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Why don't more Americans use induction?


I recently got a new range with induction cooktop, and have been absolutely blown away by its capabilities. It far outperforms any electric range on the market with its instant responsiveness (here it replaced a halogen flattop that had been driving me crazy since we moved into this place). It outperforms gas at both ends of the temperature spectrum, with the ability to hold a steady ultra-low simmer AND get hotter on its largest burner than the hottest legal-for-home-use gas ranges like the Capital Culinarian and Blue Star. All while being so easy to clean up it's crazy - you can even lay sheets of paper towels under your pans while you're cooking to catch spatters and spills.

Add to that the safety and energy-efficiency aspects, and it's hard to imagine using anything else.

Granted there are two drawbacks: you can't use a round-bottomed wok very effectively (I don't do wok cooking), and you must use ferrous cookware (but that just gave me an excuse to go out and buy some dream items that I'd wanted but couldn't justify getting because I already had pretty good versions in the house).

Induction has been around for well over 75 years. It's hugely popular in Europe and Australia, is catching on fast in restaurant kitchens and high-end homes, but according to the statistics I've been able to glean from the Web, only some 2% - 5% of American homes currently have induction cooktops. What gives?

  1. Comfort level. People who cook with gas like the visual feedback. And they also like the ability to use whatever pots/pans they may already own. For anyone updating an electric cooktop then, for me at least, it's the more obvious choice.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      I was forced to move to induction from gas when I moved (condo in new country does not allow gas - condo in Toronto was one of the few with gas). I still prefer gas, primarily because I use a wok. I did find a curved induction surface to use with a traditional wok but it is near impossible to properly season the thing on induction since the heat rises - and induction shuts off very quickly (I don't have an oven most condo's here in Thailand don't have it and I am renting). I still prefer gas, but I could also see myself installing a gas jet wok with a few induction cooking surfaces.

      1. re: ferret

        Additionally - certain cookware like a brass wok (for deserts) -- probably would not work on induction :o

      2. Most don't use it because they already have a range which works for them, and do not wish to incur the cost of replacement until necessary. Others avoid switching during a kitchen upgrade because they already have a gas connection, and do not want to incur the cost of adding a 220v outlet for an electric range of any type. Then there's the problem of cookware. Also, they might just like gas.

        I am in the latter category. I expect to replace my gas range soon with another gas range. But I like the idea of a supplemental portable induction cooktop, so will probably get one of those.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GH1618

          Hey GH, I've just GOT to send you an email off-line - please send me something that I can reply-to in my profile. I think that you'll find it really funny.

        2. Here's a link to a recent New York Times piece on the subject:


          4 Replies
          1. re: GH1618

            Good article, thanks. Though that one guy who complains of his pots boiling over just needs to learn to keep the heat lower - I've only had mine for two weeks, but already I've learned that unless I'm boiling water, I never turn the burners higher than 6 (on a scale of 1 to 10). On the largest burner, using my Le Creuset cast iron skillet, even 6 was almost too high to sear some steaks, after I flipped them I had to turn it down to 5. But I'm quickly figuring out what number works for what.

            1. re: BobB

              Hi, Bob:

              I find this very interesting. If consumers don't have need for Settings 7-10, that means these induction appliances really have only six power settings available to them. Gas and most resistive electrics have infinitely-adjustable controls and hence the ability to interpolate between discrete settings.

              Do you have finer gradations (e.g., 1-100, so that you have many steps from 1-60), or are you cooking with 1-6? If it's the latter, it's the equivalent of having detent switches like my 1953 GE Airliner has.

              This will get me flames, I'm sure, but to answer your OP question in a way that no one yet has, I think there are a lot of people who consider cooking on induction somewhat soulless compared with gas. Many people find gas flames alive, cheery and intimate, and they may find induction to be cold, sterile and somewhat detached. This is not a completely rational thing, but I believe it is a demographic truth. Just as I don't get the same rewards and feelings of involvement cooking things in a MW that I do otherwise, so I think I wouldn't with an induction cooktop.

              I think I still may pick up an Aroma induction hotplate at Costco for $50, though.


              1. re: kaleokahu

                Kaleo, I do hope you pick up the induction hotplate at Costco - what a good buy iMO.

                I bought a new glass cooktop range 5-6 years ago and would have replaced it within the last year if I could find a range that had the areas of cooktop that my range has. I see 2-3 slide-in ranges that are induction, but so far they are skimpy on the areas used for induction cooking. Every now and then I check them out, and am waiting.

            2. re: GH1618

              Late to the party, but great article. Thanks!

            3. Because we are an energy rich countries compare to Europe and Australia. The energy cost in US is lower than those countries.

              The energy efficiency argument is very subjective for the induction cooking. It isn't necessary more efficient than gas -- if you account from beginning to end.

              With all due respect, I am impressed with induction cooking. I am just saying that the picture is not so one-sided.

              52 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I agree that one should at the total picture. For axample, in California, a lot of electricity is produced from natural gas anyway. An induction hob is more efficient in putting more of the energy into the pot and the food than into the surrounding air, compared to gas, but I heat my home with gas anyway. When I cook during heating season, the heat of cooking is just part of my heating system. This would be true even if I heated with something other than gas.

                1. re: GH1618

                  Exactly. I agree with you. The induction cooking hob itself is more efficient, but the power plants have to convert something (coal, gas...etc) to electricity first, and there is a ~60% energy loss at the plants.

                  So really this is the situation (spelling out for other readers)

                  Induction cooking: energy loss occurs at the power plants
                  Gas cooking: energy loss occurs at your home.

                  Both are about 50-60% energy loss.

                  1. re: GH1618

                    "When I cook during heating season, the heat of cooking is just part of my heating system. "

                    True, but it's the opposite in summer, when the heat of cooking puts an extra strain on the AC system. So I guess we should all have two stoves and use gas in the winter, induction in the summer.

                    1. re: BobB

                      To make it simpler and forget about heater and AC, an induction cooktop simply is not more energy-efficient than a gas stove.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        But it's much much more efficient than any other electric alternative. Plus it allows for much more precise cooking and it's much safer.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          CK, what criteria are you using when you say induction cooking is not more efficient than gas cooking? Energy consumption? How much it heats the ambient air around the cooking vessel? What's your criteria? Curious minds and all that jazz!

                          1. re: Caroline1

                            Wow, I really haven't been reading this thread for a long time.

                            I meant that the induction cooking is not more efficient than gas cooking since they are about the same for energy consumption. I think we have this discussion before. Induction is very efficient from the stove to the pans (>90% efficient), but electricity is not a raw fuel, and it has to be generated in the first place. So the raw power of coal or gas has to be generated wtih a 60% loss at power plants. Gas cooking, on the other hand, is not very efficient from the stove to the pan, but it itself is a raw material/fuel, so the lost of gas transferring to your house is small.

                            The simplist comparison would be gas generated electricity for induction. For gas to convert to electricity, there is a 60% loss at the power plants, and then we have another <10% loss at your stove.

                            For gas cooking, you will have a 40% of heat going to the pans, and 60% goes to the surrounding, thus 60% loss. Yet, there is gas loss in the pipeline is small.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Gas itself is a " raw product " ?

                              No processing, flaring of resiudal gases, removal of water and other impurities, and additives ( like tert-Butylthiol, the "smell additive" for safety ) ?

                              That would make the oil and fuel industry obsolete.

                              I share your concern about usage of more efficient sources of power, but there are significant expenses involved in the production and distribution of both electricity and household " natural " gas.

                              A better concern is which power source IN YOUR REGION is more efficient, and less costly to deliver and use in the kitchen.

                              Someone near hydroelectic or wind-powered, and possibly water-action power sources might actually be better served by induction cooking. Conversely, anyone living near a refinery may find that " natural gas " may be better to use at home, and even for powering vehicles.

                              1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                <No processing, flaring of resiudal gases, removal of water and other impurities, and additives ( like tert-Butylthiol, the "smell additive" for safety ) ? >

                                In that line of argument, even oil is not a raw energy source. I was discussing what many of us call primary energy sources which contain raw energy fuels. This includes natural gas.


                                Gas is a more purified form of its origin, but it is not transformed as electricity. You cannot purify something and get electricity, right? Electricity is a secondary energy, not primary. You got to appreciate that electricity can be generated from gas, which means electricity is one more level beyond gas.

                                Most Americans electricity is powered by coal. So, for most people, the energy efficiency loss at the power plant is 60%, right out of the power plant.

                                1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                  The by-products of natural gas are not lost in the process, but captured and used in other products. The capture of the by-products allows for the manufacture of some plastics and organic chemicals. But more importantly, this process is not only necessary for household use, it's also required for use to generate electricity, thus, if it's a strike against the use of natural gas for home use, it's a double strike for the use of electricity where there is the additional loss of efficiency.

                                  World-wide, coal is the most common fuel for electricty and the carbon emmissions associated with the burning of coal to generate electricity should give everyone pause.

                                  You can make a regional argument, but since the origional topic is American, I would say that natural gas is less expensive even if hydroeletric power plants are within sight as is the case in the Buffalo, NY area. Natural gas was still much less expensive than hydro electircity. This may not be the case in Europe, but that's not the topic at hand.

                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  You seem to be thinking that utility prices, whether gas, electric, or water/sewer rates, are the same everywhere. They are NOT...! If you can point me in a direction where it will cost the same to cook down a demi-glace on gas as it will on induction, (that's about a day and a half of simmering) let me know because i'll move there!

                                  From many approaches, and for many reasons, at this juncture in time, induction is the most economical method for stove-top cooking. And with this climate change taking place and hotter summers in our future, any cooking method that does not release additional heat into the kitchen besides what vents off the actual cooking vessel and contents has to to be a blessing!

                                  But I can understand how someone might miss the visuals of gas cooking when they are adapting to induction. Even though my house is all electric, I do still cook with gas occasionally with my 25 year old gas hot plate. It is nice to see a clear blue flame licking the bottom of my copper pots. My induction does not like my copper ware. <sigh> However, if I erroneously leave a cloth pot holder leaning against the pot over a gas flame, the cloth pot holder will soon be in flames as well. But that' won't happen with a pot on an induction burner. Induction heats the pan, not the house.

                                  As for why more Americans don't take advantage of the reduced operating costs and greater responsiveness of induction over gas OR radiant electric, I have to assume it's for the same reason Americans don't drive more energy efficient cars than we do. I believe it is a trait called, "collective stupidity." '-)

                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                    <You seem to be thinking that utility prices,>

                                    I wasn't thinking about prices, just % of energy loss.

                                    <... I have to assume it's for the same reason Americans don't drive more energy efficient cars than we do. I believe it is a trait called, "collective stupidity." '-)>

                                    I won't call it stupidity, especially about the cars. I think it is about "needs" and "priority". We don't see the need to use electric cars. We don't see the need to live in a small house with third generations together. Let me throw this back to you. Is it not more environmental and material efficient to just use one pan and one pot like many people around the world? Why then do we Americans have 10-15 pieces cookware sets? And toss them out every so often Because we can afford them. I don't think poorer people in other countries cook with one pot and one pan because they are trying to environmental. They are doing so because they cannot afford 30 pots.

                                    Conversely, I think Europeans would drive larger cars if their gas prices are not more than twice as expensive as ours.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      When I was quite young my maternal grandparents lived in a small cabin in the woods of NW Wisconsin. They had an oil burning furnace. I don't remember what kind of stove they had and I certainly don't know if their water heater was gas or electric. The curious thing is why they did have the oil burning furnace at all because my grandfather was the operator of a small hydroelectric dam that was on the river about 100 yards behind their cabin.

                                      1. re: John E.

                                        Interesting story. Maybe your mother know...? Maybe not.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          My father and I were talking about my grandparents, his in-laws, just the other day (my mother died 4 years ago). I think the topic was the cost of heating and cooling our houses. Anyway, it seemed logical to me that they would have had all electric appliances including their furnace. It turns out they did not, but why is still a mystery. Maybe the cabin predated the dam, I don't know. The place was tiny. I have a distinct memory of taking a bath in a galvanized washtub on the back porch as a very young child because there was no tub in the cabin, just a shower.

                                          1. re: John E.


                                            The water heater and stove may have used LP. Just a guess. I know they still to this day use LP for those types of appliances in the less populous parts of WI.

                                            1. re: Fowler

                                              When I was referring to gas I actually meant LP. Even the small towns in rural areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin don't have natural gas lines.

                                        2. re: John E.

                                          Bet the fuel for that furnace was about $0.28 a gallon at the time and if it was $4.00 a gallon as it is now, his choice would be different.

                                      2. re: Caroline1

                                        Like I said in another post, nat gas in the Middle Appalachians is cheap, dirt cheap.

                                        1. re: kendunn

                                          I don't know. Dirt is very cheap. :) Just kidding.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            Last time i bought dirt I spent $250 for a load of topsoil for a low spot in my yard but it only cost $50 to fill up my propane tank, lol

                                        2. re: Caroline1

                                          I'm very interested in your statement about the cost to cook down a demi-glace. Could you provide an example of how you made the calculation on the cost of natural gas vs the cost of the electric induction range? I assume you converted the cost of a cubic foot of gas to something like BTUs and then determined how many BTUs it would take to cook down a demi-glace. Then I would assume you took the cost of electricity in KWh and based on the effeciency of your induction cooktop determined how many KWh would be required to perform the same task. Then comparing the cost of both methods you determined which was most cost efficient. So how did you determine how many BTUs of gas it took and how many KWh it took? I'd like to be able to make the same calculations as you have made in your example above. Thank you,

                                          1. re: mikie

                                            Mikie, please read what I wrote again. I said there is no reliable way I know of to calculate the cost to make a demi-glace with induction against the cost of making a demi-glace with natural gas or radiant electric BECAUSE those prices are not unform in all locations. I hope you understand now. There is NO "one size fits all" in this matter.

                                            However, FOR ME, I can absolutely assure you that the most economical way for me to cook is with induction. It has cut my electric bill by about $30.00 a month below what it was when I cooked with radiant electric. Gas, FOR ME, is prohibitively expensive because last time I priced bringing in gas when I bought my house, it would have cost me $70,000.00 just for getting a gas meter on my property.

                                            I'm VERY happy with induction.

                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                              I did read very very carefully what you wrote, and you stated you would go wherever it was cheaper to cook with gas. Actually "... If you can point me in a direction where it will cost the same to cook down a demi-glace on gas as it will on induction, (that's about a day and a half of simmering) let me know because i'll move there! " Well if you don't know where the bar is, how can I point you in that direction? Furthermore, if you have not used gas (in this house) how can you make a statement that induction is less expensive than gas. Is this based on the $70,000 gas line installation cost, that's not hardly a fair comparison of the actual cost of cooking. I understand induction is less expensive than radiant electric, but you're making claims about the cost of cooking with gas and on your own admission, you have no data. Yet you criticize others for a lack of data. "... I understand what both you and Chemicalkinetics are saying. But just because you guys are saying it, that doesn't make it true! "

                                  2. re: BobB

                                    I don't have A/C and cook less in hot weather.

                                  3. re: GH1618

                                    If you buy an induction unit because it's "energy efficient" you will get one hell of a suprise when you get your hydro bill if you switched from gas, at least up here in ontario

                                    1. re: GH1618

                                      Thinking about energetical problems, in big cities like NYC, using electricity for cooking is not such a good idea: there is already a problem with electricity overuse for heating in winter and air conditioning in the summer. Stoves, - like everything that heats or makes cold -, are big offenders in this area.

                                      Something that I don't understand is, most makers sell induction stoves that are way too powerful, epecially with good quality pans and pots: I use a 2kW burner and it's already way sufficient for normal usage (2kW very roughly corresponds to 270°C/518°F for oil), but most stoves have burners that are 2.5 up to 3.5 kW. This is insane. Not only is it useless, it's actually a drawback, because you may damage or reduce the lifetime of your pots by heating them with such powers. Cold cast iron will very likely crack if you use such power. And as BoBB said, you have a smaller range of powers for precise cooking. In fact, with my brand new set of pots (Beka), it's so effective that it's a problem for me: when cooking rice, even at the lowest power (300W), it's too hot and the water boils. I need a 100 and a 200W power settings.

                                      Now, if in the summer, when air conditioning is working full time, 1 million of kitchens turn on their 3 kW stoves at the same time, that's the full power of 5 nuclear reactors. So maybe keeping gas is not a bad idea here. Or at least, the induction brands should reduce their power ratings by half.

                                      1. re: KissesFromParis

                                        Ummmm.... Wow. You do pole vault to some interesting conclusions. But I think you're wrong. Here's why:

                                        1. Induction is the most energy efficient means of cooking with electricity OR gas. You have to cook. Well, unless you can afford to eat out every meal, but wouldn't that be a drag? So since you have to cook anyway, why not use the most energy efficient method possible? Unless you're advocating doing all of your cooking in a solar oven. Good luck with that if you want a grilled cheese sandwich on a cloudy day!

                                        2. It takes a different amount of energy to bring things to a boil in a 1.5 quart saucepan than it does in a 7 gallon stock pot. Are you against making soup? If your particular induction range can't maintain a simmer for you, try a diffuser plate under your pot. Works for me! EVERY new-to-you cooking method requires some getting used to. You'll enjoy cooking a lot more if you learn how to use your equipment well.

                                        3. If it takes 5 nuclear reactors to meet the demand of 1 million kitchens using 3kw induction stoves, how many nuclear power plants would it take to serve 1 million kitchens cooking with radiant electric stoves?

                                        My point is that, even if you don't, some people do make soups and cook large quantities in large pots. Some people learn to use their induction cooktops to best advantage. Some people prefer to use the most energy efficient means to cook they can afford. Nothing wrong with induction the way it is now, except I do wish they would hurry up and widely distribute full surface all metal induction cook tops. Except they'll probably be in the price range of the U.S. national debt when they first come out. <sigh> Live happy!

                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                          Hi Car,

                                          >> I do wish they would hurry up and widely distribute full surface all metal induction cook tops.

                                          Out of curiousity. If they carried these here but they were only (and I expect this to be the case) not more than 40-50% efficient - kinda like gas or conventional electric. Would you bother? Or only if they can do it and also be 90% ...?

                                          1. re: PepinRocks

                                            I don't expect them to be 90% efficient, but I can hope! I doubt they will be as inneficient as 50%. If I'm reading the information that is available about them on the web correctly, the models currently being marketed in Japan seem to have a dual operating system that includes the efficiency available in the US today and that requires ferrous metal *OR* you can manually select a dual frequency magnetic wave setting in which the harmonics of the magnetic field make it heat up aluminum, copper, and other non-ferrous metals, but NOT glass/china. No information that I've come across on how energy efficient that dual mode all metal frequency is, but hey, I wouldn't HAVE to cook with my copper pots ALL of the time... But sometimes sure would be nice. I can ONLY make risotto in my copper pans because my induction pans are too shallow for my StirChef to work in them, and damned if I'm going to stand and stir risotto by hand. No way!!! '-)

                                          2. re: Caroline1

                                            Don't get me wrong, I LOVE induction. But my point was, if most people use gas for cooking, if they all turn to electricity, even 90% efficient, it would mean new electricity problems.
                                            I know there has been cuts in the north of the US, and today we in France face the same sort of problems: even though France is the world's most nuclearised country (and we used to export our excess of production to neighbouring countries), we now need to import electricity in cold winters, because there was a big campaign for electric heating in the 90's. The idea of the national electricity company was to sell their excess production to households. So most new houses were equipped with electric heating instead of gas heating, and now, when the temperature goes down, the internal demand exceeds our production capacity. That was a particularly stupid move. So I envisioned the same kind of problem if everybody in the US turns from gas to electric stoves.

                                            1. re: KissesFromParis

                                              Which is exactly why (if my pockets were only deep enough!) I would produce my own electricity if I could afford it. The advances in photovoltaics have not been as accelerated as in wind turbines, to my regret. But you no longer have to have big beds of panels on your roof or in your yard. They now make collectors that also do double duty as shingles on your roof, so they lay flat and you don't have to worry too much about "lift" if the wind hits them just right (except I live in tornado country) and they do a good job. Wind turbines have really come down in price and gone up in design and efficiency. When I first moved here six years ago, it was an all electric house (still is) and while I had completely upgraded the kitchen, I hadn't yet started on the air conditioning and heating. The unit was not the most efficient, BUT... If I could produce 90 to 100 percent of the elctricity I was using, what did it matter if my AC was 7 SEER or 18 SEER? The problem was that in a metropolis of 8 million people, I could not find ONE photovoltaic installer who gave me any indication he know what he was doing. Same problem when I wanted to put in a geothermal heat pump system. The "engineer" (and I use the term loosely) who came to give me an estimate didn't know as much about geothermal as I did. Anyway, if you produce your own electricity, EVERYTHING is green. Even incandescent light bulbs! '-)

                                              1. re: KissesFromParis

                                                Probably true, but it wouldn't change that fast. Most people keep major appliances for a long time, replacing them when they are worn out or as part of a kitchen upgrade (an infrequent event). Then a lot of people replacing a gas range will stick with gas. Some will change, but if there is a trend to conversion, it will be gradual, I expect.

