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Old 21-02-2019, 04:27   #1
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Induction Cooking -- Tips?

Gas is gradually losing its relevance on my boat.


Some time ago, I bought a small induction cooktop to have as a backup in case of gas problems. It worked so surprisingly well, although it was a tiny cheap Maplin job with only two settings, Low, and High, that I ended up using it a lot, even when the gas was working.


So last September, after getting back from the Arctic, I went bigger on the induction cooking and bought a more complex Nuwave unit, together with some suitable pans. My old saucepans work fine, but I had to throw out the old alu frying pans.


This works so well that I haven't bothered to get the gas working again (bad solenoid) in all this time. My next boat for sure won't have any gas on board at all, but a built in, gimballed induction cooker. Induction cooking is so efficient, that my batteries hardly notice it, when I run the cooker off the inverter. It's amazing technology.


However, one thing I'm having trouble getting the hang of -- temperature control while frying. The NuWave allows control of both wattage and temperature, but I don't know what the scale of the temperature control relates to. It's not temperature of the pan, which is far higher than the setting. So what is it? Some approximation of what the temperature of the food will be? Or what?



I suppose I will get there eventually by trial and error, but perhaps someone has some insight or tips?
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Old 21-02-2019, 05:11   #2
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

On the home induction cook tops I've seen and used, the temperature setting is supposed to be the temperature of the pan. The sensors they use for that aren't always terribly effective in my experience - for most things you're probably better off just using one of the constant heat settings, just like you would on a gas or resistance electric system.

One thing to keep in mind/look for if you're trying fancy things like chocolate, though - many induction cook tops achieve some of the lowest power settings by cycling, just like a microwave does. For delicate low heat applications this can be problematic (but it won't matter for most normal cooking.)
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Old 21-02-2019, 06:07   #3
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saghost View Post
On the home induction cook tops I've seen and used, the temperature setting is supposed to be the temperature of the pan. The sensors they use for that aren't always terribly effective in my experience - for most things you're probably better off just using one of the constant heat settings, just like you would on a gas or resistance electric system.

One thing to keep in mind/look for if you're trying fancy things like chocolate, though - many induction cook tops achieve some of the lowest power settings by cycling, just like a microwave does. For delicate low heat applications this can be problematic (but it won't matter for most normal cooking.)

If it's supposed to be the temperature of the pan, that it is hugely off.


I measure the pan at like 260C when the unit is set for say 150C.


But the temp control works -- I mean, it definitely modulates the temperature of the plan. Low is really simmer, but it's not 40C.


Maybe it's just reading wrong?
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Old 21-02-2019, 06:12   #4
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
If it's supposed to be the temperature of the pan, that it is hugely off.


I measure the pan at like 260C when the unit is set for say 150C.


But the temp control works -- I mean, it definitely modulates the temperature of the plan. Low is really simmer, but it's not 40C.


Maybe it's just reading wrong?
From what I've seen and read, a lot of them do read wrong. That may be why it's a lot more common to find temperatures mode equipped models in the small portable end of the market and rare to find it in the big thousand dollar stove replacements units.
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Old 21-02-2019, 07:06   #5
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Gas is gradually losing its relevance on my boat.


Some time ago, I bought a small induction cooktop to have as a backup in case of gas problems. It worked so surprisingly well, although it was a tiny cheap Maplin job with only two settings, Low, and High, that I ended up using it a lot, even when the gas was working.


So last September, after getting back from the Arctic, I went bigger on the induction cooking and bought a more complex Nuwave unit, together with some suitable pans. My old saucepans work fine, but I had to throw out the old alu frying pans.


This works so well that I haven't bothered to get the gas working again (bad solenoid) in all this time. My next boat for sure won't have any gas on board at all, but a built in, gimballed induction cooker. Induction cooking is so efficient, that my batteries hardly notice it, when I run the cooker off the inverter. It's amazing technology.


However, one thing I'm having trouble getting the hang of -- temperature control while frying. The NuWave allows control of both wattage and temperature, but I don't know what the scale of the temperature control relates to. It's not temperature of the pan, which is far higher than the setting. So what is it? Some approximation of what the temperature of the food will be? Or what?



I suppose I will get there eventually by trial and error, but perhaps someone has some insight or tips?
Simply read the directions that came with the Nuwave cooktop or watch some of the many youtube videos. We also use the Nuwave oven and have been using both cooktop and oven for four years.
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Old 21-02-2019, 07:17   #6
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Simply read the directions that came with the Nuwave cooktop or watch some of the many youtube videos. We also use the Nuwave oven and have been using both cooktop and oven for four years.

I did read them, and there is no clue about the question posed in this thread.


Have you had similar experiences with the temperature control?


Are you generally happy with it?
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Old 21-02-2019, 07:54   #7
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

A little off topic...

