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chaylabird_gw

I've decided on 4/5 gas burners & 2 induction ones - any recs?

chaylabird
12 years ago

Well - I know the type of fridge, the dishwashers (the KA models that have received great reviews here and that have the cuttlery rack which I really like on our current miele), and that 1 oven will hopefully be a Gaggenau combi. Now I just need another oven and a cooktop. I feel, at the ripe old age of 42, too old to leave the gas cooktop behind but I think that having 2 induction burners would be great. I don't need a grill/griddle - just something reliable and easy to clean. I'm wondering if I should do a slide-in range - combination gas/electric or get a 2nd wall oven and a cook-top. In which case, which oven, which cook-top and which induction modular unit... Since the Gaggenau is on the smaller side I'd like this addional oven to be larger...

If anyone has any experience/advice/decisiveness pills - I'd definitely appreciate the input!

Comments (29)

  • plllog
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What's your budget? The best oven is the Gaggenau. And it'll look good with your combi.

    The problem with 2 burner induction modules is that the elements are pretty small. Great for day to day cooking, but then what's all that gas for? The Gaggenau induction wok module is ridiculously expensive, but as powerful as the central large element on a full sized cooktop. That's what Gizmonike has next to her gas range.

    Do you really need that many gas burners? If you're getting a cooktop rather than a range or rangetop? Most people report rarely using more than 3 burners.

    I got 3 induction and 2 gas. Originally I was going to get Gaggenau modules, 2 gas, the wok, and the teppan yaki, but I decided I didn't want the front knobs, and wanted to take up less space, so I got Wolf two medium gas burners, and 2/3 of the Gagg 36" cooktop (self import from Europe).

    Did I already tell you this? I can't always keep who asked what when separate. Please forgive if you've heard it all before.

    I came to my remodle, pre-GW, in love with a Wolf rangetop, and was checking on details of that when I found this forum and changed a lot of my thinking, including learning about induction, trying it, and deciding I'd rather use induction than gas for most things. I still love the Wolf, though. Though the BlueStar rangetop has some things to recommend it.

    There are lots of nice options for gas cooktops if you don't want a rangetop.

    Re induction modules: If you want powerful and restaurant noisy, Cooktek gives you a lot of power. They're 27", though they can be gotten either front to back or side by side. They're a thing apart. For the rest, check the Universal-akb website and The Induction Site, and read through the manuals to compare price, power and controls.

    An important thing to me about induction is fine control. Some have 9 power levels, and others are numbered 1-9 but have half stops. The half stops make a big difference if you're doing something delicate.

  • chaylabird
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks for your response Pllog! I think during my research I did read a little about your self-import when I was doing my research and was very impressed! And you bring-up some very good points. I'm still not sure exactly when/why I would use the induction vs. gas. I think you are right about the number of burners people use - 2 gas and 2 induction would probably work for me. I was just wondering if there was a good slide-in range that I could combine with an induction module for about the same price as doing the 2 and 2 Wolf or Gaggenau so I could get a bit more for my $. I think another trip to the appliance store is order. I don't think the Cooktek is for me based on your description. I have an Elan cooktop now which I bought based on my research on GW. It has many good points but the simmer function is pretty dismal and in my cooking I really miss it so your tip about the induction controll really helps!

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  • rhome410
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I wanted induction SO badly when I was planning my kitchen. Actually figured on it almost the whole process until I realized it wouldn't give me the 4 or more large burners we need in our house, so we got a Wolf gas rangetop. I was sad that I didn't think to consider a combination of gas and induction and have often daydreamed about what combo I would have and how I'd use each. I would definitely use induction for boiling water. I have come to love the Tim-the-tool-man-grunt aspect (primal feeling of power?) of gas...so I think it would still be my choice for stir fry and searing, although they're the messiest. (IS there an easy-to-clean gas cooktop option?)

    If I was in your spot, one thing I'd definitely do is choose a gas option with which you get 2 equally powered burners situated next to each other so that you can use a 2-burner griddle-grill pan. We love having that option, but you don't want to use it spanning burners that won't heat both halves consistently. Even though you don't feel the need for a griddle or a grill, the pan gives you a nice substitute for either and is fun to use for a few different purposes.

  • plllog
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What Rhome said about the good double griddle is my big regret on giving up the Gaggenau gas. That is, the 15". When I mentioned the modules above I forgot about the 12" because those feel more like eurotoys to me.

