Induction: The Fastest, Healthiest and Most Energy-Efficient Cooktop

by tracy on April 14, 2013

Are you a big fan of cooking with gas? It has its benefits – more control over the range of heat reaching the pot and of course, when you turn it off….it’s off.  But, you might be surprised to learn that gas cooktops emit both carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) when you turn on the burners.

From an indoor air quality standpoint, the only healthy option used to be the simple electric cooktop, but no more. With the introduction of induction cooking, those of us that prefer cooking with gas but don’t want the combustion toxins, can have our cake and eat it too!

THD 36 All Induction Cooktop

Induction cooking is the first technology that offers all the benefits of cooking with gas, and none of the drawbacks. The photo above (courtesy of Thermador®) shows a 36-inch-wide induction cooktop. Here’s why you might want to consider this option.

  • It’s Fast: Induction heating is even faster than gas. Since induction reacts with the iron in each cooking vessel, transferring energy directly within the metal of the pan, the cooking surface will heat only the surface area of the pot and nothing else. Of course, in order for this concept to work, pots must have iron content (aluminum won’t work) and a flat bottom for proper contact with the cooking surface.
  • It’s Safe: If food or grease overflows from the pot or pan, there’s no risk of fire, no risk of burns from touching the cooktop surface, and no concern about dangerous fumes from gas or other cooking fuels. Children can’t be burned by touching a hot burner, because the cooktop surface remains cool.
  • It’s Easy to Clean: With no grates, elements, or burned-on, impossible-to-remove stuff to worry about, cleanup is a breeze. Just use a damp cloth to wipe off the flat, easy-to-clean surface. This is a huge improvement over most gas cooktops, which can be an absolute nightmare to clean.
  • It’s Energy-Efficient: Induction cooking is more energy-efficient than halogen, gas, or traditional electric ranges. When using an induction cooktop, 90 percent of every dollar you spend on energy goes right where you want it: into the pan. Gas delivers 55 percent of the energy generated to the cooking vessel, traditional electric about 65 percent. And there’s no cooldown period. When you remove a pan from an induction cooking surface, the cooktop immediately goes into standby mode, which uses almost no energy at all. According to CEG Electric Glass Company, a producer of induction cooktops, with induction cooking it’s realistic to achieve energy savings of 40–70 percent over a conventional cooktop. The kitchen stays cooler, too!

The features of an induction cooktop come with a price, but if you’re likely to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, the daily convenience and energy savings can be worth every penny.

If you envision switching to an induction cooktop in the future, have the electrician include a 220 outlet in the appropriate location. The traditional 110 outlet used for most cooktops is not a match for this product.

There are several suppliers of induction cooktops, including Thermador, Viking, and KitchenAid®

As always, The Difference is in the Details.

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