• Home
  • Cooking with Electricity

Cooking with Electricity

The next generation of electric ranges and cooktops are making it easy to revise your approach to cooking at home. Electric resistance coil cooktops have been around for many years, and most people prefer gas or propane burners because of the faster/better cooking performance. However, the newer generation of electric ranges and induction or radiant electric cooktops are much more efficient. Both induction and radiant electric cooktops offer several potential benefits over cooking with gas or propane. These include:

  • Reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides

  • Improved safety by eliminating open flames

Radiant electric cooktops are more efficient than the traditional electric coil version and perform about as well as a gas cooktop. The most efficient electric cooking technology is induction, and induction cooktops deliver better cooking performance than gas, as demonstrated in the videos on this page.

WATCH THE VIDEO

Five great reasons for choosing induction:


Cooking performance

Induction cooking is faster, easy to control, and safer than cooking with gas or propane. In addition, because the surface does not heat up (only the pans and food), it is very easy and safe to clean up any spills.

WATCH THE VIDEO

A speed contest of boiling water from “the House Whisperer”:


How Induction cooking works

Induction cooking works by creating a magnetic field between the cooking pan/pot and the magnetic coils beneath the cooking surface. The magnetic field then heats the content of the cooking pot. 

In order for cookware to perform on induction cooktops, it must contain iron (cast iron or some types of stainless steel) or have a layer of material with magnetic properties. Some stainless steel cookware does not work with induction – for example, if it is a blend of aluminum and stainless steel, or if the nickel content of the stainless steel is too high. However, some manufacturers of cookware are now putting a layer of magnetic material on the bottom of the pan/pot.

To tell if a pot or pan is compatible with your induction stove, hold a magnet to the bottom. If the magnet clings to the underside, the cookware will work on an induction cooktop. If the magnet grabs the pan softly, you may not have good success with it.

 If there is no pull on the magnet, it will not work. Also, many manufacturers have started putting an “induction compatible” symbol on the bottom of their cookware or note compatibility on the packaging. The symbol often looks like a horizontal zig-zag or a coil. 

WATCH THE VIDEO

Learn to cook with induction – fun and delicious to watch:


RESOURCES

Cost of Induction Appliances

Induction cooktops range in price from $800 to $2,000 for a standard 30 inch cooktop. These can be installed in place of your current gas, propane, or electric cooktop. 

If you are looking to replace your current cooktop/range combination, you can purchase a new induction cooktop/electric range for about $3000. The induction/electric range costs somewhat more than a similar gas or propane range, but the improved performance and health and safety benefits may outweigh the costs.

WHERE TO BUY INDUCTION COOKTOPS

You can find induction cooktops, and induction cooktop/electric ranges, at many Lowe’s or Home Depot’s and other appliance retailers.


More Reading

Common Questions

Explore popular, common questions regarding Induction Cooking, Cooktops and more.
What kinds of pans can you use on an induction cooktop?

The cookware must contain iron (cast iron or some types of stainless steel) or have a layer of material with magnetic properties. Some types of stainless steel do not work – for example, if it is a blend of aluminum and stainless steel, or if the nickel content of the stainless steel is too high.

What is the difference between an induction cooktop and an electric cooktop?

Induction is a type of electric cooktop. Other electric cooktop types are the coil-type, which are very common, and the flat surface radiant type. The latter is more efficient than the coil-type, and as the name implies, it transfers heat by radiating it (rather than conduction) from the heating elements below the smooth ceramic surface to the cookware, with very little warming of the surrounding air. Radiant cooktops are cheaper than induction but not as fast or efficient. Both are easy to clean because of the smooth surface of the cooktop. With induction, the cooktop itself does not heat up, so it is even safer to use and to clean.

How does induction cooking work?

Induction cooking works by creating a magnetic field between the cooking pan/pot and the magnetic coils beneath the cooking surface. The magnetic field then heats the contents of the cooking pot.

What is induction cooking?

Induction cooking is a relatively new electric cooking technology.

What are the benefits of induction cooking?

Induction cooking offers several benefits compared to cooking with gas or propane. It is safer because there are no direct flames and no fire hazard. It is healthier because there are no emissions of pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides. And induction also heats up food quicker than with gas or propane. Induction cooktops are also very easy to clean, because they are smooth, and the cooking surface itself does not get hot.

Is induction cooking safe?

Yes, induction cooking is very safe, because there are no flames, and the cookware and contents heat up, but the cooktop surface itself does not get hot.

Logo for Love Electric

Love Electric aims to accelerate the adoption of heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and other efficient electric technologies in homes and businesses across Colorado, to lower consumer energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide improved health, comfort and other benefits. Love Electric is an initiative of the Beneficial Electrification League of Colorado (BEL-CO).

© 2021 Love Electric. All rights reserved.