I'm planning to go induction on our new build. Could one of you two fine gentlemen tell me if there is any interference with the autopilot compass, VHF, or SSB, whilst using induction?

Thanks.
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Old 21-02-2019, 09:03   #8
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

I have used induction for years at home and it is great, far superior to gas. Never thought about converting on the boat. Curious what kind of electrical set up you have (generator, inverter) and what model cooktop and oven you have installed. My home induction setup uses 240V so that would be a problem I think.
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Old 21-02-2019, 09:16   #9
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rha9 View Post
I have used induction for years at home and it is great, far superior to gas. Never thought about converting on the boat. Curious what kind of electrical set up you have (generator, inverter) and what model cooktop and oven you have installed. My home induction setup uses 240V so that would be a problem I think.

I am presently using a single burner NuWave cooker, which uses maximum 2000 watts, and can be turned down to 1200 or 800 watts without reducing the temperature, so this is no problem for a cruising boat with medium battery bank/inverter setup. I have a heavy duty 6.5kW generator, but I don't need to start the generator, to cook dinner.


For a permanent installation you will want more than one burner, and you would want to limit the maximum power draw at once to something your system can handle. AFAIK, many permanent install induction cooktops allow you to program them to limit maximum power to 3000 watts or whatever.


I have four burners on my gas stove, but they are too close together to use all four burners unless you are using dollhouse cookware. I think three burners would be quite enough for me, and only one would need to be capable of 2000 watts, I believe.


I will have more inverter capacity on my next boat, however -- probably a gang of two of the Victron Multiplus I have now, so about 5kW of realistic sustained power, and I will be using lithium batteries, so even 3 or 4 kW from the cooker shouldn't be a problem. I reckon even for an elaborately cooked dinner it would be pretty hard to use more than 2kW/h of power.




As to being superior to gas -- just the safety alone is worth the price of admission. Electrical power has its own safety challenges, but the marginal added risk from induction would approach zero I think, on a boat which anyway has different electrical devices on board, and you lose an entire very risky system. So the improved cooking is just a bonus, as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 21-02-2019, 09:44   #10
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I did read them, and there is no clue about the question posed in this thread.


Have you had similar experiences with the temperature control?


Are you generally happy with it?
Yes very happy, no problems. I don’t need to know nor do I care what the precise temp is, I just use it to cook the food.

The Nuwave only costs around $80, so I don’t expect perfection regarding the controls. It just works.
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Old 21-02-2019, 09:55   #11
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

About induction burners.. I have a single size induction plate. Love it. Takes the place of 'cooking with gas'.
However, I would NEVER leave it alone. I ALWAYS unplug it when finished. The high heat is frightening.
It will ALERT you to out-of-control heat, but if you are not in the room????? The heating system goes
on and off, (you can feel it and see it), keeping the food at whatever temperature you choose. Simmer is HI simmer.
There is a another temperature
choice that says 140* , but checked, it's 170*, which does keep the food at minimal temperature. You must pay constant attention to what you are cooking when any higher than the 'simmer' choice. When boiling water for cooking something,
you better be 'on your toes', it boils up when ready 4-5 minutes, over-the-top. Even quicker w/cover on pot. You get
used to that, and once you lower the temp the boil hi-simmers nicely. It's not for timid cooks. Don't forget to unplug when finished.
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Old 21-02-2019, 09:56   #12
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

You mentioned the pans you are using are non induction. The heat does not distribute correctly using normal pans on an induction cooktop.
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Old 21-02-2019, 10:00   #13
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

I agree with the sentiments regarding induction cooktops - they're great! My wife had bought some pans a while back, one of those TV specials - you know, buy this set of pans, get a free induction cooktop, but there's more, you get two... I thought it was ridiculous until a friend installed an induction cooktop on his Lagoon, so I hauled out the free cooktop at home to try. Now I barely ever use the regular cooktop, pretty much everything is done on a single portable NuWave unit. And the plan is to get one for the boat too, as soon as we replace the old boat that got crushed :-(.
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Old 21-02-2019, 10:47   #14
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

I was really surprised that I didn't see induction as a factory option on any of the new production cats I was looking at the sheets for.

You'd think it would be an obvious choice, since it's the only thing propane is generally used for and keeping propane aboard is driving a bunch of extra cost and risk.

RVs went induction several years ago, with most makes I've seen offering a diesel only coach with diesel furnace and induction cooking, so I was expecting to see it here too.

Then all you'd need is an electric or diesel tender, and you can be down to a single hard to light fuel onboard...
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Old 21-02-2019, 10:54   #15
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Re: Induction Cooking -- Tips?

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You mentioned the pans you are using are non induction. The heat does not distribute correctly using normal pans on an induction cooktop.

Well, it didn't work at all, with my previous alu frying pans.


But those are all now in the landfill, and all my pans are now induction ones.


It's funny that each pan, costs more than the rather nice cooker.
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