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Kitchen Remodels go high-tech with "Induction Cooktops"

Kitchen Remodels go high-tech with "Induction Cooktops"
June 29, 2011 SNH Editorial Team

What is “induction cooking”? To many cooking enthusiasts it is the best technology for cooking but many consumers are confused as it looks like the “old”, and less than attractive electric stove tops.  Nothing could be further from the truth.The breakthrough in induction cooking came only a few years ago with the achievement of full temperature control so that even the most delicate sauces can now easily be created on induction cook tops.  Homeowners with kitchen remodels on their mind should take a serious look at this cooking technology derived from space age technology.

Induction cooking works by magnetic adhesion.  The “cool” thing is that only the area under the pot is where cooking takes place.  All around it is cool to the touch making it a much safer choice with children around the kitchen and cooking. At the same time magnetic adhesion creates much hotter temperatures and thus faster cooking.

Induction cook tops have a sleek, understated look.  Your aesthetic instincts will either like this minimal dimension or deem it to be insubstantial given all the money you are spending on your kitchen renovation.  However, a true cooking insider will appreciate your know-how around the latest in cooking technology with your selection of an induction cooktop.

There is another important consideration pretty magazine photos do not tell you about: Induction cook tops are surfaced by simple sheets of glass.  Some don’t even a metal frame around it. This means clean up is simple and super fast.  In other words, your induction cook top will always be and look clean. By contrast and as mentioned in our post on commercial style cooktops daily life with restaurant style burners means you accept a somewhat messy condition at all times since it takes hours to really clean restaurant-style cook tops. Trust me: it is a constant /daily challenge!

To allow the magnetic adhesion in induction cooking means that only cookware made of iron or steel (incl. stainless steel) can be used.  The common perception only high-end cookware work is flawed.  Many medium priced pots and pans are made of ferrous materials.  Most enamel finishes work as well since they tend to be backed with iron and/or steel materials.  However, glass, copper and aluminum do not work.  Run a simple test: Hold a magnet to your pots and pans.  If the magnet attaches it’s good to go with induction.

Bosch, Thermador (owned by Bosch), Wolf, GeMonogram, GeProfile, Gaggenau, Electrolux and Miele, to mention only a few, all make fine induction cook tops.  Fred Albano, of Albano Appliances & Service in NY tells us that the pricing is practically the same across all brands. 30” cook tops cost around $2,500 and 36” cook tops run around $3,000.

Which one should you buy? Choose according to your personal preferences around the following considerations:

• Burner lay-out (large and small burner configuration)

• Metal frame (this prevents chipping from large pots) or frameless

• Brand consistence among all of your appliances

• Control location and configuration

Watch for one more exciting innovation: “zoneless” induction cook tops. They are soon to come into the marketplace.  Here the entire cook top can be activated anywhere AND for any pot size.  The whole concept of specific burners no longer exists. How great is that?!

The induction cook top industry recognizes this dilemma and combination offers are coming into the marketplace. In this concept induction cook tops are modules, say one section induction and one section commercial-looking burners.  For many this might just be the perfect solution between look and utility!