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Induction Pros and Cons

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Mostly cons, as it turns out.

 

If you're a cooking nerd like me - i.e., your counter space is taken up with sous vide circulators, chamber vacuums, etc. and dinner is rarely cooked without a blow torch being involved - then you've probably lusted after an induction range, or already have one.  So when you see that induction cooktops are the new thing for RVs and trailers, you probably, like me, are ready to hop on board.  Our plan was/is? to eliminate the gas cooktop all together and just use a couple of portable induction units instead.

 

So I've been doing my due diligence and I hate to say that I'm a bit disappointed in what I'm learning.  It's not that induction itself doesn't work well, or work well for a trailer, but rather that the affordable options available all seem to be poorly made rebadged junk from the same few factories.  The models that are offered are completely confusing, and the pricing is all over the place.  Is a $100 Duxtop 9600 better than a $60 Duxtop 8100?  Who knows?  They look different, but the specs are identical.  Why is a True cooktop worth three times a Max Burton?  No one can say.

 

The only thing that I can say for sure is that a $400 Vollrath is definitely an order of magnitude better than any of the the sub-$200 models, and is probably worth every penny - if you can afford it.

 

And it's probably the only unit that actually works well.  Well, I'm sure you could pay more.

 

The biggest problem I see with the portable units is that all of them but the Vollrath have a lower limit of 500 watts or so.  That means that they essentially can't produce a low heat, and instead turn on and off at different frequencies to achieve lower temperatures.  This can be a real problem because if you look at some of the videos on youtube, what you're cooking will literally go from boiling to off every few seconds, which can surely burn or otherwise ruin what's in the pan.

 

The other problem is that the portable units have relatively small induction coils, and can create some raging hot spots even in heavy pans like cast iron.  There are some videos you can find where they try to fry an egg and the center gets completely cooked while the outside edges are still cold.

 

Then there is the practical issue of current draw.  Two induction cooktops at maximum is 3600 watts of power, which will outpace our inverter by a wide margin.  The double burner units, like the True or Furrion, use a power balancing trick where they will only draw a maximum 1800 watts for the whole unit.  The problem with that is that if you're cooking something on one burner, then start something on the other, it will automatically lower the heat on the first one.  Then you raise that, and it lowers the heat on the second.  So you play this little dance with the temperatures whenever you change the heat settings.

 

Then there are issues with poor heat sinks and cheap fans that are noisy and often break after only a few uses.  Poor temperature sensing.  Whistling or screeching from the coils.  Melting or unresponsive controls.  Etc.

 

It just seems like a minefield of hurt for a marginal gain.

 

So...if you can't tell, we think we're going to pass for now and stick with Oliver's standard gas cooktop.  I am asking them, however, to give us a couple of high amperage outlets, one inside and one out - just in case we want to add a portable induction in the future, or go crazy and buy the Vollrath.

 

At least, that's my take on the situation so far.  I think a few of you do have and use a portable induction unit in your trailer so I'm really interested to hear if I'm totally off the mark with my conclusions.

 

I'd hoped to limit our dependency on LP, but in truth, cooking is a small portion of the total usage, compared to the furnace and water heater - and we'd have an outdoor grill regardless.

 

The one use I can still really see a portable induction working well for is when cooking outside.  Trying to maintain a low flame on a portable LP or butane cooktop when there's any breeze to speak of is pretty difficult, and an induction in that situation would be ideal.  And there are things like bacon that I'd rather not cook inside, just to avoid the splatters and the lingering smells.

 

Particularly when camping in bear country.  That $400 would seem like a small price to have paid when we're woken in the middle of the night by a bacon-crazed bear scratching at the door.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I want to buy a one burner for boiling water for coffee, tea, pasta etc...outside. It's extremely quick and won't fill my trailer full of moisture. Because of the inconsistency of the low end burners that's all they are good for. It's small enough to store in a drawer when not in use. I'm not looking to cook dinner on one so I don't need a high end, expensive one. So for me, it will be perfect for what I need it for. This is the one I plan on buying and it has bery good reviews. https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00GMCAM2G/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=DVETVI1ZF5E8&coliid=IFZHQQNA9Y205

 

Karen Lukens


Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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...If you’re a cooking nerd like me...

