We have found “tri-ply” stainless steel pans work really well, better than on gas. Cast iron is also brilliant, I inherited loads of them. We have aluminium none stick frying pans with solid stainless steel bases, they work well.
Aluminium pans without a solid steel base are absolutely crap on induction - even the ones that say they work. Avoid them.
If you have any pans with a slightly curved base they won’t work. And you will have to get a Wok with a flat bottom designed specifically for induction.
Make sure you read reviews before you purchase any new pans, and if you are changing your hob to an induction one be prepared for replacing your pans - budget to spend more on them than the hob even.
We are absolutely converted to induction, love it and will never go back. Planning to one day get rid of the gas boiler too.
I wish this type of functionality was more widely available. There is absolutely no need for devices like this to be expensive.
Currently I have two induction cooktops (counter top models, not built-in hobs) - one from Ikea and one Nuwave brand. The Ikea one looks pretty good, but it lacks precision. Looks like the Ikea one is no longer available in the US, but here it is on their AU website:
The temperature settings go from 20 to 70 degree F increments. In particular, the jump from 210F to 280F really sucks. But it's great for boiling water, cooking pasta, etc.
The Nuwave induction cooktop I have allows 10 degree F increments, which is great for accurate precision. But it doesn't look very good in my opinion.
I'm also in the process of remodeling my kitchen and have a built-in Bertazzoni cooktop, which I've yet to unbox or install. I choose that because my wife wanted physical knobs instead of digital buttons and I agree that that does provide a nicer UI. I'm optimistic the knobs will provide precision temperature control.
Overall, I love cooking with induction - for control and clean air inside the house. However, one other issue I've struggled with is uneven temperature. Originally I thought cast iron would perform well, but it's not great with induction. I recently got some pretty decent stainless steel pots/pans from Tramontina, which are affordably priced compared Allclad, and those heat much more evenly. I also hope that when I install my built-in induction cooktop it will heat more evenly, perhaps with more magnetic rings.
They were as low as $1,000 over December.
They are amazing. I believe that eventually (maybe 10 years from now) you’ll be able to get a 4 burner stove top with the same features.
I bet the Breville cooktop is much better than mine, but you don't need to spend anywhere near that amount to get something decent.
www.njori.com is a currently-vaporware device that looks potentially even better than the Control Freak and is substantially less expensive.
Essentially disposable nonstick pans (pay a small premium for induction compatibility).
Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens.
Very high end nitride-coated pans from Hestan, compatible with any induction stove except Hestan Cue.
Plain old cast iron.
Magnetic steel comals.
Carbon steel seasonable pans, paella pans, etc.
A flat-bottom wok.
All of those work on induction stoves, and all work on a device like the Control Freak. Just put them on and set a temperature.
On the other hand, the GE range has an app and buttons. Where’s the knob?
Definitely an electric oven though.
I’m now back on gas after a house move and I miss induction so much.
Hmm... My electric hob seems to control temperature by the amount of time the heating elements are active (+presumably a thermostat). There's a red light when the heating elements are active (or hot but switched off), and a definite click sound when the heating elements come on. You can see the heat immediately turn on when you change to a higher temp, and when you change to a lower temp it seems to just leave the application of heat off longer (I guess allowing elements to cool down to whatever the thermostat says they should be).
With a resistive hob (ceramic hob is the industry name) you’re relying on a large lump of stone (hence the name ceramic hob) to be a heat store and even out the elements lumpy power output. Problem with this approach is that it takes forever for the stone to heat up and cool down, so the hob is slow to respond.
With an induction hob, your heating pan directly with a electromagnetic field, the only thermal mass in the entire system is the pan. The hob can instantly change its power output, because its not relying on a stone to store energy, and thus has zero thermal mass.
So induction hob react at the speed of your pan, you have lightweight pan, then the pan temperature will change almost instantly. You got a heavy cast iron pan, then the pan will take a little longer to shed the extra heat.
FYI: If the hob glows when heating, it’s not induction. It’s a ceramic hob. Ceramic hobs are crap and give induction hobs a really bad name because the look the same when off. You can only tell if an induction hob is, if there’s a pan on top. They’re incapable of creating heat without a pan on top.
It absolutely does when the pulses are on the order of ten seconds long, as in many electric ranges. But yes, the thermal mass of the heated coil/cooktop are also a major factor.
In ceramic hobs, they usually don’t have proper power control systems. They normally rely on a set of thermal switches to disconnect the main heating element when the ceramic element gets hot enough. The entire control system is analog and relies physical phenomena like wax expansion etc. Phenomena that is well know to be unresponsive, but very cheap.
Induction doesn’t work by producing heat. It works by using electro magnets to excite the metal pots causing them to heat. This makes induction much more efficient than conventional electric (more efficient than gas too) but also fast to react to adjustments in heat settings because you’re not relying on conduction.
EDIT: from the link, a ceramic hob matches most closely
I still lift the pan to cool things a bit on an induction top; most units will give you 2 or 3 seconds before auto-off when you do so.
Why you may ask? My cheap induction hob has slowly failing membrane keys.
They are more easy to work with, IMO. Just get a good one.
