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How bad is my gas stove? (carbonswitch.co)
367 points by hbgb 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 519 comments





To anyone considering switching to an induction hob and hearing anecdotal stories of how some people don’t think they are “as hot” or “slower” than gas. I guarantee these are all related to the pans being used. It is of upmost importance that you get a really good set of pans “designed” for induction.

We have found “tri-ply” stainless steel pans work really well, better than on gas. Cast iron is also brilliant, I inherited loads of them. We have aluminium none stick frying pans with solid stainless steel bases, they work well.

Aluminium pans without a solid steel base are absolutely crap on induction - even the ones that say they work. Avoid them.

If you have any pans with a slightly curved base they won’t work. And you will have to get a Wok with a flat bottom designed specifically for induction.

Make sure you read reviews before you purchase any new pans, and if you are changing your hob to an induction one be prepared for replacing your pans - budget to spend more on them than the hob even.

We are absolutely converted to induction, love it and will never go back. Planning to one day get rid of the gas boiler too.


I recently bought a Polyscience/Breville Control Freak, and I’m increasingly convinced this is the future. It heats dramatically faster than a supposedly high end gas stove I compared it to despite being a lowly 1.6kW or so device. (Gas stoves are stupendously inefficient. That 15kBTU/hr stove may well deliver 15kBTU/hr to the air but not to your pan.). It heats quite evenly. And best of all, it has closed loop temperature control. Want to sauté some onions? Just do it and watch the onions — there is no longer a need to fiddle with a knob to keep the pan at the right temperature.

I wish this type of functionality was more widely available. There is absolutely no need for devices like this to be expensive.


Wow, that Polyscience/Breville Control Freak looks great - if anyone knows of a mid-level/affordable induction cooktop that preforms similarly I'd love to know if one exists.

Currently I have two induction cooktops (counter top models, not built-in hobs) - one from Ikea and one Nuwave brand. The Ikea one looks pretty good, but it lacks precision. Looks like the Ikea one is no longer available in the US, but here it is on their AU website:

https://www.ikea.com/au/en/p/tillreda-portable-induction-hob...

The temperature settings go from 20 to 70 degree F increments. In particular, the jump from 210F to 280F really sucks. But it's great for boiling water, cooking pasta, etc.

The Nuwave induction cooktop I have allows 10 degree F increments, which is great for accurate precision. But it doesn't look very good in my opinion.

I'm also in the process of remodeling my kitchen and have a built-in Bertazzoni cooktop, which I've yet to unbox or install. I choose that because my wife wanted physical knobs instead of digital buttons and I agree that that does provide a nicer UI. I'm optimistic the knobs will provide precision temperature control.

Overall, I love cooking with induction - for control and clean air inside the house. However, one other issue I've struggled with is uneven temperature. Originally I thought cast iron would perform well, but it's not great with induction. I recently got some pretty decent stainless steel pots/pans from Tramontina, which are affordably priced compared Allclad, and those heat much more evenly. I also hope that when I install my built-in induction cooktop it will heat more evenly, perhaps with more magnetic rings.


The Njori Tempo is cheaper and claims to be even better. But it’s currently vaporware.

They are the future. The price will continue to go down slowly.

They were as low as $1,000 over December.

They are amazing. I believe that eventually (maybe 10 years from now) you’ll be able to get a 4 burner stove top with the same features.


Whoah! But it is expensive! $1500 for one pan at a time?!?

I have a one-pan induction cooktop that I got at Best Buy for $50 that I use whenever I need more precise temperature control than I can get from my gas range (e.g., when I make candy or meringue).

I bet the Breville cooktop is much better than mine, but you don't need to spend anywhere near that amount to get something decent.


Yep, I have a $50 one that I use for boiling maple sap outdoors in the spring, but also indoors whenever it's useful to be able to set up a cook surface somewhere other than the kitchen. It doesn't have the super-precise control of the Breville, but it's still a great tool.

I'm not sure what you're looking at, but my wife and I have a mix of cast iron and some stainless steel that has been great and I don't think we paid more than $50 for any one piece.

I believe the question is asking about the induction cooktop. Which indeed does seem to cost about $1500.

He's referencing the induction cooktop. It's $1499 MSRP.

Ahh that makes sense! For what it's worth, the cooktop we're using was $200. It is a bit rubbish: coil whine and the temp control is pretty coarse, but serviceable. I haven't looked, but I'd guess there's a sensible middle ground somewhere in between!

To be fair, a high end built-in induction range for four pans can easily cost $6k or more.

www.njori.com is a currently-vaporware device that looks potentially even better than the Control Freak and is substantially less expensive.


Does it have a coil whine? Cheaper table top induction coolers have a painful whine for me

How does something like that (at $1500) compare to the performance of e.g. a full range like https://www.geappliances.com/appliance/GE-Profile-30-Smart-S... (at twice that, but for an entire rangetop)?

The Profile can supposedly do the closed-loop trick if you pair it with Heston Cue pans. The manual makes this sound like a real PITA, and do you really want a pan with batteries and bluetooth? The Control Freak is compatible with any sufficiently flat magnetic cookware. Do you really want to be limited to a choice of a whopping three compatible pans? The world is full of excellent pots and pans at varying price points, and these are not compatible with the Cue system. This includes, for example:

Essentially disposable nonstick pans (pay a small premium for induction compatibility).

Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens.

Very high end nitride-coated pans from Hestan, compatible with any induction stove except Hestan Cue.

Plain old cast iron.

Magnetic steel comals.

Carbon steel seasonable pans, paella pans, etc.

A flat-bottom wok.

All of those work on induction stoves, and all work on a device like the Control Freak. Just put them on and set a temperature.

On the other hand, the GE range has an app and buttons. Where’s the knob?


Hmm. As someone who has never in his life measured the temperature of anything on top of the stove, maybe this is overkill?

Where does the induction stove measure the temperature? I'm assuming there's a thermometer near the surface of the stove, which I guess is close enough to the food to get good results.

It’s a spring-loaded thermometer in the center of the glass top. It presses against the bottom of the pan.

The problem with that is, how do I use it under a range hood?

Put it on your stove. It looks dumb but it works fine.

The thing with gas for me at least isn't that the heat is better or anything like that but that I feel like I can control the application of the heat better. You can move the pan around heat-surface (or an isotherm, technically) in 3D whereas with induction (I imagine it's better if you spend enough) for the same price it seems harder to get that feel.

Definitely an electric oven though.


I thought that when I first switched to induction. Then I realised that induction responds instantly to any changes you set in temperature so you don’t need to move the pan about in 3D space, just leave the pan on the stove and drop the heat right down.

I’m now back on gas after a house move and I miss induction so much.


> I realised that induction responds instantly to any changes

Hmm... My electric hob seems to control temperature by the amount of time the heating elements are active (+presumably a thermostat). There's a red light when the heating elements are active (or hot but switched off), and a definite click sound when the heating elements come on. You can see the heat immediately turn on when you change to a higher temp, and when you change to a lower temp it seems to just leave the application of heat off longer (I guess allowing elements to cool down to whatever the thermostat says they should be).


What you have is resistive electric stove. It is not the same as an induction stove.

Right, but duty cycling is a common method of output control. I've seen induction cooktops (presumably cheap ones) that also has the same behavior.

Sure all inductions jobs will use duty cycling (pulse width modulation if we’re getting technical). But that doesn’t determine responsiveness.

With a resistive hob (ceramic hob is the industry name) you’re relying on a large lump of stone (hence the name ceramic hob) to be a heat store and even out the elements lumpy power output. Problem with this approach is that it takes forever for the stone to heat up and cool down, so the hob is slow to respond.

With an induction hob, your heating pan directly with a electromagnetic field, the only thermal mass in the entire system is the pan. The hob can instantly change its power output, because its not relying on a stone to store energy, and thus has zero thermal mass.

So induction hob react at the speed of your pan, you have lightweight pan, then the pan temperature will change almost instantly. You got a heavy cast iron pan, then the pan will take a little longer to shed the extra heat.

FYI: If the hob glows when heating, it’s not induction. It’s a ceramic hob. Ceramic hobs are crap and give induction hobs a really bad name because the look the same when off. You can only tell if an induction hob is, if there’s a pan on top. They’re incapable of creating heat without a pan on top.


>inductions jobs will use duty cycling (pulse width modulation if we’re getting technical). But that doesn’t determine responsiveness.

It absolutely does when the pulses are on the order of ten seconds long, as in many electric ranges. But yes, the thermal mass of the heated coil/cooktop are also a major factor.


No it doesn’t, because change the ring setting will interrupt the current duty cycle, and terminates it early if it needed. A control system that didn’t do that would be more complicated than one that did, because it would require the control system to persist internal state across duty cycles.

Sure, in the limited sense of immediacy of response to change in control input. But in the more general sense of also considering accuracy/consistency of response to a control input, not so much. If you have a low thermal mass pan on a middling heat setting on a hob with excessively wide pwm like that, you can tell when the hob is on and when it's off just by how much the contents are sizzling any given second. The pan temperature is not stable because the pulses are too wide.

I’ve personally never encountered such a poorly designed induction hob. Induction hob require proper electronic control systems to operate, it would be weird to design such a system to operate with a wide PWM, it’s costs nothing for the system to operate at 1Hz or higher.

In ceramic hobs, they usually don’t have proper power control systems. They normally rely on a set of thermal switches to disconnect the main heating element when the ceramic element gets hot enough. The entire control system is analog and relies physical phenomena like wax expansion etc. Phenomena that is well know to be unresponsive, but very cheap.


My induction hob does similar on low power settings (at the lowest it's something like 1 second on to 4 seconds off). On higher power settings it's not noticable. I suspect the main reason for this is it's often harder (and more expensive) to design power electronics to operate over a wide PWM duty cycle efficiently, so the low-speed cycling is a way to provide the low settings without a significant cost increase.

Induction hubs are electric but not all electric hub are induction. I’m not certain what you have there, sounds a little like halogen zones though those are old and uncommon.

Induction doesn’t work by producing heat. It works by using electro magnets to excite the metal pots causing them to heat. This makes induction much more efficient than conventional electric (more efficient than gas too) but also fast to react to adjustments in heat settings because you’re not relying on conduction.

https://www.ukwhitegoods.co.uk/help/buying-advice/cooking-pr...


Yeah, no idea either, I rent my current place so it's just whatever the landlord put in years ago and there's only a brand name but no model number on the hob itself.

EDIT: from the link, a ceramic hob matches most closely


Yeah ceramic hobs are one of the, if not the, worst types of hob you have. I feel for your pain there because my first house had them and I found them to be borderline unusable.

>just leave the pan on the stove and drop the heat right down.

I still lift the pan to cool things a bit on an induction top; most units will give you 2 or 3 seconds before auto-off when you do so.

Why you may ask? My cheap induction hob has slowly failing membrane keys.


I can believe it, maybe I've just only used bad induction.

My wife and I have a $200 two burner induction cooktop (Duxtop) and it definitely leaves a bit to be desired. You can tell it tries to keep temperature as conditions change, but it definitely struggles, and the adjustment is pretty coarse. I imagine $1500 Breville one someone else mentioned here is a different experience!

