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Portabel Electric Induction Burners


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#1 JBT

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:48 AM

Questions for the chefs out there, especially those that do most of their cooking outside. DW and I are planning on going full time in about a year when she retires. I do the majority of the cooking and would prefer to do outside so as not to get grease, steam, etc all over the MH.
I have been considering getting a couple of electric induction burners to use outside, has anyone used this type of setup, has it worked? In general, do those of you that full time find you do most of the cooking inside, or outside. As part time rv'ers, we almost always cook outside with portable gas stove or charcol grills. Do you find this method works for full time, or have some of you developed other methods that work better.
Thanks for any help, just trying to cover as many bases as possible ahead of time.

John


#2 docj

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:03 AM

We have a portable induction burner that we use a lot, but we've never used it outside. One of the advantages of induction cooking is that the device doesn't put out any excess heat so it is great for using inside. If you're running the A/C it doesn't heat the coach up nearly as much as the propane stove. The only time we cook outside is when we're using our Weber grill; the rest of the time we find it easier to cook inside even if we decide to eat outside.

As for your concern about grease, etc, our kitchen has its own Fantastic Fan which we use a lot when cooking. We find that is sufficient for removing odors, steam, grease, etc.

Edited by docj, 06 May 2012 - 08:06 AM.

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#3 JM

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:52 AM

I really missed our BBQ but we seemed to be jinxed with them in our rig, they were just too messy, so we replaced the OEM Microwave with Whirlpool Velos Speedcook Oven LOVE the grilling feature and the EXCELLENT venting especially for fish, does a great job grilling as well as steaming veggies with the steamer dish that came with it. No problems with tripping breaker have had it for 3 years. It is not inexpensive but we full time and I like to cook. The turn table is 16" for large pizzas.

For our new to us homebase we bought a infrared bbq, again not inexpensive but we used it a lot this winter. You may want to look into a portable infrared grill for your rig?

#4 Walkerl

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:29 AM

We carry an electric induction burner and use it frequently. We also like the fact that it doesn't unnecessarily heat up the unit. The only time it goes outside is when there is a potluck. The temperature can be set so precisely that you can keep things warm but not overcook or burn them.

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#5 grumpydoc

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:04 AM

DW has one of the induction heaters and loves it! She uses it a lot both in and out of the rig. As docj says it does not heat up the inside like the gas stove. DW also says it heats up faster than the gas. We use it outside for things like boiling shrimp. Do be aware that you need special cookware to use on the induction burners, not just any pot will work. It must be ferrous metal to which a magnet will stick, aluminum, stainless steel and glass will not work. Don't ask me why, I'm not the physicist in the crowd, maybe docj can explain that part, Best wishes, Jay
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#6 Technomadia

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:11 AM

We love love love our portable induction cooktop. We loved it so much that we yanked out our propane stovetop & oven and use it most of the time. We had a solid countertop built in place, and use the old oven space for storing kitchen appliances (rice cooker, toaster oven, blender, etc.).

The induction is so handy - heats food very quickly, but no extra heat put into the space. It's got the temperature precision of cooking over flame, so much more control.

I've never been tempted to have to use it outside - as it doesn't heat the interior, and we have a MaxxAir vent fan that keeps things very well ventilated inside (and I'm not *that* messy of a cook).

We do have an O-Grill for cooking outside, and in theory we could take the induction outside too. I think our biggest hold back with that is currently lack of an outdoor power outlet - something we intend to add to our coach at some point. So for us, it's just easier to pull it out of the cabinet, set it on the countertop, cook, then store. I'm sure if we were doing any outdoor entertaining or going to a potluck, that would be different.

Best wishes,
- Cherie

PS. If you're not sure if induction is for you, here's a video 'boil off' we did with some friends - our induction against their traditional electric cooktop in their bus:
Video of our Boil Off.
(isn't my life exciting... we actually watched water boil..and filmed it!)

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#7 Walt&Connie

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:33 AM

And they say a watched pot never boils. :D

Also great minds wander down the same gutters. :) while the rest just wander.

Edited by Walt&Connie, 06 May 2012 - 10:34 AM.


#8 JBT

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:55 AM

We love love love our portable induction cooktop. We loved it so much that we yanked out our propane stovetop & oven and use it most of the time. We had a solid countertop built in place, and use the old oven space for storing kitchen appliances (rice cooker, toaster oven, blender, etc.).

That's what DW and I were thinking, pull out the cook top, put in a solid counter top and just use a couple of induction burners.

As for your concern about grease, etc, our kitchen has its own Fantastic Fan which we use a lot when cooking. We find that is sufficient for removing odors, steam, grease, etc.

I was wondering about this, I know in the S&B it's a constant fight with grease even running the fan over the stove. Would be really nice if the fan does remove the odors, grease, steam etc. I will have to see what coach we end up with and see how the ventilation is in the kitchen.

As far as grill go, I will probably end up staying with a weber charcol grill and see how that works out. Can always change it out if I find out I don't like it.
Thanks for the advice, love this forum
John


#9 sandsys

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:01 PM

My next RV is in the development stage. I bought the same induction cooktop as Technomadia has and have been experimenting with it. I LOVE it! It is so responsive and everything cooks so quickly while not heating up the space around it. Thanks Chris and Cherie for doing most of my research for me.

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#10 Butch & Fonda

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:06 PM

When we started doing our bus conversion, we purchased a new apartment size propane range. Then I read about induction cooking (I was already familiar with the industrial use of induction heating) and ordered one unit in for my wife to try.

Short end to a long story, we pulled out the range and sold it! She now has a full counter (except for the sink) and all cooking is done on either the portable induction heaters or the contact grill, either inside or outside.

