The Electromagnetic Wave of the Future
What Is An Induction Range?
While already commonplace in Europe, induction ranges are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. due to their speed, precision, safety, and the zero pollutants they produce. From restaurant kitchens to home kitchens, more chefs and home cooks are opting to have them installed and aren’t looking back. Why would they? They do all the same things as a gas range, but better!
When it comes to appearance, induction ranges look much like electric ranges since they both have a glass top equipped with heaters. Unlike gas and electric, the heating coils underneath the glass use electromagnetic energy to directly heat the iron in your cookware. In this way, your cookware actually becomes the heat source, not the cooktop.
In terms of the oven portion of induction ranges, they act much like regular electric ovens. Some higher end ones do offer features such as convection, in-oven cameras and WiFi connectivity.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the benefits of an induction range.
Pros of an Induction Range
Here are some of the biggest reasons both restaurant chefs and home cooks are choosing induction ranges.
Lessen Your Carbon Footprint: A gas stove uses nonrenewable fossil fuels that pollute the air. An induction (or electric) range is vastly better for the planet.
Speedier Cooking: Want to boil water quicker? Induction ranges cook faster than both gas and electric stoves. The reason is that induction directly heats your cookware, thus skipping the step of needing to heat the heating element. Not only does it cook more quickly when you turn up the heat, but it also responds faster when you turn it down.
Energy Efficiency: Induction cooking is more energy efficient than both gas and electric. With the heat being transferred directly to the cookware, hardly any energy is wasted. In fact, with induction, 90 percent of the energy goes to heating food. In the case of electric, 74 percent goes to cooking food, and when it comes to gas, only 40 percent goes to cooking food while the rest just goes into the air around your cookware. Between this and faster cooking times, you’ll be happier with your lower energy bills. Bonus: Your kitchen also stays cooler while you cook since excess heat isn’t put out into the air.
Precise Temperature Control: Induction cooking is far more precise than both gas and electric as you can program the exact temperature you need. This precise control means there is a much lower risk of your food overcooking or boiling over, and simmering is a breeze.
Air Quality: Unlike a gas stove, an induction range produces zero pollutants. Gas stoves emit harmful chemicals into your home, especially if your range isn’t well ventilated. That being said, gas stoves pollute even when turned off. Of particular concern is Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), which can cause respiratory illnesses. A 2022 study found 12.7 percent of childhood asthma cases in the U.S. are due to gas stoves. Due to these findings, we encourage you to at least consider switching from gas to electric, if you’re not ready for induction.
Safety: Another benefit of induction ranges is that since only the cookware gets hot, the cooktop always stays cool. Further, as soon as a pan is removed, the stove automatically turns off. This way, the chances of getting burned are lessened along with anything such as a dishtowel catching fire. Without the open flames of a gas stove, your home’s safety against a fire occurring goes way up.
Cons of an Induction Range
Now, do the cons outweigh the pros?
Cost: Induction ranges tend to be more expensive than electric and gas models. As they become more common here in the U.S., the price will inevitably decrease. On the plus side, due to better energy efficiency, you will see savings in your electric bill. There are also potential opportunities for rebates.
Converting: If you currently have a gas stove, to convert to induction you’ll need to have a professional electrician do the installation for you. The electrician will first check to see that you have enough amperage available on your electrical panel, and then bring the circuit up from your panel to behind your new range.
Cookware: Induction cooking requires cookware that contains iron such as cast iron, stainless steel and ceramic that is over metal. An easy way to check your current pots and pans is to simply see if a magnet attaches strongly to the bottoms. When shopping, look for cookware that says “induction compatible” and bring a magnet along!
Learning Curve: Like anything, there’s a learning curve as you get used to something new. Adapting to the pace of speedier cooking and to the fact that the cooktop turns off as soon as you remove a pan is something that may be challenging in the beginning, but will quickly become old hat.
Induction ranges are the wave of the future when it comes to kitchen technology. They provide faster and more precise cooking, better energy efficiency, improved fire and burn safety, they remove indoor air pollution if converting from gas, and they lessen your carbon footprint.
If you’re interested in installing an induction cooktop or range into your home or business, contact one of our licensed electricians today to get you started! To learn more, watch this short and informative A2ZERO video on induction ranges.