    On the other hand, I have the big induction element and I can afford a new induction ready round griddle and grill if my lovely enamelled cast iron one is too big to use. I decided that making the choice over my cookware was silly. (Not silly for Rhome who has more need of larger cookware.)

    You can definitely do induction with a range! Do check Gizmonike. Truly excellent setup. You might be able to put a couple of modules over a wall oven, but it would cost a lot more, and range ovens are higher, so nicer to use.

    Have you thought about venting? Even if you're mostly using the induction for boiling, it's nice to be able to vent the steam. Will you have a hood for the whole shebang?

    Have you tried induction? I hadn't heard of it until I got here, and just ordered the cheapest countertop one I could find on Amazon to try it out. It's much more common in 2.5 years!! By the time I was ready to buy, as I said, I'd decided it was induction I really wanted to be cooking on.

    Alternatives to think about: There are some nice looking induction ranges which are pricey for slide-ins, but downright reasonably priced compared to the Gaggenau wok induction unit. They've come out since I was shopping, so I don't know the specs, but it might be worth looking into that, with gas on the side instead. Unless you prefer a gas oven. So many people prefer an electric oven that a lot of the fanciest gas ranges have them, so I forgot for a second that you might want all gas. But if you decide you just love induction, and you're happy with the electric oven, you could do that and gas on the side. Perhaps the Wolf gas wok module, which is very powerful, might suffice, unless you're after the griddle thing, at which point the Gaggenau 15" is the best (and not so ridiculously expensive as that wok module).

    Or be like someone in the Kitchen Forum, and include an outdoor grill in your thinking. Induction inside and gas outside. Could be great!

  • clkw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Rhome and Plllog, (or anyone!!)

    You just mentioned being limited by big pots on the induction cooktop. I use a lot of big pots. The rep said big pots work on any of the burners because the pot will heat up, just like it does when your pot is bigger than the gas burner. That made sense. Were they misinformed? If you are truly limited by the actual size of the burner ring, I may have to rethink this. Argh.

    I could solve this by getting the Wolf wok as an extra as you say, but can you use that as a regular burner? I was also told the Wolf 2 burner gas isn't as good as their rangetop gas (which is 36'), but I really don't know the difference. Plllog, you might have feedback about that. It's so confusing and our local dealers don't really know all the differences between the products, so it makes it a very slow process.

    I would love to switch from gas to induction, but if you have less cooking options because you can't use many big pans at once, it seems like it may be a step back? I hope I'm misunderstanding this.

    Heeellllllllpppppp.. THANKS!!!

  • rhome410
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Most of the induction cooktops when I was in the market seemed to have 1 large burner, 2 medium, and 2 tiny. Some had 2 medium large, but not always situated favorably. The instructions said you could use pots/pans up to 1" larger all around than the ring. Miele came out with better sized hobs too late for me. I think if their 36" had been out when I needed it, that's probably what I would have now.

    I think that one day there will be zoneless induction (not sure that's the right term), but with the way it works, that it will only heat the magnetic object on the cooktop, it should be possible. (Easy for me to say)

    The pot will eventually heat if you have good cookware, because of the rest of the pot being hot, but if the source is only under part, I wonder if it will be truly even.

    Also, for me there was the question of room. THe Electrolux cooktop, for example, has their 2 larger burners right next to each other...with about an inch and a half in between. Not room to have 2 large pots on that overhung the circle, especially considering handles.

    I had the same fears you show in your last question...which is why I now have the gas rangetop, the prospect of which scared the life out of me, honestly, since at 46, I'd never cooked on gas before. I love it, but miss the easy-clean, no hot-surface aspect I'd looked forward to of induction.

  • clkw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Rhome,

    Thanks for your input. I'll go measure the bottoms of my pans and compare them to the Miele. I could definitely go gas but I too was loving the idea of easy clean up and no hot surface issues.

    In the UK, zoneless induction now exists. I found it online and was sooooo disappointed it's not available here. I wonder how long it will take. I see there is Maxi-sense from AEG (3 and 4 burner) and De Dietrich (possibly 5 burners). I recently read here about someone importing an appliance (maybe it was Plllog), but I don't know if we could do that with this, and if so, if it could even be serviced because it's a different brand. I assume not. I included a link if you wanted to read about the zoneless.

