Visit our Resource Center for our video reviews, buying guides, popular articles and much more!
Thermador had the first real innovation in the market by offering a borderless cooktop without traditional burners. What this means is that you can place the pan anywhere on the cooktop's surface, or move it while cooking, and the cooktop will automatically adjust to where the pan is placed.
Samsung released their first ever induction cooktop this year. It has some pretty nifty innovations like Wi-Fi and BlueTooth. So we will compare both. First, let us look at induction itself.
Induction cooking provides faster, more consistent heating, and allows for precise temperature control. It works by heating a cooking vessel through magnetic induction. Basically, a coil of copper wire is under the pan and has an alternating electric current running through it.
This creates a magnetic field and repeatedly magnetizes the pan creating loops of electric current. Because the pan has resistance, this causes the pan to heat up, making the pan the heat source.
In basic terms, the magnets in induction excite the metal in the pan. The pan cooks the food. It bypasses the glass itself, so you are not waiting for a burner to heat the glass and the glass to heat the pan.
Advantages of Induction
Induction is the best cooking method on the market. It is even better than commercial gas cooking. An induction cooktop is faster and has the best simmer. Additionally, it is the most cleanable cooking method because the glass does not heat for baked on stains. Lastly, induction is also the most child safe because it can only be activated when a magnetic pan is on the cooktop.
Now that we understand how induction works let's look at our two cooktops.
Left Rear Burner – 1,800W (Boost 2,600W) Flex Zone
Left Front Burner – 1,800W (Boost 2,600W) Flex Zone
Right Rear 6" Burner – 1,400W (Boost 1,800W)
Right Front 8" Burner – 2,200W (Boost 3,200W)
Center 7"-11" Burner – 3,600W (Boost 4,800W)
Flex Zone – Combines 2 specific cooking zones to create 1 larger cooking zone
15 Heat Settings – Offers precise adjustment to control the cooktop
Power Boost – Focused heat for faster boil times on all burners
Simmer Control – Ensures constant and even temperatures
Melt Mode – Maintains extra low temperatures to temper chocolate or melt butter
Bluetooth Connectivity – Syncs with Samsung hood and automatically turns it on
Wi-Fi Connectivity – Monitor and control your cooktop from your smartphone
Virtual Flame – LED surface lights that mimic a gas cooktop flame
Digital or Analog Controls – Choose between removable knob or digital controls
Control Lock – Prevent controls from being turned on accidentally
As I said before, Samsung is just getting its feet wet in the induction cooktop market and built-in cooking. That being said, they are coming in swinging with some really cool features.
They have a dual flex zone element that covers 8" x 15" when combined (left side), which will keep an even and consistent heat throughout oval pans and griddles.
For ease of use, you have the option of using digital controls or analog controls. (Analog is a removable magnetic knob). They even have blue LED lights to simulate a flame under the pan when the burners are in use.
The most innovative thing Samsung has done is adding Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It can connect via Bluetooth to a Samsung hood and automatically turn it on when the cooktop is being used.
You can also monitor the cooktop from your smartphone using an app in case you forgot to turn it off, especially if you rushed out of the house. We've all had those mornings.
Which Cooktop Would I Purchase?
After looking at both of these cooktops, there were a few things that jumped out at me. The max wattage ratings are very close, Thermador at 4,600W w/ Boost, and Samsung at 4,800W w/ Boost. Thermador applies that to up to 4 pans at a time as oppose to one, which is something to think about. The Thermador Freedom still has the best interface.
Samsung offers the flex zone feature to somewhat compete with the surface coverage of Thermador. So, Samsung has more output and the blue LEDS to tell you it is on. The Wi-Fi functionality is a bit limited, but is a nice peace of mind feature.
The only thing I'm worried about is reliability. Thermador has proven itself in the industry while Samsung is new to this built-in cooking market.
To that end, I'm willing to give them a shot. With all the features you get on the Samsung cooktop, and the price difference of just over $2,500 it is pretty compelling. I suppose I should buy the hood also, you know, to utilize the Bluetooth connectivity.
Looking for more information on induction? Get The Yale Induction Buying Guide with outputs of every major induction cooking product, features as well as an explanation of induction itself. Over 210,000 people have read a Yale Guide
It seems that every appliance review has nothing but glowing comments about almost every product, yet you read customer reviews and they are almost universally bad.
We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.
Please consider subscribing or adding to the conversation in the comments below. We appreciate you stopping by.
A Note About Pricing
Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.