Whether you’re trying to cook more, eat healthier, or even go vegan (good luck with that one!) the way we eat and prepare food is almost always part of our hopes for the new year. So when you’re searching for ways to step up your cooking game in 2019, make sure you’re getting the most out of your kitchen. The right cooktop can make a world of difference in your new culinary adventure, so make sure you know all the basics, and pick out the perfect one for your needs.
Most people might think of traditional gas burners when they think of getting a new cooktop, but both electric and induction are gaining popularity in contemporary kitchens, and generating a lot of buzz in the culinary world. But what are the differences, and how can they affect the home cooking you plan to do this year? Before you take the leap into a new cooktop for your new year goals, check out some of the things that set these two appliance types apart to decide which one will help you make the most of your new year.
First things first, what is induction? Many people have heard the term swirling around, but aren’t sure exactly what it means. Essentially, induction cooktops are a type of electric cooktop that use magnets to generate heat. We’ll leave the science of it all to the scientists, but what that means for you is that, rather than heating up a burner, which transfers heat to the pan, your induction cooktop heats up the pan directly, allowing for more precise cooking.
One of the major appeals of induction cooktops is how safe they are. They require an induction compatible pan to start heating, so even if the power is on, your heating elements won’t get hot until the pan is placed on the surface. Conversely, heating stops instantly once the pan is removed from the surface. Though the pan may have transferred some heat onto the cooktop, it quickly dissipates, leaving the cooktop safe to touch in no time.
Efficiency is perhaps the induction cooktop’s best quality. Induction cooktops boil water nearly twice as fast as electric, and can achieve the kind of precise temperature control that pro chefs love about gas cooktops. When you can cook food twice as fast, you’ll have no trouble at all sticking to your resolutions to stop eating out so much.
Though induction cooktops are convenient in how easy they are to clean (the smooth tops are as simple to wipe down as your kitchen counter), they do come with a few inconvenient quirks. Because these cooktops use magnets to function, you will need special, induction compatible cookware. Cast iron works on induction, as does any pot made of ferromagnetic iron, but some of your cookware likely won’t make the cut.
Additionally, because all the parts are built in underneath the cooktop’s surface, induction cooktops can also be difficult to repair. However, with your local appliance store on hand ready with all the replacement parts and repair services you need, repairing a broken induction cooktop doesn’t need to be any harder than a phone call to our store!
Proportionate to their benefits, induction cooktops also tend to be more expensive than other types. The technology is still relatively new to the market, and induction is only just getting its big break in the states, so expect prices to stay high for the time being. If you’re sold on induction but hung up on the price tag, however, you can always find the latest models at the lowest prices at our store!
Electric cooktops are pretty straightforward: they use electricity to heat up coils, which then cook your food. What’s nice about them is that they have different options you can choose from. Radiant smoothtops and electric coil cooktops both have their pros and cons, but the versatility and simplicity of electric makes it a gem of a choice.
Electric cooktops have some safety benefits over gas cooktops, as they don’t involve open flame or the possibility of gas leaks, but induction cooktops have them beat in this department. Electric cooktops are slow to cool, and can remain quite hot even after the coils have stopped glowing. Some more modern cooktops have heat indicators, which stay on for as long as the cooktop remains warm, but most rely on you keeping little ones away from the burners long after the dish is complete.
It’s hard to stand up against induction in the efficiency department, but many electric smoothtops hold their own against gas at least. They are quick to heat and allow for steady simmering. A good electric cooktop won’t let you down when you’re sautéing those veggies, though don’t expect it to keep pace with the heating speed of induction.
Smoothtops are as easy to clean as induction – since the whole surface is a single glass pane, you can wipe spills up easily with a cloth or paper towel. Coil cooktops might not be quite so easy to clean, but their convenience lies in the ease of replacing broken parts. A faulty coil can be easily unplugged and inexpensively replaced, unlike induction cooktops, which will require a specialist to fix. Finally, unlike induction, neither electric cooktop type requires special cookware. So feel free to use your favorite pots and pans!
Electric cooktops are among the most affordable cooktop you can own. They’re cheap to buy and cheap to operate, making them a great upgrade from your rickety old gas cooktop at a reasonable price. If you’re shopping on a budget, you’re more likely to find a high-quality electric option in your price range than any other cooktop type!
This new year, treat yourself to a cooktop that will help you make the most of your kitchen and check off your resolutions list with ease. If you’re still wondering which cooktop will work best for you, stop by our store or give us a call! We’re happy to help you explore your options and get you even closer to all your New Year’s cooking goals.