I bought a cheap (£200) 4 plate induction hob around 10 years and it worked really well most of the time (it only struggled if you tried to have all 4 plates on high temperatures so you’d have to think ahead a little if doing a roast). But if 1 to 3 plates running concurrently it was really reliable. So you don’t need to buy top end to get something useable.

Or more likely bad pans ;-)

100% - the ability to visually check the flame is crucial. Especially when you're cooking a lot of things quickly at different temperatures. Without that visual cue, you're just guessing every time. Induction is amazing, but harder to work with. There might be a good idea in making stoves that visually show the temperature of what's in the pot versus how much heat is being fed into it. That would maybe convince me to switch off gas.

A flame doesn’t tell you the temperature of what’s in the pot or pan either. You’ve trained yourself to intuitively understand your gas cooktop, you can do the same with an induction stove presenting you a heating number too. I don’t find induction any worse, it just took a while to relearn and internalize differences.

On our induction top, you set the temperature you want per eye. Instead of remembering that eggs need a flame about *this* big, you learn that eggs need about 320°F. It took some getting the hang of, but I wouldn't describe it as guesswork.

That's just a habit. Instead of visually checking the flame, you just visually read the large 4 digit LED where you set this in steps of 10 degrees Celsius, or whatever. They (mine) already do measure what's in the pot. Or how would you explain that it goes within 2 to 3 seconds from 90°C and just a few pearls to boiling bubbles if you set it to 100°C when there are 2 litres of water in it?

They are more easy to work with, IMO. Just get a good one.


The flame doesn't tell you squat, but if you insist then you can get induction cooktops with a fake flame effect to help you to continue to believe this nonsense. I use this one, it looks pretty cool.

https://www.samsung.com/nz/cooking-appliances/cooktops/induc...


My favorite way to show people how my induction stove works is to put some cold water in a kettle, pop it on a "burner", then turn it to "power boost". You can instantly see tiny bubbles forming on the bottom, and 20 seconds later it's at a rolling boil so intense you fear it may explode. I have no idea how anyone can say induction is slower than gas. And on the other end, low will slowly melt chocolate or heat a hollandaise without needing to steam a mixing bowl.

All the induction stoves I've tried, here in the EU, are great at boiling one pot of water. They suck at everything else.

E.g. want to boil two pots of water in parallel? No can do - after warming up seemingly forever you will have one pot boiling for 5 seconds, then stopping and letting the other pot boil for five seconds, and so on.

I want to love induction - no gas pipes, so much easier to clean, so much better for air quality - but the regular stuff you can buy in stores just isn't there yet. Just the fact that they use a plug which can carry at most 3kW should be enough proof that you cannot use them for serious cooking.


Thats not the norm, we have at least 2 phases to our stovetop, and Iv'e never encountered any kind of power limit, even when using the "boost" mode on several pans at the same time.

We used to live in an apartment with single phase, there we had to somewhat limit the induction top to about 5,5kW and once again I practically never enocuntered it maxing out.


Holy smokes, if you folks across the pond plug your stoves into 3kw, you indeed should never use that for cooking. The plug behind my stove can carry 12, about 10 continuous.

Now, about your issue with parallel cooking: you indeed can not send Max Power to two pots if they are on the same rail. However, even the cheapest ranges I've ever seen have 4 burners, two rails. Which means you _could_ boil two pots of water, as long as you use the correct two burners. You learn pretty quickly which burners share a rail. I'd imagine the really nice ones have a transformer per burner so it's never an issue.

And as long as you're not trying to send boil-in-20-seconds kind of power, you can use all the burners without noticing anything.


So get one which is hard wired on a 32A fuse...? 3kW is on the low end for an induction hob

"To anybody concerned about anecdotal evidence, here's my anecdotal evidence."

Snideness aside, the fact that you have to concern yourself with what pans you buy for an induction stove is enough reason for many to not buy one. You can no longer buy any pan at a store, you must do your research first.

Throw out my current pans and buy even more expensive ones? You're not exactly selling me the induction here.


They’re not necessarily more expensive and you won’t necessarily have to throw anything away they just need to be made with enough ferrous metal that it will work. A simple magnet test will tell you. In fact of all the cookware I have one of my more expensive pots doesn’t work on induction which seemed really odd to me.

FWIW, I don't doubt you and don't necessarily feel the need to be convinced here. The GP however posited exactly these things though - so your response is probably better suited for their comment.

I'm thinking of replacing my crappy glass top stove with an induction one. I did a test with a borrowed portable induction burner. Out of six pots and pans, five of them worked with it. My gut feeling is induction has become common enough in rest of the world that most commodity cookwear will work with it.

FWIW - cast iron is incredibly cheap.

Even cheaper if you buy from a thrift store and put in some elbow grease. If you're an especially tool- and skill-rich hacker, then arc/stick welding with cast iron welding sticks can repair even lost causes. Of course, it isn't "cheap" by then, but any excuse to scratch that hacker/maker itch is fine by me.

I'm not really sure what welding has to do with any of this.

A cast iron pan at Wal-Mart is roughly the same price as a non-stick skillet and will outlast it by decades. Even if you don't want the Wal-Mart brand, you can buy Lodge, which is respected enough even by cast iron fanatics, and is cheaper even than mid range non stick or aluminum/steel skillets.


I moved from induction to gas recently (not by choice).

Anecdotally, the gas feels slower. It seems to take an age to bring things up to the boil compared to my old induction.

Also, cleaning up after spills is a pain compared to a glass surface.


Well the gas feeling slower to bringing things to a boil is to be expected; induction is much much much quicker at boiling things (~10 mins on gas vs ~2-3 mins using induction).

You can mitigate one of these problems with a Turbopot :)

I was resoundingly in the 'induction hobs are crap' camp until this NYE when we found ourselves staying away in the countryside in a place with a basic plug-in induction hob. I sighed and presumed my Absolutely Necessary morning tea would take until the heat death of the universe to boil, but nup, it was done in significantly less time than it takes me at home, when using gas.

If a crappy plug-in hob can boil water that quickly, it can cook that quickly too.

Next move I'm getting that sorted out - no more gas! (Mind you, companies are beginning trials here in the UK mixing Hydrogen with the gas supply, so there's a part of me that still wonders at the future benefit/end to end efficiency).


> there's a part of me that still wonders at the future benefit/end to end efficiency

The future is in completely abandoning residential gas infrastructure, which will have immense benefits in allowing us to stop maintaining and expanding millions and millions of miles of leaky underground pipes. No amount of tweaking the mixture will change the fact that electricity is broadly useful for everything, and that gas is only useful for a small number of things that are quickly being overtaken by electricity.

Hell, if we had devices that could instantly summon sufficient quantities of water from thin air, I'd get rid of my water hookup, too, even though water lines aren't nearly as bad for the atmosphere as gas lines are.


> The future is in completely abandoning residential gas infrastructure...

Gas tankless water heaters are still sometimes a cost-efficient per-therm choice if you are already plumbed for gas [1] [2].

I've yet to find a calculator that figures the TCO (including costs that are externalized today, like pipe losses to the environment) between tankless water heaters using natural gas, propane, resistive electric, induction electric, and heat pump versions of those types, though. There are many different situations, so what is overall systemically efficient in one situation will not be suitable for another.

It would come as little surprise to most HN readers that I have a number of very expensive resistive air heaters that we call computers laying around for my work, so in my particular situation, a heat pump water heater works extremely well. However, I'm still unsure of the TCO after all the maintenance and repair is accounted for over the decades I will own the heat pump as it is undeniably more complex than more common water heaters. So I will give a nod to resistive water heaters as a likely good TCO choice in most situations after all costs are said and done [3].

[1] https://www.ruud.com/products/water-heaters/tankless-water-h...

[2] https://www.waterheaterleakinginfo.com/gas-vs-electric/

[3] https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/is-induction-heating-m...


Heat pump water heating works with surprisingly low temperatures. For example, if your basement naturally approaches 45-50 degrees from the walls, that's plenty to keep a 50-80 gallon tank heated without drawing heat from the rest of the house in the winter. During the other seasons, any incidental cooling is of course a benefit.

Of course, but I'm more thinking about near to mid term, where a heck of a lot of domestic heating and cooking infrastructure has been built upon the assumption of gas, so is an incumbent sunk cost.

All new builds and renovations should be encouraged to deploy full-electric.

- ed: Sorry, I should've specified - I meant 'in the UK' for the large amount of existing gas infrastructure.


But… Why did you think induction hobs were slow? It's almost their whole point that they're fast! Now, admittedly I'm speaking as someone who has never used a gas cooktop, and accustomed to coil-plate or glass-ceramic cooktops (gas hobs are very rare around here), and I guess anything is fast compared to a coil-plate, but still.

My experience with these goes back decades, and my experience - outdated as it clearly is - was not positive.

> you will have to get a Wok with a flat bottom

If it has a flat bottom, then it’s not a wok.

Personally, I hate cooking on induction. My parent have it and it never worked for me. I need to see/hear the gas to be able to control the heat properly.

Once they shut off the gas lines due to the energy transition, I’m going to run a gas pipe from the kitchen to my basement and just buy it in canisters.


> Once they shut off the gas lines due to the energy transition,

This won't happen. What will happen instead is that the gas to cook your omelette in the morning will cost three times more than going to a restaurant would and you'll make your own decision about shutting down your gas lines.


Uh, no. You can make Methane from CO2 and electricity with something like 70% efficiency. So while gas will become a lot more expensive, it won't become too expensive to use it for cooking. You don't need all that much gas for cooking.

You need to factor in the fact that in many areas natural gas is literally a waste byproduct of the oil extraction process, which is why it’s cheap enough for us to cook with. It’s not just that we would need to make methane at 70% efficiency, it’s that we’d be transitioning from something that’s artificially cheap to something that must be made special purpose just for cooking right as alternatives are getting cheaper. And then there’s the distribution network. That’s not free to maintain, and in a world where better electric options are available municipalities are going to want to stop paying for it.

This is the same thing I say to petrol heads about gas. Sure, there might be some left for enthusiasts. But enthusiasts alone will not be able to afford the massive economies of scale that make that consumption anything close to affordable.


I argue that the price for fuel essentially doesn't matter because you don't need all that much. Electricity costs a couple of cents per kWh, so it's very unlikely that synthetic Methane will cost more than a few dozen cents per kWh. So you can run a stove for an hour a day for one or two bucks or so. I guess that's several times more than you pay for natural gas, but a lot cheaper than going to a restaurant.

I think you’ve got this completely backwards.

> so it's very unlikely that synthetic Methane will cost more than a few dozen cents per kWh

No, it’ll cost much more than that. You’re ignoring the factored in cost of storing and distributing gas. This is something that’s only affordable because of economies of scale (and government support) because it was the only practical option for heating and hot water for a while. As electricity gets cheaper and people switch over to heat pumps and electric hot water heaters, the cost of that distribution network is going to fall on fewer people, driving up their cost.

I wouldn’t be surprised if that the gas bill for synthetic methane just for cooking was as high as your current gas bill for heating and cooking. Once economies of scale go away, things get costly fast.

