150 of 157 people found the following review helpful
I've been a fan of induction burners since I purchased a Max Burton 6200 Deluxe 1800-Watt Induction Cooktop several years ago—at much greater cost than it's listed for now! Nothing beats the precise temperature control, the safety, and the efficiency of an induction burner. They are far safer and more sophisticated than hotplate-type burners for college dorms or residences for the elderly or disabled. They are also wonderful for an office kitchen or to use outdoors or on a table for Japanese hot pot cooking or fondue. Induction cooks by transferring heat to the pot itself, which then cooks your food; induction-ready cookware must be used, but you probably already have something suitable (see below).
Let me get the one thing I like better about my Max Burton out of the way first: it has a timer for auto-shutoff, which is a great boon when doing pressure canning using my Fagor Duo 10-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner. When the canner comes up to pressure, I can set the timer for how long to keep it at pressure and then walk off and leave it, knowing that the burner will shut off and the temperature instantly be reduced to zero after that precise amount of time. With pressure canning, especially, timing is everything. So is auto-shutoff if you're easily distracted (like me) by other things. The Nesco does not automatically shut off unless it overheats, in which case it will shut off as a safety feature.
That said, I like the Nesco induction burner much better for everyday cooking and will probably keep my Max put away until I'm canning. The design of the Nesco is sleeker and easier to clean, and it's MUCH easier to use. The Max has three different functional levels (wattage, temperature, cooking time) and up to ten different levels of settings within those functions; it's hard to see precisely which function you are changing settings for, and once it shuts off, you have to go through the whole rigamarole again if you want to keep cooking at the same level. (Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep! Beep beep beep! Beep! Beep!) The Max Burton is 1800 watts as opposed to the Nesco's 1500 watts. That sounds good until you trip the circuit breaker every time you use it with something else plugged in if you don't take pains to lower the wattage to a non-default setting.
The Nesco, on the other hand, is simplicity itself. For many purposes, all that needs to be done is just press the On/Off button, then the Cooking Mode button, which autosets at the center/default Boil (C3) setting. The five cooking mode settings, printed on the front panel and shown in large red digital letters when in use, are self-explanatory and controlled by two buttons (Up and Down): Melt/Warm (C1), Simmer (C2), Boil (C3), Fry (C4), and Sear (C5). The Up and Down arrow buttons do just what you'd think: Up cycles up from Boil to Fry to Sear; Down cycles down from Boil to Simmer to Melt/Warm. The temperature adjusts instantly, so you get practically instantaneous feedback on your cooking level just by looking at what the contents of your pot are doing.
If you push the wrong button and "go the wrong way," you can just push the opposite button and take it back to "where you meant to go," which will never be more than four button presses in one direction if you're going from the very lowest (C1) to the very highest (C5) or vice versa.
Finding induction-ready cookware is as easy as taking a magnet with you to the thrift store or into your cupboards; Nesco thoughtfully provides a weak magnetic strip that you can tuck into a pocket for that purpose. (Be sure to stick it to the bottom of the pan, not the sides, because the bottom that comes in contact with the burner is what counts.) Cast iron definitely works, but (as with ceramic cooktops) you have to be careful not to scratch the cooktop with it. The bottom diameter of your pot or pan must be between 3.15" and 10" in order to work; larger skillets can cause overheating. All of the pieces of my Rachael Ray Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set, Orange work with this burner.
I love it.
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2013
I bought this cooktop because of many of the reviews and despite some of the others. I found out very quickly with a refrigerator magnet in the house that my Enamel Dutch Oven is the only piece of cookeware in my entire house that sticks to a magnet. Let that sink in, I can only use this cooktop with my dutch over, there isn't enough iron or steel in anything else we own to use the cooktop. You should check your own cookware before you buy any of the induction cooktops.
Now that that is out of the way, I've boiled pasta on this cooktop, made cheese sauce, browned meat, cooked bulgogi, boiled water, it does everything you ask it to.
It has 5 settings, #3 is boil, then fry, then sear. The boiling water one might seem to take a while to you, but I suspect most folks boil on the highest setting and then back off so you'd probably go to #5 and then back it down when you had a rolling boil. It seems to take a long time to boil water, I think that has a lot ot do with how much thermal mass my dutch oven has. It is a thick walled 5 or 6 quart dutch oven. This has more iron in it than some of the induction cookware out there with thin plates of metal stuck to the bottom of them so a lot of energy is going into heating the pot itself, this is not ideal.
The cooktop makes some fan noise while it is cooking and for about a minute after you shut it off. A minute after you are done, the cooktop is generally cool to the touch. If you go to heat something up and it doesn't detect a pot there it will beep and shut off. When I go to pour off the water after cooking pasta, it beeps and shuts off. The pot retains enough heat the pasta doesn't get cold and it saves me a step of turning off the cooktop anyway, but I could see this getting annoying if you were making eggs or chocolate and had to whisk something off the heat to keep it from scrambling/burning, then the cooktop shuts off on you.