                                              2. re: Caroline1

                                                There is a difference in efficiency and cost to operate. Yes induction is more efficient that gas, but natural gas may or may not be much cheaper than electric in your area. WHere I live there is a lot of nat gas, and a lot of people get it free because their is a well on their land and that was part of the deal. For the life of me I can't figure out why these people don't drive Civic hydrogen cars.....

                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                  Induction is nearly 100% efficient as far as energy to pan, like a microwave, whereas gas is more like 70%, BUT according to national averages nat gas costs about a third as much as electricity. You could figure in the added cost of the added AC to remove the added heat, but even with that I still think gas is much cheaper. http://www.erpud.com/comparison.htm.
                                                  Think of it this way, nat gas is used to generate electricity that runs your induction burner, add onto the costs of gas used to power these plants (which is a small part of the cost of electricity) the distribution costs, lost efficiency in the generator, paying for a power plant, etc, and you will see what I am talking about.

                                                  1. re: kendunn

                                                    I understand what both you and Chemicalkinetics are saying. But just because you guys are saying it, that doesn't make it true! '-)

                                                    Look, my induction hotplate is capable of pulling 1800 watts. However, that's way way too hot, even to just boil water. Mine has 10 heat settings and I very rarely use more than #4, and that's for searing sous vide beef in a cast iron pan. It's HOT...! I can tell you from experience, that getting equivalent heat from any of the non-commercial gas ranges and cook tops that I've used in my life time required full bore to match that heat "in the pan." So what *IS* the cost difference to produce X amount of heat "in the pan" for 1 hour via induction and the same amount of "in the pan" heat for one hour using natural gas on a home range? Truth is the answer will vary from location to location. Neither natural gas nor electricity costs are uniform in all states or countries.

                                                    So my point is that you two are throwing out "authoritative" statements that really have no meaning when it comes right down to it because there are too many variables to get a consistent answer that will work for everyone.

                                                    That said, and being a well seasoned cook (pun intended) with gas, electric, induction, alcohol burner, coal, and campfire, given my druthers, I would live in a house that produces all of it's own utilities across the board (electric, water,sewage treatment) and go with induction for cooking that has the maximum number of heat settings available. At this writing, the highest presets (and all inductions work on preset temps, afik) comes from GE, with 17 presets on their induction cook tops. I have searched high and low for more on units available in the USA. I cannot find one. Other countries...? Japan....? The answer may be different.

                                                    I do believe that when induction manufacturers finally figure out how to make an induction unit that simulates infinite variability that you get with a gas or radiant electric unit, then induction will take off.

                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                      You're not making an apples to apples comparison with statements like I set this one on 4 and the gas all the way up (watch the Spinal Tap "this one goes up to 11" clip on you-tube). I was a heating contractor for many years and had to work with both gas and electric. You have to compare BTU to BTU input and then factor in efficiency to get BTU out, which is what I was doing. Doesn't matter if its gas, electric, or whatever. Induction is very efficient because it only heats the pan and not the surrounding air, but if electricity costs more then you start loosing that benefit. Your 1800 watt burner is about the equivalent of an 10,000 btu burner when you factor in efficiency. (3.4 BTW per watt plus about 70% more efficient when maxed out, better at lower temps)

                                                      1. re: kendunn

                                                        It's actually about 90% efficient (for ferromagnetic materials). Some heat is lost in the induction unit.

                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                          I agree with that approximation, GH.

                                                        2. re: kendunn

                                                          Yes, I understand that, but it seems you're not understanding my point. Have you ever cooked using induction? It has variables that do not come into play when you cook with gas or radiant electric. With induction, I control how efficiently my cooking vessels produce heat at a single specific setting by choosing what percent of iron molecules are in the material I cook in.. In otherwords, at a preset of 2 I get a different heat result from a cast iron pan than I do from an induction-friendly stainless steel pan. The cast iron will curl and crisp the edges of a frying egg while my induction friendly stainless steel will slow cook and sweat an egg at the identical preset. The corrolation used for producing BTUs with radiant electric cooking or with gas cooking are pretty constant. With induction there is a variance determined by the material of the vessel that is chosen. So what I'm saying is that some of the abstracts being used here just don't ring true for me.

                                                          1. re: kendunn

                                                            This whole argument about more efficiency of gas vs induction is all just an attempt of fanboys to come up with arguments after they have already decided what they like. Induction is more efficient than gas at the cooking unit, but generated electricity can lose up to 50% of generated power (until superconductors are usable for that purpose -- maybe 20 - 30 years from now) between supplier and you -- so it is a wash.

                                                            I have used gas for a long time, and now I have been forced to use induction for the last 3 years since condo rules will not allow gas here -- so I have used both. Most of my cooking is stir-frys so that is the viewpoint I come from. I was finally able to find a reasonable priced (2000W) round bottom wok induction hotplate. It is better than coil ranges, but still a real pain compared to gas. I had to season my woks to begin with -- and induction was near impossible. It takes a good 10 minutes to start the process but induction has a heat sensitive top.... which means the unit has to shut off when the pot heats up to much (ok for cooking, but not for seasoning an empty pan). I would be able to do small portions before the pan would get too hot and induction would have to shut down for safety reasons (the pan at that point will be easily able to scratch the surface). I can only use certain pans on the induction, which is not as much of a pain but there are certain non-metal cooking containers that it excludes. Induction is useful in a low tempurtature cooking requirement environment, but for most of my requirements it is more of a pain for me. In an ideal kitchen I would probably have maybe one or two induction burners and gas mixed - each has it's advantages - but it is not one size fits all. It is funny, they did an Iron Chef local competition for local chefs in my parents city -- they had to use commercial induction cooktops..... at the end one of the audience members asked all the competitors which they preferred -- gas or induction in their restaurants.... they all picked gas (mind you they had limited exposure to induction). And no, induction at 1800W is not too hot.... If I had the extra money I would have gotten an industrial induction unit but would require three phase wiring - which was cost prohibitive (those were 3000 - 5000 watts). You just have to learn to move quicker :o

                                                            1. re: cacruden

                                                              Great post! But when it comes to seasoning/curing a wok I find that the best method is in the oven. Through the years I have used gas, electric, and even a barbecue grill to season a wok. Oven curing wins my vote hands down because it cures evenly right up to the top edge of the wok in a way I cannot manage stove top, no matter how I twist and turn with a wok ring. With my newest, smallest, flat bottomed wok I even cured the outside of it, which retards rusting.

                                                              And much as I love induction, I would not give up my gas hotplate. Ever! But I wouldn't mind finding one one with even more BTUs that runs on butane or propane canisters. <sigh> Some people are never happy. It seems I'm one of them...

                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                Did not have an oven at the time, and even now it is smaller than the larger of the two woks. I would prefer having an outdoor (Thai) kitchen here, but right now I am in a condo so I have limitations (in Canada it would be too cold for an outdoor kitchen). I prefer gas for cooking, charcoal for BBQ, although induction for some things is good too -- and coils for nothing :p

                                                    2. re: KissesFromParis


                                                      Just an fyi - that's not quite how it would work out for electricity. The MAX rated watts will only be pulled if you have ALL burners on full, they are in active mode, and have pots/pans that fully cover the elements. Most of the time, they are pulling a small fraction of the rated amps/watts.

                                                      Similarly my portable gas burners can do at max 7650 BTU per hour. I rarely run them anywhere close to high, except boiling water for coffee - and that takes 90-120 sec.

                                                      And THAT aside, I agree with you - in cities gas stoves make a lot of sense ... the pipes are already there and the gas is pretty cheap. In other parts of the world they may not have our options.

                                                      Heck ... out in Carol's suburb of Dallas TX - she can only get electric. It's pretty ironic, I think. They are probably pumping oil within 10-20 miles (pumps are hidden throughout the greater Dallas area - you'd be surprised) and yet ... only electric at her house.

                                                      1. re: KissesFromParis

                                                        I suppose it will horrify you then to hear that the largest hob on my range goes to 3.7kW. I rarely use it at this level, but far from being insane, it's actually quite practical when you're trying to bring a large pot of liquid to a boil quickly. Heating water for pasta or for boiling lobsters, for example, or warming a big pot of stock.

                                                        When I was first looking into getting a new range I was looking at gas, and plenty of people on the boards were touting the fact that the "superstar" gas ranges like Capital and Blue Star can put out 22,000 or even 23,000 BTU, saying that anything less wasn't worth having. My 3.7 kW hob puts out the equivalent of over 26,000 BTU, no home-legal gas stove can match it.

                                                        But while that power is nice to have, I rarely use it at this level. I do much more cooking at low to medium heat, and there induction outperforms gas as well. There are endless threads on sites like GardenWeb complaining about those superstar gas ranges' inability to hold a really low simmer without the need for some kind of heat diffuser. No such issues on my induction. But then, from what I've read it appears that a decent all-induction cooktop is just more versatile in terms of heat settings than stand-alone induction hotplates. That may not be true of all of them, but you're not the first poster I've seen lamenting the fact that their induction hotplate doesn't go low enough; I've yet to see any full range/cooktop owner complain of that. At the lowest setting on my smallest hob, I can safely melt chocolate without the need to use a double-boiler.

                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                          Bob, if you wouldn't mind sharing, what brand is your induction cooktop? It sounds wonderful! Meantime, I'm consoling myself with the price drops that will come along the longer I stay with my Max Burton. Thanks!

                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                            Mine is a complete range, not a cooktop, the GE Profile slide-in model PHS925STSS. There's an extensive thread on GardenWeb about it, on which I posted some photos (on that site I'm username saltimbocca).


                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                              Thanks, Bob! Good looking stove and very helpful information! Most of my kitchen is GE Profile (Advantium oven, Trivection oven, cook top) and the GE induction cook top will fit in my granite cut out with no need for further modification. But I've had questions about how well the Profile induction works. You've set my mind at ease. I don't know that I'm going to jump in and do it any time soon, especially if there's a chance that waiting will land me an all metal, all surface induction cook top. But then there's the question of just how affordable that will be? Would I rather spend the money on a new Masaratti? Decisions, decisions, decisions. '-)

                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                I'm going to have to take another look at this GE induction slide in. I've looked at two, but I can't remember what brand they are now, but I felt that the induction cooking area was quite less than my cooktop range is now. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm going to make a template to put into the car.

                                                                1. re: Rella

                                                                  Good thinking. And good luck!

                                                              2. re: BobB

                                                                I see you have the digital controls like I do on the Kitchenaid. That's the only thing I wish were different...I worry that those will become problematic in the long run. I don't like having to remember to tell it which burner I'm looking at when I want to adjust the heat. minor quibble, though, compared with how well I like it overall.

                                                                Here's a terrible cell phone pic

                                                    3. $$$$$$$ for the appliance

                                                      66 Replies
                                                      1. re: sr44

                                                        One problem with that argument is: Why then can Europeans and Australians afford the induction cooktop -- considering the fact that the an average Americans have a higher disposable income.

                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                          Could it be that people outside the US buy two burner appliances and there is a large demand for those so therefore lower price? Just wondering.

                                                          1. re: escondido123

                                                            Could be, but I also thinking about our energy sources. It is my understanding that Europeans have more nontraditional power plants like the nuclear plants, whereas we (Americans) have much more access to gas, coal and oil. It is all relative, I think. If our natural gas price jumps 3-fold tomorrow, then probably you will see more induction burners.

                                                            As for now, I am not really sure an induction cooktop will save you more money than a gas cooktop.

                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                              I wonder how many American people actually do make a choice to buy an induction burner/range based on world power plant costs.

                                                              1. re: Rella

                                                                Maybe not many, but more the reason why it is important to illustrate this fact, as the statement stands on its own merit. That is: induction cooking is not more energy-efficient than gas cooking.

                                                                An analogy. The planet Earth is spherical (round). It really does not matter if one people believe it or a million people believe it -- the Earth is still round.

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                  Sorry, but I've already lost track of "the statement that stands on its own merit."

                                                                  1. re: Rella

                                                                    Just considered the fact that I was responding to sr44 and escondido123.

                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                            Inequality-adjusted standard of living (or human development index, as it is now measured) might be a better indicator of what the bulk of a population can actually afford than 'disposable income.'

                                                            There, you'll find America falls below most of Western Europe, and well below Australia.

                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                              Inequality may be, but if we are talking about average household can afford it. For example, I know plenty of people who has no problem with buying iPhone, but has trouble buying induction cooktop, and I am sure you have sensed the same attitude here on CHOWHOUND. Many people here can afford a coolection of Le Cresuset cookware, and are not willing to pay for an induction cooktop.

                                                              I don't know many people say "I like to have induction cooktop, but I cannot afford it". Most go the other way: "I can pay for it, but I don't want it".

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                I think induction manufacturers haven't done a very good job in educating the American public on what can and can't be done on their cooktop. I'm sure I spent just as much on my 36" Electrolux Icon gas range top as a good induction top, so I could afford induction. BUT, my wife makes candy a few times a year and she didn't know if induction would work for her, so no induction. She knew that gas would work, so we bought a very nice gas range top instead. Our pots and pans for the most part are old, so that really wasn't a stumbeling block, they could and are being replaced little by little. But, not knowing how it would work with a particular cooking task was enough to rule it out. I should also add, we had an electric coil cooktop that was replaced, so we had electricity, but there was also a gas line there as well.

                                                                1. re: mikie

                                                                  Induction might well be better for candy-making, but in that case a portable induction unit would do. These are so inexpensive that one can have both gas and induction.

                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                    Well I know little more about the specifics of induction ranges beyond what I read here. I can tell you that making carmel from scratch takes very precise temperature management. I'm not sure just how precise you can control temperature when you only have 6 or 8 settings with an induction range. On the other hand gas is infinately adjustable.

                                                                    1. re: mikie

                                                                      My induction (GE, nothing fancy) has 19 levels - more, actually, when you consider that there are three different sizes/powers of burners and each one of them provides a different range of potential heat, so from lowest to highest that may be as many as 30 or more levels. It'll do caramel.

                                                                    2. re: GH1618

                                                                      And yet, many are not interested.

                                                                    3. re: mikie

                                                                      For future reference, there is nothing that gas can do that induction can't with the exception of round-bottomed wok cooking and anything where you actually need an open flame, such as for charring peppers (I do that on my outdoor grill). In range of temperatures, stability of temperatures, and speed of changing temperatures, it equals or exceeds gas.

                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                        There are induction units now designed specifically for round-bottomed woks, by the way.

                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                          Yeah, the technology is evolving. I was quite limited in my options as we needed a full range (cooktop plus oven), and while there are lots of induction cooktops out there, there are only a handful of ranges. It would have been nice to get one of those "zoneless" cooktops, where the entire surface is capable of heating a pan and it automatically senses the location, size and shape of any pan you put on it. But no range maker currently offers that. Sigh. Oh well, next house...

                                                                          1. re: BobB

                                                                            Hi, Bob:

                                                                            I understand the "zoneless" concept, but could you (or anyone) please explain what the coils in these things look like under the Ceran? Are they all the same size and shape, layed out in arrays that the sensors then configure and control? How many such coils are there, typically, 10? 50? 500? If you put something like a fish poacher on a "zoneless" 'top, are the only coils *completely* under the pan energized, or do coils protruding beyond the pan's edges also fire up? Could you, eg., put two such pans side-by-side or diagonal to each other and heat them differently?


                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                              I don't know the details of how zoneless works, but it wouldn't really matter (except in terms of marginal energy consumption) whether it only turns on the coils that are completely below a pan or those at the edges as well, since only the pan itself gets hot.

                                                                              1. re: BobB

                                                                                Hi, Bob:

                                                                                Well, there are safety concerns, detection concerns, evenness concerns, bleeding and overlap concerns, and complexity of repair/longevity concerns, but other than those, maybe it doesn't matter.

                                                                                So much of this stuff requires a level of blind faith that what lies beneath the Ceran surface is (and works) as claimed. I mean, are we talking about concentric rings of coils, irregularly-shaped puzzle pieces, a mosaic of little postage-stamp areas, or a carpet of pixels? If I was goingto spend $$$ on one of these, I'd want to know how it works.


                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                  I think you're going a little over the top there, Kaleo. Safety concerns? How so? Only the pan gets hot. Repair/longevity maybe - I can see the potential for that, which is why I got a relatively inexpensive extended warranty on mine. I don't even know what you mean by bleeding and overlap - who cares if the magnets are turned on a bit beyond the edge of the pan (not that it necessarily does that, as I said I don't know exactly how they set up the zoneless system). Magnetic fields dissipate extremely rapidly with distance, unless you're planning to leave your credit cards lying on the cooktop I don't see the issue.

                                                                                  I do agree that before buying a zoneless cooktop I'd look more deeply into exactly how it works, but since that was not an option for me, I didn't bother. Hopefully someone who knows more about them will chime in.

                                                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                                                    Hi, Bob:

                                                                                    Oh, I think if an active zone isn't completely covered by the pan, you can have other ferrous things (utensils, other pans, etc.) get heated unintentionally, causing burn hazards. Yes, the field falls off rapidly with distance, but in this situation believing that "Only the pan gets hot" might get you or a loved one branded.

                                                                                    By bleeding and overlap, I mean that two pans ostensibly on separate zones (and different settings) might be sharing--in whole or in part--the energy from one zone. Visualize your pasta pot placed next to your chocolate pan--how do you know the latter isn't going to get some of the (high) energy you order up for the former?

                                                                                    Maybe all the fingers and chocolate were burned in testing, and our Far-East engineering friends have this all figured out. But common sense tells me that the sensors, switching, processors and multiple coils that run these things are going to be orders of magnitude more complex than what's on current models (which themselves may not have been completely debugged).

                                                                                    Anyone who finds one, please post a review of the zoneless induction and how it works.


                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                      Some interesting info here on a recently-released zoneless: http://www.dedietrich.co.uk/piano/about

                                                                                      Looks like one of the safety features they've included is a "small object detector" so it won't heat up something like a stainless spoon you happen to have set down on the cooktop.

                                                                                      I do think you'd need to leave a few inches between pots for each to heat correctly, but since the entire surface is available for use that shouldn't be a problem.

                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                        Hi, Bob:

                                                                                        Thanks, now we're getting somewhere! This is interesting, and at least De Deitrich shows us the coils...

                                                                                        It looks like there are twelve, nested triangular coils. These triangles each also have 3 little lobes within them, so it's not clear to me whether there are effectively 12 coils or 36. Whichever it is, if you superimpose the "triangle" photo onto the photos showing the pans on the hob, you should understand what I meant about bleeding and overlap.

                                                                                        For instance, consider the "Piano Mode" photo with its three pans. What happens if the center pan is shifted 3/4 inch off-center, and/or the flanking pans are bumped inward? And in the "Expert Mode", it looks like some of the triangles must be shared; are the shared areas disabled somehow? Does a triangle or lobe need to be entirely covered by a pan to get energized, or just the dots? I know you don't know the answers to these questions, I'm just wondering out loud. If this works the way it appears, it also has ramifications for cookware performance.

                                                                                        What comes through to me loud and clear here is the attempt to duplicate the effects of a solid-surface cooktop, albeit with more flexibility. Frankly, I'd be more impressed if this thing had few (or no) controls, and just continuously varied the heat output from one side to the other--e.g., put you pot on the extreme left, it's gonna boil; on the extreme right, it'll barely simmer; and infinite gradations in between. Something like..... the wood cookstoves that have been around since the 19th Century (At least my Monarch doesn't have a "small object detector")

                                                                                        Thanks again for posting that. Kinda looks like a copy machine, doesn't it?


                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                          I encourage everyone to watch the videos of this Piano cooktop. Manipulating the controls looks anything but simple; I hope it comes with "flight simulator" software. And I hope that their detection circuitry is better than their spelling.

                                                                                      2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                        You forgot to mention how people seem to get freaked out by being around wifi, the new windmills, high tension hydro lines , yet spend hours a day on cell phones and now add induction coils to the mix

                                                                                        1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                          That's a generalization that probably doesn't hold up. You seem to be assuming that all people who fear one sort of electrmagnetic radiation or another all fit under one umbrella, and exhibit commpn inconsistencies. If you are going to accuse someone of inconsistency or hypocrisy, it ought to be a particular person for a particular inconsistency.