> So you can run a stove for an hour a day for one or two bucks or so. I guess that's several times more than you pay for natural gas, but a lot cheaper than going to a restaurant.

Sure. But the competitor to a natural gas stove isn’t eating out, it’s electricity. Especially as gas gets more expensive and induction ranges become the norm.


I think it’s more likely that we’ll see carbon taxes make it prohibitively expensive than the cost of production itself. In Canada, we’ve got a tax going up to $170/ton by 2030. If most homes go fully electric, I bet that goes up even further.

Carbon taxes don't apply for synthetic Methane made with atmospheric CO2.

> This won't happen.

Not sure where you live, but in my country the plan is to get everyone off gas by 2050. At that time the national gas network should be shut down.


Or you can get an induction wok burner with a curved base, which are just phenomenal… i bought a de detreich but there are a number of brands that do them. It’s way hotter than my previous gas wok ring, and also doesn’t produce so much smell because the gas itself is not rising around the pan and carrying vapours away.

That’s cool! I have an induction stove (it’s fantastic) but no woks. I’ll probably just end up getting a flat bottom one myself but it’s really cool that those curved induction burners exist (just googled it) - I’d never heard of them until now.

Chef Jon Kung posted a video talking about cooking on induction that features a rounded induction cooktop for woks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooNzRrHA9VY

I believe they sell induction hobs that project blue light 'flames' to reflect the heat strength as a visual aid. Not sure if any do the audio as well.

https://www.theverge.com/2015/1/6/7504115/samsungs-virtual-f...


You can hear induction if you can hear above 16khz too.

> If it has a flat bottom, then it’s not a wok.

It has a flat bottom "outside", inside it has the same shape as a normal wok.


That’s still not a wok.

A wok has 2 important features: it has a round bottom and it’s thin. The thin sheet steel allows it to heat up and cool down quickly. Maybe you can make a thick-bottomed pan that has a rounded bottom on the inside. And maybe you can pump enough energy in it to make it heat up quickly, but you can’t suck the energy back out. If it’s that massive it will not cool down quickly.


The materials used for induction woks have very low heat capacity, but are very good at conducting heat. They get instantaneously hot, and instantaneously cold, with just the press of a button in your stove.

This is pretty much the case for all good induction kitchen-ware, since this is one of the main ways of cooking that induction allows that no other kitchen powersupply has.


Really? I’ve never seen a wok like this. Most flat bottomed woks are just flat bottomed.

A wok with a flat bottom outside and curved surface inside would also be heavy.


I have a cast iron one sorta like this https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/lodge-cast-iron-wok...

Yeah, it is heavy. You cant really toss things in it like you would a carbon steel wok.


I can’t access that page from Europe, it gives me a “to our valued customers: fuck you!” page.

If it’s heavy cast iron, it’s not a wok but a wadjan. Does it have 2 handles as well ? A wadjan is an Indonesian wok-like pan, but unlike a wok a wadjan retains heat due to it being heavy cast iron. A wok should be thin sheet steel so it heats up and cools down very quickly.

Wadjans are very good for things that have to stew/simmer, which is common in Indonesian cuisine. It has different uses than a Chinese wok.


I have seen wadjan but I did not know the name, the one I have is sorta a cross between the two. No flat bottom inside the pan but it has handles like the wadjan (probably due to the weight).

Here is a link that might be more useful

https://i.imgur.com/NKXQpXZ.jpeg

https://i.imgur.com/4MlLayk.jpeg

Yeah, it isnt quite like a carbon steel wok but most people in North America wont have a a wok burner to hold the round bottom so they need the flat part.

You also definitely cant cook in them quite like a wok since as you say the cast iron holds so much heat. I usually just get it real hot on the burner for 5 or 6 minutes and then stir fry something. You have to take the food out when it is ready though because moving so much iron off the burner doesn't cool it down as quick.


My brain wasn’t working I guess. I was thinking of sheet metal woks and didn’t consider cast iron.

No.

> My parent have it and it never worked for me

Can you clarify, are you certain you're talking about induction? Inductive cooktops are a relatively recent trend, if you grew up with an electric range there's a good chance it was a resistive cooktop, not an inductive cooktop. Resistive cooktops are pretty notoriously unsatisfying.


> Can you clarify, are you certain you're talking about induction? Inductive cooktops are a relatively recent trend

Not that recent, at least not here in Europe. I know the difference, they had a resistive cooktop maybe 15 years ago or so, that was even worse, took forever to respond.

There are several problems with induction. While not inherent to induction, the controls tend to be crap. For some reason most induction cooktops have touch controls, which are an absolute disaster. At my parents previous place they had one where you had to first select the burner, and then use +/- touch buttons to change the temperature. You couldn’t quickly change anything. And of course the touch controls never worked if you had wet hands (and why would you have wet hands when cooking, right ?) Although indiction plates with knobs apparently do exist, I haven’t seen any yet.

A problem that is inherent is the complete lack of feedback: you can’t see a flame, you can’t hear it, meaning you can’t adjust the temperature by feel. Another inherent problem is that it limits the type of cookware you can use on it, only flat bottomed steel pans.

Basically, they are very impractical devices and not fit for purpose in any way.


You're welcome to your own personal preference, but concluding that "they are very impractical devices and not fit for purpose in any way" is so clearly hyperbolic that it deflates your entire position.

I mean, they are probably okay if all you use it for is boil a pot of pasta or heat some soup. If you actually like cooking they are pretty much useless. It’s like working with one hand tied behind your back.

Lots of high end restaurants, full of people who actually like cooking, incorporate or even exclusively use induction.

This is complete bullshit.

https://eurokera.com/blog/professional-chefs-love-induction-...

https://www.vice.com/amp/en/article/78mvqa/why-londons-top-c...

https://www.treehugger.com/professional-chefs-are-dumping-ga...

It's one thing to have a preference, and another thing altogether to lie about the things you don't like to bolster your preference.


>It's one thing to have a preference, and another thing altogether to lie about the things you don't like to bolster your preference.

step back for a moment and realize that you're calling another human a bullshitter and a liar about their preference in cooking equipment. They're explaining their anecdotal position on the matter -- not teaching a college course.

I'm a big cook, i'm always in any cooking related thread on HN -- I never see the crowd rile up as much as when induction hobs are ever mentioned. It's strange to me that induction hobs create so much conflict and illicit so much passion from both sides of the aisle..


But they werent actually saying anything about their own preference, they were claiming that people who like induction don't like cooking, and that induction is worthless for people who like cooking. That is a claim that is provably false, and therefore by definition is a lie.

Or if you're on the Great British Bake Off, where they are very clearly using induction to cook.

Baking is not cooking.

You realize they use the induction burners for something, right?

True, a flat bottom means it isn’t a “classic” Wok but we find them just as usable.

I think there are probably still UX problems to be solved with Induction, the visual feedback on gas is better. We fortunately have knobs on ours (I hate the touch buttons on some).


How do you think those canisters are being filled?

Not from the country-wide natural gas network, as they contain propane instead of methane. They will keep selling those as you can’t exactly take a induction hob camping.

Propane requires a slight modification to a gas hob (basically, different sized nozzles) but those came with my hob and it’s trivial to replace them.


I have an induction cooktop and my cast iron pans have been terrible. Cast iron has lousy heat conduction and induction stoves do not have even distribution. They negate a lot of the benefits of induction, which is the ability to put a massive amount of heat into the pan very quickly.

High carbon steel pans (the kind used by kitchen services) have been brilliant. Every time I've seen an induction cooktop in use in a commercial service (for example, at my work place cafeteria at the "rice meal" station) they use high carbon steel pans.

The biggest problem: no cooking during power outages, which happen around 2-3x a year.


Surprised to hear you have had a bad experience. We use stainless still pans for all the normal sized pans. It’s large pots/casserole dishes/Dutch ovens we have in cast iron and they work really well. We also have an cast iron skillet that is great, gets very hot very quickly.

All our cast iron is Le Creuset.


You do need to be careful using carbon steel on induction, at least until you get the hang of it: the instant heat makes warpage easy to encounter, especially if the coil is undersized relative to the pan (US portable hobs have tiny diameter coils).

I thought that was the point of cast iron though? Heat batteries basically: long time to heat up, but then you have a lot of constant heat energy.

Cast iron has never been quick on any type of stovetop.

I agree about carbon steel though. Underappreciated although gaining more attention.


> I have an induction cooktop and my cast iron pans have been terrible. Cast iron has lousy heat conduction and induction stoves do not have even distribution.

That’s interesting, can you compare the heat distribution problem to resistive? I have a gas range now, but when I had resistive I would preheat my cast iron in the oven for nice uniform heat distribution


"Cast iron" and "high carbon steel" are the same thing by different names, so I'm a little confused by your comment.

High carbon steel has less carbon than cast iron. Cast iron contains substantial amounts of Ledeburite, while steel contains none or at most negligible Ledeburite inclusions.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/Iron_car...


They’re not quite the same, cast iron generally has a higher carbon composition range and a different phase distribution. Cast iron has a much lower thermal conductivity

>Cast iron has a much lower thermal conductivity

I thought this was true (it makes some sense), but the data seems to show the opposite. This source has cast iron at 52 W/m-K, and 1% carbon steel at 43 W/m-K (0.5% carbon steel is at 54 W/m-K). Now, this obviously depends a lot on the processing and heat treatment of each material. But at the very least, the difference is not massive.

https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-meta...


Interesting, thanks!

I guess most of the reputation of cast iron comes from the chunky shapes of the pans, and that the higher end stainless cookware is often cladding around copper core


Completely agree. Switched to induction cooktop 9 months ago. Aside from the health benefits (a nice bonus), we also find the cooking experience to be far superior over a gas cooktop.

The issue with induction isn’t speed, not even close. The issue relative to has is the evenness of the heat distribution over a large surface area.

Gas isn’t even remotely worth the downsides but there’s a number of dishes I can make that are easier and higher quality to do on gas, like if I’m trying to sear a large pan full of meat.


You just need an induction hob that has large induction surface (or even +-the whole surface), not usual circles of varying sizes, in case you have oversized pans.

From physics point of view the way you raise temperature of pan has 0 effect on what's happening in the pan.


I’ve considered that should be perfectly possible in theory but in practice it seems pretty rare to see an induction stove with a coil larger than an 8” diameter which simply won’t really effectively work for a 12” frypan. By comparison it’s relatively easy to find a low to mid end gas burner that can evenly heat a 12” frypan or a wok or what have you. I think part of the reason why is the appliance being bottlenecked by its standardized electrical power source, but I also think it’s just a matter of manufacturers prioritizing cost and customers not understanding the issue.

The only real solutions to this issue I could find are smaller and thicker pans, and the use of things like ovens and barbecues.


> From physics point of view the way you raise temperature of pan has 0 effect on what's happening in the pan.

in a spherical cow sense, yeah, heat is heat. but the distribution of that heat is going to depend a lot on the implementation, and can make a big difference for searing meats or making delicate sauces.

radiant glasstops are really good at even heating, but only if the bottom of your pan is exactly the same size as the burner. the edge of the bottom ends up a little cooler, because energy is radiated out from the unheated sides, but not dramatically so.

