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Musings of an Energy Nerd

Testing an Induction Cooktop

A low-cost induction cooktop that plugs into a wall outlet

[Photo courtesy of Duxtop]

You know the drill: We need to wean ourselves from our fossil-fuel addiction, so it’s time to electrify everything. If you want an all-electric kitchen, you’re going to have to give up your gas-fired range.

I’ve used a propane range for decades, and I’m used to cooking with gas. Gas burners are intuitive to use and beloved by many cooks. On the other hand, few cooks like electric-resistance cooktops. If you adjust the burner on a conventional electric cooktop, the response is quite slow—so a cook with an electric-resistance stove needs to be skilled to avoid burning anything in a sauté pan. (In this way, a conventional electric cooktop resembles a wood-fired range—although it’s much easier to slide a pan away from the hot spot on a wood range than on an electric cooktop.)

Conventional electric-resistance ranges are a pain to cook on. But there is a better way to cook with electricity: namely, with an induction cooktop.

Inducing a current in your pot

Induction cooktops are electric appliances that don’t rely on an electric-resistance heating element. Instead, they use an electromagnetic coil under a glass cooktop to create heat in a ferrous pot or pan. Only the pan gets hot; the glass stovetop stays relatively cool.

These appliances require the use of pots and pans that contain enough iron to attract a magnet—for example, those made of plain steel, cast iron (including enameled cast iron), or the type of stainless steel that attracts a magnet. Induction cooktops won’t work with pots or pans made of copper, aluminum, or the type of stainless steel that doesn’t attract a magnet.

Stainless steels alloys usually contain 16% to 20% chromium. If stainless steel also includes nickel (typically 8% to 14% nickel),…

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60 Comments

  1. Expert Member
    Armando Cobo | | #1

    Great blog, Martin. A few thoughts I would add in favor of induction cooking:
    1. Safety, especially if you have small children around or folks and senior citizens with mobility, feeling/touching or sight issues.
    2. Easy to clean. No burnt spills to scrape, just wipe right after cooking.
    3. Some models have pan auto sizing and others “move” the heating element as you move the pan on the cooktop.
    4. You can buy a decent set of pans for less than $250.
    5. Most models don’t require the big expense of a MUA system.
    6. They look awesome, especially in modern homes.
    7. Several of my clients who are used to huge gas ranges are opting for induction with a two gas burner... it's an improvement.

    1. I B | | #17

      Item 1 is really nice for teaching my three year old to cook. I don’t have to worry about the gas flame and her clothes or the way electric burners get as hot as they do.

      Obviously the pan and contents are still hot but it makes it easier when you reduce the number of risks.

  2. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #2

    Another small peeve with the single burners is the proximity of the controls to the pan. Then again I have to reach tight over them to get at the knobs on the electric resistance range I've somehow managed to cook on for decades.

  3. Andy Kosick | | #3

    This is a very thorough break down. Having just tried a Duxtop hot plate recently, this reflected my own thoughts almost exactly, except I don't make omelets Lebanese style (though now I may try.) The small hot spot, and loud fan where the worst. The buttons I can tolerate, but I do love a good quality knob where it make sense, and this is definitely one of those spots.

    As I've watched the Gas vs Induction debate I'm always temped to say that I've been cooking on electric coils my entire adult life and they're fine "I don't know what you're all whining about." Then for the first time in a long while I did some serious cooking on a gas stove over at my parents house, and I HATED it. I'm thinking "how are people so attached to these things." I was bent over the whole time looking at flames trying to figure out what was going on. Upon reflection though I realized that the important lesson was that it's really just about what you're used to. There are so many advantages to induction, if people get a quality range and give it couple weeks, it'll be fine. In a year they'll forget why they ever had a gas one.

    1. GBA Editor
      Martin Holladay | | #4

      Andy,
      I completely agree with one of your points: "Upon reflection though I realized that the important lesson was that it's really just about what you're used to."

      For three years of my life, I did almost all of my cooking on an old-fashioned wood-fired kitchen range. The oven temperature was uneven -- the left side was nearest the firebox, so that was the hot side, and the right side was farthest away from the firebox, so that was the cool side. All that meant is that when I was baking bread, I had to rotate the loaf pans 180° after 25 minutes of baking.

