Induction Cooktops, Ranges & Burners

Induction Cooktops, Ranges & Burners

If you’ve recently considered replacing your old kitchen cooktop with something newer, you may have heard about “induction” cooktops as the latest, greatest technology. But what makes induction cooktops different, and what would be the advantages and disadvantages of having one? In this guide, we’ll walk you through what induction cooktops are, how their technology works, and what pros and cons you’d want to consider to decide if induction cooking makes sense for your kitchen.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide – feel free to jump to the section you’re interested in.
How Does Induction Cooking Work?
What About Induction Ovens or Ranges?
The Pros and Cons of Induction Cooktops
The Differences Between Gas, Electric, and Induction Cooktops
Are Induction Cooktops Worth It?
What Features Should I Consider With Induction Cooktops?

How Does Induction Cooking Work?

To the eye, induction cooktops will look exactly the same as the more common glass or ceramic cooktops with electric coils beneath, but where induction cooktops differ is how heat is transferred from the elements below the surface to the pots and pans on top of the surface.

With traditional electric cooktops, the coils below the surface heat up, transferring heat to the glass/ceramic surface, which then heats the pot or pan on top of it.

So, how does induction cooking do it?


Well, sort of… With induction cooking, the coils below the surface don’t actually produce heat, but instead produce a high-frequency electromagnetic current designed to interact specifically with your cookware. With induction cooking, the magnetic field doesn’t affect the cooking surface at all (so if there is no cookware on top of it, the surface will actually be completely cool to the touch, even when the elements are turned on). It’s only when proper cookware is placed above the coils that the magnetic field will transfer its energy directly to the pot or pan, causing the cookware to heat up.

Induction cooktops offer faster, more even heating, and finer temperature control. They are typically easier to clean and safer to operate. They have a smaller environmental impact, using electricity instead of burning fuel and saving energy through more efficient energy transfer.

What About Induction Ovens or Ranges?

What about ovens and ranges? Are those different with induction too?

In short: No. Induction heating is only used in cooktops, not in ovens or baking. So if you buy a range (an oven and cooktop combined) with induction technology, the oven will use the same electric heating elements as you would find along with traditional fully electric ranges.

The Pros and Cons of Induction Cooktops


  • Faster heating
    • With traditional cooktops, heating up your cookware can be unbearably slow. The process of transferring heat from an open flame to your cookware, or transferring heat from a coil, to the cooktop, and then to the cookware, can be extremely wasteful and inefficient. You may be used to waiting several minutes for your pan to heat up to cooking temperature. In large part this is because of how much heat is lost, or wasted, in the transfer process with traditional methods (heat transferred to the air, or to the surface area around the burner). But with induction cooking, the energy transfers directly to the pan (and almost none is transferred to the surrounding surface and air). With induction, the pan also responds to the magnetic current almost immediately, cutting down on slow heat-up times. With induction cooking, the time to reach cooking temperature can be reduced by up to 50% vs. traditional technology.
  • Precise temperature control
    • Not only do your pans heat up faster with induction, but because they don’t rely on the cooking surface being hot, they can also reduce their temperature much faster than a typical electric cooktop (in this respect, induction offers heat control similar to that of gas cooktops).
  • Safety
    • Because induction cooking doesn’t rely on heating the cooking surface, it produces far less residual heat on those surfaces, which can make them much safer to be around (especially if you have kids or pets in your home). The surface will still absorb some heat from the hot cookware, so don’t expect them to be immediately cool right after cooking, but they will cool down much faster than traditional electric cooktops. And obviously, since the technology is electric, you don’t have to deal with the dangers that come with gas burners and open flames.
  • Energy efficiency & environmental impact
    • As mentioned earlier, induction cooking wastes less energy compared to gas and traditional electric cooktops. While an open flame, or a large heated surface transfers a significant amount of their heat to the surrounding air (wasting roughly 29% of their energy), induction cooktops transfer more of their energy directly to the cookware (losing only 16% of their energy in the process).
    • That higher efficiency of energy transfer combined with the faster average cooking times make for significantly lower energy consumption compared to both gas and traditional electric cooktop technology. This makes induction cooktops not just friendlier to the environment, but to your energy bills as well.
  • Air quality
    • Aside from the environmental impact of burning gas, gas stoves can also contribute to indoor air pollution, releasing NO2, which over time can contribute to a variety of health risks for children and adults alike, especially for those with respiratory conditions like asthma. Induction cooktops, like traditional electric ones, don’t exhaust any pollutants, making them much safer options than gas cooktops with respect to the air quality in your home.
  • Easier to clean
    • Since inductions cooktops come with glass or ceramic cooktops, they come with all the cleaning advantages of those flat surfaces (no cleaning under grates or around burners/coils). But also, in comparison to glass and ceramic tops with traditional electric elements, because the cooking surface doesn’t heat up nearly as hot with induction cooking, there’s significantly less cooked-on or burnt-on messes from drips and spills. Induction cooktops can usually be completely cleaned by just gently wiping up the surface afterwards. Though since inductions cooktops are generally made of glass or ceramic, they can scratch, so make sure to use soft cleaning tools like sponges, and nothing abrasive.


