Top positive review
329 people found this helpful
Actual reviewer of use after 3 days
on October 19, 2016
SEE UPDATE BELOW:
I got this despite that it has the fewest reviews on Amazon, and it looks like most of them are fake/paid for reviews anyways. I picked it though because the duxtop brand has good reviews and this model has the most temperature settings among the cheaper options, and it has a lower temp range too. I read a few people saying with other ones the lowest setting was still too hot. I figured if I was truly going to replace my stove top I wanted the one with the most flexibility and was willing to pay $30 more for it. It moves up in 20 degree increments or .5 power levels. I've only used it a handful of times, and I'm still just getting used to induction cooking in general. The negatives I've had with it apply to all induction burners in general. The cycling heat on and off to maintain temp really threw me off so I tried to compensate by adjusting temps, which I learned I shouldn't do, just let it do it's thing. And when on full power pretty much all of my pans emit this high pitched ringing noise that really sucks. It seems to only be really bad at full power and acceptable at even some of the higher powers just under full.
But boy howdy does that thing heat! Water boils so fast you can't believe it. And you do have really quick control of temperatures. I think I'm going to love it once I figure it out. It'd have to be truly terrible for me to use the electric range though. I recommend giving it a shot. This model has the cleanest interface, no special buttons for sauteing or grilling or whatever they say it's for. That stuff would change from pan to pan and dish to dish, anyways and wouldn't be accurate. The 9600 has a boil button which is always accurate, and a keep warm button which will probably work in most situations. At $100 it was worth it to me, but units at half that price have about 95% of the functionality that you could probably get away with and still be good to go, so it's really up to you. It has the same 6.75" diameter coil set underneath the glass, I checked using a high powered flashlight pointed at it with the lights turned off.
I did a test of the lowest temperature of 100 degrees, as that is one feature that sets it apart from others. I put 1 cup of water into a 6 inch cast iron enameled pot at 74.6F and set it on 100 degrees. About 15 minutes later the water was at 77.3F. At a half hour in the water dropped to 76.8F. At 45 minutes I concluded the testing and it came in at 75.7F. I then turned the burner off and just let it sit for 15 more minutes, which brought it to 75.3 degrees. To me, this is a mostly good result in that while not accurate, the unit does have the ability to go to an ultra low temperature and keep it some what consistent to a few degrees, although I did not like the trending downward temps. But since this was the lowest setting, I believe higher powers/temps might achieve a more consistent level. My main concern was to find out if the lowest level was going to be too hot, which it most certainly is not! So I think it could be good for those looking to melt chocolate. (See below edit, I was wrong, not good for chocolate!)
In conclusion, if I were just rating this unit compared to others in it's price range, I think I'd give it 5 stars. It's more expensive, but I like the user interface more than other options and the low temp abilities sets it apart. But since I'm rating the unit not only against it's peers but also in it's own right just as an induction burner, it gets 4 stars as I have yet to determine if I can live with the high pitch painful noise at the highest setting, and the temperature regulation of constantly turning on and off and on and off is annoying so far. I hope I will learn to love it though. I'll update in a few months when I really get a chance to delve into it.
Oh, and the other guy who rated it 1 star and said you have to mess with the lock button to start it is smoking crack. You hold your finger on the power button (wet or dry, I intentionally tested that) for 3 seconds, the blue screen turns on and then you press the menu button. The unit automatically starts at power level 5. You just have to match sure the pan is on the burner before you start it.
UPDATE: I figured out that reading the instructions is a good thing! The temperature mode and the power setting mode do function differently. I was thinking it was just two ways to look at the same heat level, but not true. The temperature mode tries to keep the pan at the temp setting you chose (keep in mind the pan temp will be different than the food temp in the pan!). It sucks at this. This is why I was having so many issues with the power cycling. I redid my before water test, this time at 120F degree setting, and the water immediately spiked to 150F and then throughout the course of 30 minutes would drop to a low of 105F. If you took an average of it's temp over that time it actually might have been pretty dang close to 120F or maybe 130F, but with those highs and lows it would be terrible for any chocolate work or anything you needed even temps for.
Now, since I am using the power mode things are waaaay better with the power cycling. It just doesn't do it. I did the water test again, this time with 2 cups of water and I used the ".5" power setting which is the lowest. Over the course of 45 minutes the water ranged from 134F to 138F with fluctuations in between throughout. The first half hour it was usually closest to 135F, but near the end was reading consistently 137F.
For this pot that I was using, this means the lowest effective and reliable temperature this cooktop can do is about 135F Degrees. This might still be better than other units out there, but I was hoping for less. But I am fairly happy now that I know the power cycling is mostly an issue with the temp settings and not the power settings. I'm almost certainly only going to be using the power settings from here on out, unless I'm doing a long simmering chili or something with a lot of mass in it to help even the fluctuations.