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This is a sad story, because I've already bought one and am not completely happy.

The good:

  • Power - 9kW.
  • Fires - 3 fires from small to large (14cm - 28cm).
  • Timer - From one to ninety nine minutes for each fire.

The bad: The controls.

  • They are incorporated in the surface and are very sensitive. When cleaning the surface it will power down the stovetop.
  • If you put anything on the controls, they will flash an error message.
  • There is only one up and down button. when more than one fire is 'burning' you have to activate the fire you want to change. You have to cycle clockwise through all the fires to do that.

What advise would you give to anyone looking for an induction stovetop?

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I have a (very cheap portable) induction stovetop, and there are 2 things I don't like. First, the controls: exactly as you say. Second: It doesn't heat all the time, but in cycles (maybe 2 seconds on, 2 seconds off). However, I don't know how to recognize the second problem without trying cooking on the stove. –  rumtscho Nov 10 '11 at 13:05
    
@rumtscho, when making a pan sauce, I'm seeing the bubbles going up, then down, so this is probably a common thing. –  BaffledCook Dec 24 '11 at 16:20

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted
  1. If you like to cook using 3 or more elements at once, ensure you buy a sufficiently powered model. There's nothing more frustrating than upping the power on one element and watching another one reduce at the same time.
  2. Touch controls look nice but they're horrible from a usability standpoint. I always had problems with responsiveness with wet or greasy fingers.
  3. Cockroaches love induction. I don't know if the frequency attracts them or it's just the heat but they will come and eat out the wiring, even if you've never spotted one in the house before. It's a common problem as it's hard to seal the electronics for thermal reasons. Board replacements are expensive. It's one item I would consider an extended warranty on.
  4. As for any 2" cooktop, larger pot/pan sizes can't be accommodated if you're using 3 or more elements. Go 2'8" minimum.
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To answer your question, the advice I would give someone on buying a stovetop is the same as the advice I'd give someone for buying anything else: do as much research as possible before buying. Don't let a salesman tell you what you need; find out what's available and what you want/need, and then decide based on how much you're willing to spend. If you're not an expert on stovetops (which I should point out that I am not) there are lots of buying guides out there that outline the features of various technologies (try not to get all your information from one place, especially not if it's a company trying to advertise their products). Various authors writing these "consumer buying guides" will often point out their own suggestions that you might find helpful. Here are a couple links for your reading:

US Appliance

Consumer Reports

Try to look around and always have as much information as you can get before making a decision. It's a bit of work but it always pays off.

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