At the premium end of the induction hob market there are quite a few models on the painful side of £2000. Miele’s KM 6629 is just such a luxury appliance that only serious cooks and would-be chefs need apply. But with only four zones despite its 76cm-wide surface, can it justify its fine dining-level price tag?
Yes, and more, is the answer. Features like super-quick heat-up times, incredibly flexible control and even heating with both round pans and large skillets alike set the benchmark for induction cooking. Add to this luxurious design and plenty of super-useful cooking features, and Miele’s KM 6629 romps home as one of the very best induction hobs you can buy.
We wouldn’t expect anything other than sumptuous design and innovative features from Miele, and the company's KM 6629 induction hob doesn’t disappoint. This premium 76cm-wide hob boasts a stylish all-round metal trim that will sit well in kitchens with stainless steel appliances, and the subtle zone and control markings on the glass give it a sleek look when it isn't in use.
Fire the Miele into life and you're spoilt for features. While there are only four zones on offer, you get two Miele PowerFlex zones that automatically link together when you place a large skillet or pan across them, a small circular pan zone and a large circular induction zone. This offers Miele’s TempControl feature and two levels of Keep Warm function.
All zones feature automatic pan detection, the option of automatic empty pan safety shut-off when cooking manually, and two levels of power boost for fast heat-up times. Linked together, the PowerFlex zone will deliver a staggering 7.3kW to the largest of pans, albeit reducing if other zones are in use. With even the smallest area capable of putting well over 2kW of power into a small pan, and the largest circular zone pushing over 3.7kW, this is geared up to be a super-quick hob.
TempControl is an exciting feature that could be useful for cooks with less than Michelin Star level skills (yours truly included). It monitors the temperature of the pan when frying, keeping the heat precisely at a pre-set level to deliver even frying and with no burnt offerings. There are three temperature levels to choose from, defaulting to 140, 200 and 220oC but with the ability to programme these +/- 20 degrees either way, in 5-degree increments.
Touch the power button and all the controls light up in a subtle orange colour, rather than the usual garish red. The controls for each zone have numerals to indicate power level, allowing you to go straight to the level required with a single press. The number illuminates brighter to indicate level selected. A ‘B’ symbol at the right of each slider has a double-press function for the two levels of boost.
It was Miele’s Auto Heat-Up feature that really wowed us. If you touch and hold any setting for a second you'll hear a beep and the level number indicator pulses brightly. The hob delivers full power to the zone until it reaches the temperature of the set level, and then automatically reduces power to maintain that temperature. This allows you to place cold pans on the hob and get them very quickly up to cooking/simmering temperature without them boiling over when your back is turned.
Other nice touches include a minute minder timer, zone switch-off timer, safety lock, and a Stop & Go pause facility that lowers temperatures so you can answer those pesky mid-cooking phone calls. There's also a Wipe Protection feature, which allows you to lock the hob sensor controls for 20 seconds while you give them a quick wipe over.
For truly customising your hob-top experience, this model’s programming mode allows you to add half power levels in between the normal 1 to 9, change the volume on keypad and timer tones, change the touch-sensor reaction speed in three levels, and switch temperature monitoring on and off. You can control the empty-pan protection feature and set maximum temperatures for each of the three TempControl frying levels.
If you happen to have one of Miele’s Con@ctivity cooker hoods, the KM 6629 can be programmed to switch on the hood and control its power level automatically, relative to how much cooking you're doing. Okay, all these features and flexibility are complex initially and will take some programming or time to get used to – but the effort is worth it.
We found we didn't need to adjust the touch-sensor reaction speed, since the KM 6629 responded promptly and with the lightest of touches. Even with dripping wet hands, the controls answered the helm without any double attempts or random prodding. In fact, the slider controls were one of the slickest we've tried, despite actually being numeric symbols rather than a true slider.
The residual heat indicator lights are made up of small dots, and are perhaps a little too discreet for true health and safety aficionados. But worrying about a hot hob is a current obsession; we certainly didn’t have such warning indicators on solid plate, gas or most ceramic models of the past.
Direct access to set power levels worked well and we were blown away by the Auto Heat-Up feature. Once we'd worked out the level at which our frozen peas simmered, we simply placed the cold pan on the hob, pressed on the held number and came back five minutes later when they were done. Not a boil-over spill in sight.
