Induction Cooktops: What You Need to Know About These Innovative Appliances

Jenny Cazares | Discovery Team | Dean Cabinetry

By: Jenny Cazares

An induction cooktop uses electromagnetic waves that heat magnetic cookware. Your cookware then becomes a heat source by which you can cook your food.

The electromagnetic waves are created by an electrical current that passes through a coiled copper wire under your cooktop.

Interestingly, the entire cooktop remains cool-to-the-touch. 

Is induction cooking efficient?

Induction cooking is more efficient than traditional cooking methods because very little heat energy is lost. Desired cooking temperatures are reached quickly. 

For example, induction cooktops can bring liquids to a boil in a short amount of time.  Induction cooking surfaces can boil water 50 percent faster than gas or electric cooktops.

Will I have better precision when cooking with an induction cooktop?

Yes. You can control the temperature to intense heat or drop the temperature instantaneously.

How does electromagnetic current work?

Typical gas and electric appliances might use thermal conduction to transfer heat to your pan. This means that the burner heats the pan, the pan heats up, then the food heats up and cooks.

With Induction cooking, there is no transfer of thermal conduction. Once the burner is turned on, and your cookware touches the cooktop, the cooktop instantly heats the pan through electromagnetism. 

If you have ever cooked in a kitchen with a small imprint using a gas or electric cooktop, you might have noticed how hot the kitchen may get after a few minutes of cooking. With induction heat, the overall kitchen temperature will not be affected.

Do I need special cookware when using an induction cooktop?

Yes. You can use any cookware that contains enough magnetic material so that the cooktop’s electromagnetic waves will heat the magnetic cookware. Examples are stainless steel over aluminum, enamel on metal, and cast iron pans. Glass, aluminum on their own, ceramic, and copper cannot be used. 

Most people use stainless steel over aluminum, which seems to work best. Yes, even your beautiful Le Creuset cookware can be used with induction heat!

How can I tell if my pots and pans will work on my induction cooktop?

A good way to test if your existing cookware has enough magnetic material is to use a household magnet. If the magnet sticks to the bottom of your pan, it should work fine on your induction cooktop.

What are the benefits of cooking on an induction cooktop?

There are a few excellent benefits of induction cooking:

  • Faster boiling times
  • Precise temperature control
  • The cooktop remains cool to the touch
  • Easy to clean up messes without getting burned
  • No heat transfer to your kitchen space
  • Perfect for homes with small children and pets (that might be able to reach the  countertops)

When cooking with an induction cooktop, your meals are prepared more quickly, you’ll be able to regulate your cooking temperature more precisely, and clean-up will be a breeze!