Jo Biwi Se Kare Pyar, Woh Induction Stove Se Kaise Kare Inkaar?


Kanchan Induction Cooker Review
Induction Stove Close-up

Alright, agreed. The article title is the cheapest knock-off in the history of advertising, but the intention is as genuine as ever.

Be it Jalal Agha on television 25 years back; urging us to purchase Prestige Pressure Cookers with gasket release system or my plea on this side of the millennium; you have got to check out this piece of technology meant for use by your better half (or her legal representative – the maid).

Induction stove technology is not new and does not draw any exclamations in developed countries. However in developing countries like India, it is only now being introduced in the market in a ‘testing the waters’ way and meeting with lukewarm response. We have to thank Government’s heavy subsidy on cooking gas and acute shortage of cylinders for this.

When out of cooking gas, my wife (Manjari) and I are faced with the following options:

  1. Start eating out – Always a bad idea. Trust me.
  2. Go on a raw diet – Not a good idea unless you are trying to loose weight. Some foods are absorbed better only if cooked well.
  3. Coal/Wood Stove – The housing-society has forbidden me from storing cow-dung & burning coal in my flat.
  4. Kerosene Stove – Requires me to go prostrate at the feet of my maid so that she will source some kerosene from the ration shop. Smoky, fire-risk & expensive. Definitely not a good idea.
  5. Electric Coil Stove – Cheap but suffers from frequent breakdowns, slow cooking and high risk of electric shock.
  6. Microwave Cooker – Fine for heating pizza & cooking some Indian dishes but plain impossible to cook fried eggs (which I love very much).

In an experiment I conducted, it took about 5 days before my Wife and the Maid stormed out of the kitchen uttering cuss words and barking ultimatums to restore cooking gas supply. The TTF (time-to-frustration) factor grows exponentially shorter with each Gas-out incident.

What we were looking for was a solution that:

  • Cost less to buy
  • Cost less to run
  • Had low accident risk
  • Reliable & maintenance free
  • Would fit in my cluttered kitchen
  • And most importantly, could cook a wide variety of Indian delicacies.

The solution presented itself in the form of “Induction Cooking” technology. A quick read of Wikipedia confirmed that I was on the right path but extensive search in google for reviews left me worried. There were hardly any reviews of this technology by Indians. Apart from junk-sellers on eBay (India), who were touting china-made devices under the tag ‘magic cookers’, there seemed no big brand names on this bandwagon.

On the positive side, the investment required was quite less (Rs. 2,500/-) and even if the device proved to be a complete dud, it would only leave me with a heart-burn that could be cured with three Digene tablets and solitary brooding for thirty minutes.

Since I have all but stopped buying from dealers of crapware on the Internet, I started scourging the market at Hyderabad for an “Induction Cooker”; even going to the extent of asking my brother in U.S.A. to purchase at my signal and ship to India. I would worry about 220V to 110V conversion later.

As luck would have it, none of the usual suspects stocked it. The Future Group stores (Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, Home Town, eZone) did not have it. Neither Reliance Digital nor Tata Croma had it. The usual small & medium retailers on R.P. Road (Secunderabad) didn’t seem to have it.

Serendipity stuck at the last store I entered before giving up. Mahaveer’s House of Electronics not only stocked it, but the cooker was of a reputed brand too. So after much haggling, I bought the Kanchan Appliances Induction Stove (Model KIC-01-M1) for a discounted price of Rs. 2,700/- (asking price Rs. 2,900/-) and featuring 1 year warranty.

Kanchan Induction Stove
Kanchan Induction Stove

Men should not negotiate, since they will pay Rs. 2/- for a Rs. 1/- item they need and Women will pay Re 1/- for a Re 2/- item they do not need. If it had not been for my wife, I would have probably paid the sticker price (Rs. 3,400/-)

Simplified, an Induction Stove contains a powerful electro-magnet that heats up the cooking vessel by physics principle called Hysteresis Losses. There are no moving parts, no dangerous radio-waves, no exposed electrical parts and no exposed fire. Only the cooking vessel heats up, not the stove.

Induction stoves are almost entirely made up of plastic. They contain a copper-coil electro-magnet, a feather touch control panel (to regulate power), a ceramic plate as a separator between the magnet & the cooking vessel and a fan to draw heat away from the inside of the stove.

