It’s All About Induction
If you’ve visited our last several models, they all had either an electric or gas cooktop. In our new Regatta Model located at 605 Henry Street, we’ve changed it up and designed around the Café Induction range with convection oven and warming drawer. I know what you’re thinking – why would you do that? First the choice came down to using the range as it offers a new look in the kitchen. In addition, the Café appliances provide a professional styling without sacrificing budget by having to upgrade to Monogram. Right now we’re showing last year’s models as the 2019 styling is not available yet. (We hear some pieces will be available April 2019.) Want a sneak peak? Go to www.cafeappliances.com. We are over the moon about the new finishes and details being offered – matte black, matte white, and the ability to customize the hardware!
So let’s get down to the nuts and bolts. Most of us are familiar with gas and electric cooking. So what is induction? Induction cooking uses electromagnetism to heat pots and pans, and it accomplishes the task significantly faster.
So, if induction cooking is so great, why isn’t it everywhere? Price, mostly. Until recently, the price of an induction cooktop or range was quite costly. However, the price of induction cooktops have been dropping bit by bit over the last few years. Julia Layton, a contributor to the “howstuffworks” website, lays out perfectly the five reasons why people are willing to spend more on induction, starting with speed.
- SPEED – It’s one of the biggest selling points of the induction cooktop . It simply takes less time to cook food because the pan heats up quicker. That’s because while both gas and electric cooktops use a middleman to transfer heat to the pan — flames and an electric burner, respectively — an induction cooktop generates heat directly in the pan.
Electromagnetic activity in the cooktop triggers electromagnetic activity in the pan, and the pan itself heats up. The pan is the starting point of the heat. Since there are fewer steps involved in heating the cookware, it takes less time for the heat to get to the food — 25 percent to 50 percent less time, on average.
- ENERGY EFFICIENT – It’s pretty easy to see why induction cooking would be more efficient than gas and electric if you think about the heating processes involved. A gas flame is going to release lots of heat around the pan, and an electric burner emits radiant heat at any point where it’s not in direct, firm contact with the pan. When heat is generated within the pan itself, as with induction, more of that heat gets to the food, and less of it warms up your kitchen.
The most obvious result of this increased energy efficiency is reduced energy consumption, meaning lower power bills and a healthier environment. Less concrete and more personal, though, is the greater comfort in your kitchen: You won’t sweat as much when you cook.
- SAFETY – The stove top is easily one of the most dangerous places in the kitchen. It’s where grease fires begin, where the gas gets left on, and where little hands make contact with very hot surfaces.
No flame means no grease fires, and no gas means no gas leaks.
- RESPONSIVE AND EASY TO CONTROL – For people who love to cook — or at least love to eat great home-cooked food — control is probably the most important feature of a cooktop. It’s why many serious cooks prefer gas to electric: Gas burners are more responsive when you adjust the dial. The temperature change is fast.
Induction cooktops are as responsive as gas to a turn of the dial, and they’ve got another thing going for them, too: more settings. Induction allows for much more precise control of heat, with more temperature increments and better performance at very low heat settings. In this way, induction makes cooking delicate sauces or just keeping food warm a lot easier than with a gas flame, which can often falter on the low setting.
- EASY CLEAN-UP – If the main purpose of your cooktop is to get dinner on the table faster and do it safer, it goes without saying that a quicker, less-intensive cleanup would be a big draw. Since an induction cooktop seldom gets very hot, food doesn’t burn onto it. This means a splatter, a spill or a pasta-sauce pop calls for a quick swipe of the sponge, not a good, long scrub. (For those who have electric cooktops – how much time have you spent trying to clean the crud off your glass top after a boil-over?)
As fabulous as all that sounds, we couldn’t send off this article without mentioning the possible negatives. So what are the disadvantages?
- Induction ranges and cooktops cost more than electric and gas.
- You must use magnetic cookware or your cooktop won’t work correctly. So you need to factor in the cost of new cookware. (Want to know if yours will work with induction? Hold a magnet up to it. If it sticks, you’re good to go!)
- You’ll have to go back to the old school analog cooking thermometer. Induction cooking generates and electro magnetic field so digital thermometers may not be reliable.
- You won’t be able to cook if the power goes out – which is typical for a lot of people in Florida as they have electric ranges or cooktops. Fortunately, most also have a gas grill to get them through the power being out and there is always the good ol’ PB&J.
As you can see the positives far outweigh the negatives. Induction cooktops and ranges provide speed, are energy efficient, safer, have better control than a gas cooktop or range, and best of all; easy clean up!
Abbey Roloff, CKD