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Last summer my wife and I wanted to replace our stand-alone, 60cm wide, double oven electric cooker. It had served us well for 20 years, as also its predecessor had done. I had changed a couple of heating rings and one oven element in the 40 years; the impetus to replace each time was tattiness, particularly the control knobs...always fiddly to clean.
I decided to look for a cooker with touch-pad controls, just like our our microwave which has an extra built-in overhead grill, and all of it programmable.
Sales staff in electricity showrooms said what we wanted was not available, and on occasion explained it was because the cooker used heavy currents. Better not to argue but we have a microchip 3.25kW storage heater in our hall for 15 years with only one fault (two years ago) when I replaced an integrated circuit called a triac.
You don't have to be high-tech to understand the advantage of micro controlled zero cross-over switching. When you switch on a light a tiny spark occurs at the contacts. Alternating current means the current is flowing one way for 1/100 second, and the other way for the next 1/100 sec. Microchip switching arranges the contact to happen at the instant the voltage is zero,- the current crossover point. Computer hardware wizards will know this happens about 30 000 times a second in every ATX switched-mode power supply.
We had more bad news. The modern electric cooker, except the cheapest, has a ceramic top. This gets very hot, and any spills char to the surface. The showrooms sell special sprays to clean up..."Better not to make jam" we were advised.
Then good news,... yes, there are touch controlled cookers, and they have induction hobs. With this the ceramic tops are warmed by the pots, not the other way round. The hobs are made in ever increasing numbers in Europe, USA, and Japan, but I've found none so far as a 60cm stand-alone with oven. The original induction hobs needed 20cm free depth for electric coils, this limits them to large units or separate hob and oven designs.
last week I saw a German induction hob (Brandt)which was not deep at all, and was 60cm wide. The (kitchen)showroom staff were cagy,... it may have been modified to fit a drawer under it for cosmetic reason. I'm still looking...
I append three links found so far...
try this link.
Fellsider: That link is useful, thank you.
Although I see Brandt hobs only appear to be available as separates, through your link I've asked for the brochure on the model I spotted in the kitchen showroom. Those people estimated the hob to cost about £800, but clearly they were more interested in supplying/fitting a whole kitchen. Your link price is £452 inc vat and delivery,... not bad at all.
It would be great to hear from anyone who has cooked by induction heating.
Sorry about that - waited some time before each posting..-(
Stuarti, thanks. Good info on induction hobs but no sign yet of one combined with a 60cm oven.
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