Professional gas cooktop performance for sauteing/searing vs high power induction cooktop

I am renovating my kitchen. I currently have a 36" Thermador Professional cooktop, 4 burners plus grill. Seriously considering the Wolf 36" induction, 5 elements. I am so tired of the cleanup on my cooktop, but I am concerned that the induction unit will not be "hot" enough to do a quick sear on a batch of mushrooms or a couple of steaks. Anyone out there with insights for me? Buon Appetito!

  • Posted by: Lorenza
  • November 13, 2012


susan G. November 15, 2012
If you a subject to power outages, gas has the advantage of (most likely) being available when there is no electricity.
spiffypaws November 14, 2012
I have used induction at home for the last 3 years and love it. I think that it heats up as quickly as gas (I use gas at work), but it seems to work more efficiently. High heat searing works so well that we bought a burner to use for outside grilling .
Sam1148 November 13, 2012
For what it's worth...if you really want a 'new thing' in the remodle. Look into home versions of "combi" ovens.

Still very high end stuff. With features like ability to inject steam for baking breads (and clean up), temperature controls that can go low to do sousvide waterbaths, steaming functions for high humidity cooking, and roasting function with combinging the two, and drying functions for dehydration of items.
Some are the price of a small car...but others are coming down in price.
ChefOno November 13, 2012

For what it's worth, there are "converters" that allow you to use non-magnetic pots and pans on induction cooktops. A little kludgey but they apparently work.

Sam1148 November 13, 2012
Ha..I didn't mean to start with "for what's it's worth" in my comment below. I was looking for home combi ovens links while posting.
Also called "steam ovens" now in home markets. Here's one by Wolf.
Greenstuff November 13, 2012
I also have gas plus a portable induction plate. I haven't used the induction burner as much as I thought I would. I'd thought it would be great for cooking at table, but it has this fan that's really not that loud but is a bit annoying. (Not an issue for you but maybe for others who are thinking about the portable unit.) I would have a hard time going pure induction, as I love-love-love my Emile Henry flameware, which would only then work in the oven. Part induction would be okay, as I've chosen a lot of other really nice cookware that works with it fine. It would be a big leap.
Sam1148 November 13, 2012
Flat surface cooktop can be more difficult to clean than gas tops. They look pretty at first...but then you get 'rings' around surface of the elements that need to be scraped off with razor blade and then polished with a specility glass polisher. (ceramabright is the common one). After a few years of skipping a scub/scrap cleaning they, the stains, become bonded to the glass. A boil over of sugar will also create permanent pits in glass tops.
My glass top looked great the first few years...but you'll skip cleaning sometimes and that builds up and becomes bonded to the glass.
I don't have gas service here...and when I do wok cooking, I still have to have to bring out a gas table top burner to accommodate a round bottom wok.
ChefOno November 13, 2012

Oh, it'll sear alright. 4000 watts at 85 or 90% efficiency is a lot of heat! I don't know where Wolf sets its overtemp cutoff but certainly it's above the smoke point of your oil and that's all that matters until the meat hits the pan. From that point on it becomes a matter of how much power it can sustain which is one of the technology's strengths.

One thing to think about before deciding on induction are issues with the glass cooking surface. Easy cleanup comes at a cost. I know they call it "ceramic" but it's still relatively fragile and can scratch, discolor and burn. Letting a heavy pot of pasta water slip can result in disaster.

Another difference that may or may not matter to you is how they maintain low heat settings, by cycling on and off like an oven.

pierino November 13, 2012
I agree with bigpan. I have a gas range but I also have a portable Fagor induction burner which I can set up anywhere there is space and a three prong outlet. It will get your pan really hot, provided it's ferrous metal. However you can't view the flame because there isn't any which can make holding a simmer a little tricky.
bigpan November 13, 2012
All chefs that I know use gas at home. I know the cleanup problems, but I continue to love using gas for the temperature control. Maybe find a friend who has induction and invite yourself over to give it a try. That might convince you to stay with gas.
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