E.g. want to boil two pots of water in parallel? No can do - after warming up seemingly forever you will have one pot boiling for 5 seconds, then stopping and letting the other pot boil for five seconds, and so on.
I want to love induction - no gas pipes, so much easier to clean, so much better for air quality - but the regular stuff you can buy in stores just isn't there yet. Just the fact that they use a plug which can carry at most 3kW should be enough proof that you cannot use them for serious cooking.
We used to live in an apartment with single phase, there we had to somewhat limit the induction top to about 5,5kW and once again I practically never enocuntered it maxing out.
Now, about your issue with parallel cooking: you indeed can not send Max Power to two pots if they are on the same rail. However, even the cheapest ranges I've ever seen have 4 burners, two rails. Which means you _could_ boil two pots of water, as long as you use the correct two burners. You learn pretty quickly which burners share a rail. I'd imagine the really nice ones have a transformer per burner so it's never an issue.
And as long as you're not trying to send boil-in-20-seconds kind of power, you can use all the burners without noticing anything.
Snideness aside, the fact that you have to concern yourself with what pans you buy for an induction stove is enough reason for many to not buy one. You can no longer buy any pan at a store, you must do your research first.
Throw out my current pans and buy even more expensive ones? You're not exactly selling me the induction here.
A cast iron pan at Wal-Mart is roughly the same price as a non-stick skillet and will outlast it by decades. Even if you don't want the Wal-Mart brand, you can buy Lodge, which is respected enough even by cast iron fanatics, and is cheaper even than mid range non stick or aluminum/steel skillets.
Anecdotally, the gas feels slower. It seems to take an age to bring things up to the boil compared to my old induction.
Also, cleaning up after spills is a pain compared to a glass surface.
If a crappy plug-in hob can boil water that quickly, it can cook that quickly too.
Next move I'm getting that sorted out - no more gas! (Mind you, companies are beginning trials here in the UK mixing Hydrogen with the gas supply, so there's a part of me that still wonders at the future benefit/end to end efficiency).
The future is in completely abandoning residential gas infrastructure, which will have immense benefits in allowing us to stop maintaining and expanding millions and millions of miles of leaky underground pipes. No amount of tweaking the mixture will change the fact that electricity is broadly useful for everything, and that gas is only useful for a small number of things that are quickly being overtaken by electricity.
Hell, if we had devices that could instantly summon sufficient quantities of water from thin air, I'd get rid of my water hookup, too, even though water lines aren't nearly as bad for the atmosphere as gas lines are.
Gas tankless water heaters are still sometimes a cost-efficient per-therm choice if you are already plumbed for gas  .
I've yet to find a calculator that figures the TCO (including costs that are externalized today, like pipe losses to the environment) between tankless water heaters using natural gas, propane, resistive electric, induction electric, and heat pump versions of those types, though. There are many different situations, so what is overall systemically efficient in one situation will not be suitable for another.
It would come as little surprise to most HN readers that I have a number of very expensive resistive air heaters that we call computers laying around for my work, so in my particular situation, a heat pump water heater works extremely well. However, I'm still unsure of the TCO after all the maintenance and repair is accounted for over the decades I will own the heat pump as it is undeniably more complex than more common water heaters. So I will give a nod to resistive water heaters as a likely good TCO choice in most situations after all costs are said and done .
All new builds and renovations should be encouraged to deploy full-electric.
- ed: Sorry, I should've specified - I meant 'in the UK' for the large amount of existing gas infrastructure.
If it has a flat bottom, then it’s not a wok.
Personally, I hate cooking on induction. My parent have it and it never worked for me. I need to see/hear the gas to be able to control the heat properly.
Once they shut off the gas lines due to the energy transition, I’m going to run a gas pipe from the kitchen to my basement and just buy it in canisters.
This won't happen. What will happen instead is that the gas to cook your omelette in the morning will cost three times more than going to a restaurant would and you'll make your own decision about shutting down your gas lines.
This is the same thing I say to petrol heads about gas. Sure, there might be some left for enthusiasts. But enthusiasts alone will not be able to afford the massive economies of scale that make that consumption anything close to affordable.
> so it's very unlikely that synthetic Methane will cost more than a few dozen cents per kWh
No, it’ll cost much more than that. You’re ignoring the factored in cost of storing and distributing gas. This is something that’s only affordable because of economies of scale (and government support) because it was the only practical option for heating and hot water for a while. As electricity gets cheaper and people switch over to heat pumps and electric hot water heaters, the cost of that distribution network is going to fall on fewer people, driving up their cost.
I wouldn’t be surprised if that the gas bill for synthetic methane just for cooking was as high as your current gas bill for heating and cooking. Once economies of scale go away, things get costly fast.
> So you can run a stove for an hour a day for one or two bucks or so. I guess that's several times more than you pay for natural gas, but a lot cheaper than going to a restaurant.
Sure. But the competitor to a natural gas stove isn’t eating out, it’s electricity. Especially as gas gets more expensive and induction ranges become the norm.
Not sure where you live, but in my country the plan is to get everyone off gas by 2050. At that time the national gas network should be shut down.
