If you’ve been on the market for a new range you’ve probably come across induction cooktops. Oftentimes this incredibly unique cooking appliance is overlooked without knowing how they work.
Here we’ll explain how induction cooktops work, their benefits, which brands do induction the best, and how they stack against gas and electric ranges. So let’s dive into how this innovative cooking technology alters the cooking experience.
What Is Induction Technology?
The most significant difference induction has compared to traditional rangetops is the way it heats up. Induction doesn’t need to create a flame from a gas burner, or heat up a coil electrically, in fact it doesn’t heat up any other part of the cooktop at all.
Induction cooktops use magnetic coils under the surface to generate an electromagnetic field that will cause your cookware to resonate and heat up! In this instance, an induction cooktop is not creating and transferring heat to raise the temperature of your cookware, but instead causing your cookware to heat itself up. The result is a cooking experience that doesn’t involve hot surfaces or open flames.
Induction Cooktops Vs. Traditional Cooktops
The electromagnetic technology of induction opens up the door for many benefits other cooktops can’t measure up to. Here are just a few great features induction cooktops bring to the playing field.
Since induction doesn’t require direct contact to transfer heat, nearly all induction cooktop surfaces are entirely smooth. You’ll find a smooth surface is a game-changer when it comes to cleaning. Unlike traditional ranges, cleaning an induction cooktop doesn't require the removal of pieces such as hard-to-clean iron grates or burner spreaders. This also means you won’t need multiple cleaning products stashed away under your sink. To clean an induction cooktop, simply wipe off the surface with a ceramic glass cleaner.
If you’ve ever started making a pasta-based dish and found yourself impatiently waiting for the pot of hot water to boil, induction can help. Induction allows your cookware to heat up directly, rather than through a coil or flame. This cuts down on time spent waiting. On average, induction cooktops have been found to cut down cooking time by 50%.
Cutting down on cooking times also results in a more energy efficient cooking process. Unlike the open flames of gas ranges, you won’t have heat escaping and potentially raising the temperature of your kitchen. This means possibly less energy is spent cooling your living space.
By simplifying the cooking process, induction removes many hazards associated with everyday cooking.
For example, without the need of an open flame induction reduces the possibility of accidental fires or burns. Additionally, the removal of gas fuel eliminates the possibility of hazardous gas leaks such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. Regardless, always remember to have your range hood running while cooking. Whether you own a wall mount hood or an island mount, it’s important to ensure your cooking area is well ventilated.
Our Favorite Induction Cooktop
Every company has their version of induction, which can make finding the best induction cooktop a challenge. The trick is to find one that provides all the benefits while not costing you an arm and a leg. Our personal favorite induction cooktop has to be the 36” Induction Cooktop (RCIND-36) from ZLINE Kitchen and Bath.
The RCIND-36 is built with incredibly sturdy imported Schott Ceran german glass along with an LED touch display front and center. The cooktop comes in 24” and 30”models as well making it perfect for any sized kitchen.
ZLINE’s induction cooktops come with a great selection of features, but our favorite is the Power Boost Mode, which allows you to increase the max power for ten minutes to help get those pesky time-wasting steps like boiling water out of the way. Additionally, the Keep Warm mode is great for keeping your completed dishes warm while you finish making the others. Lastly, a Power Sharing mode gives you the option to set up heat transitions between multiple cooking zones.
Are induction cooktops safe?
Induction cooktops emit a safe amount of radiation while active. They are safe for use in everyday cooking.
Is food cooked with induction safe to eat?
As long as your food is cooked thoroughly and still fresh, then induction cooked food is very safe to eat!
Does an induction cooktop require a gas line?
Induction does not require access to gas in order to function. Most induction cooktops simply need electrical power to function.
Does induction require special cookware to use?
To generate an electromagnetic field with your cookware, your cookware needs to have a magnetic bottom. Cookware that has an aluminum, copper, or glass bottom won’t work. You can test cookware simply by seeing if a fridge magnet can attach to the bottom. If you are in the market for new cookware, bring a magnet to the store and test on different cookware as you shop.
Additionally, the bottom of your cookware needs to be flat to allow for maximum contact. Full contact with the surface will provide the best results for the heat creation process.
There are other options if you don’t own induction-compatible cookware and aren’t looking to purchase a new set. Induction disks are magnetic disks that are placed underneath non-magnetic cookware to create heat. The induction disks will then transfer that heat to your pan through contact. Although it adds an extra step to the cooking process, it’s a great solution for anyone who is particularly attached to their cookware.
Now you should have everything you need to know about induction cooktops. Check out some of our other blogs for everything home appliances and special offers!