Induction Cooktop Pros and Cons
Have you considered getting an induction cooktop? You have probably seen them advertised all over the place, and for good reason. Now, you might be a bit wary of getting one because they are quite expensive.
Yes, it is true that you will end up spending a good deal of money for an induction cooktop setup. However, most would agree that it’s well worth the investment.
Today we want to talk about induction cooktop pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision, so you know exactly what you are getting into.Table could not be displayed.
Induction Cooktop Pros
There are several reasons why induction cooktops are increasing in popularity. The fact of the matter is that the days of cooking with a basic electric coil cooktop or even the gas cooktop are slowly coming to a close.
Many people still go with more classic cooktops and ways of heating their pots and pans. However, as the years go on, many, even professional chefs, are coming around and seeing the many advantages that come with induction cooking.
Let’s take a look at the pros that you need to consider before buying your next kitchen cooktop range.
One of the biggest benefits that you get with induction cooktops is that they are much safer than any other kind of cooktop. With a gas cooktop, there is an open flame that in itself is hot and heats up the surroundings. With a basic electric coil stove, those things get super-hot.
This means that it is easy to burn yourself. Even worse, kids and pets are at risk of getting burned too. There is also the fact that these types of cooktops also pose pretty big fire risks as well. If you leave some food, a paper towel, a cloth, or an oven mitt laying on a gas or electric burner, and it is on or gets turned on, you will end up causing a fire.
However, this is simply not possible with induction cooktops. With induction cooktops, the only thing that actually gets hot is the pan itself — you can still get bit of a burn from the pan — but then again, there is no open flame to get burned on and there is no blistering hot cooktop surface either.
Not only is it very hard to get burned from an induction cooktop, but it’s also literally impossible to set a fire with one. At the end of the day, induction cooking is much safer than any other cooking method.
Energy Efficient and Eco-Friendly
The next benefit that you get with an induction range is the fact that it is a much more energy-efficient way of cooking. With gas-powered and electric coil stoves, there is a massive loss of heat and energy.
These types of kitchen cooktops can waste well over 50% of the heat and energy which they produce. Not only does this mean that they take longer to heat up a pan, but it also means that you are wasting energy, and therefore also wasting money. These types of cooktops are not energy efficient and they certainly are not cost effective either.
On the other hand, an induction cooktop is much more energy- and cost-effective. These cooktops use well over 90% of their energy to heat pots and pans; only a small fraction of the energy being used is going to waste, with the vast majority of than energy going to good use. Simply put, induction cooking is much more energy efficient, and therefore cost effective too. It doesn’t cost nearly as much to run an induction range as a gas or coil range.
Let’s also keep the environment in mind; the less energy you have to use for cooking, the less you are taxing the power grid, and the less pollution you are creating. With an induction kitchen range, you can save both your money and the environment at the same time.
Extremely Fast Heating
If you are accustomed to gas and electric coil ranges, you are probably used to waiting a good 10 minutes to boil a liter of water. If you have to boil a gallon of water to cook a load of pasta, with a normal gas or coil range, you might wait 20 minutes for that water to boil. That is time wasted, time you may not have to spare. If you get home from work at 5:30 and dinner should be ready within half an hour, you definitely don’t want to wait 20 minutes just for water to boil. Who has that kind of time?
With an induction range, the waiting time for that water to boil or the oil to heat up so you can fry your chicken is much lower. With an induction range, a gallon of water will boil in about 5 minutes.
At the end of the day, if you need to cook fast and you want dinner to be ready now, an induction range is the only way to go. You can end up saving countless hours of time when you have a good induction cooktop in your arsenal.
Very Responsive to Adjustments + Accurate
Yet another advantage that comes along with using an induction cooktop is that they are much more responsive and accurate than any other type of cooktop. When using a gas or coil cooktop, when you adjust the temperature, it can take many minutes for that change to take effect.
For example, if you are sautéing onions and the heat is too high, with a gas burner, when you turn it down, it’s still going to stay at that temperature for a while and only cool down gradually.
Your options are either to burn the onions or to remove the pan from the heat to prevent the onions from burning. The same goes for the other direction too. If your meat is boiling instead of searing in the pan, by the time a gas stove gets up to the right temperature, that meat is already ruined.
However, this is not the case with an induction cooktop. When you make a temperature adjustment, it takes effect more or less right away. Turn the temperature down on a boiling sauce and it will stop boiling immediately. This provides for more accurate control over cooking, and therefore a much better result when everything is said and done.