The Auto Heat-Up feature takes a little getting used – you'll need to familiarise yourself with the level at which various pans and foods simmer. Rice in a large pan on the large burner required a lower level to simmer than our small pan of peas, for example. Get used to Miele’s Auto Heat-Up and we can see this being a real ‘once you've tried it, there's no going back’ sort of feature.
The same is true of TempControl. While frustratingly only available on the largest circular burner, this feature could turn even a serial bacon-burner into a breakfast maestro. TempControl’s upper limit stops the pan temperature continually increasing as the frying oil becomes hotter, significantly reducing the chance of you burning the food. Arguably, chefs that know their hob and have plenty of experience getting eggs sunny-side-up without a crispy base don’t necessarily need this feature – but it’s certainly handy for the rest of us.
Pairing the two PowerFlex zones is seamless, with just one slider control illuminating to cover the whole area. This combined zone’s maximum 7.3kW on double-boost is immense. That's the maximum for the entire hob, meaning power will be reduced if you're using other zones at the same time.
Given the power potential and the premium price ticket for this hob, we'd have expected Miele to include a double-cable connection to the mains supply. This would have increased total maximum power (assuming you have a suitable mains supply) and allowed multiple zones to use double-boost at the same time. Sadly not – but conversely, how many times would you want several pans on full-boost at the same time anyway?
Interestingly, this Miele was also one of the quietest hobs we've tested. All induction models have fans beneath the surface to keep the workings cool, and the induction zones create a buzzing sound in operation. Both noises were noticeably well suppressed, and we expect when this hob is installed in a typical kitchen environment you won't hear the fans at all.
Cleaning the glass was easy with wet spills and baked-on cheese easily removed with a cloth and a plastic scraper. The glass seemed resistant to smears – although that's a relative term where black glass is concerned. Our only design caveat is that the lush stainless steel trim does catch fine debris and crumbs as you wipe the surface of the hob.
This premium hob combines exceptional power and fine control in equal measure. It turned in outstanding heat-up time results irrespective of pan-size, kept very stable temperature when simmering, and offered exceptional evenness in heating on both the circular and PowerFlex zones.
The latter is thanks to the PowerFlex zone packing in two slightly rounded square burners as you can see in the thermal imaging. The burners sit close together, creating a much smaller cool-spot area compared to hobs that simply link two circular burners. This will be ideal for skillet frying, since it ensures an even temperature across the entire pan. Perfect.
The two smaller circular zones of the KM 6629 are just as impressive, delivering class-leading power and great control. For our smallest 17cm pan on the smaller zone and using the Miele’s double-boost setting, this hob delivered a stonking 2350W, heating 1 litre of water to 90oC in a super-fast 3mins 10secs. Thanks to the Miele’s power and induction efficiency, that's quicker than most 3kW kettles!
We placed our 19cm pan with 1.5 litres of water on one of the PowerFlex zones and again used the double-boost setting. This brought the water to 90oC in just 3mins 25secs. Using the largest zone and a 21cm pan with 2 litres of water, the Miele took just 3mins 55secs. Miele’s KM 6629 rates as the fastest induction hob we've tested, with all three boil tests clocking less than 4 minutes.
Miele’s Keep Warm setting impressed, too. This first level of Keep Warm – available on all but the rear PowerFlex zone – pulses around 300W, which should keep things warm but slow down the inevitable onward cooking process. The resulting temperature was stable and our porridge oats sample remained warm for the 5-minute test without drying out too much.
On the largest circular zone you get a second level of Keep Warm, or Warming Up as Miele calls it. This is ideal for slowly reheating or warming up food. Putting in a little more power than the first level, the temperature of the pan's contents rises slowly so as not to burn. Reheating last night’s curry has never been so easy.
The manual suggested this setting was also useful for directly melting chocolate. It worked well – if the general consensus on the resulting chocolate and raisin Rice Krispie cakes is anything to go by.
As an addendum to the excellent TempControl feature, you can also engage the Simmer setting in this mode. Here, when the zone gets up to the pre-set TempControl, it reduces the power to a gentle simmer. This is perfect for reducing sauces.
Miele’s KM 6629 is the fastest, most controllable and best featured hob we've tested. Outstanding heat-up times on any size pan, the excellent PowerFlex zone, and add-ons so useful we don’t now want to live without them have made this luxury hob a firm favourite in our test kitchen. The only major hurdle is that breathtaking price for a four-zone hob. It isn't cheap – but if you want the best then be prepared to pay for it.
Powerful, controllable, great-looking and superbly well featured, Miele’s KM 6629 is expensive but one of the very best induction hobs you can buy.