Thinking it’s time to update your stove? Or maybe you’re in the middle of a remodel, or heck if you’re like me you’ve been spending more time in the kitchen and realize your 1970’s stove, while “vintage”, just isn’t going to cut it anymore!
Today I want to share a few induction appliances, as they are one of the newest types of stoves to hit the market and have been getting a lot of positive attention due to their ability to heat things quickly and efficiently.
How it works
The induction range uses electromagnet waves to heat the cookware. These waves penetrate the pan (the magnetic element) and heats up the contents inside it. Nothing outside of the pan is heated, and when the pan is removed the heat stops and the stove is no longer hot.
A magnetic field produces the heat directly on the pan’s bottom and thus is very emergency efficient
Although induction cooking has been around for centuries, only now is it becoming more mainstream as the prices have comes down; although, some still struggle with grasping the concept of how it works.
After all of my research it seems like the cooking appliance of the future, and one that I need in my kitchen right away!
Like I said above, there are some serious benefits to going with an induction range. If you’re at all concerned with saving time or energy, a trendy design and easy clean up, then I think you’ll be happy going with an induction appliance.
One of the biggest benefits of induction technology is the efficiency. Many users stated that induction ranges boil water faster than any other range, even gas.
One user clocked her pot of water boiling in less than 2 minutes, impressive right?
With induction technology the heat goes straight into the pan, heating up the contents and the contents only, which results in less energy used.
One study found that with gas only 40% of energy gets used as heat, where as 85% of the energy is used with induction.
If you’re anything like me, and looking to save a little time when it comes to cooking, then this would be a big help.
Having taught cooking classes to elementary-aged children in the past, the fact that the top of the stove does not heat up is very appealing. If you have children, or plan on having children around the kitchen, this is going to be a real life saver.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to ask children to step away from the stove, or even said “don’t touch that please, it’s hot.”
This is a feature that could save a lot of little hands from getting burned.
Induction ranges have a sleek, smooth top, making them more appealing than the common coil burners that a lot of electric stoves have.
They’re also easier to clean than bulky gas ranges; the smooth surface makes clean-up a breeze, just wipe them down with a damp cloth.
And if you’re worried about scratching the surface or even staining it, which is a common concern, don’t be, the majority of users said the tops remained scratch free… as long as you use common sense.
Some things to consider before you buy
One important thing to note before purchasing one of these is that they do require cookware that has enough ferrous material (iron) in their construction. Since the induction range runs from a magnetic field, the cookware needs to be responsive to a magnetic field.
That being said, stainless steel and cast iron are some easy options that most people already have.
However, your older nonstick pans probably won’t work (although there are some newer ones that are compatible), but you could use this as an opportunity to upgrade to some new cookware. When shopping, look for pots and pans that say “induction ready”.
Another thing to note is that a lot of users complained the size of the pots & pans they purchased for their induction range didn’t fit the element and in turn would not generate heat.
That being said, I suggest checking the size of the elements before purchasing new cookware and making sure the sizes match up.
Maybe you want to test out an induction range before committing to the whole enchilada. Maybe you have a great oven but want to add an induction range to your island (like me).
Or perhaps it’s time for a new oven and range? Depending on your needs and budget, we recommend one of the following:
Portable (lowest budget)
These are just like they sound, portable! They are the perfect way to test out induction cooking and see if it’s right for you.
They’re also great when you have a lot going on in the kitchen and need another station; this would be around the Holidays for me! If a portable is something you’re considering, be sure to check out these three options we recommend.
DUXTOP 1800-Watt Portable Countertop Burner
This portable induction cooktop is budget friendly and many users have said it was the perfect introduction to this style of cooking.
It’s lightweight and measures 10.5 inches x 10.5 inches, making it easy to move around and fit under your kitchen cabinets.
It comes with a 6ft cord and can be plugged into any household outlet. It contains a 1 unit element, which is an 8 inch diameter circle.
Users have stated that you can use pots and pans with a bottom of up to 11 inches.
DUXTOP 1800-Watt Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner 8100MC available at Amazon
One feature I found really helpful is the auto-pan detection, which will turn off the unit automatically after 60 seconds if no cookware is detected… perfect for those of us who leave the house in a hurry, worrying if we turned off the stove. With so many great reviews and a low entry point, I really like this option!
Max Burton 6400 Digital Choice Induction Cooktop (1800 Watts)
Thus is another budget friendly option, but with a few more features. This unit is also a one element unit, but a bit larger than the option above listed at 13.5 inches x 12.5 inches.
This cooktop comes with 10 heat mode settings, and 15 temperature settings (in 25 degree increments).
Foodal recommends thisMax Burton 6400 Digital Choice Induction Cooktop with 1800 Watts & LCD screen
One thing most users really love about this cooktop is the 180 minute programmable timer it has (think “Set it and Forget it”).
I would love to have a burner in my house that could turn itself off at a certain time, a perfect scenario for when you have to run out the door but don’t want something to keep cooking and possibly overcook if you get held up.
This unit also features a nice and large LCD display screen making it easy to read and see the options you are selecting. This is another high quality and affordable option.