      You can learn how to cook well on almost any source of heat, including a campfire. It's all about paying attention.

      1. Andy Kosick | | #6

        I've had the pleasure of cooking on a old wood stove at a camp in UP a couple times. Because it was vacation like circumstances I was able to take my time and get a feels for it. I also had some good coaching.

        I also come to enjoy cooking over the campfire when we're camping. Wouldn't want to do it all the time, but when you have time, it's an enjoyable project to build the fire just so and manage the temperature, etc. Something I look forward to.

      2. Expert Member
        Michael Maines | | #9

        "It's all about paying attention." Good advice for many things in life.

  4. Andy Kosick | | #5

    Also, more importantly, I wanted to note that I did some research concerning induction and pacemakers because my father has one. Pacemaker tech has apparently come a long way, for instance there isn't as much concern around microwaves as there used to be.

    With induction it seems the risk is still there, but it matters what kind of pacemakers you have. The problem is apparently with it's ability to sense the heart beating, so for people dependent on the pacemaker it's not a problem. The general recommendation seems to be to keep the actual pacemaker 2 feet away, which means you could technically cook at an arms length but there's risk. The largest concern would be when actually holding on to a pan with a metal handle (conductive) because the field can travel through the body.

    I actually read (most of) this paper to get a feel for what's really happening.

    https://academic.oup.com/europace/article/8/5/377/460579?login=false

    Point is I would still be hesitant, professionally speaking, to recommend these in a household where someone has a pacemaker.

    Does anyone else have more information on this?

    Obviously, this is not medical advice, talk to your doctor.

  5. Charlie Sullivan | | #7

    Good news: there are induction ranges with knobs. Here's an example, $1300 for a full oven + 4-burner cooktop. And they are comfortably far from the burners.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Samsung-30-in-6-3-cu-ft-Slide-In-Induction-Range-with-Self-Cleaning-Oven-in-Stainless-Steel-NE63B8211SS/320714840

    Also, on the uniformity issue, there are coil designs that can achieve higher uniformity. I'm not sure how a consumer can find data on that for a given product, but it's not an inherent limitation of the technology. Here's a figure from an academic paper showing the improved uniformity achievable with two concentric coils controlled separately. I believe most of the higher quality appliances have something like this.

    https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Power-Distribution-in-Coupled-Multiple-Coil-for-Sanz-Serrano-Sag%C3%BC%C3%A9s/d33601c2922a5ad2414e788c9dc76c10505e9c99/figure/3

    Short of finding one that inherently does a better job, one can purchase a pan made of laminated layers, with magnetic stainless steel on the bottom, a copper or aluminum core, and some other materials such as more stainless steel on the inside facing the food. Aluminum is most common as it's almost as good a heat conductor as copper and much cheaper. You just need it a little thicker: 2.5 mm of aluminum is as good as 1.5 mm of copper. Such pans are very common and most on sale now are induction compatible. You can easily find them with stainless steel interiors or nonstick-coated interiors. (I'd like one with carbon steel as the lining but I haven't found that for sale.)

    As a side note, electric stoves with coil elements are much faster than smooth-top electric ranges, which are simply terrible. The speed of response hierarchy is:

    induction (fastest) > gas > coil electric > smooth-top electric (slowest)

    Unfortunately, the best and the worst there look the most similar.

    1. GBA Editor
      Martin Holladay | | #8

      Charlie,
      Thanks for the link to the Samsung induction range with knobs. Over the next few years, I'll be putting my quarters into a piggy-bank, saving up for something like that.

      1. Kent Thompson | | #20

        Martin,

        Start a GoFundMe and we'll buy you a stove. :)

    2. GBA Editor
      Martin Holladay | | #10

      I'm interested in brand-name recommendations from GBA readers for the type of sandwich-construction pan that Charlie describes. When purchasing online, the buyer can't be sure of the thickness of the advertised copper layer: is it significantly thick -- thick enough to achieve uniformity of temperature? Or is it just a thin layer of copper foil that is used to fool buyers?

      If anyone who does a lot of cooking on an induction burner has a pan to recommend, I'm all ears.

