Experiences with touch controls on ranges?

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If you want to deepdive reliability I'd look at this channel; they're one of the rare few exceptions that's actually forthcoming with data:
https://www.youtube.com/c/YaleAppliance1
But there's no quick and easy brand recommendation as RMA rates often vary more by type of product than by brand (for example fridge door icemakers will make a refrigerator far less reliable regardless of who makes it).

Personally I'm also partial to seperating the cooktop from the ovens, especially on induction...but I guess American trends are really the opposite there.
 
I have a Wolf - sadly radiant - with touch controls. It must be 25 years old now, and serves me nicely still, so can't complain much. They're nicely done, properly located, and can withstand some amount of spills without going haywire. It is one of the rare implementation that I've found satisfying. I sell these things for a living. Problem of most indeed that they're counterintuitive, slow/cumbersome, and way too sensitive.

The new-gen LG is good. LSIL6336F. It's very well equipped and solid for the price. One thing LG doesn't do right is a telescopic rack. The one they do is flimsy and cannot be anchored, so you could easily overextend and that wouldn't end well. You'd find it in the Studio induction. I wouldn't pay the extra for otherwise what amounts to the same stove and same cooking power. The regular LG 6336F has two standard racks only but does pretty much everything else.
 
I noticed that LG range has this "ProBake" oven, that they market as a great feature. I am not too convinced tbh. Basically, they remove the bottom heating element and just use the "true" convection back wall element for everything.
For instance the GE Profile has the same wattage (2500W) "true" convection element + regular bottom element of 2850W. This sounds better to me.

Does anybody have firsthand experience with LG ProBake?
 
I noticed that LG range has this "ProBake" oven, that they market as a great feature. I am not too convinced tbh. Basically, they remove the bottom heating element and just use the "true" convection back wall element for everything.
For instance the GE Profile has the same wattage (2500W) "true" convection element + regular bottom element of 2850W. This sounds better to me.

Does anybody have firsthand experience with LG ProBake?
LG's idea is correct. And by this I mean, not necessarily better. It's a different perspective that would prove most efficient on multi rack baking, and should yield the average result on a single rack. And there general idea is more aimed towards even cooking than power cooking. To a very stable overall temperature. That's how they could first introduce Sous Vide.

You'd love to see that they use a double element there or something with some 5K Watts capacity, but the truth is that modern ranges are geared towards power efficiency. Also, that elements have a range of power but the oven is not designed to pull out the maximum of all together. In a regular bottom element + convection element, they'd work alternately together, trying to keep within a power efficient range one to another altogether. The exchange, so to speak, would be coordinated along the sensors used in the oven, and where/how much the manufacturer decided to use them for peak heat distribution. The name of the game in most cooking anyways is not exactly raw power, but even distribution of it, and that's especially true of an oven. I mean, the instances where an oven is used more in a raw power manner is when broiling, and there most manufacturers are quite similar indeed. Stovetops, then again, are very often quite similar in specs indeed - still talking of a similar range price of stuff. And the max output claimed shouldn't be mistaken with how efficiently the stove regulates the power in the end, nor do we exactly know just how much an oven to maintain a temperature needs to use.

Some brands bank on the maximum output way of selling an oven. That's where LG took a bet with the ProBake system. I'm not throwing you a vendor's pitch. Just that in regular cooking, the average oven uses about 2500W at any given time. LG decided they'd survive even truthfully saying that they didn't have some 3.5-5K of total "regular" cooking power (broil not counted, again). It seems they did.

From customers report, the LG cooking is good. Just as good as anything I ever pitched at these kinds of prices.
 
An oven needs a bottom element. Of course it depends on what you cook. My electric oven is typically set to top + bottom heat and its perfect for nearly everything. My gas oven does well with bottom heat only for nearly everything.

I rarely use convection. Lots of things can’t handle the fan. For example meringues. I’ve never liked it for cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries. Convection is useful for roasting vegetables.

Pies for example like bottom heat for the crust. Pizza too.
 
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Sorry, was being taken elsewhere.

So you see, when I usually speak to a customer, I'm first trying to ascertain their needs. I won't usually pitch LG ProBake system to those that are only talking about single rack cooking and how they miss their 25 years ago range because it was "so fast". Totally out of control in terms of temperature, and power consumption, they were mostly. Also, back in the days, ovens were smaller, and the bottom element was open. So, it's not the same thing at all to talk about. Older ranges were quicker heaters for sure. But even then, LG ProBake is not somewhere I want to bring such customers. There will be more powerful ovens, if power is mostly a matter of either speed, or intense heat cooking. Like, for instance, those that expect pizza oven levels of performance. Not that the LG cannot cook a pizza properly. It just won't be the fastest oven out there to get that done. So for purists, it doesn't work. But then again, Pizza ovens make a whole deal of good business because really no oven can or will. But some will "feel" more efficient. If you're willing to glue your face to the window and watch as it goes.
 
An oven needs a bottom element. Of course it depends on what you cook. My electric oven is typically set to top + bottom heat and its perfect for nearly everything. My gas oven does well with bottom heat only for nearly everything.

