More than seven years ago when I bought my fist induction cooker / cooktop, I wondered why there is such a huge price gap between the cheap single burner induction cooker (price starting from about RMB199 ~ USD30) and the “kitchen-use” double burner units.

Rasonic RIC-GB23 vs Rasonic RA-IC282DBA

When this article is written, RIC-GB23 (2000W) is the cheapest model in the current lineup of Rasonic induction cooker – a Hong Kong brand so it is probably not sold elsewhere.  However, given its low price it should be representative of other cheap induction cookers.

RA-IC282DBA (2800W) is an old “kitchen-use” model.  Its price was about 8 times the current RIC-GB23.  It has double burners to share the 2800W – a single burner can use up to a maximum of 2200W, leaving only 600W to the other burner in this scenario.  The price is far more than buying two RIC-GB23.  So there must be something else right?  The obvious difference is that the RA-IC282DBA has high quality glass, and has a metal chassis.  The cheap RIC-GB23 is full of plastic, as with any other cheap induction cooker.

Glass and metal chassis still cannot account for such a huge price gap though.  I hope that the construction or components of a “kitchen-use” model should be better.  However, I cannot assess this aspect.  In a local forum, people opened up other local brands of double burner induction cookers, and found that they are simply rebranded from another OEM, and are still using cheap components despite the high costs and pretty glass.

The only aspect remaining that may justify the price difference is the actual power output.  It is well known that cheap induction cookers are not good for cooking Chinese food, because high power is required for good results in Cantonese cuisine.  So perhaps a cheap induction cooker is less efficient than a high price unit?  In my test of boiling 2 liters of water, I found that RA-IC282DBA requires 20% less time than the RIC-GB23.  This is an underwhelming result, because 10% of it comes from the extra 200W delivered by the RA-IC282DBA against the RIC-GB23.  For such a price premium I did not get much higher efficiency.

Rasonic RIC-GB23 vs Panasonic KY-A227D

When the rarely used RA-IC282DBA broke down, I replaced it with a Panasonic KY-A227D (2800W) – Made in Japan.  Although it is far more expensive than other brands it is well known Panasonic makes the best induction cookers, at least among the brands locally available and excluding a certain luxurious brand that is insanely expensive.

Performing the test of boiling 2 liters of water, KY-A227D takes 50% less time than the RIC-GB23.  It should be noted that, however, KY-A227D delivers full 2800W with a single burner when the other is not used, at 12 times the price of RIC-GB23.