    I use Le Creuset so I imagine they will eventually heat up, but as you just mentioned, even heat could be an issue. Being a novice cook, I am just learning today that's an issue. I found another thread talking about matching pot sizes to the burner and why it matters. It was very informative. I guess you can use huge pots on gas and get even heat because the flame spreads out once the pan is there, and you won't have that ability with induction? In reading that thread, it looks like I shouldn't always be using cast iron either. That sometimes it's better for a pan to heat up quickly and to cool down quickly.. for what, I don't know yet, but I'll get there!

    Thanks again and if you have any further comments, I'd love to hear them.

    OT, do you have any opinions on steamers (in wall or counter versions). Do you think they help your results (even cooking/juicy etc), or is it just another cool gadget? I don't want to throw money away but if something can make my imprecise cooking better, it would be worth it to me.

    Here is a link that might be useful: zoneless induction

  • plllog
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    They already have zoneless induction in Europe, and I think they're starting to see it in Canada. Like all new technologies, some of the earliest had some real problems, but I haven't heard anything more recently about that. The way it works is that instead of one big round induction zone, there's a grid of 2" squarish inductors. There are sensors, like the normal pot detectors, so that only the inductors covered by iron/steel will go on. The big push in Europe for zoneless seems to have been for fish pans, which are long and skinny.

    There are several layouts, but in a four zone layout, one of the common ones, they're layed out 2 in front and 2 in back, and each pair right and left share power, the way most right and left pairs do on the round ones. You can put your fish pan across the middle of two front to backs. I haven't been able to figure out if you can put your canning pot in the center of all four on any of them, but on the ones I've delved into it seems the answer is no.

    As to size, I use a lot of big pots too, but the only time I have two huge kettles going is for Seder when I have one with soup and the other with matzah balls. I'm not sure if I could make my my mother's big kettles work in my new kitchen, but I'm sure my old Farber soup pot will work on the gas, and my stock pot will be fine on the big induction element. Those are usually on for hours, so I don't need speed or power to boil them. And I'm at sea level. And if I even have to make Seder for 40 again I'll pull out the portables. I usually have 25-30 and that's enough surface area. Though, actually, last year I had to make the matzah balls ahead of time at my mother's and freeze them because I was ready for demolition when Seder moved to my house. They came out so well, if I had a bigger mob I could make in batchs and freeze, and they don't need as much room to rewarm.

    The above is an illustration of making things work in a new way. :)

    How big are your big pots? I think it might be a tick against the induction range idea, because I don't think any of the current ones have the big 11" element. You can use pots up to two inches bigger than the stated diameter on most elements. That is, that hang over the edge of the circle an inch. And you can use bigger than that, but you'll have a real hot spot problem. I've done it. More like Rhome said than the rep. That's with cast iron. Perhaps clad would spread heat better through the copper layers. :) Not so different from gas, but if it's big enough to overlap the other elements it could send the system into a tizzy. I thought this was going to be a problem for me at first, but found out that only one of my big pots is more than 12" at the base. And it's the base that counts. (Mother keeps offering me her kettles but they're more like 16" and work best on electric.)

    The two burner Wolf gas is a small and medium burner (that's output as well as size). For my purposes I didn't think I needed a blast furnace. Because it's a small module they're closed burners. They're no competition between them and the Wolf rangetop, but they're the best after the Gaggenau 15" for the size. The Wolf wok burner, "multifunction", is 22K BTU, compared to 12K and 9.2K on mine, but mine have good low simmers. It's meant for large pots and doesn't have the stacked burner with the simmer, and comes with two grates: one for wok and one continuous.

    You can do a lot of shopping in your chair. Go to the manufacturers' websites and read through everything, including the owners' manuals. Get to know which does what, etc. Measure the bottoms of your big pots. If you think one of the induction ranges might fit your pots, take them to the store and try them out.

    I should say that my big grill/griddle is just a beast. I think it was designed for an outdoor grill. It's huge and heavy, two burner, with a deep rim around the sides and massive ridges. I have a single burner Le Creuset grill/griddle which has a very small lip and might work with the Gagg induction. It doesn't work on the Suppentown portable, but the built ins generally will accept a little more slush. That one could be a papoose to the big grill. Night and day difference in mass and size. Buying the Gagg gas just for that seemed silly. Hence saying I could buy a big round grill and griddle for my big element.