                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                            I'm sure there's one person on here that fits the description, and my generalization comes from watching the news up here, where all the parents are up in arms because there's wifi in their kids high school, yet I'd bet 95% of the kids and parents are glued to a cell .
                                                                                            I also believe once induction does become more mainstream you'll see some clown on the news saying his/her stove is causing health issues

                                                                                            1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                              wifi in the high school..... our students are given a $1,000 laptop when they enter 6th grade, checked out to them. They bring them to class and are expected to be able to use them. Teachers used to reprimand kids because they didn't bring a pen/pencil with them, and now I have found myself reprimanding kids for not having their laptops charged, or leaving the charger at home and they can't do the assignment at the end of the day because their laptop isn't charged.
                                                                                              The times, they are a changin', eh?
                                                                                              They'll either be claiming health issues (induction caused), harming them, or it will be the new cure for arthritis.

                                                                                              1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                The times, they are a changin', eh?
                                                                                                It blows my mind when I think of how much has changed just in half of my life

                                                                                        2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                          All the induction units I've read about, from the cheapest portable to the fanciest built-in, have some form of detection that prevents the magnets from going on if the object on the surface is not "pot-shaped", exactly in order to prevent a utensil or fork left on the surface from being heated up.

                                                                                          Gaggenau makes a zoneless cooktop, which has been sold in Europe for some years, and is introducing it to the U.S. this year. But discussion on some forum (probably Garden Web, though I don't remember if it was in Appliances or Kitchens) made me realize that there are two kinds of 'zoneless', and that the simpler-electronics-but-not-as-flexible is what will be on offer in the U.S. market.

                                                                                          But I'm really at a loss to understand why you seem to think the technology is at a primitive and unproven stage given the extent of induction use in Europe. Your questions are good ones, but it would pay you to get answers from the companies that have been manufacturing them for the last two decades.

                                                                                          1. re: ellabee

                                                                                            Many times I put the fork tin upside down on the outside area from where the pot is cooking away, and resting the end of the fork on the counter. It has not heated the fork.

                                                                                            I mention this as yesterday I was cooking using all burners on the glass top, as well as two induction hobs, and layed down a large fork on top of the glass top as I often do. Since there was so much cooking going on, the fork got pushed into a turned-off burner area - yes, of course, I minor-ly burned my hand picking it up. This burn incident may have happened on an induction unit, but I don't believe the residual heat from the pan on an induction area would ever be as hot as a cooling-down burner on a glass-cooktop.

                                                                                            To finish up the story, stupid me, I started to pick up the flung-down fork from the floor. Synapses and neurons not working properly!!

                                                                                            1. re: ellabee

                                                                                              Hi, ellabee:

                                                                                              Having a safety sensor is basically the same question as what will fool the sensor. My understanding is that a small ferrous object (and some nonferrous ones, like aluminum foil) left or dropped sufficiently close to a live induction coil (read: sensor already tripped by adjacent pan) can heat. And others here have said that ferrous utensils *in the pan* can get quite hot.

                                                                                              I *don't* think induction technology is primitive; it's quite advanced, the most advanced we have IMO. But I do think it is a little immature, by virtue of its relative newness to the consumer market and its complexity. That complexity has, so far anyway, resulted in reliability, repairability, longevity and cost-benefit concerns that detract from claims that induction appliances are panacea for all our cooking problems. I just find it irksome that any new technology is accorded superior status simply by virtue of its arrival (Akin to awarding a person the Nobel Peace Prize for giving a speech about what they *plan* to do). I'm irked mostly because that prejudice inculcates in people an ignorant disrespect (if not complete unawareness) of old technologies that work quite well and sometimes better.

                                                                                              Rather than getting answers from the Euro companies who make these (What's the prosaic American expression... "Wouldn't say sh#t if they had a mouthful"?), we should be getting answers from the service and repair cohort and statistics on longevity and true performance (rather than convenience and necessity). I mean, I love Europe and European people and things more than most, but it's never a good answer to just emulate them *because* they're European.

                                                                                              I think we agree that time will tell. My own prediction is that induction is here to stay, will be a useful tool, and will be progressively debugged and refined. Hopefully we will not outsmart ourselves.


                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                  I don't think that induction is being accorded superior status simply by virtue of its arrival, and I certainly don't think anyone should emulate European items because they're European... I mean that the technology has been in widespread enough use in Europe for long enough so that it has been debugged and refined quite a bit already. Agreed that we could benefit from service and repair info from that large installed base, but you were asking questions about the workings, which can and should be answered by the manufacturer.

                                                                                                  1. re: ellabee

                                                                                                    Hi, ellabee:

                                                                                                    We simply disagree about the neotech- and Euro-philia. IMO, both are rampant, and a factor second only to convenience as for why people go that route.

                                                                                                    I think SWISSAIRE'S contributions here should give us all pause to reflect on exactly *how* widespread and debugged induction really is in Europe. Making the judgment of "widespread enough" and "long enough" is a subjective call. More widespread and longer *than here*? Sure, point taken.

                                                                                                    I will take your suggestion and contact De Deitrich to attempt to get some answers as to faetures.


                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                      Geesus where to start on the "experts" where right , smoking tobacco is good for you1950's cocaine is good for you,1970's california doctors no less, put butter on a burn(my mother still insists this is right) my point is be very suspicious

                                                                                  2. re: GH1618

                                                                                    Kind of yes, but kind of no. The problem of the round bottomed induction stoves are that they are designed for a specific wok shape, but woks do not just come in one size and one shape.

                                                                                  3. re: BobB

                                                                                    I concur. In fact, I timed boiling half a liter of water on my induction and my gas cooktop in a de Buyer carbon steel pan. Carbon steel are extremely fast on induction. Induction came out winner, boiling water 50% faster than my gas stove.

                                                                                    BTW, cast iron does work on induction, but one must be very careful to heat it slowly, by gradually increasing power, else your cast iron may crack.

                                                                                  4. re: mikie

                                                                                    >I think induction manufacturers haven't done a very good job in educating the American public on what can and can't be done on their cooktop.<

                                                                                    This would be me. I never even heard of it until I got on this board. If the Chef's on TV would start using them, you might see more people going for it. I see most of the Chef's using gas, so that makes me think it is better. I have an electric stove, but may very well change to gas when the time comes. If nothing else, just so I can cook when my electricity goes off. Nothing ticks me off more than to be in the middle of cooking when the electricity goes off. It can totaly ruin your dinner. When we heated with a wood stove, I loved cooking on top of that.
                                                                                    Maybe it was psycological, but the food tasted better too.

                                                                                  5. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                    " For example, I know plenty of people who has no problem with buying iPhone, but has trouble buying induction cooktop, and I am sure you have sensed the same attitude here on CHOWHOUND. Many people here can afford a coolection of Le Cresuset cookware, and are not willing to pay for an induction cooktop."
                                                                                    This is true. But talking about individuals is different from talking about populations. It's not a matter of whether people can literally afford to buy a $1500 stovetop, but one of whether greater wealth as a population increases the likelihood of said $1500 stovetop being popular and commonplace. Intuitively, I think it does.

                                                                                    I wrote below about some of the more specific reasons I think induction is less common in the US, btw. I think it has a lot to do with not only wealth and class structure in the US, but also the cooking and eating trends among different classes.

                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                      The individuals are merely for illustration to show that even for people who can easily afford induction stovetop, they are not doing it. This begs the question if we (Americans) are really limited because we don't have enough money to buy induction stovetop or we just don't want them.

                                                                                      Also US gas price is much lower than European gas price. For many Americans getting an induction stovetop isn't necessary going to cut cost. For Europeans, an induction stovetop will save them money.

                                                                                      Electric cars will be more popular in Europe than in US.

                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                        Those are valid points. I'm sure there's more than one reason that induction hasn't caught on here. Gas prices and access are perfectly good reasons.

                                                                                        But that doesn't mean that comparative wealth and wealth distribution have nothing to do with the matter. It's more popular in countries that have higher standards of living, larger middle classes. Seems obvious to me that standard of living would have some bearing on the popularity of an item that's largely considered a luxury.

                                                                                      2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                        Wow! Class, wealth, world power costs discussion.

                                                                                        People who watched "Mad Men" should be aware that advertising might fall somewhere into this discussion.
                                                                                        I suppose there have been surveys of people who 'did' purchase induction. But alas, that is not the crux of this discussion. Would those people who did purchase induction fall under the auspices of 'world power plants," and 'class'?
                                                                                        Making me wonder just what category I might fall nto.
                                                                                        Awaiting viewing of the survey :-))

                                                                                      3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                        Really the percentage of home cooks who own Le Creuset or similar, has to be small. I imagine there are more who do afford an Iphone or Ipad, than see the need for induction. But I feel that induction is frightfully expensive, in a market where appliances have become generally more expensive, and unreliable. And I don't think that induction is considered a necessary and fun tool, the way smart phones and tablets have become.

                                                                                        I disagree with you about the reasoning behind not choosing induction. If my cooktop goes out, there is no way I can afford an induction replacement, and I don't think I am in a minority.

                                                                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                          Since this is a cooking/eating board, I would take exception that more people have an Iphone/Ipad than LC or similar cookware. For the general population, you are probably correct, but I personally only have a low cost Ipod, but have 4 pices of Staub enameled cast iron. For a cooking/eating board, I don't think I'm an exception.

                                                                                          For the past 20 years every time our cheap coil cooktop went out I fixed it rather than buy a new one because we have had a kitchen rmomdel in the future for a very long time. But when it was time to buy, the additional cost of induction was not a factor, but I think that has to do with what we were comparing to. To keep comparisons as fair as possible, I'll stick to one brand and one size top. We bought an Electrolux Icon 36" gas slide in range top, internet price today $2000. The highest end model Electrolux Icon 36" gas slide in range top has a price today of $2700. Same brand 36" Induction cook top is $2200 and a 36" gas drop in from Electrolux Icon series is $1300. For us, at least, the induction top fell between the two gas range tops we looked at and was actually less expensive than some other brands we considered. And the $200 difference between what we bought and the induction unit was not an issue. I will grant that this is a fair amount of money for an appliance and the induction unit is $900 more than the drop in cooktop, and that would be enough to influence a purchasing decision. But on a message board that's all about cooking and food, I think if people really wanted induction and really thought there was a significant advantage, many would spend the extra money. I'm not trying to sound eletist, what I spent on a range top is nothing compared to what people are spending on Capital, or Bluestar, or Wolf, and those are obviously not in everyone's budget or on everyone's bucket list. I just think the population on CH is differrent than the general population when it comes to passion for cookware.

                                                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                            Induction doesn't have to be expensive. Here in Europe, it isn't. Prices have dropped with selling numbers.

                                                                                            1. re: KissesFromParis

                                                                                              I think selling prices always drop as a function of the economies of scale. Take ranges in general, they sell more freestanding ranges than any other kind, so even though you need to have finished sides on them they are less expensive than the drop in or slide in models where there are no sides. It just hasn't been pushed in the US for a number of reasons, like it has been in Europe, again, for a number of reasons, so it's still more expensive here than a comparable radient heat electric stove or a gas stove. When glass/ceramic tops came out they were much more expensive than the open calrod models, not so much now.

                                                                                        2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                          "Inequality-adjusted standard of living (or human development index, as it is now measured) might be a better indicator of what the bulk of a population can actually afford than 'disposable income.'

                                                                                          The cost of living is exceedingly high in most of the top countries you listed. Norway, to take as an example, has shockingly high food and housing costs and most Norwegians are hardly flaunting large volumes of disposable wealth. My Norwegian friends ate out and drank less frequently than Americans did and lived much more quiet lives in smaller houses and apartments simply because everything was so expensive. So I wouldn't take the list as a good indicator of the actual wealth or disposal income available to a typical citizen of the said nation.

                                                                                          That aside, the advantage of the induction cookers is that it can cook food much more quickly but that comes with its own limits. I gather that most people who cook are pretty comfortable with the times required and have little interest in something that cooks even more quickly. Those who are genuinely time starved = eat out or takeaway. On top of that the article makes clear that you do have to pay close attention to the cooking process due to the high heat involved, something which wouldn't appeal to a lazy cook or a typical cook. In its own way the traditional stove buys you time when cooking, time you can devote to other cooking tasks, and I'm not sure if I want to give up that time.

                                                                                          What would be ideal for me is a traditional gas range top with an electric oven, and a separate induction burner for pasta water.

                                                                                          1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                            "you do have to pay close attention to the cooking process due to the high heat involved"

                                                                                            Say what? That's absurd - once you learn how much heat you get at each temperature setting you simply select the right setting, from the lowest occasional-bubble simmer to the highest boil-me-now-baby insanity.

                                                                                            Yes, induction burners CAN get hotter than gas or electric, but only if you turn them way up. They can also hold steady LOWER temperatures than many other cooktops, especially the high-end gas ones.

                                                                                            1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                              "The cost of living is exceedingly high in most of the top countries you listed. Norway, to take as an example, has shockingly high food and housing costs and most Norwegians are hardly flaunting large volumes of disposable wealth."
                                                                                              Take another look at the methodology of the income-adjusted HDI. Cost of living is factored in. Anyway, the fact that food and housing costs are high entails that local food and housing providers are well-paid (incidentally, higher cost of housing might also make induction more popular in apartments). No one will deny that an American doctor, partnered lawyer, business exec, etc is financially better off than their Norwegian counterpart. I'm talking about the bulk of the population.

                                                                                              If you're still not convinced, then try hanging around with some truly impoverished Americans. There's a lot more of em than you seem to realize.

                                                                                              As far as the appeal of induction goes, at this point I think it does appeal mainly to people who are very interested in cooking but are also somewhat budget-conscious. A high-output, well-controlled gas range costs more than a comparably high-output induction range. That's why i argued below that the strength and size of a country's middle class will have some bearing on the popularity of induction - the genuinely poor cannot reasonably afford it, and the rich are guided by other concerns.

                                                                                              I'll accept that class distinctions and wealth distribution may be dwarfed as a factor next to energy infrastructure. But not that low cost of food and board means that poor Americans are better off or can afford better gadgetry.

                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                I have had the privilege of living overseas for prolonged periods of time, first in Europe then Asia and now the Middle East. All with long stints in between in the US. So I absolutely have a very good idea of the actual cost of living and food expenditures in the various parts of the world and the lifestyle of the typical resident in Western Europe, Scandinavia, the UK, Indonesia and now the UAE and how they compare to the US.


                                                                                                You can see that ranking by income and ranking by purchasing power isn't the same. The US does very well, especially considering it's a huge and diverse country of 300+ million people, including a large immigration population, and the only countries that are "richer" both on per capita and by PPP are much smaller, much more homogenous countries or city states with a few million people.

                                                                                                Europe was unquestionably the most expensive place for us to live and Scandinavia and Switzerland the most expensive within Europe. As much as $50 for a mediocre takeaway pizza was the norm in Oslo.


                                                                                                Given the high utilities costs in Europe induction cooking is probably preferred as a means to save money rather than because it's a fancy new technology. But we are drifting away from the main topic of this thread and the Chowhound Team will no doubt be along to reprimand us.

                                                                                                1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                  In a very basic sense, you're still comparing how well off the respective middle and upper classes are in said countries, while I was comparing, in a basic sense, the size of the middle class as a proportion of the whole population. They're very different questions.

                                                                                                  "Given the high utilities costs in Europe induction cooking is probably preferred as a means to save money rather than because it's a fancy new technology. "
                                                                                                  I agree, generally. Mikie has made a very convincing argument that energy infrastructure in Europe tends to favor induction. I still don't know a whole lot about the energy infrastructure in Australia, and I would be surprised if other factors didn't also play a role, but I think we can agree that low availability of gas, high price for electric, and low voltage in households all tend to favor induction.

                                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                            Do the induction stoves in Europe start at $1800 and go up from there? I too think the second biggest reason induction stovetops are not more prevalent in the U.S. is because of the high cost. The biggest reason is that they are new to the U.S. market and change is a hard thing to overcome in the marketing process.

                                                                                          3. re: sr44

                                                                                            Not any more - you can get a full cooktop for ~$1500, or a partial for even less. Plus there are plenty of people out here discussing the relative merits of high-end ranges like Wolf, Viking, Capital etc, which can easily cost more than a good induction unit.

                                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                                              I bought a Blue Star, but it's a complete range not just a cooktop. (My sister bought an induction cooktop last year, has already had it repaired three times and couldn't use it in the weeks involved.)

                                                                                              1. re: BobB

                                                                                                The relatively few people buying high-end ranges are a small part of the equation. I suspect that they are greatly overrepresented on this website.

                                                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                                                  I think income distribution in the US has a lot to do with it.

                                                                                                  $1500 is still a lot more than most Americans spend on cooktops. There are a lot of small, under-powered gas and electric ranges in the US, just because they're cheap to buy. And as I mentioned above to Chem, the average American is functionally poorer than the average Australian or Western European.

                                                                                                  As a trend, I'd say wealthy Americans, the general kind that might own a Wolf, Viking, induction, etc, don't cook very much. So selling them on the function of a cooking device doesn't help too much - they'd rather have something traditional and familiar and well-branded in the kitchen for when they do decide to do a little cooking or sell their home. Induction's single biggest advantage over the highest end of gas ranges is being more affordable than a comparably high-output, high-quality cooktop - for many of the people who buy especially high-end cooktops, that difference in cost isn't a big deal. Tradition, brand name appeal, and familiarity are more important.

                                                                                                  OTOH, American food enthusiasts are coming around on induction - it's fairly popular here on CH, if that's any indicator. But that adoption by foodies is slower than it might be just because induction still isn't very common and thus people aren't exposed to it. You'll see more of it soon as American food enthusiasts buy more induction ranges and expose others to its capabilities. But it hasn't reached critical mass yet where it's well understood by American cooks at large.

                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                    Perhaps the answer is that the typical American eats out much more frequently than his European counterpart. Food is cheaper in the US and post-tax disposal income is often higher. The US may have more poor people than a typical European country, but it also has a much bigger affluent population. So the typical American really isn't bothered by what type of stove he has since odds are he isn't cooking on it as much as his European counterpart would. Just food for thoughts.

                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                      We spent about $1250, IIRC, on our entire 'premium' electric range. The cooktop is adequate for our purposes; the convection oven can roast a fair-sized turkey in less than two hours. This was considered to be a lot to spend on a stove in my somewhat affluent area. Most folks still go with the sub-$1000 range around here- the $899 Lowe's or Sears specials abound.

                                                                                                      And this is an area where less than 10% of homes will have a gas stove- CH&A is almost always by electric heat pump, and a lot of original homebuyers figured it wasn't worth it to run a gas line just for stove and water heater.

                                                                                                      If a stove with an induction cooktop was priced within about 20% of the cost of conventional electric,then you'd probably see a fair number of people willing to bite around here. But when you're talking twice as much to attain similar base functions once you factor in the oven, plus making the home harder to sell (we're in a military town- lots of churning of housing stock as people PCS, so it really matters) it's a deal-breaker.

                                                                                                    2. re: BobB

                                                                                                      While a basic electric range is around $400 which makes for a $1000 savings.
                                                                                                      Also, the need for ferrous cookware can be an extra expense for some people.

                                                                                                      I don't know what the annual savings of an induction hob versus an electric hob. I've read somewhere that it's around $5 savings per years for an average user.

                                                                                                      So it would take 200 years to break even on the cost alone. If you saved $50 a year it would take 20 years to recoup the extra $1000... etc.

                                                                                                      1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                        Frankly, for me any energy savings or fuel cost differences are incidental, the main thing is simply that induction performs so much better than electric.

                                                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                                                          To answer your original question, "What gives?"

                                                                                                          Cost is a big factor. Many homes have existing kitchens. Also, new home construction generally goes the the less expensive equipment, unless they offer options to upsell.

                                                                                                          Another factor is durability. Buying a new range is probably an every 20 year purchase. There's not enough turnaround to get units out the door.

                                                                                                          1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                            Well induction is certainly "cool". But I can't imagine justifying switching to it from an economic standpoint - at least for us here in the US. Ok - well if one already HAS electric AND is renovating a kitchen ... ok. Yeah I get that. The $500+ premium performs much better than a standard electric cooktop and is also good on usage.

                                                                                                            But I can't see that changing from gas to induction makes any sense. That would cost what? At least $1000-1300+ including the cooktop, permits, and electric work. Even IF energy savings might be $20 per month vs gas (doubtful), the ROI just isn't there.

                                                                                                            All I'm saying is that the choice really isn't about economics - for us Americans - it's a lifestyle choice if we already don't have gas.

                                                                                                            1. re: jkling17

                                                                                                              I think the savings for the average family of 4 that switches is around $24-27 per *year*. Saving electricity is pretty much the worst reason to switch.

