Let’s Talk Induction Cooking, Shall We?

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.

56063949 - young happy woman cooking meal on induction cooker in kitchen

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. 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.

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8 replies
  1. Pat
    Pat says:

    I love the idea of getting used to it before going out to buy the new stoves. My stove was 25 years old or older (my gas man told me it was the oldest he had ever seen and the cord was dry rotted which got me looking for a new one cause he said it could go anytime) so I started looking for one. This time I bought a black one since the one it was replacing was half black and half stainless steel. Lesson learned, next time it will be white. The black shows all the dirt but I love the General Electric I finally decided on. I was raised with electric overseas but I have finally learned to love my gas stove over the years.

  2. Greta Johnson
    Greta Johnson says:

    While I have nothing to offer about induction cooking, I just wanted to chime in about the GREAT information you ALWAYS give us, Mary. Not only did you educate us on Induction Cooking (soon to come), but you also guided ALL of us about how to TRY it before we ‘jumped,’ as well as answering the final dilemma about re-sale. Personally, I LOVE how THOROUGH you are with your replies and advice. I agree completely with Cathy’s opening remarks about you !!! Thank you for ALL of your work !!

    • Mary Hunt
      Mary Hunt says:

      Thank you Greta! What a kind message I found here as I was zipping through comments. We have the best little family going on here, don’t we! I appreciate you so much. It is always gratifying when I realize just how many readers are out there actually … reading! xoxo

  3. Honeywest
    Honeywest says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my GE 30″ induction cooktop. I knew 5 years ago when we remodeled our kitchen it was what I wanted. After nearly 40 years of cooking as an adult on 3 different types of cooktops (electric coil, smooth top and gas) that I was sick of spending precious time cleaning them. The induction is a dream since nothing cooks or burns to the smooth top. Simply spray and wipe clean. YAY! I can regulate the temp just like gas. I have no problems finding cookware either. The induction symbol is marked on the bottom of many pieces and when in doubt use a magnet. People are amazed when I put a piece of parchment paper on the cooktop and then put a pan down on it and turn the burner on. I use this method when using my cast iron in case a rough spot might scratch the surface. I’ve also done this when cooking something that will splatter a lot. Again easy clean up and on to living life!

    • Mary Hunt
      Mary Hunt says:

      Honeywest … (great name) this is awesome feedback. I know exactly what you’re talking about with that clean up. I use a paper towel that way but I’m gonna try parchment. It is amazing! CAUTION: If you try this don’t walk away. My manual cautions that the heat from the pot (not the burner because the burner does not get hot!) and the contents (as in hot bacon) could cause paperl to combust. It’s never happened to me … not even close, but I must caution you nonetheless. I could talk all day about induction cooking.

  4. Bonnie Alcorn
    Bonnie Alcorn says:

    I bought my induction cooktop based on an infomercial when they first came out, and I have not been disappointed. I’m surprised that you did not mention a simple test to determine whether your cookware is compatible – a magnet! If a magnet sticks to a pan, you’re good.


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