  • rhome410
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I guess you can use huge pots on gas and get even heat because the flame spreads out once the pan is there, and you won't have that ability with induction? In reading that thread, it looks like I shouldn't always be using cast iron either. That sometimes it's better for a pan to heat up quickly and to cool down quickly..

    I have to be careful with gas not to overshoot the size of the pan! I have burned things on the sides, especially using my stainless pans with the thick disk bottoms and thinner sides. Those work well for boiling water for pasta, etc. Cast iron wouldn't be great for that, because of the time it takes to heat the pan, and you don't need the properties that work so well for slow or lower heat cooking when doing something as quick as noodles.

    I didn't have cast iron until I had the gas rangetop. Didn't find it necessary or helpful on electric...But I love it now with the gas!

    I have nothing to offer regarding steamers. Can't imagine what I'd use it for. Probably ignorance about its possibilities, but my budget stuck to necessities, and getting the best value I could in those things...The choices that I thought would offer the best assurance of performance and long-term satisfaction for my money.

  • plllog
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We cross posted earlier.

    I have Le Creuset. Got my first on electric. Have used it on gas since. Now induction. Great stuff, and cooks great on all. And was making marmalade in my 5 qt. oval dutch oven on the old gas because it was the right size. Nice hot circle in the middle. Tried my apple shaped tatin on the portable induction and had a nice hot circle in the middle.

    So the difference is that you can adjust the flame to the size of the pot, unless it's a pot that's too big or too oval to be happy on the stove. With Induction it's more about adjusting which size element you use to the size of your pot. Pretty much for the same reasons. The heat of induction does spread up the sides except in pans that have an okay for induction bottom but incompatible sides. The portable doesn't get the sides all that hot, even on boil (and yes, I make pasta in my Le Creuset soup pot (which is a shape, not a size). I don't know what it'll be like with the gonzo Gaggenau power burner. BTW, the 11" power elements usually have a double ring so you can put a "normal" sized pot in the middle, instead of being only for the stockpot and griddle.

    With the appropriate sized flame or element the cast iron will give you beautifully even heat.

    I have the Gaggenau steam oven just waiting to be turned on! It's getting close to finished in there, and I'm getting antsy. So I can't give you direct use information, but as far as I'm concerned it's a convenience rather than a necessity. I was getting a Gaggenau oven anyway, and after I cracked my favorite Pyrex pot in the MW steaming multiple loads of vegetables for salad for my mobs of family I decided I was going to have it. Having to run three steamers in pots at once is no fun. Plus, I figure it'll be great for daily cooking because of the small cavity, and will make it easier to decide to steam veg that I might just put on the table raw because I hate steaming so much. And it's supposed to be great for warming up a plate of food, or just leftovers that you'd otherwise have to add a sauce or something to.

    You can get steam bake/roast results in a regular oven with a pan of water, by the way.

    The in counter steamers don't look convenient to me but people like them. I think they'd be great for dumplings, but for veg it looks just as easy to do a similar amount on the stove. And you can do dumplings in bamboo easily enough.

    This is not to discourage you! Just to say that they're not necessary--just nice toys.

  • weedmeister
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    BTW: cast iron is perfect for induction.

  • clkw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thank you all so much. I feel like I've gone to cooking school!!!!
    After I absorb all of this, I'll may have more questions. I'll post separately because I have obviously highjacked this thread. Hopefully this was helpful to Chaylabird as well.

    Plllog, One question I know I have for you is about the Gag. steam oven. I saw there is a 30 inch plumed version as well. I don't know how crazy the price is yet, but can I assume that would work just like a regular 30 inch oven too. I didn't see a mention of a broiler on their website. The reason I ask is I'm going to get a 30 inch and a small wall oven. I was thinking of the Miele speed oven (that gets me a microwave and small oven) and then a Miele 30 inch oven. But, perhaps I get the 30 in Gaggenau steam oven and then I have all appliances in two units. I'm not sure about mixing brands style-wise? Thanks for the tip about adding water to a reg. oven too. I eat soooooooo many leftovers, if steaming really does make them better, that might be a good expense for me. I guess if the 30 inch takes a lot longer to heat up, that wouldn't be a great size to heat up leftovers. With, Gaggenau, I might actually save money if I get the 30 inch Miele oven and a Wolf counter steamer.. hard to tell. And then if style dictates same brand stacked ovens, I could always just plan a space for a future Miele plumed version.. I have to think it will come out eventually.