      1. Expert Member
        Michael Maines | | #11

        Martin, my favorite pots and pans that aren't cast iron are All-Clad brand. They are expensive but very high quality. Here is a list of their copper core thickness: https://www.centurylife.org/how-thick-is-insert-brand-cookware-how-thick-is-the-base-how-thick-is-the-clad-layer-where-was-it-made-is-it-induction-compatible-and-how-long-is-the-warranty/. We use a glass-top electric resistance cooktop and have an induction hot plate like yours but I haven't spent much time with it yet. I know that some of our All-Clad will work and some won't, depending on the product line.

        1. GBA Editor
          Martin Holladay | | #12

          Michael,
          I have several All-Clad pans with aluminum cores -- some of which are magnetic and work on my induction cooktop, and some of which are non-magnetic. As soon as I get a chance, I'll perform my infrared thermometer test on a magnetic All-Clad pan to gather data on temperature uniformity. Thanks.

          1. Expert Member
            Michael Maines | | #14

            Martin, this article says that All-Clad's Copper Core line has a copper thickness of 1mm. I'm not sure if that's considered a lot or a little, but they make it sound like a lot. https://www.centurylife.org/in-depth-product-review-all-clad-copper-core-12-inch-skillet-frying-pan/#:~:text=All%2DClad%20Copper%20Core%20may,than%20aluminum%20of%20equivalent%20thickness. I look forward to the results of your test.

          2. GBA Editor
            Martin Holladay | | #21

            Michael,
            The web site you link to is very helpful -- with exactly the type of information I was seeking. Thanks.

          3. GBA Editor
            Martin Holladay | | #22

            Michael,
            OK -- I just performed the test on my 8-inch-diameter aluminum All-Clad pan. The results were surprising.

            Again, I set the induction cooktop to 390 degrees. Unlike the cast-iron pan, the All-Clad pan never reached 390 degrees. It topped out at 190 degrees. Unlike the cast-iron pan, the temperature range across the bottom of the pan was much more uniform -- ranging from 185 degrees to 190 degrees.

            After thinking about the results, I realize that the shiny surface of the stainless steel prevented the infrared thermometer from reading accurately. Next test: cooking a Lebanese omelet in the All-Clad pan.

          4. GBA Editor
            Martin Holladay | | #23

            Results of omelet test with aluminum All-Clad pan at a setting of 390 degrees: better results than with the steel pan. All indications were that there was temperature uniformity across the bottom of the pan. However, the oil could have been a little hotter for a perfect Lebanese omelet.

            Tomorrow morning I'll try the test again, this time at 405 degrees.

          5. GBA Editor
            Martin Holladay | | #36

            I've cooked omelets now at higher temperatures with the aluminum-core All-Clad pan. I tried 405 degrees, and then 420 degrees. Both achieved better results than 390 degrees, without any browning or burning.

      2. Expert Member
        Armando Cobo | | #13

        By far, the best cookware for induction is Le Creuset cast iron cookware; a bit expensive, but you'll never have an issue with it and it'll last generations. I highly recommend them. I also meant to say that they have Oklahoma State Orange 😂
        Cuisinart has really good and more affordable sets for less than $250. A good friend of mine has a set and I've enjoyed cooking there with her pots a time or two.

        1. GBA Editor
          Martin Holladay | | #15

          Armando,
          I bought my first Le Creuset pot back in the 1970s. Over the years, it got significantly scratched and dinged. Not so pretty anymore. Besides, cast iron isn't very conductive, as my tests show -- and that's a real problem when it comes to temperature uniformity across the bottom of the pan.

          If you have a campfire with a good bed of hot coals, cast-iron pans work great. Cast iron pans also work very well in an oven, where the heat is fairly even. But stovetop use of cast-iron is problematic, especially when the burner delivers heat unevenly.

      3. Chris D | | #26

        We use a fair bit of commercial Vollrath pans; their USA-made Tribute line is laminated tri-ply and works very well on induction ranges. They aren't very pretty compared to tri-ply/5-ply All-Clad, but they're usually significantly cheaper. I don't believe pots/pans are a decorative item, so I really don't care about cookware aesthetics like mirror polishing or fancy handles.

        We bought a Bosch gas range, then after 4 years replaced that with the same model line of Bosch induction range when going full electric for the house. We much prefer the induction range, which can put more heat into a pan and far less heat into the kitchen. Matching burner size to pan size is one of the most important things while cooking, regardless of the type of stove used.