  • Higher price
    • Induction technology still comes with a bit of a premium these days, so induction cooktops will usually set you back considerably more than their gas and electric counterparts. Comparing cooktops of the same size and number of elements, inductions cooktops typically run close to two times the cost of gas and electric tops.
Brand Size Elements Technology MSRP
Frigidaire 30 in. 4 Gas $899
Frigidaire 30 in. 4 Electric $929
Frigidaire 30 in. 4 Induction $1,899


  • Requires compatible cookware
    • Not all cookware will work on an induction cooktop. Since induction relies on transferring energy through magnetic current, the cookware must be magnetic to work with the cooktop. That means that copper, aluminum, and glass cookware will not heat up on an induction cooktop (unless they have a bottom made with a different material). However, stainless steel, cast iron, and enameled cast iron are all magnetic materials and should work with an induction cooktop. If your existing cookware is made of those materials, you may not need any new cookware at all.
    • If you’re not sure about your current cookware, you can test it by trying to stick a magnet to it. If the magnet clings firmly to the bottom, it should work with induction, but if the magnet doesn’t attract (or only weakly holds) your cookware may not work properly on an induction cooktop.
    • Another thing to consider with your existing cookware, even if it is cast iron or stainless steel is the shape. Flat bottomed cookware will be best for induction cooking. Cookware with a curved bottom may not heat as evenly and can potentially vibrate/rattle while being heated by the magnetic current. Also because induction cooktops come on glass or ceramic tops, rough cookware may scratch the surface, and you may prefer to have smooth bottomed cookware for that reason (although you can also just place items like parchment paper or baking mats between you cookware and the induction top to protect it).
    • So, combining all of those factors, clearly one potential negative may be, depending on how compatible your current cookware is, switching to an induction could mean having to replace some or all of it, which adds additional cost.
  • Learning curve
    • The technology of induction cooktops comes with a few tricks that may take time to get used. In some ways, the advantages of induction cooking can trip you up at first, if you’re not used to them. The faster heating times mentioned in “pros” can also mean accidentally overcooking or burning foods if you expect the same heating times as electric or gas burners. Another change with induction cooking that can catch a newbie off guard is that, unlike a flame that heats the center of the pan but leaves the edges cooler, induction cooking heats the whole pan evenly. This can be a great advantage to cooks, but if you are used to using the edges of your pan to cook more slowly, you may be in for a surprise when using induction. Once you get used to these things, they should all work to your advantage, but there may be an adjustment period as you unlearn all the techniques of gas and electric cooking.
  • Noise
    • This isn’t always the case, but the magnetic resonance with some of your pans, especially lighter-weight ones before food or liquids are added to them, may cause a buzzing or rattling noise, especially at high temperatures. Again, at lower temperatures, with heavier pans, or with contents added to the pans, this should be less common, but when it happens, it can be annoying for some.
    • As we mentioned earlier in regard to cookware compatibility, flat bottomed cookware should avoid this issue for the most part, and often its cookware with round or uneven bottoms that will 
  • Needs power to operate
    • Specifically, this is a “con” in comparison to gas cooktops. The same “con” that comes with all electric cooktops, is that they obviously require electricity to operate. During a power outage, you won’t be able to cook on an electric or induction cooktop, where a gas cooktop (with the help of a match or lighter) should still work during a power outage.

The Differences Between Gas, Electric, and Induction Cooktops

Unit Cost Energy Cost Performance Safety Environmental Impact
Gas $ $$ +
Electric $ $$ + +
Induction $$$ $ ++ ++ ++

So… Are Induction Cooktops Worth It?