    THX AGAIN

  • rhome410
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm not sure if I'm understanding you correctly, clkw, but if you're considering the 30" Gaggenau Combi (steam) oven plus a Miele speed oven, you'll have 2 tiny ovens. Neither are the size of a 'regular' oven...More like the size of 2 good-sized microwaves. At one time the 30" Gagg Combi was just the same as the smaller Combi inside with larger trim so it could stack with a larger oven...Not sure if that's still true, or if I'm remembering incorrectly.

    I did consider the Gagg Combi for a while (just never a counter steamer), but it wasn't really big enough for what I do, and it has a hefty price tag.

  • plllog
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yes, Gagg combi-steam is the same size inside whether you get the 24" or 30". They design the bigger one to match up with the 30" convection oven, and they look lovely together, but I would have rather had them side by side. It would have just looked too freakin' stupid and it makes me a little mad that they limit the design like that. Designed by engineers, no doubt (they are nice looking), without taking crazy American cooks into account. The steam oven has a very small cavity as Rhome said. I got a speed oven (Advantium) because I didn't think one and a half ovens would be enough, but one and two halves should cover it.

    People who use the steam oven talk about how much better the leftovers are, and I believe them. I don't know if the results would be the same in a counter steamer. That's a totally different kind of appliance.

  • clkw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks Rhome and Plllog, once again!

    Yeah, stupid me thinking the 30 inch might actually be bigger ;)

    Ok Plllog, one more question and then I promise I'll go away...for tonight.

    I assume you like your speed oven, right?

    I am now convinced I could get steam in a regular oven by sticking a pan of water in the oven. Makes sense. But, because we eat so many leftovers (due to my lack of kitchen prowess), the steam oven is sounding great for that.

    Can I get steam oven results by sticking a pan of water in the combi oven and using microwave and oven to cook my leftovers? Have you tried that?

    You mentioned the counter steamer is a different kind of appliance then the steam oven. I had no idea it was. Aside from the shape, can you explain how it might be different? This info would be great!!! Not much info out there on the Wolf.

    If I decided to go the Gagg route, could I stack that with a Miele speed oven and a Miele oven? Does anyone do that? And how much is the Gagg steam oven. The nice thing is this combo would give me a big oven and two mini ovens which would solve my insecurity of not going double ovens. The only reason I wouldn't just get the Gag regular oven is my impression is it's SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive.. and my cooking is probably not worthy of SIGNIFICANTLY.

    Ok, that was way more than one question!!!

  • dan1888
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    chaylabird- Something new that you haven't worked with makes an important decision including that component difficult. It seems you could benefit from some first hand experience with something so central. An 1800 watt 110 portable induction unit from Vollrath or Cooktek would give you an opportunity to see if you could feel comfortable with induction. And you could compare with your existing gas. 1800w equals 15k btus. The new electrolux slide-in goes to 3200w which equals 26500 btu. The link is for a $333 less expensive example to try out. If you love it who knows.
    Good luck. Dan

    Here is a link that might be useful: Portable induction

  • clkw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Weedmeister, I took in so much information today I forgot to thank you for your comment on cast iron being great for induction. That was great to hear because I bought a few pieces this year. But, at least I now know I don't need it to boil water :)

    I see the Miele 11' induction burner can boost to over 3k watts. Can I assume that gets hot enough for good stir fry so the 36 inch induction will be enough power to suit any need but size? I see Le Creuset has a flat bottom wok pan.

    Plllog, btw, I loooove matzo balls!!!!! I haven't had a good once since I moved to TX!

  • clkw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dan,
    You just answered my question too. What excellent timing.

    Chaylabird,
    I am so sorry to be hogging your post but I thought you might also get value from it because you are considering a steam oven as well. I'd love to hear what you wind up deciding.
    And I'm 43 and just learned I don't need cast iron for quality boiled water, so I don't think you are too old to learn induction!!!

  • dan1888
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    And here is an even less expensive 1800w model with 9 steps of adjustment. $99 plus 10 ship if only one of us bids. He has more.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Magneflux induction 1800w portable

  • clkw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Plllog,
    It just dawned on me that if I spring for the Gagg combi, I may not need the features of the speed oven. The main purpose was to enhance quick reheating of leftovers. Maybe I would always want to reheat using the steam oven so no need to spend extra on an oven/microwave combo? Any thoughts on that would be great. Hearing if you think you will continue using the speed oven capability once your combi steam oven is installed would be helpful. OK, that is really it for tonight!