Anyways a good little cooktop so far and very easy to clean so far. Grease spatters are by far the biggest culprit, followed by pasta water boiling over if you don't watch it.
May 21, 2013 Update I made a Bean Soup over the weekend, I had to get the water up to boiling, boil for 10 minutes and then simmer for 2 hours more. The cooktop perfromed flawlessly. Up until this point I had mostly browned meat and boiled pasta noodles so no more than about an hour's constant use. If anyone was wondering about longer duration cooking I hope this helps.
90 of 99 people found the following review helpful
I've owned a Max Burton 6000 induction (1800 watts) for over 2 years; it's a much better option. I mainly use a portable induction burner for cooking outside; if you are cooking something stinky like deep frying oil or it's summer & you're craving pasta but don't want to warm up the kitchen or you're grilling and want to warm a sauce or side dish. We also like to use it on the deck in the summer for making pancakes. We eat breakfast outside frequently & it's really convenient to set it up on the table while cooking batches of pancakes.
So to test this Nesco (1500 watts), we took it out on the deck to make pancakes. We use a Lodge cast iron pancake skillet/griddle. This skillet is 10.5 inches outside measurement/10 inches inside cooking measurement so should be a good test. To test the evenness in cooking, we poured pancake batter to near the edge of the pan, leaving a little space for turning. This Nesco did a terrible job at cooking evenly. Even though the circle (cooking zone) is 10 inches, the pan did not get hot enough to the edge so we had a gummy/white pancake & a very overdone center where the element is under the pan. We tried again, fiddling with the temperature level & making a small pancake in the center. That was better but this would be annoying to make 1 small pancake at a time & it needed constant watching/adjusting of the temperature.
**See photo of pancake above.
There is very little fine tuning in the temperature selection. You choose between 5 "Cooking Modes"; Melt/Warm, Simmer, Boil, Fry & Sear. My Max Burton has 10 cooking levels which I discovered is important if you're doing anything other than boiling water. On level 2 (Simmer) it is too cool and on level 3 (Boil) it is too hot; the food burns. Having only 5 cooking levels is not enough for items that need specific heat control. Even though the circle (cooking zone) is 10 inches, the pan did not get hot enough to the edge to cook evenly. With a strong backlight, I could see and measure the induction element; it is approximately 7 inches in diameter.
When no pan is present, it beeps at you, a helpful feature. However, after initially beeping quickly at me, it behaved oddly and after I held a pan away from it for 30 seconds it never beeped. Either it wasn't actively heating (on level 2) or it decided not to beep. I started to question the beeping accuracy /effectiveness.
I also tested it boiling water & in that it does a very good/fast job. So if you're just using this to warm liquids such as water, soup, oil for deep frying; it will probably suffice. If you want to cook something evenly, look elsewhere.
Induction cooking requires a magnetic pan. To test your pans, put a magnet on the bottom. If the magnet sticks, your pan will work on induction. If it doesn't stick, it won't get hot & you need to choose another pan. A cheap refrigerator magnet is included with this cooktop. Handy if you're going shopping for new pans but most people probably already own a magnet or two so not really a selling point.
Max Burton 6000 1800-Watt Portable Induction Cooktop, Black A much better choice.
Lodge Logic L9OG3 Pre-Seasoned 10-1/2-Inch Round Griddle My cast iron pancake griddle; works great on other cooktops.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
I love the Nesco induction cooktop! It's compact and lightweight, so it is easy to store when not in use. When it is in use, it's a dream! It heats quickly, much quicker than I expected. A small fan runs while it's on, and it barely makes any noise. The five settings are easy to select, allowing heat variations from simmer to sear. The buttons are easy to push, but are not touch sensitive. This is important since you wouldn't want to accidentally change the settings. The appearance is sleek, and it's easy to clean.
I've missed using my cast iron skillet since I bought my glass top stove, which can be easily damaged by cast iron cookware and is not recommended. I can use the cast iron skillet on the Nesco without any problems. I suspect the surface of the Nesco will suffer a little from cast iron if I'm not careful, but it shouldn't damage it the same way as a glass top stove.