They Can Be Portable
Another great thing about induction cooktops is that they can also be highly portable. Sure, there are basic electric hot plates out there, as well as portable single burner gas cookers. However, for one reason or another, these types of portable cookers just aren’t ideal. They can be dangerous; they waste a ton of energy; they take forever to do anything at all; and they are generally still quite clunky and heavy.
However, a portable single burner induction cooktop can be very compact and lightweight. This is great for taking with you on the go, for the dorm room, and for storing in small spaces
They Don’t Get as Dirty
The next advantage of an induction cooktop is that it tends to be relatively mess-free. With normal coil and gas stoves, when you spill water or food, because the cooking surface itself is hot, that food and liquid will burn, dry, and get caked on. This of course creates a mess that is not fun to clean up.
However, with induction cooktops, because the cooking surface itself does not get hot, the chances of making a hard-to-clean mess are much lower. You can still spill food and liquid, but because the cooking surface is not hot, that food and liquid won’t burn and dry into a caked-on mess that is hard to clean. If you clean your induction cooktop right away, before the food and liquid dry and burn, it’s much easier to clean than other kinds of cooktop.
They Look Very Spiffy
Something else that is worth noting about induction cooktops is that they also look very nice. The simple fact of the matter is that gas ranges and all other types of cooktops usually just do not look that great. Sure, you can get some really modern and decent-looking options, but those can be very expensive and are usually left for the professionals.
On the other hand, an induction cooktop always looks nice. They are thin and elegant, they are shiny, and they have a beautiful coating of glass ceramic on the top. Simply put, induction ranges look great, they match well with modern décor, and they can really help bring an otherwise drab kitchen to life.
Take Up Less Space
The other reason why you might want to consider getting an induction cooktop is because they are much smaller, sleeker, and more compact than a full size range. Gas ranges require you to install a full-size oven, which is also true for your generic coil ranges. In other words, if you are using one of these, you need a good deal of space in your kitchen to accommodate a massive appliance.
However, when it comes to induction cooktops, the best ones are only a quarter of an inch thick. As long as the induction cooktop is located on a fireproof surface and has an electrical connection, they can be placed virtually anywhere.
They are more or less like a thin sheet of ceramic glass, thus making them much more effective when it comes to saving space and creating an efficient kitchen that is not only functional, but also looks nice too.
Induction Cooktop Cons
For the vast array of benefits which induction cooktops come with, there are also a few negative aspects to consider. Now, in our opinion, and in the opinion of most people out there, induction cooktops do have far more advantages or pros than they have cons or disadvantages.
Simply put, most sane people would agree that the pros of induction cooktops greatly outweigh the cons. With that being said, as this is an honest and fair assessment of induction cooktops, that includes telling you what the negative aspects are as well.
You Have to Work Fast
One of the main complaints which many people have about induction cooktops is that they are actually too fast. There are few things in the world where being too fast is not a good thing. That being said, induction cooktops get up to temperature so fast that it can put undue pressure on you when cooking, at least if you are unaware of what is coming your way.
If you are used to using a gas or normal coil cooktop, you might be used to putting the pan on the burner, turning it on, and then chopping and dicing the food while you wait for the pan to heat up. However, this is not a possibility with induction cooktops.
If you turn the pan on first and then start chopping, the induction cooktop heats up so fast that you will end up either burning the oil in the pan or simply overheating the pan. Therefore, when using an induction cooktop, if you want the best result possible with as little stress and pressure, you need to have all the ingredients chopped, diced, and ready to rock before you turn on the induction cooktop.
Can Be Hard to Master Temperature Control
One small con that comes with induction cooktops is that mastering temperature control can be a bit difficult. That said, it is still true that induction ranges are far more accurate with temperature settings, plus they are also very good for making split-second temperature changes; these induction cooktops are highly responsive.
However, with that being said, this high level of accuracy and responsiveness can be hard to deal with. For anybody that is used to gas range or a basic electric coil cooktop, mastering temperature control with an induction cooktop can take a bit of practice. It is not like it is impossible to master, but it will take a good bit of practice.
A Sensitive Cooktop
In the pros section above, we discussed how induction cooktops don’t get nearly as messy because they in themselves don’t get hot, and therefore food and liquid does not burn on them and cake on as easily as with other types of cooktops. However, there is a trade-off to consider here. If you make a big mess and you don’t clean it right away, if that food sticks and gets caked on, cleaning it becomes a bit of a challenge.
The reason for this is because induction cooktops feature glass and ceramic surfaces. As you might know, both glass and ceramic are very sensitive, fragile, and easy to scratch. In other words, you need highly specialized induction cooktop cleaning pads and liquids for cleaning.
