Based on the P965 with the central fish burner
Looking for a high quality cook-top with professional looks and Italian flare?
As you can see it realy looks a serious appliance. It's certainly no shrinking violet and the industrial styling commads attention. Detail like the turned alloy style knobs, sturdy cast trivets and brass drilled burner rings realy make it stand out. The stainless steel is in a polished finish that's brighter than most cook-tops and it all combines well. So it looks great, but lets get cooking.
In use the professional burner realy shines with its output above most competitors. The heat is spread evenly over a wide area making it great for searing using a heavy based stainless steel or cast iron pan. It's also good for a mid sized wok. The smallest burner output is low enough for reducing sauces but not low enough to leave very long unattended. If you do a lot of reducing the model with the central ceramic element would be a better option. I found the fish burner great when coupled with either an alloy or a cast iron griddle with a good even heat. The extra depth allows two 30cm frypans to be used without too much clutter, even with the griddle in use. Anyone thats cooked with 4 burners on the go should love it. The knobs are responsive, progressive and comfortable to use, but those with curious children may want to re-consider since they are angled and right at the front making them accesable to tiny fingers.
When it comes to cleaning the spillage areas are divided into 3 and are very deep. I prefer this in use to one large spillage area as it keeps spills from speading, although its a little harder to wipe down. The seams at the edges of the front panel can be a bit of a dirt trap and so too can the spill trap edges, which are seperately formed and fixed, but not so much as to be an annoyance. The alloy apron or splash guard at the base of the burners are quite wide and flat so they attract splatter and burn on but the brass ring is easy to remove from the assembly making it easy to scrub off. It's good and bad, but certainly not ugly. So far so good, but will it fit in your kitchen?
With installation, this unit is designed to fit between bench-tops. If it's straddling cabinets it may require some additional bracing to achieve the recommended weight bearing. There was no real instruction on how to mount the unit but the support from the distributor is prompt and helpful, at least via e-mail correspondance. It's also worth noting that its recommended to have it fitted with solid copper pipe rather than the commonly used flexable braided hoses. All in all if you'll be calling on trades to install it, factor in some extra dollars.
It's quite a weighty unit and the build quality on the whole is great. The knobs do only have plastic fittings under their metal skin so could break with a solid knock, but the angled front panel keeps them away from harm and heat. the cast iron trivets are very solid, weighty and most importantly stable. You wont have any 'My kitchen Rules' moments of pans tipping over on unstable trivets, but they are heavy to move when its due for a wipedown.
The flame failure sensors need to run in and initially take 10 seconds or more to ingnite. Once thats passed it'll only take a few seconds, but be prepared for some initial wrist testing pressing in on the knobs.
Being an imported premium cook-top any genuine ILVE parts also attract a premium price. The cast iron griddle or tepenyaki plate run to several hundred dollars each and I expect the same if repair parts are required in future.
In summary I'm very happy with the performance, build and especially the styling of this unit. I'd consider the asking price to be steep and a good part of the price is in the name. That said, most cook-tops only offer some, but not all of the advantages this does. A solid purchase for anyone that enjoys cooking with the looks to scare off those that dont.
Cooks looking for alternatives with high output professional burners may like to consider the fairer priced Ariston cook-tops, the bench mounted ILVE options or if on a bigger budget the locally made Highland cooktop
-Large cooking area using close to a full 60cm depth and 90cm width
-Quality appearance and feel
-High output professional burner heats heavy pans fast
-Flat cast iron trivets make moving pans easy without slide or tipping issues
-Nicely angled controls are comfortable and protect the knobs from heat or knock damage
-Knobs whilst looking like turned metal are infact plasic at heart
-Instructions lacking installation detail (possibly came with wrong fitting instructions)
-Being 650 deep and high sided makes it an unfriendly install for an existing kitchen
-Wide splash guard at the base of the burner that invites splatter to bake on
-If you plan on using it to its potential you'll need to invest in a quality range-hood equal to the task
Questions & Answers
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