Prestige PIC 20 is one of the top-selling induction cooktops in India. With a 1600-watt heating element and 8 preset functions, it promises quick cooking and energy savings. Let us explore how well it works through this hands-on review.
|Heat milk function boils milk without spilling it.|
|Doesn’t have a maximum of 1600 Watts as claimed|
The Prestige PIC 20 induction cooktop is compact and lightweight. It measures around 29cm wide, 35cm deep and 6.5 cm tall. The induction plate measures 15cm and the cooktop is stable on the countertop without wobbling.
The unit comes with a 6 A power plug. According to the manual, you can use cookware with a base measuring 12 to 26cm on this induction cooktop.
Related reading: Best Induction Cooktops In India
As mentioned earlier, the induction cooktop comes with 8 preset functions. Some of them are quite useful too. The functions are dosa/chapati, pressure cook, curry, idili, deep fry, heat milk, saute and keep warm.
What we really liked about the functions is the heat milk option. It has a timer of 20 minutes. Though the cooktop says it runs at 1400 watts, we found something else when measuring with a watt meter. We found that it gradually increases to less than 900 watts and declines steeply for several seconds to reach around 5 watts. Thus, the heating is gradual and in such a way that milk won’t spill provided you use a saucepan with a capacity of at least twice the volume of milk you want to boil. This function is especially helpful in the morning rush as you can keep the milk for heating and simply forget about it without having to keep an eye over it all the time.
The keep-warm function heats the curry to around 60-70 °C and maintains the temperature for around 2 hours, which is the duration of the setting. However, sometimes the curry may get a little scorched at the bottom.
The curry function is a letdown. It just heats at 1000 watts and keeps the wattage constant. The wattage does not vary. Similarly, using the dosa/chapati function, the dosa gets cooked and brown in the centre, but white and barely cooked at the edges. This is something common to all induction cooktops as they don’t radiate heat uniformly. The area around the heating coil is usually hotter than the rest. Even when using the deep-fry function, you find that food at the centre browns quicker than the ones at the edges. So, you will have to move around the food to cook everything uniformly.
Even in the pressure cook mode and saute, the power is set at 1400 watts and 1600 watts respectively and doesn’t adjust on its own. Pressure cookers generally work optimally when the power is lowered after the first whistle so that it uses the accumulated pressure to cook food efficiently. This lacks in the Pressure cook mode.
In Idili mode, the timer is set at 10 minutes and the unit runs for 1150 watts. The timer generally can be set for up to 3 hours in the Prestige PIC 20 induction cooktop.
Power is one of the most important aspects that a user takes into consideration when buying an induction cooktop. The higher the power, the quicker the cooking. Unfortunately, in Prestige, when you set the cooktop at 1600 watts, the actual wattage as measured using a watt meter just touches a maximum of 1300 watts. As a result, it is slower than other induction cooktops of similar wattage.
Prestige PIC 20 takes 6.4 minutes to boil 1 litre of water to 100 °C. It takes about 2.5 minutes to cook one small chapati.
Ease of Use
The Prestige PIC 20 induction cooktop is fairly easy to use. It has membrane buttons that are fairly responsive to control the duration, and wattage and to choose the programs. The power cord is around 110cm long and it has a 6A plug.
The Prestige PIC 20 comes with all the basic safety features that an induction cooktop ought to have. The E0 error code indicates that the vessel used is incompatible, either because it has a smaller induction base or due to lack of it. The E6 error is shown when the induction cooktop overheats. In such cases, ensure the air vents are open and allow the induction cooktop to cool down.
The E2 error is shown when the voltage is high. In such cases, resume operations only when the voltage is normal. E5 error protects the appliance against dry heating of the vessel. When water evaporates while boiling or pressure cooking, the E5 error may show up.
Finally, the E3 and E4 errors pop up when the temperature sensor and IGBT sensors fail respectively. In such cases, it needs to be serviced by professionals.
Flaws That Could Have Been Better
If you are someone who sets the wattage at the maximum level and uses the induction cooktop for quickly boiling or pressure cooking food, then you won’t find any flaw with Prestige PIC 20. But, if you use the functions on a day-to-day basis, you will rue that the pressure cook, saute and curry modes do not come with varying wattage like heat milk and keep warm functions.
Also, that the actual wattage doesn’t come to what the manufacturers claim is a letdown.
Prestige PIC 20 is the top-selling induction cooktop from Prestige. Prestige also sells other models like the Prestige PIC 6.1 V3 which has 2200 wattage heating element and touch control panels that look more sophisticated.
Yet another top-selling model is the PIC 16.0+ which comes with 2000 watt heating element. The functions are the same as PIC 20. In addition, it has a pause function and a display panel showing the time and LED light indicating the wattage at which the cooktop is functioning.
Prestige PIC 15.0+ comes with a 1900-watt heating element, touch controls, and a pause function. Prestige PIC 3.1 is a much-advertised model which comes with a whistle counter that switches to keep warm function once the set number of whistles are released.
Overall, with budget-friendly pricing and numerous functions, Prestige PIC 20 is their entry-level induction cooktop, but also their top-seller. It has fairly decent features and functions that make it a useful appliance for your kitchen.