Thermador Induction Cooktop Review: 36-inch CIT365KM

This Thermador induction cooktop review is for the 36-inch CIT365KM model induction cooktop. This is a 36-inch, 5-burner, mirror-surfaced cooktop with great functionality for the modern kitchen. It's also a really great-looking cooktop.

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Thermador CIT365KM 36 inch Induction Cooktop.

At a Glance

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In addition to its show-stopping looks, the Thermador induction cooktop CIT365KM has ​a number of great features, including:

  • ​5 burners including a massive 13-inch, 4600 Watt burner--the most powerful induction burner on the market
  • Power boost on all 5 burners (usable on two at a time)
  • Triple Zone burners automatically adjust to three different pan sizes
  • Warming feature--great for low temp items too, like chocolate
  • Spill detection shuts off burner and sounds alarm
  • Auto shutoff timer on all burners
  • Pan recognition: Burner won't come on if non-pan objects are placed on cooktop, even if they are magnetic
  • 2-level residual heat indicators
  • Child safety lock
  • Blue-light illumination controls.

Thermador is known for making high-end, luxury kitchen appliances, and this cooktop has one of the best ratings of all the Thermador induction cooktops. It is Rational Kitchen's favorite pick for a luxury cooktop.

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Is Thermador a Reliable Brand?

If Thermador were an automobile company, they would be Mercedes. Not so much because they make a luxury product (although they do), but because they are innovators in the kitchen appliance industry. Thermador was the first company to make wall ovens, warming drawers, self-cleaning ovens, pro-ranges for home cooks, smooth cooktops, and a retractable ventilation system, among other innovations. They are pioneers in home cooking technology.

The Thermador brand is probably most well-known for being the brand used by Julia Child on her long-running The French Chef series on PBS. ​

Julia Child - Thermador Induction Cooktop Review

Julia Child's co-star on The French Chef was her Thermador range.

Thermador was purchased by BGH in 1998, which also owns Bosch and Gaggenau and is the world's third largest appliance manufacturer. The Thermador induction cooktops contain Bosch induction elements.​

Is Thermador a reliable brand? Yes, very much so (despite some of the horror stories you'll read online). 

Even so, we recommend, as we recommend for all your major purchases, that you get an extended warranty and make sure you have a certified Thermador service technician in your area. If you take these precautions, you should be covered even if you get unlucky and get a lemon--which can happen with any brand of appliance.

For more information, check out our articles How to Buy Online and Can You Trust Amazon Reviews?

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What Is Induction Cooking?

Induction burners work on a completely different technology than conventional electric cooktops. Induction burners are electromagnets: they are made with a coil of copper wire that, when alternating current is passed through it, creates a magnetic field.

This field does not, in itself, generate heat. Rather, heat is generated by the attraction between the ferrous metal in the cookware and the alternating current in the element. In other words, the magnetic cookware induces heat (and yes, this is where the term “induction” originates).

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The electromagnet inside an induction burner (from Wikipedia).

The really amazing thing to understand about this is that it is the pot, not the stove, that does the cooking. Remove the pot and the magnetic flow--and thus the heat--stops instantaneously. The overall result of this is cooler, more efficient, and safer cooking.

Induction cooking is faster, more responsive, and more precise than gas cooking. It is also safer, and because they don't get overly hot, induction cooktops are also easy to keep clean.

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Using Induction Cookware

Because induction operates by magnetism, you must have magnetic (ferrous) cookware in order to use your induction cooktop. Both cast iron and tri-ply clad stainless with a ferrous exterior work well. I recommend the clad stainless; because induction heats so fast, having pans that distribute heat evenly is important, and tri-ply stainless does this very well. For more information, check out the Rational Kitchen's Guide to Induction Cookware.

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Induction compatible tri-ply clad stainless is ideal for induction cooking.

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Thermador CIT365KM Operation

The CIT365KM, like all other Thermador induction cooktops, is operated with an electronic touchpad. It sits in the front center of the cooktop and is easy and intuitive to figure out:


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Thermador CIT365KM controls.

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Thermador CIT365KM burner configuration.

Thermador calls their control pad the “2-Step Digital Touch” panel. In the control panel image above (left), the 5 circles correspond to the burners, and the numbers along the bottom are the settings (half-steps between the numbers add up to a total of 17 settings).