I rarely use convection. Lots of things can’t handle the fan. For example merengues. I’ve never liked it for cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries. Convection is useful for roasting vegetables.

Pies for example like bottom heat for the crust. Pizza too.
It's the typical argument. Then again LG provided some demos on YouTube of typical stuff you'd think isn't doable without a bottom element, and it works properly. If one choses Bake, and not Convection Bake. There the ProBake system directs heat to the bottom of the oven to rise up through. As I said, those are typical cooking scenarios where an LG will only perform an average job. Not bad. Just enough to pull out with their market range, but never topping the chart.
 
An industrial style restaurant oven works with more than three racks and does so by using multiple convection points from behind instead of bottom. Or so was I told by eager LG reps. I've seen such type of column ovens, I know they're not straight lying, but I haven't the faintest idea of exactly how they're made and work to what typical power levels. I could have started onto that, but there was no point where I stand.

Instead I did MY homework foregoing what they're all saying and looking at a lots of stuff regarding electrical standards and energy consumption in a nowadays world for residential use scenarios. That is my market. I can readily look also at the official Power Consumption testing of a lot of ranges on my selling floor, and compare from many different brands. LGs do in fact, from regimented testing, use a bit more power than the typical average of comparably featured ranges using the typical layout. Not enough that I would argue means it's a raw power machine. More that its typical power range seems to make up for something in the exchange while staying well within norms.
 
Back to the touch controls. We are about to switch from gas to induction. And the touch controls are the main thing that makes me nervous. I am yet to use a range where the touch controls were robust against disturbances (especially water).
 
I strongly recommend to pick something with a separate control for each zone. That way, you can directly adjust the setting for each zone with a single touch.

If you see a design where you first have to select which zone you want to act on and then adjust its setting (usually with same two stupid buttons that also double up for the zone selection), stay clear. Those modal controls are really, really annoying, slow to use, and drive you nuts over time.
 
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Sorry, was being taken elsewhere.

So you see, when I usually speak to a customer, I'm first trying to ascertain their needs. I won't usually pitch LG ProBake system to those that are only talking about single rack cooking and how they miss their 25 years ago range because it was "so fast". Totally out of control in terms of temperature, and power consumption, they were mostly. Also, back in the days, ovens were smaller, and the bottom element was open. So, it's not the same thing at all to talk about. Older ranges were quicker heaters for sure. But even then, LG ProBake is not somewhere I want to bring such customers. There will be more powerful ovens, if power is mostly a matter of either speed, or intense heat cooking. Like, for instance, those that expect pizza oven levels of performance. Not that the LG cannot cook a pizza properly. It just won't be the fastest oven out there to get that done. So for purists, it doesn't work. But then again, Pizza ovens make a whole deal of good business because really no oven can or will. But some will "feel" more efficient. If you're willing to glue your face to the window and watch as it goes.
I appreciate your input. I don’t really do multi-rack baking (perhaps because it just does not work in my current oven). I mostly use oven to make breads, pizza, meat pies and long stews or roasts. Also banana bread and brownies from time to time. I use pizza steel for most of bread needs (not for burger buns or other rich dough recipes).
So I am bit concerned about ProBake, what is your professional opinion on this respect?
 
I personally don’t like touch controls and much prefer turning a knob. I currently have a touch control oven which I’ve had for a decade and I still don’t like how the touch controls work because you have to make several presses to change the temperature. Turning a knob is much more intuitive imo.
 
Oh yeah and while we're talking... and I couldn't do the international regs for you, but "in Canada" a 40A is typically what is recommended (and so many folks over here in Qc make do with 30A, and many American brands ranges regulatory accept it as a strained minimum), if you're going anew in the kitchen, you might just as well beef up to 50A. It'll do a lot of good to the higher end stuff, while even your averagely priced range is a compromise of what it can draw readily when a few elements, oven and stovetop combined, are in use. Since the higher output range any manufacturer claims of any of these elements is unfeasible at any time if you're using a few of them at once on 40A, within a regulatory safety threshold even less... 50A over where I am would settle you up for good.
I appreciate your input. I don’t really do multi-rack baking (perhaps because it just does not work in my current oven). I mostly use oven to make breads, pizza, meat pies and long stews or roasts. Also banana bread and brownies from time to time. I use pizza steel for most of bread needs (not for burger buns or other rich dough recipes).
So I am bit concerned about ProBake, what is your professional opinion on this respect?
It is as I extensively said: a correct guess, a good oven overall, more precise than fast, but the concept has some gimmick that won’t suit direct results unless you play with it. Which I think is the most of what can be said about different ranges and technologies: adapt and then you really know how to set it.

If I was to splurge on an induction I know around the LG price that seems more suited to your needs I’d go with the Kitchen Aid. But apart from LG the competition is fierce in that market, and where the single models are the only thing one brand makes at that price, it merits comparing.

Note that I explained the LG in full because the turn of the thread were the ones without a touch, and I could give some insight on LG in that market.

The KitchenAid was and has transitioned still into a touch control.
 