                                                                                                      2. re: BobB

                                                                                                        There is no technical reasons for induction to be that expensive. It's only a marketing problem. In Europe, prices have dropped dramatically and you can get a range with 4 burners for less than 300 euros. On many other things, like stainless steel pans, we pay twice as much as you do.

                                                                                                      1. re: unprofessional_chef

                                                                                                        I don't think the portables get as hot. The largest burner on my cooktop uses 3700 watts at its highest setting, which puts out heat equivalent to a gas burner running at about 26,000 BTU. I don't think the portable units go that high, if only because they're designed to run on 110VAC current, not 220.

                                                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                                                          1800w is the maximum that I've seen for 110v units. That's the max you are going to see for portable heaters and toaster ovens. However a home may have 220v circuits for the dryer, baseboard heaters, and the electric range.

                                                                                                          With my induction hotplate I rarely use it above power level 5, 1200w. Only if I'm in a rush to boil water will I go higher.

                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                            Same here, I rarely go above 5 except to boil water.

                                                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                                                              So, if you rarely go above 5 except to boil water, then how many settings do you really have for control of the temperature, not the 19 you stated above because 14 of those are too hot. Not the 30 something of combinations because you can only use a certian size pot on a certian size hob. What it comes down to is you have 5 settings to play with and if one of them isn't just the right temperature you will likely have an issue when preparing something that is extremely temperature sensitive. Now maybe one of those settings is "just right" to quote Goldie Locks, but how do you know that in advance of purchasing a rather pricy stove top? I think in most cases you don't. So in our case, is it worth the gamble to drop $1500 or more on an induction top, that if you don't like, you will live with for years, since it's built into the granite counter and new cabinets, or do you go with something you know works for what you want to cook? As nifty as an induction top may be, for many it's still untested technology, that is, we haven't had the opportunity to try one out in a real world situation. And many of us have had poor experiences with the other type of glass top electric cooking, I know, they're not the same, but they look the same from 20 feet away and that's as close as my wife would get to one. There are so many different types of cooking and things to cook, one seems to need the maximum flexability.

                                                                                                              I actually only know one person with an induction hob and it's a singe that's used to boil water, the remainder of their cooking is done on a gas stove top. And I can assure you they didn't choose gas over induction for economic reasons. The stove top was I'm certian less than 2% of the kitchen remodel.

                                                                                                              1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                To clarify, "rarely going above 5" means 10 levels, as mine is calibrated in half-step increments. And rarely doesn't mean never - for certain things like searing and quick browning I sometimes go higher. But even on my old halogen cooktop, I rarely needed to go much beyond halfway before things got too hot. That's normal - unless you're running a steakhouse, most cooking involves simmering, braising, stewing, sautéing, and other practices for which low to medium heat is more suitable. If I were into wok cooking I might use higher heat more often, but I'm not.

                                                                                                                I agree that induction is simply unfamiliar to most people - I've had a great time explaining it to my friends, many of whom, even though they're avid cooks, had never even heard of it and thought I was talking about convection ovens. And yes, they do look just like flattop electric, but trust me, they are night and day when it comes to actually cooking. I lived with a halogen flattop for years and it drove me crazy, heating different types of pans at wildly different rates and taking forever to cool down.

                                                                                                                As the OP here, I have to admit that the question I posed in the title was somewhat disingenuous - yes, of course I know that the main reason induction hasn't caught on here is that most people have no idea it even exists, let alone what it is. But I was hoping to draw out some interesting comments from the Chowhound crowd, and in that I have clearly succeeded.

                                                                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                  "But I was hoping to draw out some interesting comments from the Chowhound crowd, and in that I have clearly succeeded."

                                                                                                                  Indeed you have! And I think there are many reasons they are not as popular here as in Europe.

                                                                                                                  It's funny, no one buys a car without a test drive, even a new one. But what do you expect to discover during a test drive that you couldn't surmize from the spec sheet. On the other hand, how many people ask to test drive applainces, where there is much more opportunity for surprises. My wife would have liked nothing better than a smoth top cooking surface that could just be wiped off, and preferably with no knobs to wipe around either, but her lack of knowledge of the induction cooktops and her poor experiences with smoth top electric was enough that induction wasn't even in the conversation. However if she could have test driven one and made something that was critical to her, then she would have jumped all over it. As it is, she is thrilled with the new gas range top, even though it is considerably more difficult to clean.

                                                                                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                    "yes, of course I know that the main reason induction hasn't caught on here is that most people have no idea it even exists, let alone what it is."

                                                                                                                    Whew! I was wondering...
                                                                                                                    I totally agree.

                                                                                                                  2. re: mikie

                                                                                                                    Do induction dials have discrete settings and you can't select something in between?

                                                                                                                    For whatever it's worth, every time I have ever used an unfamiliar electric stove I had to use it a few times to learn what temp. settings to use and it usually somewhere between 4 - 6 is the sweet spot for most tasks. Anything above is pretty much "boiling things" territory.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jzerocsk

                                                                                                                      Yes, they have discrete settings - in my case, 19 per burner, but given that there are several different sizes/strengths of burners, each of which has 19 levels from its individual lowest to highest setting, the overall range is enough to get you anything you'd need in a practical sense.

                                                                                                                      "every time I have ever used an unfamiliar electric stove I had to use it a few times to learn what temp. settings to use"

                                                                                                                      Exactly the same here. One difference is that on my old halogen cooktop, different types of pans would heat up at very different rates and to different degrees at the same heat setting, whereas on the induction, they seem to be much more consistent. Of course, that may at least in part be due to the fact that everything I use on induction is of necessity cast iron, stainless steel, or at least has a steel layer in it.

                                                                                                                      Most of my actual cooking is between levels 3 and 6, but I go below 3 for really low simmering and above 6 for boiling and quick searing.

                                                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                        To add an analogy to that: I've owned a 10-speed bike for many years, and most of the time I use only the middle three gears. But when I need those extra high and low gears, I'm REALLY glad I have them!

                                                                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                          BobB - I can ditto pretty much everything you said about your induction stove. I got mine about a month ago , and I'm in love. LOVE. Threw away the glass top electric....happy day!

                                                                                                                          Now that you have upgraded your stove though, you might need to find out how many speeds a modern bike has ;-)

                                                                                                                          1. re: danna

                                                                                                                            I know about modern bikes - but mine is a '70s vintage Motobecane, a real collector's item. ;-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                              Sounds like a sweet ride! I got distracted posting, but I meant to continue by complimenting you on the analogy. Indeed, those very hi and very low options on the stovetop(and bike) are super-important when you need them. It was the TOTAL inability of my electric stove to simply keep warm or god-forbid simmer anything that drove me to distraction.

                                                                                                                              It's taking me a little time to figure out exactly which #'s on my stove correspond to which heat level. Like you, I find that I'm not using the 8 and 9 unless I'm trying to boil the crap out of something. It's very impressive when I am, of course, just have to remember to turn it down once it's rolling.

                                                                                                          2. I would love induction but when i replaced my gas stove last we weren't going to do a kitchen remodel at that time and I therefore had to get another gas stove of which I was able to get a model that i am very pleased with. Of course after the stove was replaced my hubby finally agreed to do the kitchen, go figure!

                                                                                                            Induction is very expensive but you often have to replace like with like because of the expanse outside of getting an actual appliance. Installing the right electrical means to change how you power your stove/cooktop is very difficult depending on your house setup and really not worth the expense, especially if you aren't doing a full kitchen redo.

                                                                                                            Also, many people don't have a clue what induction really is. They just see the extra expensive stove and pass. As people come to realize that it isn't a passing fad then as more electric stoves at least are replaced there will be more induction stoves replacing them.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Astur

                                                                                                              "Installing the right electrical means to change how you power your stove/cooktop is very difficult depending on your house setup"

                                                                                                              Valid point. I was fortunate that the previous owners of our place did a kitchen renovation a few years before we bought it and put in a dedicated 50A, 220V line for their halogen range. That meant switching to induction was no more complex than slide the old range out, slide the new one in.

                                                                                                              1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                When we bought our slide-in range 5-6 years ago, we replaced it with a slide-in range, but that still created problems with our draft situtation because we had had the Jennair.

                                                                                                                Unfortunately, induction 'ranges' were not in the 'review worthy' ranges available with their associated costs that we wanted to take a chance on at that time.

                                                                                                                You are a lucky guy.

                                                                                                            2. Having spent time at a friends home in Italy, I think it becomes quite clear why people in the EU are more induction friendly. For starters, they have a completely different paradime than Americans. In the EU, the homes are typically smaller, which means the kitchens are smaller, so they don't have the space for a 48" Wolf Range. Many of the homes are older, they don't have the same type of electrical service to their homes that we in the States have, so the use of electrical power is of critical concern to them. They typically don't have access to natural gas as we do in the States, so that's not even an option in most cases. In other words, the time and energy and space needed to boil a pot of water in Italy is much more precious than it is in the US, therefore they are much more likely to adopt a more expensive technology, sooner, as it better fits the lifestyle of their region.

                                                                                                              Most of the automobiles in Europe are diesel, why haven't we adopted diesel, we have cheap gasoline. Why don't they have side by side Sub Zero refrigerator freezers, they don't have the space or electricty to power them. Why were the Europeans first with front load washing machines, they don't have the water accessability we have in most parts of the country. People buy what they buy for predominantly economic reasons and the US and Europe are not under the same economic pressures and constraints.

                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                Hi, mikie: "They typically don't have access to natural gas as we do in the States..."



                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                  Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                  That is a big factor! The house we stayed in in Italy had a propane stove, it was very small and the propane tank was only about the equivelent to two of the 20 pounders that we Americans use for our outdoor gas grills. The oven was electric, but just about all the electricty in the house had to be off to opperate it. Resources are just such a premium they can't cook the way we do in the States.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                    Hi, mikie:

                                                                                                                    Yes, it is a big factor. The lack of a gas grid (and the product to put through it) is a giant deal. In many places in Europe (and the soon-to-be-former Europe, like Greece) there was a tradition of neighborhood and villiage communal ovens. What you couldn't cook yourself on a small hearth fire, you dropped off for the baker with instructions and a pickup time.

                                                                                                                    The last Italian house in which I stayed had both the tiny propane setup and a cooking hearth--as do still many osterias. I found it to be a very satisfying way to cook and eat.


                                                                                                                  2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                    'typically' here in Virginia: no natural gas in my vicinity where I have lived since 1993.

                                                                                                                    The previous home in WA state we ran it from the highway at our own expense.

                                                                                                                    The home previous to that in Hawaii - no natural gas.

                                                                                                                    I've oft wondered who does have natural gas - not us.
                                                                                                                    Of course, just one example out of a couple of hundred million. Just saying.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                      I think you're more likely to find gas available in cities and towns where there is higher population density. More customers makes it easier to justify the expense of laying pipes.

                                                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                        Or, as is the case in our rural area, if you're on the way to a sizable industrial facility. Our house and that of several neighbors have had gas since the 1940s, when a big pipeline went through to serve factories in Lynchburg. About ten years ago, the smaller residential pipe finally reached our neighborhood, but still doesn't reach our house.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Rella

                                                                                                                        Gas is most attractive where there a substantial heat need. It's a lot easier and cleaner than coal or oil, and cheaper than electricity (in most places). Electric heating is still common in western Washington, where heat needs are relatively low, and electricity has historically been low cost.

                                                                                                                        I mostly use the induction burner because of its convenience. In warmer weather it is also nice because it heats up the small kitchen less than the electric stove. In a previous house in Chicago we did switch from an electric cooktop to a gas one, but that house already had a gas heater. We don't have a gas feed in this suburb north of Seattle, though the gas company is upgrading lines a few blocks away.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                          Nor us. There is gas in our metro area, but not in our immediate area. If natural gas wants to become a big factor in energy productin in the U.S., the companies need to run lines out farther than the city limits.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                            I guess up here we got the jump on gas 20 yrs ago when they started laying gas lines out in the country, It's available in all the rural areas around me and I'm in a smallish town(80K pop)

                                                                                                                    2. Price of the initial unit

                                                                                                                      Cost to repair that initial unit

                                                                                                                      Many (not all) Americans do not use induction compatible pots and pans.

                                                                                                                      I love induction, BTW.

                                                                                                                      1. Since we moved into a condo that has only two burners on a gas stove (the other side is a grill) I've considered getting a portable induction burner to use since there are plugs on both sides of the island and I could put it on top of the grill side. I went for a long time cooking on electric stoves and it's just now, nine months later (insert joke here) that I'm finally comfortable again cooking with gas.

                                                                                                                        1. American's are often full of hot air or "gassy by nature". Technically, we are the "middle east of natural gas". And ... we LOVE wasting natural resources. Induction is entirely too efficient for our taste! Thank yew very much! We'll just keep doing things our way and the rest of the world better darn well start doing things our way!

                                                                                                                          Ok ... all the humor aside ... induction is considered pretty new over here. Why? My GUESS is that our manufacturers have only recently started making and marketing them to us.

                                                                                                                          Personally I love gas and will stick with it. Right now that means using 2 portable butane burners (my current electric stove sucks big time). These little burners work really well and we go through about $5-7 of gas a month like this. Lower cost isn't possible. When we redo our kitchen it'll mean propane (natural gas won't be available to us for a few years - don't ask). And then I'll finally install my awesome used Thermador 36" cooktop .... SWEET! I picked it up for a mere $250. There's no way that induction would have a reasonable ROI vs. going this way.

                                                                                                                          But ... have fun w/ your induction - I'm sure that it's cool!

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: jkling17

                                                                                                                            "we LOVE wasting natural resources. Induction is entirely too efficient for our taste! "

                                                                                                                            There is a bit of that if you want to phrase it that way, but you can also see it as a competitive situation. For Europeans, gas a lot more expensive, so it makes sense to use a more energy efficient stove. For us, gas is cheap, so induction does not provide the same level of attractiveness.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                              I'd say that was a tongue-in-cheek remark. Economics dominates, in my opinion. By that I mean the economics for the individual, including the cost of conversion, not merely the cost of operation.

                                                                                                                          2. Although I've heard of induction cooking since I was a kid, my experience with the technology was limited to hot plates. I only heard of induction being made into a major household appliance less than 10 years ago. Many people that I know of, like me, are aware of the hot plates, but are skeptical about using them to fix meals, or are not even aware of induction cooking appliances because it's not something that the keep up with, like the latest iPad.

                                                                                                                            There were multiple occasions where the guests would ask me why I chose electric vs gas. I told them it's induction and it's nothing like electric, but they gave me that "whatever" look. I wouldn't be surprised that many people out there assume it's just another radiant/ceramic crap look-alike.

                                                                                                                            Give it some time. If it's really awesome, people WILL pick up on it.

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: cutipie721

                                                                                                                              There's no need to be defensive about electric. James Beard preferred electric.

                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                Yeah and he ended up dead! I'm not interested - thanks much, and will stick to gas!

                                                                                                                                1. re: jkling17

                                                                                                                                  We all end up dead, or in the immortal words of William Munny: "We all have it comin', kid."

                                                                                                                                  Beard died of a heart attack at the age of eighty-two. I don't know what cooking with electricity has to do with that.

                                                                                                                            2. I think most Americans have never heard of induction cooking. I hadn't until just a couple of months ago. I learned about it by accident when researching pressure cookers. "Induction-ready"... what's that?

                                                                                                                              So I read about it and it sounded like a way to make my kitchen cooler in the summer. I bought a portable cooktop on Craigslist to try it out... and loved it! Now I'm renovating my entire kitchen around it.

                                                                                                                              I've told a lot of friends that I'm switching to induction cooking, and only one of them knew what I was talking about. Even she had never seen one until she saw mine... and she's a gourmet cook!

                                                                                                                              1. We had a 36" GE Monogram induction cooktop 20 years ago. Came from Japan. It eventually wore out (burners unavailable) and we replaced it with a 36 in electric smoothtop. We have a 2 burner gas Jenn Air next to the electric top.

                                                                                                                                Induction is faster and heats the glass less. The induction unit we had was touchpad with 10 power levels. I had no problem with finding an adequate level. If you have no gas and your electricity is high, induction becomes a viable choice. One of the nicest things it did was force us to buy all new magnetic cookware. We now have a nice collection of blue Chantal.

                                                                                                                                Gas is what it is. I much prefer natural to propane. Infinitely adjustable and you can get bigger burners than an induction will have. And the flame looks nice.

                                                                                                                                The electric smoothtop has 12 ranges. Plenty enough. Functional not flashy. And half the price of a new induction top.

                                                                                                                                Induction requires a fair amount of disposable income. To me it does not hold any advantage over gas. And it limits the cookware you can use.

                                                                                                                                1. I really think there are significant enough infrastructure differences between the US and Europe that dictate what type of appliances are used. I think it has very little to do with cost, or standard of living, but what's necessary to be effective. In most of Europe they don't have access to low cost natural gas, propane is expensive and they don't have the big storage tanks we have here for propane (my grandfather had one, they filled it once a year, if that often and it also supplied the heat for the house), they don't have the same level of electric service coming to their homes that we have (most newer US homes have 200 amp service or more). As a result of these infrastructure constraints in Europe, it's no wonder they would be more receptive to induction cooktops where what little electricity they have coming into their homes is used most efficiently. In the US, we have a natural gas grid that is available to most urban areas, we have almost unlimited electric power, if you have nither of these you are likely in a non-urban area and have a huge propane tank. You can also look at the economics of cooking, electricity in Europe is more readily available and compared to the US it's relationship to gas is quite favorable.

                                                                                                                                  Couple this with the availability and marketing of induction ranges in the US, practically non existant. I'm not even sure the salesman where we bought our applainces mentioned induction, but we may have preempted that with a request for gas.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                                    True about salesmen not mentioning it. The first place I visited to see one, when I asked about induction the salesman's first question was. "why would you want that?" And he then proceeded to tell me that induction heats the food, not the pan! If the guys selling these things don't know what they are or what they can do it's a sad situation (and probably goes some way to explaining why there are so few out there).

                                                                                                                                  2. Because it's not what Mom (or Dad) cooked on....

                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                      Actually, my mom and dad cooked on electric and I ALWAYS hated it. Got a gas range as soon as I could.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                        How many of your neighbors used induction?
                                                                                                                                        My point was that it wasn't really around when I was growing up (and as 'm sure, many other Americans) We had electric, I knew people that had gas.
                                                                                                                                        As referenced upthread, the induction industry hasn't really done much PR, until very recently, to inform the public as to what it is. People tend to go with what they know. That's all. It wasn't all that literal.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                          I got it - my point was that I'm not using induction because I'm not aware of it - I'm not using induction because I don't choose to.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                            That was my point. It's not something we are familiar with.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                              No, I apparently left a word out of my comment. MY point is that the reason I'm not using induction ISN'T because I'm not aware of it's existence etc., I don't use it because I don't want to. I like cooking over flames.Always have, always will. Induction's just not for me.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                                                and I was referring to most Americans.... I don't think they know anything about it. That's all. It's not familiar.
                                                                                                                                                If you choose not to for specific reasons, then great.

                                                                                                                                    2. I just don't want it. I love cooking on gas. I like cooking over live flames (I'm also a big fan of smokers and charcoal grills) and see induction cooking as being somewhat soulless. (Although I am open to buying an induction burner one of these days. I could use one more burner and going that way makes sense for me.)

                                                                                                                                      1. I believe it is going to take the electric companies to spread the word. They did so with the all electric homes - water heater, heat, cooking, laundry. Gas companies both natural and propane do the same as well. People will adopt what they feel is best for them whether it is superior to an alternative or not. We have a Magnaflux induction cook plate (bought at Tuesday Morning about a year ago). It works, Kind of fussy with the settings but you get used to it. And we don't use it much. But it is quick and handy. Can cook right at the table, unless there is a power outage. Strike a match and head for the range. MY/our experience is NO to a full blown induction cook top or range. This one cook plate is all we will need.

                                                                                                                                        1. I'm just not in the market for a stove, but next time I am induction is at the top of the list.

                                                                                                                                          1. Aside from anything else, my landlady isn't going to spring for it. Am I really the only renter posting here?

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                                                              LOL. I happen to be a landlord. When I need to replace things, I tend to buy something nice, and not just entry level. I want the place to have a certain look and attract and keep a certain tenant. As a result I have been able to charge a premium and have great tenants.

                                                                                                                                              IF the electric stoves (old coil types) were to blow out in one of my APTs, I would simply get a NICE range (not coil crappy thing). But not induction. It's just too much more money with no ROI.

