Advice on Induction Stoves, anyone?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    husband & I are going to have to replace our cooktop soon and are looking at a number of options, including putting together our own combination. I'm interested in checking out induction cooktops, but we don't want to spend lots of money to find out it's a waste of space. They are very expensive here, much more expensive than conventional cooktops - do you have induction cooking options where you are?

    We're considering an induction cooktop because they seem to have a lot of advantages - not hot to touch even when on; use less energy; instant availability (ie no warm-up time except the food itself) but we're wondering about the disadvantages, especially the likelihood of having to chuck out all our stainless steel cookware. So induction would have to be really good to justify that!

    Has anybody got an induction cooktop - and if so, what do you think of it? What are the good points, the bad points and anything that is neither good nor bad but perhaps interesting about it?

    When I was in Canberra last weekend with easy child, we saw a small portable induction cooktop in an Asian supplies store there and I'm kicking myself for not at least finding out how much it was. It could be a compromise option.

    I know we need to have cast iron cookware because stainless steel doesn't work on induction; but I do have a couple of pots that would work on one and I would be prepared to get more if I had to. But again, it would need to be worth the effort. I was thinking it would be good for the long slow cooking I like to do on the stove. Our current cooktop (about to be replaced) has a temperature-controlled thermostat which allows us to hold the pot contents at an exact temperature (usually just below boiling point) for as long as we want. It does this regardless of size - you can adjust it down a longer way than the other hot plates.

    No, we don't have gas. We'd have to get bottled gas but that is something husband is considering. Because we're isolated, it will be a long time (if ever) before they put in a gas pipeline to here.

    So - feedback please?

    Marg & Marg's Man
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't know much about these. Rather than working only on cast iron cookware, if the pan sticks to a magnet it should work. You could go through your pots and pans to see if any of them might work.

    I saw portable induction cooktops for $130-$160 on amazon and on other sites. But a full cooktop would be over $1000, maybe even over $2000, depending on your choice.

    It looks like a great way to cook though. You might look up consumer reports and see how they ranked them. In 2008 they did a study with ovens/ranges and included induction as well as gas and electric appliances. With this potential price tag it would seem worth it to either find it in the library or pay the fee for the consumer reports membership.

    I hope you find a cooktop you like.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Consumer reports sounds a good idea - we do belong to the Aussie version of this, we can ask them in the morning.

    I've been round our cookware with a magnet. We only have two items that a magnet will stick to - a very heavy cast-iron frypan, and my favourite (but a bit small) unfashionable enamel cooking pot. I love it but the design is VERY 70s! It was a wedding present from my sister but because it's so small I haven't got a lot of use out of it, hence it is in pristine condition. However, cooking more for fewer people these days, this pot will get more of a workout.

    We also have a cast-iron wok but I'm not sure how that will work with induction - the bottom of course is not flat. But seeing these portable cooktops in the Asian supply store could mean that they're great for wok-cooking. In which case - it would negate the need to get a gas cooktop. And THAT would be a saving!

    As it is, we're looking at having to remodel our kitchen, it IS 30 years old, almost!

  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I used to have one, Marg.
    It came with-the house when we moved in.
    I did, indeed, chuck all the aluminum pots and pans.
    Although I kept the aluminum pressure cooker, just in case.

    I kept a magnet in my purse so that whenever I was shopping and spotted some cookware I liked, I could whip out the magnet to see if it stuck. :)

    The upside: It cools off instantly when you turn it off. Makes it very safe for children and pets.
    It uses less energy.

    The downside: It takes a few extra phone calls to find a repair person, because mag induct cooktops are not that common.
    If you wear hearing aids or other electronic devices, the magnetic pulsing will interfere with-them.

    The cooking is relatively similar to any other cooktop. It's just a matter of getting used to it.

    We lost ours after Hurricane Isabel. (Major power surge when the power came back on blew all the circuits.) The ins. company refused to pay for it because the electrical wiring was intrinsic to the computer components. Read the find print on your policy! So I ended up with-a regular electric cooktop for about $600. Still not cheap, but not as costly as the induction cooktop.
    I hate that it takes 20 min to cool down. (I timed it.) It can't be cleaned until it cools down, which is a pain in the neck.

    I'm sure there's more but I can't recall right now.
    I hope that helps.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Thanks for the info, I didn't know that about hearing aids, etc. mother in law has hearing aids (when they're working, when she wears them).

    Conversation the other day with easy child - "Mum said you went to get your hearing aids repaired. How'd it go?"

    Grandma - "Huh?"