Induction Hob Update – Important…

As I said yesterday, I made a chilli. 14 hours later, it was finally cooked. That’s absurd.

The thing is, I put root veg in chilli, to bulk it up and reduce my meat intake, in this instance carrot and swede, both of which cook only reluctantly in a tomato-based sauce even on the stove (I don’t know why that should be, but it’s a fact), so it was probably an unfair test.

A normal chilli – meat, peppers, onions, chillies, garlic, cooked in a tomato sauce (I always use canned cannellini beans, which go in at the end) – would probably have been fine, and would have cooked much faster.

Still, on the basis of how it performed yesterday, I do have some reservations, and convenient and fast to use as it otherwise is, given the cost, and the outlay on suitable pans if you don’t already have them, I’d suggest not rushing out and buying one just yet, at least until I’ve had time to use it more and get a better feel for what it can and can’t do.

I still think it’s going to be a useful addition to my kitchen (the early stages of the chilli went very quickly – and sweating off the root veg until soft would speed things up considerably), and it’ll reduce my electricity bill – I’m not yet convinced that cooking a stew or casserole is really feasible.

2 thoughts on “Induction Hob Update – Important…

  1. I recently bought an induction hob (single ring) and hate it. I cant control the heat at all. its either too low or burns everything in seconds. No mater what setting I try it on. It also came with limited instructions on use so Ive struggled to work it out. the cost of the pans is ridiculous and of the 2 I bought (a saucepan, and a frying pan,) the saucepan is not non-stick, which is a nightmare, and the frying pan rises in the centre pushing everything to the edge. So I cant get an even cooking area.

    • Some models are deeply crap – especially those at the lower end of the price range. I opted for mine as it’s a semi-commercial model, with sealed controls – unlike Lakeland’s which has a large knob perfectly placed to get drowned if anything boils over. What’s annoying me more than high heat levels – I’m OK with that (I’ve worked in a commercial kitchen), though I appreciate many won’t be – is the lack of a proper simmer setting, even 5 degrees more would help. Might take the back off, see if anything is tweakable! Probably all solid-state though.

      I think, though, for those who can cope with the speed you have to work at, it’ll be a godsend in reducing the time spent standing up.

      My instructions are rubbish too. It has 10 power settings, numbered – wow! – from 1 – 10. But it doesn’t tell you what they mean in terms of heat! Level 1 boils the bejesus out of whatever you put on it, but is fine for sweating off onions and browning meat – god knows what the rest do – melt lead, I should think!

      I stick with the temperature control which, apart from the lack of a simmer setting, generally behaves, and you know what you’re getting.

      No idea what the timer setting does, as it doesn’t work in conjunction with either of the heat settings!

      It sounds like the frying pan has an induction disk in the middle, which gets hot, has nowhere to expand and so bulges. Possibly not helped by thin metal. Induction pans shouldn’t really attract much of a price premium, if any – the on-cost in manufacture is minimal – but some manufacturers never miss a chance to jack up the price.

      I’m lucky, I replaced my pans with mirror-polished stainless steel casseroles months ago – very light to , er, handle, with two handles, and they’ll just soak clean, which makes life easier, and they’re less prone to sticking than non-stick. Induction-friendly, too, as is a huge stainless steel pan that’s rarely used cos it’s so damned heavy. I might buy an induction frying pan, though frying is so messy it’s better done on the cooker, so maybe not.

      Currently I use my pressure cooker with a camping stove – bring it up to pressure on the cooker, then move it quickly to the camping stove where just a sniff of gas keeps the pressure up. I thought it was induction-friendly – just checked, it’s not. I’d swear it was sold as suitable, I must check.

      The induction hob is great for reheating stuff, and frying, if a tad enthusiastic, but if I’m able to cook at all, I can deal with that. What I fry mostly is fish, and I cook that hot and fast anyway, so it crisps the skin (easy to remove if it’s been poorly descaled, tasty if it’s been done properly). It’d be a disaster with sausages, though, or anything else that needs slow frying, but very good for searing steak, if you like steak bloody.

      Like yours, mine’s a solo hob – I wonder if full size ones are just as clunky? Given what they cost I’d be seriously disenchanted if they were.

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