If you’re trying to figure out the differences between an induction and an electric cooktop, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got the full lowdown on both, so you can easily spot the one you’ve got.
Is An Induction Stove The Same As An Electric Stove?
Both induction and electric stoves are powered by electricity. However, the differences come when you explore their cooktops. Electric cooktops use a heat source to cook your food, whereas induction cooktops use electromagnets to help you boil, simmer and fry to perfection.
Induction technology is more efficient than electric, as it transfers 90% of the power it consumes to the food. In contrast, electric ones only transfer 74% in comparison and gas (if you were wondering) only 40%.
Induction’s efficiency also means far less heat is radiated from your stove and into your kitchen, which will help keep the heart of your home cool, especially in summer. So there’s no need to resign yourself to simple salads come the hotter months of the year just yet!.
How To Tell The Difference Between Electric and Induction Cooktops
Electric and induction cooktops can look pretty similar with their smooth glass and ceramic finishes. Still, they have plenty of differences to look out for, including the type of cookware they use, how quickly they heat up and cool down and what they look like when they’re on.
Here’s a few tips on what to look out for:
Got That Glow
Electric cooktops glow red on the surface as the electrical current passes through the coils below and heats them up.
Older models look a little different, with the metal coils sitting above the cooktop’s surface. The coils still glow red, but bear in mind this type of electric cooktop is a little trickier to clean.
Induction cooktops use copper coils below the surface to create a magnetic field with the pot or pan above. The electromagnets don’t produce the same type of glow; however, some manufacturers add lighting cues to show which surface elements are on.
Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
Electric cooktops take time to get up to temperature and cool down again, so you may need to wait a little while before wiping them down.
Induction cooktops supply instant heat directly to the bottom of the pan, so the surface of the cooktop always stays cool and can be wiped down pretty much straight away. Magic!
Picky About Pans
When it comes to electric cooktops, you’ve got the pick of the pans as they’ll work with any type.
On the other hand, induction cooktops are a little more choosy, as they need compatible cookware, like cast iron and stainless steel, to work with the electromagnets.
What’s Better – Induction Or Electric Cooktops?
So, let’s cut to the chase: which cooktop type is better, induction or electric? Well, just like anything, there are a few different factors to consider, so let’s break it down.
This is where induction cooking comes a little unstuck, as despite the list of benefits, it’s a pricey technology to invest in compared to electric.
Prices can start from around $400 but can go up as much as $3000. And remember, you may still need to update your cookware before using the cooktop, which is another cost to consider.
Electric cooktops start from about $200 and go up to about $2000, so they’re much more cost-effective if you’re on a budget. Also, you won’t need to go to the mall or browse online for a new cookware set. Phew!
As mentioned above, induction technology directly heats the pan above it, so it loses very little heat. This makes induction cooktops 10% more energy efficient than electric models, which heat the surface of the cooking zone instead.
Unfortunately, this results in heat escaping from the areas of the zone that aren’t covered by the pan! So, it’s cheaper to regularly use an induction cooktop overall, which may make the upfront cost a little easier to swallow. Gulp!
If you’ve got little ones at home, safety in the kitchen is paramount, and this is where an induction cooktop comes out on top, as its surface never gets too hot. You will still need to be wary of how hot the underside of the pan gets, but at least the cooktop is one less thing to worry about.
Electric models take a while to get up to temperature, and then when you switch them off, they also take their own sweet time to cool down again. The residual heat can pose a risk if you try to wipe the surface down too soon or if little fingers unwittingly touch the zone or place something they probably shouldn’t on top of it. Sorry Barbie!
Some models have residual heat indicators, which are little lights that stay illuminated until the surface has cooled down, but even with these features, you’ll still need to be on your guard to avoid any nasty accidents.
Induction cooktops are super speedy! If you pit them against an electric model in a race to boil a pan of water, they’d most certainly win.
Induction cooktops are also popular with pro chefs because they give you many of the same benefits as traditional gas cooktops, including instant heat and better temperature control, as well as the added benefit of even heat distribution.
Both induction and the latest electric models are really easy to clean thanks to their flat, smooth ceramic and glass surfaces. However, there are still some electric models which feature raised cooking zones.
They make cleaning a little trickier as the more prominent zones create nooks and crannies for spills and splatters to settle in.
There is one thing to bear in mind with flat glass and ceramic induction and electric cooktops, though: they are more susceptible to chips and scratches. So, you must be careful when you place things on top of them or position things around them.
Do Induction Ranges Have Electric Ovens?
Induction ranges enjoy all the benefits of a super speedy, easy-to-clean, safe-to-use cooktop with the bonus of one or more electric ovens underneath.
Electric ovens have many benefits, but one of the main ones is that they produce a more even and consistent dry heat, which provides the perfect conditions for crisping up potatoes and baking light and fluffy cakes. Yum!
And we couldn’t sign off without showing you a little something special in the induction range department. Check out this beauty from the Verona Designer Series.
Verona Induction Range Oven
- Stainless Steel Design
- EZ Clean Porcelain Oven Surface
- Soft Close Hinge
It’s made in Italy and will definitely bring a little Dolce Vita into your kitchen and cooking experience. The induction cooktop has five cooking zones, a huge electric convection oven below, and a storage drawer for all your induction-compatible cookware.
Its stainless steel finish with chrome accents gives it a contemporary and slightly industrial look. And although it’s a little on the pricey side, it does have some very positive 5-star reviews, and as we think you’ll agree, it’s a bit of a stunner.
It will likely attract more than a few envious glances from your dinner guests before helping you cook up the odd masterpiece or two. Bon appetit!