It has a flat bottom "outside", inside it has the same shape as a normal wok.
A wok has 2 important features: it has a round bottom and it’s thin. The thin sheet steel allows it to heat up and cool down quickly. Maybe you can make a thick-bottomed pan that has a rounded bottom on the inside. And maybe you can pump enough energy in it to make it heat up quickly, but you can’t suck the energy back out. If it’s that massive it will not cool down quickly.
This is pretty much the case for all good induction kitchen-ware, since this is one of the main ways of cooking that induction allows that no other kitchen powersupply has.
A wok with a flat bottom outside and curved surface inside would also be heavy.
Yeah, it is heavy. You cant really toss things in it like you would a carbon steel wok.
If it’s heavy cast iron, it’s not a wok but a wadjan. Does it have 2 handles as well ? A wadjan is an Indonesian wok-like pan, but unlike a wok a wadjan retains heat due to it being heavy cast iron. A wok should be thin sheet steel so it heats up and cools down very quickly.
Wadjans are very good for things that have to stew/simmer, which is common in Indonesian cuisine. It has different uses than a Chinese wok.
Here is a link that might be more useful
Yeah, it isnt quite like a carbon steel wok but most people in North America wont have a a wok burner to hold the round bottom so they need the flat part.
You also definitely cant cook in them quite like a wok since as you say the cast iron holds so much heat. I usually just get it real hot on the burner for 5 or 6 minutes and then stir fry something. You have to take the food out when it is ready though because moving so much iron off the burner doesn't cool it down as quick.
Can you clarify, are you certain you're talking about induction? Inductive cooktops are a relatively recent trend, if you grew up with an electric range there's a good chance it was a resistive cooktop, not an inductive cooktop. Resistive cooktops are pretty notoriously unsatisfying.
Not that recent, at least not here in Europe. I know the difference, they had a resistive cooktop maybe 15 years ago or so, that was even worse, took forever to respond.
There are several problems with induction. While not inherent to induction, the controls tend to be crap. For some reason most induction cooktops have touch controls, which are an absolute disaster. At my parents previous place they had one where you had to first select the burner, and then use +/- touch buttons to change the temperature. You couldn’t quickly change anything. And of course the touch controls never worked if you had wet hands (and why would you have wet hands when cooking, right ?) Although indiction plates with knobs apparently do exist, I haven’t seen any yet.
A problem that is inherent is the complete lack of feedback: you can’t see a flame, you can’t hear it, meaning you can’t adjust the temperature by feel. Another inherent problem is that it limits the type of cookware you can use on it, only flat bottomed steel pans.
Basically, they are very impractical devices and not fit for purpose in any way.
It's one thing to have a preference, and another thing altogether to lie about the things you don't like to bolster your preference.
step back for a moment and realize that you're calling another human a bullshitter and a liar about their preference in cooking equipment. They're explaining their anecdotal position on the matter -- not teaching a college course.
I'm a big cook, i'm always in any cooking related thread on HN -- I never see the crowd rile up as much as when induction hobs are ever mentioned. It's strange to me that induction hobs create so much conflict and illicit so much passion from both sides of the aisle..
I think there are probably still UX problems to be solved with Induction, the visual feedback on gas is better. We fortunately have knobs on ours (I hate the touch buttons on some).
Propane requires a slight modification to a gas hob (basically, different sized nozzles) but those came with my hob and it’s trivial to replace them.
High carbon steel pans (the kind used by kitchen services) have been brilliant. Every time I've seen an induction cooktop in use in a commercial service (for example, at my work place cafeteria at the "rice meal" station) they use high carbon steel pans.
The biggest problem: no cooking during power outages, which happen around 2-3x a year.
All our cast iron is Le Creuset.
Cast iron has never been quick on any type of stovetop.
I agree about carbon steel though. Underappreciated although gaining more attention.
That’s interesting, can you compare the heat distribution problem to resistive? I have a gas range now, but when I had resistive I would preheat my cast iron in the oven for nice uniform heat distribution
I thought this was true (it makes some sense), but the data seems to show the opposite. This source has cast iron at 52 W/m-K, and 1% carbon steel at 43 W/m-K (0.5% carbon steel is at 54 W/m-K). Now, this obviously depends a lot on the processing and heat treatment of each material. But at the very least, the difference is not massive.
I guess most of the reputation of cast iron comes from the chunky shapes of the pans, and that the higher end stainless cookware is often cladding around copper core
Gas isn’t even remotely worth the downsides but there’s a number of dishes I can make that are easier and higher quality to do on gas, like if I’m trying to sear a large pan full of meat.
From physics point of view the way you raise temperature of pan has 0 effect on what's happening in the pan.
The only real solutions to this issue I could find are smaller and thicker pans, and the use of things like ovens and barbecues.
in a spherical cow sense, yeah, heat is heat. but the distribution of that heat is going to depend a lot on the implementation, and can make a big difference for searing meats or making delicate sauces.
radiant glasstops are really good at even heating, but only if the bottom of your pan is exactly the same size as the burner. the edge of the bottom ends up a little cooler, because energy is radiated out from the unheated sides, but not dramatically so.
