Induction Cooktops?

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Senior Cook
Oct 23, 2004
Time for my first "newbie" question...

From all I've read, and based on my limited experience, the BEST cooking heat source is gas... for maximum heat and more importantly, for control. (Best baking heat is electric but that's another question for another time). However, I'm stuck in an older house in an older area and would have to mortgage my first born son and cat to pay to get gas piped to my house.. so I'm stuck with electric.

I've noticed a few cooking shows (, education channels, etc) where portable induction cooktops were used. A google search revealed only one in my price range is the Sunpentown... hope I can post this url here without violating a rule... at about $135.

So, my question is, has anyone had any experience with induction cooktops, as either your main range or as a separate cooktop such as this Sunpentown? Is it as responsive as gas? and any other thoughts, comments, observations you might have.

Most of my cookware is All-Clad and Sitram stainless and cast iron and from what I've read they will work okay on an induction cooktop (not all do as I understand it because they aren't "magnetic" enough).. I have plenty of counter space so might spring for one of these units but thought I'd solicit some of your thoughts before I do.
If it's operating off of the wall socket, the response is ok. Not as fast as gas. However, if it's operating off of 240 volt line, then the response is faster than gas and you don't lose much heat to the atmosphere. Almost all the heat is in the pot or pan making it very efficient and it doesn't heat up the kitchen like gas does.

The downside is that not all cookware works on induction cooktops.
psiguy.. thank you for your response...

I'd heard/read that about the potential cookware problem too. Fortunately, when I gave my soon to be ex-wife most of my cookware and was heading to WalMart to buy new stuff, my next door neighbor lady grabbed me, told me to bring a LOT of money.. and took me cookware shopping...

I ended up shockingly poorer but with a few pieces of All Clad and Sitram profiserie stainless that I believe is compatible with an induction system... so I think I'm okay there.

I guess that since this thread floated slowly to the bottom for two days with NO reply other than yours, that nobody has or has heard of any experience using induction cooktops.. so I guess I'll bite the bullet and buy that little $135 burner.. and see how it works. I'm always up for a new "toy" anyway :)
Hi lutzzz,

I have no experience with induction cooktops so I can't give you any advice, but I hope once you do buy it that you will give us a review and let us know how it is working out for you. You can be the one to educate all of us on this topic :)
If a magnet sticks to your cookware, it can be used on an induction range.

Induction ranges are most often used in Europe and Japan. Do you watch the Iron Chef show? The range in the back, where they're usually boiling big pots of water, is an induction range. Ming Tsai used an induction wok burner on his show and it heated up really fast.

The one thing where induction falls is the pot or pan must be in contact with the induction burner. When you lift the pot off the burner, it stops heating.
I have never used one or know anything about them. I too am stuck with electric and I absolutely hate it. And since I moved back to Oregon and settled in Eugene, and do not have a patio, I lost my BBQ. In California I used my outdoor BBQ 365 (my patio was covered) so I have a MS stovetop grill for the grill marks and pretend my toaster oven is a salimander. Get a BBQ and a covered patio, but if you get the induction let us know how it works, or better still ask Emeril, Sara Moulton or your favorite cook there their opinion.
We had a new kitchen put in last summer and our main cooktop is now induction. The first thing to go was all our old pots and pans...yes even the little one that I bought in a corner shop in Rome many years back to cook my daughters food in(I loved that pot it became handy for sauces once the kids were old enough to eat the same meals as the rest of the family)The induction pots and pans are not cheap either. We use Kuhn Rikon which is swiss made. I like the way the induction works. You press 'boost' and it gets really hot, and immediately turn to 'off' and in seconds it's off, the surface cools down very quickly (lots of other settings too) and only the right pots and pans make it work, and once the pot is taken off the burner then the burned stops heating. Fairly safe I'd say.It's easy to look after, no abrasive substances, just a sponge and 'Vitro clean' product.

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