Induction Cooking

graphic of induction stove

What:

Induction cooking uses magnets to transfer heat directly to the cookware, rather than heating the pot and the surrounding air. Compared to gas and electric coil cooktops, induction is safer and more energy efficient. 

Benefits: 

Cooking Experience

  • Speed: Induction burners can boil water nearly twice as fast as gas or traditional electric burners
  • Precise control: Heat can be adjusted like a gas stove and can be held at a precise temperature. 
  • Kitchen comfort: Unlike gas burners that radiate heat in the kitchen, induction burners only heat the cookware, allowing the kitchen to stay cool. 
  • Easy to clean: Flat, glass ceramic surface is is easier to clean with a soft sponge. Also, spills won't burn and stick to the surface. 

Safety and Health

  • Fire: Induction cooking does not involve any open flames and only heats the cookware, reducing the risk of people burning themselves or accidently starting a house fire. Cooking is the leading cause of house fires. In addition, many induction burners have safety features that automatically turn off when not in use or when a cookware is not detected. 
  • Indoor air quality: When cooking with natural gas, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and other harmful pollutants are emitted in homes, increasing risk of respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease and other long-term illness. Indoor levels of these toxic pollutants emitted from gas stoves often exceed the safety limits set for outdoor air. Children living in homes with gas stoves are 40% more likely to develop asthma1.

There are many variations of induction cooking to meet your needs, including ones that are ready for immediate use. Other electric cooking appliances can also reduce gas use for cooking. 

Induction cooktop or range

If you are going to do a kitchen renovation and replace your gas cooktop/range, this is a good time to consider an induction cooktop or induction range that requires a 240V outlet. In this case, you will want to decide on a specific model so that you can place the 240v outlet in the right place for the specific model. Induction ranges of different models require a 240V outlet at a specific location. 

Plug-in portable induction burners

Portable induction burners offer great flexibility at a lower cost. They come in either one or two burner options. They typically plug into any 120V outlet in your kitchen. It allows you to immediately benefit from induction cooking without a hefty budget or installing a 240V outlet.

This is a great option if you are: 

  • A renter looking to immediately benefit from induction cooking
  • Looking to experiment and learn about induction cooking before the switch
  • Looking for a budget alternative to induction cooktops/ranges
  • Looking for an additional burner that is safe and can be easily stored

Electric cooking appliance

If neither of the above options are a good fit, electric cooking also includes using plug in appliances to reduce gas usage. This includes:

  • Heating water with electric kettle
  • Using a countertop toaster oven instead of gas oven
  • Using a crockpot/instant pot
  • Using a toaster

 

 

Additional Considerations: 

When considering switching to induction, there are a few things to consider. 

Compatible cookware

Induction cooking relies on the iron in the cookware to generate heat. If the bottom of your cookware sticks to a fridge magnet, it will work on an induction burner. This often includes most stainless-steel cookware, cast iron cookware, enameled cast iron cookware and some nonstick cookware. 

Cookware made from aluminum, copper or glass are most likely not compatible. However, you can add an induction converter disk placed between your cookware and the induction burner. It will heat up your cookware like a traditional electrical coil burner. 

Potential health concern

Induction cooktops create an electromagnetic filed (EMF) around the immediate area of the burner. There is not evidence that EMF has any long term effects on health. However, the EMF can interfere with some pacemakers. It is highly recommended that people with pacemakers consult their doctors before using an induction cooktop.