I have to tell you that receiving the following message put the biggest smile on my face. Induction cooking? Oh yes, I do know something about that! But I must confess that the prologue to Cathy’s question is what warmed my heart.
Dear Mary: First of all, I want to thank you, thank you, thank you for your 20 plus years of advice and guidance! I have purchased your books, READ your books, and given them as gifts many times. I hardly EVER buy anything or try a new product without checking with you first. I know that if YOU have endorsed it, I can trust it. Thank you for promoting quality and value in all the products and ideas you share. Your work is amazing.
That being said, my husband and I just purchased a home. The gas stove and microwave oven are 28 years old. Although they both still work, (I know, they don’t make them like this anymore) they look their age and I question the safety of the microwave. I was ready to purchase a mid-level free-standing gas range and looked back on your recommendations of the GE line.
However, on a recent shopping trip we were introduced to electric induction ranges. Wow, was I impressed! The convenience and control of a gas stove top with the an easy-to-clean smooth top. This has totally confused my decision. Induction cooktops are still quite a bit more expensive, so it’s a big choice. The salesperson was unable to identify any drawbacks to these ranges at this time—other than the fact that we may have to purchase new cookware, which he said can be purchased for around $300 for an adequate set.
The other factor is that my husband and I purchased this home with the plan to sell within 10 years—we got it for a good price and believe we will be able to resell at a profit as long as we do some good, cost effective updating. I would love, love, love and appreciate your advice! Cathy
Dear Cathy: You sure know how to make my day! I could have edited out all of the mushy stuff in your message to get right to the subject of induction cooking, but as you see, I didn’t. Thank you so much for your support—for being there, for trusting me and for giving me a renewed determination to keep doing what we do here every day.
Now, on to induction cooking. It’s one of my favorite topics. During the 18 months that we lived in a tiny apartment in anticipation of our move to Colorado, I did not have a traditional stove. Instead, I used my Breville Smart Oven and portable Induction Cooktop. Induction is definitely a different method of cooking with a somewhat challenging learning curve. But oh my, once you get used to it—chances are you’ll not want to look back to either traditional electric or gas cooking. It is truly amazing. Since the appliance does not create heat it uses precious little energy. And clean up? Always quick and easy. I made our big traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals in that tiny kitchen with those two appliances. We did not suffer, trust me.
As for cookware, yes, it must be induction compatible. However, I’ll bet the salesperson didn’t mention that all cast iron cookware is compatible as are many sets of cookware these days. If you’re a Costco member, take a look at the Kirkland Signature™ 13-piece Tri-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Induction Compatible Cookware Set. I love it because it is heavy, tri-ply and cleans like a dream. For $175 (the warehouse member price) it’s hard to go wrong. Non-members can purchase the same set from Amazon for a slightly higher price.
Here’s my advice: Since your appliances are still in working order, take some time to test induction cooking. Invest in a a good portable cooktop with one burner then use it every chance you get. Read the manual over and again. (I still refer to mine.) For less than $75 you can figure out if induction cooking is for you before committing to thousands of dollars in new appliances. That’s what I would do. This will give you an opportunity to test your current cookware, too, for compatibility. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the cookware you have already is fully compatible.
As for your home’s resale value, as induction cooking becomes more well known (and loved), a beautiful induction range will, in my opinion, make your property more valuable and desirable. As the pros say: The kitchen and bathrooms sell a home.