In this induction cooktop review, we learn how induction cooktops have quickly become the go-to for chefs, foodies and family cooks alike. Cooking via induction is the easier, safer way to make all the same delicious recipes that you know and love.
Viking Induction Cooktop Review – VIC5366BST
The Viking Induction Cooktop works by using come pretty cool (induction pun!) physics to heat your pots and pans, without the worry attached to gas and electrical stoves and stove tops. Since there is no flame or heat emitted directly from the cooktop, the risk of fires and burns from stove related incidents is reduced drastically.
Even when a section of the cooktop is activated, only cookware of certain materials will heat up once placed on the section – which means you’re much, much less likely to melt another plastic cutting board that got too close to the heat.
Will I Need New Pots and Pans?
The great thing about induction is that, while you may need to update your cookware arsenal, many everyday cookware companies have items that will work with an induction cooktop – meaning you may already have a kitchen full of induction worthy pots and pans. To test your cookware to see if it is induction ready, just find a refrigerator magnet and see if it attaches to the bottom of your cookware. If it does, your pot will work with induction. If it does not, you will likely need to buy a new induction ready pot.
Viking has made a name for itself by producing rugged and chef-minded kitchen appliances and has obviously built this cooktop to add to that reputation. There isn’t a single piece of plastic or aluminum on this appliance. Everything, from the trim to the knobs is made of solid steel, giving the cooktop a very solid feel. This cooktop was built to take a beating and keep on trucking.
Since the MagneQuick™ Induction Elements system is the star of the show, we’ll begin with an overview of this main feature. MagneQuick™ converts electricity into a magnetic field which, once in contact with your approved pan, reacts to create thermal (heat) energy. The reaction takes place instantaneously, so unlike radiant electric stoves, there is no impatient waiting for your pan to get hot so that you can begin cooking. In fact, a reported learning curve with cooktops is adjusting to how quickly pans heat up – you may burn your onions a couple of times before you’ve quite gotten the hang of it all.
The Viking Induction Cooktop is missing one common feature to most induction hobs, the “boost” feature. Viking uses a Power Management System to figure out which burner you’ve just placed on high and redirect remaining energy to “boost” that burner.
Once you’ve learned, though, induction cooking is a thing of beauty. Easier to clean and certainly time and energy efficient, cooktops also reduce heat transfer losses as you cook; your kitchen won’t turn into a furnace every time you boil rice!
TransMetallic Ceramic What?
The durable TransMetallic™ Ceramic Surface is designed to withstand the scratches and wear that comes as a result of the surface to surface contact needed on a cooktop. Who has time to worry about cracking their cooktop when there’s risotto and Ninja Turtle shaped macaroni and cheese to be made? LED lights, which Viking decided to refer to as CoolLit™, illuminate in-use cooking zones to prevent accidents while cooking.
Speaking of cooking zones, six to be exact, the Power Management System works on any zone to provide heat boosts to boil liquids faster. Which will definitely come in handy for both the above-mentioned risotto and the macaroni and cheese. Cooktop sensors will turn off a zone if a pot or pan is not detected within 60 seconds of zone activation, which isn’t a listed child safety feature, but we’ll go ahead and call it one anyway.
Child-proof knobs also prevent underage meddling, as they are push-to-turn – and we know many adults can’t even figure those out properly, so it’s safe to say the kids will be alright.
This model has also been created with a beveled design on the edges, which allows the cooktop to be mounted in two different configurations: flush or floating. See the cut-out specs for details as this means that your counter-top cut out dimension will determine how your unit will sit in the hole.
Induction cooktops are extremely easy to keep clean, as they can simply be wiped off after use (and even during!). Many users set down paper towels down on the burners before placing their cookware, as it helps to add an extra layer of protection from spills and scratches.
Issues and Customer Complaints
With a current price tag of $4,839, the only more expensive cooktops would be the Thermador Freedom and Gaggenau Vario cooktops. So it had better deliver, both in materials, construction, and function. Now that we’ve sold quite a few of these and have had them functioning in the wild, we know of only one glaring issue:
The polished stainless steel frame around the cooktop is made up of several pieces instead of one large piece, resulting in un-even seams where they come together. Viking representatives claim this is due to the fact that the cooktop is hand-built, but at this price level customers expect perfection. While it isn’t a deal breaker for us, some customers have noted it as disappointing and it is something we would like to see rectified in the future.
With a colossal warranty to match it’s colossal price tag, this redesigned Viking Induction Cooktop is indeed worthy of consideration. Viking’s warranty is currently one of the best in the appliance world, with a 90 day cosmetic warranty that even covers the glass top, a 2 year** warranty on the entire unit, and a 5 year internal warranty on the induction burners and boards. This is serious piece of mind that comes standard with this radical new induction cooktop.
**Editors note: Viking made huge fanfare and marketing in 2011 of their change to having the best manufacturers warranty in the business: a 3 year warranty on all Professional products sold. They went so far as to make a table comparing their warranty with their competitors. This past year Viking very quietly reduced this warranty to 2 years, without any announcement, leaving many consumers confused.
- Solid, rugged build that screams durability
- Knob controls. Knob controls. Knob controls.
- LED lighting is stunning to look at
- Trim work has breaks throughout
- Warranty and quibble policy have all been quietly reduced
- Priced well above its American competitors