I've found gas ranges to be pretty terrible for even heating. you get a hot ring where the most intense part of each flame touches the bottom, but a significantly cooler center. only the most expensive gas ranges come close to the evenness of a pedestrian glasstop. main benefit of these is you can effectively change the size of the burner, so nice if you have a lot of odd-sized pans.
I haven't had a chance to try an induction range myself, but I've read a lot of ymmv type posts on the internet. the gist seems to be that the tech itself is very good, but the outcome depends on the (electical) conductivity of the pan itself. which makes sense to me, at least in a handwavy sort of way. I wouldn't expect every pan to heat itself perfectly evenly in response to a uniform magnetic field.
Then we moved to a house with an old electric stove. The pans turned to pure magic. More non-stick than our teflon pans.
Then we moved again to a place with an induction stove and bam: the pans are shit again.
It is obviously me, of course. Heat is heat. But something about induction makes me unable to use carbon steel.
Absolutely unmatched for boiling water, and I'm very happy using it with a cast iron dutch oven for slow cooking and soups or stews.
Stuff that isn't reactive can be well cleaned using ammonia vapor (which will break down grease and burned on grease and so on). Just put it in a bag or other container with some ammonia (no need to submerge, it's the vapor that does the work) and let it sit for a while.
Not tried a wok, yet, though.
I could never have that in my kitchen :(
On gas we have a wok ring that just sits on top of the burner.
This has sort of been my experience with induction beyond woks too, it often requires technique and equipment concessions. Great for boiling water and sautéing though. The tops also have durability/longevity issues when compared to gas and that isn’t usually acknowledged.
Alternatively maybe it’s just relying on inducting directly to the Wok bottom but the surface area touching the glass plate is very small so I can’t see it working well.
The ring does three things (probably). Keeps the wok supported, transfers heat to the pan, and tricks the sensors in the stove into thinking there's a flat pan on it.
You would need to get a special flat bottom
Wok designed for induction. I believe there are also some induction woks that come with a special plate or ring you place them on to make them work and still have a curved bottom, I have no experience of them.
The damage feels like heat at lower frequencies (sitting in front of a fire oh no!) and a sizzle at higher frequencies (sitting in the sun oh no!). Induction stovetops emit orders of magnitude less than a fire and nothing at higher frequencies. Essentially: they get hot.
The best advice I can give: if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
I think the article is precisely about studying more closely something that was thought to be safe (by the author at least), keeping an open mind never hurts :)
It's not like I would switch back to gas even if induction radiation was found to be causing some kind of health issue anyway, just like I'm still using my phone, because it's convenient (or going at the beach even if it's sunny because I like it ^^)
Not only did we have a gas stove that was probably spiking NO2 levels when we actually used it; we also seemed to have a gas leak. It was not a big one, just a faint smell, but it was hard to pin down. A plumber concluded the connection between the range and the pipe wasn't the problem. No specific part of the range smelled stronger than the rest of it. For all we knew, it might be a hole in a pipe. So we wanted to make gas stop flowing through our unit (a condo within a three-family home, very normal here in Cambridge, Massachusetts) altogether.
We contacted an appliance company about switching to induction. To prepare, they told us, we would first need to upgrade the range power outlet to 40 amps, and cap off the gas pipe behind the range.
The electrical work cost $1800. It could have been much more; we were lucky our circuit breaker was positioned such that they only needed to make two openings in our walls. (They suggested we put little hatch doors in those spots to make future work easier.)
We asked our plumber to not only cap off the gas pipe behind the range, but also put in a valve in the basement, such that gas flow could be shut off to our unit, but also easily turned back on if a future owner wants to reverse what we did. We did this rather than turn off our gas altogether, because we have a gas water heater and still needed gas available there. The plumbing work cost about $300 I think.
To make cooking stay as close as possible to being how great and fast it is with gas, we chose a range with an induction stove: The LG LSE4616ST, which cost $3000.
We were lucky to be able to afford this change for our health. Of course, it would have cost a lot less if we hadn't cared about induction, but still multiple thousands of dollars.
We should be subsidizing conversions like this.
This is the epitome of the current green movement. Proponents want an unnecessary luxury green product subsidized for higher income households, even though there are perfectly fine substitutes that are just as good for the environment at 1/5 the cost you just described. I just can't get on board with a movement like this.
Just by nature of natural gas service existing you're being exposed to leaks by your municipality. It's better to be rid of it entirely. Washington DC, for example, has over 5,000 leaks. Boston leaks ~50,000 tons a year.
I suspect 50 years from now natural gas will be remembered as fondly as leaded gasoline is today.
That makes my regulatory capture spidey senses tingle in several different ways.
The most efficient approach would be to correctly price the negative externalities of gas on health and environment, but pragmatically politicians understand that enormous carbon taxes are a very quick way to be voted out of office. Accordingly we arrive at the solutions available: subsidies for alternatives and/or a very slow phase in of carbon taxes.
Progressive jurisdictions are straight up banning gas hookups in new developments for environmental and health reasons.
