May 09, 2023

guide to induction stoves

I researched induction stoves by examining various discussions on Reddit, including posts about users' experiences, pros and cons, and specific recommendations. The sources I read were mostly discussions among home cooks who have used or considered using induction stoves. There was a general consensus on the benefits and drawbacks of induction stoves, but individual preferences and experiences varied. Overall, the information gathered provides a solid understanding of what to expect from induction stoves and how they compare to other cooking methods.

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Pros of Induction Stoves

According to multiple Reddit discussions, users generally agree that induction stoves offer several advantages over traditional gas and electric stoves. Some pros include amazing control, faster boiling, a wide range of power settings, easy cleaning, safety features, and energy efficiency . Induction stoves also do not heat up the kitchen as much as other stoves, as most of the heat is transferred directly to the pan.

Cons of Induction Stoves

Despite the numerous benefits, induction stoves also have some drawbacks. Users report that temperature control can be less intuitive due to the use of buttons instead of dials, and some stoves may have issues regulating low temperatures for simmering. Additionally, induction stoves may not work well with certain cookware, such as round-bottomed woks, and may be more expensive than traditional electric cooktops. There are also concerns about the touchscreen controls on some models, which may malfunction or be sensitive to water or other liquids.

Cookware Compatibility

When it comes to cookware, induction stoves require compatible materials, such as stainless steel, cast iron, and carbon steel. Users recommend testing your cookware with a magnet to see if it is induction-compatible before purchasing an induction stove. Brands like All-Clad, Lodge, and Le Creuset have been reported to work well with induction stoves. Non-stick pans compatible with induction do exist, but users recommend updating them every few years due to wear and tear. Some induction-compatible non-stick options include Ikea Trovärdig or Update International SFC pans, and T-fal non-stick pans with steel-infused bottoms.

Adjusting to Induction Cooking

Users generally agree that induction stoves heat up very quickly, making it important to monitor cooking closely. It may take a few tries to adjust to the quick heating times, and users recommend briefly preheating pans on induction stoves before testing with water, oil, or an IR thermometer. Induction stoves require steady, flat-bottomed pans, and the sides of the pan can impact how the food cooks.

Safety and Noise

Induction stoves are considered safer than their gas and electric counterparts due to the lack of open flames or heating elements. However, the glass cooktop can still be hot after removing a pan, so caution is advised. In terms of noise, induction stoves can produce clicking noises or an audible hum, particularly at higher heat levels. Most users report that the noise is not too bothersome. In conclusion, induction stoves offer many benefits, such as precise control, fast heating, and energy efficiency, but they also have some drawbacks, including cookware compatibility and potential issues with temperature regulation. Users should consider their specific needs and preferences when deciding if an induction stove is the right choice for their kitchen.

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Research

"Reflections on owning an induction cooktop"

  • User discusses their experience with induction ranges – specifically, the LG LSE4616ST electric range – after having extensively researched whether or not to build in a gas line for a gas range during kitchen renovations.
  • Pros listed:
    • Heat control is very precise and impressive – when moving a boiling liquid from one level to the next, there is practically no delay or discernible difference between levels, which allows for more control and precision in cooking.
    • Cooktop heats quickly, often much faster than gas ranges, once the correct pan has been selected.
    • Little heat “bleed” and heat is concentrated at the base of the pot or pan, so the kitchen doesn’t heat up as badly when the cooktop is in use as it would with a gas range.
    • The cooktop stays clean and free of scorching, because the heat is focused on the panned itself and not the cooktop.
    • Induction is safer with children in the house because there is no open flame, gas leaks, or fiery cooktop.
  • Cons/Myths discussed:
    • Cooktop is still hot immediately after it is turned off and pot or pan is removed – user wouldn’t risk touching it immediately.
    • Induction cooktops can be noisy – there’s an audible hum, especially when heat is cranked up higher.
    • Controls can be finicky, especially touch buttons on glass cooktops if there are spills or splashes on the cooktop, but some models have physical knobs in front.
    • Scratching is possible if pots and pans are lifted, slid, or swiveled instead of being lifted when moved around on the cooktop – LG model being discussed has not had any scratching yet.
    • Induction requires a certain level of iron in pots and pans for the magnetism to work – this can come with an added cost, but induction-capable pots and pans are readily available at reasonable prices.
    • Cost – induction is a bit more expensive in North America than gas ranges.
  • Commenters on the thread provide:
    • Suggestions for using silicone mats underneath pans when cooking to prevent scratches.
    • Clarification that dirt or sand between the cookware and the glass top is what causes scratching, rather than the metal itself.
    • Information about the issue with proper heat control at very low to low heat settings, which is a problem with many induction cooktops.
    • Personal support for using induction instead of gas ranges, with some users saying that they would never

"ELI5: How do induction cooktops work — specifically, without burning your hand if you touch them?"