                                                                                                                                            2. Allow a European perspective, if I may.

                                                                                                                                              Most homes and apartments here find it less expensive to use gas than electricity, a good point made previously in one of the replies. Kitchens here also tend to be less large than those seen in North America. The term "American-style " kitchen invokes a large, appliance-loaded affair, with endless Granite countertops, continuing into the next room, outside, and ibeyond nto the next Canton, or State.

                                                                                                                                              The advent of Induction cooking is also new to many of us. I know personally of 5 households that enjoy the new experience of Induction cooking very much, and have sold off the old cookware for new Induction cookware. The average cost of a new set of cookware containing magnets is 2,000 - 2,600 Euros / CHF, which is a considerable expense.

                                                                                                                                              I tend to favour Rösle from Germany, and the majority of the cookware I have fortunately includes the Induction stamp on the bottom of the pan, brater (roaster), or pot. But I do not cook using Induction only, as I can utilize the cookware or a gaz or electric range, ceramic, in the oven, or (indirectly) on the grill. But it is very, very quick when one uses Induction.

                                                                                                                                              But the growing trend to Induction here is underway. One can see this weekly by reading the EBAY Germany and Suisse sites, where the seller will state that she or he has converted to Induction. Everything is sold off as a collection, or piece by piece, and even sometimes including a pot or pan that is (by the photographs) Induction-stamped.

                                                                                                                                              At that point I think the seller of the older cookware would actually like to have a new set of pots and pans, the Induction cooktop is merely the justification. But then we all like something new and exciting in the kitchen now and then, don't we ?

                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                                                                                Good to hear the European experience - contrary to some of the posts here, I've only seen gas, never induction, in European kitchens, with one exception, near Mont Blanc, which was electric.

                                                                                                                                                By cookware replacement including magnets, I assume you mean cooktop (hob)

                                                                                                                                                Edit: at 2000 to 2600 Euros, I also assume it includes the cost of upgrading the electrical??

                                                                                                                                                1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                                                                                  Re Rosle in Germany. Just a few minutes ago I ordered a Rosle Vegetable spoon on Amazon; the same I had ordered previously. I'm wondered how many Rosle products are now made in Germany, not another country. Just wondering because I bought an Rosle apple corer which bent unuseably on the first apple! I can't remember the circumstance, but it was a product that I was NOT able to return - darn!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                    You have to check carefully, but my understanding is that for the most part the Rösle products with the flat handles are still made in Germany, the ones with the round handles are now made in China. There are exceptions, but that's what I've been told as a general rule. I recently bought a slicer at WS that was Rösle and it was marked Germany on the cardboard cover. I also bought an older stock garlic press that's fantastic and the tag said Germany on it as well. But most of the new items are sadly, no longer made in Germany.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                                                      To reply to mikie and Rella, you are both correct.

                                                                                                                                                      Rösle, like Bang & Olufsen, Porsche, and other products I use, does in fact manufacture in other countries. Some of our friends in the B&O circle really object to the fact that B&O is no longer 100% Made-In-Denmark. I don't share that opinion. Like the Apple IPAD, I do not believe that in itself creates quality issues.

                                                                                                                                                      Rella, I share your experience with the Rösle Apple coring tool and some of the other pieces. Occasionally, it is more of a design flaw than the manufacturing process.

                                                                                                                                                      If I may suggest an item to be helpful, you might try the KUHN RIKON coring and knife tool: It is a well-made product, and works very well for us.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                                                                                        Yes, it could be a design flaw, but whether-or-not, it sure bent fast and easily, and I'm a wimpy armed person, usually have DH do most things of that nature. http://www.amazon.com/Rosle-Fruit-Cor... As you can tell, I was really flabbergasted.

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks - would this be the Kuhn you are speaking of?http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Appl... So silly looking - :-)) Sure worth a try for me.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                          Yes, it is cute, but it works well.

                                                                                                                                                          Kind of a nice colour change from all the Rösle stainless, too.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                                                                                    Wie Gehts, Swissaire:

                                                                                                                                                    Bitte, point me to the outmoded thick copper pans your countrymen and neighbors are casting aside? I would be especially interested in pans by Suisse Leon Jaeggi before he moved to London after the Great War.

                                                                                                                                                    Danke Vielmal im Voraus,


                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                      Vielen Dank / Merci, Kaleokaku.

                                                                                                                                                      It is obvious you have impeccable taste in copperware.

                                                                                                                                                      Yes, there are many antique and collector copper cooking pans and pots around. We have a local website called RICARDO which many utilise in this country. Copper cooking products are still manufactured and used currently here, especially in artisan and Alpen cheesemaking.

                                                                                                                                                      To broaden your possibilities, EBAY.CH, EBAY.FR, and EBAY.IT, is where I would start your search. You may perhaps be doing this.

                                                                                                                                                      EBAY.DE is also a good source, but sometimes difficult, as sellers frequently do not want to ship outside of Germany. This is true even for new products. ( I have solution for that if an EBAY seller in Germany has something you wish, and only ships local ).

                                                                                                                                                      But short of a Nespresso at this early morning hour, this is what comes to mind to suggest to you.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                                                                                        Vielen Danke Außerdem, Swissaire:

                                                                                                                                                        I will check those EU sites out. I seem to have been limited to eBay.us and eBay.uk Is there also one for Belgium?

                                                                                                                                                        And I may take you up on your kind offer for a shipping solution. I have given up previously when English sellers have refused to ship outside UK or EU. The French resellers charge outrageously for shipping.

                                                                                                                                                        Whatever other suggestions you may have when fully caffeinated I would much appreciate. To avoid taking this off-topic, please feel free to e-mail me at kaleokahu@gmail.com. If I do not answer right away, I may be off skiing (on my Streules).

                                                                                                                                                        Guten Morgen,

                                                                                                                                                  3. I don't have it because when we did over this kitchen it was not available. I am buying a single burner soon. My next kitchen will have induction and I keep buying Chantal Copper Fusion cookware so I will be all set.

                                                                                                                                                    1. I'm coming late to the conversation, and I'm greatly amused by all of the "cerebralization" of why more average Americans don't have induction. I don't think the average American home owner gives a thought to how their energy is produced when it comes to choices of traditional gas and electric stoves and cooktops versus induction.

                                                                                                                                                      I'm probably better informed than most home owners about options in kitchens, BUT... I think I fall within the American "norm" despite that. When I bought my house and redid the kitchen six years ago, I had to make my budget work. I knew I was going to go with black granite counter tops and island and I wanted a frameless black smooth ceramic cook top with no knobs ssticking up. My house is all electric. To install gas would have cost me an additional $70,000.00 to bring in a gas main, so that was off the option list. With an induction cooktop, even though I really wanted one and it would only have been about a thousand or so dollars more than the smooth ceramic cook top at that time, it was all of the added cost of replacing cookware that forced me to stay with radiant electric. My pots and pans at that time were all copper! In other words, the cost differences between cook top options was negligible compared to what the new cookware costs would run. We're talking major bucks here!

                                                                                                                                                      Now, here's a reverse twist on the OP's original question: It absolutely *IS* possible to build induction cook tops that will heat copper pans. Copper is THE high end cookware of choice throughout the world. High end customers are certainly the primary target of induction manufacturers. So how come they're dragging their feet, huh? Answer me that!

                                                                                                                                                      Oh, and just to clarify, I do have an induction hot plate.... and a long extension cord running from my island where the vent hood is located to the wall socket near the sink that is wired to handle the amperage of the induction hot plate. And it's been a while since my cook top has been turned on, but the vent is running a lot. And I'm slowly accruing induction friendly cookware. And maybe someday, if I ever get enough stuff to cook the way I have always cooked while using induction, I will spring for that actual damned built in cook top.

                                                                                                                                                      Money, baby. The induction manufacturers could make all of this moot! Twits.

                                                                                                                                                      52 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                        "It absolutely *IS* possible to build induction cook tops that will heat copper pans."

                                                                                                                                                        I believe you are mistaken about this as a practical matter. Induction causes heating in materials by two effects: induced electrical currents and magnetic hysteresis. Must of the heating in steel pans is caused by the magnetic effect, which is almost nonexistent for copper. Furthermore, the heating due to induced currents is lower in copper than in steel due to its greater electrical conductivity. There would be no point in producing an induction unit for copper pans if the performance were so far below that for steel that customers would not be satisfied with it.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                          Unfortunately, I can't tell you where to find all of the information I've read through the years that told me it is possible. Sorry 'bout that. But it *IS* possible. '-)

                                                                                                                                                          Point: Don't think about how high the fence is, think about what's on the other side and then get climbing!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                            Yes, I've read that, too. But without an authoritative link, the statement is worthless,

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                              Well, if you're read it too, then why are you challenging me? I didn't say it was easy. I said it is possible. If you know what I know, I don't know why you're questioning what I know!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                A person with no credential making a claim on an internet blog is not an authoritative source. You should not believe everything you read — there is someome promoting every kind of foolishness on the internet.

                                                                                                                                                                The heating from induction cookers comes mostly from magnetic hysteresis. This effect is at least 100 times greater in steel than in copper. It is not practical to make an induction cooker for copper for home use for this reason. The fact that induction furnaces have been made to melt copper for industrial purposes does not imply that induction heating of copper would work in the home, because residential electrical service has power limitations which industrial electrical service does not. Then there's the question of cost.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                  GH - read the link I posted just below - you may not have seen it as we posted nearly simultaneously. They DO exist, at least in Japan, and use higher frequencies to heat copper & aluminum than for ferrous metals. They're made by Panasonic. This info comes from a Chowhound who lives in Japan and spoke with Panasonic about them.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                    If Matsushita (Panasonic) has all-metal IH cooktops available now, then there's nothing to complain about, I think.


                                                                                                                                                                    So why not get one of these and report how they compare in cost and effectiveness compared to conventional units, and comparing copper, alumi um, and steel cookware?

                                                                                                                                                                    This technology will come into general use when it is shown to be practical and economic, not before. The economics for the US market must take into account the fact that copper cookware is a tiny part of the market. Aluminum is what matters.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                      Interesting article - and one of the most interesting things about it is that it dates to 2005. I would assume that there have been improvements and refinements to the system since then.

                                                                                                                                                                      They say it works on both copper and aluminum. I have to wonder though why they haven't tried to introduce them in the States yet. Could be that they see so little awareness of induction among the general population that they've decided to wait. Or the fact that Panasonic is not a player in the US cooktop market, they only sell their small appliances and microwaves here.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                        So has anyone found this for sale? I don't see anything like this on the Panasonic Hong Kong web site.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                          Last year I found it on the Panasonic Japan website and saved the URL. Then that computer's HD died last New Year's Eve. Tried to Google my way back there today, but apparently you can't get there in 2012. Could it have been washed away by the tsunami????

                                                                                                                                                                          HOWEVER...! I was able to figure out that Panasonic doesn't simply use the term "induction" alone but uses "IH" (Induction Heated) for its induction portable and built-in "cookers." Long story shorter, look over this URL and read it carefully. Pay special attention to what it does not say!


                                                                                                                                                                          Of special note: This model has a special RADIANT burner/hob/element so that GLASS pans may be used, but there is NO MENTION of needing to use the radiant hob for copper, aluminum, or non-ferrous stainless steel. It certainly looks very close, if not identical, to the model I recall from the Panasonic Japan website that I saw last year. This is a Canadian website. I cannot find ANY Panasonic IH cooktops from a USA vendor.

                                                                                                                                                                          I also found the following similar-but-not-like model at this Hong Kong website:


                                                                                                                                                                          This page says NOTHING about a radiant element or cooking with glass.

                                                                                                                                                                          Dreaw your own conclusions.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                          A person with no credential making a claim on an internet blog is not an authoritative source. You should not believe everything you read — there is someome promoting every kind of foolishness on the internet.

                                                                                                                                                                          The heating from induction cookers comes mostly from magnetic hysteresis. This effect is at least 100 times greater in steel than in copper. It is not practical to make an induction cooker for copper for home use for this reason. The fact that induction furnaces have been made to melt copper for industrial purposes does not imply that induction heating of copper would work in the home, because residential electrical service has power limitations which industrial electrical service does not. Then there's the question of cost.

                                                                                                                                                                          Wow no metion you were wrong

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dave5440

                                                                                                                                                                            In thinking that these were not being manufactured, I was wrong. Panasonic and Hitachi have them. But although they have been developing the technology for a few years, they seem not to market them outside of the far east, and don't even promote the "all-metal" characteristic to any great extent.

                                                                                                                                                                            The question I raised was whether this technology is practical for residential cooking. I still say the jury is out, for the time being. If it were clearly a better way to go, western manufacturers would have picked it up by now. Even commercial manufacturers like CookTek don't offer it, even though commercial kitchens are full of alumunum cookware, and they often don't have the power limitations of residences. The reason is probable just one of cost-effectiveness (practicality), not some sort of conspiracy to keep induction capability out of the hands of the copper crowd.

                                                                                                                                                                            Even the Japanese are tentative. The Panasonic and Hitachi units have a 2-hob or 2+1 configuration, possibly a convention in their market. In some of the Panasonic units, only one of the two induction hobs is all-metal; the third hob is radiant. This is not a configuration that would sell in North America, I expect. Most of us would probably want four all-metal hobs. The question that bears on practicality is: how much power would that require? Panasonic and Hitachi do not have the data on their websires to answer that, but Hitachi mentions that heating of aluminum is less efficient than steel. They do not say anything about copper, which is probably even less efficient.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                              I've cooktops (or full stove) with 1 induction burner, and rest being conventional electric. These tend to be the least expensive induction stoves. I'd be tempted to go that direction.

                                                                                                                                                                              As for that Japanese radiant burner, I can understand that. One source mentions using it for glass (or earthenware) herbal brew pots. Japan and other neighboring countries have a long tradition of using ceramics and earthenware pots.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                The question I raised was whether this technology is practical for residential cooking. I still say the jury is out, for the time being. If it were clearly a better way to go, western manufacturers would have picked it up by now. Even commercial manufacturers like CookTek don't offer it,
                                                                                                                                                                                I have to agree with you there, I'm not sure it's not practical or not nessesary, it always will be to somebody, but the majority will spend the money on something else

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                    Dave was talking about induction for non-ferrous cookware, which is available in Japan but not in the US (yet). The CookTek examples you give show ferrous pots.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                          The Wiki article on Induction Cooking claims that hysteresis accounts only 10% of the heat generated. Most is due to 'surface resistance', which is a function of the material and the frequency. Thickness of the material also matters. Apparently aluminum foil will heat up, even melt on a conventional induction cook top. So would a very thin copper pan - but we want thick copper so it will conduct heat away from the heating zone.

                                                                                                                                                                          The higher frequencies required to efficiently heat copper require more expensive semiconductors. The article doesn't mention this, but if the frequency is high enough to heat the copper pan, won't it also heat the copper coil under the lid? Cooling and reliability considerations could drive the high-frequency cooker costs even higher.

                                                                                                                                                                          has a photo of the interior of a portable unit. It looks similar to the Tautung one that I took a part.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                            This is a typical example of how Wikipedia leads people astray. In industrial applications of induction heating which are designed to heat by eddy currents, the hysteresis effect may be small, but common "induction" cookers are designed to heat ferromagnetic materials by magnetic hysteresis.


                                                                                                                                                                            "Hysteresis is Important for induction cooking as it is the dominant source of heating."

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                              How do I know that the 'abiscus' source is more reliable?

                                                                                                                                                                              Another source
                                                                                                                                                                              "(Note: the process described at #2 above is called an "eddy current"; heat is also generated by another process called "hysteresis", which is the resistance of the ferrous material to rapid changes in magnetization. The relative contributions of the two effects is highly technical, with some sources emphasizing one and some the other--but the general idea is unaffected: the heat is generated in the cookware.)"

                                                                                                                                                                              is one of the sources for claiming that hysteresis accounts for only 10%. (page 4).

                                                                                                                                                                              The talk page for the Wiki article has a section on Eddy current vs Magnetic Hysteresis

                                                                                                                                                                              But why should we care? Even if hysteresis is important with current cookers, eddy currents might be more important at higher frequencies in aluminum pans. Still I'm beginning to suspect that reports of this HF Panasonic unit may have been premature.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                "How do I know that the 'abiscus' source is more reliable?"

                                                                                                                                                                                You don't, of course. Studying at "Google University" is fraught with risks. Suffice it to say there are differences of opinion on this point. That's why I found this piece from Popular Mechanics amusing:


                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                              I found a FAQ from a Japan Panasonic web site. This is a Google translation of one question
                                                                                                                                                                              "In particular, becomes hot, such as when using a copper and aluminum in the IH cooking pot all-metal support. This is not due to a malfunction in the mechanism of all-metal heating method.
                                                                                                                                                                              When heated, such as pots and pans made ​​of copper and aluminum, in order to supply a lot of flux at higher frequencies, you must supply a large current to the heating coil. Amount of heat generated in a heating coil becomes higher and this, in some cases is because it may be hotter than a pot on the top plate. (When the kettle: about 300 degrees) "


                                                                                                                                                                              Apparently the 'all-metal' burner uses a different power circuit when heating aluminum and copper pans - one with both a higher frequency and higher current. And as I suspected, heating of the driver coil is an issue. I also get the impression that aluminum pans require a substantial preheat time.

                                                                                                                                                                              If I read another FAQ correctly an aluminum pan has to less than 2mm thick. But a pan that is too light will levitate.

                                                                                                                                                                        4. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                          Caroline, I think you read about it right here on Chowhound:


                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                            Nope. It was some science journal or techie website or something like that. More than one, actually. I used to keep reference files of stuff like that and where I read it, but after a MAJOR computer crash last New Years Eve, and an ongoing compatibiliy problem between Win7 64 bit and ANY software/firmware I own, I've pretty much drifted back into the dark ages of relying on my human memory. And boy! Am I human!

                                                                                                                                                                            Buuuuut... That thread was the first time I read anything about anyone DOING anything about it! Tanuki Soup, if you read this, do you know if the prices have gone down?

                                                                                                                                                                            But thanks, BobB! GH1618, you've just got your documentation. And honey, I got credentials! I'm just old and forgot where I put them! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Caroline:

                                                                                                                                                                              Just checked -- It seems that Rakuten is selling a Panasonic unit with twin 3-kW All Metal "burners" and a third small halogen/radiant burner for 112,500 yen (about $1400 at today's exchange rate). So prices are definitely coming down.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                            Here's a link to a Panasonic document describing one of their induction cooktops. What I find interesting is that they do not even mention compatibility with non-ferromagnetic materials. This suggests to me that either it doesn't work very well in that mode, or that not many people care.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618


                                                                                                                                                                              Since that old thread has been mentioned, I might as well jump in:


                                                                                                                                                                              You can magnetically induce many non-ferromagnetic metals. The problem is that the energy transfer is low, much lower. As such, the argument for "energy efficient" and "reduce heating up the kitchen"...etc are less valid.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi, Car:

                                                                                                                                                                        It's probably more brain stem than cerebellum.

                                                                                                                                                                        And you're right. There will be "all metal" induction eventually in the consumer market, even here in the backwater that is USA. At some point it will be considered the latest and greatest. But will it be a huge step beyond what we've had for >100 years in any way that matters? Probably not. But it probably ^will^ be very expensive. Think of all those vintage zoneless "old" induction tops we'll be trashing and the masses will be "stuck" with.


                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                          I thought the induction cooktop makers were also producing 'adapters' ie, disks of ferrous material which were placed on top of the induction stovetop and then onto which copper, aluminum, or other non-ferrous cooking vessels could be placed?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                            They do, but they aren't as satisfactory as actual induction friendly cookware. The problems range from size of pan versus size of adapter plate to what the heck do you do with the hot adapter plate when you're finished usin it and want it out of your way? And they can slow down the cooking too. My adapter plate is not as efficient at utilizing the magnetic waves of the element as my cast iron pans are. I could probably get more responsive results by setting one of my copper saucepans in a cast iron frying pan on the induction element than I get with the adapter!

                                                                                                                                                                            Ah, well... It's better than the wood stove we had in our mountain cabin when I was a little kid!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                              >>>I thought the induction cooktop makers were also producing 'adapters' ie, disks of ferrous material which were placed on top of the induction stovetop and then onto which copper, aluminum, or other non-ferrous cooking vessels could be placed?<<<

                                                                                                                                                                              Would that not somewhat defeat the purpose of using induction in the first place? I do not really know much about it but that just came to mind.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                Correct - you don't get the near-instantaneous heat change that induction provides, and you also have the inconvenience of that HOT iron disc to deal with. But it does allow people to continue to use specialty pots or pans that they just don't want to give up.

