Avantco IC3500 Question

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Bassman2003

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Hello,

I am thinking of picking one of these up after reading an Amazon review for a different brand of induction burner. The other brand apparently does not do well at lower wattages. Some chefs said the unit basically just runs at full power but cycles on and off when you have the power turned down. I am looking to limit thermal load an run my boil at medum/low wattage.

Does anybody know if the Avantco IC3500 handles lower watt settings any differently or the same? Thanks!
 

Red over White

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Hello,

I am thinking of picking one of these up after reading an Amazon review for a different brand of induction burner. The other brand apparently does not do well at lower wattages. Some chefs said the unit basically just runs at full power but cycles on and off when you have the power turned down. I am looking to limit thermal load an run my boil at medum/low wattage.

Does anybody know if the Avantco IC3500 handles lower watt settings any differently or the same? Thanks!

I can't verify the wattage applied between cycles, but I can say I'm very happy with the unit. I used to use it to step mash with my mashtun and it could give a 1 to 4 °F rise per minute for me while mashing 10 gallon batches with no issues.
 

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I am not sure if this helps but this burner apparently can run in "wattage" mode or "temperature" mode. So I am assuming, that if in temperature mode, it would cycle on full power and cycle off as needed, but in wattage mode, you could put it as low as you can while maintaining the boil vigor you want. Just curious as I know you have the anvil foundry (as I do as well), but I run it at 85% for the boil and you can clearly see the "cycles" with the boil vigor on the surface. Even though the anvil appears to cycle on/off at full power depending on the % power you select, do you think that if you could maintain a boil at say 75% power, it would lower the thermal load as you are looking for? Myself Im still unsure on what contributes to the thermal load more: constant low(er) wattage or intermittent full wattage. My feeling is that if both were to produce a simmer-type boil it wouldn't matter. But does it?

EDIT: Im using 240V so my %s will be different compared to 120V.

 

IslandLizard

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AFAIK, all induction units cycle (at full) power, simulating lower power. None deliver continuous power at reduced level. So it's time on and time off cycles that effectively deliver partial power.

The temp sensor is spring loaded right underneath the center of the glass plate (embedded in a dab of thermal paste). In "temp mode" it measures the temp in that place.

To keep a full 8 gallon kettle, that was already brought to a boil, on a slow simmer I set it to 170F or 180F. It rather pulses at full power for short times (bursts) simulating a simmer, it's not continuously applied at a lower power level.
 
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Bassman2003

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Thanks for your replies. I do still have a Foundry but came across a deal on a boil kettle, so I will be using the Foundry just for mashing and holding my chiller water. Since all induction burners work by shutting off, I may go for the lower cost unit. It is still a 3500w 220v burner but more of a lesser known brand/import etc... I will just use the watt mode and find a setting to match the evaporation rate I am after. I run the Foundry in 220v mode and conduct my boils at 65% while using a lid with a pie opening cut to let the steam escape. This results in about 1/2 gallon of boil off for a 5 gallon batch.

I am switching for a couple of reasons. I run my mash into a separate vessel, clean out the Foundry then run the wort back into the foundry for boiling. With a separate pot I can run the mash to it and start the boil straight away. Also, due to the smallish diameter of the Foundry, I find I have a tough time getting above the trub/hop line when transferring to the fermenter. Even with the spigot turned up. I hope a larger diameter pot will help with this. Something new to tinker with although I am kicking myself for selling an induction burner when I moved to the Foundry...
 
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Bassman2003

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Bassman2003

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Do you know if this unit is a problem or not? All of these hobs seem to be hit or miss or have issues fairly easily.
 

IslandLizard

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It looks very good, similar to the IC3500.
That's not the brand/unit that got a bad review here, I was referring to.

Controlling power/heat with ("only") 10 settings should not be an issue for brewing. Once it boils I turn mine down to 2700 or 2900W level.
This unit has 2 fans, the IC3500 has one. I do have to clean and lubricate that fan on one of my 2 IC3500s every year or so (it starts to surge or rattle). Now that unit gets used pretty much daily for other cooking duties.

It's indeed a good price, and there's even an additional $30 off coupon, which makes it even more lucrative:
Coupons available for this offer:
Save $30 on 26ICB
Save $30.00 with this coupon. Discount at checkout.
At $149, that certainly makes it a winner too.

