Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The IPad of Cooking-Why Induction?

I commented in an earlier post that several of our appliances broke at Christmastime, which prompted a kitchen remodel.
  I was responsible for destroying our last stove by 'storing' some plastic containers and plates in the oven during a quick clean-up for guests. A few days later, my daughter turned on the oven to bake some rolls and came yelling through the house, "The stove is on fire!" 
Lovely. Melted. Burnt plastic. Everywhere. The clean-up was bad enough, but afterwards, the oven simply did not work.  Not one of my brightest moments.  Surprisingly, I have a degree in chemistry and vaguely remember something about melting points.
Along with the disposal and the frig, we had to replace our stove.  We had been anticipating this, so gave the entire space an overhaul.
We researched and discussed pros and cons of induction or gas verses electric cooking.  I really, really love the nostalgic look of the gas stoves.  Plus, I actually know how to cook on a gas top stove after years of cooking with my Granny (not that I can cook anything as good as my sweet Granny!)  We quickly ruled out the gas range, because to run or vent through our ceiling would also mean having to move the hot water heater.  This would have been very costly, as would the additional wiring.

This Viking Range in Sage is available in a range of colors from Cobalt Blue to Dijon Yellow.

Here is my kitchen before.  I don't have a close-up of the stove, but it functioned well for about fifteen years.  We made many changes that allow this space to function so much more efficiently.

So why induction cooking?

1. The New York Times calls it the 'ipad of cooking.' I don't have an IPad, but I can tell you that this stove does function precisely and efficiently.  I love it and feel like I have become a better cook (Pinterest has helped, too!  Click here to see my 'Bake or Make' board.)  I also love the vintage look with the high-tech capabilities.

2.  You can adjust the cooking heat instantly and with great precision.  Electric cooking is slow to increase or decrease its temperature.  Induction cooking is as instantaneous and as exact as gas cooking.

3.  Induction cook tops heat 25-50 percent faster and distribute the heat more evenly.

4.  With induction cooking, the energy is supplied directly to the cookware by the magnetic field.  In comparison, only 40% of the energy in gas is used to cook, whereas 84% of the energy in induction cooking is used to cook.
5.  "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."  Because, most of the heat is used to cook with induction and not wasted, the kitchen remains cooler.  That old saying doesn't apply here!

6.  Induction cooking has been around for decades and is widely used in Europe.  Many restaurants now use induction cooking for its ease of use and rapid results.  Recent demands have driven prices down.

7.  With cooler surfaces, these cook tops are easier and safer to clean.

8.  I love this particular stove with only a few knobs, because it is simple and not fussy.  Too many buttons and things flashing confuse me.

Possible downfalls of induction cooking?

 1.  Induction cook tops require ferromagnetic cookware to work.  I had only one pot and a few cast iron pans of my grandparents that worked with my new stove.  I was still using the same pots and pans we received for wedding gifts almost twenty years ago.  You have to use pots made of magnetic materials, such as stainless steel or cast iron.  Most All Clad and Le Creuset cast iron pans will work with induction cooking; however, I bought a generic set from Costco that works great.  I am told IKEA pots and pans work, as well.  Keep a magnet in your pocket, so you can check!

2.  Induction cook tops are efficient, but it's not clear whether they're cheaper to operate than gas or electric.  I wouldn't expect the energy savings to make up the cost difference.  The upfront cost is more expensive than gas or electric stoves.

 3.  If you're replacing a stove or remodeling an existing kitchen, be sure that your wiring, voltage and amperage can handle the load.  We had to change the wiring, which added additional cost.

4.  Some recipes call for charring food over an open flame.  You can't do this with induction cooking or traditional electric cook tops.

I have not mastered the cleaning of stainless steel; however, I have found this 409 Stone & Steel, as well as, these microfiber cleaning cloths (Target) to work great.  Let me know if you have a favorite product for cleaning stainless steel!

If you are considering an induction cook top, please don't hesitate to contact me with questions.   I am not a chef and I don't know very much about gadgets, but this stove has challenged me to be a better cook for my family.  I did my research on it, and I am very pleased with it!

Several of my cabinet doors had to be repainted, so I am still waiting to take some final pictures for y'all.  Thanks for being interested in seeing the final product!  It has been a process, and I can't wait to finish it and to share with you what I have learned!

Thanks for stopping by!
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia    
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Nita Stacy said...

