Induction cooktops are one of the newest trends in cooktops and ranges; they have the same sleek, surface as most glass or ceramic electric cooktops, but they use an electromagnetic coil beneath a glass surface. Selecting a cooktop is a personal choice reflecting your individual preferences and cooking habits. You may not want to choose an induction cooktop solely because it is the newest technology but instead weigh whether it fits your cooking needs. If you enjoy cooking on gas and a gas connection is unavailable, induction cooking gives similar temperature control. Here are some of the biggest selling points and some of the idiosyncrasies of induction cooktops.
Clean and Efficient
The metal from the bottom of the pan interacts with a coil below the cooktop’s surface, heating only the pan, saving energy in the process. Because the pan alone is heated during cooking, energy is not wasted, your kitchen will not warm up, nor will the cooktop retain heat, potentially burning someone or causing any spills to scorch onto the glass. You can even place a piece of newspaper between the cookware and cooking surface to catch spatter, then just toss the paper out when you are done cooking.
Speed and Responsiveness
The speed of induction cooktops is a selling point for some cooks; however, even though water boils more quickly using induction, it is only by a few minutes, but every minute does count in our hectic day to day lives!
Much like gas burners, induction burners cool down quickly when the temperature is lowered. Most cooks appreciate the ability to make immediate adjustments to their cooking temperature, and fine tuning is more difficult on an electric range.
Details of this New Technology
One noteworthy detail of using this new cooking technology, is that you will need cookware receptive to magnetization, such as cast iron and some stainless options. Nowadays, most cookware is induction compatible. You can test the bottom of your cookware using a magnet.
Induction burners do not have a glow the way electric burners do. Some cooks find this lack of visual representation to be a slight hindrance; for this reason, some brands have made induction cooktops that use LED lights on the burners or on the stove’s knobs.
One safety feature of induction cooktops is that they will not heat up when turned on unless there is an induction compatible pan on the burner. Although the surface of an induction cooktop does not heat up the way that electric cooktops do, some heat may be transferred to the cooktop’s surface from the bottom of the pan. While the cooktop may retain some heat passed from the pan, it will cool down quickly.
The technology of induction cooking is not available in ovens, so if you purchase a range with an induction cooktop, it generally comes with a standard or convection oven.