Customer Reviews: GE PHP900DMBB Profile 30" Black Electric Induction Cooktop
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on April 16, 2008
Cooking (mainly Italian) is my hobby. My 16 year old GE radiant still worked but the amount of time it took to heat up and, most importantly, the amount of time it took to cool down was frustrating. The heating time could be blamed on older burners but it is typical for radiant cooktops to take quite a while to cool down. When I had something that needed to be heated to boiling and then reduced to a simmer I had taken to turning on two burners -- one on medium or high and the other on low and moving the pan between them.

I would have thought about a gas stove but my kitchen is not plumbed for gas. When I saw the induction concept I was somewhat sceptical at first and bought a single burner induction cooktop to try the concept. I quickly became a convert. The induction cooktop will bring water to a boil in less than half the time of my old radiant cooktop and, more importantly, the temperature can be reduced immediately. And when I say "immediately" I mean immediately. One can go from a rolling boil to no boiling within seconds (see video here - [...]).

I had to have my electrical supply to the cooktop upgraded from 30 to 40 amps for the cost of about $800 and I can truly say that this cost and that of the cooktop has been well worth it.

Since most of my cookware was not induction capable I did need to buy some more but that was a relatively minor cost. Besides, after 30 years of marriage my wife now has new things to give me for presents ;-)

GE has a great product here. The large burner on the right will go to 3200 watts and will bring 4 - 6 quarts of water to a boil in 10 - 15 minutes. The cooktop looks great and functions even better. GE customer support was fantastic. The induction cooktop is supposed to fit right into a cutout for the Profile line but, prior to ordering, I emailed them to get the exact dimensions of the cutout necessary for my old cooktop. It took a few days but they did research it and emailed me the information.

Both GE and Thermador have very useful information and videos on their web sites for anyone interested.

Addendum: 1-22-13

I thought I would update this review after seeing reviews on some other items with comments asking for longer term evaluations. Gosh, has it been almost 5 years? Truly time flies. I still think that this cooktop is one of the best purchases I have ever made. It is still functioning perfectly (I hope that statement doesn't jinx me) and is still a joy to use. It looks as good as ever and I still smile when I use it. What more can I say?
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on June 19, 2010
All I can say is ....WOW!! I wish I had done this sooner. After exhausting but fun research, scouring the internet learning about induction, I finally pulled the trigger. I cannot tell you how pleased I am, ESPECIALLY with the clean up. My old gas cook top was black and was such a chore to clean up. My new induction top wipes off effortlessly because the top itself does not get hot, therefore spill overs do not bake on. The top does get hot eventually directly under the pan because it has a hot pan sitting on it.
Now for something different than the other reviews. My home was wired with a 30 amp circuit to the cook top and research will say that you will need 40 amps. This particular top will only let you have two burners on "Boost" at the same time. To max out the rated amperage you must have all the burners on high at the same time. When you see how hot and fast that really is... I SERIOUSLY doubt you will ever need that. Induction is so efficient, that most of our cooking is done on #3 to #5. The scale is 1-10. The higher settings are for frying and boiling. I don't have the need to have 4 skillets frying or 4 pots of water boiling at the same time and I don't think I ever will. Anyway.... before considering calling the electrician, I decided to try it awhile first and see if we trip the breaker. If we do, and it becomes a problem, then we can deal with increasing the wire size and changing the breaker to a 40 amp. So far we have NEVER tripped any breakers and the top works absolutely flawless. DO NOT let the fact that you have a 30 amp service steer you away from considering an induction top. I suggest trying it first, THEN see if you need to increase your breaker size.
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on January 26, 2010
In the heirarchy of cooktops, induction is king. Although induction is powered by electricity, it should not be confused with traditional electric cooking.

Induction provides instantaneous results. The speed of heating a pan is amazing (surpasses gas and electric in speed and control), it does not throw heat (other than the hot pan), and the lack of heat generated beneath the surface means the cooktop is much cooler than either electric or gas, because there are no heating elements in the unit. Also, induction costs far less to operate than gas or electric.

This unit has digital controls (with a lit display that only shows when it is on), and I know, for example, that olive oil will burn in the pan above 5, but 4.5 is perfect for sauteing. And it will remain perfect for sauteing throughout the entire cooking process, it will not get hotter or colder.