Subsidy in the form of a tax credit (so you need to front the government the money until tax season), so that you can buy something that basically only works if you own a house, into which you've already installed some infrastructure, itself subsidized via tax credit.
I can't help but think it would have been better to subsidize the purchase of used hybrids (or, you know, transit)
Overall I'm not against green subsidies. I'm against subsidies going to higher income households, it's government transfers to the rich! Especially in California, their green subsidies benefit the rich and hurt the poor.
For people using small burners in apartments, single ring plug in induction cooktops are available for about $100 with no other work required.
At least, I assume that is what they were talking about because there are no full scale induction ranges available for 300 pounds = $400. They start around $900.
There are two-burner countertop units on Amazon that use 120 volt/15 amp and are inexpensive. I have not tried them.
All this is of course fixed by installing a dedicated circuit for a real induction range. 220V * 40A increases the potential output six-fold, which is enough for any reasonable use case. But doing that is much more expensive, which is the whole of what I was trying to convey.
We're not not talking about 100% differences, we're talking closer to 400%. At least that's what I've found when measuring boil times for a 1200w plug in unit compared to a 15000btu gas burner.
Of course 240v is an absolute must for a 4 burner range, but that's not uncommon nor hard to get. Almost every home in the US has at least one 240v connection in the house, and it's usually $200-300 to get one installed. That's not nothing, but it's way less than it costs to install a gas line.
The number I cited came from some random website that I Google searched. If you have a more authoritative number, I'm happy to see a citation, but I won't be convinced by you just saying so. FWIW, the low power claims I made r.e. 2 burner plug in induction cooktops match my personal experience using them.
> Almost every home in the US has at least one 240v connection in the house, and it's usually $200-300 to get one installed.
I would be impressed if you could get 240 run from your breaker to your kitchen for $200, unless the breaker box is right next to your kitchen. The cost of the job is mostly going to depend on how time consuming it is to run the wires, assuming the wires already present are not sufficient for carrying 240v 40A. A brief search on the internet indicates a very wide range of quotes, probably dependent on site conditions and the local electrician labor market.
But you also need a 220+V and 40A circuit installed. How expensive this will be is 100% dependent on where your breaker box is in relation to your kitchen. Moreover, this option only works if your kitchen is already configured for a cooktop, as opposed to a full range. Most American kitchens are still configured for ranges, so to install something like this you'd also need to retrofit your cabinets. Now prices are starting to add up.
The minimum induction range is about $1000, so I don't think you're going to get away with spending less than $1500 except in a very exceptional case.
All that being said, yes, it can be done for much less than what OP paid in most cases, but I wouldn't necessarily count on the quality of the barebones induction range (at least based on my experience with portable induction cooktops -- they are often shit with small heating coils that produce intense hotspotting).
From googling around it looks like $300 to $800 in the US; I can't use homedepot here in the UK but I found this  for $350. That's ~$800 for an upgrade to a hob , assuming you do the electrical work.
> Most American kitchens are still configured for ranges, so to install something like this you'd also need to retrofit your cabinets. Now prices are starting to add up.
Anyone who owns a house with a range doesn't need a subsidy, to be frank. _houses_ might be, but apartments are likely using shitty bottom of the range gas burners, or crappy electrical coils. In my experience a £99 ikea portable induction burner was _way_ better than my builtin gas stove in my last rental apartment.
Yeah, but it doesn't have wifi. The one for $3000 is wifi enabled. Shame it doesn't have an LCD, means Doom is kinda of hard to run on it.
(Comparing BestBuy.com, where they are all fancy and start at $1000.)
With gas it takes an hour.
Also, at least in the US people have been told over and over how a kitchen remodel actually adds value to your house. "Every dollar you spend you get a dollar twenty back!" Well maybe so or maybe not, but if you don't sell your house before you need to remodel again, you are never realizing that gain.
Are you implying resistive coils, like Calrod, are more expensive, or not available?
Interestingly, there _is_ still a market for the halogen ones, even though induction units are about the same price on the low end: https://powercity.ie/groups/view?grp=45&class=41
Instead, They are practical. They have insane power (4.5kW is low range… and it goes directly into the pan…). They are easy to clean, and they have physical knobs: one for on/off, and a dial for power, which they display in a cheap display in kWs.
Single burners are common for students and people with little room for anything larger, often very budget constrained.
Cooktops are often being put in as a part of an already expensive kitchen refit/build.
With that said, I'm sure there are other factors. Built-in hobs tend to need to be a lot thinner to fit in the available space, at least from what I have seen.
No we shouldn't. Whatever you care about, like maybe CO₂, at those prices you can get a better bang for your buck elsewhere. For new installations it might make sense.
Gas is dangerous, lines should be checked every couple of years (pressurized or vacuum tested) and the rubber connection hose for the range should be replaced every five years or so.
This is what we use for the final part of a gas line in the Netherlands.
For less than 8 hours of work I'm sure.. I'm in the wrong profession.
It could be worse, try doing this in an old building in NYC.
Fortunately my brother in law is a licensed electrician and he'll do it for his normal rate, which won't include the 100+% markup from the business. I'll pay him generously and still end up paying less.