I've found gas ranges to be pretty terrible for even heating. you get a hot ring where the most intense part of each flame touches the bottom, but a significantly cooler center. only the most expensive gas ranges come close to the evenness of a pedestrian glasstop. main benefit of these is you can effectively change the size of the burner, so nice if you have a lot of odd-sized pans.

I haven't had a chance to try an induction range myself, but I've read a lot of ymmv type posts on the internet. the gist seems to be that the tech itself is very good, but the outcome depends on the (electical) conductivity of the pan itself. which makes sense to me, at least in a handwavy sort of way. I wouldn't expect every pan to heat itself perfectly evenly in response to a uniform magnetic field.


I have an induction and the heat has been far more even and controllable than it has on gas. Maybe it has to do with the quality of the burner or of the pans?

I love induction. I did however struggle with my carbon steel pan. It just wouldn't season properly. I followed the instructions from the manufacturer, online guides. You name it. The thing would start shedding its coat after a while. It was a mess.

Then we moved to a house with an old electric stove. The pans turned to pure magic. More non-stick than our teflon pans.

Then we moved again to a place with an induction stove and bam: the pans are shit again.

It is obviously me, of course. Heat is heat. But something about induction makes me unable to use carbon steel.


My issue is not the pans, it's using duty cycle to control the amount of energy added. I can't effectively pan fry anything without using cast iron or enough(read: too much) oil to retain some heat mass, because either it gets too hot and past the smoke point of the oil or too low and the food will cool off between heating cycles. The other slight annoyance is coil whine.

Absolutely unmatched for boiling water, and I'm very happy using it with a cast iron dutch oven for slow cooking and soups or stews.


Sounds like you have a glass top electric coil stove, not induction. Induction has a very stable fast heat, cooks like gas. Glass top electric are the one that turn on for 10 seconds off for 30, never the right temp. I replaced a glass top stove with an induction one last year, couldn't be happier. I can actually fry eggs now.

It is a tabletop induction burner, not a glass top electric coil. Its cycle frequency is about 60Hz, I can time it by the coil whine.

Low quality ones generally have that problem due to using PWM to control the temperature. I've used cheaper and more expensive ones, and the more expensive ones have much more fine control of temperature, and not just a toggle between on and off.

Yes the stainless steel tri ply pans on an electric stove are pretty awesome. I haven’t really cooked on a gas stove to compare though. Some people think stainless steel pans are worse/cheaper than non stick, but that is not the case. Chefs use stainless steel all the time and prefer it. But the secret is learning to deglaze the pan to free anything stuck to the bottom of the pan in order to make cleaning magnitudes easier.

Restaurants also discard things at a good clip.

Stuff that isn't reactive can be well cleaned using ammonia vapor (which will break down grease and burned on grease and so on). Just put it in a bag or other container with some ammonia (no need to submerge, it's the vapor that does the work) and let it sit for a while.


Slightly curved _undersides_ works really well on induction in my opinion. Since its contactless its better than the old cast-iron stovetops at least for rounded pans. :)

Due to a recent-ish move, I have gone from ~20 years with a gas cooker to induction (with about 6 months of halogen in-between). Induction is pretty good. It lacks the visceral feedback of "how hard am I driving this specific ring/cooking spot right now" that a gas flame has. But, it probably offers more precision.

Not tried a wok, yet, though.


I've never been in a kitchen with induction that didn't have coil whine. Even really fancy high five-figure induction cooktops I can hear the whine.

I could never have that in my kitchen :(


Flat bottom wok doesn’t really work. You lose the heat going up the sides. I bought one of those butane table top burners just for wok use. Induction is great for everything else.

I've always had gas, and we moved into our new home which has electric.. After using it I don't understand the fuss..I love it and will never go back!

I wasn’t really aware of induction until the house I bought this year happened to have it. It’s amazing. I never want anything else.

Completely agree. Also, get a hob with physical knobs rather than touch controls. Not as pretty but much less frustrating.

How do I use my trusty wok on an induction stove?

On gas we have a wok ring that just sits on top of the burner.


If you’re willing to use a cast iron wok, Lodge makes one with a flat bottom on the outside but curved on the inside. You have to make some major technique concessions, but it will work on induction, and if you use a butane torch while flipping food you can almost get a wok hei going.

This has sort of been my experience with induction beyond woks too, it often requires technique and equipment concessions. Great for boiling water and sautéing though. The tops also have durability/longevity issues when compared to gas and that isn’t usually acknowledged.


There are wok pans designed for induction, eg https://www.electrolux.se/accessories/accessories/cooking-ac...

That looks fascinating, I would love to know the physics of that ring and how it works. I had always assumed you needed a whole solid ferrous ring touching the glass plate whereas this is only touching in three places. It must then be electrically conducting from the ring to the Wok to induct the eddy current as those three points wouldn’t be enough to conduct heat.

Alternatively maybe it’s just relying on inducting directly to the Wok bottom but the surface area touching the glass plate is very small so I can’t see it working well.


Induction works with magnets. The electromagnets in the stove induct energy into the pan and that's what heats up.

The ring does three things (probably). Keeps the wok supported, transfers heat to the pan, and tricks the sensors in the stove into thinking there's a flat pan on it.


(Just edited my comment to mention woks, sorry)

You would need to get a special flat bottom Wok designed for induction. I believe there are also some induction woks that come with a special plate or ring you place them on to make them work and still have a curved bottom, I have no experience of them.


The ones with the ring are junk

A good point. Alot of depends on the style of cooking you do, and how heat is used in that cooking style. I personally dont even have a wok, so the idea would never occur to me.

I love induction and I hate gas. But aren't there possible effects of induction on health?

You mean the (non-existent) health effects of non-ionizing radiation exposure?

The damage feels like heat at lower frequencies (sitting in front of a fire oh no!) and a sizzle at higher frequencies (sitting in the sun oh no!). Induction stovetops emit orders of magnitude less than a fire and nothing at higher frequencies. Essentially: they get hot.

The best advice I can give: if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/nonionizing_radiation.htm...


Well, at least sitting in the sun can definitely cause health issues :)

I think the article is precisely about studying more closely something that was thought to be safe (by the author at least), keeping an open mind never hurts :)

It's not like I would switch back to gas even if induction radiation was found to be causing some kind of health issue anyway, just like I'm still using my phone, because it's convenient (or going at the beach even if it's sunny because I like it ^^)


Keeping an open mind never hurts, but being willfully blind to a hundred years of studies does. There is no proposed mechanism for these health effects. It is literally "be scared of the boogeyman because you don't know better".

Do you mean effects of gas on health? Those are well documented.

Well induction has no measurable negative health effects whereas gas is so bad for you that it leads to a I think in the realm of a quarter increase in childhood asthma? In terms of negative health effects there’s combustion and then there’s everything else.

What kind of effects?

Magic, but the "jury's still out".

Denaturation of proteins? ;)

EMFs (such as from induction cooktops) absolutely have an impact on health. A study I cited in another comment indicates that a compliant induction cooktop emits 16x the amount on non-ionizing radiation that’s considered safe.

At what frequency? At lower frequencies, you can go higher power, as more of the radiation passes through you instead of warming you up.

When we got a nice induction stove we spend years showing off to friends how it could boil a pot of water in about 15 seconds. But the thing we like most about it is how easy it is to clean. :)

My wife and I decided to switch to induction after the NYT article on this topic a few months ago.

Not only did we have a gas stove that was probably spiking NO2 levels when we actually used it; we also seemed to have a gas leak. It was not a big one, just a faint smell, but it was hard to pin down. A plumber concluded the connection between the range and the pipe wasn't the problem. No specific part of the range smelled stronger than the rest of it. For all we knew, it might be a hole in a pipe. So we wanted to make gas stop flowing through our unit (a condo within a three-family home, very normal here in Cambridge, Massachusetts) altogether.

We contacted an appliance company about switching to induction. To prepare, they told us, we would first need to upgrade the range power outlet to 40 amps, and cap off the gas pipe behind the range.

The electrical work cost $1800. It could have been much more; we were lucky our circuit breaker was positioned such that they only needed to make two openings in our walls. (They suggested we put little hatch doors in those spots to make future work easier.)

We asked our plumber to not only cap off the gas pipe behind the range, but also put in a valve in the basement, such that gas flow could be shut off to our unit, but also easily turned back on if a future owner wants to reverse what we did. We did this rather than turn off our gas altogether, because we have a gas water heater and still needed gas available there. The plumbing work cost about $300 I think.

To make cooking stay as close as possible to being how great and fast it is with gas, we chose a range with an induction stove: The LG LSE4616ST, which cost $3000.

We were lucky to be able to afford this change for our health. Of course, it would have cost a lot less if we hadn't cared about induction, but still multiple thousands of dollars.

We should be subsidizing conversions like this.


> We should be subsidizing conversions like this.

This is the epitome of the current green movement. Proponents want an unnecessary luxury green product subsidized for higher income households, even though there are perfectly fine substitutes that are just as good for the environment at 1/5 the cost you just described. I just can't get on board with a movement like this.


I mean, they could have just fixed their gas leak (lol what the fuck) and bought a nice hood. Even having to suggest people fix their gas leak is comedic and reminds me of how absurd many tech people are. Bragging about transitioning, recommending a subsidy, allowing a gas leak.

if you have natural gas service there are probably active gas leaks in your city from the supply lines, gas is very leaky

Just because there's gas leaks elsewhere doesn't mean I want one in my kitchen.

Oh sure, but it's very common to have a minor leak in your home and be relatively unaware.

Just by nature of natural gas service existing you're being exposed to leaks by your municipality. It's better to be rid of it entirely. Washington DC, for example, has over 5,000 leaks. Boston leaks ~50,000 tons a year.

I suspect 50 years from now natural gas will be remembered as fondly as leaded gasoline is today.


Here in New Orleans they take your meter if you report a leak and you can’t get it back for a couple weeks and thousands in reconnection fees because they don’t trust people’s plumbers apparently and have to reinspect everything themselves

> and thousands in reconnection fees because they don’t trust people’s plumbers apparently and have to reinspect everything themselves

That makes my regulatory capture spidey senses tingle in several different ways.


The New Orleans City Council regulates them, not the state. Not sure if the city Building and Permits office (which has had its own travails) gets involved in this.

So choose the amount you subsidize so that the cheapest reasonable solution becomes affordable to most people. There are induction stoves costing just a few hundred dollars for example. There is no need to subsidize $3k, but subsidizing electrical or plumbing work to replace fossil fuels with electricity makes perfect sense.

We've wound up with subsidies because it is what is politically feasible.

The most efficient approach would be to correctly price the negative externalities of gas on health and environment, but pragmatically politicians understand that enormous carbon taxes are a very quick way to be voted out of office. Accordingly we arrive at the solutions available: subsidies for alternatives and/or a very slow phase in of carbon taxes.

Progressive jurisdictions are straight up banning gas hookups in new developments for environmental and health reasons.


Certainly the case with electric cars.

Subsidy in the form of a tax credit (so you need to front the government the money until tax season), so that you can buy something that basically only works if you own a house, into which you've already installed some infrastructure, itself subsidized via tax credit.