      4. James Kennedy | | #44

        We've been induction top for ~4 years now. We've had really great luck with the induction compatible GreenPans. I'd highly recommend them. The only drawback has been that we used to cook with olive oil and the pans specifically say no olive oil on them. We switched over to using butter as our standard fat and it's been fantastic. Our cooktop is a 36" Frigidaire Pro (with knobs) since I'm not a huge fan of everything become a touch-screen either...

  6. Eric Palmer | | #16

    We switched to an induction range last year. With our Cafe brand range, many pans with stainless plus aluminum bottoms work great but other cheaper ones poorly, even when labeled for induction and passing a magnet test. I found it very convenient having an energy monitor on the circuit (We use an Emporia Vue.) You put the pan on the burner, store labeling intact, and in a seconds read how much power the burner can deliver. Then try sliding it a little off center to see how robust the delivery is. With the lousy ones you can see the range reducing power. Just buy pans with an easy return policy.

  7. Tyler Keniston | | #18

    I was using a GE Cafe Induction for a few years (have since moved and sadly am now on resistance). It has nice front mounted knobs and one of those 11' burners you mention. All and all, I liked it a lot. But even with that stove I felt that the hot spot was a bit small. The 11" worked well enough, but it still wasn't close to an 11" hot spot. I wish they could make it standard to have wide, even heat.

    I never did invest in a laminated pan, so perhaps that's the ticket. Cast iron worked pretty well for us though and the overall cooking experience beats resistance any day.

    Simmering a tomato sauce in cast iron Martin! I imagine there's not much seasoning left. I've done it too.

    1. Tyler Keniston | | #19

      Oh also, that method of cooking an omelet sounds delicious. Will have to try it out.

    2. GBA Editor
      Martin Holladay | | #24

      Tyler,
      I'm not sure what you mean by "I imagine there's not much seasoning left." Does your comment have anything to do with the reluctance of some kitchen experts to cook acidic foods in cast-iron pans? In a well-seasoned cast-iron pan, I have not found any problems with acidic sauces like tomato sauce.

      1. Tyler Keniston | | #25

        Interesting. Yes my experience with simmering acids has been that it weakens the seasoning, but perhaps that is not universally the case! I also have not worked that hard to create the seasoning in the first place, which may be the problem.

        1. Chris D | | #27

          Pans can be re-seasoned if needed. There are lots of people who buy decades-old cast iron at yard sales (older pans were often thicker and had a smoother surface finish), then strip and re-season them. Just be sure you have adequate ventilation.

          1. GBA Editor
            Martin Holladay | | #29

            Chris,
            On a cold day in winter, throw that old cast iron pan right on top of a bed of hot red coals in the woodstove, and close the woodstove door. It will burn off all the old grease.

            After an hour, remove the pan from the firebox and let it cool slowly. Then wash it -- scrubbing it with a stainless-steel wool pad -- and saute some onions with plenty of vegetable oil. Never use detergent on cast-iron when you clean it. You're all set.

  8. Josh_Schaefer | | #28

    I replaced an older gas stove with a new Frigidaire induction range. I haven't actually cooked anything on it yet, as I just got it hooked up yesterday. I did however do a non scientific test boiling water with both stoves (gas on High, induction on its Power Boost setting). I was quite amazed at the results!

    4 cups cold water
    Gas: 10:30 (glass pot)
    Induction: 2:15 (stainless pot)

    10 cups cold water
    Gas 17-20 (aluminum pot)
    Induction 6:30 (stainless pot)

    1. Chris D | | #37

      Sounds about right. Our Bosch induction range takes around 6-7 minutes to boil 4 quarts in a 8 quart stockpot. Was significantly longer with our Bosch gas range. I do this every day for iced tea, split and diluted to make 2 gallons of tea at a time.

  9. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #30

    Here's a sobering statistic: Americans spend about 6% of their income on food to be cooked at home (The Economist, June 4, 2022).

    1. GBA Editor
      Martin Holladay | | #31

      Malcolm,
      And this is sobering for what reason? Did you assume the percentage was higher or lower? If higher, why? If lower, why?

  10. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #32

    Martin,

    That 6% is the lowest in the western world. I'm sure the average family's total budget for food is much higher. So much of the food we now consume is now prepared elsewhere. I noticed this first about 15 years ago when the fashion for commercial style kitchens was a consuming architectural trend. All these huge show pieces which were primarily used to re-heat or plate food from restaurants.