Furthermore, you can store anything on the cooktop (we keep a bottle of olive oil on there, as well as a non-magnetic spoon rest. They stay cool to the touch regardless of how many units are on.

Now there are downsides.

1. Cost: cost prohibitive for many, by far the most significant factor. There are no freestanding range/oven combos, which means that you need to spend money on individual range and oven to get a functional kitchen. Furthermore, unless you have a 40A cooktop in place, you will need to upgrade your electric. The total cost for us was around thirty two hundred for both the wall oven and the cooktop, with an additional cost of $150 for the electrician, and about $300 in replacing the pans.

2. Cookware: although most high end pans are made to be induction compatible, the majority of widely available cookware is not. Especially non-stick. I found a couple nice "eco" non-stick pans at a homegoods store, but be advised to take a magnet along with you shopping, and only buy pans to which it sticks. That being said, all-clad is typically induction compatible, and there is a wide movement to making pans that way.

3. Probably not a wise investment at this point if looking for a return on a home renovation for sale. While many people discover the benefits of induction for themselves, it hasn't taken off in the US yet, and most people won't know the difference until using it. I doubt people would recognize the benefits if we went to sell the house. Perhaps a brochure would be in order...

Now for those that hate electric cooking, but don't have gas lines, this is an amazing solution--I think it is far better than the other methods of cooking. Also, if you frequently cook but have a smaller kitchen, this will keep it cooler.

If you have gas lines, I'd have to say that the benefits of induction (compared to gas) do not outweigh the initial cost. This cost could be recouped by energy savings if you cook A LOT, or by weighing in other considerations, such as small children being burned.

The 30" is very useful, and is equivalent to a standard freestanding cooking range. The 36" model would be appropriate if you are accustomed to having a 6 burner cooktop.

I don't have any basis for comparison to other induction units, but I cannot find any faults with this unit.


After cooking on this for over a year, I have a few additional comments:

1. Some induction compatible pans make noise when heating, not loud, but rather annoying.
2. The glass has scratched slightly in places. Still looks very sleek though.
3. Controls are annoying to clean. Despite the "control lock" button, when you clean the rest the water activates the buttons, making an error message and a beeping noise.
4. There should be a better way to seal off the edges next to the countertop. Has anyone tried silicon?
5. There are now "all in one" cooktop/oven slide in units available.


Barkeepers friend works extremely well to clean the cooktop
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on February 8, 2012
I have this cooktop for 6 years (since 2009). It looks good and blend into my black galaxy silestone contertop like the comand stations on Star Trek Next generation Enterprise. Beside the look the cleanup is fantastic. No matter what I do or spill on it I can just wipe it with a sponge and shine it and that's it. No more scrubbing the gas cooktop for hours.

Functionally it works much better then my old radiant cooktop. Heats up and cool down immediately. I never timed it but it boils water more than fast enough for me but my neighbor has a Bosch induction cooktop and I think it boils water even faster. More then enough power to stir fry and cook cowboy steak with cast iron skillet.

For cookware don't bother with the fancy made for induction ones. I bought a set for a few hundred bucks the first time but my favorite is a $20 stainless steel pan from Kroger and a $18 Cast Iron skillet for searing steak. You do have to be careful with the cast iron cause it's heavy and this is a ceramic top. Though I haven't scratched it yet. As long as it's iron/steel with a very flat bottom with lots of contact for the induction field to work it'll work fine. I do have to get rid of my Calphalon aluminum cookware and that's a shame. (After I got rid of my black Circulon set, the first set that has ridges inside that's hard to clean, and bought a new set of stainless Cuisinart I realized the heating is a lot faster with the new Cuisinart cookware. Both have induction label on it and both cost about the same so not sure why the new set is quite a lot faster. May be because the Circulon are painted black and has concentric rings on the bottom and the Cuisinart has completely flat stainless bottom.)

After 3 years of use (2012), I heard a pop and the whole thing died. I did pay $200 to extend the warranty to 6 yrs so no added cost for me but it is a concern as I've never had any stove break on me with the old gas and radiant cooktops. The repairman pretty much ordered the whole electronic assembly inside and that cost more then the cooktop at over $1600. Good thing I have the warranty. Not sure if I would buy GE again with the reliability issue.

