The Sauter Gourmand Easy SPI164HSX induction hob offers a unique blend of technology and convenience, setting it apart in the market with its temperature probe and automatic cooking programs.
|Residual Heat Indicator(s)
|Heater surface material
|Ceramic, Ceramic glass
|52D x 60W x 5.5H centimeters
Induction cooktops, despite their technological prowess, can be somewhat challenging to master due to the absence of visual cues like gas flames or glowing heating elements. This is where the Sauter Gourmand Easy SPI164HSX comes into play, featuring a temperature probe as a game-changing accessory.
This innovative addition not only simplifies cooking but also enables automatic cooking programs. Users can effortlessly select their desired cooking outcome, and the hob will autonomously manage the induction power. For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, manual control remains accessible, allowing modulation of the plate’s 7400-watt power across 14 levels. With four cooking zones and the Horizone system for combining zones, all of this comes at an introductory price of €900.
The Sauter Gourmand Easy SPI164HSX maintains the aesthetics of its predecessors, with a sleek black design. It uses circles on the right side to assist users in positioning their cookware, a more effective method than the lines or crosses found on some other models. On the left side, squares indicate the presence of the inductor pairing system. Regardless of whether you’re using circles or squares, placing your cookware is straightforward.
The control panel, situated on the front of the hob, may appear complex at first glance. It is divided into two distinct sections: the left side is for manual control of the SPI164HSX, while the buttons on the right facilitate control via the temperature probe.
Operating in manual mode poses no issues for those familiar with this type of product. Start by turning on the hob with the button conveniently located at the front-left. Just behind it, a small padlock symbolizes the control lock button, preventing accidental adjustments, especially during cleaning or inquisitive hands.
To set up cooking, select the inductor(s) to use using the diagram representing the four cooking zones on the hob. Activate the Horizone system by touching the long icon near the four circles. Once the zone is chosen, simply pick from the 14 power levels using the “+” and “-” buttons, and cooking commences. While direct access settings could have improved responsiveness, Sauter has provided shortcut keys for soft, lively, and boost settings, corresponding to power levels 6, 10, and boost, respectively.
Setting a cooking time follows a similar logic and requires specifying the relevant zone before adjustment. Sauter offers a generous adjustment range, extending up to 8 hours of operation. However, precise timing to the minute is only possible up to 99 minutes, with increments shifting by the hour beyond this duration.
Controls related to the temperature probe are situated to the right of the digital segment displays. After a straightforward connection process, users can monitor the temperature directly on the hob. Automatic programs such as melt, sous-vide, reheat, simmer, boil, sear, and fry can be initiated, with the probe immersed in the food. Cooking halts once the manufacturer’s preset temperature is reached, with users having some flexibility to adjust this temperature within a small margin.
An expert mode grants users the freedom to set their desired temperature (ranging from 40°C to 180°C) down to the degree. Preliminary tests in both expert and automatic modes yielded positive results, demonstrating straightforward configuration and temperature accuracy.
The Sauter Gourmand Easy SPI164HSX impresses with its cooking performance. Like other Sauter hobs, it quickly reaches high temperatures. In our test, it took less than 6 minutes (5 minutes and 50 seconds, to be precise) to elevate 3 liters of water from 25°C to 95°C in boost mode. To reach the desired 100°C, an additional minute was required. While not the fastest, it demonstrates notable efficiency in this regard.
Furthermore, it exhibits endurance. During a two-hour test at the minimum power setting on the lowest heat, the temperature never exceeded 49°C, nearly an ideal temperature (55°C) for maintaining the perfect texture for melted chocolate. We repeated this test with the “melt” function and obtained equally impressive results.
Thermal imaging reveals even temperature distribution within cookware when using the large inductor. This means less frequent stirring is required for even cooking, regardless of the utensil’s placement in the pan. However, when using the small inductor, heat distribution in larger cookware is less even, necessitating careful consideration of utensil size.
Using the twin zone requires more caution, as the thermal footprint of the inductors is evident. Areas near the inductors become very hot, while more distant regions remain cool. Frequent stirring or moving of food is essential to prevent uneven cooking. Failure to do so could result in overcooked sections in some parts while leaving others almost raw.
Notably, the Gourmand Easy SPI164HSX maintains consistent power, a rarity among induction cooktops that often alternate between operation and complete stops to simulate intermediate power levels.
In our speed test, the Sauter Gourmand Easy SPI164HSX consumed 0.41 kWh, aligning with the average consumption of other induction hobs in our comparison for the same exercise.
When pushed to its limits, the SPI164HSX delivers 7170 watts, accommodating the use of two left inductors in boost mode alongside two right inductors at maximum power. Chefs will appreciate this high-temperature capability without any limitations.
Induction cooktops typically generate minimal noise. At power level 8 (enabling temperatures to reach 230°C within cookware), the sound level reaches 40 dB(A) and briefly peaks at 41 dB(A) when boost mode is activated. Conversations, even whispers, won’t be drowned out by this noise level.
In summary, the Sauter Gourmand Easy SPI164HSX induction hob presents a compelling package, with only a minor drawback related to its pairing function’s uniform temperature distribution. However, it boasts several features that make it an appealing choice. The temperature probe is a standout feature, making it suitable for both novice and experienced chefs. The availability of 14 power levels ensures precise temperature control, a welcome addition for culinary enthusiasts.
One of its notable strengths is the ability to maintain a stable power output, a feature that few competitors can match. This ensures consistent cooking results, regardless of the chosen setting. Additionally, the SPI164HSX’s cooking performance is commendable, with quick heating times and the capacity to maintain precise temperatures for tasks like melting chocolate.
Energy consumption aligns with industry standards, and the hob can reach high temperatures swiftly, meeting the demands of cooking at various levels of intensity. Importantly, noise levels remain low, not interfering with conversations or kitchen activities.
In conclusion, the Sauter Gourmand Easy SPI164HSX induction hob offers a compelling combination of innovative features and high performance, making it a valuable addition to any kitchen.
- Versatile and well-operated temperature probe.
- Fourteen power levels.
- Stable power.
- Intimidating control panel.
- Temperature disparity in twin mode.