    I have no idea how that number compares to historical averages. Maybe this has been fairly consistent since Victorian times when boarding houses and apartments with common dining areas were quite prevalent, but to me is seems staggering we prepare so little of our own food.

    1. GBA Editor
      Martin Holladay | | #33

      Malcolm,
      There are at least two issues here: (1) the fact that Americans (on average) are so wealthy that the cost of food cooked at home is a small part of the average budget -- generally a good thing, because poor families in India spend almost 100% of their income on food, and a smaller percentage indicates that Americans, in general, aren't destitute; and (2) the fact that an increasing percentage of American meals are eaten at restaurants or purchased as take-out -- a fact that again, is either a good thing (indicative of prosperity) or alarming (if you are a fan of home-cooked meals).

      I cook at home, but I'm not naive enough to believe that cooking at home is a virtue. It's simply a choice.

      There is a third issue: the fact that Americans prefer cheap ingredients from major food producers rather than more expensive, higher quality ingredients from local farmers. In France, families choose to spend a higher percentage of their income on food than Americans, in part because the French prefer high quality ingredients, and Americans not so much. This third issue is also more complicated than it appears, because low-income Americans (who, incidentally, spend far more than 6% of their income for food cooked at home) live in food deserts and have few choices about where they can spend their food dollars.

      Anyway, saying that the 6% statistic is "sobering" is confusing.

      It's a complicated issue, and no one wants Americans to spend 80% of their budget on food. Lots of knots to untangle here.

      1. Expert Member
        Malcolm Taylor | | #34

        Martin,

        Your confusion at my phrasing is understandable. I wasn't really commenting on the issues we have subsequently brought up - more surprised that the amount of food cooked or processed in contemporary houses is so low. Here we are discussing how to cook in an more environmentally responsible manner with induction - and it seems very few people are cooking at all.

  11. Alan Afsari | | #35

    We did a kitchen remodel 10yrs ago and were intent on gas at that time. The appliance salesman showed us induction and we were sold.

    10 yrs later, I don’t miss gas or electric conduction.

    From a use standpoint- the only downside I’m aware of is that you can’t use a wok.

    I find on ours that the performance does vary when using multiple burners simultaneously (no temp settings on ours. Just numbers 1-9). There is even some variability when using different sized pans. Larger pans need a higher number than smaller pans on the same burner to get the desired temp. This is not different from what I remember my experience cooking on gas.

    I find my ability to avoid overcooking eggs has improved due to the responsiveness of the cooktop.

    Regarding safety - the surface still gets hot enough to burn your hand - the amount of heat conducted from the pan to the surface is more than I initially expected. I still keep kids away from it. Sometimes a silicone trivet to cover the hot spot after cooking help but it just makes the surface take longer to cool.

    Newer models have probes to regulate temperature allowing controlled sous-vide cooking.

    Newer models also have larger and rectangular fields allowing griddles to be used. I don’t know how well these perform but they look like a desirable feature.

  12. Kathryn Oseen-Senda | | #38

    I absolutely love our induction cooktop. Now when my husband boils the rice over, he can't put out the flames and fill the house with flammable natural gas!
    Also, it's just a better cooking method. Hollandaise and other fussy sauces are much easier now, though I admit most people don't make their own egg custards.

  13. agoberlin | | #39

    I went through the same thought process a year ago, bought the exact same Duxtop unit, and also went from induction skeptic to convert! We're in the very early stages of planning a kitchen remodel and I'm keeping an eye out for what brands of full-size induction cooktops are recommended here.

    1. Expert Member
      Malcolm Taylor | | #40

      agoberlin,

      If money is no object this appears to be the one top restaurants use. https://sagepolyscience.com/products/the-control-freak?variant=31887851585597

      Were I designing my own house today, rather than install a cook-top, I'd be tempted to include a spot where I could place as many single induction burners as I needed for the meal, with nearby storage for them when not in use.

      I'm sure you will get more practical advice from other posters.