I have no doubt that gas causes more pollution but they are remiss for not mentioning the cooking process itself causes pollution.
The alternative ranges produce zero. Combustion heating, cooking and driving produces NO2, electric doesn't. The article is specifically about NO2, it has specific adverse health effects.
> Every time I cook the indoor air pollution also spikes "
What kind of pollution are you measuring? My air purifier reacts to frying too and shows "high pollution', but it just measures particles in the air - it cannot tell apart cancerous coal ash from harmless pollen and frying oil getting in the air.
Yes, and the real problem is vents that do not exhaust outside. Even in code crazy California, it is perfectly legal to have vents that just blow the air around.
I totally get the desire to switch to electric appliances for many reasons, but I am yet to meet an electric stove of any kind that I remotely enjoyed cooking on. Is this everyone's experience? Did I just not meet the right induction stove yet? Is there some sort of new technology on the horizon that will make electric stoves infinitely better?
You regulate up or down in steps, and the controls sometimes have trouble recognizing your fingers if they are wet. There’s also no tactile feedback.
I’d much rather turn a knob.
Then it would be perfect.
And I also agree that the touch controls are absolutely the worst, they are abysmal. I see why they are done this way - it allows the entire plate to be wiped clean very easily. But I still wish you could have separate controls somewhere on the side, with actual tactile knobs.
This may be old-fashioned, but have you considered using the stove to cook food and then selling the food? If we need to get technology involved, you could accept payments via square. Hell, you could probably even accept payment via blockchain.
But then again, how will the poor stove manufacturer continue to capture monetary value from your purchase? I just bought some delicious tamales from a coworkers mom, and I doubt she shared any of those ill-gotten gains with Samsung. Clearly this is a sector in need of disruption StoveCoin is sounding better and better. Plus, all the waste heat from mining can make kitchens as hot as operating a gas stove, which is what induction stoves are missing. Let me know when the ICO is happening!
I could buy a bunch of expensive hifi qualitu knobs and potentiometers and build my own panel to control the stove.
And then your toddler throws your phone in the toilet while you're making Christmas dinner, and you can't turn the thing off.
: Ok, burning house down.
WTF designed these things? Certainly not a chef!
A bialetti (moka) pot will not work because they're made from aluminum (no induction).
The whole thing upsets me so much that it's very high on my list for deciding if I can live in that country. If there is no gas cooking (most of North of Europe) un/-surprisingly the food is also terrible. Maybe there is sample-bias in my statement but I know literally nobody in my family or friends who owns a ceran/indusction stove and who is actually a great cook.
The only things better for cooking than gas are wood or coal fires. But gas is the next best natural flame.
No fuzz with running extra big wires for stove.
When I looked for a new stove last year I tried to find one with induction AND knobs. I ended up getting a non-induction stove, with knobs, works well enough although I would swap it for one with induction and knobs any day, haha!
worse, i find myself trying to micro-optimize my use of oven temperature buttons: instead of holding up until the temperature is reached, i repeatedly tap it to make it go faster — but not so fast that the debouncing mistakes 2 presses for just one press, otherwise it’s net slower. i find myself actively making latency v.s. throughput decisions: i can preheat the oven by pressing “on”, dialing in the temperature, and then pressing “start”. or, i can press “on”, “start”, and then dial in the temperature and press “start” an extra time. preheating begins whenever you first press “start”, so this shaves off 5 seconds of preheat latency at the cost of 1 extra second spent on an extra button press.
i get irrationally angry every time i use a digital oven. the digital oven is like some looking glass into a half-dozen interlinking societal systems that have managed to settle into some totally unsatisfying equilibria… and they’ve stayed there for decades. it’s legitimately depressing.
man, in the kitchen, keep the controls simple.
IMHO touch controls are popular because they are cheap to make and offer a simple way to integrate the hob onto a counter. For a lot of people that is important. For us (my partner is blind) it is not.
Edit: I read further and realized you got single plates too. The search continues....
SMEG also has induction stoves with knobs but we don’t trust that brand.
Sometimes you need to react really quickly and turn down heat, if it takes you 5 sec more, the food might be burnt already. Lifting the pan might be a good „hack“ though.
- You can't use a wok on them.
- In fact, you can't use them with lots of other things, or in many ways I use my gas stove. Yes, these are "off-label" uses, sometimes not even related to cooking. So? Tools should be flexible, not fight back.
How long have you cooked with a gas stove? I would wager that if you spent decades cooking on induction you would have similar complaints about gas. I love cooking with gas, but also I love cooking with electric, and I imagine I could love cooking with induction. (3 minutes to boil sounds brilliant, who needs a dedicated electric teakettle.) The stuff I could do with precise control down to 100 degrees F, I don't even know but that sounds like it requires patience but allows wonders that are impossible with gas.
Not to say gas can't work wonders that are impossible with induction, but they're different tools and it's not fair to judge simply on the basis of a few missing features.
Also there are pans that don't work as well with gas in my experience. I suspect that if anyone lived with an induction stove for decades and tried to replace it with a gas stove they would also be complaining that half their pans don't work anymore, or at least don't work for the task they've been used for anymore.
