If you’ve heard of induction cooking, you’re probably interested in learning more about the differences between induction cooktops and electric cooktops.
In this article, we’re comparing the induction cooktop vs. electric cooktop.
Induction Cooktop vs. Electric Cooktop
If you are in the market for a new cooktop, then you’ve got some choices to make. There are a variety of different heating methods used for cooktops – and the one that will be the best fit for you will be determined by your need and your preference.
While each cooktop has its perks, adding this appliance to your kitchen repertoire means that you’ve found the one that you are willing to use every day. Of course, to make this decision, it is a good idea to have a bit of understanding when it comes to each choice.
Today we want to take a look at both an electric cooktop which has been around for many years and an induction cooktop which is becoming increasingly popular in the kitchen appliance world.
How do electric cooktops work?
Electric cooktops offer a centralized heat for your pots and pans. Underneath the surface of the glass (or ceramic), you will find that there is an electrical current that flows through a metal coil. This coil becomes hot and glowing thanks to electrical resistance. It can then transfer its heat through the glass (or ceramic) using infrared energy.
The characteristics of infrared energy mean that the burner holding your pot or pan is heated evenly by the transmitted energy. Your food is then cooked by the transfer of heat between the cooktop to the pot or pan, and then to the food inside.
Once you turn off the burner you are heating, the glass (or ceramic) cooktop will continue to be hot – even after the electrical current stops. It gives off a residual heat for an undetermined amount of time. Quite often, most electric cooktops (especially those manufactured today) will have an indicator light letting you know when the burner has cooled down.
How do induction cooktops work?
Induction cooktops are electric since they don’t use gas or another flame to heat. However, what sets them apart from regular electric cooktops is the manner in which they heat.
Induction cooktops are quite different from the electric option. They, too, provide heat through coils underneath the surface. However, they use copper coils. Induction heating occurs using electromagnetic radiation. See, induction cooking uses magnets to distribute heat. A current of electricity alternates as it passes through the copper coil and directly to the cookware. The result is a magnetic field that oscillates, inducing an electrical current in the pan or pot. The result is that the pot or pan begins heating. And, in turn, your food begins to cook.
The air between the cooktop and the pan never gets hot. So there is no need for a warning light as there is no residual heat.
Advantages of electric cooktops.
Sometimes there is just something to be said about old tried and true methods of cooking. That includes using an electric cooktop. They have been around for many years and they are the cooktops that most of us are most comfortable cooking on. As for advantages, check these out:
- Electric cooktops are easy to install and easy to use. Since they are the most common, they are often what most people know how to use and handle cooking on.
- Electric cooktops offer residual heat. Once you turn the burner off, you can always use the residual heat to keep food warm – or even slightly continue cooking.
- Because the heat is controlled and managed in a certain space, you can potentially cut down on energy costs.
Disadvantages of electric cooktops.
Of course, with everything good, there must also be a downside. Electric cooktops have a lot of advantages, but they are not for everyone. In fact, some people are quick to point out their disadvantages. Here are just a few of the most common complaints:
- While residual heat may be welcomed occasionally, you don’t always want to have a stove top that is hot to the touch after cooking. This is especially true if you have young children or pets in the home.
- Many people complain that they take too long to heat up. The coils must heat, and then transfer this heat through the cooktop, then to the pan, and finally to the food. This increases your cook time.
- The uneven distribution of heat through the coils is also another popular complaint.
Advantages of induction cooktops.
Induction cooktops are growing in popularity. So, there must be quite a few advantages to them, right? Absolutely. And here are the most common characteristics of this cooktop that seems to get buyers excited:
- The heat is transferred from the coil to the pan itself. This means that the cooktop remains cool to the touch. In fact, while cooking, you could lift a pot of boiling water and safely place your hand underneath without feeling the heat.
- Because the surface does not get hot, there is no way spilled food can bake itself onto the cooktop. This means cleanup is a breeze.
- Lack of residual heat means lower energy costs – and a cooler kitchen.
- Induction cooktops seem to cook much faster than the electric cooktop, reducing your cooking times.
Disadvantages of induction cooktops.
Believe it or not, there are very few disadvantages to owning an induction cooktop. They are becoming more and more popular and the lack of negatives could be why. Nonetheless, there are a couple. Here they are:
- Induction cooktops are often considered high-end. They are considerably more expensive than electric cooktops.
- Because of the method of induction heating, particular pots and pans are required. If you don’t have the right metal, then the heat cannot transfer.
When it comes to an electric cooktop and an induction cooktop, the choice is yours.
Yes, it depends on your preference and your priorities. If you aren’t into change, no matter how much better the change can be, then stick with an electric cooktop. But, if you are looking for a cooktop that will provide you with fast and even heating, reduce energy costs and increased safety thanks to a cool surface, then an induction cooktop is just for you.