True Induction S2F2 Cooktop, Double Burner
This induction cooktop is a little more pricy but still affordable in my mind. This one is different from the other options as it has two elements (burners), giving you the ability to cook two dishes at once.
It weighs in at 11 pounds, so it’s a little heavier, but still portable and easy to move around. This cooktop runs on a 15 amp circuit; however one user suggests having a 20 amp circuit for this cooktop so you avoid the risk of tripping an electrical breaker.
A feature I really liked seeing on this product’s description was the ability to melt chocolate without a double broiler, this is going to be huge plus for chocolate lovers like myself.
One thing that might throw you off is the cooktop has a total max of heating at a level 10, meaning if one burner is at a 7 then the max setting the other burner could run at is 3. A few users said that they can easily boil water at a level 5, so the max of a 10 between the two burners doesn’t seem like it would be a problem.
Like I mentioned above this is an option that is very appealing for me, as I’m looking for an option for the island in my kitchen. These are induction cooktops that are built into your kitchen.
That being said, these usually require an electrician unless you or someone you know is electrically handy.
GE PHP900DMBB Profile 30″ Black Electric Cooktop
This cooktop is very sleek and appealing to the eye. It’s black and has 4 burners. The overall size is a little bigger at 21.4 inches x 29.8 inches and weighs 41 pounds.
This is a cooktop that will require some help when installing, however users said their electricians had no problem installing this very quickly. It contains 19 different power levels and 10 heating settings.
Users reported that this cooktop is so efficient that they rarely ever have to use heat above a level 5. The benefit of induction is quick and cget use to using it because things can go from cooked to burnt really fast.
This cooktop is moderately priced. That being said, a few users mentioned they had issues with this appliance such as it dying, a burning smell, or even some heard a strange popping sound.
I would definitely look into a warranty when considering this appliance.
Frigidaire FGIC3067MB Gallery 30″ Black Electric Cooktop
Frigidaire is known for their high quality appliances so I’m pretty confident in this built-in induction cooktop. Unlike the portable cooktops mentioned above, it contains 4 elements: 6, 7, 8 and 10 inches.
The 3400 watt cooktop has an artsy feel with its white starburst-like designs which differ a lot from the standard red circles you might be used to seeing. Users really like the layout of the elements because it’s easy to reach all the pots and pans.
Frigidaire FGIC3067MB Gallery 30″ Black Electric Induction Cooktop available on Amazon
This cooktop keeps track of when you remove a pot or pan from the heating element and don’t turn off the heat.
When something is removed, but heating is still on, the display will start flashing – if you don’t return the pot or turn the cooktop off it will turn itself off after 3 minutes.
Free Standing Range
This is the induction option for those wanting the entire package. These are for you if you’re looking for induction cooking attached to an oven.
Since an oven is attached the price increases to make up for that, making these the most expensive options on the list. Since induction stoves are pretty sophisticated, the ovens that come along with the options in this category tend to be very well liked.
GE PHS920SFSS Profile 30″ Stainless Steel Electric Slide-In Range
This range has 4 burners, is visually appealing and has a glass top. Users love how fast this cooktop heats up water and how easily the unit slides in and can be installed by themselves.
Some did report a clicking noise when using the burners, however most said it’s barely recognizable.
If you’re interested in this range, you’re probably also curious about the oven… it has a huge window, making it easy to check on what’s inside without opening the door and letting all the heat out.
The best thing about the oven is that it’s convection. It also contains a warming drawer at the bottom, great for keeping your dinner warm until you’re ready to eat.
This is an option that really has all of the best features and has nearly universal positivee ratings.
Frigidaire FGIF3061NF Gallery 30″ Stainless Steel Electric Range
This is another option made from Frigidaire, however this one also has an oven. This option comes with 5 units and one of them is a larger radiant warming zone, used to keep foods warm but on top, which is a new concept to me.
Users reported that this cooktop heats water extremely fast, one person reported they had a pot of boiling water in less than 2 minutes. I think it’s safe to say most people who are new to induction cooking are fairly impressed with the speed.
The convection oven doesn’t contain a warming drawer, but it does contain a drawer at the bottom, one that some user’s find a bit flimsy. Keeping in mind this range is less expensive than the one above, it’s no surprise that it doesn’t contain all the bells and whistles.
Final Considerations (which one do you pick?!)
The first thing to consider is which option do you want? A portable unit – maybe to give induction a try? A cooktop – perhaps to add additional cooking options to your kitchen? Or a free standing range, if you’re ready to fully commit?
nce you decide on what type of induction appliance you’ll have, then you should have a pretty good idea of what option is best for you and your home.
Now if you’re ready to commit (I sure am), then you might want to check out this post on the best cookware for induction cooking.
Let me know what questions you still have or what range you’re going to pick… I’m leaning towards Frigidaire cooktop.
About Sarah Hagstrom
Sarah is a health food advocate and loves to spend her time whipping up something healthy and delicious in the kitchen and then sharing either on Foodal or on her own blog "The Seasonal Diet" (www.theseasonaldiet.com). She lives in Sunny San Diego with her husband, where they enjoy running on the beach and weekend adventures.