Siemens ED631FQB5E hob test: two combinable zones that make the difference
Convenience of use
The means to play the originality card for an induction hob are quite weak. And to make matters worse, fantasy isn’t really Siemens’ forte. The ED631FQB5E hob is therefore very ordinary; black glass, white and square serigraphs to mark the position of the inductors… Nothing but very classic, which has the merit of simplifying handling of the whole. Indeed, we know immediately how to place the utensils so that the power of the fireplaces is exploited in the best possible way.
The fully sensitive control panel on the front is not going to revolutionize the genre either. We find the classic buttons for selecting the zone to be programmed as well as a slider, often less practical than simple “plus” and “minus” keys. However, on the ED631FQB5E, this slider is quite long. In addition, Siemens has provided only nine power levels; it is therefore quite easy to find the desired power without too much trial and error. It should be noted, however, that if this low number of power levels should not handicap the use of the hob on a daily basis, the most demanding chefs may feel limited in their ambitions. Indeed, it will not be possible to adjust the temperature in the utensils as finely as with a plate with more levels, such as the Sauter Gourmand Easy SPI164HSX and its 14 notches.
A few other keys complete the control panel. The one that represents a clock is used to set the timer, an operation that can quickly prove to be painful since the slider is also used to increase or decrease the duration… and it will take a lot of swiping for the most extended durations.
By touching the icon representing two arrows between two parallel bars, you can modify the power of the powerMove mode inductors. Inspired by the chef function of other induction hobs, this cooking method should streamline operations and provide responsiveness. The idea is to preset the inductors to a precise power level and move its pans as needed. Note that this trick comes from great chefs who prefer to move their pans on gas pianos rather than manipulate the knobs of the burners.
The setting of a cooking necessarily begins with the selection of the inductor to be used since Siemens did not see fit to equip the ED631FQB5E with direct access setting keys. Nevertheless, this choice is easily understood, since it greatly simplifies the control panel by limiting the number of keys and other buttons. Good point, however, each cooking zone has a dedicated display that indicates the power used. On the other hand, all the burners use only one display for everything relating to information on duration (timer or cooking time).
The more advanced functions such as pairing or setting the powers of the powerMove mode are not more difficult to master, even if a short reading of the user manual will not be too much for this last function.
However, would the Siemens ED631FQB5E hob have everything to please? Not entirely. Indeed, it still lacks a bit of versatility. Under the glass plate, the four cooking zones are exactly the same, whether in terms of size or power. Therefore, cooks will not be able to adapt and choose a large, powerful fire to quickly boil water for pasta or a small, more limited stove to delicately reduce a sophisticated sauce.
Another surprise of the Siemens ED631FQB5E (and unique case so far), its power cable is not connected to the plate. You must therefore carry out the operation yourself, which is not very reassuring if electrical work is not our hobby. What’s more, an internal hexalobular key device (basically a Torx screwdriver) must be used to tighten the domino in the plate. Note that you will have to perform a similar operation on the other side of the cord to connect a male plug. Nevertheless, the operation is already more usual and the necessary tools are also much more common.
The cooking performance of the ED631FQB5E hob is quite interesting.
Without equaling the fastest models to raise the temperature, it is still relatively fast. In fact, to heat 3 liters of water from 25 to 95°C, it takes just over 5 minutes in boost mode. And to reach the fateful bar of 100°C, you have to wait 1 min 40 s more, for a total duration of 6 min 40 s.
And despite this start on the inductors caps, it nevertheless manages to control low temperatures brilliantly. After two hours of cooking at the lowest power, the temperature in our oil bath barely reached 55°C, the ideal temperature to maintain an ideal texture of melted chocolate to work with.
The thermal images show that the heat is evenly distributed in the pan. It will therefore not be necessary to spend time stirring the hazelnut apples so that the whole pan-fried is cooked in the same way. Similarly, steaks cooked in different parts of the pan should reach the different levels of doneness (rare, rare, medium, etc.) at the same time.
Given the two combinable zones, we expected the Siemens ED631FQB5E at the turn on the homogeneity of temperatures during their use. Unfortunately, the plate of the German manufacturer does not really work miracles and there are big differences in temperature between the hottest areas and the coldest areas. If this does not pose a problem for simmering in a large pot or in the family cast iron casserole, it will be necessary to think of often moving the salmon which cooks in a fishmonger, at the risk of seeing the tail and the head overcooked then that the rest of the body will not be enough. Please note that this is the case for all hotplates offering this feature.
Precise slider for power adjustment.
Perfect control of low powers.
Good temperature uniformity.
Four identical inductors.
Use of the impractical timer (single display, slider, etc.)
Electrical cable to be connected to the plate.