induction cooktop GE-Cafe

Are You Ready to Make the Switch to Induction Cooking?

I have to tell you that receiving the message in today’s post 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.

 

induction cooktop GE-Cafe

Dear Mary: First of all, I want to thank you, thank you, thank you for your 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 all ready to purchase a mid-level free-standing gas range.

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 single burner Duxtop SingIe Burner Induction Cooktop.

It’s Different

Induction is definitely a different method of cooking with a slightly challenging learning curve. But oh my, once you get the hang of it—chances are you’ll not want to look back to either traditional electric or gas cooking. It is truly amazing. Because the cooktop itself does not create heat it uses precious little energy. The cooking vessel (pot, skillet, griddle) creates its own heat which is just plain … cool!

Easy Clean

And clean up of the induction cooktop itself? Always quick and easy. I made our big traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals in that tiny kitchen with those two appliances. Clean up was easy, the eating even better. We did not suffer, trust me.

From time to time I will need to use Cerama Bryte and a blue scrubby sponge on my induction cooktop, but that’s only because I allowed the pot or skillet to reach a very high temperature, and something splashed out and got between the pot and the cooktop.

Induction-Ready Cookware

As for cookware, yes, it must be induction compatible, or as some manufacturers describe theirs, “induction ready.” However, I’ll bet the salesperson didn’t mention that all cast iron cookware is compatible as are most sets of stainless steel cookware these days. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the cookware you have already is induction ready. Here’s how to test:

Get a magnet. If it sticks tightly to the pan, it’s induction ready. If it doesn’t stick at all, that pot is probably aluminum, which is not at all compatible with induction. If it kinda’ sticks but can easily slide or move around on the pot, it’s likely low-quality stainless steel or aluminum clad with stainless. You’re looking for a very firm connection between the magnet and the pot.

One exception: If your has a round bottom, it’s not going to work on an induction burner regardless its content. And you cannot just add a ring to your cooktop—you’ll need either a flat bottom wok or a special induction wok hob which will be an added expense.

Trial Run

Here’s my advice: Since your appliances are still in working order, take some time to test induction cooking. Invest in a good portable induction cooktop burner then use it every chance you get.

Read the manual over and again. (I still refer to mine.) For a small investment, you will soon figure out if induction cooking is right for you before committing to thousands of dollars in new appliances. That’s what I would do. This will also 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 induction compatible.

Super Upgrade

With our most recent 2018 kitchen remodel, I went from that single induction burner to the GE Cafe 5-Burner Induction Cooktop. It is just amazing, and I believe we will never go back to either gas or smooth top electric options. My induction cooktop cleans up like a dream (I said that already, didn’t I … but it’s such an important feature).

And it is powerful! I can set a large pot of water to boil and it will be rolling in about 90 seconds—and that’s at 5,280 ft. altitude.

I can have a skillet of vegetables and or meat sauteing on High, observe that it’s done, touch Low on its burner and it will calm down to a low temp almost instantly. Induction has a superior reactive quality to gas cooking and clean-up quality that far exceeds a smooth glass top electric cooktop.

The Science

Induction cooking is powered through electromagnetism which heats the steel and iron in induction compatible cookware. I don’t know the details but I can vouch for the results!

Resale Value

As for your home’s resale value, as induction cooking becomes more well known (and loved), a beautiful induction range or cooktop 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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12 replies
  1. Katie Lambert says:

    10 years ago we remodeled our kitchen with an induction cooktop. I love it, especially the instant heat and lowering of temperature. Two cautions: 1. It’s a glass top and can easily be broken. My son dropped a glass bottle of oil on it and we now have two huge cracks running across the top, but it still works. 2. Not all cookware that says it’s induction ready is truly induction ready. I have returned several pans because they don’t work, even though they are sold as induction ready.
    One other thing to remember is that different makes of pans will cook at different temperatures, as they are all made with different amounts of stainless steel and different construction techniques. One pan will cook a grilled cheese sandwich beautifully at 7, while another brand cooks just as hot at 5. You have to get to know your pans.

    Reply
  2. Chris Gudnason says:

    We are looking to replace an electric stove top with a downdraft in the middle. (No hood vent). We were going to replace with gas, but this induction article has me intrigued. Thoughts on venting?

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Both Kitchenaid and GE have induction cooktops with downdraft venting (others may as well). This 30′ GE Induction Cooktop is just one example—I’m sure there are more. Over the years I’ve had gas and electric stoves/cooktops. I cannot imagine ever going back to gas. Or electric.

      Reply
  3. Danielle Brock says:

    Interesting question… Is it okay to use an induction method of cooking if you have a pacemaker?

    Reply
  4. Terry Bagwell says:

    We chose an induction cooktop 16 years ago when we remodeled, and I wouldn’t have anything else. It is beyond wonderful!

    Reply
  5. Honeywest says:

    Ten years ago when we remodeled our kitchen I knew I wanted an induction cooktop. Went with a GE 30”. So happy I did! The surface does not get hot and a quick squirt with cleaner and a swipe with a paper towel and I am finished and off for fun! No more years of work cleaning gas grates or burned on messes. Has as fine of regulating and response as gas. Pans easy to find everywhere. Even places like TJ Maxx. I often get mine from HSN…. the Chef Curtis Stone collection. Plus use my cast iron.

    Reply
  6. Karen Jaeger says:

    If you have a pacemaker you have to stay 2 feet away from an induction stovetop. It can interfere with a pacemaker.

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      People with pacemakers should also keep 6 inches distance from appliances that contain magnets namely hand-held hair dryers, shavers with an electrical cord, large stereo speakers, electric toothbrushes, and base chargers of ultrasonic toothbrushes. Those with pacemakers have surely been advised of this by their doctors.

      Reply
  7. Lula J Hanson says:

    I chose an induction cook top when we built our home 37 years ago. I’ve never regretted that choice. When I did a kitchen makeover about 10 years ago, it’s the only cooktop I considered. Love, love, love them! I mostly use my cast iron to cook with now. As you stated, the clean up is easy peasy. Years ago when I thought humming bird food needed to be boiled, I went off and left a pot on the stove and it caught fire. All the black gunk cleaned off easy with the razor blade scraper that came in a cleaning kit and the cook top looked great and worked like a new one after my big boo-boo!

    Reply

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