Buying a new house, renovating your kitchen, or simply looking to update your cooktop? Most minds immediately go towards gas or electric when deciding on a cooktop, but one that shouldn’t be forgotten is the induction cooktop. Many people don’t know there is a difference between an electric and an induction cooktop given that they look similar. The differences, however, are pretty major. For starters, eclectic cooktops have coiled metal below their surface which heats the cooktop itself, while induction cooktops use electromagnetic waves that can essentially turn your cookware into their own heat source, pretty cool! Gas cooktops, of course, are heated by gas creating a flame on the cooktop.
Due to this simple difference below the surface of the cooktops, many benefits come into play for induction cooktops. Here are some of our favorites:
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An induction cooktop works by sending electric currents through a coiled copper wire under the cooktop, which, in turn, creates a magnetic current that transfers to the cookware. Due to the fact that the current passes directly to the cookware and the cookware itself becomes the heating vessel for the food, the cooktop stays cool. A cooktop that doesn’t get hot, could you imagine? These cool-to-the-touch cooktops are much safer and easier to clean, without having to wait for it to cool down, like a traditional cooktop. Please note, the heat coming from the cookware itself may heat up the cooktop slightly.
Onto the topic of safety: with the cooktop heating your cookware instead of getting hot itself or creating flames, there is a reduced risk of burns when using an induction cooktop. Although it can get warm from being in contact with the cookware on top of it, it also will cool down much quicker. Without the use of flames and heat that gas or electric cooktops give off, induction cooktops are much safer especially if you are nervous about young children being in the kitchen. In addition, without gas, there is no chance of having a gas leak and without the use of flames there is little to know fear of grease fires.
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You may be wondering what it is like to cook with an induction cooktop. Since the cookware itself becomes your source of heat, you are easily able to control the temperature allowing for consistent cooking and reduces the likelihood of over or undercooking. With the cooking vessel becoming your heat source, adjustments made to the temperature will take effect immediately and allow for more precise cooking, especially when you’re cooking with materials that offer rapid heat reactivity, like copper or stainless steel. When using an induction cooktop, you’ll be able to heat or cool the cooking vessel very quickly without any external concerns and with minimal energy consumption.
Less Mess and Easy Cleaning
With more control when it comes to temperature, spills or spatters are easier to control and with this comes less mess. On induction cooktops, the occasional spills or boil-overs are less likely to occur. In addition, with a cooktop that stays cool during cooking, you can clean up any spills, grease or fallen food during the cooking process itself. On gas or electric cooktops, if there is a spill during cooking it usually either gets burnt onto or dries onto your cooktop making it more difficult to clean as you must wait until it cools down. Usually, only a wet cloth or sponge is needed to wipe down to cooktop. Hooray for not needing to buy so many harsh cleaning solutions!
In addition to better precision cooking, given that induction cooktops heat the cookware instead of the cook top, temperatures can both rise and drop very quickly. This level of control on your cookware temperature allows you to heat things must faster which saves a lot of time especially for mundane tasks such as boiling water. In fact, it has been tested that induction surfaces can boil water 50 percent faster when compared to gas or electric cooktops.
Related: What You Need to Know Before Cooking with Stainless Steel
Induction Cooktops are Energy Efficient and Eco-Friendly
Don’t you want to help out the environment? Induction cooktops are extremely energy efficient in comparison to gas or electric. As discussed, induction cooktops allow for faster cooking times, which, in turn use less energy overtime. On top of this, one unique feature of induction cooktops is that they usually only emit energy once an induction safe pan or pot is placed onto the cooktop. Gas and electric cooktops, however, emit energy from the moment you turn them on.
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In addition, given that induction cooktops heat the cooking vessel rather than the surface of the cooktop, there is less heat energy loss during the cooking process. With less heat being omitted during cooking, there is also less residual heat being transferred into a kitchen and less energy consumed by the likes of air conditioners or fans which are needed to cool the area. This energy reduction use is not only good for the environment but will also reduce your household bills! We call that a win, win!
Should You Consider an Induction Cooktop?
Now that we’ve taken the time to walk through the benefits of an induction cooktop, is it right for your kitchen? At the end of the day, some people prefer gas cooktops for precision and control, while others choose electric ones for ease and ability to clean. The induction cooktop blends these two together and shares the best qualities of both in one. If switching to an induction cooktop, the biggest thing to consider is the type of cookware that you can use on it. Based on the fact that the cookware gets heated by electromagnetic currents, ferrous metals, or those containing iron and steel, work on induction cooktops. At de Buyer, we have a wide variety of induction-ready cookware: Our Mineral B and Mineral B PRO Carbon Steel, AFFINITY 5-ply and ALCHIMY 3-ply Stainless steel, CHOC INTENSE and CHOC EXTREME Nonstick, and PRIMA MATERA Copper Collections are all suitable for use with induction cooktops.
Related: Cookware Materials Guide
Cooking with Induction
In conclusion, if you are looking to upgrade your current kitchen space, an induction cooktop is worth considering. Not to be confused with a gas or electric cooktop, an induction cooktop has so many benefits that can make it superior to its competitors. Among many other benefits, it can help you save on your bills by being eco-friendly and energy efficient, it can speed up your cooking time, and it is safer than gas or electric. Please be considerate that only certain cookware will function properly with an induction cooktop and be sure to filter for by purpose for INDUCTION when filling your new home with all of your de Buyer cookware!