                                                                                                                                                                                For me it holds no attraction, and I actually appreciated the opportunity to go out and get some really nice new cookware.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think the discs costs more than I care to spend, at least the ones I looked at some time ago.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                              >> Now, here's a reverse twist on the OP's original question: It absolutely *IS* possible to build induction cook tops that will heat copper pans. Copper is THE high end cookware of choice throughout the world. High end customers are certainly the primary target of induction manufacturers. So how come they're dragging their feet, huh? Answer me that!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Who cares? The real functional point of copper cookware is that copper provides a very fast and efficient transfer of heat from the bottom up through the core to the top (cooking surface). This isn't necessary with induction, which heats the pan itself ...
                                                                                                                                                                              2. So ... the ONLY point of combining copper with induction is ascetics and/or vanity.
                                                                                                                                                                              3. They already have ...


                                                                                                                                                                              $350-500 for a single piece of cookware? LOL! Be my guest :-)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jkling17

                                                                                                                                                                                I beg to disagree. I've been using an induction cooktop for 6+ years, and recently picked up an 11" De Buyer Prima Matera frying pan, which is an induction-compatible copper pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                IME, the main advantage of using copper cookware on induction is the fast and even heating out to the edges of the pan. In other words, it's not the heat transfer from the bottom to the top that's the issue, but from the center to the edges.

                                                                                                                                                                                The heating elements used in induction cooktops are rather small, and there are no hot gases flowing up the sides of the pan, so good lateral heat transfer is an important benefit.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tanuki soup

                                                                                                                                                                                  EGGGGzackly! And can you imagine what the responsiveness of a sterling silver pan would be?

                                                                                                                                                                                  A related digreression: If the makers of Swiss Diamond cookware really do use diamonds in their non-stick compound, how come they never talk about the heat conducting efficiency of diamonds? It puts silver, copper and aluminum to shame!

                                                                                                                                                                                  No, I don't doubt that they do use industrial diamonds in their compound. Yes, I do own a Swiss Diamond omelette pan. No, I'm not overly impressed with its performance. Just for the record.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: jkling17

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi, jkling17:

                                                                                                                                                                                  OK, I care.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. The pan is heated in all cases, and the food doesn't care whether the heat *originated* in the pan or came from underneath. But copper- and aluminum-friendly induction would up the responsiveness of already fast materials, and would better put 3-dimensional hob cooking within reach of those now using "old" induction. It would eliminate or greatly reduce the "coil translation"/hotspotting effect, even-ing the heat. It would also eliminate the need to trade down in cookware to accommodate the stove's limitations, which I've always considered bass-ackward. And it would end the gyrations that makers like De Buyer go though to make pans that work.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. So no, there are several other points. And I think you meant 'aesthetics'; an ascetic would probably eschew this entire discussion.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I think Caroline was directing her foot-dragging question to the *appliance* manufacturers, not the pan makers. It remains a legitimate question why stove manufacturers don't simply leapfrog over "old" induction and offer these high-frequency models that are apparently already available in Japan.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Your rhetorical question about the price of the pan reflects your values, that's all. Many would disagree. Personally, I think that price range would be reasonable for certain things, but I devote time to find them for a fraction of the retail asking price.


                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                  POSSIBLE? Well in the most abstract interpretation, we may supposed that it is "POSSIBLE". But ... remotely practical? It doesn't seem to be so. The only copper cookware that can be used with induction are NEW pieces of it that were DESIGNED to be used with induction. And yes they are quite expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductio.... A particularly relevant quote ...

                                                                                                                                                                                  "Even a thin layer of copper on the bottom of a steel cooking vessel will shield the steel from the magnetic field and make it unusable for an induction top"

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here's another really good link with technical info on the subject: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeab...

                                                                                                                                                                                  Bottom line is that the TRADITIONAL existing copper cookware can NOT be made to work with induction in any truly practical way. Even with the "new high frequency techniques" - The ENERGY loss required to do is prohibitive. It's just that simple. And that is counter to the one of the key points to using induction ... efficiency.

                                                                                                                                                                                  BUT ... for a princely sum, usually $300-500 - PER POT / PAN - one may buy special "copper" pieces that are induction capable, with normal induction cooktops/ranges.

                                                                                                                                                                                  BUT ... then the entire POINT of copper - highly efficient heat transfer through the metal ... is rendered irrelevant. Induction is already highly efficient with all standard induction ready pots/pans. Copper is just a "look" with induction heating, and no longer a material that carries with it any additional advantages. It is what it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jkling17

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm afraid this is yet another case of Wikipedia confusing the issue rather than clarifying it, by being quoted out of context. My interpretation is this:

                                                                                                                                                                                    A thin copper layer on the bottom of a ferromagnetic pot will interfere with conventional induction heating, which is designed for an uncoated ferromagnetic pan. The interference is caused by induced currents in the copper layer which do not generate much heat. The efficiency is lowered by this effect. (I don't know if this is true or significant, but it is what is meant in the quoted statement.

                                                                                                                                                                                    This does not mean that copper cannot be heated by induction. It can, but an induction heater designed for the purpose is required. These operate at a higher frequency, and must be capable of inducing high currents in the copper (due to its low resistivity and lack of magnetic hysteresis) without overheating. Apparently Matsushita and Hitachi have been able to lower the cost and power requirements sufficiently so that the method is practical for home use, at least for 2-hob systems. "Practical" is not a well-defined term. It depends on what these units cost, how well they perform, and whether enough people think they are worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                      Is generating as much heat in the induction coil as in the pan itself practical?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                        "Practical" is a matter of judgment, but generally one wants high efficiency, which in this context means a high fraction of total power delivered to the pan. Conventional units are about 90% efficient, which I think most would agree is practical. My opinion is that 50% efficiency is not good enough, but then a conventional electric range is not very efficient, either. A conventional electric burner is inexpensive to replace when it fails, however. If heat dissipated in an induction unit eventually causes it to fail, repair will be more expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                          My understanding is that the induction coil doesn't get hot, that it merely generates a field that causes the pan to get hot.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jkling17

                                                                                                                                                                                            For a conventional induction burner that is true, but apparently this high frequency all-metal version is different.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                              I tell you what - when my electric hot water heater gives out ... I bet there will be a really good advantage to some kind of on-demand induction hot water heater! Clearly that is where induction REALLY shines!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jkling17

                                                                                                                                                                                                The're available and on the market right now. All you have to do is move to China. Or get an import license and fight twenty tons of red tape. Minimum order: 293 units.


                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks but I already figured out that it's mostly pointless. Induction water heating is really only interesting when one must have an unlimited supply and gas isn't available. Heat pump technology is the way to go, for most people (super cold climates not so much).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  For most of us, it is vastly more efficient to leverage heat pump technology. I already own Fujitsu dual heat pumps to provide heat and ac for the entire rear section of our home. They are incredible. This year we have saved $1000-1200 in heating oil vs last year (including extra electric usage).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And now I've figured out that they make special add-on heat pumps that are installed right on top of existing water heaters for a mere $500-600. That's incredible. We're talking about a full ROI in 12-18 months, and then yearly savings of $500-750, until it dies (compressors don't last forever but most will make it to 7-10 years).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  But if I ever want to superheat metal and make it literally glow or melt ... induction has it's place in industrial applications!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: jkling17

                                                                                                                                                                                              No, it depends on what you mean by "hot." An induction unit which delivered 100% of the input energy to the pot would not heat up, but 100% efficiency is not possible. Conventional induction units are about 90% efficient, meaning that 10% of the energy input is dissipated in the unit, not in the pot. The question is, what is the power transfer efficiency for aluminum and copper for these all-metal induction units? The figures are not touted on the manufacturers websites, as they typically are for conventional ferromagnetic heaters, although Hitachi at least admits that it is lower for aluminum.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                GH1618, is this one of the Hitachi papers you're referring to?


                                                                                                                                                                                                If it is, and *if* I'm reading it right, the new function "optical and four sensors feature" they describe makes it sound like their induction "hobs" may maintain a temperature level that is extremely accurate. Now, if it can do that at the lower end of the heat range as well as at higher levels, that COULD mean that commercial quality "stove top sous vide" is a thing of the (hopefully) not too distant future! WOW! Think of all of the Sous Vide Supremes that will be heading for Goodwill...! Bestill my heart. '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's not the one I read, but it's a good summary. Except that it says nothing about the power transfer efficiency in the various modes, which is what I am interested in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The lower range of temperature control in consumer devices is a matter of policy rather than technology, because of the dangers of food poisoning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The technical writeups seem to focus on the power circuit. This is the part with high power transistors (or rectifiers) that generates the high frequency current that is sent to the induction coil. One abstract implied that the low frequency current (24Khz) was generated at a fundamental frequency for the circuit, and the higher frequency signal was produced at one its harmonics. This would allow them to produce 2 different signals with a single circuit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But this hitachi blurb makes it clear that efficiency is a problem at the higher frequency. They talk about improving efficiency at that frequency, and also improving the cooling (48db even for aluminum and copper cookware). I suspect that the 'aluminum' efficiency is on the order of 50% (as much heat is generated in power circuit and coil as in the pan).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Notice the box with the coil on top that the engineer on the right is holding. While the coil is the same size as used in portable burners, the box it is mounted on is considerably larger, 6-8" deep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Paul, I haven't seen anything I would call "technical" write ups. Only thing like annual corporate reports or Japanese websites presenting their products to the Japanese economy. In the last URL I submitted Hitachi is being very guarded in describing their technology, and so is everything I've read from Panasonic. If you have the URLs for some technical papers from either company could you share them? Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                      GH, your remark about lower temperatures being a matter of policy in consumer devices rather than technology just makes absolutely no sense, and this is why you and I have such problems. Think about it. I just checked, and the lowest temperature I appear to be able to set my Sous Vide Supreme for is 86F. The lowest tempertures I can set my cooktop or gas hotplate or induction hot plate for are determined by how well they can reduce their energy output before hitting "OFF." It has NOTHING to do with policies regarding any danger of food poisoning. If "policies" were set by the government or any other agency with an eye to preventing food poisoning, most of the restaurants in the U.S. would be shut down and we'd all be banned from cooking at home!

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi GH,

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes and I agree. In the most broad sense, copper "can" be used with induction. But it's clear that the "can" is strictly a technical distinction and that copper is entirely ill-suited to that purpose. To utilize copper in this way requires an entirely new technical approach, with high frequency waves, etc, etc. Anyway, it's all academic. The real benefits of copper are to match it up with conventional gas or electric, where it's highly conductive properties are truly useful and highlighted.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I have no issues with copper cookware but I just don't see the point in trying to pair it up with a cooking technology that is truly designed for other materials. I'd even be happy to buy a piece or two of copper cookware - at a yard sale. I could always use one more crepe pan or skillet :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, I think there are very few occasions where cookware needs to be able to rapidly adjust to a new temperature. Boiling water? Certainly not. Making a pan sauce? Perhaps ... it depends.

                                                                                                                                                                                              But I have made many a delicious pan sauce in my 10" cast iron skillet. And my "cooktop" at the moment is still just a few portable butane burners. I think that being forced to use these for the last few years has seriously enhanced my skill level and placed an emphasis on technique and creativity, rather than the gear.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. The way I see it, there are two huge issues against induction in the US. First is cost...a basic gas or electric range is way cheaper than any of the induction ranges available. I am talking basic white/bisque units here, the no-frills stoves most folks buy. You can get a basic gas or electric coil stove for under $400...induction will probably be at least double or triple that. That means A) a cash-strapped consumer that needs to replace a stove that has broken down is priced out and B) contractors building homes and landlords equipping apartments will never put in induction. Second issue is what I would call energy inertia...if you have a gas connection, you won't switch to electric without a damned good reason, because in addition to the cost of the range (which isn't cheap), there is the issue of running an electrical line to the kitchen (also not cheap). This is probably not even an option if you live in a condo or apartment.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I think induction cooktops can be quite useful. I think one of the issues is that many Americans don't even know they exist. I had no idea they existed until I moved overseas. When I do eventually move back, I will probably get another one. After extensive use of both, my main choice for cooking is still a gas range though.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Gas is always my preference. When there is no power I can still cook. In winter or when there's bad snow storm - and the hydro is interrupted - I can have my hot tea/soup, and hot water bottle to warm my bed.

                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: knusprig

                                                                                                                                                                                                Careful with that 'hydro'. Some of us dumb Americans (south of the border) might think you are talking about water. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                Think about why gas is more reliable than electricity. Either you have a large propane tank out back (which can run out), or the gas lines are buried, and the power lines are still exposed to the elements. But power lines could be buried (more so in the city), and natural gas compressors could go down - though they do usually have backups. Or gas lines could rupture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                  PJ - You offered valid points on gas reliability and safety.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm in Canada - our gas lines are buried but not necessarily our power lines. We do need to call/consult the gas company before digging (our yard) deep for tree planting for example. Propane tanks are for our BBQ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I live in NJ and have lived here for my whole life. In all of those 46 years, I have always lived in homes with both gas and electricity. We have lost electric power countless times - including two full weeks between last August and last October. We have never ONCE lost our gas. Never.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: knusprig

                                                                                                                                                                                                    While my gas range isn't as sexy as an induction range, it's awful nice when we're sitting through a month long power outage due to a hurricane, or tropical storm...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: deet13

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I live in an all-electric home. When a power failure hits, I have gas hot plates I cook on. The butane canisters are fairly cheap at a restaurant supply (but certainly not cheap enough to cook on full time), and if a tornado takes my house, they will work in a tent too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      An induction cook top (there is no such thing as an induction wall oven yet, that I know of) is not just sexy, it is faster than gas, more energy efficient than either gas or electric, it will outlast MOST gas or electric cooktops, and cut your utility bills in the bargain. But you're right. If your house is torn down by a hurricane or you have a three day power failure, and induction is your only cooking source, just make sure you have a manual can opener and plenty of canned tuna on hand for sandwiches... '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Another factor no one seems to have mentioned is the failed attempts at introducing induction to the US market in the past. Westinghouse marketed an induction cooktop in the '70s; Kenmore in the '80s. Neither saw much success.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    European induction hobs are also significantly more affordable and available today than are the models available in the US. A quick look at a major UK housewares site shows 30+ induction cooktops available (versus ~25 non-induction electric) with prices starting at about £350 (or $550). The cheapest four-element all-induction cooktop I can find here is a Summit for about $900, versus about $500 for a name-brand smooth top electric.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think when prices come down, the percentages will go up pretty quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Sorry, not all of the website was printed in my recent comment. Here it is:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      There are many other sources you can find on this topic if you are interested.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Not sure website was listed in full on my post above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. That is the question my BIL asks. He sprang for 150 large to remodel the kitchen to placate my difficult sister, about 3 years ago. She has induction and every other kitchen gadget known to man or woman. But it's still restaurants and fancy take-out every night, same as it ever was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                            And an induction stove is a fortune to repair. My friends are handy, but have never been able to repair their induction stoves and have suffered massive repair bills.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't imagine renters popping for a full stove, so induction hot plates are their friend. Home owners, however, should be able to get their induction cooking appliances repaired for about the price of a service call through their home owner's insurance policy. That means it would cost me sixty bucks for the repair, if I had a built-in induction cooktop. Nobody covers induction hot plates, so I'm on my own if Max Burton dies. BUT! You do have to be careful when shopping for home owners insurance because some companies have fine print that says they won't cover induction stoves or cooktops. Reason enough to look for a company that does! The two items it is challenging to find coverage for are induction anything and stand-alone freezers. However, a few companies in the U.S.A. do offer "rider policies" for stand-alone freezers for an additional fee. Not cheap, but if you've ever lost the entire contents of a freezer due to a long lasting power failure, you will at least be glad it's available, even if you don't buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is worth noting that when one files a homeowners claim, that can change the category that one is in, and result in increased yearly premiums. Those can readily add up to more than just biting the bullet and eating an appliance failure - if it's out of warranty. I have no idea how much extended warranties cost for induction cooktops but if the default warranty is short one might consider it for something that expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                There's also the deductible to be considered. And insurance might only cover replacing the appliance and probably not the contents. One needs to be really careful about whether it makes sense to submit those claims ... there are long-term costs that might be incurred vs. just eating it. Ah ... the fine print ... and ... what they DON'T write ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I found a very well researched paper comparing Induction and Gas Stoves in detail. I couldn't get a website to copy, but you can goggle "An introduction into induction and natural gas stoves." Their recommendation, especially weighing environmental emissions, was to purchase an induction stove.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Folks, just a friendly reminder to keep the focus of the discussion on cookware and cooking. General energy savings tips and health and safety issues are really off topic for Chowhound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I congratulate the many members that have contibuted comments here, as I find this to be one of the most informative posts on induction cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have alerted others here to read this. I have learned many facets of North American cooking, electrical power sources, and experiences that I was not aware of, despite having lived in California a number of years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The only suggestion I can make to this excellent post, is to take the term "Euro" or "Euro-style" with some caution when considering a purchase of an appliance or cookware. Much of what I see and hear described in product advertising is not known to us here, and most likely only marketing. Certainly not a testimonial or review-quality term by itself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Unfortunately, most Americans have never heard of induction cooking. But we are also used to our gas ranges, and many strongly prefer cooking over a flame they can see. Induction offers so many advantages over standard electric cooking, but these are not yet appreciated. Facing the decision myself about a new range for a long-overdue kitchen renovation, I began investigating the question of possible health risks resulting from the combustion products of gas within the home -- even with proper maintenance and ventilation. Last week, I raised this question on this thread and on a new thread I started (which has apparently been discontinued.) Instead of responding immediately to the early replies to my postings, I spent time weeding through articles and studies on the subject, so that I could find some answers and offer more credible information. I had a busy week, and didn’t keep up with the online discussion. But I have found a number of varied research articles about the health risks of gas cooking. As always in science, no one study proves anything. A few studies reported little or no measurable danger. But it seems to me there is a clear pattern of risk here — especially for young children, adolescents, women, and professional cooks. The range of reported risks include lung functioning, asthma, respiratory illnesses, lung cancer, allergies, infant development, and even IQ and ADHD in children.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Several responders pointed out that we do things everyday that are more dangerous than gas cooking. That’s true. But doesn’t that make it all the more important to try to control those health and environmental risks that we can control, however small or delayed they may be? Personally, I have now decided to buy an induction range for my kitchen remodeling, and am very pleased with this prospect. Cooking is such an essential and pleasurable part of our lives, and now I can look forward to cooking without any worry about the air quality of my kitchen or the energy I am wasting. And I can boil my favorite pasta dishes (I'm Italian) in half the time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here are the websites I found, starting with scientific studies, and ending with several overview articles that take a strong position:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk - Health News - Health.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Frying Meat with on a gas range poses greater risk than on an electric range. Many additional sites describe this study).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gas Stoves, IQ, & ADHD | DrGreene.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Detrimental effects on preschool children


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kitchen Air Pollution Risk From Gas Ranges Revealed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (British study


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Research Confirms It: Noxious Gas Stove Emissions Worsen Asthma Symptoms in Young Children
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Study of inner city US homes)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Domestic gas appliances and lung disease
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard University
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Scientific study, finding harmful effects on British women of having gas stove in the home


                                                                                                                                                                                                                BBC News | HEALTH | Teen health risk of gas cookers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Effect of gas cooking on lung function in adolescents: modifying role of sex and immunoglobulin E -- Corbo et al. 56 (7): 536 – Thorax
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Scientific description of the adolescent studies


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Health Risks of Gas Cooking
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Overview of a number of studies in Scotland and elsewhere


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gas cooking emissions can stifle infant development. — Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) Updates

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gas cooking is associated with small reductions in lung function in children

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exposure to noxious gas stove emissions worsens asthma in kids | TopNews

                                                                                                                                                                                                                “An introduction into induction and natural gas stoves”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Household gas cooking: a risk factor for respiratory illnesses in preschool children
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Scientific study in Hong Kong


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gas cooking threat to lungs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (“The study found that tiny particles of pollution produced when gas is burned seem to have an inflammatory effect when passed over lung cells in the laboratory.”


