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Andrea Lemon

Thanks for the summary. You turned Ted and me onto induction cooking when we first met you -- we now have a wimpy 1600W mini-burner in our apartment, and it's wonderfully responsive. It's perfect with our pressure cooker. Two of the biggest foodies I know swear by induction cooking, and we are planning to install a 4-burner cooktop in the new house.

Sadly our fancy non-ferrous pots and pans will have to find a new home, but good induction-friendly cookware is not particularly pricey as long as we're not seduced by Williams-Sonoma brands.

Bob Lemaire

I like the technical analysis of induction cooking and the whole idea of it has always been so cool to me - if not so much to the cook in the household. As in most of these opportunities that make great technical sense, there has to be a component that attracts the less technology leaning (i.e. average person). You may have hit on it in the ability to boil water very quickly. We have a thermador combination gas/electric cooktop that has three gas burners and two electric. The cook prefers the gas, and uses it exclusively. What I'm wondering is if one or more electric could be converted to induction, and maybe become more useful, at least to boil water. Anybody have any thoughts on that?

Marc Rosenbaum

Great question Bob, call Thermador and ask 'em!

Adam H

I've been coveting an induction top for a while, now, so this was a nice bit of analysis to read. I feel compelled to point out, though, having read the Fridgidaire page: They claim your oven has a "chicken nugget button." Them's fighting words, where I come from.

Bob Lemaire

Well, I did send the question to Thermador, but I seriously doubt they would be interested. If they were to offer upgrade they would be cutting themselves out of an upgrade sale, but more likely, it would not be worth the development cost to get all the approvals they would need. I think I would be on my own to try and fit an induction burner into the unit and wire it to the existing controls. I guess what I was asking you and your followers was, given your experience and research, do you think there would be issues with, for instance, mounting under the glass top, and the nearby cast iron gas burners.

Marc Rosenbaum

Well, Adam, I was trying to keep that particular piece of info under wraps but you've blown my cover. We have 25 chicks in the basement right now, and I'm watching very closely to see when I can first begin to harvest some nuggets.

Bob, I know Gaggenau offers modular cooktops that can combine induction, gas, and electric, as well as various other bits. But I know nothing about the prudence of modifying your Thermador.

j chesnut

I worked on the design of the Passivhaus in Hudson, WI which included an induction cooktop. I don't have the info handy but the Thermador unit sounds familiar. The project is being monitored for energy use and we seemed to have found that the induction cooktop had a phantom load which we were surprised by because the unit did not have any digital display that was in constant operation. Anyone else experience this or know of induction cooktops that avoid phantom loads?

Reading this post is the first time I've heard of pollutants due to gas ranges. Is this true for both propane and natural gas? I have a natural gas cooktop but I always hear that natural gas burns clean.

j chesnut

A correction to my previous response. Just found out today that after the energy monitoring equipment was upgraded and reconfigured there is no longer an indication that the induction stove has a phantom draw.

About WFG

Well I must say nice post..Traditional electric cooktops are more efficient than gas - about 70 percent - but the thermal mass in the burner has made them slower ro respond than their combusting competition

Daniel Bergey

You're saving much more energy than I would expect from the product efficiencies. Do you figure that your gas stove was less than 40% efficient, or that something else is contributing to your energy savings? For example, I'd believe that a higher heat input reduces the time pot is on the stove, and hence the convective losses from the pot.

Marc Rosenbaum

Daniel -
I think the disproportionate savings are due to the energy used is the ramp up to the end point desired (usually, boiling). Once the water is boiling, the heat transfer efficiency ratio of roughly 2:1 is probably valid, but if it takes three times as long to get to the end point then the losses off the pot have got to be more.

Seth Downs

Thanks Marc for enlightening me about induction cooking (and Marathon hot water heaters, Fujitsu ductless minisplits, The Thousand Home challenge...). We are now the happy cookers over a Frigidaire induction stove and our one year old says thank you for not poising his air. By any chance do you have a recommendation for a whole house fan? I'm thinking that would be just the thing for the high dessert (Albuquerque) summer with cool nights.

Kim Quirk

Hi Marc,
I am also a very happy induction cooktop owner (Whirlpool). I went cold turkey -- all burners are induction. I had some pots and pans that work and I had to buy a few. I had a standard thermal electric cooktop before this and I love the low simmer and the very fast heat. According to the literature, it should save around 20% in electricity over the old one. I'm measuring all my electric use but I can't easily do a one-to-one comparison.

Has anyone else been able to cook the same thing on standard electric burners and on induction and then been able to measure the actual electricity used?

Marc Rosenbaum

Seth, no specific whole house fan recommendation. Usually belt driven ones have been quieter.
Kim, I don't know the extent of the data that's been taken on electric vs induction energy usage beyond the older report I read some time back.


What are folk using to cook in power outages which is normal at our location several days up to a week? Generator to run the induction or electric stove? Thnks Michelle

Marc Rosenbaum

Great question, Michelle. I've had a one burner propane stove and a 20 pound propane cylinder for years for just that type of event. For safety, the tank should remain outdoors, so i should run a permanent gas line from outdoors to inside to hook it up to (I had that in my NH house).

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