Induction cooking is popular among many home cooks and chefs. Are you thinking of making the switch to an induction range or cooktop? Are you wondering if it’s worth the cost investment?
We think it is! An induction cooktop is energy efficient, quick to heat, and safer to use than a gas or electric stove.
In this guide, we’ll share the pros and cons of induction stoves.
What Is Induction Cooking?
Induction cooking involves a transfer of heat directly to cookware through magnetic induction. Unlike gas and electric cooktops that heat the burner surface first, induction cooktops provide direct heat to the cookware. So the surface of the cooktop remains unheated.
Induction cooktops use electromagnetism to transfer a current inside of the glass surface through a coil of metal. The current flows through the coil and produces a magnetic field that’s transferred directly to the base of magnetically conductive cookware.
Because magnetic cookware is electrically conductive, the cooktop transfers the electric energy directly to the pot or pan. The magnet excites the base of electrically conductive cookware to create heat. So it provides direct, instant heat to the cookware.
It’s an efficient cooking technology that offers more control over the cooking process.
Induction Cooktop Pros
There are many advantages to using induction cooktops for your cooking. Here are the pros to using induction over other cooking technology.
It Cooks Fast
Induction stoves offer a much faster cooking process than gas cooktops or traditional stoves.
The magnetic coil sends more energy to the pan than a traditional coil or radiant electric cooktop. Thus it heats your pan almost instantly.
The rapid response of the electromagnetic cycle means you won’t have to waste any time waiting for food to cook. Thanks to induction, you can save about 50% of your average cook time for many of your favorite meals.
It’s Easy To Clean
Induction stoves have a smooth glass surface that’s a breeze to clean.
Because there’s no hot burner element or grate, food won’t burn on the surface or get stuck in any nooks.
And unlike electric ranges, you don’t have to wait for the surface to cool. The induction glass-top can be wiped clean almost immediately after you remove the hot pan. As a result, you won’t have any baked-on food or grease build-up to scrub clean.
Furthermore, the stovetop surface stays cool while cooking. You can simply wipe the surface around the pan clean while you’re cooking.
Induction stoves don’t use an open flame heat source. And because only the pan is heated during the process, the cooktop surface around the hot pan stays cool. This means there’s little residual heat after you remove the pan (1). This reduces the risk of any accidental burns.
They also prevent any risk of a gas leak since there’s no pilot, ignitor, or gas line that could fault. And there’s no open flame. So you don’t have the risk of a grease fire or of a potholder or kitchen towel igniting while heating your food.
Plus, induction stoves only heat when you place your magnetic induction cookware on the surface. In the same way, the heat transfer will stop as soon as you take the pan off the element without you having to switch it off.
It will also switch off if a heating zone has been turned on for a long period of time without any temperature changes. And the higher the temperature, the quicker it will switch off.
For all these reasons, they’re completely safe to use.
It’s Energy Efficient and Environment Friendly
Induction stoves are the most energy-saving burners thanks to their heating process.
An induction stove uses 10% less energy than conventional electric cooktops and 50% less than a gas range or cooktop. Plus, it uses more than 85% of the heat that’s generated, whereas a gas stove uses only 32% of the heat (2).
And since only your cookware is heated during the process, less energy is lost during heating. So the environment around the stove stays cooler.
Finally, no unnecessary energy is consumed in adjusting the temperature. In fact, an induction stove maintains a consistent set temperature throughout the cooking process.
All in all, induction cooktops can save you energy and reduce the cost of your electricity bill. It can also reduce greenhouse emissions and lower your carbon cookprint in the kitchen.
It Ensures Precise Cooking
Induction stoves offer great temperature control.
With the digital controls on the unit, you can set the temperature precisely. This way you won’t have to guess using a variable flickering flame. And the digital controls make it easy to increase or decrease the heat supply instantly.
Plus, induction stoves provide a rapid immediate response thanks to the energy directly transferred to the pan. There’s no grate, coil, or burner surface to heat up (3).
You can raise or lower the temperature almost instantly. As soon as you change the setting, the heat supply will adjust the temperature instantly. This way you can easily control the entire heating process.
Wide Temperature Range
Induction cooktops offer a wide temperature range between 80 to 450F (4). They have a varied range of power level options allowing you to have precise control over the temperature ranges.
Induction stoves also have higher boil and lower simmer temperatures than gas stoves. So you have a range of higher settings and more control.
And the induction process keeps the temperature steady during the heating process. Therefore you don’t have to worry about uneven temperature distribution.
It Heats Food More Evenly
Induction stoves heat up the entire pot or pan at once. The magnet excites the base of the pan to create direct, instant heat. Consequently, it distributes heat more evenly than gas or conventional electric stoves.
On the opposite, a gas flame or electric radiant coil only heats the part of the cookware that they touch.
