Step aside electric and gas stovetops, there’s a new sheriff in town. Meet the future of cooking, the induction cooktop. The advancements in induction technology have really taken off, and these cooking machines take the art of preparing food to a whole new level.
While the idea of induction dates back to the early 1900’s, induction cooktops have only recently become accessible and affordable to the general public. A lot has happened since the introduction of induction, but with technological advances and the internet, induction cooktops are all the rage.
Chefs are historically pictured gracefully tossing up their delicacies in fancy cookware over a piping hot flame. But with the fast, safe, even cooking advantages that induction offers, it’s no surprise that many are swapping flames for an electric twist.
This article will show you why induction cooktops are quickly rising in popularity and finding forever homes in luxury kitchens around the world. It will answer the following questions:
This energy-efficient method of cooking is catching on, and for good reason. The benefits of cooking with an induction oven, not counting the sleek aesthetics, appeal to anyone who wants to save some time in the kitchen and doesn’t want to compromise the quality of their signature dishes.
Time to geek out. Induction cooktops may not operate the way you’d imagine. Like their electric stovetop cousins, they also have a glass top—but they use electromagnetic waves to heat your pots and pans.
Any pot or pan you use on an induction cooktop has to be magnetic to be able to work. There is specialized cookware specifically made to use on induction cooktops, but cast iron and steel work too. Keep in mind though, cast iron pans have a tendency of having small, abrasive imperfections that could cause a scratch on your stove’s surface if you’re not careful.
Back to the science lesson. Induction cooktops induce a magnetic field to warm up your cookware rather than relying on the heat emitted from an open flame or electrical heating element. It’s kind of similar to how the latest magnetized phone chargers work, except it charges your cookware with heat.
What’s really cool about this method is that your stove top is never actually hot.
When an induction cooktop is turned on, it’s the magnetized spots that interact with your cookware that create the heat. The second you pick up your pot, the heating stops. So, you could have a chocolate bar sitting on your stove while you cooked and it wouldn’t melt!
Gas stoves and electric stoves have held the throne in the kitchen for the last few centuries. It wasn’t until the late 1920s that electric stoves started pushing their way into the stovetop scene and giving gas a run for their money. Since then, they have greatly risen in popularity.
Gas stoves require—you guessed it—gas to operate. It’s quite a visual and tactile experience where you can turn knobs to raise or lower the amount of flame you need to heat your pan.
They’ve come a long way from the days when cleanup was a major hassle if anything spilled over. Newer versions boast sealed burners that make cleanup a lot easier, and some are even designed with built-in ventilation, which eliminates the need for a range hood. Temperature is easy to manipulate on a gas stove, since you can drastically change from low to high and affect the bottom and sides of a pan to reach your desired heat level.
One of the biggest drawbacks of a gas stove is its lack of energy efficiency and the environmental repercussions it poses. As the world attempts to make progress toward fighting climate change, natural gas is not the most sustainable resource. Gas ranges can be a little more difficult to turn on compared to their electric counterparts, and an open flame always leaves room for some risk. Also, a lot of heat is lost while they operate, and there’s always the possibility of a gas leak.
Electric stoves are not as expensive as gas ranges and are much easier to install. They tend to offer more flexibility when it comes to cooking modes, and are much easier to clean, as well, since they have a smooth, glass top layer. The glass top also serves as an even surface to slide your pots and pans around, which adds another tally mark to the comfort factor.
A big con for the electric stove is its susceptibility to power outages. If you live in an area where there are frequent storms, you have to be willing to compromise the use of your stove if lightning strikes nearby around meal time. It’s not a total deal breaker, but it does give a gas stove a big advantage. Also, since it takes more time to heat up than a gas stove, more electricity is required, so it could result in a higher electricity bill over time.
While gas and electric stovetops aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, it’s worth exploring the benefits of an induction cooktop since they will be seen more and more down the road.
When considering a new cooktop, safety is always a concern. The induction technology is a major plus for safety since it only heats the cookware instead of the cooktop itself. If a passing child or a distracted adult leans on an induction cooktop when it’s on, they won’t get burned.
Another nice safety attribute of induction cooktops is that the cooking zones automatically shut down when a pan is not touching them, which reduces the risk of leaving a burner on by mistake.
Despite your best efforts, how many times have you managed to drip some sauce on your stovetop, or have a veggie decide to jump out of the sauté party in your pan? Electric cooktops aren’t all that hard to clean in these situations, but most can relate to the dreaded burned spot that seems to take a scientist to get off.
One of the most amazing things about induction cooktops is their non-heated surface. You could literally dump the rest of the sautéed veggies out with his buddy on the stove, and not one would start sizzling on the surface since it’s the cookware that’s hot, not the cooktop. The occasional splatter or over-bubbling water spilling onto your cooktop is far easier to wipe up after cooking on an induction cooktop compared to any other stove out there.
While gas is faster than electric cooktops in terms of cooking speed, neither can beat an induction cooktop. Since the heat of an induction cooktop transfers straight to your pan, there’s no need to wait for the surface to warm up.
According to the LA Times, Curtis Stone has been a fan of induction cooktops for years. The celebrity chef explained that the technology behind induction cooking is faster, cleaner, and more efficient than a traditional gas stove. He also praised the accuracy. He knows precisely when he’ll get a rolling simmer or a hard boil, which is huge when figuring out the time it takes to cook meals.
Raise your hand if you’re a control freak. Control freak or not, you’re going to love induction cooktops with the amount of temperature control available. With a simple push of a button, you can have either a simmer or a boil.
This means you have to be a little more diligent about manning the stove when you’re cooking. If you’re a newbie to induction cooking, or not quite used to it, you’re liable to overcook or over boil without realizing it. It’s best to stay close as you adjust to this fast way of cooking.
Contractors are looking ahead at climate control initiatives, and are getting ready for an inevitable shift. One company based out of California is already stopping production on homes with natural gas and are installing solar panels instead. Even though it costs more, it’s where the future is heading.
Since induction cooktops don’t require the use of natural gas, that’s one less fossil fuel source that affects climate change. They also don’t emit as much indoor air pollution, which is another big win for the induction movement.
Many energy-conscious homeowners looking to upgrade their stovetop have switched to induction cooktops since they cook food evenly and more precisely than your typical gas range.
That energy efficiency is really noticeable when you realize you don’t have to crank the AC as much while cooking. More energy is conserved since it only heats when a pot or pan is in contact with the stove instead of heating the whole cooktop—unlike traditional stoves that tend to heat up the whole kitchen!
The type of range a family desires is subjective and depends on personal preference. But, with the rise of induction cooktops and their positive effect on the environment, you’ll find that they are quickly becoming the future of cooking.
If you’re considering making the switch to an induction cooktop, Atherton Appliance & Kitchens can help. Their Constant Care delivery and installation service is a convenient option for you; contact them with anything related to your order, delivery, or installation.