Induction Cooking – The Future?

| September 18, 2019 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

By Andy Asher

Every few years there is a hot new trend for home kitchens. A generation ago it was all about electric kitchens. Then for a long time, a gas range was all the rage. Now it’s what sounds like space-age technology called induction cooking. That means cooktops heat pots and pans directly instead of on an electric or gas-heated element.  

The House Whisperer

To find out how it works we turned to Dean Sharpe otherwise known as the House Whisperer. “Ever since the modern cooktop was created we’ve had two choices electric or gas,” he explains. “The electric style, of course, is the old coil or the newer under ceramic glass halogen coils. Then, of course, there is gas. Well, gas is gas.” 

Induction is very simple. A strong heat source that excites the molecules in the bottom of a pan. Those excited molecules heat the pan and therefore they heat the food. 

The House Whisperer explains, “you’re in the middle of deciding what cook-top to replace your old one. Either way, you’re going to drop a good chunk of change for it. So you should be informed as to what all your options are. The induction people are making big claims. They are saying it’s more accurate more powerful no heat safer faster better.”  

Time to find out

Sharpe puts it to a simple test using a sixty-nine dollar induction hotplate versus a three-thousand dollar,  18-thousand BTU gas burner. Using two cups of water, one on the cook-top and one on the hot plate, which one wins? Induction was a full minute faster than the big gas burner in this experiment.  

An innovation in appliance technology? Are there pros and cons to everything? Sure. But now you’ve got one more option to consider and Sharpe says you should because he feels we’re looking at the future. Calling them cool tops. 

Even a veteran like Sharpe is amazed. “Yeah, it’s pretty magical. And yes I am boiling this pan of water through a folded up tea towel. It’s warm. Pretty amazing stuff.” 

Myth Buster

He leaves one last message that may surprise you. “A lot of people are under the misconception that it takes specialized cookware to work with an induction cooktop.” Well it doesn’t.  In other words, anything that you own, pot or pan, that a magnet would stick to is good to go. But with induction that means copper and aluminum is out. But good old stainless steel most nonstick and tried and true cast iron works like a champ on an induction cooktop.” 

What to Choose From

If you are in the market for an induction cook-top there are well-known manufacturers and a few upstarts too. Some of the standby names you will be familiar with are GE, Samsung, and Thermidor. Upper-end manufacturers include Wolf, Miele, and Jenn-Air.  There is a lot to choose from and your local appliance dealer is a great place to start.  



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