Whether you’re buying a new range or looking for range options for a new house, you might be trying to choose between induction and electric cooktops. Both offer power, precision and performance when delivering fast cooktop heat and superb heat control. Knowing the difference between an induction vs. electric cooktop can help you make a better decision for your kitchen.
How Do Induction Cooktops Work?
In essence, induction cooktops are electric since they don’t use gas to create heat. However, induction cooktops provide heat through coils underneath the surface. Around 90% of the electricity consumed by an induction stove is used for cooking food. There’s no energy escaping, giving you instant heat and controlled temperature.
Induction heat uses electromagnetic radiation, a current of electricity alternates as it passes through the ring to the cookware. The result is that the pot or pan begins heating and your food begins to cook. There’s no residual heat with an induction cooktop because the air between the cooktop and pan never gets hot.
How Do Electric Cooktops Work?
Also known as radiant cooktops, electric cooktops offer centralized heat. Electric cooktops have an electrical current that flows through a metal coil underneath the glass or ceramic surface. The coil becomes hot and starts glowing due to the electrical resistance. It will transfer its heat through the glass using infrared energy. This means the burner holding your pot or pan is the one that gets hot. Your food is then cooked by the transfer of heat between the cooktop and the pot.
There is residual heat for an undetermined amount of time with electric cooktops, which is why these ranges tend to have an indicator light letting you know that the burner is still warm.
Induction cooktops are gaining popularity, especially as their prices decline. Many of its characteristics make it a popular choice for homeowners. Nonetheless, there are some disadvantages (mostly around its price) that are worth considering before making a decision. For example, compared to electric cooktops, induction options have fewer variations across models and most likely will have a glass top surface.
- Cooktops remain cool to the touch after cooking
- Easier to clean because the surface remains cool
- There’s no residual heat, which means lower energy costs and a cooler kitchen area
- Faster cooking times, boiling water in half the time that it takes gas to do so
- Generally more expensive than electric counterparts
- Requires induction-compatible cookware, like cast iron and stainless steel
- At higher settings, you might hear a buzz or humming sound
- The magnetic field can interfere with a digital thermometer
Electric cooktops have been around for decades, and most people feel very comfortable using them. The main difference with induction cooktops is that electrical cooktops have residual heat, even after the electrical current stops. Of course, electric cooktops also have a downside, mainly around the type of heat they produce. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider before choosing an electric cooktop.
- Easier to install and easy to use
- Provide some residual heat that can help keep food warm or for simmering
- Provide controlled and managed heat that can also help bring energy costs down
- Residual heat can be potentially dangerous, especially in households with children
- Electric cooktops take longer to heat up, increasing cook time
- The coils often provide uneven distribution of heat
Choosing The Right One
When choosing between an induction cooktop and an electric cooktop, the choice is very personal. It all depends on your preferences and priorities. If you prefer to use something that you’re already familiar with, stick with an electric cooktop. If you’re looking for a cooktop that provides even and fast heating, reduces energy costs and increases safety thanks to no heat transfer, then an induction cooktop is the best option.
At the same time, if you prioritize energy efficiency, you may find an induction cooktop a more compatible purchase. On the other hand, if you prefer to shop for a more affordable option that doesn’t require specific cookware, an electric cooktop is the best option. As always, the final decision will vary tremendously and your cooking style, kitchen needs and budget will be decisive factors you must consider.
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Hopefully the information in the above article has helped you have the most objective view of induction and electric cooking ranges. Hope you will make the most accurate, correct and cost-effective choice of kitchen equipment for your business unit.