That is one gorgeous stove. Are you sure you didn't leave the plastic dishes in there on purpose? The whole kitchen looks very very pretty. Love the sink and faucet. I can't wait to see all. Gorgeous reno.

Christie said...

I wish I had thought of it soooner! Thanks Nita!

Leslie said...

You have some great information about induction cook tops, and they sounds fabulous! Your oven is gorgeous(I've never said that about an oven before)as does the rest of your kitchen from the picture I saw!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Your new stove is fabulous. I would love an upgrade, but I don't see that in the near future. Great information and I enjoyed this post. Hugs, marty

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous stove..Your kitchen is stunning..

Sue said...

It's looking really lovely Christie. I can't wait for the reveal. I've never heard of induction cooking - sounds interesting.
I use Weimans Stainless Polish with a microfiber cloth and really like it. I use it about once a week, or every other week on some appliances.

It's me said...

Like your kitchen !!! ...great stove !!!!...love from me....xxx...

Anonymous said...

I also have an induction stove and just love it.
Cooking is so much easier with far better results.

Would not go back to a traditional electric stove
ever again.

I was in Kohl's the other day with my magnet in hand
and was suprised with how many pots and pans they have that are induction friendly.


Nothing But Blue Skies... said...

Oh my! It looks REALLY beautiful!!! Love your choices!

We are just starting a kitchen reno, and I am going to be doing something very similar!

Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!


Anonymous said...

Everything looks beautiful! I'm just embarking on a kitchen remodel. Love the apron front sink, but I've been told that they don't drain well because of the drain placements. Have you had any problems? Which brand did you choose?

Anita at Cedar Hill said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous!! You did a stellar job with your kitchen. Now, what's for lunch?

Joyce said...

love the new stove- very pretty. And that completely sounds like something I would do

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

We were very tempted to get an induction cooktop 5 years ago when we did our kitchen. In the end we chose gas - simply because it was so much cheaper- I think it was about a third of the price, the price might be a bit closer to the mark now!

Raquel said...

Love the big aqua pot on your stove!!! Can you please share where you got it?

Christie said...

The aqua pot actually came from Ross! I purchased it about two years ago. Good luck!

Aimee Porter said...

I had an induction cooktop in our last home. I loved it! Enjoy your new kitchen, it is simply beautiful:)

Anonymous said...

Your kitchen remodel is beautiful!! Great job:) I just love your Viking and am looking into getting one. I am hoping you can answer a few questions. The largest surface unit is only 8" and it has only one of them, do you find that not big enough for large pots? I am concerned on not having a 10". Do you hear any noise when using units? Is the convection fan loud? Do you miss not having a clock, timer or a digital oven temp/preheat display? Did you buy local or order from online company? Thank You so much! This is such a major purchase but Viking makes such a beautiful range! Kelley

Christie said...

Kelley, I haven't had any problems with the size of the surface units. When put on high, liquids boil so fast, and it has worked great no matter which 'eye' I use or size of pot. But, my only disclaimer is that I am not much of a cook! Sometimes, I do hear a clicking sound when the eye is turned on as the induction begins, but it usually diminishes. I haven't used the convection yet, because I have never cooked with it..need to learn! We also purchased a Viking microwave, which sits above our dishwasher. It has a clock and timer, so I haven't missed it on my stove. One of the things I like about this stove is the simple design. We did buy ours local from a store called, Fergusons, but I believe they had to order it. Overall, I LOVE the stove. Any of the small things are so outweighed by how quickly I can control the temperature. It heats up so quickly and can be adjusted immediately by moving the dial. The oven bakes evenly...much, much better than my last one. Good luck! I didn't have an e-mail address to respond! Please let me know if I can answer any more questions! Christie

Erin said...

Love it! I've been adoring this range and hope to find a special place in our kitchen reno this fall to include one of my own. My question is- from your pic it looks like the cabinets on either side of your range are pulled out deeper from the wall- and then your next cabinets are shallower. The range is a standard depth, right? I was just curious if there was any special tips about planning cabinets, etc. around this range. Thanks!

Christie said...

Erin, Check the specs on the depth of the stove...our cabinet designer made the two long pull-outs beside the stove to match the length. I believe the cabinet designer thought with the range, it would look better to add this section as standing out. I think the recessed cabinets are standard, so I would check those measurements on the Viking site. It seems like the stove would be standard, so it is possible the recessed cabinets in here are not..we had awkard spaces to work with near the kitchen, so this may have been why they recessed the cabinets. Good luck with your reno! Christie

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