Sunday, January 29, 2017

NuWave Induction Cooktop for the Fuse

NuWave Induction Cooktop

This Summer we ran into a problem.  Using the gas stovetop in the Fuse during the hot Florida Summer was a fail.  It cooked fine, but the heat generated in 100 degree weather made the inside of the Fuse uncomfortable.   In a previous post, I talked about doing all the cooking in the microwave because of the the heat problem.    One of the readers suggested using an induction cooktop.

NuWave Induction CooktopNuWave Induction Cooktop Carrying Case

Well Santa was nice to us and under the Christmas tree we found a  NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop (PIC) and a carrying case  for it.  I actually helped Santa pick this one out.  It got decent reviews and most importantly it was not in my mind overpowered.  At maximum it only uses 1300 watts.  Some of the other ones can use 1500 watts or more making it cook faster.  But in the Fuse motorhome there is a power budget.  We need to stay cognizant of our power consumption, so bigger is not always better in our case. No use in getting something that could get me in trouble and pop breakers.   And since I am really only cooking for 2, we really don't need huge.

Power budget - When plugged into shore power (30 amps) only 2 big things at a time.  When on the generator 1 big thing at a time.  The A/C, Microwave, a hair dryer, and now the Induction cooktop count as big things.

Full disclosure, I have never before cooked using induction so I was a little apprehensive.

12 inch everyday pan

I had to shift up my style a little since my favorite pots and pans would not work on an induction cooktop.  To work on an induction cooktop they have to steel in them.  Most but not all of my favorite pans are aluminum.  How do you tell if they would work.   Take out your favorite Winnebago kitchen magnet and see if it will stick to the bottom of the pan.  If it does, you are good.

The second thing I had to remember was that it is different.  You get use to your stove and pots and pans.  Just remember how your grandmother cooked.  A little of this,  a dash of that and stick it in the oven until it looks right. Without that particular pan and that oven nothing ever tasted the same.   I knew this would cook different.

Induction Cooking

So far so good.   I had to learn a couple of things.  Once you press the button setting the heat you also have to press start.  I have walked away several times without doing this and found my pan cooler than when I started.  The second thing I have found is that the temperatures are very exact.  So low at 100 degrees is really 100 degrees.   That is not even a low simmer.

So what have we cooked so far?   Our first shot was white rice.  Worked fine.

Induction Cooking PancakesInduction Cooking Pancakes

So the next attempt was something a little more difficult.  Pancakes.  And they came out fine.  This is something I would never have tried on the stove, because I can never get the temperatures right.  With the induction cooktop, no problem.

Publix Yellow RiceInduction Cooking Chicken and Rice

So the next thing I tried was something I do pretty often.  Chicken and rice.  A pretty easy meal to put together.  A bag of yellow rice mix and some cut up chicken.  In this case, leftover Costco rotisserie chicken.    It came out great.

So now that I know that I can cook using the NuWave, the big question is did it solve our problem.  Did it produce the heat the LP burners produce.    Amazingly enough, there is almost no excess heat so long as the top is on the pot so steam stays in.  Even when using a skillet, there is almost no heat felt more than a foot away from the cooktop.

Now you do have to be careful.  The pans get just as hot as on a conventional stove so you can burn yourself if you touch them (don't ask).  Also the induction cooktop gets hot from the pan sitting on it.  You have to take care and let it cool down before you can move it around and put it up.

It only weighs 6 pounds.   Very light and movable.

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