 

As a  connoisseur of the culinary arts, I am sure you have already anticipated the amount of cooking you will actually do in the inside of your Oliver while camping. Most people report that they cook actually very little on the inside.

 

The induction  cooktops make perfect sense if you are plugged up to electricity all the time. We find that we are rarely plugged in and I personally would not want to deplete our batteries trying to use them for cooking. In addition, I would not want to have to carry the portable unit plus cookware that is compatible.


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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Not being much of a culinary artiste, I like Reed and Karen use it mostly for easily heating water for coffee, tea, soups and such. Works great for that. I got the Duxtop 9300 for $70 and as described it cycles on and off at temp (and the fan makes noise)


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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I love my induction cooktop at home. Instant response to temperature adjustments, highly controllable like a gas range, but easier to clean.

It uses 220 power, though. I'm sure that's part of the limitation on the 120 portable units.

Pete/bugeyedriver cooked everyone an awesome breakfast on his little portable one morning when we camped together. Biscuits in his little electric convection oven, too.

It was worth the generator sound, for sure.

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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We just don't do much high temp cooking.  It's rare that we're boiling anything - eggs are about it.  Even bacon I like to cook super slow on low heat.

 

I could see the induction being great for searing, but we'll have the grill for that.  We do steam things a lot, so that's a potential use.  Of course I haven't considered the coffee situation.  Boiling water for a french press might be a regular thing if we don't bring along a coffeemaker.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Boiling water in the trailer, on the gas ring, is not a big deal, for coffee.

In cool months, it provides a minor amount of welcome heat. In the summer months, with open windows, it's an unnoticeable difference to boil water. I use a pourover cone, and we love the coffee.

We almost never have electric hookups, so I'm prejudiced.

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Yesterday I walked through the Christmas decorations and gift items aisles at Sam's club. ( I know, over two weeks to Halloween...).

 

One of the displayed items was an induction burner by copper chef pro, with an RV sized square (why?) Cute skillet included. For $69.

 

I googled reviews later, and found the same induction plate, with skillet, for $49 on Sam's club . Com.

 

I have no idea how good it is, and don't need one, but thought the price was pretty great.

 

And the pan was cute. .

IMG_20171010_133438110_TOP.thumb.jpg.622922df2ace8a2df96455ae3a9801b4.jpg

Screenshot_20171013-205427.thumb.png.7d548fd10a8de03013ec0d5d3618e289.pngSherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Our Aunt had one that she couldn't figure out, so she gave it to us last month and it has now become the main burner inside Goldilocks. Karen cooks breakfast on it every morning and it works with our Magma pans and scanpan ctq. She bought pans in the beginning to use with induction and cast iron works as well. We went from using the gas to using induction only inside for many reasons, the speed, the inside temp stays the same, the gas gets used for the water heater only and that has been a big savings rolling out to filling a tank once a month. It runs fine off of the generator or the batteries but mostly this fall we've been plugged into 120vac and it works great.

 

We may switch our gas stove out to a good induction cook top because this gas stove has some size issues and mostly for the other meals we are always using the Cobb Grill for everything from making bread and pizza to barbecuing vegetables and beef or even gator steaks and burgers. The induction cook top and the Cobb Grill really give you the best of the best in our opinion when it comes to cooking from the trailer.