Since Induction cookers work by inducing a strong magnetic field in the vessel, the cooking vessel must either be made of iron or contain a base plate made of iron. In India, most cooking vessels today are made of aluminium (non-stickware, pressure cookers) or stainless steel (vessels). Specialised cookware is now available under the label “Magic Cookware” which is essentially an aluminium vessel with a steel plate stuck to the bottom. Magic Cookware is generally sold at exorbitant prices and is quite simply a scam. All you have to do is trying sticking a magnet to your existing cooking vessels. The vessels that stick to the magnet will work fine. I have a lot of hard-coat cookware at home that I bought cheaply and seem to work quite well. Note that flat bottomed vessels will work better than curved vessels.

Upon switching on the Induction Stove, normally it will start right-away heating the vessel at 75% power setting. If you have not placed a cooking vessel on the ceramic plate, the stove will typically detect it and indicate an error state. Very low-end cookers may not have this safety feature, so buyer beware. It is also recommended that you do not wear iron rings, bangles (and safety pins stuck to bangles) as they can be magnetized in seconds and give you a 3rd degree burn. It is also recommended that you do not use iron/steel tongs and stirrers. Quality stainless steel & wooden tools are fine. During cooking, eventually the hot vessel will transfer some heat to the ceramic plate, as a result the part of the ceramic plate that was in contact with the vessel will become very hot and cool rapidly upon removal of the vessel. Avoid touching the ceramic surface immediately after a cooking session.

The heat in the cooking vessel is regulated by the power setting on the control panel, which in turn simply controls the duration for which the magnet is switched on; just like a microwave (magnetron). In low-power settings, the magnet is switched on for shorter durations.

Since you can use standard metal cooking vessels and conventional cooking posture, the Indian cooking style becomes a reality. Deep-fried, shallow-fried, slow-cooked, rapidly-cooked – things that a microwave cannot do. Cooking medium is not a problem either – boil items in water without worrying about the water vapour short-circuiting the electronics, fry in oil without worrying about the oil bubbling & splattering all inside the device.

The performance of the stove is outstanding in terms of speed and energy efficiency. 85% of the energy consumed is directly transferred to the cooking vessel when compared to the microwave (88%) and gas-stove (55%). A litre of water boils in 2-3 minutes, a litre of milk in about 5 minutes and 500 gms. cooked dal stored in refrigerator back to boil in about 3 minutes. A spoonful of oil in the kadai will start smoking about 8 seconds and ready to accept the spices. Regular use in a yuppie household will probably add about Rs. 350/- to the electrical bill, thus positioning it very competitively with LPG.

The stove I have, has a preset setting for boiling milk and boils a litre of milk in about 20 minutes without a spill-over. The heating cycle is designed that well. Just place it, start it and forget it.

Do we use the stove daily? No we don’t. The temptation of cooking on discounted LPG across 4 burners simultaneously is too great for us to attempt an overhaul of our cooking methods to cook efficiently on the new-age Induction stove.

However, gas-out situations no longer cause the domestic squabbling it used to and friends of mine have already extracted promises from me to loan them the stove in their gas-out emergencies.

Watch a video of Induction Stove bringing a litre of water to boil in 6 -8 minutes.

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49 responses to “Jo Biwi Se Kare Pyar, Woh Induction Stove Se Kaise Kare Inkaar?”

  1. Thanks man , though the women i wud lke to please hre is not my wife , but my aged mom 🙂 . Anyways was going arund for reviews on this gadget , but urs provd to be one of the most comprehensive one..good work .

  2. Thanks a ton!! Your review on this has helped me in deciding to go for it. I’ve moved in recently from Hyderabad to Chennai and have been beating the bush for a new Gas connection. I’m particularly in a hurry as I have to bring my wife as soon as the gas is available.
    I have been thinking about the induction stove but did not have much info regarding it. But reading your review has been a blessing…after all as aptly said….’jo biwi se kare pyaar woh induction stove se kaise kare inkaar’.
    Thanks again!!

  3. Hi Buddy,
    This was really a good info. The alternatives are always there if we search for them..by heart 🙂 and this is one of the best alternatives I suppose for everyone 🙂

  4. Hi arun,

    Very good article and thanks for the same, actually i bought one induction stove last week and so far i am really happy with it, as you said, i tried some of my vessels and they work very well and to my surprise, one of the prestige steel pressure cooker works as well and i am able to cook rise, dal , any vegetable in this pressure cooker.
    My question is can we also prepare dosa, or fry papad etc in this as i have not tried this as i dont have a pan which can be used in this cooker yet, and they are really expensive inthe market. but i would get one very soon but i want to ask your experiece, wheather you have tried dosa preparation in this cooker or not before spending some money on the pan(roughly Rs1000 which i have found in the market)

    • Hi Kumar,

      You can definitely make papad and dosa on an induction stove. Instead of buying expensive “magic cookware” just buy an Iron flat “tawa”. It will get magnetized superbly and will cook Roti and Dosa with equal aplomb. If you have a “kadai” that works on the induction stove, you can use that to oil-fry Papads. I personally prefer microwaved papads but my family loves oil. You could also use your Prestige Pressure cooker to fry papad.