I can't help but think it would have been better to subsidize the purchase of used hybrids (or, you know, transit)


I agree with you on hybrids, I think hybrids are a better fit for most people right now. Especially for renters and households with one car. I also think people need to come to terms with the reality of the world we live in right now and take responsibility for their own resiliency. We cannot externalize complete resiliency to government. We are in a bit of a chaotic transition right now. In the last two years we've seen electricity failures, public safety failures and basic government services failing. I think people need to make sure their lives are resilient through decisions like should I buy an EV or hybrid.

Overall I'm not against green subsidies. I'm against subsidies going to higher income households, it's government transfers to the rich! Especially in California, their green subsidies benefit the rich and hurt the poor.


We should absolutely not be subsodisong someone who has the means to install a $3000 induction range and do $2k worth of additional work at the same time. A semi decent 4 ring induction cooktop can be had for less than £300, and it plugs straight into a wall socket with no electrical work needed. If you're removing a gas stove and making the point safe, I'd say $100 to cap the pipe at the point of the old range (based on me having that work done in my last apartment). Prices may vary with cost of living.

For people using small burners in apartments, single ring plug in induction cooktops are available for about $100 with no other work required.


Typical American wall sockets rarely deliver more than 120V * 15A. Plug in induction hobs targeting the American market clock in at 1800 W spread across all burners, at most. There are no four burner solutions for which this power is sufficient.

If wired for an electric resistance range and oven, the typical American home has 240x30+

Right, but we are talking about an upgrade to a house that was wired for a gas range. The person I was responding to suggested using a countertop hob plugged into a standard wall socket. That's not going to work in the states.

At least, I assume that is what they were talking about because there are no full scale induction ranges available for 300 pounds = $400. They start around $900.


> countertop hob plugged into a standard wall socket.

There are two-burner countertop units on Amazon that use 120 volt/15 amp and are inexpensive. I have not tried them.


Yes, that's what we've been talking about. 120V 15A is not enough to run two burners at any kind of reasonable heat output, much less four. That's 900W->3000BTU/h per burner, assuming the electronics work optimally. Even accounting for the fact that induction is 100% more efficient than gas, you're talking about the equivalent of two 6000BTU/h gas burners, effectively. For reference, that's less power than the simmer burner on my gas range. The main burners of a cheap gas range are 15000BTU/h, and more expensive ranges go up to 25000BTU/h.

All this is of course fixed by installing a dedicated circuit for a real induction range. 220V * 40A increases the potential output six-fold, which is enough for any reasonable use case. But doing that is much more expensive, which is the whole of what I was trying to convey.


Gas stoves transfer very little of that heat to your food, most of it goes around your pans and into your kitchen. And the thing with high heat is that it gets drastically less efficient. Large flames push way more heat around the pot than they push into it.

We're not not talking about 100% differences, we're talking closer to 400%. At least that's what I've found when measuring boil times for a 1200w plug in unit compared to a 15000btu gas burner.

Of course 240v is an absolute must for a 4 burner range, but that's not uncommon nor hard to get. Almost every home in the US has at least one 240v connection in the house, and it's usually $200-300 to get one installed. That's not nothing, but it's way less than it costs to install a gas line.


> We're not not talking about 100% differences, we're talking closer to 400%.

The number I cited came from some random website that I Google searched. If you have a more authoritative number, I'm happy to see a citation, but I won't be convinced by you just saying so. FWIW, the low power claims I made r.e. 2 burner plug in induction cooktops match my personal experience using them.

> Almost every home in the US has at least one 240v connection in the house, and it's usually $200-300 to get one installed.

I would be impressed if you could get 240 run from your breaker to your kitchen for $200, unless the breaker box is right next to your kitchen. The cost of the job is mostly going to depend on how time consuming it is to run the wires, assuming the wires already present are not sufficient for carrying 240v 40A. A brief search on the internet indicates a very wide range of quotes, probably dependent on site conditions and the local electrician labor market.


This is true, but a lot of newer homes have a cooktop and separate oven, rather than a drop-in or slide-in range as used to be popular. This is nice because the oven is at a better height (and it's pretty convenient to have a double oven), but the consequence is that gas cooktops are almost never wired for 240V. If the cooktop is on it's own circuit then the upgrade can be done without rewiring, but I don't imagine that's a very common arrangement, it's probably shared with a few outlets, or microwave, etc.

The curse of 120v strikes again. I did a quick Google and it looks like it'll cost you about $500 to install a 240v circuit, which is still a far cry under the 5k+ the above poster paid. A 3600kW combined set of burners is likely more than enough for many households

Yeah, I think it really depends on the state of your cabinets. The bare bones induction option is something like

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Empava-36-in-Built-In-Electric-S...?

But you also need a 220+V and 40A circuit installed. How expensive this will be is 100% dependent on where your breaker box is in relation to your kitchen. Moreover, this option only works if your kitchen is already configured for a cooktop, as opposed to a full range. Most American kitchens are still configured for ranges, so to install something like this you'd also need to retrofit your cabinets. Now prices are starting to add up.

The minimum induction range is about $1000, so I don't think you're going to get away with spending less than $1500 except in a very exceptional case.

All that being said, yes, it can be done for much less than what OP paid in most cases, but I wouldn't necessarily count on the quality of the barebones induction range (at least based on my experience with portable induction cooktops -- they are often shit with small heating coils that produce intense hotspotting).


> But you also need a 220+V and 40A circuit installed. How expensive this will be is 100% dependent on where your breaker box is in relation to your kitchen

From googling around it looks like $300 to $800 in the US; I can't use homedepot here in the UK but I found this [0] for $350. That's ~$800 for an upgrade to a hob , assuming you do the electrical work.

> Most American kitchens are still configured for ranges, so to install something like this you'd also need to retrofit your cabinets. Now prices are starting to add up.

Anyone who owns a house with a range doesn't need a subsidy, to be frank. _houses_ might be, but apartments are likely using shitty bottom of the range gas burners, or crappy electrical coils. In my experience a £99 ikea portable induction burner was _way_ better than my builtin gas stove in my last rental apartment.

[0] https://www.lowes.com/pd/Gasland-Chef-Gasland-Chef-I-H77BF-3...


>A semi decent 4 ring induction cooktop can be had for less than £300

Yeah, but it doesn't have wifi. The one for $3000 is wifi enabled. Shame it doesn't have an LCD, means Doom is kinda of hard to run on it.


I live in an apt and bought a ~$100 induction hot plate and now do about 90% of my cooking on that (formerly used semi-faulty burners on a cheap electric range). In the future when I own my home I plan on just a having a few cheap restaurant induction hot plates at ~$250 each I can replace/upgrade at will. It might not look as classy, but it will do everything I could ever ask it to do.

A cheap induction hob with 4 "burners" should cost about $250, once they cease being marketed and priced as luxury appliances in the USA:

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/household-appliances/cooking/h...

(Comparing BestBuy.com, where they are all fancy and start at $1000.)


A half decent mid range one is "only" about twice the price too; still nowhere near $1k

We bought a single profesional induction stove, 4.5 kW for a single plate, on ebay, barely used, for 100$. The thing is a beast. You can heat a pot with 50L of water in ~10-15min with it to like 60 + degrees celsius.

With gas it takes an hour.


Water really does make it obvious. I always used to use an electric kettle to heat water and then pour it into a pan to avoid waiting for it to heat on gas. With an induction hob it's super fast to heat.

It’s very bizarre to me how you can get very inexpensive single burner countertop induction plates ($50-100), but multi-burner built-in cooktops are dramatically more expensive ($1000-4000). Anybody know why this is?

Is the US most homes use combination stove/ovens called ranges. These are the cheap option because they are mass produced. Stovetops are more common in bigger, more expensive homes which is why the stovetops at Best Buy are the "premium" models.

Also, at least in the US people have been told over and over how a kitchen remodel actually adds value to your house. "Every dollar you spend you get a dollar twenty back!" Well maybe so or maybe not, but if you don't sell your house before you need to remodel again, you are never realizing that gain.


Interestingly, this is more or less the opposite to Europe these days. While integrated stove/ovens are somewhat rare now, they tend to exist almost exclusively on the high end; a bog-standard cheapest-possible installation will be a separate halogen or induction (or gas) stovetop and a single oven.

>a separate halogen or induction (or gas) stovetop

Are you implying resistive coils, like Calrod, are more expensive, or not available?


You never see the naked coils anymore; as far as I know they're not available anymore (though I'm not sure _why_; they were definitely a thing when I was a kid, but I haven't seen one in about 25 years). The very cheapest units are often those solid plate resistive heater things, but the price difference between those and halogen/ceramic units is very small (about 50 euro on the low end) and the running costs are higher; you don't see them much anymore.

Interestingly, there _is_ still a market for the halogen ones, even though induction units are about the same price on the low end: https://powercity.ie/groups/view?grp=45&class=41


Product segmentation I guess. One is competing with microwaves and other loose utilities, the other is installed as part of a kitchen outfitting which is expected to be expensive.

The professional machines don’t look nice, don’t have fancy buttons or electronics. They are not fashion items for fancy looking kitchens.

Instead, They are practical. They have insane power (4.5kW is low range… and it goes directly into the pan…). They are easy to clean, and they have physical knobs: one for on/off, and a dial for power, which they display in a cheap display in kWs.


Any pointers on where a residential customer could get one of these?

Any kitchen supply store. Just google "kitchen supply store" and in any decently sized city you will get a half-dozen within 30 minutes of you.

ebay (buy new directly from the brand). Restaurants open and close, and that stuff needs to often go somewhere else, up to the point that many of these brands sell their new equipment on ebay dirctly via their own shop.

I'm sure it is at least partially just what you can get away with charging.

Single burners are common for students and people with little room for anything larger, often very budget constrained.

Cooktops are often being put in as a part of an already expensive kitchen refit/build.

With that said, I'm sure there are other factors. Built-in hobs tend to need to be a lot thinner to fit in the available space, at least from what I have seen.


I can order a Bosch induction top with 7.4kW and four fields for 350€ off Amazon. Where do you pay $1000?

In the US you can't order a Bosch induction top off Amazon. The cheapest 4 field Bosch induction cooktop at Home Depot, Lowe's and Best Buy (stores people frequently buy appliances at in the US) is $1700.

This is really interesting. I was reading the thread waiting to find a hard, technical reason for the cost difference. Instead, this really seems to be an opportunity for disrupting the US market. I wonder if someone could make some good money for a while importing Bosch stove tops. Your margin blah blah blah..

Until Bosch and their authorized US resellers discover you exist, yes.

If they don't want the free market to do its thing, I'm sure someone more dedicated could instead get something comparable made in China.

> We should be subsidizing conversions like this.

No we shouldn't. Whatever you care about, like maybe CO₂, at those prices you can get a better bang for your buck elsewhere. For new installations it might make sense.


It could be that your gas lines are old and porous, leading to slow release of gas. Usually not a problem, unless the space is enclosed or poorly ventilated, in which case it can cause pooling of the gas and possibly an explosion.

Gas is dangerous, lines should be checked every couple of years (pressurized or vacuum tested) and the rubber connection hose for the range should be replaced every five years or so.