 

Reed


Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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When someone gave us a Nu Wave portable cook top as a Criistmas Gift I stuck it into a closet and labeled it gimmick because of the infomercial, but we actually needed an extra burner for a social event and darn but the thing really works well.  It is now a permanent fixture on Camping trips and beats hauling a Coleman grill around.  Most of our standard cookware works just fine with it and the Nu Wave is my go to for cooking outdoors.  I don’t worry too much about batteries ...between my 500 watts of PV and the Honda I can top off in a jiffy.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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On my trip to Newfoundland this summer, I found the portable induction stove very handy to help with quick breakfasts outside and searing steaks in the evening after they rested in the sous-vide bath for an hour and a half to a perfect temperature of 129 degrees.  It comes with a convenient canvas carrying bag and hides unobtrusively in the closet when not in use.

 

If you must have consistent low temps for your recipes, Christmas is right around the corner, and a Vollrath would fit nicely down the chimney.  Just saying . . .

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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I've been curious about the NuWave.  You never know with the infomercial hype.  Glad to hear it's working out.

 

Does it control the lower heat with a steady current or the off and on method that boils and then cools over and over?


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Ours is the older New Wave and just like the reviews, it doesn't work on low or medium... It came that way, it comes on then shuts off. So Aunt Judy gave it to us and we found out that it does work fine on medium high (375°) and above. We can boil 2 quarts of water for the 8 cup coffee maker in about 4 minutes total. So this one works, though it is defective and doesn't work on low... Lol. Anyway after using this free one, we will be upgrading soon enough :)

 

Reed

 

IMG_20171014_103821.thumb.jpg.0a5d0804f5991a03a0a3c9370c2a0d83.jpg


Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Our Aunt had one that she couldn’t figure out, so she gave it to us last month......Karen cooks breakfast on it every morning and it works with our Magma pans and scanpan ctq. ..

 

 

I never thought about trying my magma pans on my induction range. I just assumed that shiny stainless with aluminum core wouldn't work. I guess I'll give it a try.... Mine are an older set, though.

 

Surprisingly, inexpensive and relatively lightweight IKEA 365 pans and pots work quite well on my home induction range, if someone wants to try induction, but doesn't have compatible (ferrous) cookware.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I never thought about trying my magma pans on my induction range. I just assumed that shiny stainless with aluminum core wouldn’t work. . Sherry

 

Magma makes both types now that are basically identical to look at but their Magma Induction pans have an added magnetic surface that makes them work great, so if you didn't buy their Induction set... You know :)

 

Reed

 

 


Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Here's another pic just because :)

 

The next day :)

 

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Did the coffee come first? Haha yes, that's why I'm awake :)

 

We downsized from an 8 cup Chemex down to a 6 cup and then the Hario Drip Kettle for Induction burners makes it easy to put the water right where you want it in the Chemex. Karen has a process for adding the water in a circular motion down to a science, completely covering all of the grounds to get the right water flow throughout the coffee grounds. She really loves the induction burner :)

 

IMG_20171015_125322.thumb.jpg.c72edfa85e9362657988d819358c0fb0.jpg

 

 


Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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After our first trip, we've decided that the gas stove is perfectly fine.  With two 40 gallon tanks, propane use just isn't a concern for the length of our trips and the stove seems to work well.  We have to use a handheld sparker to light the burners since the built in igniter doesn't really work all that well, but that's a small issue.

 

But if I do decide to get an induction burner for the house, I'll get that Volrath and will definitely take it with us on the road.

 

Also surprisingly, we cooked a lot inside.  Never an entire meal, but there was always something going on the stove along with whatever was out on the grill.  If it had been just me, I'd have used the camping stove more, but now that the wife has the option to get out of the cold, she does.

 

The indispensable electrical gadget we learned is the Nespresso.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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We have a NuWave and love it!  We also bought the Magma pots that can be used on induction cooking surfaces!  We are able to use low and medium settings on ours!  It was a great purchase!!

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We purchased one from Camping with our discount from the club. It works well, came with a skillet. We use it and it works well with my induction capable stainless pots from home. I generally enjoy making my "raunch" style beans in ours. I sometimes set it up in the basket to cook. Does well there - not as likely to be turned over or bumped off a table. I can get the brand name when I go out to my Yacht storage later.


Cash - AKA Sitting Bull


http://www.shot-in-texas.com

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