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Natural Gas: Avoidable Health Hazard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Overview, citations not up to par


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Natural Gas Hazard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Canadian overview, concerning public policy


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Health Risks of Cooking With Gas | eHow.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Brief overview


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Health Hazards of Natural Gas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Overview, citations not up to par)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                27 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Diana1946

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How often do you fill your own car's fuel tank with gasoline? It is my understanding that you will inhale more fumes in one gas tank fill than in months of cookng with either natural or LP gas. Maybe it is a good idea to live in New Jersey or Oregon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Diana1946

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Did you look up the risk of cooking near strong electro-magnetic fields? :p I don't see people rushing to live underneath high-power electrical lines because of this type of radiation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cacruden

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is why I would never buy an induction stove. A pregnant woman should not be using one. Why would I go out of my way to expose myself and family to powerful magnetic fields? So natural gas is the best for me. It burns with a clean blue flame and is releasing minimal pollutants into the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The induction hucksters tell you it is 84% efficient while gas is lower at 50-60%. This is half true. They are only measuring the efficiency from the point of entry of gas or electric into your house. This does not include the inefficiency of generating electricity then losing even more over the power lines to your house before it gets to your induction stove. More and more electric in USA is generated by burning natural gas. It is obviously more efficient to burn gas in your home for cooking than to burn gas (or coal) in a power plant, send that electricity into your house and into your induction stove

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zzDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <Why would I go out of my way to expose myself and family to powerful magnetic fields?>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Magnetic field should be very safe. There is no evidence that magnetic field can harm a normal human beings (unless you have implants). This is why you can do MRI -- which one huge magnet way more powerful than any induction stove.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <They are only measuring the efficiency from the point of entry of gas or electric into your house.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, I repeated this point many times here. I agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry. Still against magnetic fields of that order from an induction stove. I would never stand near microwave ovens for a long time. Other can knock themselves out. How efficient do you think gas is versus induction? Taking everything into account meaning generation, transmission, conversion by induction versus natural gas being using right at the point of application

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: zzDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            <Sorry. Still against magnetic fields of that order from an induction stove. I would never stand near microwave ovens for a long time.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Microwave is actually more dangerous than magnetic field in my opinion, but I think we just have to agree to disagree. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            <How efficient do you think gas is versus induction?>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not speaking in the future, in the US, they are about the same efficiency in my opinion. Induction cooking has many advantages, including precision heat control. However, it is not more efficient. Interestingly, induction cooking is less efficient in third world countries where their power plant conversion to electricity is lower than that of US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks and good point about third world countries. Even a place like Greece or Turkey or Portugal which are not poor. I'll bet the way electric is generated and transmitted in those places would make induction stoves very expensive. Not to mention brownouts in poorer nations. Your propane or natural gas would not suffer from a brownout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ck, from a consumers viewpoint, the efficiency with which my energy producing utility companies produce the energy they deliver to my home is beyond my control. The ONLY thing I can control is how efficiently I use that "ready made" resource. Your point that induction is less efficient because my power company does not produce electricity in an efficient way is like throwing out the baby with the bath water. The ONLY control I have is over how efficiently I use the ready-made energy my utility company delivers to me. I think your argument is pretty close to smoke and mirrors. I loves ya, Baby, but this is my viewpoint and I'm sticking to it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One thing natural gas and propane have over various electricity based appliances is that they work after storms (high winds) that take down transmission lines. I'll gladly trade a few percentage points of possible efficiency for the ability to use them after the storm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Any yes, I prefer gas cooktops/stoves and like gas home heat and water heaters. It's nice to have heat in winter when the power lines are down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, it is true that induction is more efficient at your home. What I am trying to tell others is that it is incorrect to say induction cooking is environmentally friendlier than gas cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I didn't say induction is less efficient. I said they are about the same. My statements are far from smoke and mirrors. They talk about the core of the issues and not around it. They discuss the entire energy process. How the entire process affects our environment. Green house gases are green house gases. The Earth does not know if they are generated at your home (gas cooking) or if they generated at the power plants (induction cooking). To paraphrase some well known political speeches: the environment does not just stop at our front door.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Let's use this example:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If everyone suddenly switch from gas cooking to induction cooking tomorrow, the Earth is not getting any greener. This is the bottomline, and it is important to talk about the real bottomline -- how will it actually affect the Earth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A few times I have had to explain to people that a Vornado electric heater (price $150) doesn't put out any more heat than a cheapo one that costs $25. All home electric heaters have a limit of 1525 watts. I also tried to explain that a tube type radiant electric heater might feel warmer due to the radiant heat hitting your skin but it too is limited to 1525 watts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All the vornado does is blow that lousy 1525 watts around the room or right at you. I see this as similar to the science gap here on induction stoves. I've said it before --- I love the induction stove propaganda about induction being the most efficient. What they omit is induction is the most efficient if only consider what happens in your home from where the electric or gas enters your home. Not the inefficiency of generating electricity a hundred or more miles away (often by burning natural gas lol) and bringing it to your doorstep

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In the long run, using natural gas to generate electricity is a stop gap measure. Electricity can be generated by zero-CO2 emissions methods, gas cannot. Gas is currently relatively cheap, in large part thanks to fracking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For me, as for Caroline, using induction clearly has advantages, because the alternative is conventional electric. We aren't hooked up to gas. And we've both taken the inexpensive route, an induction hot plate (with butane canister as the gas backup).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I understand that induction has clear advantages. I have repeated the advantages here many time here. It is just that it is not environmentally greener or friendlier, so let just talk about other advantages and not push for the environmentally cleaner or power efficiency arguements, because they are not true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As for the future, yes, but that is the future. It has not happened yet and it will not be happening anytime soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If someone want to say that "induction cooking in 50 years from now will be more environmental than gas cooking of today". Great. So be it, but it ain't today, and not the next 10 years neither. Let's just be clear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know you are an engineer. I am sure you read articles about the new electric cars of Leaf and Volt. That these electric cars are not environmentally better than gasolline cars because the difference is CO2 generated from your cars (gasoline) vs CO2 generated from the power plants (electric cars). In fact, many scientists believe it xan be worse because most power plants run coal which is less clean than gasoline.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Look, electric cars will have a cleaner foot print maybe in 20-30 years, but not now. It is wrong to say an electric car of today is cleaner for the environment than a gasoline car. In the future, maybe. But am I really saving the Earth by buying an electric car right now? I doubt it.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics writes about induction cooking: "It is just that it is not environmentally greener or friendlier, so let just talk about other advantages and not push for the environmentally cleaner or power efficiency arguements, because they are not true."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            One more time around the dance floor, Babe, because it absolutely *IS* true! By cooking on induction exclusively when it comes to anything stove top (except for the tagine I did on my gas hotplate) I have cut my electric bill by $30.00 a month for at least six months now. Maybe a year? That means induction is allowing me to reduce my energy consumption. If EVERYONE who cooks on radiant electric converted to induction, can you imagine what the energy savings would be? It is a "green" conservation product!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let's talk about China, for example. The Chinese government is heavily pushing induction for not just cooking, but on-demand induction water heaters too, and anything else that induction can provide a heat source for in home applications BECAUSE it means that more families can cook from their finite electrical resources than could if everyone used radiant electric cooking instead of induction. And THAT is what makes induction green!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We have the IDENTICAL problem in the United States. Every spring the whole country is threatened with roving black outs or brown outs if too many people run their air conditioners at the same time. The whole county! Our power grids are antiquated and we are not cutting back enough on our energy usage. But *IF* more Americans would convert to induction, it would HELP (not completely solve) the energy shortage simply because a specific amount of electrical power will run more induction cook tops than it will radiant cook tops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Do you get it yet? So let's stop with this silly talk about induction not being green because it uses the same dirty electricity that radiant cooktops use. It uses LESS than radiant cooktops do, and that makes it VERY green! ANYTHING that helps ANYBODY use less electricity is a GREEN product!!!! Okay? '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <By cooking on induction exclusively when it comes to anything stove top (except for the tagine I did on my gas hotplate) I have cut my electric bill by $30.00 a month for at least six months now. >

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I believe you said that you were using electric resistive stove before this, right? So of course, your electric bill will be cheaper because induction stove is more efficient than resistive electric stove. I have never denied this point. I agree that induction cooking is more efficient than resistive heating by other electric methods. However, I do not agree that induction cooking is noticeably more efficient than gas cooking. I was talking about gas, which is a different thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <The Chinese government is heavily pushing induction for not just cooking, but on-demand induction water heaters too>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That is more environmental, but for a different reason than stove. This is because the traditional water heaters are on 24/7. On demand induction is only on when needed. So that is not really because the physic of induction, more about turning something on when you need it, and turning something off when you don't. This is different from stoves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <Do you get it yet?>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Everything is relative, and I believe I have been very consistent all along that I was talking about gas cooking vs induction cooking. I don't think anyone here would mistake my statements were about resistive heating vs induction heating. On Feb 20, I wrote "The energy efficiency argument is very subjective for the induction cooking. It isn't necessary more efficient than gas -- if you account from beginning to end."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              < It uses LESS than radiant cooktops do, and that makes it VERY green! >

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Look, by that argument, you will also have to say that gas cooking is very green, because the more people use gas cooking, the less they use resistive heat cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <ANYTHING that helps ANYBODY use less electricity is a GREEN product!!!!>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, but nothing makes people use less electricity than gas cooking. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh yeah, petroleum products are going to save the world... NOT! Electricity is NOT the problem! I can cook with induction using electricity that is wind generated as well as I can cook with induction using petroleum or hydroelectric power generation. PLEASE tell me when and how you can cook with gas without using petroleum products????????? Come on, tell me! Please! Please! Please!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  >> CAROLINE: PLEASE tell me when and how you can cook with gas without using petroleum products????????? Come on, tell me! Please! Please! Please!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  N-A-T--U-R-A-L ... G-A-S.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PepinRocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, please. Check this out:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Please not that #2 on the list of petroleum by-products is natural gas. Thanks you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <I can cook with induction using electricity that is wind generated as well as I can cook with induction using petroleum or hydroelectric power generation.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As I have written before, you are using the "future and maybe argument". Is it possible that 30 years from now that induction cooking is environmentally cleaner than gas cooking if we have a major movement of switching power plants. Sure. Is it now for most consumers? No. The idea that if we are to just switch from gas cooking to induction cooking now will reduce greenhouse gas is untrue. Ask yourself this. Do you think it is better for our environment if all Americans now start to heat their houses using electricity instead of using natural gas? I say no. Why not? Because most power plants are run by coal and natural gas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just like what I mentioned about electric cars. If all of us go out to buy electric cars (not hybrid) right now, do you think it is better for the environment? No. It may even be worse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are special cases which induction cooking can be more efficient than gas cooking like hot summer cooking. However, in cold winter cooking, gas cooking is better for the environment because the heat not captured by the cookware is captured by the house and is warming the residence, whereas the heat generated from a power plant is truly lost -- ok... actually is worse than lost.... it is directly heating the Earth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <how you can cook with gas without using petroleum products>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Of course as PepinRocks pointed out, natural gas is not petroleum, just like coal is not petroleum neither.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well then a lot of things must have changed since my last geology classes in university. Please see the link I have posted for PepinRocks.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When it comes to energy production, electric power generating plants that produce electricity by burning FOSSIL FUELS -- and make no mistake, natural gas *IS* a fossil fuel! -- are a major source of environmental pollution. And for the record, natural gas is most commonly found in association with oil deep within the earth and is regularly classified as a petroleum product or petroleum byproduct. Oil and natural gas are formed from rotten animal or vegetable matter from millions of years ago. They do NOT burn clean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And I'm bowing out of this discussion because it's too hard to discuss things with any sort or real world connection when arguments like this are presented.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "natural gas is not petroleum"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not strictly speaking, but the issue is fossil fuels, I think, not merely petroleum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Much electricity comes from coal or gas, anyway. Consumers do not (except for a tiny few) choose a cooking appliance with this in mind. They choose what they prefer for its cooking characteristics and what fits their personal budget.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Environmental problems associated with the burning of fossil fuels can only be solved on an industrial scale, nationally and internationally, not in individual kitchens, in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          <Not strictly speaking, but the issue is fossil fuels>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know it belongs to fossil fuels. I am just being very clean about what is fossil fuels and what is petrolem...etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          <Environmental problems associated with the burning of fossil fuels can only be solved on an industrial scale, nationally and internationally, not in individual kitchens, in my opinion.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I absolutely agree. This is why, if you read between my past replies, that I made it clean that having "a bunch of people going out and buying induction cooktops" is not going to do any good. It only makes sense if the power plants are changed. Otherwise, there is just all smoke and mirror about induction cooking reducing greenhouse gas compare to gas cooking. It does not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow, I have a lot of typos. Thanks for being understanding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Using China as an example is comparing apple to oranges, because lifestyle is different in Chinese homes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very few people use radiant electric cooking at all. Most use gas (propane). And "stove ranges" in homes is not common until recently. Most chinese kitchens don't have standalone stoves, but a cooking platform where a gas burner/hot plate is placed. Most of the "gas" burners use propane that is delivered in tanks, not by dedicated lines into their homes. You still see propane delivery man on bikes in many major cities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Chinese government encouragement of usage of electric induction could be view as being more convenient to the people (i.e. no need to wait for delivery if you run out, you already have electricity in your home to tap into) , but can also be view as eliminated the propane suppliers in favor of electricity suppliers (which the state still own a large percentage). Being "green" has very little do with it, especially given that much of the country's electricity is still provided by coal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On-demand electric water heaters has always been common, because traditional water-heaters that americans use are very uncommon there. I grew up in Hong Kong in 1970's - 80's, we didn't have on demand hot water at all (this was a fairly modern for the time apartment building). It's easier and cheaper to provide hot water to existing older homes/apartments by installing on demand water heaters. On demand induction water heaters could be view as just the latest innovation in electric water heater technology in China...as in, if you need a new one that is what you would go with, but ripping out functioning electric water heaters in lieu of putting in a induction one because the new one is more efficient? That does not seem very green.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Diana1946

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, every time you turn on the news something is bad for us, and I am one of those that tries to avoid bad things! I am sure induction is every bit as dangerous as gas, and gas cooking has been around much longer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Diana1946

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Life is too short to worry about crap like this. I do my best to avoid the obvious hazards - but in my view, people who get bogged down with worrying about stuff like this are spending so much time fretting about ridiculous minutiae that they aren't spending enough time just enjoying life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I bought an induction range a few weeks back after much reading on gas vs induction and didn't care much for it (going from resistive electric). I sent it back and got a gas and love it. Its nothing too fancy, just a nice Frigidaire, but I love the feedback you get from gas. Picking up the pans, tilting, etc is just great with gas. I did however buy one of those induction hot plates for the kids to boil pasta, and its great for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow...I can't imagine how much of a pain it must have been to have a range installed and then sent it back and get a different one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: danna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was a mess, but not nearly as much trouble as getting an LP tank, plumbing my house for gas, installing a new, more powerful vent, etc, lol.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe I didn't give it a fair shake, but I really love my gas. Also it wasn't some $4000 Viking, but a $1800 Samsung, so that may make a huge difference. That and the fact there was a wire off from the factory and I had to fix that to get it to even come on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Indeed, the whole LP tank situation with replumbing and particularly the problem of re-filling the tank, is why i never went gas, although I really wanted it. But I'm quite pleased w/ my new induction cooktop. My only complaint is the digital controls. I expect them to break any day now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: danna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The digital controls are what I hated worse than anything. My stove shouldn't be a big ipod I kept thinking. I was kinda lucky on the tank, I bought a 100 pound and the propane company was running a special to fill them for $50, which is half price. I used to be a HVAC installer, so the piping wasn't really a problem, and the hood I love!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's how I feel about Induction - it's good for "point solutions" like a single fob for helping out as a food warmer or boiling water, etc. I would never consider it for a cooktop. Gas provides more flexibility and that tactile feel that no electric knob can match.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PepinRocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I prefer to judge a gas flame by sight rather than by touch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          With induction I play it by ear - the sizzle in the pan is my biggest clue as heat strength.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PepinRocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The NYTimes has an article about induction stoves. They show a Manhattan restaurant where all the cooking has to be done in the basement. They only use induction cook tops. I can see this as a good idea to cut down on the heat in a poorly ventilated place

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: zzDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Can you give a link to the NYT article, please? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here it is Caroline:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The cooks at Marlow & Sons, a 45-seat restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, work only on five tabletop units spread across a bench in a basement. Creating dishes that require less stove space and retraining the cooks was a challenge, said the chef, Sean Rembold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: zzDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks big bunches! An interesting article, but it is two years old. Induction seems to be hitting a phase where innovations are coming faster and faster but the information is not well distributed to the general public, and if it is, it's too often in such a manner that the public doesn't understand it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's curious how the restaurant pictured on the website article chose to go with multiple single burner "portable' induction units instead of built-ins, whether upstairs or down. I THINK* (but I'm not absolutely certain) that Bernardin (Eric Ripert's NYC crown jewel) has full out commercial induction "cooktops" installed. If you've ever watched his PBS show, "Avec Eric," on that show his cooktop is induction, though he doesn't talk about it much. He just seems to take induction as a given, as many European chefs do. Thanks for the citing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I recently had this debate with a friend who is in love with his induction cooktop. My husband and I are in love with our gas stove. My friend claims to be able to boil water in 60 seconds, while on our gas stove, it takes somewhere around 3-5 minutes depending on the amount of water being boiled.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He says he likes that the stove surface is not "too hot" afterwards, which is ideal for kids and he says with gas, sometimes kids become forgetful and may forget to turn off the gas. His Chinese wife didn't look too pleased when he mentioned that she can't use her regular wok on it; she had to buy an induction wok.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think he just likes all the buttons!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Lets just get something straight here, there is a lot of talk of efficiency when cooking, and I agree that efficiency should be a top priority, the energy used in cooking is very little. We almost spend as much on salt, lol. I would guesstimate that an average meal would cost maybe a nickle to cook. Take boiling a gallon of water for pasta for instance, just a guess, but I imagine it would take a 10,000 btu burner 15 minutes. A gallon of propane has close to 100,000 per hour in it and costs around $2.50, so it would take around 2500 btu, or 2.5% of a gallon or less than a nickle, and this is the least efficient/most expensive of all methods. So with induction it may cost 2 cents less, which amounts to maybe $1 per year @ 2 meals a day, and thats boiling water, which uses a lot of energy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            135 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kendunn


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              First, I totally agree - totally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Moreover, there are additional costs that factor in. An induction cooktop also costs a whole bunch more than a standard cooktop. And most people end up blowing a whole lot more money on "induction compatible" cookware, in the process. So I would submit that there is an additional $1000-2000 spent to have and use it - as a full cooktop - instead of "just one fob for point use".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So the ROI against even a mere $1000 of upfront expense would take FOREVER to justify in "electric savings" for most people. My own cooking gas fuel costs are at MOST $10 a month. Most times, it's about $5-7. And I get to use any pan that I want, don't need to buy anything new, can buy any new pan that strikes my fancy, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              CHANGING to induction ... is NOT about saving money or helping the environment. It's a life style choice. Period. Even if one were to look at all of this as a "new house w/ no existing appliances", there is still no valid ROI for induction, for anything other than outlier situations or point solutions. Not here in the USA anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Other than the mere ability to "boil water faster" ... what does it actually offer? Nada. Muchas Gracias!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PepinRocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Other than the mere ability to "boil water faster" ... what does it actually offer? Nada."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, you are SO wrong. With my new induction top I have the ability, for the first time in my LIFE, to turn down the damn heat. If you haven't cooked on electric, you may not understand that. It's SPECTACULAR....i've had the new stove 6 months or so now, and I still get a thrill everytime I turn something that's boiling down to a simmer...immediately!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: danna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I do hear where you are coming from. But I have cooked on electric and there is a BIG range of them out there - some pretty darn good. And many that, IMO, Suck - big time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My parents have a good electric range. One of those glass top things. I can't recall the brand but it's probably something like GE Profile or Frigidaire. I do have to admit that - for an electric - it works pretty well. It's not as good as gas but it's not bad at all. I've used it many times, since when I'm there, I do all the cooking. And if I'm doing a pan sauce and drop the temperature, it really does react pretty quickly. Would induction do that any faster? Hmmm .... MAYBE. But it's also not all that tough to slide the pan partially or entirely off the burner and accomplish EXACTLY the same thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So again ... I'd submit that ... versus a GOOD standard electric stove or cooktop that induction offers very little in the way of any REAL advantages. Against a BAD electric ... sure - it'll be great - but that isn't really the point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PepinRocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    < But it's also not all that tough to slide the pan partially or entirely off the burner and accomplish EXACTLY the same thing. >

