Only if there was a way to have the benefits of gas without the wasted energy. Well in North America it’s certainly starting to break into the market place but in Europe they have already made the switch and they couldn’t be happier. But what exactly is Induction cooking and what makes it more beneficial then electric or ceramic stovetops and dare I say “Gas stovetops”.
Induction cooking produces electromagnetic fields which in triggers the electromagnetic activity in the pan itself. Since the pan becomes the starting point of heat it takes less time for the heat to get to your food in the cookware about 40% less time on average. A gas flame is going to release lots of heat around the pan, and an electric burner emits radiant heat at any point where it’s not in direct, firm contact with the pan. When heat is generated within the pan itself, as with induction, more of that heat gets to the food, and less of it warms up your kitchen.
The most obvious result of this increased energy efficiency is reduced energy consumption, meaning lower power bills and a healthier environment. Less concrete and more personal, though, is the greater comfort in your kitchen: You won’t sweat as much when you cook.
Another benefit of reduced accidental heat loss? The reduced possibility of accidents
The stove top is easily one of the most dangerous places in the kitchen. It’s where grease fires begin, where the gas gets left on, and where little hands make contact with very hot surfaces.
First, the most obvious: No flame means no grease fires, and no gas means no gas leaks.
But the induction cooktop has another safety feature: It typically doesn’t get all that hot, since the heat is created in the pan itself. This means it would be far less likely for the cooktop to cause a burn. What’s more, the pan’s response to a turn of the dial is practically immediate, so as soon as you turn off the heat, the pan cools down. This makes it a lot more difficult to burn yourself as you pour your sautéed vegetables onto a serving plate.
It makes it easier to get those vegetables just right, too…
For people who love to cook — or at least love to eat great home-cooked food — control is probably the most important feature of a cooktop. It’s why many serious cooks prefer gas to electric: Gas burners are more responsive when you adjust the dial. The temperature change is fast.
Induction cooktops are as responsive as gas to a turn of the dial, and they’ve got another thing going for them, too: more settings. Induction allows for much more precise control of heat, with more temperature increments and better performance at very low heat settings. In this way, induction makes cooking delicate sauces or just keeping food warm a lot easier than with a gas flame, which can often falter on the low setting.
And finally, a benefit that rivals speed for practicality…
If the main purpose of your cooktop is to get dinner on the table faster and do it safer, it goes without saying that a quicker, less-intensive cleanup would be a big draw. Since an induction cooktop seldom gets very hot, food doesn’t burn onto it. This means a splatter, a spill or a pasta-sauce pop calls for a quick swipe of the sponge, not a good, long scrub.
Even with ease of clean-up — even with speed, energy efficiency, safety, control and easy clean-up — induction cooktops may not be able to overcome the price issue for some. They’re still significantly more expensive than gas and electric, up to a few thousand more for a top-of-the-line model. Factor in the new cookware you might need to buy, because your current stuff might not have the magnetism required to work with the cooktop, and it’s a big investment. Thou as we witness with technology when the manufacturing of the item becomes more main stream then the later generation models become more cost effective, just like when flat panel TV’s came onto the market.
But if you’re doing one of those increasingly popular $10,000 kitchen remodels, or even a $5,000 appliance upgrade, an induction cooktop should be at the top of your “look into” list — even, or perhaps especially, if all you do with your stove is boil water.