      HTH

  5. hi,
    we are in Bangkok . In our apartment gas is not allowed. we purchased 2 induction cookers. Burt in the manual it is mentioned that iron sheets are dangerous. I brought roti tawa from Bangalore. Well it works on that but i am scared to use that because of the instructions. when i check in the internet , it is suggested that cast iron suits on induction cooker, but i count find that here. please suggest.

    • Dear Preeti,

      Since induction cookers work on the principle of generating heat by changing the magnetic field in the cooking vessel, you can only use iron vessels to cook on induction cooker.

      Ignore what the manual says about ‘dangerous vessels’. Cannot trust the atrocious english translation in the manuals in any case. Maybe the ‘danger’ clause is to warn the user not to wear and iron jewellery. If you wear rings/bangles of iron while cooking on an induction cooker, you may be severely burned.

      You don’t need to buy any special induction stove cookware. Just visit the market with a small magnet. If the magnet sticks strongly to the vessel, you can use it.

      HTH

  6. Thank you very much for your reply. In the manual, they mentioned everything in brief.

    But your article explained almost everything.
    thanks for the detailed and informative article.

    According to my experience
    There are 2 main advantages in induction cooker

    1 cleaning vessel is very easy compared to gas (because of the adjustment of heat automatically, food will not stick to vessel much)
    2 heat adjustment is really good, because of that chapatis and dosas
    coming very nicely.

  7. Hi Rajeeb,

    That was quite an eye-opener indeed !! However, I have not been able to find any of the brands that sell these heaters for less than 3,900 bucks in Bangalore, which is very sad. i haven’t looked for the brand that you mentioned, so now may be I will.

  8. Hi Rajib,

    A comprehensive and scrupulous review. Better than any other reviews about Induction cookers read on the net till date…

    Thanks.

  9. ebay india offers induction cookers within a price range from Rs. 1600 to Rs. 2600. The makers are found to be Nova, TCL, Baltra, Shine and a lot of unknown companies. Some sellers claim their goods “imported” ! !

  10. This is a really valuable information for newbie like me . i just started a week ago and my cooking experiment is going great. only problem is i am not able to find a perfect Tawa which i can use for dosa/Chapathi .
    i tired in lifestyle/croma … no one has it . Any help for me ?

    • Hi Jayachandran,
      You really don’t need any special tawa to cook on the induction stove. Just ordinary iron tava will do.
      Since most iron tavas in the market are curved at the bottom, you will have to find one that is flat (or beat a curved one into becoming flat).

      Prestige has also introduced a new line of cookware that features a iron plate stuck to the bottom of the vessel to make them induction cooker compatible.
      Many enamel coated cookware in the market are iron cookware. Not only they look great, they are super cheap and induction cooker friendly. Only, I have never seen a tava in enamel cookware. 🙁

      Have fun and I HTH

  11. Hi All,
    Baught a kanchan induction yesterday for Rs 2250 from a small shop in hosur road. It is working fine, faster and consumption also less.
    Prestige, pigeon with warranty and some chines models with out warranty or just 3 months warranty you can find in bangalore.
    Total, Bigbazzar and in some other malls you can find both branded and local models.
    Visit the respective show rooms/web page of the respective brands before decide the model. Almost all brands started producing induction stoves.
    Prestige has good offers now but heard that product has many complaints too.

    Rajib Ghosh,
    How is kanchan insuction stove. is it working fine? How is service? Is it a good choice?

    • Dear Amarnath,

      We generally use the induction cooker when going out of station (carry it with us) and when either the gas runs out or I need to boil an egg and the gas-stove is occupied. As you can guess, these events don’t occur frequently.
      That said, the Kanchan stove is working flawlessly till now. Now if only people at my home to see the advantage of cooking with the induction stove. Probably not till Cooking Gas subsidy is removed. 🙂

      HTH

  12. Hi All,

    I am bachelor so planning to buy induction stove. yesterday i have checked some of store in my city. They showed me

    1) induction stove

    2) Hot plate stove

    Anyone could please let me know which one is best as per electricity consummation.

