What is Induction Cooking?
Gas and traditional electric radiant technology dominate cooking appliances, but a better option—induction—is making strong gains and worth consideration.
A technology that has been around since the early 1900, induction cooks by heating pots and pans directly, instead of using an electric or gas element. Cooktops and ranges that utilize induction use a magnetic.
“Induction cooking uses electric currents to directly heat pots and pans through magnetic induction,” appliance manufacturer Frigidaire says on its website. “Instead of using thermal conduction (a gas or electric element transferring heat from a burner to a pot or pan), induction heats the cooking vessel itself almost instantly.
[ Read More: 5 NEW REFRIGERATOR DEBUTS COMING IN 2021 ]
The Euro-Style Series 30-inch range offers four burner elements and a true convection oven combined with a baking drawer for a total capacity of 7.1 cubic- feet. It installs in a standard opening and pairs seamlessly with other appliances in the Euro Style suite.
“An electric current,” Frigidaire continues, “is passed through a coiled copper wire underneath the cooking surface, which creates a magnetic current throughout the cooking pan to produce heat. Because induction doesn’t use a traditional outside heat source, only the element in use will become warm due to the heat transferred from the pan.”
More chefs and manufacturers are now touting induction to construction professionals and consumers because of the inherent benefits of the tech. For one, induction is more efficient than traditional electric and gas because very little heat energy is lost. The heated pots and pans heat the contents inside through conduction and convection, with very little inefficiency.
“It boils water up to 50 percent faster than gas or electric, and maintains a consistent and precise temperature,” says Frigidaire. “The surface stays relatively cool so spills, splatters and occasional boil-overs don't burn onto the cooktop, making clean-up quick and easy.”
The brand is releasing a new collection of induction cooktops for 2021. Available in 30- and 36-inch configurations with a black or silver-metallic finish, the lines comes with an optional kit allowing for a completely flush installation with surrounding countertops. Each one includes built-in Bluetooth and WiFi.
Manufacturers says induction boils water 50% faster because induction creates instant heat within the metal of pots and pans and no heat is wasted in the process. It also offers precise temperature control, much like gas cooktops, allowing cooks to control heat more precisely. Like traditional glass-top electrical cooktops, induction units are also easy to clean and, because of the relatively cooler surface, easily allows homeowners to clean whatever mess is left behind.
Induction heats through an electromagnetic current passed into the pots and pans in use. Many induction cooktops use auto sizing pan detection to place heat where it’s needed, by automatically adjusting to cookware size.
Consumer Reports confirms the advantages of induction and the performance attributes. “No other cooking technology that we’ve tested is faster than the fastest induction elements—we’re talking 2 to 4 minutes speedier than the competition to bring 6 quarts of water to a near-boil,” the group says on its website.
Part of the Designer Series, the 36-inch freestanding induction range has five burner elements, a larger oven cavity, and a deeper footprint at 25¼ inches. It also comes with a digital clock and timer, a pullout storage drawer, a color-matched control panel, and soft-close oven door.
Though there is a popular belief that induction cooktops don’t get hot, Consumer Reports says the cooking surface does get hot, but explains that the heat is transferring from the cooking pot to the glass through conduction, much as a hot pan would transfer some heat to a countertop if you set it down to rest. “As soon as you remove the pot, that heating stops. And because the heat is going from the pan to the cooktop, the glass surface never gets as hot as it does on a traditional radiant electric range. And if you turn on an induction burner with no pot on it by mistake, it won’t get hot—a nice safety feature.”
Though induction has been around for many years, it is only now gaining traction with consumers. Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, which offers a wide variety of appliance, says that acceptance has begun.
“Homeowners are starting to ask for induction,” says Paige Snodgrass, a product specialist at Ferguson’s Scottsdale, Ariz., showroom. “That wasn’t the case several years back. The difference today is that manufacturers are focused on improving the technology and educating consumers.”
[ Read More: 15 ON-TREND PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR PRODUCTS FOR 2021 ]
This 30-inch induction range features four elements, an 11-inch cooking zone, and a 5.7-cubic-foot capacity. The company says the true European convection oven offers a boost function for even and fast baking results and a self-clean mode.
Online luxury appliance retailer AJ Madison indicates that interest in induction technology is also growing with its customers, too. The 19-year-old company with showrooms in Washington and Brooklyn, N.Y., says interest is strong and growing stronger.
“Induction is the fastest growing cooking technology,” says Jessica Petrino, an educator and appliance expert at the company. “Industry wide, induction cooking appliances represent about 10% of the range and cooktop sales. We expect that number will increase in the future as more consumers are learning about the benefits of induction. Next to professional gas appliances, induction is a top choice. Consumers choose induction for its cleanability, safety, speed, and efficiency.”
30-inch slide-in induction smart range offers five cooking zones, a 6.3-cubic-foot oven capacity, 11 cooking modes, and ProBake convection technology. With the ProBake system, a rear-positioned fan circulates hot air evenly. Other features include glass touch controls, front tilt control knobs, and a Self Clean mode.
These days almost all appliance manufacturers carry induction cooktops or ranges, including LG, Samsung, GE, Viking, Dacor, Frigidaire, Wolf, Thermador, Bosch, and many others. And more keep coming.
“Verona has offered induction options since 2015 and we continue to update the induction models offered as mainstream consumers and designers become more aware of the performance and energy saving features of induction technology,” says Melissa Haber, vice president of EuroChef, USA.. “Currently Verona offers a 36” Induction Range in their new Designer Range Series launched in 2020 and we are looking to expand the induction product assortment within the next 3 years.”
If there’s a complaint about induction technology it’s the cost. Once upon a time, cooktops and ranges were very expensive—certainly more than traditional electric ranges. But things are changing: “Induction is more affordable than ever,” Petrino says. “We are seeing more brands offer induction cooktops and ranges so everyone can enjoy the benefits of this amazing technology.”
[ Read More: WHIRLPOOL INTRODUCES NEW DISHWASHER WITH THIRD RACK ]
The 30-inch Gallery range offers Air-Fry technology, True Convection heating element, and a steam clean option. It boils water up to 50% faster than a traditional gas or electric cooktop, the company says, and fits into the space of an existing 30-inch range.
For its part, Ferguson says things are changing. “Ten years ago, homeowners in the US were not buying it,” Snodgrass says. “It had a bad reputation and part of that was that it was new, there were several misconceptions and the technology was not as evolved as it is today across all price points. Now, manufacturers offer induction to meet a variety of consumer needs. They are more affordable than custom or built-in units.”
As a result of those developments, homeowners are starting to ask for induction products, Snodgrass explains. More and more “manufacturers are focused on improving the technology and educating consumers,” she says. “They specifically focus on educating designers so that they can educate their clients on the many benefits and realize that an induction cooktop or stove can be elegantly integrated into kitchen design.”
The brand says its 30-inch induction slide-in range range allows fast and efficient cooking and has an oven that provides even baking on three racks. Autochef regulates temperatures continuously during frying and adjusts them as needed and European convection provides even baking.