  • plllog
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    CLKW, you can make your own danged matzah balls! Texas is a big place, so I don't know if this is hundreds of miles away from you, but they had Kenny & Ziggy's in Houston on TV. E-mail me if you need a recipe.

    I think you really need to research more on the manufacturers' websites. Read through the operating manuals and get to know the appliances before you make a decision. The portable unit Dan linked looks like a a good unit. When I landed here induction wasn't very popular in the U.S. so I wanted to try it and got the cheapest one I could get on Amazon (Mr. Induction). It was enough to convince me. Commercial units like Dan's have different kinds of controllers than home units do. This one has thermostatic control, whereas home units have levels numbered from 1-9 (some with half stops). Cooktek (also commercial) has 1-100.

    Zoneless, as has been said, is also different, though the controllers are similar. I forgot to answer up topic about the self-import. If you do that, talk to your insurance first about it not being UL listed and get a letter for your file (kept at your agent's office) that says it's okay with the company. Talk to your electrician about wiring. And talk to your local servicemen. I wouldn't go with the De Dietrich. People were self importing these all over the place a couple of years ago, but when things went wrong they had orphan appliances. Instead, if you find an AEG, for instance, that you like, talk to the local Electrolux service and see if they'll take care of you. There likely won't be a warranty, but if you need a fix make sure someone can fix it. And know that the timers won't work right because they use the frequency of the electricity to mark time and they're different here and there. My serviceman said to just make a conversion chart.

    Re steamers, the in counter is more like a using a bamboo steamer in a wok. The combi-steam oven is an oven which also has steam. Very different. The steam is the same, but the mode of cooking is different.

    You'd have to ask someone more familiar than I with the in counter steamer, but I'm not sure all leftovers will fit. They'd have to be shaped correctly. Plus, people have said that you can just put a plate of dinner for a straggler in the combi-steam to refresh, which you can't in a counter steamer. It's not a bad appliance--just be aware of what the different ones do and don't do.

    You can't stack three different brands of ovens three high. I think you're getting a little star struck. Okay, for getting a crisp crust on bread in a normal, electric oven, use a pan of water. For steaming vegetables, use a steamer basket in a pan of water on the stove. I suppose you could use the oven, but getting it right would be hard. You can also use a plastic steamer basket in a microwave, in a corningware pot of water, or a bamboo steamer basket in a wok of water. There are other ways too.

    In a Gagg combi-steam, put in perforated pan in oven.

    Oh! You might want to look into the KitchenAid Steam Assist oven. That's a full sized oven with some steam. Not as fancy, not as expensive, but a full sized oven with a trick up its sleeve.

    I don't understand this sentence:
    Can I get steam oven results by sticking a pan of water in the combi oven and using microwave and oven to cook my leftovers? Have you tried that? I haven't tried any of it because they're just finishing my kitchen now. The combi- doesn't need a pan of water, so I think there's a typo somewhere. I haven't used the pan of water with leftovers. If it's just for myself, I'm more likely to zap it if I want it hot (and often would rather have cold). If it's for more, I'll redecorate it and put it in the oven. If you want more info on reheating and refreshing with the combi-steam, search on Gizmonike.

    Re prices, I don't think the Gaggenau convection oven is all that much different from the Miele, especially since you're already at the top of the scale. The Gaggenau combi-steam is more double the currently available Miele steam oven because the latter is steam only. For the same price as the latter, you could get the KA. I don't know much about the KA, but it's an oven with some steam, not a steam appliance. You'd have to find out more, but I don't think you can just put stuff like veg or rice in to steam only. But I don't think you can probably stack it with the Miele either.

    A lot of it depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it. It's very hard to know when you're not all that used to cooking well. It'll be more fun and easier in your new kitchen, but maybe you should start trying these things now. Put a custard cup or ramkin or whatever you have with water in your oven and see what happens. Steam some stuff on the stove. Etc. Fancy tools make life easier, but everything you do is much easier when you know the basics behind them. In school we had to calculate cube roots and natural logs even though we had calculators and there were tables in the back of the math book. Same with kitchen tools, before you use a food processor, learn to use a knife. Before you use a dough hook, learn to knead. Before you use a steamer, learn to steam on the stove.

    That way you'll learn what things are supposed to look and feel and taste and sound like, and won't be relying on machines to tell you what to eat.

