induction cooktops

Heat Faster, More Precisely, More Efficiently 

Induction cooktops are increasingly favored as an alternative to traditional gas and electric ranges. They may represent the future for kitchen cooktops. Why? Because induction cooktops heat faster and more accurately, and are more environmentally friendly. However, induction cooktops are also typically more expensive than conventional cooktops. 

The question becomes, is the extra expense worth the considerable benefits?

There’s no single right answer to this question, and ultimately it depends on your personal preferences and needs, not to mention your budget. But to help you consider whether an induction cooktop is in your kitchen’s future, let’s look into:

How an Induction Cooktop Works

Gas cooktops heat food with an open combustible flame; electric cooktops use coils located either directly on the cooktop or beneath a smooth surface to conduct radiant heat to cookware. Some people favor gas cooktops for providing rapid heat and more precise control over low and high heat, while others prefer electric stoves as they are easier to clean and, since they don’t use gas, less harmful to the environment. In many cases the choice is determined primarily by whether or not gas is an option from the local utility provider.   

An induction cooktop is a kind of electric cooktop. The difference is that induction employs an electric circuit beneath a glass cooking surface to create a magnetic current. Energy generated from this electromagnetic field is transferred directly to heat magnetic cookware (which we’ll discuss later as a possible con). The advantage is you get the precision of a gas cooktop and quicker results, without the need for gas utility service. 

What Induction Cooktops Look Like

Induction cooktops look much like glass-top electric models. Most 30-inch cooktops contain four heating spots (or zones) that function just like the elements on an electric cooktop or the burners on a gas cooktop. Induction cooktops can also have as few as one induction zone or as many as up to five zones. 

Surfaces are typically black, white, silver, titanium or stainless steel. They are available in sizes as small as 12” (yes, that small; induction cooktops were originally manufactured for portable use and for small kitchen spaces) and as large as 42”. 

Induction Cooktops Features

Induction cooktop features vary by manufacturer and model. These may include:

The Benefits of Induction Cooktops 

Induction cooktops are environmentally friendly, as they are five to ten percent more efficient than conventional electric cooktops.  Compared to gas, induction cooktops are about three percent more efficient, but also don’t contaminate indoor air with fumes. You also don’t waste energy waiting for an electric element to heat up. And because induction cooktops don’t burn gas, they are considered a tool to combat climate change in phasing out reliance on fossil fuels.

Another key benefit is safety. The cooktop won’t heat unless a pan or pot is placed on it. And as soon as you take the pot or pan off the cooktop, heating stops automatically. The glass surface never gets as hot as a traditional electric radiant cooktop. If you have young children, induction cooktops provide additional safety as they never get scorching hot; many cooktop models have a child lock feature to prevent curious hands from turning on something they shouldn’t.

Food also cooks faster. By some estimates, a six-quart pot of water boils two to four minutes sooner on an induction cooktop than a gas or electric cooktop. Also, your food cooks more precisely and evenly. 

An added plus is that due to its glass surface, induction cooktops are easy to clean and wipe down (though this is equally true of conventional electric cooktops).

Cons of Induction Cooktops

If you are transitioning from a conventional electric or gas cooktop to an induction cooktop, you’ll need to gift all your aluminum, glass, copper, or ceramic cookware. Because induction cooking functions with electromagnetism, cookware made of ferrous metals such as stainless steel and cast iron are required. If you’re looking for new cookware, make sure it is marked as “induction  compatible”. Alternatively, try a magnet test: if a magnet doesn’t stick to your cookware, it won’t heat on an induction cooktop.

There’s also an initial learning curve to use induction cooktops; cookware heats more quickly, so total cooktimes are reduced. That’s an adjustment most people are more than happy to make, but it may take some getting used to. If you’re accustomed to cooking on a gas stove, you lose the visual feedback of adjusting a flame; there’s usually no glow on an induction cooktop, though some manufacturers are adding “virtual” flames to provide a visual clue that many cooks prefer.

Some users report a buzz or hum, possibly caused by vibrations from pots and pans on the cooktop surface. One way to reduce such a hum is to use heavy, flat-bottomed pans.

The biggest drawback of all, however, is cost. Induction cooktops are generally more expensive than conventional electric cooktops. Over time, however, improved energy efficiency offsets the higher price to some extent.

As induction cooktops grow in popularity, prices are likely to come down. That doesn’t help you, however, if you’re looking for a cooktop today. That said, current supply chain issues are impacting prices of appliances across the board. 

An additional consideration is that while it is easy to switch from an electric cooktop to an induction cooktop, there is an additional expense to convert from gas. Induction cooktops use the same outlet as a conventional electric cooktop or stove. If you’re switching from gas, though, you possibly might need an electrician to install the necessary outlet.

Consult the Induction Cooktop Experts 

BSC carries a full range (if you’ll pardon the pun) of induction cooktops. We’re happy to help you select the induction cooktop that best suits your needs and your budget.

Every induction cooktop we sell includes installation and delivery. A high-end benefit with your purchase is a dedicated Enjoy Life Counselor who ensures error-free delivery and installation. You can even track delivery on the day of the appointment. 

BSC technicians are qualified and insured. Your induction cooktop is installed professionally and to your complete satisfaction. Also, if you prefer, BSC can provide contactless delivery
Contact us to further discuss whether an induction cooktop is in the future for your kitchen.