Is it worth making the switch?
Induction Ranges Explained
Induction ranges are definitely trending right now. Already popular in Europe, they are becoming more and more common in the U.S. due to their cooking speed, precision, safety, and zero carbon footprint. The consensus among restaurant chefs and home cooks is that they do all the same things as a gas range, just a bit better.
Induction ranges look like electric ranges since they both have a glass cooktop, but the heating source is where the difference lies. In contrast to gas and electric, the heating coils underneath the glass use electromagnetic energy to directly heat the iron in cookware. This makes your cookware the heat source, not the cooktop.
Next, let’s explore some pros and cons of an induction range.
Induction Range Pros
We mentioned the reasons some folks are making the switch, but let’s go a little deeper.
Good for the Planet: Gas stoves use nonrenewable fossil fuels that pollute the air. An induction (or electric) range is simply better for the planet now and for future generations.
Faster Cooking: Have you always wanted to be able to boil water faster? Induction ranges cook faster than both gas and electric stoves. This is because induction directly heats your cookware, therefore completely skipping the step of heating the heat element. Not only that, but induction also responds faster when you lower the heat.
Precise Temperature Control: Induction cooking offers faster response whenever you adjust the temperature, and is far more temperature precise than both gas and electric. In fact, you can program the exact temperature you need. This precise control means better results in your cooking as there is a much lower risk of your food overcooking or boiling over, and simmering is much easier.
Energy Efficiency: Heat being transferred directly to your cookware means that induction cooking is more energy efficient than both gas and electric. With no “middleman,” barely any energy is wasted. With induction cooking, 90 percent of the energy goes directly to heating food. In the case of cooking on an electric range, 74 percent of the energy goes to cooking food. With gas cooking, only 40 percent goes to cooking food while the rest just goes into the air around your pan. This, along with faster cooking, translates to a decrease in your energy bills. On top of that, your kitchen stays cooler while you cook since excess heat isn’t put out into the air.
Air Quality: Induction ranges produce no pollution. Gas stoves, on the other hand, emit harmful substances into your home. This is particularly true if your range is not well ventilated, but unfortunately gas stoves still pollute even when turned off. The most concerning chemical is the respiratory illness causing Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). A 2022 study found 12.7 percent of childhood asthma cases in the U.S. are due to gas stoves. If you’re not ready for induction, we encourage you to at least consider switching from gas to electric.
Safety: With the heat being produced by the reaction between electromagnetic energy and your cookware, as soon as a pan is removed, the stove automatically turns off. Not only that, since only the cookware gets hot, the cooktop always stays cool. 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 fire safety status automatically increases.
Induction Range Cons
Sure, those benefits are great, but there’s always a flipside.
Cost: Induction ranges are currently more expensive than electric and gas models. Prices are decreasing as they become more common in the U.S., though. The good news is that due to their energy efficiency, you will see savings in your electric bill. There are also potential opportunities for rebates.
Cookware: Another potential cost is needing to change out some of your cookware. In order to work, your cookware must contain iron, so opt for cast iron, stainless steel and ceramic covered metal. You can check your current pots and pans by simply seeing if a magnet attaches strongly to the bottoms. If you do need to buy new cookware, look for items that say “induction compatible” and bring a magnet along!
Converting: To convert from gas, you’ll need to have a licensed electrician do the work. They will first check to see that you have enough amperage available on your electrical panel. Next, they’ll bring the circuit up from your panel to behind your new range.
Learning Curve: Of course, it will take a little time getting used to cooking on your new induction range. Adapting to the speedier pace and to the cooktop turning off as soon as you remove a pan are two things that may be particularly challenging in the beginning.
Induction ranges are becoming all the rage, and for good reason. Faster cooking times, precision temperature control, improved energy efficiency, cleaner indoor air, safety features and their environmental friendliness make us happy to support this trend.
If you’re interested in installing an induction cooktop or range into your home or business, contact us today so we can get you started!