It Gives Better Indoor Air Quality
Since only your cookware is heated while cooking, less energy is lost during the process. All the energy is going directly to the pan and not into the air. So you’ll have a cooler kitchen as the environment around the stove stays cool.
Induction ranges also provide less air pollution and contaminants than natural gas. During the induction process, less energy is emitted into the air. There are less harmful air contaminants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide (5). This means it provides better air quality in the home.
It’s Easy to Install
Induction cooktops can be easily installed into your kitchen countertop.
Truth is that installing an induction cooktop is easier than a gas stove because there are no gas lines that need to be put in.
You also have portable induction cooktops — they only need to be plugged into an outlet.
Take a look at this video to find out more about the installation process for induction cooktops.
You Can Take It Anywhere
Induction cooktops can exist as portable, standalone units. With them, you have the possibility of cooking wherever you want. And once you’re done, it can store away easily when not in use.
A portable induction cooktop is perfect if you’re a student, living in an RV, on a boat, or moving away from home. They can be taken with you wherever you go.
Induction Cooktop Cons
Induction cooktops are an efficient option for cooking. But there are some cons of induction cooking. Consider these drawbacks before buying an induction burner.
There May Be Overheating Risks
Induction stoves are quick to heat up. So you can risk overheating your food if you’re not used to the heating. Because gas and electric burners are slower to heat, they’re less likely to overheat during cooking.
Plus, getting used to controlling the fast heating temperatures with induction cooking can be hard at first. You should know that there’s a learning curve that comes with adjusting to induction cooking.
It’s important to make sure you adapt your cooking method to avoid overheating your food. Especially if you’re used to using gas or electric ranges.
You Need Special Cookware
Induction stoves require induction-compatible cookware with magnetic bases.
In fact, the induction process won’t work correctly with non-magnetic cookware, as the current won’t transfer. As a result, the pan won’t heat up and food won’t cook.
You can only use ferromagnetic pots and pans such as cast iron, steel, or magnetic stainless steel. Copper and aluminum cookware won’t work on induction unless they’re bonded with magnetic stainless steel.
If you don’t know, you can use magnet sticks to test if your current cookware is compatible. If a magnet sticks to the base of your cookware then it’s compatible with an induction range. If the magnet doesn’t stick, you’ll need to invest in new cookware.
So investing in an induction cooktop means you might also have to invest in a new range of induction-compatible cookware. And you won’t be able to use any copper or aluminum pots or pans. This is a cost to consider when thinking about using induction ranges and burners.
RELATED: Best Cookware Sets for Induction Cooktops Of 2023
It Makes Noise
The units can make a small noise with certain types of cookware. The magnetic current transfer can vibrate the pots and pans. On high heat, they can emit a buzzing or whining noise (6).
Different factors can affect the level of noise such as the size and content of the pan. Heavier cookware like cast-iron will make less noise than lightweight cookware.
Induction ranges also have an internal cooling fan that can make noise during cooking.
You Can’t Cook Without Power
Induction stoves need an electric power supply to run, so you won’t be able to cook if the electricity goes out.
Unlike with gas stoves, where you can appreciate being able to enjoy a cooked meal even if the electricity has gone out. So you should consider this when looking for a new range or burner.
It May Scratch
The ceramic glass cooktop surface of the units can scratch with certain types of cookware.
Cast iron skillets can have a rough surface that may cause scratches if not used with care.
We recommend using flat bottomed pans with smooth bottoms to avoid scratching your induction range. For example, enameled cast iron pans have a smooth surface that’s suitable for induction ranges.
The ceramic surface may also scratch if you slide hot pots and pans across it. Especially if there are any hot spills that may have crystals of sugar or salt in them. This can damage the surface of the cooktop.
It’s also important to note that using abrasive scouring cleaners can also cause damage. Plastic, nylon, or metal cleaning pads can scratch the cooktop. We recommend using only soft sponges or cleaning cloths to clean the unit.
It Interferes with Pacemakers and Insulin Pumps
Finally, induction cooktops produce a strong magnetic field around the cooktop. This can interfere with a pacemaker or insulin pump (7). The electromagnetic field may affect the operation of the device.
Insulin pump manufacturers recommend avoiding anything that creates a magnetic field (8). So it’s important to follow the safety warnings.
If you have a pacemaker, make sure you stay at least 2ft away from your induction burner. Or consider using another type of cooktop for safety.
Making The Switch To Induction
Deciding to make the switch from a gas or electric cooktop to induction is easy if you know what to look for.
Induction ranges have both advantages and disadvantages. They’re environmentally friendly, easy to use, and offer precise control for home chefs. So they’re a great solution for a safe and quick cooking process in the kitchen! But they do require special cookware and can take a bit of time to get used to the rapid heating speeds.
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