With Christmas around the corner, I am starting to plan the holiday dinner. I always cook way too much food and, as a result, I am forced to juggle the food being cooked on the stove top. With only 4 burners on the cooktop and many pots and pans full of side dishes, gravy, etc. – things get a little complicated. Fagor has a single element cooktop that I had the chance to use, and immediately, I knew that it would be perfect for the holidays!
This product by Fagor is an 1800W Induction Cooktop. I have not used too many induction cooktops before, but I love the technology behind them. Traditional and induction cooktops use very different methods for heating. Traditional cooktops get hot and they then heat whatever pot or pan is resting on the element. Turn up the heat and the cooktop gets hotter and this makes the pot or pan hotter. Induction cooking is very different. An induction element has coils in the element that, when turned on, create a magnetic field which causes a warming reaction in the steel of a pot or pan. This means that the actual element does not get hot, but instead the pot or pan gets hot. This is far more efficient and creates an even level of cooking.
In so many ways, induction cooking is far superior to traditional cooktops. The downside is that pots and pans have to be compatible for induction cooking. Compatible cookware include stainless steel or tri-ply pots and pans, anything cast iron, enameled steel and cast iron cookware. Cookware that does not work with induction cooktops include anything made from copper, aluminum, glass or pottery. Also, the cookware needs to be flat so that it can create the magnetic warming reaction. There are induction compatible heating discs that can rest between the cooktop and the incompatible pot or pan. This disc would then heat up and then cause the incompatible cookware to get hot.
I was quite excited to try out this cooktop by Fagor. At 1800W, it has a lot of power and is able to get pots and pans really hot, which is essential for searing and boiling large pots of water. The top of the cooktop is made of SCHOTT CERAN® glass-ceramic. It is smooth and durable. The control panel is all touch sensitive and there are a number of control options. It is possible to set the heat according to the desired temperature or preset heat levels. There are quick heat buttons for bringing a pot to a boil and just warming it up. A child safety lock is also available and can be pressed to lock the cooktop.
One thing that I like about this cooktop is that it has a built in safety precaution. The cooktop is able to detect if a induction compatible pot or pan is on the surface, and will not start otherwise. Place the pot or pan on the cooktop and turn it on. If the cookware is compatible it will start heating up immediately. Also, if a pot or pan is removed while the cooktop is in operation, it will start to beep and after a few beeps it will shut down. During the couple weeks of using this device, I mostly used the cooking presets. There are 7 levels and pressing the + or – increases or decreases the heat level.
I wanted to see how much of my cookware was compatible with induction cooking and was surprised that the majority worked great. All my stainless steel pots and pans worked fine. My Lodge cast iron skillet worked perfectly, which is important, as that is one of my ‘go to’ pans. The one thing that was not compatible was my dutch oven. I knew it would not be since it is made of stoneware. I use it all the time and it is unfotunate that it does not work. If I had an enameled cast iron dutch oven, it would work great though.
The first thing I tried was searing some stewing beef. The pan got really hot, quite quickly actually, and the meat browned really well. The technology behind induction cooking is that the pot or pan gets hot, not the cooktop. To test this out, I removed the pan from the cooktop and slowly put my hand on the glass surface. It was hot, but that it because an extremely hot pan was just resting on the surface. It was nowhere near as hot as what a traditional ceramic cooktop would be.
Next, I wanted to see how long it took to bring a pot of water to a boil. It worked really well and was about a fast as my stove.
Next up was a big test. I brought out my large stock pot. I filled it with water and let it come to a boil. One of the benefits of a portable cooktop like this, is that I could bring it outside in the summertime and set it up right next to my grill. Then, I could cook a large pot corn on the cob. This would be excellent and far better than using those side burners on grills that never get very hot.
I used level 7 to bring this big pot to a boil and I was able to cook a massive amount of pasta for a gathering at the house. It worked great.
Induction cooking is far safer and more efficient than traditional cooktops. I wish, when I replaced my stove last year, that I would have bought one with induction heating. It works really well and this portable cooktop from Fagor is great. Perfect for taking outside, bringing to the cottage or for camping. It is also great for those big holiday meals, when you need an extra cooking surface.
Pick up this or many other products at Fagor’s website – 1800W Induction Cooktop
Disclaimer: Fagor provided me with the Induction Cooktop. They did not pay me for this review and the views expressed above are my honest reactions after trying the product.