An induction system uses neither thermal conduction or direct flame to heat cookware but instead heats cookware electrically through magnetic induction (hence its name). Due to their increased popularity, many appliance manufacturers have created multiple induction cooktop lines, with each line vying for the top spot among consumers.
Two major appliance companies, Miele and Wolf, have released 36” inch induction cooktops that seem relatively similar in style and function – but are they really? While both units are the same size and have the same number of rings/burners, each unit comes with its own list of separate pros and cons.
So, between the Miele KM 6370 and the Wolf CI365T/S induction cooktop units available, which one is worth your hard earned dollars?
Before we do a quick compare and contrast between products, let’s introduce both cooktops and lay out some product specific elements for each model.
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Miele Induction Cooktop – KM6370
Miele’s induction cooktop is a 5-ring model with EasyClean ceramic glass and an impressive spread of safety features. Two of the five rings available are PowerFlex capable, with two connected rings combining into one zone (9 x 15’’) when the PowerFlex setting is activated. This feature is said to be intended for use with larger cookware as it enables heating of more significantly sized pots and pans ‘quickly and easily’ (as per the website).
The Miele KM 6370 also has a keeping warm function which allows you to maintain a low heat temperature to prevent burning or overcooking on dishes that are not yet ready to be served – perfect for multi-dish meal preparation. In this same vein, there is a Stop&Go setting, which automatically sets the desired zone to level one power with the ability to return the zone to its previous power setting simply by touching another button.
This setting comes in handy when it becomes necessary to step away from the cooktop briefly, although no longer than a few minutes is recommended, helping to avoid the need to turn off the burner or remove the pan from the heat while away.
Wolf Induction Cooktop – CI365T/S
The 36″ Wolf induction cooktop also comes outfitted with 5 elements, four separate medium-sized elements, and one large element. However, this model is designed with five zone bridging options, giving the consumer, in all, 10 different cooking configurations to choose from with a possible cooking zone area of 17″ x 17″.
This feature is perfect for kitchens where a larger cookware tool such as a griddle or a grill is used frequently – even providing enough space for use of these items on the cooktop at the same time.
Melting chocolate for desserts? Cheese for fondue? Wolf even has a setting for that. The impressive ‘melt’ feature turns the power level on one burner to the perfect temperature needed to melt (and not burn!) foods and to keep them at melting temperatures for as long as the setting is engaged. Need to keep a dish at a low heat for a long period of time? Use the ‘true simmer’ feature to maintain a low simmer temperature, perfect for use when making soups or stews that require low heat over a long period of time.
Both models are equipped with ceramic surfaces that are designed and manufactured to prevent scratching and scraping and to reduce the effects of general wear and tear.
Black in color, the Wolf and the Miele both boast sleek, simple designs and allow for seamless flush-mounted installation onto countertops. Each unit allows for standalone installation, independent of an oven, giving consumers additional flexibility when planning their kitchen areas.
Standard induction cooktops are made with cookware detecting abilities, meaning that once a pan is placed on a ring there is automatic size detection. The main aesthetic design difference?
The Miele KM 6370 contains zones of different sizes – the smallest detection area is around 6″ with the largest being 9×15″ (when the two elements combine to create the PowerFlex zone as mentioned earlier).
Wolf’s CI365T/S design leaves each element separate from each other – there are four distinct 8″ rings with the largest ring being 10.5″. Both sets of 8″ rings can be bridged together, and when bridge mode is activated, the controls of one will automatically sync to the other.
We found the Wolf’s control panel to be the easiest to use, both in it’s speed and finger touch accuracy.
There are at least five major safety features on the KM 6370 – including overheating protection and a safety turn off feature.
A residual heat indicator alerts users to prevent injuries from areas that are still hot to the touch and to prevent accidental burning of non-heat resistant items. Both units have a control lock or safety lock feature that allows the cooktop to be locked until the setting is disengaged.
This is especially useful for households with children as it prevents accidental or unauthorized activation of the cooktop. As with all induction cooktops, neither unit can be used without the appropriate cookware, which helps prevent damage through misuse of the units.
This feature speaks to an innate safety feature of all induction cooktops – only specific cookware (generally cast iron or magnetic stainless steel) can react with the magnetic coils used in induction technology. Relatively speaking, both models carry standard safety features, however, Miele marketing of these features definitely comes out on top.
Speed and Performance
Another commonality between the units is their ability to redirect power from other burners to ‘power boost’ a capable burner in use. This is a standard feature among induction cooktops, however, this setting is often only available on one burner at a time (and sometimes only available on a single burner or ring on the cooktop), with power being pulled from one other burner for additional power.
Straying from the norm, the Miele induction cooktop can pull from two burners at once (the 9″ x 15″ PowerFlex bridge burner) providing an incredible 7,700 watts of power – over twice the 3,700 highest wattage possible on the Wolf induction cooktop. This creates an obvious disparity between the power available from the Miele and the Wolf with the KM 6370 outperforming the Wolf unit on power output and efficiency.
To its credit, unlike the Miele unit, the Wolf CI365T/S has three burners with power boost capabilities versus the two available with the KM 6370.
In addition, the Wolf model uses four small induction coils on each burner, whilst the Miele unit only utilizes one larger coil on each burner.
This allows the Wolf unit to spread heat distribution more evenly in the pans, with each burner able to simmer to a low heat and one burner to a “Melt” setting.
Warranty period is different for each as well, with Wolf besting the Miele in this regard.
The Miele comes with a 1 year Full warranty out of the box, while the Wolf unit comes with a Full 2 year warranty, with a 5 year limited warranty on certain parts thereafter.
Another difference between these two units is their price.
The Miele unit is retailing for $3,399. while the Wolf unit is selling for right around $2,900. So the Wolf model is currently quite a bit cheaper, at $500 savings over the Miele.
Both the Miele and the Wolf units come out on top in different important areas, with Wolf outperforming Miele on exterior design, it’s control surface, and warranty – with Miele besting the Wolf in burner output and more effective safety features.
One common issue with both units (and with touch capacitive glass in general) is their controls are sensitive to moisture and can change settings when they come in contact with water or a wet towel.
Many home chefs like to use a wet towel to pull hot pans out of the oven, and then work them on the cooktop.
When a wet tower rubs across the control surface, it can activate the controls, changing the setting or shutting off the burners – to the chagrin of the chef.
All in all, for us the Wolf’s CI365T/S unit just edges out the KM 6370 in the battle of the induction cooktops, with the biggest deciding factor being the price for performance.
What you get for the money on the Wolf makes it simply one of the best induction deals around in the high-end appliance space.
Verdict: Wolf, by a hair.