BTW, the IC3500 was offered at $159 at Webstaurant.com for a brief period when they came back for sale after the pandemic fall-out. I wish I had gotten a 3rd one, certainly at that price, just in case. ;)
 

IslandLizard

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Do you know if this unit is a problem or not? All of these hobs seem to be hit or miss or have issues fairly easily.
I think the problematic one had a Chinese sounding name or emblem. I'll do a search...
Mind, most of these induction units come from China, but Avantco has a whole line of other kitchen equipment too.

Webstaurant.com sells a Garland Induction burner, looking similar to these. The price is 10x that of the IC3500. 😲 😲
I used to do work for Garland Industries, but I can't see that unit being worth anywhere near that price.
 
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Bassman2003

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Thanks for your help! I purchased it from Ebay as it was $10 cheaper but added a 2 year Square Trade protection plan for $8.99 So it was $1 less with 2 years coverage.
 

IslandLizard

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Here's the thread on the problematic one I referred to earlier:

It was a 5000W unit sold on Amazon under the brand name Warmfod or Warmford.

Now 5000W is really nice to have, but over the years I've seen other reports (not just here) on issues with those higher wattage ones.

The (3500W ones, IIRC) with reported issues, sold under Chinese sounding names and descriptions, were Mai Cook or something like that.

I've owned my first IC3500 since 2013, the unit which has been used most often, and is the one with the problematic fan. It also blew its fuse a few years ago, with no apparent cause. I replaced the fuse, with no recurrence since. Over the years, I've taken both IC3500s apart to clean, removing caked-on dust inside, mostly.
 
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Bassman2003

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Thanks. I will only be using this for brewing so my hope is that it will get through the first few years with a safety net. After that I will know how it behaves and maybe do some maintenance like you have. I only brew so many times a year so the thing will have a pretty easy life!
 

IslandLizard

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Thanks. I will only be using this for brewing so my hope is that it will get through the first few years with a safety net. After that I will know how it behaves and maybe do some maintenance like you have. I only brew so many times a year so the thing will have a pretty easy life!
With only incidental use, 2 hours for brewing every few weeks, you may never see any issues or appreciative dust accumulation. Mine gets used 5-10 hours a week on average. Like making 8 gallons of stock, slowly simmering for 6-8 hours.
 
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Bassman2003

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Hopefully! Thanks again for helping me make a decision. I noticed in another post you do pro photography? I have had my own multimedia business for 20 years doing pro video & photography. This hobby often attracts similar folks.
 

IslandLizard

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Hopefully! Thanks again for helping me make a decision.
Sensible reviews were positive, so time will tell. I'm willing to bet, the electronics in those induction plates is fairly similar.
For the first few months I'd use that plate intensely, to reveal any potential issues that may otherwise present themselves after warranty lapses.

If anything, prevent doing greasy cooking (like wokking or frying of any kind) on those units without also using a good overhead or window fan. Since these are countertop units chances are there's no fan anywhere nearby. So the cooling fan(s) underneath will act as a downdraft ventilator, sucking lots of vaporized grease inside the unit. Combined with dust being sucked in, it gets plugged up in there much faster and heavier. I speak from experience.

I do use mine for wokking, making Indian stews, etc. It's marvelous! My cast iron wok has a flat bottom on the outside, and rests on six 1/8" thick silicone washers to protect the glass plate. Works like a charm, except for the grease build up inside over time. ;)
 

IslandLizard

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I noticed in another post you do pro photography?
Yes, I used to, mostly during the "end" of the film era, 1987-2004. I had my own darkroom/lab. I combined it with digital technology as that became available, but got out of it around 2006.

I have had my own multimedia business for 20 years doing pro video & photography.
Big kudos to you!
 

IslandLizard

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Well, not exactly the beginning of the digital era but at the end of the film era is what I meant to say!
Although the haydays of film and prints are long past, there's still a niche for image acquisition on film. Medium or large format seems to be the medium of choice, and mostly by artists and (serious) amateurs. They may even process their own film, but very few make wet prints anymore, which may very well become a lost art, eventually. Most seem to scan the processed film, then electronically edit and produce images for viewing, and prints from there.

That's how photography has evolved, and rather quickly.
 
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