Thermador CIT304KB 30-Inch Induction Cooktop Review
Unleash the power of induction
Even professional chefs are fans of induction, a cooking technology that uses magnets to heat pans directly instead of transferring heat via a flame.
It's true that Americans have been wary of giving up on gas ("Will induction work with my pots?!"), but they shouldn't be. Induction offers quick response, rapid boiling, and precise temperature control. If you've decided you're ready to take the plunge, you should check out the Thermador CIT304KB induction cooktop ($2,499 MSRP).
Pair it with a Thermador wall oven for one of the best cooking packages out there.
Still not sure? Jump over to our Induction 101 Guide, then come on back to the review of this amazing cooktop.
Design & Features
High tech that even a technophobe will appreciate.
For those who want a streamlined, modern kitchen, the built-in Thermador CIT304KB is an unobtrusive cooktop option. With no buttons or knobs, this appliance looks truly two-dimensional when installed. The minimalist design is also simple enough that it won't look dated in a few years.
The Thermador features relatively intuitive controls, with a touch-sensitive number-line from zero to ten, and a power boost feature for one of the burners if you're really in a hurry to boil. While we do feel nostalgic for the easy control of a knob, it would seem garish and inelegant on this flat surface. And anyway, with induction's quick response time, it should be easy to dial in the right temperature.
Along with the standard induction features of pan recognition, a child safety lock, and a keep-warm function, the Thermador CIT304KB has an auto-off timer, plus a boil over prevention setup that turns off the cooktop and sounds an alarm if liquids overflow onto the cooktop. As with most induction cooktops, cleanup is especially quick and easy since the surface never really gets hot.
If you want a truly frameless design that swaps the CIT304KB's stainless trim for an all-glass look, check out the CIT304KBB. It's the same cooktop at the price, but lacks any ornamentation.
It's induction. Need we say more?
There's something incredible about the consistency of induction's superior performance. When we brought the CIT304KB into the lab, we weren't at all surprised by its phenomenal boiling power: it could bring six cups of water to a boil in four and five minutes on the main burners and seven minutes on the smaller burners.
We hear your skepticism: "But that's just slightly faster than the one of the best gas cooktops you've tested!" Well, unlike gas or electric, these burners can turn on a dime, going from a rolling boil to still water in a second or two. We like that level of precise control.
The Thermador CIT304KB produced a wide temperature range conducive to searing and simmering. The Keep Warm temperature—around 112°F in our tests—lets the user melt delicate foods such as chocolate or butter without the help of a double boiler. The upper end wasn't quite as high as we often see from other induction cooktops, but it was as much heat as you'd need for searing or stir-frying: two burners got our test pans to 492°F in just five minutes.
Warranty & Pricing
The more you buy, the more you save
Like nearly all high-end appliance brands, Thermador offers a rebate if you buy a whole kitchen suite. Luckily, the company makes some great dishwashers and wall ovens, so you won't have to worry about a weak link in your lineup.
The whole cooktop gets a limited two-year parts and labor warranty, plus an additional parts-only warranty for defects in the cooktop's glass ceramic surface, electronic elements, and switches that extends another three years beyond the standard warranty.
Bring elegance and performance to your kitchen
With a sleek design and excellent induction performance, the Thermador CIT304KB seems to have come straight out of a high-end European kitchen.
Performance alone doesn't make this a high-end appliance—after all, induction cooktops are all pretty good, regardless of price—but that's where design comes into play. This minimalist cooktop wouldn't look out of place in the most contemporary of kitchens, and it will match any wall oven from Thermador's slick Masterpiece series.
We can't judge whether the Thermador CIT304KB will fit into your personal aesthetic, but we do know it won't disappoint when it comes to cooking. If you're scared of switching to induction, head to a local showroom with working cooktops for a demonstration. We bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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