Electrolux invited me to review their Icon 36" induction cooktop in my personal kitchen. I accepted the invitation, looking forward to begin cooking with induction and with gratitude for the opportunity to replace my 20 year old gas cooktop with induction. I have cooked briefly on induction before, but I was very interested in cooking on an induction cooktop over a period of time, to truly understand its properties. I am approaching this review on several fronts.
Around this time, I was due to exhibit my new line of kitchen furniture, Bornholm Kitchen, at the Architectural Digest Show in New York. I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate an island into the show which would have a cooktop installed.
As Bornholm Kitchen is easily experienced as furniture and was designed as such, nonetheless, it was fun to see the reaction of visitors to my booth. The Electrolux Icon cooktop has such a low profile that many visitors to the booth were surprised that the island was meant to be designed into a kitchen and was not a dresser or other type of furniture. Their eyes lit up and we saw a smile, or heard a "wow". It is a response that made perfect sense, was fun to see, and confirmed to me that this type of cooktop is a real advantage for the open kitchen floorplan.
The point? Sleek = nearly invisible = aesthetically clean, especially in an open floorplan situation.
The controls were very quickly and easily understood. I don't remember even looking at the manual before I started cooking; the cooktop is very intuitive. One more note about aesthetics - please remove the word "Induction" from the burners - it's simply not necessary and takes away from an otherwise GORG (gorgeous) stunning cooktop design. That said, I don't even notice it at all anymore - I have other things to think about when I'm cooking, but it's worth a mention.
If I'm going into another level of detail, I'll note that the design of the controls is, well, beautiful. The controls are simple in design and very cool. Less is more aesthetically, and all that. Well done.
I couldn't wait to cook my favorite things on this cooktop. I like to sear meat and fish, like filet mignon or salmon, then finish it in the oven for a perfect medium rare (especially for salmon, yum!) I also use grill pans to grill asparagas or other vegetables or to saute brocolli rabe, steam veggies or putting that pot of water on to boil, which I want done fast! We (my husband and I) cook with fresh foods all week and the induction cooktop has made the cooking experience a pleasure in all these ways mentioned.
The cooktop is fast. Very fast. Much faster than my gas cooktop. I'm impatient, so I like that, a lot! I'm also fundamentally lazy in some respects, so I like that all I have to do is to put my finger on either high or low, keep it there to control the heat, end of story. Fast, easy, intuitive. One of the very best features of induction cooking is that it has instant response - same as gas. So far, we have instant response to heat control, and more power than gas (see "power boost"). I'm happy. Is it more powerful than the most powerful gas btu burners? I'd love to see a test done. I do not know the answer to that.
A "Keep Warm" feature, multiple low heat 1/2 heat number selections, and a timer round out useful cooktop controls.
I love the versatility of the cooking zones and how different size pots can be used. I like flexibility. Take a look:
Induction cooking is THE safest method of cooking, the most energy efficient way to cook, perhaps the fastest method and certainly the most understated in terms of aesthetics. These features are compelling reasons to seriously consider induction cooking. I have the utmost confidence in Electrolux Icon as a brand, based on my clients having purchased Electrolux products over the years and being very pleased with the products...and I hear feedback.
I love induction cooking, and I'm NOT looking back at my much less powerful (and small) gas burners!