It’s been about 6 months now of cooking on our induction range almost every night, so it felt time to dish to you all. My excitement for our range is extreme, my expectations six months ago were unknown. Today you are going to get the full low down and review (with a lot of pros and a couple of cons). As you might know, now gas ranges are being slowly phased out (like gas cars) but I’m not going to lie that there were times when I worried that my public job was forcing my family into using a newer product that wasn’t going to work as well, or be as easy. Old dog, new tricks sort of thing. Brian was on board, we talked about it for months, and it doesn’t hurt that we found the most gorgeous induction range in the world, but yeah, we were nervous. What if we couldn’t cook as easily? What if it was complicated, techy, and hard to navigate? What if we burned everything? When trying anything new the first time there can be a learning curve, and we knew that. I was confident in the brand and super hopeful we’d love it as much as a gas range. So today is the day where I tell you it all. In case you are just landing here you might have some basic questions:
Why Induction Instead Of Gas? Are Gas Ranges BAD?
I’m not an expert but apparently, gas ranges emit internal pollution into the home as well as rely on fossil fuels. I’ll also admit that I’m a bit skeptical that we need to overhaul a whole industry based on a few years of research because typically the fantasy “solution” also has its negatives that don’t get the same amount of attention. But common sense tells me that having gas burning in your house can emit undetectable fumes. Induction is electric, not natural gas, so the argument is that it’s not part of the fossil fuel industry and can run on clean energy should you live in a state that is working towards that (like solar and wind). I hope that the industry can keep up with the regulations (outlawing them might be a problem if we don’t have the induction supply to replace them – like cars). Again, not an expert and I’m curious about your thoughts, but I’ve done so much research and I try to vet every side of this debate. Similar to cars, there are a lot of lobbyists on both sides trying to control the industry. All I know is that this made sense to us, especially because this Aga range is so darn beautiful, and in many states (CA and OR) you won’t be able to put gas ranges in new construction soon, which might tell you which way we are culturally moving (ours isn’t new construction).
Should I Switch My Gas Range To Electric?
It’s my opinion that if you have something that works well and you like, you should never throw it out, as making and shipping something new is far more taxing on the environment than using something that you have (same with cars). But if you are remodeling and purchasing a new range then yes, induction seems to be a wise investment (we love it), and keep reading to see if it’s for you. I think how we’ve politicized it is just hilarious and I’m not inviting that firestorm in the comments. There are pros and cons to everything we consume, we have to use the data we have and level it against our common sense to make sure it’s right for us.
What Range Did We Choose And Why?
Months ago I wrote a post about our hunt with the induction range options that we were debating, but there was only one that I felt would work in this more classic style home – The Aga 48″ Elise Induction Range in black with gold knobs. Once I fell in love with it, I reached out to Build with Ferguson and Aga and negotiated a trade for PR/photography/social media, etc. Was this range “free”? Nope. Nothing is “free,” everything is a trade for my time, deliverables and social/PR services, and at this point in my career I can’t give my time and resources to represent a brand that isn’t 100% aligned with my design, style, and ethos. I wanted this Aga range and went after it (and was so happy that Build with Ferguson supplies them). This post isn’t even sponsored, I just really really wanted to deep dive into my relationship with this range and give you all the information to help you decide.
Aga is a classic European brand that is super high quality, very well made and extremely well received/reviewed. While the Elise is a newer product (as most induction ranges are on the newer side) we felt confident that with Aga behind it, we’d get a great long-term product.
What Was I Nervous About? Any Initial Hesitations?
We had two major concerns: 1. the capacity of the oven and 2. the ability to butter-baste Brian’s steak. We had read enough reviews so we weren’t worried about the day-to-day cooking for our family but those two scenarios caused us a little hesitation (keep reading).
Well? What is So Great About This Range?
I don’t need to tell you how beautiful it is, but clearly, that is a huge plus to me. Beyond that, it’s more about function and capabilities and so far we have been extremely pleased.
You have a lot of roasting, baking, and broiling options in this lady. We use the convection oven the most and have learned to do it for less time and sometimes lower temperature than a recipe calls for as it cooks faster and more thoroughly than a normal oven. We like that it crisps all sides more (the hot air is moving around more). There were a few sacrificial cookie batches as we dialed in that adjustment, but now we don’t even think about it – we adapted really quickly.