Any kind of harsh chemical cleaner, especially anything that contains bleach, as well as any kind of abrasive tool, such as a coarse sponge or steel wool, will irreparably damage an induction cooktop. So, when they do get messy, it’s difficult to really scrub them and will take a longer time to clean.
This fragility and not being able to scrub an induction cooktop down is something which prevents many people from purchasing them.
Yet another drawback of induction cooktops, quite simply, is their price. This is a modern type of technology, and as is the case with any new technology, especially when it is eco-friendly, efficient, and good looking, it is going to cost a lot. A half-decent induction cooktop can cost just as much, if not more, than a top-quality gas cooktop or normal electric cooking range.
Most people might agree that spending more is well worth it when you consider that an induction cooktop is a long-term investment. They are still much easier to use, more responsive and accurate when adjusting the temperature, they are safe, they are energy efficient, and more.
We would definitely say higher startup price is worth it when all of the short- and long-term benefits of induction ranges are taken into account.
They Don’t Work With Many Types of Cookware
One of the biggest drawbacks of a full scale induction cooktop range has to do with the compatible induction ready cookware, or to be precise, cookware that is not compatible. Induction cooktops function by creating a magnetic field.
Then, when you have the compatible cookware on the burner, that magnetic field, combined with the pot or pan, creates magnetic resistance, which then ends up creating heat and heating up the cookware.
The important thing to note is that there is a need for specialized cookware that is magnetic, or ferromagnetic to be precise. Stainless steel, iron, and cast iron cookware all work fine with induction cooktops. However, anything that does not contain enough steel or iron, and is therefore not magnetic or not highly conductive, will not work with induction cooktops.
This means that most basic pots and pans actually do not work with induction cooktops. Aluminum pans, hard anodized aluminum, and most types of non-stick cookware won’t function on induction cooktops. Induction-compatible cookware must be ferromagnetic, and yes, you better believe that induction friendly cookware is going to be more expensive than normal cookware that is not compatible.
A Bit of Noise
What we want to say is that this particular con of induction cooktops is negligible, not a huge disadvantage, but still worth noting, nonetheless. That magnetic field which induction cooktops create, when you have the right kind of cookware on the burner, is going to make a slight humming or buzzing sound. The more pans and pots you have going on the same induction range, the louder that buzzing noise is going to be.
Most people get used to this buzzing sound, to the point where they don’t hear it anymore. However, the fact of the matter remains the same, that induction cooktops do make a bit of noise. It’s not the worst noise in the world, but if you are sensitive to noise, it may annoy you a little bit. Yet, we would say that all of the positive and beneficial aspects greatly outweigh this miniature annoyance.
No Power = No Cooking
The final con that comes with induction cooking is that if you happen to blow a fuse or the power goes out in your neighborhood, you will be left in a bind. For all of the negative aspects of gas powered kitchen ranges, they do offer this one clear benefit over induction cooktops: If the power goes out, there is no way to power that induction cooktop, and therefore you won’t be able to cook anything.
However, with a gas cooktop, as long as the pilot light is working or you have a match or a lighter, you can still turn it on. We obviously don’t expect you to suffer from constant power outages, but nonetheless, it is still a possibility that you may have to deal with at some point in time. No power means an induction cooktop won’t work.
Pros and Cons of Induction Cooking – Final Thoughts
The bottom line is that induction cooktops have a lot of pros or advantages that should be taken into account. The fact is that induction cooktops are much faster to heat up and much more reliable in terms of fast and accurate temperature adjustments.
Moreover, they look great, plus they can help you save a lot of space in your kitchen. There is also the fact that induction cooktops are by far the safest, most efficient, eco-friendliest cooking appliance available today.
Mastering an induction stove make take time, and cleaning it might be a bit of a challenge, not to mention that they are very expensive too. However, most people would agree that these minor drawbacks and the high price are well worth it.
You get what you pay for, and although induction cooktops are not exactly cheap, they are a long-term investments which are worth the cost.
So when it comes to a cast iron skillet, the benefits using traditional methods is that if you want a supper hot pan , you heat it for a long period of time before adding fat to the pan. Experience tells you how long to heat the pan, and what to look for once the fat comes in contact with the pan. My first foray was a disaster. The instructions say never place an empty pan on an induction burner. So for me adding oil at the beginning was non-sensical , Within a very short period of time the oil was smoking but the pan itself was cold except for the bottom. So how do you get a screaming hot cast iron pan before adding any fat?Reply