  14. Lauren Commons | | #41

    I'm considering something like this in my new home build: two side-by-side portable induction burners (or a double burner unit) built into the countertop, with one or two more stored out of the way until needed a few times a year. We cook often, but rarely use more than two burners at a time. When we do, it would be helpful to have the extra burners away from the built-ins.
    My only problem with the plan is finding a portable unit as powerful as those in a full-size cooktop.

    1. Expert Member
      Malcolm Taylor | | #45

      Lauren,

      We are much the same. If we do use more that two burners it's always awkward when they are tucked behind where you are cooking. What needs thinking through are how the portable burners get exhausted if they are away from the range hood, although I can't think of a meal we make where more than two burners are for frying or sauteing, while the remainder are boiling or steaming., so it may not be an issue.

      1. Jonny_H | | #46

        Great to see some validation of how my plan has developed! Thanks to my project stretching on forever, I've had time to revise along the way -- The plan has gone 36" gas cooktop -> 36" induction -> 30" induction -> now the plan is 24" induction cooktop, but under an (offset) 36-42" hood, with a couple extra outlets to the side for portable induction burners. I'd say at least 80% of my day to day cooking I'm only using one burner, and 98% only two, but the portable ones are cheap enough that I could have an extra one or two around -- I've also seen induction wok burners with a concave top, which could be nice.

        There is some argument to be made for doing everything as portable units -- both on cost, and on ease of repair / replacement should one fail.

        Of course, I'm making a kitchen that I want to cook in, not a kitchen to sell -- I don't think an offset hood over extra counter space would fly with most kitchen aesthetic standards!

    2. Charlie Sullivan | | #49

      Lauren, if you want a higher power portable unit, you can find lots at restaurant supply houses. For example, here's a search yields 35 of them. Typical is 3500 W, requiring a 240 V 20 A outlet. I would guess you'd want one of those and then the rest lower power 120 V units, to use ordinary outlets. But you won't be able to put more than one on a given circuit: for four burners you'll need four separate circuits to plug them into.

      https://www.webstaurantstore.com/15055/countertop-induction-ranges-and-induction-cookers.html?filter=number-of-burners:single&filter=voltage:208-240-volts:240-1-volts:240-volts&multi=true

  15. T. Barker | | #42

    I bought this exact induction stove about 6 months ago to test cooking with induction before we commit to new built-in, full size appliances.

    Conclusion: INDUCTION IS THE BEST WAY TO COOK - hands down. Even on an 1800W portable. Can't wait until I get a full size unit with at least one 3500W element.

    It takes a little practice (not much, but more than 2 or 3 meals) to get really comfortable. Then you realize you will never go back to gas or electric conduction.

    The hardest thing is finding the right pots and pans. Even if you buy cast iron, or the newer high carbon steel, or various combination metals with a suitable magnetic steel layer, they will all be different quality and will heat to different levels. Take your time to find some so-called "good" pots and pans, buy and try, and take them back if they don't work well. Eventually you will find some really good models.

    In my case, the pots were relatively easy. It still takes a fair amount of hands-on searching to find nice heavy bottom pots without spending a ridiculous amount of money.

    But to find good quality saute/frying pans, woks , etc. that heat up really well on induction but also have a non-stick surface - those are hard to find!

    Unless you have your own personal dishwashing assistant who comes to the house every night to scrub pans, you do NOT want bare metal without any non-stick coating. Yeah yeah, I've heard and tried all the nonsense about how to saute without non-stick coatings, season this and season that, but it's just far too difficult in my opinion.

    So once you've found the right pots and pans, induction is by far the best cooking system.

    1. Expert Member
      Michael Maines | | #43

      My wife and I are avid cooks yet we haven't had a non-stick pan in over 15 years, and don't miss them a bit. We do have family members with PFAS (teflon) poisoning and it's deadly.

  16. Lauren Commons | | #47

    :-) Like yours, my plan still has time to evolve! I agree with your percentages on the number of burners used.
    What do you mean by an offset hood? That you could set up a portable burner next to the built-ins and still be under the hood?

    1. Jonny_H | | #48

      Yes, exactly that -- A small built in, a larger hood, but the hood isn't centered over the built-in -- so portable units to one side would still be under the hood.

      1. Expert Member
        Malcolm Taylor | | #53

        Jonny,

        Your plan sounds pretty appealing to me.

        This whole discussion is making me really hungry.