I hate the smell that cooking bacon or fish leaves behind. Cooking outside cures that issue.

We also use them outside on a picnic table to keep food warm and at carry in meals for the same purpose.

My wife likes it so much, approximately 90% of our S&B cooking is done on them also.

For a few years, we set up and vended them at Nick & Terry's Gypsy Journal Rallies. Never had any complaints but we DID have several repeat customers.

It doesn't really take "special" cookware, just certain cookware. As mentioned, if it will attract a magnet, it will USUALLY work. We ha d one instance were that wasn't true. Cast iron (used carefully) works very well, enameled ware works well also. Some stainless will, some won't. Most "sandwich" constructed stainless will, but usually the magnet test will tell.

My two cents worth for free,

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#11 JBT

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:53 PM

Butch and Fonda, appreciate the info, wasn't sure if my cast iron would work, and I have quite a few old pieces of cast iron cookware I was planning on bringing. Not necessarily to use on the induction, but it would be nice to be able to brown in the cast iron before roasting with it. As far as cookware for the inductions, will have to see which of my pans will work.

Thanks
JT


#12 docj

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:27 AM

As far as cookware for the inductions, will have to see which of my pans will work.


The rule of thumb that has worked for us is that if a magnet sticks to the bottom of the pot it should work on the induction burner. Most, but not all, stainless steel will work; also some pots with magnetic stainless have mostly aluminum bottoms.

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#13 ChiefJohn

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:11 PM

The rule of thumb that has worked for us is that if a magnet sticks to the bottom of the pot it should work on the induction burner. Most, but not all, stainless steel will work; also some pots with magnetic stainless have mostly aluminum bottoms.


Excellent point -- don't buy cheap stainless and expect the best results. In addition, we discovered that the cheaper clad stainless emitted a high frequency that drove our two Bichons crazy. I removed our gas burners and installed the portable induction -- when frying foods, we cover the induction with parchment paper which catches the grease splatters. This is one of the most informative Induction sites on the internet.Posted Image

Edited by ChiefJohn, 07 May 2012 - 03:12 PM.

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#14 LadySailor

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:41 PM

Love our Mr. Induction burner. We're getting ready to go fulltime and thought it would be a good kitchen addition. Staying cool is a priority for us so no heat while cooking was a big plus. I've had mine for about a month now and have been using it in the house in place of the electric cooktop. It's even more responsive than gas - very precise cooking. I used my 34 year old Saladmaster pots and they worked great. Can't wait to use it on the road. Loved the watch pot video! That's the same model we purchased.
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#15 Budd

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:29 AM

A very positive YES to all of the above. Although we have not removed the gas range, the top stays closed as counter space. There have been a very few times when it was necessary to have the extra burners available but no other reason has forced any cooking on the gas range.

One note on picking/using pots and pans. There is a huge range in pricing for this cookware. We lucked into a deal for a 16 piece Rapid Chef nesting set. Fagor makes it and they make good induction ware. Unfortunately, it seems that most of the nesting sets by anyone have dried up. If you can find them and are looking more for functionality and convenience in an RV than a gourmet show-off set of cookware, this set tops the line and for a very reasonable price.

As for testing with magnets, it is a first contact test. The real test is when you put a large pan or pot on the induction burner with water and then see if it heats evenly all the way to the edge of the bottom. If it doesn't, the thermal bonding on the bottom of the pan is poor or the steel is too thin.

A poorly done video on youtube showed a test with eggs in a pan that did not heat the whole bottom of the pan. The problem was his cheap pan, not the induction cooker.... .but he was never smart enough to figure this out.

To me, a portable induction unit, a set of induction friendly nesting pots and an induction friendly pressure cooker are an essential base for a full-time RV kitchen.

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#16 Mike

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 11:50 AM

Big plus from me on the portable induction cook top. I have one and it works great when I am someplace with electric hookups. The cast iron pans I have also work excellent.. I agree also with the suggestion to get a couple good quality stainless for the other pots and pans if not fully a cast iron kitchen.
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#17 Dan Zemke

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:21 PM

I also agree with the above accolades.

I bought a Max Burton 6000 1800-Watt Portable Induction Cooktop on Amazon for under $80 including S&H, as well as the Fagor cookware set (no longer available) from another source per Emery's recommendation. Thanks Emery!

And one minor tip that I haven't seen mentioned. If you have one of those (expensive) Thermos Thermal Cookers (sort of a cross between a thermos and crock pot), the inner pot works well on an induction cooker.

Dan

#18 where2next

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 09:18 AM

These posts are a couple months old, but, what brands induction burners do you have? There are many brands and wattages.

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#19 Butch & Fonda

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 10:35 AM

We use and sold Mr. Induction by Sunpentown. We use 3 of them, one stays in the house, one stays in the bus and one floats back and forth between them,.

Out of the 6 or 7 DOZEN that we've sold, we replaced two. One was carried in a 5th wheel, I opened it up and found mechanical damage (a broken lead) but it was replaced under warranty anyway. The other on was physical damage. Our daughter used it on top od her electric range (on a upside down cookie sheet) and left it there while baking. It cracked the plastic housing. WE gave her a new one (and a warning) and my wife is still using it.

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#20 TCW

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 10:55 AM

We use the propane cooktop in the trailer a lot when dry camping. Also often use more than one pot/burner when preparing meals. Looking at the specifications, it looks like a single induction burner can draw up to 1300 watts. How well does that work out when not plugged in? Do you have to run your generator when using an induction burner when dry camping? If not, how big a battery bank do you have?

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