Rubber hose for gas? Is that really a thing? For years now all the appliance-to-supply line connections I've seen have been flexible stainless steel.

Perhaps poster meant polyethelene, which is normal for gas retic.

https://www.europart.nl/aansluitmateriaal/gas/slang/universe...

This is what we use for the final part of a gas line in the Netherlands.


>The electrical work cost $1800

For less than 8 hours of work I'm sure.. I'm in the wrong profession.

It could be worse, try doing this in an old building in NYC.


Unless there were serious unmentioned complications, that is a ludicrous amount of money to pay for a new 40-amp circuit. Upgrading the entire panel costs less where I live.

I expect it will cost at least that much for me to do it, and I think my arrangement isn't that uncommon. My meter is on the exterior garage wall, and so the panel is on the interior in that same location. The only path for wiring to my kitchen is up and into the attic then down, or around the garage in conduit until it can enter the crawlspace. Either option is going to cost a day of electrician time, and he's going to charge at least a grand for that. Add in materials, covid pricing, and if I get out of it for less than $2K I'd be surprised.

Fortunately my brother in law is a licensed electrician and he'll do it for his normal rate, which won't include the 100+% markup from the business. I'll pay him generously and still end up paying less.


We would probably better off not relying on politicians to use what technology wins, but instead tax carbon emissions. And I mean tax it properly at real cost of the externality. Not some fig leaf $1/gallon.

Gas in general may cause incidental gas pollution —but I see a problem by the author. The author mentions high pollution results when cooking —which for the author does using a gas range. However the author doesn’t discuss results from alternate ranges. I have an induction stove and every time I cook the indoor air pollution also spikes (lots of frying). It’s likely less than that caused by gas stoves but never the less creates pollutants in the air.

I have no doubt that gas causes more pollution but they are remiss for not mentioning the cooking process itself causes pollution.


> incidental gas pollution... the author doesn’t discuss results from alternate ranges... "

The alternative ranges produce zero. Combustion heating, cooking and driving produces NO2, electric doesn't. The article is specifically about NO2, it has specific adverse health effects.

> Every time I cook the indoor air pollution also spikes "

What kind of pollution are you measuring? My air purifier reacts to frying too and shows "high pollution', but it just measures particles in the air - it cannot tell apart cancerous coal ash from harmless pollen and frying oil getting in the air.


The food itself can give off emissions — obviously less so if you're doing something like, say, boiling eggs in water, but if you're using high temperatures and oil then it could be significant.

>I have no doubt that gas causes more pollution but they are remiss for not mentioning the cooking process itself causes pollution.

Yes, and the real problem is vents that do not exhaust outside. Even in code crazy California, it is perfectly legal to have vents that just blow the air around.


Author also mentions pollution from the gas furnace though, so no cooking involved. But you're right: would be interesting to know amounts of NO2 released by frying though.

I was never taught you must use the hood and barely use it.

The author is comparing cooking between different types of stoves, not indoor air quality between different activities. I believe you would call this a controlled variable, for example by making sure you cook the same meal, at the same quantity, the same way. Real scientists can correct me.

No. The author didn’t do this.

You might wanna take a second look at the title of the article.

You might want to take a minute to read the article itself. The author measures NO2 levels in their house with the equipment (stove, furnace, etc) that they have and the meals that they cook (or don't, e.g. when getting takeout). They make no comparison to other stoves.

There is an implicit comparison through the research he cites. It’s also almost certain the reader would be using this information to decide on moving away from gas. No one is trying to use this information to make a decision on whether to abandon cooking. They want to know how bad gas stoves pollute indoor air so they can weigh their decision to go electric.

Sure. But the comment you responded to was about the observational study that the author did, not about the research. The question is about what portion of the observed emissions come from cooking per se, as opposed to the gas that is used to do the cooking. I suspect it is a small portion, but it is still an interesting one, and not addressed by the article.

My original comment was saying that when trying to make comparisons between types of stoves food emissions are controlled.

And that comparison hasn’t been made. Sure. The food emissions are going to be (about) the same for the same meal, regardless of the stove. But nobody knows whether the food emissions make up 5% or 95% of the emissions in his measurements. Because he hasn’t compared his gas stove to any other stove.

No, the author is not comparing different types of stoves. I never saw anything about induction or wood stoves.

I enjoy cooking a lot and I cooked on gas stoves, electric ones (the ones that have those red hot spiral things under a glass) and top-of-the-line induction ones. In my opinion (and probably many restaurants' opinions from what I can see through their reactions on bans for gas appliances in new buildings), a gas stove is just unmatched in how much easier and better it makes cooking.

I totally get the desire to switch to electric appliances for many reasons, but I am yet to meet an electric stove of any kind that I remotely enjoyed cooking on. Is this everyone's experience? Did I just not meet the right induction stove yet? Is there some sort of new technology on the horizon that will make electric stoves infinitely better?


I love induction. The main annoyance, for me, are the touch controls.

You regulate up or down in steps, and the controls sometimes have trouble recognizing your fingers if they are wet. There’s also no tactile feedback.

I’d much rather turn a knob.

Then it would be perfect.


I'm the same. I was a huge proponent for gas stoves, until I got a good induction one and wow. It's just as good when it comes to heat, with extra advantages like not throwing extra heat into my kitchen, things never burning onto the actual plate and it just generally being a much neater solution. But yeah the heat can easily match gas, it's great.

And I also agree that the touch controls are absolutely the worst, they are abysmal. I see why they are done this way - it allows the entire plate to be wiped clean very easily. But I still wish you could have separate controls somewhere on the side, with actual tactile knobs.


Tactile feedback? Knobs? What do you think this is, the 1950s? No no. Your next stove should have a touchscreen, maybe not even a screen at all - control everything via your phone using a cloud based platform that connects to your stove./s

OK, but where does the blockchain and Stovecoin mining fit in? I gotta make money from cooking on it somehow!

>> I gotta make money from cooking on it somehow!

This may be old-fashioned, but have you considered using the stove to cook food and then selling the food? If we need to get technology involved, you could accept payments via square. Hell, you could probably even accept payment via blockchain.

But then again, how will the poor stove manufacturer continue to capture monetary value from your purchase? I just bought some delicious tamales from a coworkers mom, and I doubt she shared any of those ill-gotten gains with Samsung. Clearly this is a sector in need of disruption StoveCoin is sounding better and better. Plus, all the waste heat from mining can make kitchens as hot as operating a gas stove, which is what induction stoves are missing. Let me know when the ICO is happening!


This is obviously how the stove generates the heat. The CPU is doing bitcoin mining for Samsung. Each plate has it's own set of CPU's depending on size.

For Samsung - not for you. Brilliant!

Your next stove mines bitcoin on recycled Pentium 4s that were overclocked to 5GHz.

Control via phone will actuallly be the best.

I could buy a bunch of expensive hifi qualitu knobs and potentiometers and build my own panel to control the stove.


Control via phone will actuallly be the best.

And then your toddler throws your phone in the toilet while you're making Christmas dinner, and you can't turn the thing off.


Haha. Exactly! Or just use Alexa. „If you don‘t subscribe to Amazon Music now, I‘ll burn your food!“.

Alexa. Turn lights on.

: Ok, burning house down.


More like "we have detected that you try to cook meat, so the stove wont start"

I don't know how anyone can cook with these things for exactly the reasons you mention. Cooking can be chaotic with many things to keep track at once. Fingers are wet, or greasy so buttons don't work. Something overflows with just a few tiny drops the thing switches off leading to a problem with something else on the stove that requires constant stirring because now you're forced to clean your hands, dry to spillage from the stove before you can continue. Lift a heavy pot from the stove and put it back down (because it was a wee bit too hot to handle) - BAM! the fucking glass is broken. (I broke already 1 induction stove from my brother and my own Ceran this way).

WTF designed these things? Certainly not a chef!

A bialetti (moka) pot will not work because they're made from aluminum (no induction).

The whole thing upsets me so much that it's very high on my list for deciding if I can live in that country. If there is no gas cooking (most of North of Europe) un/-surprisingly the food is also terrible. Maybe there is sample-bias in my statement but I know literally nobody in my family or friends who owns a ceran/indusction stove and who is actually a great cook.

The only things better for cooking than gas are wood or coal fires. But gas is the next best natural flame.


My mother uses her bialetti moka pot on her induction stove every morning. I'm not entirely sure what you're on about.

Probably depends on which moka pot you get.

https://caffeinetalk.com/using-a-moka-pot-on-an-induction-st...


Any moka pot can work with a conversion plate - https://alternativebrewing.com.au/products/bialetti-inductio...

Apparently you can use propane tanks. That's what a family told us that wanted to move into our last apartment. They swore by their cherished old gas stove, and said one of those tanks lasts them... well, I don't remember exactly, but it must have been half a year or something. In any case, much less of a hassle as I would have thought.

Half a year to a year depending on usage. We use these 11kg tanks we get on any gas station for as long as I remember.

No fuzz with running extra big wires for stove.


This is so true, my parents have an induction stove with touch controls. It takes ONE drop of water on the 10x40cm touch control square to make the whole stove top shut down with a beeping alarm sound. If you have buttery fingers it won't recognize any touches (major annoyance when making butter heavy sauces). On top of that it also relies on long-presses, you have to hold your finger on the "button zones" for 2 seconds, then you can alter the heat, one touch at a time on a 1-10 scale. Takes about 10-20 seconds to adjust the heat.

When I looked for a new stove last year I tried to find one with induction AND knobs. I ended up getting a non-induction stove, with knobs, works well enough although I would swap it for one with induction and knobs any day, haha!


Yeah. Manufacturers act like having wet or oily fingers was some kind of edge case in a kitchen.

stove/oven UX has been shit ever since they were first digitized. my first home had an analog-controlled electric oven: turn the dial to the temperature you want. every oven i’ve owned since uses up/down touch buttons to adjust the temperature in 5-degree increments. it turns the half-second process of swinging a knob to the right place into a 5-second process of holding a button until it hits the right temperature.

worse, i find myself trying to micro-optimize my use of oven temperature buttons: instead of holding up until the temperature is reached, i repeatedly tap it to make it go faster — but not so fast that the debouncing mistakes 2 presses for just one press, otherwise it’s net slower. i find myself actively making latency v.s. throughput decisions: i can preheat the oven by pressing “on”, dialing in the temperature, and then pressing “start”. or, i can press “on”, “start”, and then dial in the temperature and press “start” an extra time. preheating begins whenever you first press “start”, so this shaves off 5 seconds of preheat latency at the cost of 1 extra second spent on an extra button press.

i get irrationally angry every time i use a digital oven. the digital oven is like some looking glass into a half-dozen interlinking societal systems that have managed to settle into some totally unsatisfying equilibria… and they’ve stayed there for decades. it’s legitimately depressing.


what you can't get induction stoves with knobs? is this just a high-end thing in general?

man, in the kitchen, keep the controls simple.


We searched high and low for a stove with an induction top that used knobs and finally settled on a stove from Bertazzoni. Expensive but worth it for us.

IMHO touch controls are popular because they are cheap to make and offer a simple way to integrate the hob onto a counter. For a lot of people that is important. For us (my partner is blind) it is not.


