Thursday, June 30, 2022

Induction Stove Top

During the cool months we cook on a wood fired cookstove. It does a great job. It’s a modern airtight design. The oven is large enough to handle a 25 pound turkey. We don’t cook on wood during the warm summer months. It’s not the 19th century. 

For summer cooking we’ve had everything from a regular electric stove, to a propane stove, and even a simple two burner hotplate. Our most recent solution has been a fairly inexpensive induction cook top. The two burner unit was something like $130 when we purchased it. So how has it performed?

There are pluses and minuses. On the plus side: it’s fast, energy efficient, and the burners cool down very quickly as they only get hot from the pan. It’s safer. Downsides: not every pan works with induction, the digital controls lack fine running. There are times when I’m cooking  setting #2 is too low and #3 is too high. There is no 2.5. Water spilled on the controls can change the settings. It doesn’t take much -just condensation from a lid dripped onto the top can change programming. 

Fortunately most of my pans are cast iron and they work great with induction. Some stainless steel works, but some doesn’t. Of course, glass doesn’t work at all. When shopping for new cookware look on the label to see if it’s compatible. 

Another weird thing for off grid people: mine doesn’t work with modified sine wave inverters. It needs a pure sine wave power source. That’s a problem for me as I’ve still using a 25 year old Trace modified sine wave inverter. It’s been indestructible and the vast majority of my equipment works just fine on it. For now I’m running the induction stove on grid power. It barely moves the meter. 

In spite of the negatives I’ve been pleasantly surprised on how well I like cooking with it. The stove top models are cheap enough that you could buy a one or two burner stove and test is for yourself.


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