Induction cooktops have started to surge onto the market. Unlike traditional cooking methods, like gas and electric heating, these cooktops work off magnetic induction. Instead of applying direct heat to a pot or pan, induction cooktops run a magnetic current through the coil. This process doesn't generate heat on its own, but when an iron pan goes on the burner, it conducts that current and warms on its own.
These cooktops allow for more efficient cooking and less risk of burning yourself than with a traditional stovetop. If you've considered adding an induction cooktop to your kitchen, you've likely heard of Bosch before. To help you figure out which one best suits your kitchen needs, we've compiled Bosch induction cooktop reviews to assist your buying journey.
Things to Consider When Purchasing an Induction Cooktop
Element and Cooktop Power Rate
Like any large appliance, the power rate plays a role in how your cooktop will perform. Higher power allows you to cook faster, but it can also cost more, both at initial purchase and regarding your electric bill. High-powered cooktops also can put a much more substantial strain on regular power outlets.
You should only use your cooktop on a dedicated, high-powered outlet. Otherwise, you may create a fire hazard or damage your fuse. The average power range for induction cookers falls between 1000-1800W at 120 or 240 VAC. Keep these numbers in mind so that you can prepare the best environment in your kitchen for cooktop use.
Depending on what you're cooking, you may need to let something boil or heat for a while. When your induction cooktop comes with a timer, it's easy not to have to worry about forgetting what you've set on the stove. Even better, these timers will shut off the burners automatically, reducing the risk of fire and saving you energy costs.
The most suitable timers will allow you to set the time by the minute, and some cooktops even allow you to set the time for almost three hours. Consider your regular cooking needs and make sure your timer has enough flexibility for when you step into the kitchen.
Pre-Set Cooking Menus
While it may take some time to become used to the different heating options on an induction cooker, pre-set cooking options can make it all the easier. With cooking menus to grill, boil, fry, stir, milk, and more, you can switch between different temperature and cooking needs with ease.
These settings also come with child locks, so you don't have to worry about any little ones accidentally adjusting the stovetop.
Setting Temperature Levels
Your induction cooktop will allow you to set different levels of heat that function in the same increments you're likely used to with traditional stoves. However, specific temperature control enables you to determine the exact heat you want your cooktop to function at, allowing you always to prepare foods at their ideal cooking temperatures. The idea cooktop range is 140 to 430 degrees Fahrenheit.
One of the drawbacks to induction cookers is that they only work best with cast iron pots, as this metal doesn't conduct electricity well. It's this attribute that allows the pan to generate heat. The same applies to stainless steel pots and pans with magnetic bottoms. While the cooktop you choose won't change this fact, you can still smartly plan your purchase if you need to invest in new cookware as well.
Number of Elements
The elements are what run the electric currents that allow the cooktop to work. Just like with any other stove purchase, you want to make sure you have enough elements to account for your regular cooking. Induction cooktops come with one to five burners.
If you only plan on occasional use, a one or two element cooktop may fit your needs, while those who want it to take over the role of the stovetop should at least select a cooktop with four elements, if not five.
We've mentioned many of the functions of induction cooktops so far, and you'll be controlling those functions through the cooktop's control panel. You should select a cooktop that has simple and intuitive controls to assist with the learning curve.
You can also select between press buttons and touch panels. A touch panel will operate in the same manner as a mobile screen and is a little bit more sophisticated. However, it will also be a more expensive option than its press button counterparts.
Because the science behind induction cooktops don't require gas ports or multiple electric coils, they are also available in portable editions. This feature isn't the case for all models (some are purely fixed ones), but the choice may be an important one for you if you cook on the go. No matter where you may want to cook, you'll be able to set the cooktop down on a suitable surface and get to work!
Since the magnetic current allows the pot to heat itself, the induction cooktop element does not need to be always running to stay warm. Cooktops also have auto-pan detection features to help reduce energy costs. You can toggle the setting on so that the element turns off if 60 seconds pass without a pan still on the cooktop.
Since induction cooktops have detection features, they also come with minimum and maximum pan size requirements. Cooktops can't detect pans smaller than the minimum size, and won't start the coil if you put them on the surface. Likewise, pans over the maximum size won't cook as effectively.
In general, larger sizes offer faster heating, but portability decreases the bigger the cooktop is. This area is another one to consider your regular kitchen activities and existing pans to help you make the best choice.