We bought one from a restaurant on ebay. The "professional" models for restaurants don't have touch controls or fancy electronics. Just knobs. 100% recommend.

Mind naming the brand? We got a single pot model (59500P) by Vollrath to test out induction. We love it and wish all hobs had controls by single digit percentage. We cannot seem to find a cooktop equivalent.

Edit: I read further and realized you got single plates too. The search continues....


This is our model

https://universal.bertazzoni.com/products/professional-serie...

SMEG also has induction stoves with knobs but we don’t trust that brand.


Thanks!



Did you ever have any issues with your 59500P? I have the same and never run it above 70 or so, for fear of killing it. I heard they don't do domestic use warranties.

I hate those too. There are a few models left, that have knobs, but they are getting fewer and fewer. No idea why.

Sometimes you need to react really quickly and turn down heat, if it takes you 5 sec more, the food might be burnt already. Lifting the pan might be a good „hack“ though.


Yeah, lifting the pan is what I resort to, too. Like cooking on medieval fire. It‘s kinda ridiculous, given the granularity, precision and immediacy that electric heating, and especially induction, would allow for were it not for those dumb touch controls.

- They fail to work with non-standard sized pans.

- You can't use a wok on them.

- In fact, you can't use them with lots of other things, or in many ways I use my gas stove. Yes, these are "off-label" uses, sometimes not even related to cooking. So? Tools should be flexible, not fight back.


It's a different tool, it works differently. Induction boils water in less than half the time, and it also has very precise heat control which can go very low, down to 100 degrees, where a gas stove's lowest setting is fast high heat by comparison.

How long have you cooked with a gas stove? I would wager that if you spent decades cooking on induction you would have similar complaints about gas. I love cooking with gas, but also I love cooking with electric, and I imagine I could love cooking with induction. (3 minutes to boil sounds brilliant, who needs a dedicated electric teakettle.) The stuff I could do with precise control down to 100 degrees F, I don't even know but that sounds like it requires patience but allows wonders that are impossible with gas.

Not to say gas can't work wonders that are impossible with induction, but they're different tools and it's not fair to judge simply on the basis of a few missing features.

Also there are pans that don't work as well with gas in my experience. I suspect that if anyone lived with an induction stove for decades and tried to replace it with a gas stove they would also be complaining that half their pans don't work anymore, or at least don't work for the task they've been used for anymore.


My gas stove gets super super low too. Not sure how to compare it to 100 degrees; but it’s very very little BTUs. It’s a double burner with a normal one and a inner smaller one.

I 100% run my vent while cooking. Curious how much of the bad gas I vent…


I see sources claiming that a gas stove on low can go as low as 137F, but I think that's a bit misleading because the heat is so uneven. If you've got a pot of water, maybe the water will be heated to 137F, but the temperature where the water meets the metal will be much higher; this is why double boilers exist.

But it sounds like induction legitimately makes double boilers obsolete (and rather quaint and limited to be restricted to 212F when you have the free, precise choice of even heat at any temperature between 100F and 500F.)


My gas on low is around 300 BTU. It’s low enough to warm chocolate without a double boiler.

My carbon steel wok works perfectly on induction.

You can absolutely use a wok on them. I bought a wok while on electric and it turned out to be fine for induction too.

I guess old school jiggle top pressure cookers are right out too (but I guess anyone buying an induction stove would buy an Instant Pot anyway)

>You can't use a wok on them.

Buy a cast-iron wok from Staub, they work wonderfully.


That's not a wok, its just a wok shaped braiser. Woks are supposed to be thin and light for fast temperature adjustment and ease of tossing.

Cast-iron woks do exist, though; we have this and it’s fantastic: https://rikumo.com/products/featherweight-cast-iron-wok

It weighs about 30% more than our old carbon steel wok, which doesn’t matter much in practice.


I've had two induction stoves over the last two years, one newer and one a little older. I came from a lifetime of cooking with gas.

First complaint - exactly the same as yours. Even a little boil over can sometimes just shut everything off.

Second complaint - "smart" pan sensing. I have a few pots that don't really fit the rings on the stove perfectly, and they have been relegated to the "useless" corner of the cabinet. The temp setting starts to either flash whenever the pot isn't big enough to cover the ring, or just takes forever to heat up.

Last complaint - some of my pans are not perfectly flat on the bottom, from either a rough life or warping in the oven, etc. Those pans are also useless on the induction hob.


My lg induction stove has normal knobs. It's awesome. I wouldn't go back to gas.

The only thing induction can't do well are cooking hacks that utilize the open flame, like toasting tortillas or roasting peppers on the burner without a pan.


My previous induction cooking top had a very nice system as far as touch controls go. Each of the four zones had a separate ~5cm strip from 0 to 10, and beeped when changed.

After a short while I could easily operate it while not looking, and precision control (half-steps) was easy by simply rolling finger.

Sadly very, very few seems to have this design. Some have a shared control, but having to select the zone and then power is just... not good in comparison. I have that on my current one and I routinely adjust the wrong one, split between forgetting to select zone and it not recognizing my zone selection.

It was still touch though which overall sucks compared to physical controls.


You can def get induction ranges with knobs, I've been appliance shopping recently and saw plenty of them, but at the moment it may be a "luxury" feature that requires getting a model that is a few notches up from the cheapest model.

Of course it's silly that knobs would belong only to "premium" models.


> I love induction. The main annoyance, for me, are the touch controls.

We bought a professional induction stove from a restaurant online on ebay for very cheap. One of the reasons is that all controls were "manual" and with "knobs". The amount of electronics on these is minimal.


Do you have a link to a picture or product page? Just to get an idea. I've been looking for something like that for a while.


I’d much rather turn a knob.

I have induction with knobs. It's no different. I suspect it's just a knob on the user side, and there's still the big steps behind-the-scenes.

My stove's induction knobs give me tactile feedback, but lack the granular control that a real analog knob has.


Good point. Some things look like a knob but are not the same as a know. At least when compared to how it works on a gas stove.

It's really weird. Granular and immediate control should be such an easy thing to do with electric.

It almost seems as if manufacturers are adding in these "steps" to make it more user friendly in the sense that you can say "I've turned it up to 3".

Is there any technical reason to have discrete steps?


If they did put a decent encoder behind the knob that wouldn't be a problem. But hey, decent encoders cost.

I happened to buy a used quality induction stove, that has knobs. At the time I didn't think a lot about it, but to me it's the best stove I ever used.

I honestly don't know thw reasoning for using toch controls on induction stoves. They are a pain to use for most people.


Please can you tell us which one you bought ? I’ve scoured the market in the UK for a decent beknobbed induction stove and come up with nothing !

I got a similar to this one, can’t find mine: https://rover.ebay.de/rover/0/0/99?loc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eba...

Currently scouring the US. No joy here either.

Touch controls mean it’s much easier to clean. For me, that’s worth more than slightly easier usage.

I looked into this a few months ago and found a stove that came with magnetic knobs you put onto the control area. You turn adjust temperature by turning the knob

We have an electric Range Master stove with an induction hob. Love that it’s controls are all still knobs!

The are big plus is it doubles as extra worktop as it’s just so big (and flat).


Yeah tactile controls are rubbish. I can’t wait for the next design fad where we’ll go full circle and have dials and knobs everywhere.

You can get induction with knobs.

Induction plates vary a lot in quality and in the amount of energy they transfer. The more expensive ones can dump a lot of energy into a pan really quickly. Some go up to 3-4KW even. If you are trying to boil a large pan of water/soup/etc., a good induction plate gets the job done very quickly whereas you might have to wait a bit with a gas stove or a cheaper, lower capacity induction plate. Like wise, if you are searing a steak, you'd want a large wattage to get the pan really hot, really quickly.

Gas is nice mainly for things that are really temperature sensitive like searing meat, using a wok, etc. Of course when cooking stuff like that you want good ventilation for this because otherwise you end up with a lot of grease and soot all over the kitchen. So, the pollution of gas matters less if you have that set up correctly.

The main reason gas is so nice for cooking is how quickly you can adjust the temperature. Induction plates also respond really quickly of course. The old fashioned red hot spiral things, are much more tricky because they stay hot for so long; it takes a minute to reduce the heat; or to raise it. I have one at home and I'm used to it but it is still annoying. A neat trick is to simply move pans away from the heat to control it.

Induction plates don't have that problem. But I really hate the touch controls many of these things have. They are very fiddly; especially with wet hands and they also can get hot. I'd prefer to have some old fashioned dials. But in terms of instant, fine grained control, they are actually pretty good.


I do a lot of cooking and I prefer electric. I'm sure it's because I've cooked on electric ranges my entire life, the kind where the pan sits directly on the spiral heating element. I only ever cook with gas when I'm visiting a friend or relative.

Gas stoves are great at bringing a pot of water to a boil. But they are not so good at very low heat, like leaving a covered pot to simmer. Most gas ranges don't go as low as I would like, and I need to watch the pot more carefully and stir more frequently than I would at home.

I'm sure most of my issues are familiarity. If I had spent my life cooking with gas, my techniques would have developed to work better with gas. But now that I'm set in my ways I will stick with electric.


A proper induction range will boil water much faster than gas. Under two minutes to take a full pasta pot—8 quarts (7.5L) of water—from tap-cold (50F/10C) to a rolling boil. Do not confuse them with resistive coil electric stoves, which are inferior in every way! Unless you're dead set on aluminum cookware.

I like induction cooking as well, but it's not _that_ fast. Assuming a 3 kW (usually it's less powerful) induction stovetop, 7 kg of water, 4 J/(g.c) specific heat and 90 C temperature increase, that would take at the very least 14 minutes. Should take longer if you include heating the pan itself, phase change energy and heat losses. If you wanted to do it in two minutes, that would take twice as much power as a home Tesla charger. Heating water just takes a ton of energy.

I can confirm that our induction stove is very fast, much faster at boiling water than the (domestic) gas stoves I've had experience with. A pot of water really does boil in under two minutes, so I wanted to question your math, but it seems correct :-). The problem here is the quantity, why are you (gp) boiling 7 liters of water?

edit: the boost is more powerful (3.7kW for the largest zone), but still. That's time limited (10 minutes or less), and limits the current to the other zone on the same phase.


The difference in volume between a normal tea kettle < 2 mins and large pasta pot ~14 mins seems intuitively correct simply based on volume.

I've recently put in a jennair unit that will do 5kW into the main element.

The speed with which it heats things is actually kind of scary. I can take one of my 9" iron skillets from dead cold to smoking hot in under 20 seconds.


For sure - the first time I made popcorn on my induction stove I figured I'd put it on high heat for a bit to get it up to temperature like you would on a gas stove. Nearly ruined that pan.

Many gas ranges have a concentric simmer burner on at least one of the burners for this reason. It’s a low heat level that allows delicate cooking with all the intuitive feel of a flame.

My gas stove has an XLO mode, it actually will cycle on and off automatically. Makes a little clicking noise, but it's very effective for the lowest of simmers.

the stoves here have two rings with the inner ring being small enough that i can leave a dry pan on it for hours without it getting noticeable hotter than at the start. when cooking something i can leave it unattended for several minutes or longer.