Watching the repairman replacing the magnetic heating elements shows the largest element has most of the magnets along the outer edge and quite empty, a few magnets, in the middle. That is why when using a small pan on the big element it actually heats slower than using the smaller elements.

Overall I am sold on the induction cooktop. If you can afford the price the time saving alone on cooking and cleaning is worth it.

2 more years (2014) after the last complete gut replacement another board burnt out. Free warranty repair. I'm going to miss my warranty after it expire next year. But the problem is not just GE, my neighbor's Bosch started smoking last year, about 3 years old, and he had to replace a board too. I did notice with his cooktop the insulation on the element is much stronger and doesn't get damaged when you open the unit for repair. With the profile cooktop the insulation is some sort of ceramic fabric material that has the durability of icing on cake. Seriously you touch it and it's damaged. One of the reason why the repairman had to replace all the elements last time.
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on December 26, 2010
I don't understand why people haven't been really advertising one of the largest benefits of the induction stovetop - there is an AMAZING difference in the amount of heat produced in the kitchen!!! I live in Houston and my husband cooks a lot. He is very hot-natured. What a difference this induction stovetop makes! Electric and gas both cause so much extra heat in the kitchen that I have to believe that the induction stove will pay for itself by not heating up the kitchen. I cannot stress enough the difference we feel. My mother has a gas stove and her kitchen gets very uncomfortable in the summer when cooking. We used to have electric and it caused a lot of heat as well. We can cook for hours on the induction stovetop and it does not heat up the kitchen.

In addition to that, we simply love the way it cooks. When you raise or lower the setting the change is instant. It makes it so much easier to control the cooking. We didn't have any problems adjust to the stove. We were pretty nervous about doing something so different, and we simply regret not having done it a lot sooner. Even though our Magnalite pots don't work on the stove, it was not a big deal to us. The inexpensive, ferrous pots that we bought at Kohl's to replace them work beautifully. Definitely no regrets. Everybody in the south should own one of these - especially if you cook a lot.

Update one year later - We love this stove even more than when I wrote the initial review. Some important notes -
** If you're worried about scratching it, put a papertowel or thin dishtowel under your pot when you cook. We do this when we use our cast iron pots. I know it sounds weird - but remember it's the pot that heats up - not the stovetop. It truly works, and keeps your stovetop looking brand new.
** Works great if you work with melted chocolate. You don't need a double boiler because the lowest setting is mild enough to keep it melted.
** Cleanup is a breeze because nothing gets cooked onto the stovetop, since the stovetop isn't getting so hot.

Update 05/03/2014 - Still no problems with this stove. Still looks great. So easy to clean as food does not cook on to it. Still using cheap stainless pots we bought at Kohl's and still loving them. We're so glad we weren't able to do a gas line, as that would have been miserable for the heat and cleaning compared to this.
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on May 30, 2011
This review regards the ceramic surface only. Utterly disappointing. As a preface, I had a Bosch ceramic cooktop for 11 years. Not one scratch. I installed the GE and cooked my first meal using two brand new All-Clad stainless steel pots. The surface was cleaned and the pots were washed and checked for any burrs. The result after one use? Two scratches, one I can feel with my fingernail, on the two burners that were used. The GE is shipped with a sample of "Cerama Bryte." The GE manual states Cerama Bryte can be used to remove scratches. DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT. The scratches were not removed. All Cerama Bryte did was remove the lustre from the ceramic top leaving a haze over both scratches. Now I have two scratches and two hazy spots on a cooktop used once. Bosch, 11 years no scratches. GE, 20 minutes-two hazy scratches. Would I recommend the GE? Only if you are not going to use it for cooking.
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on January 9, 2014
I have purchased many GE appliances over the years and been very satisfied. You expect "6 sigma" products and service from GE.

This arrived in good shape and worked as expected out of the box. Cleaning is a breeze. I do prefer Gas to induction as it seems to heat the whole pot instead of just the bottom. So you need to learn to cook a little differently.

Now the problem...less than 1 month of use and the "3 light" problem showed up. Only one burner was working. Since the problem showed up, I have seen other reviews on Amazon and on other sites with the same issue.