As you can see both the multi-functional door and the convection oven have multiple trays or you can pull them out and put in a dutch oven or larger casserole dish.
Can It Fit A Turkey?
Ignore how overcooked this turkey is – we bought it to show you that one would fit but totally forgot it was in the convection and cooked it for too long. But you get the point – yes to turkey, no to huge turkey. This was such a huge question for us and we don’t even host Thanksgiving (yet). But since the oven compartments are smaller we wanted to see what the capacity would be. We knew it wouldn’t be big enough for a 20 lb turkey so if we were to host we’d likely use a countertop turkey oven. The interior horizontal capacity is 16 1/2″ wide, but many 9″x13″ have huge handles on the side that won’t fit that. We found this one that is 12″x15″ including the handle and it easily fit the 13lb turkey.
Does Convection Cook The Same As A Normal Oven?
No. It’s even better:) Once you figure out to lower the temp a bit and reduce the amount of time (by like 5-10 minutes), it cooks more evenly and crisps things up a bit more. The hot air cooks by circulating. So again you have to ignore this overcooked turkey – this was the first time we were trying a big bird and we forgot it was in there. A tiny learning curve, but so easy to adapt, and I’ve had zero frustrations after the first week.
Do Normal Cookie Sheets Fit?
We had read about this so we were prepared, but no, you have to downsize your cookie or veggie roasting sheets to 9″x13″ and double them up. This was a VERY easy switch to make and with the double oven (the convection and the multi-function) we can roast a lot at the same time (and we do, very frequently).
These cookies are an example of what can happen if you use the normal oven setting on the multi-function and don’t rotate – the top cookies got a lot more cooked than the bottom which is normal. But it’s not a big deal – you do it once then learn to rotate. And since we shot this I started using convection for almost everything (the other compartment) because I like how it cooks everything more evenly.
The Broiling Drawer
This compartment has 4 settings that are almost undetectably different, but essentially change how close the food is to the “element” (read: heat source). So you could put something deeper in there but for this shoot we did bacon. This is the only time we’ve used the drawer (Brian is a big “bacon in oven” guy) so we aren’t experts here but I wanted to show you what it can do.
We cooked bacon but you could also do open-faced sandwiches or vegetables – essentially anything that you want top-down heat for.
Are The Knobs Intuitive And Easy To Read?
Yes. And this has been a pet peeve of mine in the past (also not a big deal). What you can’t see in the photo (but can see down below where we boil water) is that there are little illustrations on top of the silver bar that show which burner you are using. But they make intuitive sense – the middle one controls the middle burner, the left controls left, right controls right. This is not always the case so YAY for not even needing to look anymore.
Next… The Induction Cook Top – How Does It Compare To Gas?
Gas ovens are pretty similar to electric or induction, but does an induction cooktop perform as well? Let’s get into it. Here are the basics of ours: it’s a 48″ and has 5 burners – one large (in the middle), 3 medium, and one small. We very frequently use 3-4 at a time so I’m glad we got the 48″ for our family. It’s a glass top that is so pretty and simple. It’s hard to see in the photos but there are slight circles that are easily seen in person to show you where the burners are.
Do All Pots And Pans Work On Our Induction Cooktop?
No, all pots/pans do not work so expect to replace some, but far more work with induction than we originally thought. We bought new fry and saute pans (we have some Made In and some new All-Clad, but all of my dutch ovens, soup pots, and even my huge broth stock pot worked – I was not expecting that). We found out by putting the pan on and turning on that burner, and it indicates whether it works or not (if it doesn’t work it has a dash sign and won’t turn on, but if your pan will work then it will let you select your temp and start cooking). So it was a fun game to see what worked and what didn’t (our lighter-weight fry pans didn’t work so all of those had to be replaced – Brian researched a lot and bought these and we are very happy with them).
Is Cooking On An Induction Cooktop Faster? Better?
Yes, definitely faster but also it just feels very controllable. For instance, when you want to go lower or higher it does so immediately once it gets going (it can’t go from zero to crazy hot instantly, but definitely really fast, and once it’s high it can go low very very quickly).
Can It Really Boil Water Super Fast?
This is one of the biggest “pros” of the induction – that it can boil water quickly. I’ll admit that I didn’t find this a huge inconvenience with our gas ranges, but I was eager to see just how fast it can boil water should you be REALLY into that:)
So we timed it with 6 cups of water (which is a lot) and it took 5 1/2 minutes to come to a rolling boil.
