Portable Induction Cooktop, like Nuwave

Discussion in 'The Mess Hall' started by OldSaw, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Does anyone have any experience with portable induction cook tops, like the infomercial branded Nuwave PIC? I'm very skeptical of the high price shipping charges associated with the Nuwave products.

    I'm asking because my brother-in-law just told my wife about it this morning and thought we might like one for our unfinished kitchen (in a stalled phase of home remodeling at the moment). So what are your thoughts? I like the idea, but perhaps there is a better brand that does the same thing.
  2. When we were remodeling I used a microwave and a Colman propane camp stove. This worked fine for about 11 months without a kitchen.
  3. So you know my pain then. We are trying to live completely debt free, so the kitchen is waiting for funding to do it right the first time.
  4. I have no experience with the NuWave PIC, but I'm not a fan of most "As seen on TV" gadgets. Although this one intrigues me, I have been put off by the total cost of ownership. Most such items are gadgets of limited use and quality.

    My suggestion would be to buy a dual burner electric hot plate for $30-$50. It will continue to have a life after remodeling as there are always those few times a year when you need one more burner than you currently have.

    The camp stove is another excellent suggestion. Even if you aren't into camping, having some alternate means of cooking is always a good idea, just in case of a power outage or other emergency situation.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  5. induction burners are great if you have the cookware to cook in them. Use them for exhibition cooking events where you can't have flames. Work fine. I don't know how much ours cost or what brand. They are also nearly six years old or older.
  6. I use an induction burner in conjunction with my stove top. To be honest I tend to use it more than any burner as it heats up the quickest and is the most energy efficient. I have all stainless steel and cast iron which is a requirement as non-ferrous cookware does not work. It's also tricky to get used to as the heat tends to pulse more than a halogen or ceramic cooktop does.

    I dont remember the brand I use though. sorry.
  7. My sis had the single burner induction cooktop in her kitchen for about 2 years in her efficiency. She never had any problems with it, and it did boil water in about half the time as a gas cooktop. I'm sure you knew the downside of having to switch over all of your current pans to copper bottom ones to get it to work.

    I too had to do the microwave/camping stove thing in the final phase of my house build when my lease ran up in our apartment. From seeing both I would go with the camp stove method for 3 reasons.
    1. Because one burner is not enough when cooking
    2. Because it is much cheaper (and with remodeling you almost always go over budget)
    3. Because you can keep all of your current pans

    hope this helps!
  8. Oh yeah, I'm a cast iron fan as well
  9. Luc

    Luc Moderator Emeritus

    I don't have a portable induction cooktop but have an induction stove. I got to say, I love it. The only minus is to make sure that you got pots and pans that are induction compatible. If you cannot stick a magnet on them, it won't work. Other than that, I often have water spilling because it boils so fast!
  10. Thanks for the replies. Looks like we will be installing our new kitchen next weekend, so no need for the portable any more.
  11. What do you mean that the heat "pulses more"?
  12. Subbed.

    SWMBO has been bugging me for a glass cooktop, and our oven just died.

    It's efficient, but is it cheaper than gas?
  13. sounds great. Nothing like finishing a long running project. Ours started as a BIG hole in the ground and took a very long time to finish.
  14. Here's my new take on home renovation.

    Week one: Tear out all the walls, and plumbing.

    Week two thru week 247: Put it back together.
  15. well... Our kitchen Reno started out this way :001_smile It went down hill from there....

  16. Hi Karumba!
  17. If your wife complains about your kitchen reno you can always show her this picture of the start of our reno project :lol:

    Demoed the house down to 2 free standing structures, dug a basement which has an outside accessible bathroom. Kitchen and dining room with a 2 car garage on the main floor. Above that is my shave cathedral and a dressing area with 2 walk in closets and another room that we don't know what to do with (over the 2 car garage) so it is just storage for now.

    All told it was about 14 months of construction. We were VERY glad when it was over.
  18. Sullybob

    Sullybob Contributor

    I'm assuming that you use these in a restaurant setting? Are yours 120v or 220v? I've used commercial grade 220v induction burners and they are really nice.

    You don't need cooper bottomed pans to use an induction cook top, in fact cooper doesn't work with an induction cook top.

    From an article on cooksillustrated.com,

  19. Catch-22.

    I was watching a "How it's Made" show a couple of weeks ago and they were doing potware.

    The extremely high end pots are a copper core for heat transfer inside a (ferrous) stainless outer shell for compatibility with the induction systems.
    The "finishing touch" was a shallow groove turned high on the side of the pot to reveal the copper core.

    Non-ferrous metals will work, but not efficiently. There are videos of home-made induction coils melting copper slugs and pipe in a clay crucible, but it takes time.

    Low conductance heats better.
    Ferrous more efficiently directs and contains the magnetic field.

    Unfortunately, low conductance also means poor heat transfer, which leads to hot spots.
  20. Phog Allen

    Phog Allen Contributor

    Hi Rich. I have one of the glass cook top ranges. A Samsung(yeah, I didn't know they made appliances either) we purchased 2-3 years ago. Speaking strictly to electric range tops I can say this. Open coil vs glass top; No comparison. Buy a glass top. They put all their research into these. The glass holds and distributes heat better than an open coil so in my opinion is more efficient in the sense it likely has to be on less to make the same cooking heat. IE; it cycles less which uses less wattage.

    Electric vs gas. In my opinion, unless you are living in some oddball area natural gas is MUCH cheaper to operate than electric. I do notice an uptick in our electric bill at Christmastide when all the baking is going on. There are also other advantages to a gas range top. When you adjust the flame lower it lowers the heat instantly. With electric ranges, to include our glass top, you have to be much quicker on the trigger or you can overcook items. Many times when making things like curds, jams, custards, or other temperature dependent dishes you learn to perfect the remove-from-burner-quickly-so-you-don't-burn-it method of lowering temps. It is pita at times. I VASTLY prefer cooking on a gas range top. It is not an option in our home since the kitchen does not have a gas outlet in it. Conversely if you do not already have an electric outlet in our kitchen then you will have that expense as well. Most importantly, go with what the main cook wants. It makes for happier meals.

    Cheers, Todd

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