Induction Cooktop Vs An Electric Cooktop Vs Gas

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What’s good about induction cooktops vs the traditional types? If you’re researching info on a suitable new or replacement stove top, the following may help.

setting heat level on induction cooktop
Induction cooktop controls

Compared to most standard stovetops, induction cookers can have temperature settings numbering to double digits. This means finer adjustment of the heating, especially compared to gas cooktops.

Induction cooking has a number of advantages, as given in my article covering the pros and cons of induction cooking. But here’s what sets it apart from traditional stovetops…

How induction differs from electric and gas

Controls and settings: For one, the controls and settings between conventional electric, gas, and induction cooktops differ.

Electric ranges are less responsive to adjustments than both gas ranges and induction cooktops.

Cookware: You need special cookware for induction cooktops. I give examples in my article on ceramic induction cookware. While you can use this special cookware on electric and gas cooktops as well, the thing is…you can’t use ordinary cookware on induction.

Heating efficiency: Induction heating can produce high temperatures efficiently. It uses less energy than traditional electric and gas stovetops. With induction, only the pans in contact with the surface are heated.

A traditional cooktop uses the radiant heating coming off the burner or hot place to heat the pan.

A gas range has open flames that produce the heat and that this heat is transferred to the pot or pan and then the food inside. This heating is inefficient in that it transfers to the surfaces beyong the cooking surface. This heat lost is energy wasted as it is consumed without contributing to the goal of cooking.

Electric stovetops are more efficient than gas ranges in heat transfer to the cooking pot or pan but are less efficient than induction cooktops in heating relative to energy expenditure.

Safety: In my article on using an induction cooktop I mention how induction cooktops are considered safe because the cooktop remains cool to touch. Only the area in contact with the pans gets heated (but as I wrote elsewhere, there can be some residual heat after cooking). This lowers the risk of prying little fingers getting burned.

A gas or electric range (radiant heat) will remain hot enough to cause burns for a considerable time after it is turned off.

Cleaning: Induction glass or ceramic tops are easy to clean and easier to keep clean, especially compared to gas cooktops and the older electric types. And a clean cooktop helps in caring for your cookware, keeping the base grime free and performing its best.

keeping induction cooktop clean, helps care for the best ceramic pan for induction
Keeping a ceramic induction cooktop clean helps care for the cookware for induction

Induction vs radiant cooktop

A gas or electric range is a radiant cooktop and will remain hot enough to cause burns for a considerable time after it is turned off. With these, the heat radiates. These cooktops are capable of causing burns if they are inadvertently turned on when no pot or pan is on the surface. 

induction vs electric cooktop, radiant coil on an electric stovetop
Electric glass cooktops have glowing coils. image: © Milkovasa

It’s hard to miss a gas range burner when it is active, but since the cooking surface doesn’t get glowing hot, it’s hard to know it is still hot when the cooking is through.

An electrical range and has glowing coils and warning lights to let people know there is a hot surface.

Induction cooktops also have warning lights, but you probably wonder why if the surface isn’t supposed to get hot. It’s to warn of residual heat transference.

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