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Electric induction cooktops are a safer, more energy-efficient option for everyday stovetop cooking. They are superior to conventional electric and natural gas cooktops. They heat twice as fast, have better temperature control, and improve indoor air quality. Restaurants, celebrity chefs, and cooking shows have already made the switch!

Want to test the benefits of induction cooking? San José residents can check out a portable induction cooktop and cookware at no cost for up to two weeks by filling out an interest form.

Watch this video from our partner agency to see how induction cooktops work.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does an induction cooktop work?

Induction cooktops are electric ranges that use magnetism to generate heat. Magnetic coils below the cooktop’s ceramic glass surface generate a magnetic field that sends pulses directly to the cookware. These magnetic pulses are what heat the cookware.

Induction cooktops can get hot, but only because of the heated base of the cookware. Heat transfers to the cooktop through conduction. It is similar to the heat transfer from a hot pan to a countertop if you set it down to rest. It is also the reason why the ceramic glass surface of the cooktop never gets as hot as a traditional radiant electric range. Heating also stops when you remove the pan from the cooktop.

Source: The 6 Best (and Tested) Induction Cookware Sets, Pots & Pans in 2019, Stone Frying Pans

What are the benefits of switching to an induction cooktop?

Safer

Induction is safer than gas and electric because there is no open flame or exposed heating element. It reduces the risk of burning for families with children or the elderly. The cooktop produces heat only when it detects the presence of cookware greater than 5” in diameter. Many models come with auto shut-off settings for additional safety.

Better indoor air quality

A study by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that 60 percent of homes in California that cook at least once a week with a gas cooktop can reach pollutant levels that would be illegal if found outdoors. Switching from gas to an induction cooktop can remove harmful air contaminants, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, from homes.

More temperature control

Induction cooktops cook faster, simmer more steadily, and respond more immediately to temperature changes.

More energy-efficient and Climate Smart

Induction is the most efficient with its energy use compared to electric and gas cooktops. It uses 85% of the heat it generates, wheres gas uses only 32%. Using more energy-efficient appliances reduces both electric bills and greenhouse gas emissions. This also means the cooktop produces less wasted heat, making for a cooler cooking environment.

What types of induction cooktops are available and how much do they cost?

There are different types of induction cooktops to choose from depending on your needs. Consumer Reports rated the best cooktops and ranges in the market in 2019.

For many years, induction cooktops cost considerably more than gas or traditional electric ranges. But now, they are priced competitively, and prices continue to drop:

 Type  Cost
 Portable Induction Cooktops   $40 - $200
 Multi-burner Induction Cooktops 
(Countertop) 
 $700 - $2,500 
 Free-standing Induction Ranges 
(Often with Convection Oven) 
 $800 - $4,000 

 

Is there anything I can't cook with an induction cooktop?

The induction cooktop cooks the same foods as a gas or electric cooktop. Foods may cook faster in an induction cooktop because it’s more energy efficient. More energy goes towards cooking and is not lost to the surrounding environment.

Induction Cooktop 3

Induction Compatibility Symbol (Source)

What special equipment do I need to cook with an induction cooktop?

Cookware containing iron and has a flat bottom is compatible with induction cooktops. This includes cast iron, stainless steel, carbon steel, and all clad cookware. Hybrid aluminum or copper cookware may also work. Some cookware will have a symbol located on their underside (see picture on the right). Compatibility is also determined by holding a magnet to the bottom of the cookware. If the magnet sticks, the cookware will work on an induction cooktop.

Digital thermometers interfere with electromagnetic waves and are not compatible with induction cooktops. Use an analog thermometer with induction cooktops.

Are there any health risks associated with induction cooking?

Induction cooktops emit an electromagnetic field of medium-frequency waves. According to the World Health Organization, there is no compelling evidence indicating medium-frequency magnetic fields have long-term health effects. Individuals with a pacemaker, implanted defibrillator or oxygen tank should talk to their doctor before using an induction cooktop.

For more information or questions, please email energy@sanjoseca.gov.