Induction Cooktop Buying Guide: 6 Key Considerations To Know
Whether you are looking to buy a cooktop for your brand new kitchen or are looking to replacing your old or broken cooktop, choosing the right cooktop for your kitchen can be a tricky affair. Why is this? Well, for starters, there are so many varieties to choose from. You will first have to decide on the type of cooktop you want to buy. This means choosing between a gas cooktop, electric cooktop and an induction cooktop.
Induction cooktops have become more affordable in recent years thanks to their widespread adoption by consumers from across the world. Many people enjoy cooking on induction cooktops because they offer a high level of convenience and speed as well. Buying an induction cooktop is definitely a smart decision because there are so many brands and models to choose from. This induction cooktop buying guide is intended to help you make an informed decision when buying an induction cooktop.
What is an Induction Cooktop?
An induction cooktop is a modern kitchen appliance that features a flat cooking surface that provides instant response rates and super-fast cooking. Induction cooktops also feature contemporary and sleek design that make them aesthetically pleasing. Induction cooktops are also safer that traditional cooktops.
NB: It’s important to note that induction cooktops need a high-capacity power supply when compared to standard gas cooktops. You should consult with your electrician before buying an induction cooktop to establish whether you need to upgrade your electrical infrastructure.
Induction cooktops create an electromagnetic field between the flat heating surface and your pots. In the same way that iron and steel attach to magnetic surfaces, induction cooktops rely on a eddy currents to generate heat. For this reason, the flat surface doesn’t actually become hot, meaning induction is not only viewed as one of the most energy-efficient forms of cooking, but it is also one of the safest ways to cook at home.
NB: Induction only works with flat carbon steel and cast iron pots and some stainless steel cookware. You should remember this when making a decision on the type of cookware to buy for your kitchen. The best way to find out if your pans and pots are compatible with induction cooktops is to check whether a magnet sticks to the bottom. If it sticks, you are good to go.
Induction cooktops have become extremely popular in recent years. This means that there a lot of options to choose from now that let’s say a decade ago. Finding the right cooktop design and style for your kitchen is very easy if you have the right information.
Most induction cooktops are black or white in color, and feature a sleek frame-less glass design. The induction surfaces are usually round in shape. The round shapes vary in size for different cooking applications.
- Super Fast Heating Speeds
An induction cooktop will heat up a pot of water much faster than other types of cooktops such as gas and electric. This means that you can cook your meals at incredible speeds thus saving you a lot of time and money. An induction cooktop is able to maintain a consistent heating temperature throughout the cooking process. This can come in handy when cooking professional or gourmet dishes that need to be perfect.
- Extremely Safe
Induction cooktops work by creating an electromagnetic field between the flat heating surface and your pans and pots. Simply put, the pot itself heats up, while the cooktop remains at normal room temperatures. This means that your cooktop surface does not become hot and no flames are used during cooking. All of these features make induction cooking much safer than other forms of cooking.
- Smart Cooking Option
Induction cooktops are smart. The flat cooking surfaces only create an electromagnetic field when there’s a pot or pan on the cooktop. This means that if there’s no pot or pan, there’s no heat. This reduces energy wastage and helps to save money.
- Good Return on Investment
Although induction cooktops are relatively more expensive than gas and electric cooktops, they offer so many benefits such as huge time and energy savings. This means that your initial investment in an induction cooker will bring in a good return in the long run. Induction cooktops are a smart investment.
- Selected Cookware
One of the biggest disadvantages of induction cooktops is that you can only use selected cookware like stainless steel, cast iron or carbon steel pots and pans. Other types of cookware will not work with an induction cooktop or may not offer the desired results.
On top of this, all your pots and pans must have a flat surface bottom or base. Pots and pans that have a round base may not work properly on an induction cooktop.
- Extra Care and Maintenance
Unlike gas and electric cooktops, induction cooktops require extra care and maintenance in order to keep them in top shape and good working condition. The glass surface of an induction cooktop needs to be wiped regularly. You should also be careful not to scratch this glass surface when moving pans and pots.
- Possibility of Messy Spills
Then there is the issue of messy spills. If you are not careful when cooking on an induction cooktop, your pot may boil over and you may end up with messy spills on your cooktop. Because the cooking surface is flat, the spill may flow over to cabinets and your kitchen floor.
Luckily, some induction cooktops come with spill-over detectors that automatically switch off the induction plates when they detect spills on the surface of the cooktop.
As already mentioned, induction cookers are pricier than other types of cooktops like gas and electric cooktops. Consumers who have a low budget to work with may not be able to afford a standard induction cooktop. However, because they offer so many savings, induction cooktops are worth the investment.
Induction cooktops have widths measuring from 11 inch up to 36 inch. Standard induction cooktops, with 4 induction plates, measure 24 inch. You should consider your specific cooking needs and requirements, as well as the space available in your kitchen when choosing a cooktop size.
- Number of Induction zones
The next important feature to consider is the number of induction plates or cooking zones you need. A standard induction cooktop has 4 cooking zones. Wider cooktops may have more cooking zones which make it easier to prepare multiple dishes at the same time.
A wide cooktop is also able to accommodate large pans and pots which is great if you have a large family.
- Touch Controls
Most induction cooktop models come with touch controls instead of knobs. These touch controls allow you to adjust the heating temperature accordingly.
- Automatic Pan Size Recognition
Induction cooktops are able to detect the shape and size of the cookware you are using. You should always check whether the induction cooktop you wish to purchase offers this feature.
A timer is another excellent feature you will find in many induction cooktops. The timer will allow you to set specific times for the cooktop to switch off or lower the cooking temperature.
- Child Lock
Last but not least, induction cooktops also come with a child lock feature that helps prevent children from playing with the touch controls. This is a key safety feature to be on the lookout for.
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Best 24 inch induction cooktop – Are you looking for an induction cooktop recommended for a small kitchen? Then you definitely need a 24-inch induction hob that is ideal for small kitchens. Depending on your preferences, you can choose an induction cooktop with 2, 3 or 4 cooking zones. If you are used to cooking in large pots then we recommend you to choose the cooktop with 3 cooking zones because it has a large cooking area.