No more being limited to four or five burners of the same shape.
The new Thermador Freedom cooktop lets cooks place their cookware anywhere on the cooking surface — even oddly shaped items like griddles or roasting pans (think of the gravy making possibilities).
The cooktop will intelligently recognize the cookware size, shape and position to deliver heat without boundaries.
If you’re wondering, ‘What is an induction cooktop?’ Induction cooking rivals gas cooking’s responsive temperature control while being much more efficient, safer (the surface stays cool to the touch) and the smooth surface naturally is easier to clean.
If you’re really into specifics, here’s more info from Thermador:
48 individual 3-inch induction heating elements translates to a 63-percent more effective cooking area on the surface by eliminating the conventional standard of predefined elements.
A 6.5-inch, full-color touchscreen display that recognizes pot shape, size, and controls power setting and cooking time
Surface area to accommodate a 21-inch x 13-inch pan with the largest cooking surface in the industry
A range of 4,600-watt maximum power output with Boost feature and 15-watt minimum power output
But what would a super innovative product be without a color touchscreen these days? The obligatory touchscreen doesn’t just control temperature but shows the position of all cookware.
The Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop will be available July 2012 with a MSRP of $4,949.
While visiting a home in my neighborhood on the Minneapolis – St. Paul Home Tour yesterday, a tour representative said this homeowner’s renovation included switching from an electric stove to a gas stove and how much the representative wished she had a gas stove top in her own home.
“Well, what about induction?” I asked her.
It’s no longer just a choice between gas or electric stoves; homeowners with electric hookups can enjoy all the power of gas plus more responsiveness.
What do you lose with induction? All the wasteful energy loss. Cooking with induction is 70% more efficient than gas and 20% more efficient than electric.
Clean up is easier than smooth top gas ranges because spills don’t burn onto the surface. You can stick a hundred-dollar bill between an induction burner element and a pot of boiling water without worry
Why? Induction burners only heat magnetic surfaces (so you’ll know if your pots and pans are compatible if a magnet sticks to the bottom!), which also make induction cooktops popular choices for kid- and pet-safe kitchens.
Due to its recent rise in popularity (induction has been around since the ’70s but only took off recently), brands now make induction ranges in addition to induction cooktops.
This Saturday, a pair of my girlfriends and I attended the Cooking the Market class at the new, expanded Kitchen in the Market (in the Midtown Global Market).
Verdict? Stark, raving mad about it. We can’t wait to go back.
Kitchen in the Market started in 2008, but owners Chef Molly Herrmann and Tracy Morgan just opened the new space — a shared commercial kitchen space as well as a cooking school and retail shop. See more if you’re curious.
We shook hands with some champagne cocktails before even removing our coats, and traced the origins of our delicious cheese (which led to numerous “Portlandia” references from our Peanuts Gallery), as guided by Grassroots Gourmet’s Vicky Potts. This intro eased the less-familiar cooks in the 16-person class into the experience, which is open to all levels.
Next, Molly took us on a tour of the market, highlighting the fresh, in-season and obscure (e.g. goat tenderloin). I jotted mental notes, as we created the night’s menu on the spot.
Our newly formed teams engaged in a menu-planning pow wow with the professionals (Molly and other chefs present) and got Market Money to buy necessary ingredients.
We got our goat…
…which probably wasn’t even a funny joke the first five times I used it.
After slicing the goat, we marinated it in zatter (a Middle Eastern spice none of us girls had ever heard of), each taking turns executing the steps Molly delineated.
Note the ubiquity of wine, equally important to those in our group who like to cook (me) and those who like to drink while watching others cook (Kelly).
Our goat “lollipops” entered the commercial convection oven pretty early in the night, compared to the duration of active time involved with other attendees’ dishes. Thus, we creeped on everyone else.
Another team prepared a Greek salad with wild rice.
This scene looks deceivingly chaotic. Everything remained calm and organized.
Smoked salmon croquettes with mango salsa.
Our team’s favorite dish: beef stew.
Tastefully simple (can I call this a) tablescape, with our free whisks. I love free stuff.
Hurry up, people. We’re ready to gorge.
Our presentation of skewered goat tenderloin with yogurt sauce (clearly, arranged with assistance).
Look at that, more wine! And the Greek salad…yum.
The beef stew atop pureed butternut squash proved the class favorite, as well.
Shaved brussels sprouts with lingonberries. Saffron rice.
Personally, I like when dessert isn’t afraid to tell me what to tell me what to do. A cookie who speaks her mind = very sexy. Though, hers wasn’t a bright future, unfortunately.
We were encouraged to make more than 2 gallons, with the logic being more chili means more tasters means more votes for Warners’ Stellian. So, I made six batches. Observe:
When it came time for the massive amounts of chili to “simmer” for an hour, I lowered the controls on my (15-year-old) gas range to the flame’s lowest point before disappearing and tended to other responsibilities.
When I returned to dutifully “stir occasionally” 55 minutes later, all three pots of my chili were not simmering, but boiling. Of course chili isn’t as delicate as say, chocolate or Hollandaise sauce, but I don’t like the idea of keeping my chili at high heat for nearly an hour.
Wolf burners go down to 300 BTUs and absolutely will NOT scorch chocolate.
When I went to Wolf product training, a tiny Hershey’s square sat in a saucepan atop a Wolf simmer burner all afternoon, perfectly happy and melted.
Dacor has burners that can go as low as 650 BTUs, but also includes a simmer plate with some models.
A simmer plate is an accessory that protects your delicate foods from the direct heat of the burner, holding it at the safest low temperature possible.
Thermador ExtraLow Simmer burners can simmer as low as 100°F at 375 BTUs.
If you’re wondering, I didn’t place in the top three, though I did win the prize for Most Colorful Chili (you are what you eat, right?). Of course, I blame my lack of victory on my non-simmering range.