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You know I agree most of what you said, but this is there induction has an advantage. When we slide the pan partially off the burner or when we use one of those flame tamer, then the induction is more energy efficient at that point. Does this happen very often? Probably not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PepinRocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      PepinRocks: "So again ... I'd submit that ... versus a GOOD standard electric stove or cooktop that induction offers very little in the way of any REAL advantages. Against a BAD electric ... sure - it'll be great - but that isn't really the point."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used to think like this before I tried induction. You really need to try it before passing judgement. Induction is much faster at boiling water or heating up the pan than gas or any other burners. It has really saved me time in the kitchen. My portable unit will often boil water faster than I can prep. Where as I'm usually ahead if I was on my gas stove.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Induction is also easy to clean because it's a glasstop. But the glass never really gets hot like other conventional glasstops. So you're never left with burnt in food or mineral deposits from water to stain the glass. Boilovers can be cleaned up immediately. Try doing that with any other burner. Even if the splatter is cleaned up later, it comes right off because it's hasn't been burnt into the glass at over 600 deg. I'm sure my induction unit will look like the day I got it after many years of use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would never use a conventional radiant glasstop simply because the glass gets too hot. Any sudden temperature changes like a boil over or dropping cold water over it could thermal shock glass and could possibly crack it. My friend tells me his new radiant glasstop takes forever to boil a gallon of water for pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Using induction instead of gas has kept the bottoms of my All-Clad and other pans as clean as the inside. I now use it as my primary cooktop because it has eliminated all of my little pet peeves of my gas stove.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: unprofessional_chef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        OK, lets get this all out in the open with facts. Induction technology is great, but the implementation has been poor. Its like digital dashboards in 80's cars, they are a solution looking for a problem. Every induction I have seen looks like an ipod control rather than a burner control and, to be frank, just stupid. An infinitely adjustable rheostat for each burner would go a long way in my book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is no reason an induction top should cost any more than a smooth resistive top. The hotplates for both resistive and induction are $50, why should an induction range cost $1000 more? No reason. Efficiency is always good, but its so small its totally irrelivant unless you are a commercial kitchen going full blast all the time. A gas range wins hands down as far as cost/performance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Some older houses would have to have their complete electrical systems upgraded to go to an electric range costing thousands. Gas is fantastic if you need to shake or tilt a pan. Induction not so much. It likes to have the pan on there all the time and the top is much more delicate. Induction adds much less heat to the home and doesn't need nearly the exhaust that gas does. That also makes it great for boiling water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I won't even talk about buying new pots and pans, everyone knows about that. Induction tops are easier to clean, but not a huge deal to clean gas. I have worked in HVAC with both gas and electric, and let me tell you gas is no more dangerous than a high amp circuit. Sure gas can leak and carbon monoxide is dangerous, but I have seen wires get hot and fry, too. It takes a lot to trip that 50 amp breaker. Do it right and run rigid black pipe all the way to a STEEL flexible connector to your stove and a good vent to the outside and you should be just as safe as electric.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          kendunn: "Every induction I have seen looks like an ipod control rather than a burner control and, to be frank, just stupid."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The purpose of the touch control is for easy cleaning. There aren't any buttons or knobs to get dirty or break.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Gas is fantastic if you need to shake or tilt a pan. Induction not so much."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's an advantage that gas has over all other burners. Not just induction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My earlier post was specifically talking about the advantages of induction VS gas, electric, radiant glass. More about the burns than how people are going to get induction into their homes. Yes, there is a lot to consider. But for people that already have a stove that runs on electricity and want to convert to an induction stove, the infrastructure would be there for an easier transition. I think of induction as a direct upgrade for the other electric cooktops where the advantages of induction greatly outweigh the disadvantages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: unprofessional_chef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            <The purpose of the touch control is for easy cleaning>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually, there is a more probable reason. Actually two probable reasons. First, it is for marketing. Induction cooking is sold as a futuristic cooking style (even through it isn't). For that reason, it is important to have a futuristic controller as well. Think most of hybrid electric cars. Prius is designed in a certain look. Toyota could have made it look like any average seda or coup, but it definitely isn't. The unique appearance is no accident.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Second, induction cooking is not by attenuation of voltage/potential, but by frequency and duration of the on and off cycle. In light of this, it seems to me that adjustable rheostat is less intuitive than a digital controller.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have a broken futuristic controller on my dishwasher that will cost $280 to replace. So much for the future.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A fairly simple circuit with rectifiers and other semiconductors, an electrolytic capacitor, resistors, and a potentiometer would enable continuously variable power settings for an induction system.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, I guess there is one more reason. Induction cooktops almost always have a built in safety on-off setting. It can trigger itself off if it cannot find a magnetic cookware or it is on for too long or the current is too great or whatever reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As such, it may make more sense to have digital controller that can trigger back to zero and shut off instead of a potentiometer dial which is physically stuck at the last setting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That is a good point, but do people literally want a potentiometer, or do they actually want a rotary control with fine steps? A rotary control that sends up/down pulses to a digital controller can give the same effect, while the digital controller can still shut down the power when desired.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What is your best guess for the digital control scheme for induction cooking. In theory, the induction cooking environment is cleaner, so why a digital controller. I gave my best for the three explanations I can come up with. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is your turn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oddly enough I was answering this question while hoh were asking. See below post

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a new toaster oven with 2 rotary controls - that as you say, sends up down pulses to an otherwise digital control. They are not particularly fun to use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My previous toaster oven died when the timer gave out - you know the old ticking spring kind. In my experience, buttons and switches are some of the first things to go on older appliances. The phenolic knobs on my electric stove (22 yrs old) are breaking one by one. Generic knobs from the hardware store don't fit well, and brand specific ones are expensive. So I am now down to 2 coil burners, and the induction hot plate. I use the hot plate 80% of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You have broken 2 knobs in 22 years and complaining they don't hold up well? And what is expensive, $20 a pop shipped? Look up the cost for a circuit board for an induction is (which is very sensitive to power surges) . Or if you crack the top. A quick search show the board for the model I tried is $400 and the top $1400. The board for the oven on my gas is $90 and the knob is $9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting. I recently replaced an old toaster with mechanical controls. The new one has a digital display and a rotary knob that makes it count up or down. I'm not sure of the technology of the rotary sending unit, but I think it's a pleasure to use. The only thing I don't like is that there are too few steps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your coil burner stove has actual mechanical switches. Their time has passed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Look for small 4" vise grips. I have one I can send you for the right price. Works better than the original knob

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That is good and bad. Many complaints I heard when trying to decide what I wanted was it most models shut down for no reason and had to cool down before restart. Lest be honest here, you would have to be blind to not see the gas on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            These days adjustable rheostats are digital controllers. Actually they may not even be rheostats but more like stepper controlers. A dead giveaway is if the device resents its level when cycled off or if it will turn 360.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              :) I guess I am old school. :P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <A dead giveaway is if the device resents its level when cycled off or if it will turn 360.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Good point about the 360.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A rheostat would not be reliable in the long run. It is obviously impractical in a dirty kitchen environment, in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The vast majority of gas and electric stoves worldwide have manual controls that are rheostats or gas valves or equivalent, and most folks manage to keep the kitchen environment clean. I'm jaded about touch panels because of the $280 I'll take in the shorts for my dishwasher. Reliable? Heat is the enemy of semiconductors, and it's nearby in both appliances.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The reason I had to upgrade was because my touch panel on my oven went out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Homeowners/renter's insurance is the ONLY way to fly! The motor in my vent hood went out and is being replaced. Sixty bucks..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't you have a deductible to meet? Mine is more than my range because of the cost of the policy. And if you go to the well too often they wont renew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My monthly premium for homeowner's insurance is $36.00 a month. When I need a service call or repair, the fee is $60.00 and is all-inclusive, except when an item cannot be repaired and must be replaced entirely, in which case I have the option of accepting the "builder grade" dishwasher or refrigerator or whatever, or making up the price difference between that appliance and whatever upgrade I choose, but they still do the installation in most cases. I also carry surge protection insurance through my electric company for ten bucks a month that covers any and all damage done to any electric/electronic appliance/equipment I own that results from the power surges that follow the many power failures here in tornado country. The electric company policy is also covered by my home warranty insurance company. There is NO service call fee for repairs/replacements made under the electric company surge protection policy, and that is where I've suffered the most damage! My 120 inch home theater screen had to be completely replaced, the projector had to go back to the factory for repairs, my Yamaha sound projector had to go back for circuit board replacements, my computer had to be repaired once and completely replaced the second time, my garage door opener had to be replaced, among other things. Because all of these were due to power surge damage after power failures, the ten dollar a month premium I pay through my electric company is the only fee I have paid for any of these repairs/replacements. I also have water main/pipes repair insurance for another ten bucks a month through my water utility company. Unfortunately, I bought that two months after a $500.00 water main repair. I have lived all over the world, but never in a place where I have had this much damage from power surges, despite the fact that I am tripping over surge protectors and UPS. Without these homeowners policies I would have thousands of dollars out-of-pocket expenses just to hold my status quo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Most of these policies are available to renters, as well as home owners, and they are a LOT cheaper than multiple extended warranties on individual appliances and electronics. But home owner insurance companies are not all created equally. You need to check out their reputation for living up to what they promise, as well as what the policy you are buying will cover. It's difficult to find a company that will cover food loss if your side by side goes down, or you have a three day power failure, and some companies add exclusions that exempts coverage of induction ranges, but that seems to be getting better. One of my power failures (3 days) cost me all of the food in my 25cf freezer plus all of the food in my 25cf side-by-side. Now when a power failure passes the three hour mark, I start stocking the freezers with dry ice and threatening anyone who even thinks about opening them! I'm still searching for an affordable food replacement policy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, and if you find a really good home warranty insurance company, as I have, you shouldn't have to worry about "going to the well too often." Been there, done that, and moved on to a better company.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Is that $36 per month just for the warranty? Surely you don't mean all your homeowners is that? Mine is more than that with a huge deductible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        $36.00 a month is the prorated payment for the annual premium on my home owners warranty policy. In addition to that, if an appliance breaks, such as the fan motor in my island vent hood, there is an additional one time "service call fee" that covers all that that repair will cost. Now, this is a different kind of insurance than outright home owners insurance for damage to the house due to storms, lightning strikes, drunks thinking my house is a drive through, and "disasters" such as that. That insurance for me carries a premium of about $140.00 a month with a 2k deductible. What I'm talking about is a home owners warranty policy. If you've ever bought or looked at a previously owned home via a Realtor, the home owner's warranty (insurance) is often offered as an option to the buyer by the buyer's agent, or may be included in the selling price of the home for a one or two year period, with the cost covered by the seller as an incentive to attract buyers. Home owner's warranties originated in association with the real estate market and have spread to the general public. Unfortunately, not a lot of people are aware of them. Do a web search for "home owners warranty policies." You should get several hits if you're in the U.S. I have no idea whether they're available in other countries, but I would imagine so. Check it out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Caroline1 said:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "My monthly premium for homeowner's insurance is $36.00 a month. When I need a service call or repair, the fee is $60.00 and is all-inclusive, except when an item cannot be repaired and must be replaced entirely, in which case I have the option of accepting the "builder grade" dishwasher or refrigerator or whatever, or making up the price difference between that appliance and whatever upgrade I choose"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Would you mind disclosing the insurance company and the insurance agent so we may research the fine print and hopefully also share in that deal you have claimed that you have received? I would hope you would want to share with the rest of us 'hounders!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I believe she (Caroline) is talking about an in the house appliance service contract for that $36/month. Refrigerators, stoves, washers etc etc ...... Kitchen waste disposals

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: zzDan


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I knew that but thanks for your input even if it was stating the obvious :-) Hopefully Caroline1 will respond because that type of coverage varies among companies and even agents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not a problem. My home owner's warranty is with Allied Home Warranty, here:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Under this program, I pay a montly preium, and in addition to that I pay a $50.00 service call fee for each disaster that overtakes me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I get my $10.00 a month surge protection policy through my electric company, which is Reliant NRG, and with this (separate) policy there is no service fee in addition to the ten dollars per month I currently pay. You can check if Reliant offers gas and/or electric service in your area here:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reliant has contracted with Allied Home Warranty to offer the special surge protection coverage through Reliant. The ten dollar a month fee is added to my electric bill, and is not available directly through Allied Home Warranty. However, it was because I was so pleased with the service under this set up that I switched my home warranty with another insurer to Allied. I do not know if Reliant NRG offers this in other states, but I assume the program is available throughout the parts of Texas they serve. If you have Reliant NRG service available in your area, call them and ask.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some of you seem unfamiliar with home owner warranty programs, which is different from home owners insurance. As with ANY type of insurance, it's all caveat emptor, and some home owner warranty companies provide great service while others are about two cents better than useless. Your best hope lies in being a very pro-active shopper! Good luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you very much, Caroline1. I understood what you were referring to along the lines of "insurance" but zzDan unfortunately did not understand that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the info!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ooops! There's a typo above, and here I thought I knew how to proof read! <sigh> That should read, "Under this program, and in addition to that I pay a $60.00 service fee...." As in SIXTY...!!!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The reason that mechanical electrical switches for old-fashioned electric ranges are reasonably reliable in a dirty kitchen environment is that they are big, heavy devices which carry a lot of current. Such a switch is vastly over-engineered for a digitally controlled device. Those who want such switches on their electric range are probably stuck with vintage equipment, because they are obsolete.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Switching gas is a different problem, because it is inherently mechanical. If you didn't control it directly from the knob, you would need a motor-driven valve, which would be more expensive and probably less reliable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not just you alone, GH1618, but several of you guys make statements you think are factual without knowing the current market. You can still get stoves and cooktops with with manual controls as well as smooth top electronic controls. Here is a selection from GE as an example.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        coil with knobs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        glass radiant with knobs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        glass radiant smooth top (no knobs)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        induction (no knobs)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And finally, here is GE's knob controlled gas built in, which I find rather amusing as they have a setting on each burner marked "LITE." I am forced to assume they mean "LIGHT"" You drink a LITE soda, you LIGHT a fire! Anyway, here's what one of their gas cooktops looks like:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, but I'm not shopping for a new cooktop. But the question isn't knobs or no knobs, but how those controls work on modern cooktops, and specifically on induction (which is the topic of the thread).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So, to put it in the context of "Why don't more Americans use induction," I have looked at a few portable induction units, and one I might be interested in has only 10 settings, from 150 °F up in 30° increments. This seems rather coarse to me. The question that was raised above was whether continuous (or near continuous) control is practical for induction devices. Since you are much more familiar with these than I, can you say whether there is any induction cooker with continuous controls, or with steps from, say, 120 °F up in 2 °F or 1 °C increments? At what cost?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, I wasn't worried about the knobs either, until this thing was sitting in my kitchen and I was trying to get it to come on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's one with knobs:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Still discreet, though, and it seems there are only six settings. And it's darned expensive. What they seem to be doing is trying to mimic a conventional smoothtop electric. That seems like a mistake to me. At the high end, they could afford to have near-continuous control.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hey, there you go. You find the knobs for kendunn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nice try guys, but its a tad pricey at $4500, and the only review didn't leave me warm and fuzzy. The gas equivalent was $1900.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Knobs for an induction stove have to be a lot quicker and intuitive than some bs leds you are going to tap on. Look how microwave ovens give you options. You can get the ones that are simple and with knobs or the ones you tap on to adjust the digital readout. Both versions sell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I cannot speak for everyone, but kendunn and I were talking about why do induction cooktops always have digital controls instead of knobs:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            " Every induction I have seen looks like an ipod control rather than a burner control and..."


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "As such, it [Induction cooking] may make more sense to have digital controller that can trigger back to zero and shut off instead of a potentiometer dial which is physically stuck at the last setting."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rheostats have been around a long time and well Provence and very easy to clean. Much less vulnerable than digital anything in a greasy environment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Evidently you've never owned an old radio with a dirty volume control.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You're talking about something totally different. The reason old dirty radio controls are problematic is that its dealing with a really low audio signal that is amplified. If the control is dirty it doesn't take much to interfere with the few milliwatts going through there. Now take a stove control that is designed for kilowatts and no audio signal and you can see where this is going. Besides, all it takes is a blast with electric cleaner and all is well. Also high wattage controls are a nickle wire wrapped around a core with a slider making contact at various points, radio controls are a piece of carbon, much easier to get something on there surface to foul things up

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But that's exactly the point. In a vintage electric range, you are switching the power directly to the heating element. In an induction range, you are not switching the main power, merely sending control signals to the induction unit. It would not be cost-effective to use wire-wound rheostats for such an application.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I trust the engineers who design modern appliances to make appropriate choices for such things, considering the tradeoffs of cost, reliability, and usability. Some designs are better than others, of course, so you have lots of alternatives and you pick the one you like. But don't expect any designer of modern electric appliances to be putting a wire-wound rheostat in a toaster or induction hot plate. It's not likely to happen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You've gone off on a different tangent, the reason we started talking about knobs in the first place is that they are much easier to use. Like I said in a previous post one of the things I hated about the induction I tried was the fact that there was 4 buttons and a slider dial on a smooth top. You pressed the button to the corresponding burner and then it would allow you to adjust and visually check the level, but you lost the visual for the other burners. It wasn't very intuitive and I am sure just a cost saving/cleaning issue. My gas stove has five burners and five knobs that I can instantly check, plus the visual flame, and nothing wrong with that and takes 15 extra seconds to clean. Ipods have slider controls to control the size, but my Yamaha has a big round knob, just like the volume control in my car. But hey, what do I know, I am literally getting ready to fix pizza in my outdoor wood oven, listening to vinyl records, looking at the pictures on my wall that I shot with a film camera.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I see your point about having multiple elements sharing a control. That's a separate thing from how a control is implemented. If the implementation is bad, that should affect sales. The marketplace will reward good design and punish bad design, in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's just bad industrial design - ours is nothing like that, it has completely separate control for each burner. It's not a valid criticism of induction, just of that particular make & model.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: PepinRocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree with unprofessional_chef - if you can say that, you've obviously never spent any significant time cooking on an induction range. I had a high-end glasstop electric, and the difference is profound. As (s)he said, induction heats up much faster, but even more important, it cools down immediately, a complete impossibility for any type of traditional electric. You can go from a raging boil to a simmer in two seconds, giving you far, far better control. It's like the difference between driving a sports car vs a semi truck - things happen when YOU want them to, instantly. Not to mention the ability to wipe up spills as they happen, even directly on the cooking surface, without any danger of scorching.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I made that criticism on the model I had and yes it is a flaw with the implementation rather than the technology, but all I could find where I live. Induction has to have digital controls, and its very easy for manufactures to cheap out on those. The origianal post was why don t more Americans use induction and the answer is simple, it costs too much here and the efficiency savings would take several lifetimes to recoup. Any advantages induction has there is an equally significant advantage for gas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Any advantages induction has there is an equally significant advantage for gas."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's true, and I was originally looking to get rid of my electric and put in gas. But then I found that it would cost me a bundle to get gas installed, and about that time a friend suggested I look into induction, which at that point I'd never heard of. The more I read, the more I liked, and now that I've had the range for the better part of a year, I'm absolutely delighted with its performance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The obvious solution is to go with something like this http://www.us-appliance.com/pm363i0x.... , and the price is actually not as bad as I would have thought. But of course you could go the cheap way like me and get a gas range for $650 (reg $1000, often on sale for $700, but my wife gets employee discount at Lowes) and get a hotplate that is induction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kendunn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You seem to have missed his point that gas would cost him a bundle to install. That is a problem for many of us. I live in a walled development that was originally out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by horse farms. For point of reference, Southfork Ranch of Dallas TV fame is about three miles up the road. The developer put in nice sized houses on nice sized lots (mine is 3/4 of an acre) but made the whole development of about 60 homes all electric. I wanted to bring in gas when I bought my house... It would have cost me $70,000.00 just to bring in lines and get a meter installed, then there would be the additional cost of cutting through the slab foundation to get it piped into my kitchen, and then the cost of the gas appliance and installation fees. Not cheap! When a home owner tells you it is too costly to convert to gas, they are usually not kidding. Pay attention! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The alternative is a large propane tank - I had a 350 gallon tank at my mountain house in Colorado - but some municipalities and HOA's restrict them for reasons unclear to me. If gas service is not yet available from a utility provider at your curb, it would not be a practical option to even think about doing an off site connection yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The city of Plano has an ordnance forbidding bottled/tank-stored gas for any purpose other than a gas barbecue. But be that as it may, it would still be quite costly to cut through the concrete slab to bring a gas line to my kitchen island, and I do NOT want to relocate my cooktop from the island! As you know, it allows me to chat with people in the breakfast area while I'm stirring (or my machine is stirring) the risotto! I HATE stoves that face a wall! Besides, gas isn't very friendly towards my asthma. AND... I'm VERY happy with induction! But I am kicking myself for not going with it when I put in the electronic radiant cooktop. BUTTTTT... Now I'm waiting to see how well the full-surface induction cooktops work out. Damn! I've GOTTA start buying lottery tickets!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm back in all-electric Florida, and cristina on the Mexico board has introduced me to one of the last authentic sources of hand forged copper, tin-lined, wrought iron- handled cookware in Mexico. It is incredible. And very expensive, as it ought to be. All that holds me back is that it is only appropriate for gas cooking, which is ubiquitous in Mexico and the other Americas, but impossible where I live now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi, Veggo:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Link to the Mexi copper?