GE Profile PHP900SMSS 30-Inch Induction Cooktop Review
Another argument in favor of induction
The GE Profile PHP900SMSS (MSRP $1,899.00) 30-inch cooktop is yet another compelling argument for switching to induction, the innovative cooking method that uses magnets to heat pots and pans. This easy-to-use, upscale built-in blows away (most) of the competition, boiling water in no time flat, but simmering soups and sauces with the gentle warmth of a summer breeze.
With a recommended retail price just shy of $1,900, the PHP900SMSS is a sizable purchase for any homeowner. However, exemplary performance isn't cheap, and fortunately this particular Profile more than justifies it's high price tag.
If you're wondering just what the heck induction is, read our primer here. If you've already settled on an induction cooktop, give this GE a good look.
Design & Usability
Like other appliances that wear the GE Profile badge, the PHP900SMSS features a simple and sleek transitional aesthetic that will fit in both traditional and modern kitchens. It will also fit directly above a matching GE Profile wall oven. A raised stainless edge helps to define the cooktop's borders and contain liquid spills, but it may make cleaning up crumbs more difficult.
Each of the four elements is shaded in a speckled pattern and controlled by responsive touch control buttons. Along with 19 separate temperature settings, the cooktop features a child lock, a light that warns you when burners are on, and a pan presence sensor that will automatically adjust to different cookware sizes. We found the simple plus/minus and on/off controls intuitive.
There's one drawback: The PHP900SMSS lacks a "bridge" burner, which spans the void between two elements so that chefs can cook a large item like a fish. Users of this GE may find a cold spot in the middle if they've got a pan across two burners. KitchenAid's similarly-priced KICU509XBL has a bridge burner, but Electrolux's competitive model does not.
Aside from that raised stainless edge, the total lack of physical buttons and ceramic glass surface make for a cooktop that's absolute breeze to clean. Remember that induction cooktops don't heat up—they just heat up the pans that are on them—so there's less of a chance of burned on stains. If anything does spill, just be sure to avoid any abrasive cleaners and you should be able to maintain the surface's glossy sheen.
Sure, gas flames look cool, but you know what's cooler? Watching a giant pot of water go from cold to boiling in two minutes flat, and seeing that boil instantly stop seconds after turning down the temperature. That's the power of induction cooking, and it's the kind of performance on can expect from the PHP900SMSS. As you may have gathered, all four of this GE's burners had no problem boiling water in under five minutes, and the front right element took just two minutes to boil six cups of water.
With speeds like that, you may have to adjust some well-worn routines. Planning on pealing some potatoes while you wait for the water to boil? Unless you hold a world record for potato peeling, that ain't going to cut it.
The PHP900SMSS also excelled with its wide temperature range. The unit exhibited perfectly cool and stable low temperatures, and because induction is so responsive, it's easy for chefs to keep those temperatures under control. With an average low of 93°F across all four burners, you'll be able to melt chocolate with confidence. When looking at high heats, we recorded a maximum temperature of 544°F from the pan on the right rear element, while the remaining burners maxed out at between 495°F-501°F. These aren't the hottest pan temperatures we have seen, but they will more than suffice for searing steaks.
Why We Love It
A worthy addition to any kitchen
Over and over, our lab tests have proven that induction really is the cooking technology of the future. If you don't believe us, we'll ask you a few simple questions: Do you want almost-instantaneous boiling speeds? Do you want immediate temperature control? Do you want a cooktop that's as capable searing steak and melting chocolate?
If you answered "Yes" to any of those questions, you should get an induction cooktop, and the GE Profile PHP900SMSS should be on your short list. It's an excellent choice for anyone looking for an upscale cooktop with great performance and looks to match.
The PHP900SMSS may not be the cheapest induction cooktop we've tested—that honor goes to the KitchenAid KICU509XBL, which slightly edged out the GE in cook tests, has a bridge burner, and sells for about $200 less on sale. However, the PHP900SMSS will match the look of other GE Profile appliances and fit over a GE Profile wall oven. If yours is a GE kitchen, this is the induction cooktop for you.
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