The instruction manual that comes with this unit is useless. List of issues not addressed by the manual: 1) Constant flashing light near power button. 2) The significance of the 4 (not 2 as mentioned in the ads)power settings: 9, 11, 13, and 15 hundred watts. 3) How to avoid burning oil and food. 4) The best combination of power setting and temperatures using various kinds of skillets for cooling various dishes.When this unit turns on and you then push the Temperature button the unit immediately activates at the highest power setting and highest temperature. This means even the highest temperature rated oil will start burning within seconds! Also when you change power settings the unit automatically pushes the temperature setting back up to the maximum 340 so one can easily burn food thinking that you are reducing heat by lowering the power setting when in actuality if you don't also immediately reset the temperature back down then your food will start burning in seconds.My wife refuses to learn how to maintain her cell phone address book so she is not thrilled with the complexity facing her when it comes to learning how to operate this unit.This unit should have been tested with skillets that come with it and then a chart put in the manual showing the settings at which various oils will start to burn. Also showing the various power settings and temperature combinations that equal the boiling point of water would also be very useful. That way a user could test those settings to develop a sense of what the various power settings mean in their real world kitchen using their specific skillets.The Avanti tech support people are responsive, they just don't know anything about this unit.My best guess so far is that the power settings simply cycle the power on and off so that if you had a low amp circuit breaker it would stay cooler and be less prone to trip off. So , for example on a power setting of 9, this will mean that the pan will go hot and then warm and then hot and then warm, thus maintaining a temperature that though for example may nominally says 230 in reality is somewhere between 230 and the next lower temp of 160 -- and possible allow another appliance to use the same circuit a the same time.If you plan on running the microwave or other appliances on the same circuit as this hotplate, then you will probably be disappointed. Study your usage needs and circuit set-up first. Many older kitchens have all the regular plugs in the kitchen on one circuit!I suppose that the operation of this unit will vary greatly depending on skillet used. The skillet that comes with the unit is thin stainless steel with a magnetic steel core in the base. At high temperature and high power setting the surface of the pan exceeds 300 in seconds. This means only the most refined oils won't burn. I need to test this unit with cast iron skillets to see how that goes -- my hope or expectation is that the heft of a cast iron skillet will moderated the temperature. Thus I hope that using a cast iron skillet I can learn to use a low power setting set at 230 degrees and not burn unrefined oils.All in all I am still glad I purchased this unit since it cooks faster with less energy and thus definitely leaves the kitchen cooler since all the residue heat left over in the cooking element is not heating up the kitchen and making the the air conditioner work overtime during hot summer days.I am also glad I bought an extended warranty since this is definitely a new untested technology and I suspect unforseen breakdowns might easily occur. [...]
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