How Does Sharing Wattage/Power Affect Induction Burners?

Paul Groux  |  February 18, 2015  |  3 Min. Read

Induction Cooktops  |  Induction Ranges

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Before you buy that induction cooktop or range, you have to consider how each brand shares power on the high setting.

It's great to have a powerful burner. However, most cooktops will siphon power from other burners. Some do not.

We will look at induction cooking, how it works and responds.

What is Induction Cooking?

Induction is a magnetic heat. The magnet excites the molecules of the pan to cook your food. Unlike electric, heat is not transfered through the glass of the cooktop. The pan effectively becomes the burner.

Induction is the fastest and most responsive burner available. It is also the most child safe, because the burner needs to be activated by metal and glass does not heat like an electric burner (note child safe is not child proof, the pan leaves residual heat on the glass).

Induction is 30% more efficient than gas, so it is much easier to vent. You can downdraft induction without an issue and not have Make-Up Air issues with the ventilation.

If you would like to see induction in action check out video below.

Power Share vs. Power Boost

Power Share

Induction is equipped with different cooking zones. Please see the image below of a Electrolux 30 and 36 inch cooktop.

induction-cooking-power-share-diagram

When you power share you have the capability of taking some of the power from the adjacent zone (burner). This makes one of the burners even more powerful. This is great for searing or bringing a big pot of water to a boil quickly.

However the burner you stole the power from will cycle down to a lower temperature. The previous illustration shows which zones are connected. This can vary depending on the cook top.

Power Boost

Another method of sharing power is called power boost. This method is used by Bosch, Gaggenau and Thermador. The major difference between the two is with power sharing you still have some power in the shared zone. With power boost, all the power is removed from the adjacent zone. This will give you even more power in one zone however the other zone would have to be off.

Below is an image of a Thermador cook top showing the different zones. In this image 1 could boost 2, 4 could boost 5 or vice versa. Zone 3 would get a boost from 6 and 7.

induction-cooking-power-boost-diagram

What Does This Mean?

The highest power cooktops will be those with power boost. So if you are cooking with one or two pots, this may be the best bet.

If you will use 3 or more, power share will be better, because there will be more overall power.

Additional Resources

Get our free Induction Cooking Buying Guide with tips, trends and reviews of all the major brands. Over 80,000 people have already found answers in a Yale guide.

View our induction cooking buying guide

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Paul Groux

Paul Groux has been with Yale Appliance for over almost 20 years, specializing in appliance sales. He is a former U.S. Army Paratrooper and has completed two Boston marathons.

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