In this post I’m going to give an update on my experiences so far with the Breville BIC200 Induction Cooker. It’s a small, light, portable induction hob that can be plugged into any power point, as it only draws power from 120w to 2100w. The best place for it, of course, is in the kitchen; but it could also be used in any room, and very usefully, outside (perhaps using an extension cord).
I’ll probably never do it, but I like the idea of using the BIC200 outside, with one of those cast iron grill pans. I could turn the Breville up to 10, to cook steaks, bacon or sausages without worrying about the smoke or splatter making a mess.
In my kitchen, the BIC200 sits on top of a plastic chopping board which sits on top of the gas burners. I bought the chopping board for this purpose. I haven’t used my gas stove in the two weeks since buying the BIC200, as I’m trying to evaluate what my cooking life would be if I renovated my kitchen to toss out the gas stove top and replace it with an induction hob.
As far as I can see so far, there are only two downsides:
1. If there’s ever a power strike or breakdown, I wouldn’t have gas as a backup for cooking.
2. My favourite pan won’t work on an induction stove.
Click on the video when it starts playing to see it full size, as determined by YouTube. The original full size is 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p HD). I suspect I’ve shot the video a little closer than the focussing ability of the camera, as the video isn’t as sharp as I expected. So I might re-shoot it later in the week.
What the video does show is that the water comes very quickly to the boil on the little Breville. Sales people in the stores are quick to point out that the Breville tabletop cooker doesn’t have the power of built-in stove tops. That almost goes without saying. But what my experience of cooking with the Breville, is that its biggest weakness is that, for me, its lowest heat setting is not low enough. That is to say, with a range of settings from 1 to 10, the setting of 1 is not low enough to simmer gently; or to maintain my pressure cookers at maximum pressure and not increase in pressure so that I have to either turn the Breville off for several minutes until the pressure comes down, or otherwise release steam manually.
In the video, near the end, the water at setting 1 doesn’t seem to be bubbling all that much, but it can’t reduce until there is no bubbling at all – and this is a pan with no food in it and without the lid on. It bubbles far more with the lid on and when cooking veg. It’s too vigorous at even the lowest setting.
I’ve scrambled eggs from cold in about 5 minutes at setting 1. (I didn’t time it.)
So if I ever get around to replacing my gas stove top with an induction cooker, I’ll only consider those models with 15 settings which can bring water to the boil in a very short time, and then very quickly reduce it to the gentlest simmer.
The De Dietrich can melt chocolate put in a plastic bag, and then put in a pan, and left on the oven for an hour at the lowest setting. The chocolate can then be squeezed out of the bag to wherever it’s needed. No washing up.