice to go with european brands (specifically bosch or miele) or brands that are relabeling european products, since they’ve been making and selling them to consumer market for much longer

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CF can physically accommodate larger pan sizes but the temp will drop off toward the edges. Some of this can be mitigated with cast iron at the cost of some responsiveness.

But I do try to use induction as often as possible, especially with the CF.

Sorry, how does this work? Cast iron retains heat very well but conducts it extremely poorly so wouldn’t it just exacerbate hot spots?

Also, I’d be totally down for a Control Freak but not at a price point ~10x higher than the average induction burner