  • clkw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Plllog,

    Your post really made me think about exactly how I want to cook. I was walking through my favorite foods and how I might use either appliance. I am home sick so have nothing better to do than obsess about the kitchen remodel!

    Do ignore the sentence you didn't understand. Just being 'star struck' and night-time theraflu talking!

    Your thought about not being able to put a plate of food in the counter steamer was great. That and not having the various shelves for more than one item is enough to sway me to the wall unit. My husband and I don't eat the same things so the multi levels is appealing (veggie and meat eater).

    I did my homework and went to the sites and did a little reading. After thinking about it, I do think the Gagg combi will be more useful to me than the speed oven. So then I guess that means I get the Gagg oven. I read that Miele has infrared broiling but don't see that Gagg has that. I don't know if that is necessarily a bad thing. All I know is that infrared is what supposedly makes Wolf ovens and grill so great, so I assumed it was a big plus for the Miele speed oven and oven. Just hate to spend more if it isn't as good. But, I'll take your and Gizmonike's word that Gagg is really the best. I'm most excited about the side opening door. My neighbor was just saying she wishes they'd invent one.

    I am in Austin, so houston is about a 3 hour drive. But, I will email you for that recipe. I can just use faux chicken stock and I'm there.

    Note to self: buy custard cup and ramkin

  • plllog
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm not a big broiler user but the Gaggenau convection oven does have a high intensity broiler. They just don't document it well. I don't know enough about broiling to know how it stacks up against the others. Maybe Gizmonike does.

    What's best about Gaggenau is the accuracy. Can't be beat. It doesn't have full extension racks, and you have to buy spare racks separately. They only ship what fits inside at once. The manual is very terse, though the new one is more readable than the old one. But there is the side opening, and the accuracy.

    I don't think anyone would notice the accuracy difference with Miele. They're both excellent. Miele has the Masterchef program which a lot of people love, but which could become a crutch if you're trying to learn to be a better cook (i.e., will you ever be able to cook without it).

    Oh...vegetarian matzah balls. That's going to be tricky!!

    You don't need to buy both custard cups and ramkins, which are pretty interchangeable in use. Just use an old ceramic mug that you won't cry over if it cracks (let it cool completely in the oven or it definitely will crack).

  • clkw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    " could become a crutch if you're trying to learn to be a better cook (i.e., will you ever be able to cook without it)."
    So funny because that is exactly what would happen. Sorry, I can't make dinner tonight because the Master Chef feature is broken. But, hey, if it's reliable, I may never need to actually learn!!!! :)

    "vegetarian matzah balls. That's going to be tricky!!"
    I haven't had chicken in 20 years.. I won't know what I'm missing.

    As long as it has good broiling, I'm sure that will be good enough. I just use it to 'grill' veggies inside. I like them a little crusty. Funny, the only thing I won't steam is the veggies! Hey, the combi might actually be good for that.. keep them moist and then char the tops??? I can picture myself thinking of handy dandy new uses and saying out loud to myself in the kitchen 'Hey Plllog, look at me know!' (perhaps while doing a little end zone dance)

    Back to broiling... I misspoke.. good is not enough. I called and got prices today....OMG! Better be the best broiler EVER and I better enjoy the poop out of that side opening. Oh, and 3k more to have the 30 inch combi so it 'matches' the oven.. don't even get me started. If Mr Gagg was telling me in person, I would have B---H slapped him. Needless to say, I will get the 24 inch.

    I do think I'll wind up using the combi more often.

    I was looking forward to the extension rack. But, maybe because you aren't reaching as far, perhaps it won't be as important (I'm telling myself that anyway).

  • weedmeister
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    about a flat-bottomed wok on an 11" induction hob: that must be a danged-big wok if the bottom is 11" across!

    In other words, you would want to match the diameter of the bottom with the size of the hob. I have a 12" fry pan, but due to the sloping sides, the bottom is only 9". Which would fit just fine on an 8" hob, but would be a bit undersized for an 11" unit.

