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(Experiment 198) Transition to induction

For the past 20 years or so I have been using ceramic smooth top and have been having dreams of cooking on gas.

Up north in Quebec, electricity is very cheap so gas is not the main source of power for heating nor cooking. In fact, I am not sure I know anyone who has a gas range at home. In any case, I have used a gas cooktop during my small stint in the kitchen and also while taking cooking classes.

Nothing like cooking with fire, there is just something primal and satisfying about it. So when my range started to act up, I naturally started shopping for one. I was willing to pay to get a propane tank installed.  Unfortunately due to regulations and how my house is set up, I would have needed the tank detached from my house, thus I would have needed to put the line underground ( IE $$$). I was again beaten up … damn it

Here is a little comparison of the 3 main contender

Gas

Pros: robust ( you can swing your pan around and won’t scratch anything), sexy, good heat control
Cons: Price ( unless you are willing to put a lot of money, entry to mid-level there are no difference other than look, lots of heat radiate in your kitchen, need great ventilation, safety concern with gas

Induction

Pros: Very little heat wasted in kitchen, easy to clean ( food doesn’t cook on the glass) , safer ( as the glass is not burning hot), precise heat control, boil water fast
Cons: still expensive, scratch easily if you are not careful, need induction capable pans and pot, may emit noise/whistling

Smoothtop

Pros: price
Cons: glass surface is very hot thus cooking any spill, harder to clean, scratch easily if not careful, cooking is uneven and temperature fluctuate a lot

I decided to go with the second-best option and got myself a top-of-the-range induction range. This is a Cafe range and the reason I picked this one up is due to the configuration of the elements. Only this one and the Benchmark had a similar setup.

It has 11″ and 2x 8″ elements so I have 3 usable elements at any time.

If you are looking for a new range, make sure you check this out carefully. A lot of them have a stupid configuration where you cant use 2 pans at once.

Note that the below experience is with my Cafe range and with other brands/models you may experience different results.

Usage

As you can probably guess, I cook quite a lot so this range does see some action every day. It’s a beast at boiling water, 4 cups of water in 3 minutes! Yes 3 minutes for a full rolling boil, impressive.

Heating a pan is ultra-fast. I’m used to start the element with the pan, go take a shower, watch a series on Netflix and then come back to check if the pan is hot yet. Ok, I may have exaggerated a bit here but it does take a lot of time to pre-heat the pan on smooth top. With induction, you better have your food ready to go or you will burn your pan. Talking about pan, I pre-heat them at medium heat as I’m told induction is so powerful that on high it can easily warp a pan. Don’t want that to happen on my All-Clad`s 🙂

Ok, so it’s great at heating up but what about simmering? It works as well. I temper chocolate and this is all done on low heat and have not burned any chocolate so far. Also, the reaction time when you adjust heat is instantaneous. From a full rolling boil you just drop the heat to medium and water stop boiling in a snap.

Have to be honest here, I’m starting to understand all those gas converts who now only swear by induction.

Conclusion

If I would move and had the option to go with gas would I switch? Arrgggh definitely tempting and I would need to think about it. As much as I always wanted gas the logical choice is induction for sure.

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