    Thanks
    Vishal

    • Dear Vishal,

      A hot plate stove is a glorified electric coil stove. It’s definitely safer than a naked coil electric stove and way more efficient than cooking gas, it does not come close to a induction stove when it comes to energy efficiency. Perhaps you can time boiling a litre of water on each of these technologies to determine the speed and efficiency.

      HTH

  13. Thanks Rajib. Thanks for quick response. what i have understand from your reply that electricity consummation is less in induction stove and its faster then hot plate.

    ( i have asked the shopkeeper he said both will take same electricity and also hot plate is faster then induction stove that’s why i was confused and posted comment to know better about these product with experienced guys like you 🙂 )

    I have checked in same store to boil water with hot plate stove and it took more then 13min.

    I didn’t get a chance to boil the water @induction stove.

    Thanks
    Vishal

  14. I am having pretty bad experience with Prestige induction stove . Even little water or milk spill is getting inside and causes a burst and the lining cracks.Not clear about the reason. ,many trips to service centre.

    Ideally there should be a provision to drain any liquid or water accidentally spilling on the top without it getting inside and causing damage and repair . There is no way to replace a fuse at home. No way to know whether the repair is minor or major.

    can you throw some light on my doubts?

    • Dear Sujatha,

      Thanks for the product update. It is really sad that a company like Prestige is launching premium-priced products without thorough testing.
      I have a feeling that a gap has developed between the ceramic plate and the body. Spilled fluids are getting in via this route.
      1. Since the stove body itself does not become very hot, you could seal minor crack in the body using non-water soluble adhesive like Fevikwik.
      2. To seal the gap between the ceramic plate and the body, you may need a heat-proof adhesive. Some adhesives like Fevikwik and Araldite are water-proof but melt when heat is applied to them. If the edges of the ceramic plate on your cooker don’t get too hot, you could use Fevikwik or you will have to visit multiple hardware stores and look for adhesives that can withstand higher temperatures.

      HTH

  15. This review has been very helpful, thank u very much… I am trying to decide on a good Induction stove, however am not too sure which one to go for. Prestige/Pigeon have bad reviews and multiple complaints in the market already. I am thinking of TCL. Any suggestions…?

    • Dear Anjana,

      I am using the Kanchan brand induction cooker. We do not use it regularly. Mostly when the gas cylinder runs out or when I am up-to something in the kitchen. The induction stove has performed flawlessly till date.

      I feel that Prestige products are now over-priced without the quality commitments that go with higher pricing. TCL could be a good option, but make sure there is a service centre where you live and the product has at-least 1 year warranty. That goes for all electronics you buy.

      HTH

  16. I’m a student in Hyderabad. Looks like I’ve finally found an alternative to my rice cooker for cooking Maggi. It takes a lot of time on a rice cooker.
    What power consumption is your cooker rated for? I can only use about 1000W.

    • Hi SSJ4GoGeta,

      The induction cooker is rated from 120W – 1900W. So don’t worry about blowing the hostel/apartment fuse. Also it works off a 5 Amps point.
      Do note that on Induction cookers, 1900W setting does not draw 1900W current continuously. The magnet switches on/off continuously to maintain the temperature. So even in 120W, the power draw can be substantial – just that the magnet switches off more quickly (on for a few seconds only).

      To be on the safe side, I am using the cooker on a 15A line and have not noticed any problems like over-heating wires etc.

      HTH

  17. Thanks. I see, it’s like PWM. But I’m not too concerned as AFAIK they don’t have circuit breakers for individual rooms. bwahaha

    I don’t have a 15amp line in my room but I’ve tried a 2.2kW kettle previously and it worked just fine.

  18. Nice posting. It gives a very clear understanding of how Induction stove works & how to use it. But deciding which brand to take up.Heard Prestige has lots of complaints. Any Inputs on other brands like Pigeon/Butterfly/Preethi.Thanks

    • Dear Prema,

      unfortunately I had not received much user feedback regarding the other brands. I am personally using (rather rarely) a Kanchan brand cooker and it is working well for me.

      HTH

  19. Dear Rajib

    An excellant review. We just got installed a high end Siemens induction stove for an equivalent of 1 lac. INR at our apartment in Denmark. People (Indians) here say it is difficult to make chapatis on it since stove turns off automatically after reaching a certain temperature. We tried making chapatis on a high end inductions friendly frying pan but they did not come out very well. It is also said that induction cooking has a learning curve.
    We are in a desperate situation and are even thinking of changing to a normal electric stove.
    Your help, video, clear instructions would be more than welcome.