  • Induction cooktops use a magnetic field to heat up the pan instead of transferring heat from a heating element below the stove surface.
  • The heat is almost entirely from electrical current induced in the pan.
  • The main reason an induction cooktop doesn’t affect a hand is because we are not made of metal.
  • Induction cooktops are very localized, only heating the parts of the surface that is in contact with the pan.
  • Not all types of pan work with induction cooktops. For instance, copper definitely conducts but isn’t greatly affected by magnets. One can find aluminum and copper cookware that has a clad steel layer on the bottom to allow it to work. Rings are generally made of nonferrous metal. Eddy currents stop it from working on things other than metal.
  • There are plenty of non-stick pans available for induction cooktops.
  • Safety features prevent the stove from activating without a pan of a certain size.
  • The glass of the induction cooktop has been absorbing heat from the pot itself; this is why you still can’t touch the area for a while after removing the pan. If you keep your hand there longer, you can still get burned.
  • If you put metal in the microwave, the electricity would rather wiggle the metal instead of the food.
  • Flowing electrical current creates a magnetic field.
  • Transformers use one coil of wire to create a magnetic field, which in turn induces an electric current in a second coil.
  • Induction cooktops could work with plastic cookware because plastic is non-magnetic.
  • Induction cookers are designed with safety sensors to only work with an actual cooking pan.
  • The surface only gets as hot as the pan, and the pan doesn’t typically get as hot as one might think it does.
  • Induction cooktops are safe near phones. The phone might heat up a bit but not to a noticeable degree.
  • The stovetop itself only gets heated by the pan, so it cools down quickly when the pan is removed.
  • Non-magnetic metals such as aluminum and copper pans don’t work on induction.
  • An electromagnet is a simple device that wraps a long wire around a nail several times, connected to a battery, and the nail becomes magnetic.
  • The opposite is true as well: Move a magnet around near a coiled wire and it creates an electrical current in the wire.
  • Eddy currents are loops of electrical current induced within conductors by varying magnetic fields, any conductor can exhibit

"Induction cooktops, are they as great as they sound?"

  • An induction cooktop is a type of electric cooktop that uses magnetic energy to heat up the cookware directly.
  • They offer the benefits of both gas and glass-top electric cooktops and are energy efficient and fast.
  • However, they are more expensive than traditional electric cooktops, and not all cookware is compatible with induction technology. Only cookware with magnetic material in the base, such as iron or stainless steel, will work on an induction cooktop.
  • Users note that the flat-bottomed woks typically used in home cooking are compatible with induction cooktops, but traditional round-bottomed woks are not.
  • Several users report that induction cooktops are effective at heating food quickly and accurately, with one user noting that they are “easier to clean than gas” and “pan bottoms stay cleaner.”
  • While some users report using cast iron cookware on their induction cooktops with no issues, others recommend avoiding lightweight cast iron skillets, as they can scratch the surface of the cooktop.
  • Some users caution that induction is not ideal for controlling low temperatures, as they tend to have more steps between settings compared to gas cooktops.
  • Several users recommend getting a standalone induction burner or a cooktop with a bridge function for cooking with a griddle on a large heat surface.
  • Induction cooktops may make noise, such as clicking noises when the cooktop turns on and off, but several users report that it is not too bothersome.
  • There are some concerns about the touchscreen controls on some models of induction cooktops, as they may malfunction or be sensitive to water or other liquids.
  • While some users report that induction cooktops have the advantage of heating up quickly, others argue that gas cooktops are better at controlling heat and are more intuitive to use, as you can see the flame.
  • It is noted that certain types of cookware, such as traditional tin or copper cookware, cannot be used on induction cooktops.