In terms of fine control, induction is a game changer (me resisting moving from gas for a long time). I use lower, more precise cooking techniques more now. For high-temperature (e.g. searing a steak) stuff, there's something different about how it heats. I haven't worked out what it is yet, as induction gets the pan insanely hot really fast (on 'boost mode'); almost too hot, which should be excellent, but seems wierd, and sometimes seems to burn the pan. But for that kind of cooking I use the gas BBQ outside mostly.

Having bought an induction stove when refitting our kitchen, then replacing it with a different one a couple of months later, I can advise that the size of the elements matters. The 'linked zones' thing seems to be rubbish, and doesn't heat evenly (maybe it does on really high end stuff). I now have a three-element stove (60cm) - one really big one and two smaller ones. I don't think I've ever used 4 burners at once anyway...

I just wish there was an API for induction stoves; interfacing with a thermometer to keep a certain temperature, or for a set time, or even a removably physical control panel (i.e. knobs) that would let you put it away and keep the flat-top thing (which is actually really nice when you need the bench space).


Induction stoves with temperature control do exist - set the desired temperature and it'll control the heat output accordingly.

Edit: https://www.hafactory.it/2015/10/19/miele-news-about-tempera...


We bought a professional "manual" (no fancy electronics) from a restaurant (with knobs and no touch), for 100$ each. And built our own system with that.

You can set the knob, and turn it on and off with a relee, connected to a raspberry pi. We have temperature sensors on the "food side" of the pans and pots, since what we care about is the temperature that the food feels.

99% of the time we don't use it with the pis, but have a couple of recipes as Jupyter notebooks that we use the temp control and temp staging with.

One advantage of induction over gas here, is that the thermal mass of some induction pots and pans is almost zero, and temperature changes are instantaneous, so from the point of view of control algorithms, programming induction cooking is infinitely better than any other system that i've used, cause you don't have to solve a PDE to regulate the temperature. YOu can just turn it on if its too cold and off if its too hot, and that's it. +-0.5C of accuracy, which at the 100$ level for a single plate is unbeatable.

We spent ~400$ for 3 heats. 100% recommend.


What model?

Perhaps someone could use an IR camera to determine the difference.

Induction is very good, in different situations than gad. With induction, you have a reliable temperature control and can heat the whole pan uniformly, even at low temperatures. It’s very easy to let something simmer for hours or heat something just so it does not cool too much.

One of the main issue with common domestic gas stoves is that the heat is not well distributed, and good pans don’t necessarily have a great thermal conductivity. This is a problem when what you’re hearing is not liquid enough to redistribute heat by convection. Another is that you don’t control the temperature of the flame, just its size. So temperature control is always finicky, particularly at low temperatures.

So personally I go for induction most of the time, and a barbecue when I need a flame.


I love cooking on gas. As you mentioned the convenience is unmatched and it is a pleasure compared to cooking using induction or hot plate. Induction certainly seemed more efficient with how fast it used to boil water, but when cooking food, gas always wins for me. Not to mention, lot of pans I have will not work on induction or hotplate.

I was able to get the most even heating with a high quality (but not insanely expensive) induction stove. Boiling water in about a minute, insane. And because the heating element is necessarily closed loop you don't have the regulation problems you do with an ohmic heater.

A gas stove is a lot more powerful (10-60kW vs 1-3kW) but a lot of that heat simply escapes upwards.


Its not about power or speed for me. Whenever i visit my parents i hate cooking anything because the electric stoves release heat in bursts then turn off for a bit then a huge burst. It’s impossible to cook anything the way you want . Normally i just go for overcooking everything. But in general i find cooking relaxing and that stove turns it into something that makes me mad every morning.

Maybe this is specific to the stove they have though. I have and will continue to use gas because of this.


That's not an inherent quality of electric stoves, just crappy ones.

I use a 50s-era GM Frigidaire electric stove+oven and it doesn't modulate current to control temperature. It's quite a gas-like pleasure to cook with, prior to this I'd only ever experienced electrics like you're describing and they're awful.


I hate to break it you but an old 50s era stove works exactly as the GP describes - there certainly wasn’t low cost high power solid state power conversion circuitry in those days - the mechanism is extremely simple, an adjustable bimetal thermostat that can turn the element full on and off with adjustable duty cycle - and that modulation frequency is over seconds. Any smoothing of this mechanism is inherent in the thermal capacity of the heating element.

And this is modulation of current - think of it as a very slow PWM.


If it's modulating as you describe, it's completely imperceptible, unlike any of the other ones I've had to live with in SF bay area apartments.

But I must admit I have not disassembled the thing to understand its workings.

I don't even bother with heavy copper-clad pots and pans anymore, which were necessary before. This thing behaves like a gas stove.

So it's the heating element thermal inertia that differs, to smooth out the temperature?

Edit:

Looking at [0], what you're describing seems to be known as an "infinite switch".

That's not what the old stoves like mine has, this is just a rotary switch with 5 selectable presets. I assume it's changing the resistance.

Worth noting is also the even older Kalgoorlie [1] style stove, which changed the number of heating elements connected to regulate temperature.

This repair guide [2] describes both infinite and rotary switch controls on a high-level:

  When the heating element is on, the heater inside the switch is on. The bimetal heats
  (along with the element) until the contacts open. Then the bimetal cools (along with
  the elements) until the contacts close again.

  There are also fixed-temperature switches that vary the voltage going to the heating
  elements to maintain fixed, pre-set temperatures. These are usually push-button or
  rotary switches with fixed settings such as warm, low, medium and high.

  In fixed-temperature switch controls, heat levels are varied by applying different 
  voltages (110V or 220V) to different coils of different resistances.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_switch

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_stove#Kalgoorlie_Stov...

[2] https://www.appliancerepair.net/oven-repair-4.html


As you will see in the schematic of chapter 4 the fixed temp switches vary two voltage combinations (that you get “for free” with split phase power) and two coils to get the limited power levels. But this requires multiple coils per burner as noted. If it’s a single nichrome element per burner then even with fixed detents it may likely use a bimetal switch.

> I assume it's changing the resistance.

This isn’t feasible since you would need a resistor that was as big as the burner and essentially dropped as much heat as a stove element - for instance you would need a dummy load to dump as much waste heat as the burner itself to get a medium setting. In theory one could use a variac or multitap transformer - but again those would be relatively huge and heavy for the currents involved.


I don’t know why but when I visited Japan, every stove has this sensor which cuts off the gas almost completely when the pan gets to hot, I guess it’s to prevent oil fires. If you want to hate cooking, go to Japan and use one of those things.

My AEG induction stove has short enough pulse cycles it's not noticeable - a low setting just means low heat. In fact, it's the best stove I've ever used by far - it can go from gently melting chocolate to way too much heat in about 2s. Apart from boiling water I never use the most powerful settings because they'll burn stuff. The only thing it can't do better than gas is wok cooking - the curved sides don't get hot.

My parents have a different brand induction which does seem to have longer pulse cycles - maybe one every 5s or so. That is probably the effect you're describing - it'll go from essentially off to too hot and back. It's obviously a manufacture specific thing.


For the wok, you can get a ring for heating the sides of it.

You are comparing a cheap electric radiant hob to a gas one.

The GP was praising an induction hob, which is the third type.


Radiant electric replace the age old coil with elements below a ceramic or glass surface. They are uniformly abysmal to cook with.

Induction are very different from radiant electric and require cookware of particular materials. They are amazing in some respects and limited in others.

From a glance though both have smooth glassy surfaces that look modern.


I haven't seen a coil hob for years, I think my grandma had one.

The cheapest option apparently called a solid plate hob in Britain. Those coils are inside a ceramic (I think) plate. The cheapest ones cost about £80. They're difficult to damage, so you find them in the cheapest rented apartments (students etc): https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/household-appliances/cooking/h...

"Ceramic" hobs refers to the one with heating elements below glass/ceramic. Starts from £110, but it's a bit easier to damage. Many rented homes would have this, since it looks fancy and clean.: https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/household-appliances/cooking/h...

Induction hobs start at £180: https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/household-appliances/cooking/h...

Most ordinary (cheap or expensive) cookware sold in Europe is compatible with an induction hob, but not necessarily everything.


a gas stove is just unmatched in how much easier and better it makes cooking.

I agree with you there. I've had gas for the last ten years, and recently moved to a place with induction. It's a significant change.

I had regular electric for a long time before I had gas, so there was an adjustment period there, too, but I got used to it pretty quickly. But induction is somehow very different from either of those two.

I've been on induction for six months, and I still have such a very hard time with temperature control that I cook at home a lot less than I used to. It has a thousand controls, but only seems to have two settings: surface of the sun, and off.

That said, I'm OK with the move toward eliminating natural gas in homes. I just wish I ended up with a regular electric stove top instead of induction. But it's an apartment, so you get what you get.


> I totally get the desire to switch to electric appliances for many reasons, but I am yet to meet an electric stove of any kind that I remotely enjoyed cooking on. Is this everyone's experience?

We bought a profesional induction plate, 4.5kW, 100$ on ebay. Performance wise, its ~4x better than the 4kW gas stove it replaced. The time required to heat 50L of water to 60C went down from 60min with gas to about 10-15 min with induction.

Instantaneously hot, and instantaneously cold. For us it opened a lot of new ways of cooking.

What kind of cooking do you prefer doing on a gas stove over an induction stove?

Obviously the same pots and pans don't work on both, but if you have a top of the line induction stove you know this already.


What kind of cooking requires raising the temp of 50L of water by 60C? I'm open to the induction stove thing but I don't understand why its proponents are so focused on the speed of boiling large amounts of water. Is this the primary cooking activity of many ordinary families?

Because it’s the one thing induction is good at. People who don’t cook often are impressed by it.

I have a gas range with a high quality induction plate built into it. So I can boil water faster. But I hardly cook on it, for that gas is king.


Beer brewing.

> What kind of cooking do you prefer doing on a gas stove over an induction stove?

I haven't cooked much on induction stoves. I only do so at my parents' place. So among the few things I cooked on both induction and stove, I know I prefer gas for cooking steaks and making scrambled eggs.

I know part of my frustration is with the touch controls, though, and I presume some of it is due to my lack of intuition with what setting is good for what sort of "cooking I want to apply to food".

I do agree with one of the replies to your comment, though: it seems like everyone just talks about how good induction is at boiling water and not much else specifically. I have an electric kettle for that job so it's not some alluring aspect to me.


If you get hot while cooking, induction is the best—all the heat ends up in the pan, not the air around it.

Induction took some getting used to, but outside of a few very specific things (mainly stir-fry), it's better than gas across the board for me.


First they came for rough and tumble, then the cigarettes, then the lightbulbs, and now prometheus fire. Before you know it you're in a Darth Vader pod and you have no mouth but you must scream. Wealth inequality has gotten so dramatic that the state probably profits 10x more off people existing than the people do themselves, so the state cares 10x more about people living as long as possible than the people might themselves; as such, the state will show no hesitancy in making any tradeoffs that maximize long-term economic value extraction. https://youtu.be/tetwGGL997s?t=159

Even a cheap portable induction hob is so much better than gas.

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