    I think this is one of the reasons the larger hobs are beginning to disappear. There is more flexibility with a 9-7-7-6 than a 11-7-7-5 arrangement on a 30" cooktop. (Though that new zoneless AEG is intriqueing)

  • chaylabird
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ok - First I want to say to CLKW - I just love where this post has gone! It has been so helpful to me and I don't feel at all hijacked! And I appreciate your confidence in my ability to learn new things - I'm going to be 42 shortly and I think I'm still in denial! I would have responded earlier I'm still trying to process everything! Plllog - Seder for 40 - now that's impressive! We've been having head counts in the mid 20's and I find the logistics way harder than the actual cooking. We actually started doing serving appetizers and doing the reading in the living room - which was a lot more comfortable. We do a play I found on the internet as our version of the telling of the story and I duck out toward the end to get the gefillte fish and soup set-up! And BTW I think vegetarian matzah balls would be fine with the faux chix. soup - we separate the egg whites to get ours fluffy and don't use "schmaltz" or even too much of the vegetarian equivalent!

    As to the actual "meat and potatoes" (so to speak) of this post - I'm not quite sure where I've come out. I'm actually another one of those people who thought a 30" oven would be bigger on the inside than a 24" oven so I'm going to have to take things slowly! But my heart is still saying to get the Gagg Combi so at least that hasn't changed. Still unsure about my initial induction/gas issue. The concerns raised about the size of the burners and the heat distribution on induction makes me still lean toward doing primarily gas with an induction domino but I definitely need to do more resarch!

  • clkw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Weedmeister,

    I am soooo glad you pointed that out. It never even dawned on me. And if it had, I would have been thinking you couldn't go bigger than the burner, I wasn't even thinking about not being able to going smaller. Ok, now I am getting insecure about induction.

    The Miele 36 inch manual says the 4-6 5/16 inch burners heat up to 1450/1900 (on booster). That is assuming we are 240 volts and not 208, which I think is the case, right? So, according to Dan, with the booster on, you could get the small burner to an equivalent of a little over 15k btus. Is that enough for good wok cooking? I'm hoping the Le Crueset wok is at least 4 inches on the bottom. I went to the website and it doesn't say. Or, would it be better just to 'wok' cook in a big deep pan on the 11inch burner to get the extreme heat? Or I could go and look at some other ideas again :(

    Apparently I have been spelling matzah balls incorrectly my whole life! Now I understand why those simple little balls of dough are so delectable .. chicken fat! When I go home, I go to the deli and get the balls plain so I'm not eating chicken stock .. ooops. Maybe they make them like you Chaylabird.

    I was looking at wood samples yesterday and I really really want extra wide plank floors. So I'm toying with putting the Miele 30 oven under the combi to save a couple K. Every little splurge adds up so something has to give. I still may go with the Gagg, but would it look horrible if I stacked the combi over something else. I would love the side opening door and the look of matching, but I think I'd get more enjoyment out of the floors than the side opening door. Any thoughts?

  • clkw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    FYI,
    I emailed Miele to see if Installing a Gagg combi over their oven would void their warranty or cause any other difficulties.

    They said ...
    You can install the steam oven over our oven. The concern we would have would be if the steam oven leaked onto the Miele wall oven. it may damage the electronics. Such a repair would not be covered under the Miele warranty.

  • plllog
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You haven't been misspelling. It's always spelled the same in Hebrew letters. There are about 5-6 philological schools of thought about how to spell Hebrew words in Roman letters. And about the same number of different pronunciations that come from traditions that are thousands of years old. There's no "right" way to spell Hebrew words in English. The spelling you used is one that's commonly seen. And as long as people know what you're talking about, you're fine. But you'd best bet that there's chicken fat in any matzah ball you find unless it's labeled "parve" or "pareve" (same word, two common spellings, means neither dairy, nor meat). There could still be eggs, but there won't be any chicken.

    Re the pan thing, do you have a Miele showroom anywhere near you? If not, try a new thread looking for people who've used it with a wok. Generally, and I think this is true on Miele, you can't use a pot smaller than 4" in diameter, but you can use a 4" on a small element. And you can use a 9" on an 11" element. Most of the top units, again, I think including Miele, have a dual thing in the 11" rings, where they have an inner and outer ring--if you use a pan smaller than 7" (or whatever it says) on the big element, it senses it and adjusts. You don't get as much gonzo power boost, but you shouldn't need it either.

    Chaylabird, if you want some help brainstorming about organizing Seders for crowds I have tons of experience, and have even edited a theme Haggadah. A lot of it depends on the traditions and expectations of your guests, but there are ways of even adjusting those.

    To all--I did tell you about the combi-steam price! When you're comparing different sizes make sure you're comparing plumbed to plumbed, and tank to tank.