  17. Expert Member
    Armando Cobo | | #50

    Are we spoiled or what… I believe most US houses today have a myriad of outdoor, indoor and portable appliances available to cook that make me wonder if we are at the point of no return.

    Most common outdoor appliances are gas or wood grills, gas or wood smokers, and getting more attention are gas or wood flat tops, gas or wood pizza ovens, custom built BBQ and Viking/Argentinian asador contraptions related to transformers.

    Electrical stuff most haves are indoor coffee makers to rival an Italian barista, blenders, food processors, toasters, mixers, microwaves, air-fryers, air-fryer ovens, roaster ovens, slow cookers, crock-pots, instant-pots, rice cooker, bread makers, griddles, waffle makers, indoor grills, and for the "chefs", throw in a sous-vide cooker.

    10 Pots, 6 pans, Dutch oven (oval and round, 4 qt, 7 qt.), grill pan, skillets (4-6 types), braisers, kettle, casserole dish, wok, tagine, bakers, and stock pots.

    Do I want to mention cooking aids and utensils? Noooooooooo!

    …and just for kicks, we need to replace them all with iPod controlled appliances! No wonder there’s so much depression.

    1. GBA Editor
      Martin Holladay | | #52

      Armando,
      Texas must be different from the Northeast. Lots of my friends live in an apartment with a 24-inch wide stove in the kitchen. You're talking about a subset of Americans, it seems.

      Personally, I've got a 36-inch-wide 4-burner propane range. I've also got a circle of rocks in the backyard for campfires. I make coffee in an old drip pot -- boil the water in a kettle and pour the water through the drip pot every morning.

      1. Lauren Commons | | #54

        I agree with Martin. The details are different, but the idea is the same. Yes, I have the luxury of researching, experimenting, and choosing the right gear. My kitchen will be personalized and customized, but it won't be extravagant. It will feed my wife and I every day, feed children and grandchildren as needed, and feed 20 people on Thanksgiving with folding tables and chairs, and extra induction burner or two.
        I'll cop to being fortunate, and thoughtful, but not extravagant.

    2. Expert Member
      Armando Cobo | | #55

      I don't know if I agree 100% with you Martin. Every friend's house I've visited over the years, on all corners of the US, had pretty much the same stuff. It's hard not to collect stuff after 30-40 years, especially if there are some serious cooks available. I do think Midwesterners, Southern and rural folks are more into cooking.
      BTW, I'm not saying it's great, it just is.

      1. Expert Member
        Malcolm Taylor | | #56

        Armando,

        What is considered a basic kitchen has certainly changed in the time I've been in the business, regardless of the size or type of dwelling. The small kitchens with laminate counters, vinyl flooring and basic layouts I used to put in spec units have given way to much more elaborate cabinetry with obligatory islands that proportionally consume a lot more of the square footage than they used to.

        I don't keep up with what cooking accessories are currently in fashion, but can tell what was hot the year before by seeing whats on the shelves in thrift stores.

      2. T. Barker | | #57

        Part of the reason to experiment with the $100 portable induction unit was to see if it would be practical to only use portable units (i.e. no built-in stove) in our new build. Own a couple of portable units, put them away when not being used, take one outside to grill fish, etc. whenever you want. Leaves more counter space in the kitchen when they aren't being used, and more friendly to the pocket book.

        The problem is it would be nice to have a more powerful unit (e.g. 3,500W) for some types of cooking. But high power portable induction units are hard to find, costly, and you would need to wire several 240V/30A plugs to various locations.

        If it was for a summer camp or off-grid build, I would definitely go with two of these 1800W portable units and no built-in stove. No propane. Put enough solar in to handle the loads.

        1. Charlie Sullivan | | #59

          The 3500 W unit at the link that Lauren provided has a 20 A, 240 V plug. That's not a huge difference vs. 30 A, but the plug an receptacle are more compact, and the wire a little easier to run.

  18. Lauren Commons | | #51

    Thanks! That is perfect. It looks like I could cover 95%+ of my needs for $600 or so. But they are cheap enough that I can buy one, try it out to see how it works, and adjust plans as needed.

  19. Lawrence Martin | | #60

    I just read an article about elderly people in Japan replacing the gas cooktops with induction to avoid the fire and other risks associated with dementia and gas stoves. Just another consideration for our aging population. Me included.

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