You can't call for service except during M-F business hours. The tech came out and said we needed parts but they were on backorder. GE would not replace the unit despite not being able to tell when the parts would arrive. They did offer to pay for a rental stove. A rental stove? You must be kidding. Where would someone put such a thing? On the back porch? What about wiring? LOL

Long story short, it was a $600 control board which was installed about a month later. Unit is now working normally.

I would not recommend purchasing this unit as it may have a design issue or simply poor QC on their electronic boards. You can't make a judgement based on one incident but why take a chance?

BTW GE offered me nothing for the inconvenience and suggested buying an extended warranty for over $300.
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on September 28, 2013
I've tried electric, halogen, gas... with my new kitchen remodel I installed this on a recommendation from a friend. pricey but it's so amazing i'm never looking back. This review is for the 30" but would apply to the 36" as well. I believe 30" is more reasonable for single cook usage.

I got the wolfgang puck collection from sams club. truly awesome. better than the costco kirkland version i feel.

One large cooking surface and then 2 medium sizes and 1 small size. Note the actually surface for cooking is slightly smaller than the circle drawn. each circle can accomodate pans larger than it (I use a large square grill cast iron pan on the large circle and it still distributes heat well throughout). I use smaller pots on the medium circles without trouble. If it is too small though it will not work and start beeping like there is a malfunction. The circles are admittedly very hard to see without turning on the vent light.

boiling water is almost 2/3 to 1/2 as fast as other stoves. a small pot boils within seconds. it truly is noticeable and i've never seen anything faster. it has made me a believer in induction efficiency. Range is from L,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,H. Here is the breakdown from what I have figured out thus far over 2 years of using this thing. The cooking is very even and predictable. It has made my cooking more precise than ever before.

L -- awesome for keeping stuff warm, soups especially. it doesn't burn and you can leave stuff on L for 1-2 hours even with very little water evaporation. Don't over do it though as it will sooner or later remove all the water.

1-3 range -- very low simmer, excellent for slow stew. lower end if you can't babysit as much.

4-5 range -- good for slow cooking. spaghetti and noodles i boil the water fast at 9 or H and then drop to 5 for the rest of the cooking. it still has a few boiling bubbles rising to the surface frequently. I use 5 on a cast iron skillet to warm up soft tortillas.

6-7 range -- good for meats and most stirfry cooking. will boil water off very quickly. it doesn't burn meats too quickly at this range. cast iron is awesome for meats by the way. I cook my pancakes on cast iron at range 6 and it works extremely well even at high altitude Denver.

8 -- I use this to quick stir fry vegetables with my stainless steel pots. it will rapidly burn stuff so be quick on the draw. I often add a bit of water immediately after and let it steam in the pan. it will steam of water very quickly at this number. (Actually, to update I've now gone to using 8 to brown my raw chicken. 2 min each side is perfect for browning, then can slow cook for 4-6 more minutes with sauce or add water to steam cook a bit).

9/H -- only should be used for boiling water. it will burn everything else at this number. I prefer 9 for some reason as the water doesn't boil over the sides as much but whether 9 or H it will get out of control very quickly if you don't babysit it constantly. Also if you are warming up soups, 9 is good for fast warmups without burning the bottom layer. I found for some reason at H it will sometimes char the bottom of the soup (totally uncool).

Note even though they tout the cook surface with induction, realize even though only the pan gets hot, it does transfer heat to the glass/ceramic surface thus the surface will be crazy hot after an extended usage. for practical purposes you still shouldn't touch it at all after use (I tried and burned my finger). It does cool much faster admittedly. Still should keep small children away and teach kids safety.

That being said I love the flat and cool surface and commonly will put plates and other items on the unused sections so I can transfer food to plate easily. It makes the entire cooktop a cooking or working surface (except the controls). I even put hot pans from the oven on it to cool.

The touch controls are very easy to use. you need dry hands though and a dry surface. if you get any water on it at all it will start beeping and freaking out. and also all the stovetops will immediately turn off as well. perhaps a safety feature, but a bit annoying sometimes when you accidentally boil over some water and it shuts everything off until you wipe off the water and dry it. A quick bounty usually does the trick. Your hands must be dry as well.

When you touch to turn on initially it will flash 5 and not start heating yet until you touch + or -. Then 5 will stop flashing and you can increase/decrease from there. As I use 6/7 most often this is very convenient.