In general, induction cooktops will make very little noise since no moving parts are necessary to generate the energy for heating pans. However, the cooling fan inside the cooktop may produce sound, and very high-powered settings can also cause light pots to vibrate. Because of these features, you have very little noise to deal with in comparison to traditional stoves.
Bosch Induction Cooktops Reviewed
Bosch is a reliable brand for induction cooktops, though they do have several options available. If you're looking at this company for your cooktop purchase, know that you are looking at a high price point. However, these cooktops are all reliable when it comes to operating correctly and having intuitive controls to use.
Without any further delay, here are our Bosch induction cooktop reviews to help you see which model is the best fit for your kitchen.
Bosch's 500 series are the most basic models available from this brand, but that doesn't mean they lack in any way. This model still has a timer, automatic shut off, a lock, and indicators that let you know when burners are hot from pans, which serves a great safety feature.
One difficulty that this cooktop presents is that it’s completely black, which can make it difficult to distinguish between its burners in low light. With elements in mind, you have one 11-inch, one medium 9-inch, and two smaller 6-inch heaters to work with on the 30-inch model. They’re more staggered in the layout than a traditional stove, making it easier to work with several pans at once.
The 36-inch model gives you much more space to work with and five total burners: one 11-inch, one 9-inch, one 6-inch, and two 7-inch elements.
The controls are straightforward, but it can take a little bit of time to recognize which buttons correspond to which burner. You also only have up and down buttons for heat instead of numbers, so it takes a bit longer to reach the higher heat settings through multiple button presses.
30-Inch 500 Series serves as an excellent introductory option to induction cooktops with more basic features suited to someone who doesn't do too much work in the kitchen. The 36-inch provides the same level of functions with a little more space for chefs.
If the 500 series sets up a high baseline, the 800 series kicks it up a notch. Of the best distinguishing features of these models is the auto-chef feature, which automatically adjusts the temperature of your pan. This addition is great for dishes that involve adding cold ingredients to a pot in the middle of cooking so that you can continue without missing a beat.
You also see an upgrade in the burner power in the 36-inch version of the 800-series, jumping from 3600 to 4500 watts. This capacity isn't a level you're likely to need for home use, but it's there if you ever need more power in your burners.
As with the 500 series, the 30-inch version of this cooktop has four burners: one 11-inch, one 6-inch, and two 6-inch burners. The 36-inch model has a bit different layout than the 500 model, with the 800’s five burners being one 6-inch, two 7-inches, one 9-inch, and one 12-inch burner that can also function at 9-inches.
The 800 cooktops also have two different design options, with and without a stainless steel slope. Regarding functionality, they're the same, but the SUC stainless steel model may be more suited to the design in your kitchen.
One of the complications with induction cooktops is that you need appropriately sized pots and pans to conduct electricity the best and properly cook food. If you're a big fan of griddles and square pans, you may feel the need to avoid induction cooktops because they won't work well with your tools.
Bosch's FlexInduction burner is its solution to this problem. In addition to traditional circular elements, the Benchmark series uses a vast stretch of the cooktop area to form a rectangular burner that has several smaller sections for unconventional cookware use. You can slap down a grill pan or even use the space as two smaller burners with you regular pots.
While the Benchmark set scores itself some points with the FlexInduction burner, it's sadly missing the 800 series' Auto-Chef feature, which is a fantastic tool for chefs who like to maintain the best temperatures when cooking. Even so, you still get the rest of the features suite, including pot sense, auto shutoff, and the same max burner power as the 800 models.
The 30-inch version of this cooktop has one 11-inch and one 6-inch burner, along with the FlexInduction zone. The 36-inch version has one 12-inch center burner capable of working at 9-inches, plus two FlexInduction areas. You get the choice between the SUC stainless steel bevel and standard UV designs with the Benchmark series as well.
When you look at the Bosch induction cooktop reviews, there's no doubt that these are all great models. The 500 series offers a robust model for its price class, the 800 series' Auto-Chef feature allows for precise cooking with minimal input, and the FlexInduction gives chefs with more unconventional cookware needs an option in the Benchmark series.
We're a big fan of Auto-Chef, so the 800 series has won our hearts, but you'll have a great experience with any of these cooktops. If Bosch is where you want to select your latest kitchen upgrade from, you're making a sound investment that will serve you well in the world of induction cooking!