Apparently, this would be around 9 minutes with a gas top:) So yes, it does boil water faster, but I think what I like even more is that once it’s warmed up it can go from 3 to 7, back to 4 up to 8 almost instantly. So if you are accidentally burning your onion/garlic on the bottom of your soup pot you don’t have to take it off the heat, you just turn it down and it truly does decrease the heat (in my experience).
Can Brian Still Butter Baste His Delicious Steaks?
When all the controversy around gas ranges hit last year (and before the whole thing was hilariously politicized) a lot of chefs were up in aprons because there are some things that many feared they couldn’t cook as well. This was Brians’s biggest concern because for most small dinner parties or special occasions he makes the most delicious butter-basted filet mignon steaks (we are both huge Matty Matheson fans and he uses this recipe, and yes, give yourself a treat and watch his video). The reason the heat source matters is because you use a cast iron pan that has to hold a lot of heat and then the final step of cooking the steak is that you tip it up, off the burner, and use a spoon to butter baste it but the pan needs to hold a ton of heat to do the job. A lot of chefs were literally specifically going public about how induction will ruin their butter-basting game. Brian was one of them.
Before we got the range we knew the risk that this would be a dish that we only did over the holidays at the mountain house, or we would buy a small gas burner just for these occasions – it was that serious of a concern. So it’s with great joy that I can announce that he can indeed butter-baste our steaks on this induction cooktop! I think it’s crucial that you use an induction cast iron pan because once the pan heats up it stays hot for a long time and conducts enough heat, while off the burner (therefore not magnetized) to keep up the proper cooking.
He can’t tip the pan up as much or take it off the heat for as long as he has in the past on a gas burner. It totally works and we can stay married and continue to consume this delicious dish (on occasion).
Is The Whole Top Hot? How Does That Work?
This part feels like magic, but essentially the pan and the burners use magnets to create the heat when in contact with each other – so no, the burner is not hot to the touch on its own. This is great for cooking with the kids as I don’t need to worry about the areas in between the burners – “the pot covers the hot” so to speak. That’s not to say that once it’s turned off it’s instant – no, it takes a few minutes to cool down completely (and has an “H” on it until it’s cooled down) but the real hot heat is only conducted when the pot is on the burner.
The Cleanup Is So Easy
I didn’t take a photo of it, but it’s extremely easy and satisfying to clean, and once you have this as an option dismantling your gas burners to clean underneath them will seem very laborious. I also LOVE that I can take my tray of veggies out of the oven and pop it right on top – like one big safe trivet. It’s obviously heat safe.
So far the only feedback I would give is that I wish there was a user manual for best practices with the induction and convection technology – there is an instruction manual, of course, but it doesn’t give you a lot of info on the nuances of convection and induction that I think could be useful (for instance it would be nice to know how long to broil the bacon on what temperature or how to defrost meat in the multi-function, not just say that you can). From experience, I’ve dialed in my favorite convection temperatures for roasting vegetables, but a manual with some best practices specifically for convection and induction would be helpful as we all make this transition (thus this blog post).
Do We Love It? How Much Would We Recommend It?
Let’s just say that I would not have written this post if I weren’t very, very happy with our induction range. This whole review is not part of a contract deliverable – I wanted to do it to help alleviate any anxiety that future induction purchases would have. I hope that it’s been useful. We really really love it – how it looks (it’s just so beautiful) to how it functions every day for our family. Again, if you have a gas range that you love do not throw it out and replace it with an induction. I’m not saying it’s “better” to cook on than a gas range. I’m simply saying that if you are going the induction range route I can tell you that the Aga 48″ Elise has been excellent for our family. I’m sure there are others that are also wonderful, but I’m writing from my own set of experiences. xx
Cabinetry: Unique Kitchens & Baths
Countertops: Bedrosians Tile & Stone
White Oak Windows and Doors: Sierra Pacific Windows
Tile: Pratt + Larson
Range: Build with Ferguson
Flooring: Zena Forest Products(Oregon grown and milled)
Lighting, Switches, Outlets, and Sink: Rejuvenation
Wall Color: Sherwin Williams, “Extra White”
Vintage Island: Aurora Mills
Rug: District Loom
Brass Gallery Rods: Pepe and Carols