The controls are well placed in the middle and easy accessible.

completely smooth one-piece glass surface is super easy to clean. no ridges no bumps. gas and electric coil was the worst. if you cook a lot and like to keep a clean look with low maintenance i strongly recommend these smooth surfaces.

note though the edges are slightly raised so little crumbs can get under it. hasn't been a bit problem, but i'd prefer it to be completely flat with my countertop. perhaps my installation was not ideal...

i can use the green scrub on the surface without scratching it. since it is glass it is stronger than standard steel knifes so you can cut on it without fear of scratching. I typically clean by using dishwasher soap on the green scrub and scrub off all the food particles, then dry it with a few pieces of bounty paper towel. After 2 years it still looks as good as new after this method. Takes me <1min to do it.

nothing so far and i've had it for almost 2 years now. been cooking pretty much every day on it too. i'm a heavy kitchen user.

30" VS 36"?:
i've debated this issue a lot since i had the option when remodeling my kitchen. i have to be honest though i went with the 30" because i cannot imagine needing so many pots/pans cooking at the same time. it is literally impossible for one chef to do so. I went with a 30" cooktop and a 36" hood because i read online that a wider venthood does a better job of capturing all the steam and exhaust from cooking. Also I figured it would give me the option to upgrade to 36" cooktop if I really wanted it in the future. At present, 4 cooking surfaces is more than plenty and already pretty hard to manage all at once. I cook for my family of 4.

the fast, efficient, reliable cooking of induction and the super easy-to-clean surface have totally sold me. I'm never using another cooktop. You decide on 30" vs 36".
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on December 7, 2011
This cook top is every thing I had hoped it would be. I was replacing another 30" cook top, so all I did was open the breaker, check to see if the circuit was dead, broke the old connection, popped-out the old cook top, dropped-in the GE, reconnected the wiring, closed the breaker, and that was it. One note, if you downloaded the instructions beforehand: a couple of times the instructions make bold note that if you have aluminum wiring, then you need Al to Cu connectors. Yep, but the COOK TOP has Al wiring, so if you have Cu wiring you need special wire nuts. A simple, online check with Lowes or Home Depot, or a call to a local appliance store, to check availability and get three wire nuts for an Al to Cu connection. For those with a science acumen, it's the galvanic action between the two, dissimilar metals that will cause corrosion--some will, incorrectly, say it's electrolysis, but that requires an electrolytic solution.
A few reviews as to cookware seem moot. If one doesn't know what magnetic induction is, perhaps one should read-up on it before considering this item. I recently changed cookware to Le Creuset Tri-Ply because I needed new cookware and had induction cooking in mind, also. This is excellent cookware. Lesser cookware will work on this cook top as long as it's of a ferrous material--stainless steel or cast iron. However, the performance of this cook top using this cookware is outstanding--much better than my ancient experience with gas. Amazing!
As for the 40 amp power requirement, when I popped the old cook top out, I noticed that the power rating was virtually the same as the GE one. This cook top ran for years on a 30 amp circuit. It should have been a 40 amp circuit, but the good ole boy electricians--I'm being generous--in rural East Texas used a 30 amp circuit and the old cook top never tripped the breaker. Induction cooking has to use less power than an electrical resistance cook top. Yes, induction and resistance are related, but using electrical resistance to heat has to be right up there with a wood-burning stove as to inefficiency.
Short version. Get this cook top and some Al to Cu wire nuts. You'll have no buyer's remorse.
BTW, instead of paying out the nose for an induction plate (hob) for use with your non-ferrous cookware, just get a cast iron griddle--preferably one without the built-up ring on the bottom. You're have to deal with the high specific heat, and resulting "thermal battery" of cast iron, but you won't need to use it that much. It's something that you'll probably want to have, anyway.

One year later: Outstanding!
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on April 10, 2013
This cooktop has a design problem. The large and small burners are on one circuit; the two 8" are on another circuit. When both burners of a circuit are on, one of them beeps. Doesn't matter which side (circuit). GE replaced the whole board. Same problem. So, it is a design problem, not a particular board/cooktop problem. We've chosen to live with it but if you cook a lot and often, I recommend against this heartily.
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