What is an induction cooktop? At first glance it appears to look like the electric smooth cooktops, but offers so much more and a few downsides that you will need to consider.
Induction works through electromagnetically transferring heat directly to the cookware. It removes the intermediary step of heating up the burner first and then transferring that heat to the cookware. The surface does not heat up, but it does get hot from absorbing heat back from the cookware.
This might be what I love most about my induction cooktop. It’s fast and responsive to adjusting the temperature, since you are not adjusting the burner, but instead adjusting the heat directly on the pot/pan. Water boils faster and the ability to control temperature allows you to go from boil to simmer seamlessly.
So, I admit it – I am a messy cook and keeping my gas cooktop clean was a chore. It was too hot and too hard to try to clean as I cooked and then waiting for it to cool down to lift up the grates, often meant the crumbs hung out for several days. It was unsightly for sure. But I liked the control of the fire when cooking compared to electric. So, I can not tell you how easy it is to keep the induction cooktop clean. I can wipe up spills as I go and it’s an easy clean to wipe down while cleaning the rest of the countertops. It’s a beautiful smooth clean surface.
Not all cookware works on induction cooktops. You’ll need pots and pans that are induction compatible – this is becoming more and more common and readily available in entry level to high end brands. I had to buy new cookware, so that added to the cost, but it does work with cast iron. A simple way to check if your current cookware is induction compatible is to put a magnet up to it, if it sticks, it’s compatible.
This is probably my biggest pet peeve about my induction cooktop. When operating it makes a humming or buzzing noise. It’s not crazy loud, but just enough of an annoyance. I noticed it doesn’t hum on my Le Creuset, so heavier pots and pans help reduce the vibration and subsequent noise they might make.
Overall, I love my induction cooktop and highly recommend it. The responsiveness and the ability to keep clean are what sold me on my induction cooktop. Dare I say it makes me a better cook?
Check out these additional resources: Consumer Reports and Induction Buying Guide