To operate the cooktop:

1) Touch the circle on the control panel representing the burner you want to use.

2) Select a setting from the number line below.

Additionally, you can lock the setting so it won't change, and use the timer, which is settable for each burner.

It's great that there's no need to scroll through to a setting because they're all laid out in front of you. One-touch controls would be better, but this is pretty good.

No electronically controlled cooktop is going to be as fast and easy to control as one with manual dials. This Thermador induction cooktop takes several seconds to power on. Thus, you may have a learning curve getting accustomed to how this cooktop responds. It's fairly easy, though, compared to other interfaces that have +/- keys and a menu you have to scroll through.

About the lock feature: Cooktops with touch controls under the glass surface are sensitive to moisture, which can inadvertently change burner settings. Using the lock feature will prevent this from happening.

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Specifications for Thermador CIT365KM Induction Cooktop

Design

The Thermador induction cooktop CIT365KM is a stunning, futuristic mirrored silver color. (If you click the appliancesconnection.com link, you will see other color options, as well.) It is designed to fit seamlessly into a modern stainless steel kitchen. The burners are laid out logically as well as attractively: the gigantic 13-inch burner is in the center, with the others in each corner, forming an "H" around the controls. This allows for easy reach to all pots.

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Cooktop Surface Size (in.): 37 x 21.25

Burner Size (in.): 13, 9, 7, 7, 6

Control Location/Type: Trapezoidal pad at front center of unit, offset in black. Blue LED display.

Shipping Weight (lb): 75.

Power​

The total amount of power this cooktop pulls is 11,100 watts--but the real story is in the power-per-burner. The largest burner draws a monstrous 4600W--this is above the industry average, which is around 3,800W.

Each burner has 17 power settings for extremely precise control. Here are the stats for each burner on normal and power boost:

13"--3300/4600W

9"--2200/3700W

7"--1800/2500W (for both)

6"--1400/1400.

Burner

Normal Max Output (W)

Power Boost Max Output (W)

No. of Heat

Settings

13-inch

3300

4600

17

9-inch

2200

3700

17

7-inch

1800 for both

2500 for both

17

6-inch

1400

1400

17

13": 3300/4600W

9": 2200/3700W

7": 1800/2500 (for both)

6": 1400/1400.

As you can see, this is an incredibly powerful cooktop. Even the 9-inch burner, with a power boost wattage of 3700, has more power than most other cooktops' highest-rated burner. 

So if you need to boil water in a hurry, this is the cooktop that will get it done!​

​Installation Considerations

Electrical Hookup Required: 240V/50A

​Total Power Output (Watts): 11100

Cutout Requirements

Note that while the Thermador CIT365KM induction cooktop is classified as a 36-inch cooktop, its surface size is actually about 37 inches long and just over 21 inches deep. You also need about 4.2 inches of clearance below the countertop surface:

  • Width (inches): 34.74 - 34.825
  • Depth (inches): 19.825 - 20.0
  • Height (inches): 4.125 (that is, you need a minimum of 4.125 inches clearance below counter surface).
  • Minimum distance from counter front (inches): 2.25
  • Minimum distance from rear wall (inches): 2.0.

Install over a wall oven?

The short answer seems to be no. However, you can check with Thermador, or your local electrician, for a definitive answer if this is something you want to do.

Safety Features​

This Thermador induction cooktop has excellent safety features:

  • ​Lockable controls to prevent unwanted changes in settings
  • Auto shutoff (turns the element off if a pot is removed)
  • Indicator lights for hot and very hot surfaces.

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Warranty

Limited 2 year Thermador warranty on entire appliance, parts, and labor.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very powerful
  • Gorgeous color options
  • Easy operation.

Cons

  • Expensive.

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Can I Save Money By Buying a Package?

If you buy from an appliance dealer (instead of Amazon), they often have package deals which can save you a lot of money. Packages can include just a range hood and wall oven or an entire kitchen suite including refrigerator, dishwasher, and more.

appliancesconnection.com has the best package deals we've found online. And if they don't have any current package deals, ask for a discount! They want your business and want to help you get the best deal you can. 

Even if all you want is a wall oven or hood, you can see your options at this link.

Final Thoughts

​If you're looking for a top-of-the-line cooktop that has both looks and performance, the Thermador CIT365KM induction cooktop can deliver. 

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