With its sleek glass surface and powerful heating technology, the induction cooktop seems like it’s been taken straight out of a sci-fi movie. And there’s a reason the induction range is becoming more common commercially: It can save you time and money in the long run. So if you’re considering an induction cooktop for your next kitchen remodel, here’s what you should know.
How Does it Work?
Say you’re trying to cook scrambled eggs. In order to get the pan hot, your ordinary gas or electric stoves depends on thermal conduction, which heats not just the pan, but the surrounding area. Induction cooktops, on the other hand, rely on an electromagnetic field. Electric currents run through coils of wires beneath the surface, creating a magnetic current that directly heats the bottom of the pan. Without having to put energy into heating the area surrounding the pan, induction stoves heat things much faster than their gas or electric equivalents. And if you’re wondering, an induction oven heats just as well as anything attached to a gas or electric range.
Now, induction stovetops offer more than just more efficient cooking. By only heating the pot, these cooktops make safer kitchen spaces, easier clean up, and cheaper utilities bills. Induction stoves intuitively only heat the area beneath the pot, keeping errant hands (or paws, if you’ve got overly curious pets) safe from burns. And when the surrounding area is cool, it also means spills can’t cook onto the surface, so you can kiss scraping those frustrating messes goodbye! Finally, not only will you be paying less for the electricity necessary to power your stove, you’ll also pay less in A/C bills in the summer because cooking will no longer heat up the entire kitchen. Pretty cool, huh?
Of course, there is one big set-back with induction stoves: because they rely on electromagnetic currents, not all pots and pans are compatible with the cooktop. If you didn’t realize pots could be incompatible with kitchens, there’s a good way to check if your cookware would make the cut. Take a magnet and test it on the bottom of your pan: If it sticks, you’re in business for an induction cooktop. If not, the stove isn’t the only thing you’ll be replacing during your remodel.
As a rule of thumb, ceramic or glass cookware will not work on an induction cooktop. You’ll want to keep an eye out for ferrous metal pans, like steel or cast iron, or just make sure you get cookware labeled “induction-compatible.”
It’s also important to note that many consumers have reported a buzzing or humming sound when cooking at high temperatures. Not everyone notices, or cares, but it’s something to keep in mind when deciding on a new cooktop.
Time to Go Induction?
While induction cooktops are more expensive than their gas or electric counterparts, their efficient heating will ensure savings in the long run. If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen, it’s worth considering an induction cooktop and oven for your new cooking space.