An honest take on the ups and downs of Bosch induction cooktops by someone who actually owns one (and cooks on it daily).
Last year, my wife and I moved house and decided to try out induction cooking. After much consideration, we ended up getting a 24 x 24 in (60 x 60 cm) Bosch Series 4 induction cooktop, the entry-level one.
I’ve been cooking on it for a while now, and—after giving you my take on induction cooktops as a whole, which turned out to be a favorite among readers—I thought to write this article about Bosch induction cooktops and my overall impressions of mine.
Without further ado, let’s get into it: how good are Bosch induction cooktops?
Bosch cooktops are an efficient and functional choice for any kitchen. Generally, they are in the same price range as the induction cooktops of Café, General, Electric, KitchenAid, and Samsung.
Bosch is a German engineering company that’s been around since its founder, Robert Bosch, created it in 1886. It makes all kinds of products, from glow plugs for diesel cars and spark plugs for gasoline cars to power tools for construction workers and sensors for smart buildings.
But you and I are more interested in the products of its Home Appliances division, which have made a name for themselves as some of the most energy-efficient and well-designed kitchen appliances on the market.
Bosch has been making gas, electric, and induction ranges and hobs for a while now. Generally, Bosch appliances are made in Germany and, for customers in the U.S. and Canada, its plant in North Carolina.
When I equipped my new kitchen, I made a bet on German engineering and Bosch’s aptitude for practicality. So far—and, as always, I will let you know if that changes—my bet has panned out.
What Are the Differences Between the Three Series?
Bosch has three series for its induction cooktops, each offering more bells and whistles than the other:
- The entry-level, 500 Series hobs;
- The mid-range, 800 Series cooktops;
- The high-end, Benchmark Series appliances.
All cooktops come in three sizes, have the same number of cooking zones, and are equipped with a matte-black, glass-ceramic surface.
The 500 Series are frameless. If you go for the 800 Series or Benchmark Series, you have the option to choose between a frameless cooktop and one with a stainless-steel frame.
The 500 Series and 800 Series cooktops have fixed cooking zones. The Benchmark Series cooktops, on the other hand, have flexible cooking zones that allow you to place your cookware wherever you want.
The 800 Series and Benchmark Series cooktops are equipped with Wi-Fi and Bosch’s HomeConnect feature, which lets you connect your cooktop to the HomeConnect mobile app to turn cooking zones on/off or turn the heat on them down/up remotely.
Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of “smart” appliances and, if I need to control my cooktop from my phone, I’m approaching the whole concept of cooking—a hands-on, down-to-earth activity—wrong.
Flexible cooking zones are nice and all, but only if you have a *really* diverse cookware collection at home. Once again, I’m kind of a boring guy here. I have 8, 10, and 12-inch skillets, a saucepan or two, a couple of baking sheets, and a pizza steel.
So, instead of getting the highest-end cooktop with plenty of features that I’ll never use, I chose to save some money and opt for the simpler, no-frills 500 Series. Your case may or may not be different.
What Sizes Do Bosch Cooktops Come In?
The German company’s induction cooktops come in three sizes:
Bosch’s 24-inch cooktops have three cooking zones, operate at a frequency of 60 Hz, and consume 6,240 W of power. These compact, 24-inch cooktops are ideal for singles and couples or small kitchens in tight apartments.
Bosch’s 30-inch cooktops have four cooking zones, operate at a frequency of 60 Hz, and consume between 6,240 W and 7,200 W of power. These medium-sized, 30-inch cooktops are best for households of three to four persons.
Bosch’s 36-inch cooktops have five cooking zones, operate at a frequency of 60 Hz, and consume between 6,240 W and 9,360 W of power. The large, 36-inch cooktops for large families and those who often feed a crowd.
I went for the 24-inch one because I rarely need to cook in two skillets on the stove despite being a food blogger. For this size, I could only get the 500 Series cooktop (had I gotten a 30-inch cooktop, I probably would have paid a little more to get an 800-Series model).
Even at my busiest moments in the kitchen, you’ll see me simmering sauce in the pan, boiling pasta in a pot, and boiling an egg or two as a side dish. Plus, when I’m having friends and family over, I can always put the outside grill or the broiler on my wall oven (which is also Bosch, as a side note) to work.
When picking the size for your induction cooktop, I advise you to do the same. Think about the biggest, bulkiest pieces of cookware that you use on a daily basis, then select an appliance with enough cooking zones (and of the right diameter) to satisfy your home cooking needs.
Pros and Cons of Bosch Induction Cooktops
There’s no doubt that Bosch induction cooktops are well-built. Made from high-quality materials on the inside and out, they have that same premium feel to them that you get when driving a higher-end German car, like a BMW or Mercedes.
The controls respond well to the touch, and they’re programmed to take a second or two so that they don’t change by mistake every time you get your fingers close to the control panel of the cooktop. The child lock is bulletproof; it takes an intentional four to five seconds to lock/unlock.
These cooktops are highly efficient.
For example, if you use the PowerBoost setting, which lets you crank up the heat to the absolute maximum, you can bring a liter of cold water to a full boil in two to three minutes.
Coming in from a radiant electric cooktop, I had to teach myself to use much lower heat when cooking on induction. Happily, the owner’s manual provided a good list of optimal settings for most cooking methods, so I didn’t have to figure everything out on my own.
The maximum setting for any cooking zone on the 500 Series cooktops is 9. I set it this high only when I’m bringing water to a boil (and, as soon as it’s there, I reduce it to 7 or 8 to keep it from boiling over). When searing and pan-frying, I typically use 4½ to 5½, or roughly 50% to 60% of the appliance’s power.
Of course, one thing to keep in mind when switching to an induction cooktop, no matter the make and model, is the fact that they only work with ferromagnetic pans and pots.
To put it simply, unless a magnet sticks to the bottom of your cooking vessels—and stays there—you may need to throw them in the bin and get yourself a brand new set. Keep that in mind, as it can set you back an otherwise unforeseen few hundred dollars.
The matte-black glass-ceramic surface is thick and dense, and it won’t scratch easily. I’ve had a couple of heart-attack moments where a heavy pot full of water has slipped through my hands and fallen on the cooktop. I’m glad to report that, so far, it’s been idiot-proof!
All induction cooktops are noisy, and those made by Bosch are no exception. That noise typically comes from your cookware—and not the appliance itself—and it’s not a cause of concern or a sign of a problem. Curiously enough, the noise that my stainless steel cookware makes resembles that of an airplane at a cruising altitude.
Other than turning down the heat, which isn’t always an option, especially when you’re searing steak, you don’t have that many ways to reduce the humming and/or buzzing noise. It annoyed me at the beginning but, over time, I somehow managed to get accustomed to it.
Warranty and Customer Service
Bosch cooktops have a 1-year warranty for customers in the United States and a 2-year warranty for customers in member states of the European Union. The terms and conditions are generally comparable to those of Bosch’s competitors.
When buying one, don’t forget that the right store is as important as the right brand.
A good retailer can give you a discount, especially if you buy equipment for your entire kitchen from them. And they can help you muscle manufacturers into covering a defect for you, especially when it’s a grey area in the terms and conditions.
They also work with reliable installation and maintenance crews. Some offer an additional three- to five-year warranty after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, which is always a plus.