"Talk to me about induction stoves"

  • The post titled “Talk to me about induction stoves” is a discussion on Reddit from three months ago about users’ experiences with induction stoves.
  • The original poster is considering upgrading to an induction stove and would like to know if there is a significant learning curve, the pros and cons of induction stoves, and whether their current cookware is compatible with an induction stove.
  • Users provide their opinions on whether induction stoves are worth the investment and compare them to gas and electric stoves in terms of temperature control, speed of boiling, power settings, and safety.
  • Some users expressed the following pros about induction stoves:
    • Amazing control
    • Much easier to drop heat quickly when needed
    • Cooktop doesn’t get hot without a pan on it
    • Heats up pans in an instant
    • Wide range of power settings
    • Easy to use when too hot or waiting too long
    • Fast boiling
    • Cheaper to run
    • Stays cool to reduce risk of injury
    • Quickly adds/drops heat
    • Easy to clean
    • No hot spots
    • Even cooking oven
  • Some users expressed the following cons about induction stoves:
    • Temperature control is a button instead of a dial
    • Can error message if a liquid spills on it
    • Some have issues regulating low temps for simmering
    • Hard to control for precise cooking
    • Doesn’t work well with a Wok or other strong burners (above 3600w) without blowing fuses.
    • Some users reported a significant learning curve when switching from gas or electric to induction.
    • Some users prefer dials instead of touch buttons.
    • Some users prefer gas over induction and miss it.
  • Users recommend testing your cookware with a magnet to see if it’s induction compatible before buying an induction stove.
  • All Clad, Lodge, and Le Creuset are reported to work on induction stoves.
  • Some users suggest purchasing a cheap single burner induction stove to test your cookware and see if induction stoves are suitable for your needs before investing in a full induction stove.
  • Some users recommend buying an induction stove with rotary dials instead of touch buttons.
  • A magnetic dial is recommended with a push-start feature that only comes out of the drawer when using the hob.
  • Users discuss their experiences with different brands and models of induction stoves, like Bosch, GE Profile, Fulgor Milano, and Bluestar.

"What do I need to know about induction stoves?"

  • Induction stove tops are highly efficient, and most heat will be transferred directly to the pan, meaning the kitchen won’t heat up like other stoves.
  • Users recommend induction-ready cookware: stainless steel, cast iron, and carbon steel.
  • Some users also report that the base of the pan heats quickly, but the sides take longer.
  • Induction stoves heat up very quickly and the highest setting should only be used for boiling purposes.
  • Be cautious in heating pans, as they can overheat easily.
  • Non-stick pans that are compatible with induction exist, but users recommend updating them every few years due to wear and tear.
  • Ikea Trovärdig or Update International SFC pans are recommended for those seeking non-stick options that are induction-compatible.
  • A T-fal non-stick pan is reported by a user to have a steel-infused bottom, making it compatible with induction.
  • Avoid using coated pans or non-stick pans with Teflon, as they can flake off and mix with the food, potentially becoming toxic.
  • Users recommend using stainless steel or carbon steel as a non-stick alternative, or investing in higher-quality, long-lasting cookware like All-Clad or Le Creuset, which are compatible with induction.
  • Induction stoves make cooking faster and easier, but it takes a few tries to adjust to the quick heating times.
  • Users recommend briefly preheating pans on induction stoves, for a few seconds before testing with water, oil, or an IR thermometer.
  • One user reports that the largest size of the Ikea Trovärdig has been discontinued.
  • Induction stoves require steady, flat-bottomed pans.
  • The sides of the pan impact how the food cooks on the stove.
  • Induction stoves make a noise, but it is unclear how this impacts cooking.
  • Be mindful of not leaving pans unattended while cooking, as they have a tendency to overheat quickly.
  • Induction stoves are considered one of the safest methods of cooking due to only heating up the pan, as opposed to an open flame with gas or an electric burner.
  • The lack of waste heat also means that less ventilation is required.
  • Some users report that induction stoves make clean-up easier, as splashes and boil-overs do not burn onto the cooktop.
  • Some users recommend using lard as an alternative to oil when cooking.

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Tips for selecting and using induction stoves

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Overview of how induction stoves work and their benefits and drawbacks