Induction cooktops offer faster, more even heating, and finer temperature control. They are typically easier to clean and safer to operate. They have a smaller environmental impact, using electricity instead of burning fuel and saving energy through more efficient energy transfer.  All of these things make induction cooktops highly desirable compared to gas and electric options. But in most cases, cost will be the biggest factor in making the right decision for your home.

As mentioned above, induction cooktops can easily cost $1,000 more than electric or gas options of the same size. They may also require you to buy new cookware if your existing cookware is made of non-magnetic materials. These factors may put induction options out of the range of many people’s ideal budgets. However, if you can afford the upfront cost of an induction cooktop, you may view it as a long-term investment. Not only should the newer technology retain its value longer, but the energy savings from induction cooking should add up for the homeowner over the lifetime of the cooktop.

What Features Should I Consider With Induction Cooktops?

Cooktop Size & Cooking Zones

    • 2 element cooktops will usually range between 12-24 inches in width (usually filling half the area over a standard oven).
    • 4 element cooktops will typically be 30 inches in width, and 5 element cooktops will typically be 36 inches. These will usually be the choices available with complete ranges.
    • However, the layout of those cooking zones may differ by brand and model. So if you already have compatible pans you plan to use with your induction cooktop, consider the size of those pans, and which pans you typically use together at the same time. Make sure you have enough space and available cooking zones for the kinds of cooking you expect to do.Timer Settings & Presets
      • Newer cooktops may come with the option to set timers on the cooktop elements, so that they will automatically shut off at the end of the set time. This may be useful for tasks like boiling water if you get to know the exact time it takes to bring your water to a boil, allowing you to focus on other prep tasks without worry of your water boiling over.
      • Some models may even come with preset cooking options (boil, fry, simmer, heat up / keep warm, etc.) to help simplify the timing and heat settings for cooks willing to give up some control for ease and convenience.

Automatic Cookware Detection

    • As an energy saving feature, many induction cooktops will detect if there is cookware present over the cooking zone and automatically turn off the element if there is no cookware over it. Though this can also create issues particularly for smaller cookware which may not engage the induction element if not perfectly centered in the cooking zone. Though most cooktops with this feature will also have a “lock” option that will allow you keep the heating enabled even when the sensor doesn’t detect cookware (allowing you to move your pan around freely without worrying about accidentally losing your connection to the induction element.
    • This pan detection feature can also keep your induction cooktop from accidentally heating small magnetic items like silverware (or electronic devices) left on the cooktop.

Automatic Safety Measures

    • Most induction cooktops come with this feature, which senses the temperature of the cookware and will cut off the heat if the cookware is in danger of overheating (or if the cookware has been heating uninterrupted for a long period of time). The sensitivity of these safety cutoffs will depend on the heat settings for the cooktop.
    • Many cooktops may also come with overflow detection that will shut off the heating when a spill is detected on the cooking zone.

Child Lock

    • Similar features may come with many electric and gas cooktops as well, but child lock settings can keep your cooktops safe from accidental or unsupervised activation.

Power On / Residual Heat Indicator

    • A feature present in almost all electric cooktops these days, but one to be sure to check for is an indicator light for when the cooktop heating is active AND when the cooktop is still hot. Especially because induction cooktop heating is completely invisible (it doesn’t have the obvious flame of gas, or the glowing coils of electric), a light to warn you when the cooktop may be hot to the touch due to residual heat can be an important safety feature.

LED Flames / Glow

    • An alternative to the above indicator light. Some induction cooktops may come with LED elements that glow or display flames while the cooktop heating is active. This can be a more aesthetically pleasing way to achieve the same safety warning.

Framed vs. Edgeless Designs

    • There are pros and cons to either design. Edgeless designs may look sleeker AND be easier to clean, but the edges will be vulnerable to chipping or cracking if you drop / knock heavy items into them. Framed designs should protect your cooktop better, but may require a little extra cleaning to keep dirt and grime from collecting in the edges of the frame.

Contractors for Hybrid Heat Pump Hot Water Heater Installation

Finding the right contractor can be the key to having a hybrid heat pump water heater installed correctly and safely, and is certainly easier than doing it yourself. Beyond word-of-mouth recommendations, local building inspectors or trade groups may have a list of licensed contractors in your area.

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