Monday, April 24, 2017

Coming Soon To A Kitchen Near You: Induction Cooktops!

I am seeing a great interest among my clients in induction cooktops. This new(er) technology does not use a radiant heat source to heat a pot or pan but instead employs an electromagnetic field. The result is that the pot or pan itself heats up, thus heating the contents, while the cooktop itself remains relatively cool (of course there is some radiant heat form the metal pan but the cooktop does not generate its own heat).

But you might be asking yourself why you would want to switch to something like this. Well, the real advantage of an induction cooktop is incredibly fast cooktop heat and extremely precise simmering control. If you do a lot of cooking, you will realize the value of an induction cooktop. For example, it only takes an induction cooktop 2 to 4 minutes to bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. If you've ever waited for pasta water to boil, you know what a time saver this could be. The heating only happens when a pot or pan is in direct contact with the electromagnetic field and stops immediately when that pot or pan is removed.

Whirlpool induction cooktop demonstration showing how the electromagnetic field only heats the pan where it comes into contact with the field. The rest of the cooktop is cool.

And because the cooktop is completely smooth, cleaning is easy.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when planning for an induction cooktop. First, not all pans will work--you will need induction-capable pans to use the cooktop. And not all stainless steel is induction-capable. Generally speaking, if a magnet sticks to the bottom of your pan, it is induction capable. Second, because the cooktop does not generate heat, it is difficult to tell if the unit is on so some manufacturers have started adding some form of a light cue to let users know when the induction unit is generating an electromagnetic field.

Wolf induction range with pop up vent
Miele induction cooktop
This Samsung induction cooktop shines blue LED lights (to simulate a gas flame) up on to the cookware
to let the user know the electromagnetic unit is in operation
Thermador induction cooktop with pop up vent

If you are thinking of a kitchen remodel and are considering an induction cooktop, give me a call!
Happy designing!

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