    • Dear Rajiv,

      Congrats on your new purchase.

      There is a slight difference in cooking chapatis on the induction stove when compared to gas.

      Unlike gas, induction stove can heat up the frying pan very rapidly (resulting in burn) and cool down very quickly (resulting in raw chapatis). Induction stoves can also turn the magnet off to prevent a burn-out. This happens if the temperature has been set very high and remains high for a long time. On my relatively cheap cooker, a setting of 2000W for 5 minutes results in major over-heat alarms and the cooker turns off for 10 minutes.

      The trick to controlling this would be to keep the induction cooker power setting between 50% – 75% of the max. You will find that the cooker will be able to maintain the temperature more consistently and not be affected by overheating etc. At a lower power setting, cooking food may seem to take a little longer but will result in the food being cooked more evenly and help you figure out the nuances of the cooker. Over a period of time, you will be able to play with the power settings to find the optimum power setting for your type of cooking.

      Also remember that, unlike a microwave, induction cooker allows you to use oil as a cooking medium (no splashing) which in turn results in more even heat distribution (how about a paratha instead of roti) and unlike gas, there is no fire hazard. So it may be worth your while to do a little R&D and figure out what settings work best for you.

      HTH

    • Dear Nitesh,

      I am using the Kanchan brand induction stove. My use if very rare (only when gas runs out) but so far it has been working well. In fact, we carry it with us whenever we go out-of-station. I would suggest that you invest in a brand that give 1 year guarantee and has a repair centre in your city of residence.

      HTH

  20. Dear Rajib,
    Thanks a lot for the excellent write-up and cooking advices on induction cookers.Recently I bought one Prestige Induction Cook-top Model PIC 1.0 for Rs.3595/-with a free gift of a 5litre Induction based Pressure Cooker worth Rs.1260/-(I think PIC is the short-form for Precision Induction Cooktop) and it is working fine.Prestige gives good services too for their home appliances in Cochin.Induction-stove cooking time is very less for all recipes,rice-cooking,chapathi and so on when compared with that of LPG stove.
    see some useful sites in this regard:-
    precisoncooktop.com
    withss.com/price-of-induction-cooker-in-india/
    As you said, over a period of time,we will be able to customize with the power settings to find the optimum power setting and cooking modes for our type of cooking.

  21. Excellent write up Rajib! Can u please guide me good induction cookware. Actually I am looking aot for an induction Pressure Cooker and a pan for chapatis. My search on the net turned up very confusing results. Thanks once again

    • Dear Vijay,

      You are in luck. The induction cooker technology is catching on.

      Recently in my visit to a Prestige showroom, I saw lots of induction compatible cookware. Pressure cookers, Pressure pans, frying pans – all with induction cookware base.
      FYI, the induction cookware base is nothing but a thin iron grill welded to the bottom of the Aluminum cookware.

      While I am gonna be purchasing some of these items in the coming week (15 – 25% discount only till 15-Sep), I already purchase a generic milk-boiler (thin steel vessel with induction base) for just Rs.99/- from Spencers.

      HTH

  22. Dear Mr. Rajib Ghosh.

    We are doing Microwaveoven service for More than Ten years in chennai. we are planning to do service for induction oven . kindly send me the service tips , and circiut diagram of induction oven .

    Thanking you,

    GKM CUSTOMER CARE CENTRE.

    G.K.Mahendran
    Date: 04.10.2011.
    ph: 9791055855, 8056355855

  23. Dear Ghosh saheb,
    A very good tutorial for induction cooker. I am also need one but very confuse about the product to go for. May I know whether Kanchan is avialable at hyderabad.
    Thank you very much

    • Dear Mr. Banerjee,
      I purchased my Kanchan cooker from Mahavir Enterprises, RP Road, Secunderabad.
      It’s not a very popular brand, so you will have to look around a bit.
      Prestige on the other hand has opened many dedicated stores in Hyderabad-Secunderabad and it is aggressively selling the induction stove at these.
      In fact, I recently purchased two Prestige Pressure cookers which are induction cooker compatible (they have a Steel plate welded to the bottom).

      HTH

  24. Dear Rajib
    Thank you very much for the quick response. I have a desire to personally meet you. Is it possible. I am a retired senior citizen.
    and living in east marredpally.
    Thank you
    with regards and shubo vijaya
    t k banerjee

  25. Dear Rajib.
    sorry that was not materilazed. i was there along with my family in keys school on sapatmi and aushtomi. well if you donot want to meet me it is ok.
    wish you a happy deepawali
    t k banerjee

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