Induction cooktops aren’t exactly a new concept, but it’s been a long road to success since their arrival in the 1970s. Earlier models had issues that deterred consumers for years. But, advances in technology over the last few decades have caused professional kitchens across the globe to swap out gas stoves for induction. As the technology becomes more widely available, homeowners have also caught on.
But, what’s so great about them, and why aren’t they in every kitchen? There may be several reasons, including confusion with cumbersome electric cooktops and simply not understanding how they work. Another issue is the cost; induction cooktops are typically more expensive than other options, selling for around $5,000, on average. So, are they worth it?
A Safer Option
One of the major benefits for many is that induction cooktops are much safer than both gas and electric stoves. This is due to the way they work. Rather than the stove heating up, an induction cooktop emits an alternating electric current to the pot that is on top of the stove. This creates electric currents in the pot itself, heating up the pot directly.
As a result, the surface of the stove will never get as hot as gas or electric cooktops, considerably reducing the risk of burns. In fact, no heat is created until a pot is placed on top of the stove; so, even if you leave it on, it won’t heat up. In addition, there’s no chance of gas leaks and, without an open flame, grease fires are entirely avoidable.
Faster Than Competitors
Life moves fast these days, and it can seem as though there is never enough time in the day. With an induction cooktop, however, you can regain some of those precious minutes. Because an induction stove heats the pan directly rather than going through a middleman, the contents of the pan will start to boil or cook faster. On average, it can be 25-50% quicker to cook with an induction stove, reducing the time to boil a pot of water by around four minutes.
Easy to Clean
You’ll also save time with cleaning. Again, as no part of the stove itself emits heat, it will never get as hot as an electric or gas cooker. Consequently, spills are far less likely to burn to the surface and, therefore, can be easily wiped away. Immediately after cooking, the area under the pan will be hot due to the heat transfer, but not for very long. With a smooth, sleek cooking surface, you need only to wipe it down with a damp cloth or sponge after cooking and you’re done – no need to scrub, soak or take anything apart.
In the past, gas cookers remained a firm favorite among professional chefs and passionate home cooks because of the control they had over the flame. Now, modern induction cooktops are more than a match for gas, allowing for complete temperature control. In fact, temperature adjustments take effect immediately, giving you more control over the entire cooking process. Low-temperature cooking is also easy, and there’s no danger of the flame blowing out if there is a breeze, as is the issue with gas.
A Cooler Kitchen
With your pots being heated directly, there’s very little residual heat that will be transferred to the atmosphere. This means that your kitchen will remain cooler, and you won’t find yourself sweating over your cooking so much!
Induction cooktop stoves are far more energy-efficient than their competitors. Several factors add up to lower energy bills for you:
- The cooking process is faster, meaning you’ll be using less energy over a shorter period of time.
- Power is only used if a pan is on the surface of the cooker. So, if you accidentally leave it on, it won’t consume power, unlike gas and electric.
- Some models will only activate directly under the bottom of a pan and will adjust to fit. This means your smaller pans will use less energy than larger ones.
- As you’re not heating up your kitchen as much, you won’t need to use additional cooling to bring the temperature back down.
While they are perhaps more expensive than gas or electric cooktops, induction stoves have a lot of perks. This array of benefits makes them attractive when it comes to selling your home, as well, making it an investment worth making.