I 100% run my vent while cooking. Curious how much of the bad gas I vent…
But it sounds like induction legitimately makes double boilers obsolete (and rather quaint and limited to be restricted to 212F when you have the free, precise choice of even heat at any temperature between 100F and 500F.)
Buy a cast-iron wok from Staub, they work wonderfully.
It weighs about 30% more than our old carbon steel wok, which doesn’t matter much in practice.
First complaint - exactly the same as yours. Even a little boil over can sometimes just shut everything off.
Second complaint - "smart" pan sensing. I have a few pots that don't really fit the rings on the stove perfectly, and they have been relegated to the "useless" corner of the cabinet. The temp setting starts to either flash whenever the pot isn't big enough to cover the ring, or just takes forever to heat up.
Last complaint - some of my pans are not perfectly flat on the bottom, from either a rough life or warping in the oven, etc. Those pans are also useless on the induction hob.
The only thing induction can't do well are cooking hacks that utilize the open flame, like toasting tortillas or roasting peppers on the burner without a pan.
After a short while I could easily operate it while not looking, and precision control (half-steps) was easy by simply rolling finger.
Sadly very, very few seems to have this design. Some have a shared control, but having to select the zone and then power is just... not good in comparison. I have that on my current one and I routinely adjust the wrong one, split between forgetting to select zone and it not recognizing my zone selection.
It was still touch though which overall sucks compared to physical controls.
Of course it's silly that knobs would belong only to "premium" models.
We bought a professional induction stove from a restaurant online on ebay for very cheap. One of the reasons is that all controls were "manual" and with "knobs". The amount of electronics on these is minimal.
Something like that is what I bought.
I have induction with knobs. It's no different. I suspect it's just a knob on the user side, and there's still the big steps behind-the-scenes.
My stove's induction knobs give me tactile feedback, but lack the granular control that a real analog knob has.
It's really weird. Granular and immediate control should be such an easy thing to do with electric.
It almost seems as if manufacturers are adding in these "steps" to make it more user friendly in the sense that you can say "I've turned it up to 3".
Is there any technical reason to have discrete steps?
I honestly don't know thw reasoning for using toch controls on induction stoves. They are a pain to use for most people.
The are big plus is it doubles as extra worktop as it’s just so big (and flat).
Gas is nice mainly for things that are really temperature sensitive like searing meat, using a wok, etc. Of course when cooking stuff like that you want good ventilation for this because otherwise you end up with a lot of grease and soot all over the kitchen. So, the pollution of gas matters less if you have that set up correctly.
The main reason gas is so nice for cooking is how quickly you can adjust the temperature. Induction plates also respond really quickly of course. The old fashioned red hot spiral things, are much more tricky because they stay hot for so long; it takes a minute to reduce the heat; or to raise it. I have one at home and I'm used to it but it is still annoying. A neat trick is to simply move pans away from the heat to control it.
Induction plates don't have that problem. But I really hate the touch controls many of these things have. They are very fiddly; especially with wet hands and they also can get hot. I'd prefer to have some old fashioned dials. But in terms of instant, fine grained control, they are actually pretty good.
Gas stoves are great at bringing a pot of water to a boil. But they are not so good at very low heat, like leaving a covered pot to simmer. Most gas ranges don't go as low as I would like, and I need to watch the pot more carefully and stir more frequently than I would at home.
I'm sure most of my issues are familiarity. If I had spent my life cooking with gas, my techniques would have developed to work better with gas. But now that I'm set in my ways I will stick with electric.
edit: the boost is more powerful (3.7kW for the largest zone), but still. That's time limited (10 minutes or less), and limits the current to the other zone on the same phase.
The speed with which it heats things is actually kind of scary. I can take one of my 9" iron skillets from dead cold to smoking hot in under 20 seconds.
Having bought an induction stove when refitting our kitchen, then replacing it with a different one a couple of months later, I can advise that the size of the elements matters. The 'linked zones' thing seems to be rubbish, and doesn't heat evenly (maybe it does on really high end stuff). I now have a three-element stove (60cm) - one really big one and two smaller ones. I don't think I've ever used 4 burners at once anyway...
I just wish there was an API for induction stoves; interfacing with a thermometer to keep a certain temperature, or for a set time, or even a removably physical control panel (i.e. knobs) that would let you put it away and keep the flat-top thing (which is actually really nice when you need the bench space).
You can set the knob, and turn it on and off with a relee, connected to a raspberry pi. We have temperature sensors on the "food side" of the pans and pots, since what we care about is the temperature that the food feels.
99% of the time we don't use it with the pis, but have a couple of recipes as Jupyter notebooks that we use the temp control and temp staging with.
One advantage of induction over gas here, is that the thermal mass of some induction pots and pans is almost zero, and temperature changes are instantaneous, so from the point of view of control algorithms, programming induction cooking is infinitely better than any other system that i've used, cause you don't have to solve a PDE to regulate the temperature. YOu can just turn it on if its too cold and off if its too hot, and that's it. +-0.5C of accuracy, which at the 100$ level for a single plate is unbeatable.
We spent ~400$ for 3 heats. 100% recommend.
