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Old 10-03-2007, 13:12   #1
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Magnetic Induction Cooktops

The "How do you cook on board" thread got me thinking about this again, since I didn't see it as an option in the poll. Has anyone used or considered using an induction cooker on board? Sure it's electric so there's the concern about the draw, but it's a lot less than conventional electric, and reported to be 84% efficient (compared to 40% for gas burner). Add to that the safety of no open flame, no carbon monoxide, not even hot to the touch and there is no safer option. To top it off my Fagor pressure cooker indicates it's suitable for induction use. Opinions?

SR-1881B: Induction Cooktop (Black)

Kevin
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Old 10-03-2007, 13:29   #2
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For a powerboat I don't see any problems with induction heating. As a toolmaker we used it day after day reliably for heating the ends of round bar for heading fasteners.

But your electrical system needs to be up to snuff. It does pull a lot of amps and you want the heat at the end rather then down line somewhere.

The downfall is you have to use ferrous cookware, which can only be washed in fresh water. And if it sets around too much may even corrode/rust.
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Old 10-03-2007, 13:43   #3
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All of my stainless cookware shows it's suitable for induction cooking. I know aluminum is no good, but I figure aluminum cookware would be unsuitable in a marine environment.
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Old 10-03-2007, 13:54   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman
All of my stainless cookware shows it's suitable for induction cooking. I know aluminum is no good, but I figure aluminum cookware would be unsuitable in a marine environment.
It must be the type that has the extra plate sweated to the base. There has to be a fair amout of iron for "Magnetic Induction Heating" to work.

http://theinductionsite.com/induction-cookware.shtml
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Old 10-03-2007, 18:05   #5
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Yeah, I did the magnet test on my Lagostina pots and the aforementioned Fagor pressure cooker - the magnet did not stick to the pots themselves, but readily stuck to the clad base, which is obviously a magnetic stainless. Ceramic or porcelain-coated cast iron would also be suitable and be less prone to rusting.
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Old 10-03-2007, 19:33   #6
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Magnetic waves ... compass ... uhmmm ???
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Old 10-03-2007, 19:54   #7
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Galley... cockpit.... ummm? Not planning on cooking beside the binnacle. No different than firing up the microwave or any other electric appliance on board.
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Old 11-03-2007, 05:47   #8
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An Induction Cooktop is not likely to interfere with the operation of a magnetic Compass.

The RF field, from an Induction cooker unit, diminishes to almost nothing at a distance of about 30 centimeters (12").
In fact, the safe distance from an induction oven, of a patient with an implanted cardiac pacemaker, is considered to be 50 cm (2") or more*.

* "Electromagnetic Interference of Implantable Unipolar Cardiac Pacemakers by an Induction Oven" ~ by Minoru Hirose, Mizuho Hida, Eiji Sato, Kenichi Kokubo, Masaki Nie, and Hirosuke Kobayashi, which also appeared in Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, at Volume 28, Number 6, June 2005, pp. 540-548(9)
IngentaConnect Electromagnetic Interference of Implantable Unipolar Cardiac Pace...
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:29   #9
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Lodesman: ...definitely not the same as a microwave...completely
different waveform...

Gord May: ...so they might be a good options for dockside cooking ...
maybe underway depending on draw ... safer than propane
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:49   #10
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I use a Wallas 2 burner diesel cooktop in my boat. Wife loves it! Smooth cooktop easy to clean. No diesel smell since it is vented to the exterior. Works off the engine fuel tank. Can also be used as a space heater with the automatic internal fan. Heats an approximately 10,000 cuft space to hotter than Hades.

Downside is that it does use some electricity, but not nearly as much as an electric cooktop. Also, there is no oven. We use a separate microwave/convection oven (not very often). Stove is not gimballed, but has adjustable fiddles.

Only propane aboard my boat is a couple of small bottles for the portable barbie which are stored in an exterior vented locker. Propane makes me nervous.
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:48   #11
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Sailormann,

You missed my point entirely. All electric equipment (microwaves, toasters, radios etc), when energized create magnetic fields that have the potential to affect the compass. An electric cooktop in the galley is no more likely to affect the compass than any other electric appliance in the galley, be it microwave, toaster, or cappucino maker.

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Old 11-03-2007, 10:56   #12
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A Viable cooking solution for cruisers

Wow, I love the concept behind induction heating for cooking and, yes, it IS practical for use on cruising boats. In addition, I quickly learned (decades ago) that cast iron pans and skillets are fine aboard cruising boats. I have carried a flat one for pancakes, a deep one for fish (cooking more like a Dutch oven, not fried) and a small one for saute' requirements. When "seasoned" properly they are so easy to clean (using minimal fresh water), dry and stow and they do not rust unless neglected. They would be perfect for that induction heater.

For baking I still want my propane oven and for bashing around at sea I still want my locking door microwave oven to cook and heat food and water, warm up coffee, etc.

Yet when I do not want to generate much water (cooking with propane) that raises the humidity inside the closed up boat in winter that induction heating coil is the answer! I figure that my battery bank is already sized to work that baby with the inverter for most jobs except for large pots of slow long-cooking items.

Thanks for the post Lodesman!
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Old 11-03-2007, 17:04   #13
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I might have to do a little more study, but don't you need AC for induction to work. That would mean you would have to run it on the inverter which would really eat the amps, or have the gen set running?

One vote for propane.

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Old 11-03-2007, 19:56   #14
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George,

Agreed there is the drawback of the electric load, but propane has a few cons too - notwithstanding the inherent danger, I understand it's not universally available. I would rather use CNG over LPG, but imagine its availability is even more doubtful. The Wallas stove looks like a good option, as it runs off diesel, and they also make an oven. Ultimately, I'm looking for the best option for world cruising, especially off the beaten path. It's good to hear all the opinions - keep them coming.

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Old 11-03-2007, 20:00   #15
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Rick,

Thanks for the positive feedback. If you do decide to try it out, I'd love to hear how it works in "real world" conditions. I'm also very glad to hear I won't have to give up my favourite well-seasoned pan, when we move aboard.


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