From Zero to Boil in Half the Time
This 36-in. Bosch 800-series cooktop (NIT8665UC; $2700) is laden with features that make cooking easier, including built-in timers for each element, overflow detection that sounds an alarm and shuts off the cooktop, and AutoChef for frying foods. Using a special pan, this last feature monitors and regulates the temperature inside the pan according to a specific food type.
Bosch’s 500-series midlevel induction cooktops ($1800 for the 30-in. version and $2450 for the 36-in. version) feature almost all the same specifications as the more expensive 800 series, save for the AutoChef function. Unlike gas burners, induction elements are not continuously variable; you choose a set heating level. Like the Gaggenau, the Bosch cooktops have 17 heat levels for greater control.
The highest heating level on most induction cooktops is typically labeled with “boost” appended to an active verb. Called SpeedBoost by Bosch, the setting brings a pot to boil very quickly; Bosch claims to halve the time it would take with a radiant electric burner. These settings work by redirecting some of the power from the other element on the same side of the cooktop. Although it limits the high power setting on the other element, the fast boil time seems like a worthwhile trade-off.