Now that you know the basics of how induction cooktops work, you're probably wondering what makes them any better or worse than cooktops with radiant elements, such as electric coils, gas burners or glass-ceramic stovetops. Here are some of the pros and cons of induction cooktops:
- Cooking Experience:Induction cooktops heat 25-50 percent faster and distribute heat more evenly than radiant stovetops, and they offer quick, fine temperature adjustment [source: Consumer Reports].
- Safety and Cleaning: With cooler surfaces and no open flame to ignite grease, induction cooktops are safer and easier to clean than their radiant counterparts. However, although induction cooktops emit less radiation than an airport or grocery scanner, people with pacemakers or similar devices may want to check with their doctors before using one.
- Cost vs. Efficiency:Prices start at $1,800 and go up to about $3,500, compared with $550 - $750 for top-tier electric cooktops and $650 - $1,200 for gas [source: Consumer Reports]. Induction cooktops are efficient, but it's not clear whether they're cheaper to operate than gas or electric, and it's unlikely your energy savings will make up the cost difference [source: U.S. Department of Energy].
- Installation: Their low profiles and flat tops make induction cooktops great for wheelchair and scooter accessibility or for mounting in an island or above a cabinet. However, some are designed with fans underneath, limiting your options for installing them above an oven.
- Sight and Sound: Induction cooktop elements don't radiate heat or glow iridescently, but all models have indicator lights and some feature an artificial glow. Also, according to engineers, most induction cooktops are about as loud as a whisper.
Bubbling over with excitement to go out and buy an induction cooktop? Let's simmer down for a moment and go over some key points about installing one.