One of the main issue with common domestic gas stoves is that the heat is not well distributed, and good pans don’t necessarily have a great thermal conductivity. This is a problem when what you’re hearing is not liquid enough to redistribute heat by convection. Another is that you don’t control the temperature of the flame, just its size. So temperature control is always finicky, particularly at low temperatures.
So personally I go for induction most of the time, and a barbecue when I need a flame.
A gas stove is a lot more powerful (10-60kW vs 1-3kW) but a lot of that heat simply escapes upwards.
Maybe this is specific to the stove they have though. I have and will continue to use gas because of this.
I use a 50s-era GM Frigidaire electric stove+oven and it doesn't modulate current to control temperature. It's quite a gas-like pleasure to cook with, prior to this I'd only ever experienced electrics like you're describing and they're awful.
And this is modulation of current - think of it as a very slow PWM.
But I must admit I have not disassembled the thing to understand its workings.
I don't even bother with heavy copper-clad pots and pans anymore, which were necessary before. This thing behaves like a gas stove.
So it's the heating element thermal inertia that differs, to smooth out the temperature?
Looking at , what you're describing seems to be known as an "infinite switch".
That's not what the old stoves like mine has, this is just a rotary switch with 5 selectable presets. I assume it's changing the resistance.
Worth noting is also the even older Kalgoorlie  style stove, which changed the number of heating elements connected to regulate temperature.
This repair guide  describes both infinite and rotary switch controls on a high-level:
When the heating element is on, the heater inside the switch is on. The bimetal heats
(along with the element) until the contacts open. Then the bimetal cools (along with
the elements) until the contacts close again.
There are also fixed-temperature switches that vary the voltage going to the heating
elements to maintain fixed, pre-set temperatures. These are usually push-button or
rotary switches with fixed settings such as warm, low, medium and high.
In fixed-temperature switch controls, heat levels are varied by applying different
voltages (110V or 220V) to different coils of different resistances.
> I assume it's changing the resistance.
This isn’t feasible since you would need a resistor that was as big as the burner and essentially dropped as much heat as a stove element - for instance you would need a dummy load to dump as much waste heat as the burner itself to get a medium setting.
In theory one could use a variac or multitap transformer - but again those would be relatively huge and heavy for the currents involved.
My parents have a different brand induction which does seem to have longer pulse cycles - maybe one every 5s or so. That is probably the effect you're describing - it'll go from essentially off to too hot and back. It's obviously a manufacture specific thing.
The GP was praising an induction hob, which is the third type.
Induction are very different from radiant electric and require cookware of particular materials. They are amazing in some respects and limited in others.
From a glance though both have smooth glassy surfaces that look modern.
The cheapest option apparently called a solid plate hob in Britain. Those coils are inside a ceramic (I think) plate. The cheapest ones cost about £80. They're difficult to damage, so you find them in the cheapest rented apartments (students etc): https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/household-appliances/cooking/h...
"Ceramic" hobs refers to the one with heating elements below glass/ceramic. Starts from £110, but it's a bit easier to damage. Many rented homes would have this, since it looks fancy and clean.: https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/household-appliances/cooking/h...
Induction hobs start at £180: https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/household-appliances/cooking/h...
Most ordinary (cheap or expensive) cookware sold in Europe is compatible with an induction hob, but not necessarily everything.
I agree with you there. I've had gas for the last ten years, and recently moved to a place with induction. It's a significant change.
I had regular electric for a long time before I had gas, so there was an adjustment period there, too, but I got used to it pretty quickly. But induction is somehow very different from either of those two.
I've been on induction for six months, and I still have such a very hard time with temperature control that I cook at home a lot less than I used to. It has a thousand controls, but only seems to have two settings: surface of the sun, and off.
That said, I'm OK with the move toward eliminating natural gas in homes. I just wish I ended up with a regular electric stove top instead of induction. But it's an apartment, so you get what you get.
We bought a profesional induction plate, 4.5kW, 100$ on ebay. Performance wise, its ~4x better than the 4kW gas stove it replaced. The time required to heat 50L of water to 60C went down from 60min with gas to about 10-15 min with induction.
Instantaneously hot, and instantaneously cold. For us it opened a lot of new ways of cooking.
What kind of cooking do you prefer doing on a gas stove over an induction stove?
Obviously the same pots and pans don't work on both, but if you have a top of the line induction stove you know this already.
I have a gas range with a high quality induction plate built into it. So I can boil water faster. But I hardly cook on it, for that gas is king.
I haven't cooked much on induction stoves. I only do so at my parents' place. So among the few things I cooked on both induction and stove, I know I prefer gas for cooking steaks and making scrambled eggs.
I know part of my frustration is with the touch controls, though, and I presume some of it is due to my lack of intuition with what setting is good for what sort of "cooking I want to apply to food".
I do agree with one of the replies to your comment, though: it seems like everyone just talks about how good induction is at boiling water and not much else specifically. I have an electric kettle for that job so it's not some alluring aspect to me.
Induction took some getting used to, but outside of a few very specific things (mainly stir-fry), it's better than gas across the board for me.