Oh one last thing: look into those with all « flex » burners closely. It’s as close to a gas stove induction will get at any point. Truth is however than the energy limitations of induction are tighter than even a regular 55-65K BTU overall gas range. Look into that 50-60A if it can be done.
 
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My oven and cooktop combined use 10.2 kW when everything is turned on. That's two separate 25 A circuits (240 V).

For 110V, you have to double that, so it would be 50 A each.
 
I’ve seen no range on 110V other than full gas. There it typically drives any console and a ~900W convection element. A regular state of things - like all proven true powerful and affordable microwave, or just as size goes, anything beyond 1 cu. ft., is typically a 1200W on 110V but often times less if it involves convection - 900-1K Watts is the norm there for the magnetron output. For anything smaller than 1 cu. ft. a quite sure rule of thumb is 100W per 0.1 cu. ft., but over that limit, real output is limited by the 110V outlet circa 1200W. Panasonic 1.2 +, LG 1.5 +, any Whirlpool made 1.6 +, etc.

BTW LG ProBake has often proven more efficient in their gas stove. They claim to have tackled a flame with a fan. Some independent sources claimed 4 minutes preheating - pretty good. There is no electric element involved.
 
Back to the touch controls. We are about to switch from gas to induction. And the touch controls are the main thing that makes me nervous. I am yet to use a range where the touch controls were robust against disturbances (especially water).
As someone who really hates most of the touch controls I have to say the Neff thing with the turning dial was satisfactory to me. They use something similar on Gaggenau. Way better than the standard piano stuff on Bosch or other brands.
I think the main reason something's 'missing', even after you use it for a while, is that you miss the audio feedback you get from gas, where you can hear the difference in output as you adjust the knob.
Also keep in mind that fixed physical knobs make cleaning the thing more annoying, which is probably why most of these cooktops don't have them.
 
As to ovens... I haven't tested these specific models but I wouldn't be immediately put off by any ovens having only convection modes; after all many professional kitchens in the world are running high end Rational ovens that are working exactly on this principle.

Electricity wise.. yeah.. I'm not really into the US standards but you really want to dive into the specs. Generally speaking once you go to 90 cm cooktops the specs tend to change (going from 80 cm to 90 cm models means going from 2x230v to 1x380v). Whether total power draw is an issue is up for debate. When considering ovens yes, but on the cooktop... personally I can't say I ever use all burners on full whack together, but other people might cook diffferently.

Personally I'm not a big fan of all-flex models, unless it's the really fancy Gaggenau version where you can just put a pan anywhere. But I've noticed dedicated round zones work a bit better on round pans (especially aluminium based non stick pans) than the flex zones for some reason. I think it's nice to have one big flex zone so you have the option of using oval pans or plancha, but more than 1 doesn't really make sense. You just end up paying more for functionality you're not really using.

Do however pay attention to coil sizing and layout to see if it works with the kind of cooking you normally do.
 
Do however pay attention to coil sizing and layout to see if it works with the kind of cooking you normally do.
Also get the specs and check the actual coil sizes. On most induction cooktops, the marked circles are a lot larger than the coils underneath. Ideally, try it in the shop before you buy, to check the controls as well as how evenly it heats. A pot with a little bit of water in it will reveal if the coil is smaller than the marked area when you watch where the bubbles form.
 
YES! The pictures are all BS. Get the actual specs of both the coil size and output. It's usually somewhere in the tech manual or in the repair manual. Another lie is that plenty of 'flex zones' are really just 2 round coils that are controlled together.
 
I second both the two above posts regarding checking the coil sizes. They're typically much smaller than the markings on the top. If your pans aren't very conductive you'll end up with hotspots and parts which burn and the outside much cooler.

And yes the flex zones are typically made from two oval shaped coils per quarter. Again, these do not give a very even heat.

I use a lot of carbon steel pans which are hit and mis with induction. If you manage to match the pan perfectly with the coil size you can get very good performance and even heating. For example one crepe pan I have that's carbon steel can make excellent, perfectly even browned pan cakes but if I go one pan size up I'll end up with only the central part of the pancake cooked with the outside undercooked. Thick
auminium cored pans would probably help a lot; my tri-ply pans work quite well but feel they could have a thicker sandwich to really work well with induction.
 
Regarding touch controls, I don't like then much. The better hobs I've used have had magnetic removable physical dial.

The worst are the ones that you have to first select the burner you want to adjust and then make adjust the control. Better are the ones with individual controls for each burner.
 
I've repaired a few and never seen seen one where the induction coil size matched the markings on the top. You can safely assume the coil diameter in any hob will be at least two inches less than the marking diameter. I.e. 1" smaller in the radius.

If you're investigating in store then I'd recommend bringing a torch or you can maybe use the light on your phone to help peer through the darkened glass top to see the coil size underneath.
 
I ended up getting GE Cafe with knobs. It was over my intended budget but range is something I use daily*, so kind of makes sense.

*The thing I tell myself every time I buy a new gyuto -\__/-

Thanks all who contributed to the thread to help me with the decision.
 
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