It also uses much less energy than a regular stove, so it's cheaper to use in the long run. It won't replace my regular stovetop, but I do plan to use this regularly.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2013
My new hobbit kitchen does not have a cooktop, oven, or any appliances, just a counter, sink and cupboards. This cooktop is adequate for my needs with a little shuffling when cooking two or more things for the same meal. You have to get stainless steel or enameled steel cookware, induction safe. Take a magnet to the store when you shop. This cooktop doesn't get hot, but it makes the pan hot by magnetic force somehow and the pan does the cooking. In the two weeks I have used it, I notice that it cooks fast. I don't use levels 4&5. Level 3 is good to boil water and cook meat. The simmer is sometimes too hot. I think I will adjust in time. If you need a burner, this is nice. Easy to clean, too.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2013
Ordered on 3/31, arrived 4/6, standard shipping.
Since the reviews indicated that the product is very good, when not defective, I set out to test it immediately so I can return mine if it is defective.
Controls are easy - simply on/off - start - set temp level.
There are 5 temp levels, 1 thru 5. Default is 3.
Labels on temp levels are:
C1 - warm/melt
C2 - simmer
C3 - boil
C4 - fry
C5 - simmer
Using Digital Electricity Usage Monitor and 2 kitchen thermometers, I heated water without lid in a magnetic (induction ok) stainless steel pot, at almost sea level.
Control Level/Watts Usage/Water Temp
C1 480 160 some bubbles at bottom
C2 825 204 few streams of bubbles
C3 990 209 ok boil, streams of big bubbles
C4 1210 212 of course, good boil, more streams of big bubbles
C5 1420 very good boil, much more, not raging amount tho
Overall, it looks like the product lives up to its promise.
I took 1 star off because during this test, about 1.5 hours of use, for no reason, while control was at C1 in the 1st 15 minutes of use, the unit started beeping with error code E1. It's the same error code I saw when I put a non-magnetic stainless steel cookware on it. I turned the unit off and back again, and it functioned properly. And also because max usage is 1420, not 1500. I'm hoping that this unit is not defective.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I have this DUXTOP 1800-Watt Portable Sensor Touch Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner 8300ST which is an utter piece of junk. And this Fissler CookStar Induction Pro Portable Cooktop which is really really nice (and really expensive).
So I did not expect this one to be good.
Amazingly, it is quieter that most induction cookers and it works really well. You have to be aware that with cheaper induction cooker the heating area will be smaller. So that was expected.
The one problem I have is that I can't find a setting for my pressure cooker.
C2 was too week and C3 was too strong.
It only has 5 levels. It works well if you happen to need exactly as much power as the 5 settings allow. But it will get frustrating when you need to be between 2 levels.
Most other induction cookers offer more levels for this reason.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This was my first time using any kind of portable cooktop and I found the experience to be a mixed bag. On one hand, I love how lightweight and portable this is. I head up a breakfast club at my work and since we don't have an on-site stove I loved that I could use this for preparing breakfast there. It's easy enough to tote back and forth from home (even on public transportation) or if I choose to leave it at the office, takes up minimal space. But, the cooking experience isn't as good as using a range. As others have mentioned I definitely missed the fact that the burners weren't used to what I have at home and the slightly uneven temperature. The latter was actually the bigger burden of the two because it was noticeable even using it with high quality quality cookware known for heating evenly. Because of this, it has taken a little adjustment to learn how to cook well with this portable cooktop so I personally wouldn't use it straight out of the box for a big or important meal. I'd recommend playing around with it a little bit first.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2014
The cooktop seems to work fine, but don't assume the Nesco magnet included with the cooktop is a foolproof way to test cookware. I have a set of tri-ply stainless steel cookware that the thin Nesco magnet will stick to, but that cookware doesn't work with the cooktop. When I called Nesco to ask about it, the company rep confirmed that with some cookware the magnet will stick but there isn't enough iron to work with the cooktop. At the same time, she continued, there is also some cookware where the magnet won't stick but there is enough iron for the cooktop to work.
Although it's probably not foolproof, either, I suggest ignoring the Nesco magnet and using your own. When I used a heavier magnet the results seemed to be more reliable.
One final and minor observation: the box advertises that the cooktop is "Ideal for kitchens,...and outdoors," but the sixth "Important Safeguard" in the owner's manual states: "Do not use outdoors." I guess their marketing people and their lawyers don't talk to each other.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I love this cooktop!
We BBQ at least three or four times a week and usually had to go indoors and use the stove for side dishes. We set up the induction cooktop right next to the BBQ and have used it two times so far with outstanding results.
We use a heavy iron skillet which heats up amazingly fast and the heat stays consistent. Its light which makes it easy to bring outside whenever we need it. This is my first time using an induction cooktop and I am so pleased that we were offered this product to review. It is so much easier to keep the kitchen cool in the summer with out the stove and oven on.
Highly recommended for outdoor use, excellent for camping and a boat or RV.
For those who have never used induction before (like me) you must use a metal pan such as cast iron, magnetic stainless steel or carbon steel. You can not use copper aluminum or glass.
5 heating control settings
Made in China