Are you considering updating your cooking appliances but wondering whether induction technology is worth the investment? Relax, we’ll have you whipping up a culinary storm in no time with our guide to the essential costs.
Is Induction Cooking More Efficient Than Electric?
Induction cooking is 10% more efficient than electric. This is because induction cooktops heat the pan’s surface directly using electromagnets. Electric models heat the cooktop’s surface instead, so any areas not covered by the pan will immediately lose heat and waste energy.
Here are a few other reasons why induction cooktops are a wise choice.
Speed and Control
Induction cooktops heat up quickly, and just like gas, they respond instantly to temperature changes.
On the other hand, electric cooktops take a little longer to heat up and cool down again, making them less efficient. If you love cooking but hate waiting, an induction cooktop may be a good option.
Safety and Energy
As mentioned above, induction cooktops only heat the area in contact with the pan you’re using. As soon as you lift the pan, it stops transferring any heat. Magic!
This makes them a great option if you have kids at home, as little fingers are less likely to get burnt, and their favorite toys won’t melt if they’re accidentally left on the surface either. Thank us later, Mr Potato Head!
With electric cooktops heating the entire element, the area stays hot even after you’ve switched it off. This makes it quite wasteful in the energy department and a slightly riskier option if you have little ones at home.
Which Consumes More Electricity – An Induction Cooker Or An Electric Stove?
Electric stoves consume more electricity than induction. The average home in America uses about 11,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. About 1.4% (140 kWh) of that electricity is used for cooking. As induction stoves are 10% more efficient than electric ones, you save 14 kWh of electricity.
Is It Cheaper To Boil Water In An Electric Kettle Or On An Induction Cooktop?
The cost of boiling water in an electric kettle versus on an induction cooktop can vary wildly depending on several factors. These include the specific appliances you’re using to compare, their efficiency and the cost of electricity in your state.
Before we get into how you can start to compare the two for cost, it’s worth bearing in mind a few points. First, electric kettles are designed for boiling water (you could say it’s their destiny)! They heat water very quickly with minimal heat loss and switch off as soon as they’ve done their job.
Induction cooktops are also energy efficient, as we’ve already gleaned above. However, they may be less efficient at boiling water than an electric kettle. That’s because they heat the entire pan, which can lead to heat loss, and they also don’t switch off once they’ve reached boiling point.
Now, let’s look at how to work out the costs for each.
Firstly, check the wattage of your electric kettle and induction cooktop. The wattage rating should be listed somewhere on the appliance, either on a label or a nameplate. Then, you need to calculate the energy consumption for each appliance during the time it takes to boil some water.
So, if your electric kettle has a power rating of 1500 watts (1.5kW) and it takes 3 minutes (0.05 hours) to boil some water, the energy consumption would be 1.5kW x 0.05 hours = 0.075kWh
Then, all you need to do is multiply the energy consumption by your electricity rate to determine the cost. Let’s say your electricity rate is $0.12 per kWh; that would mean the overall cost would be $0.075 kWh x $0.12 = $0.009 – less than 1 cent!
Induction cooktop power ratings are usually around the 2000 watts (2kW) mark, so if we were to repeat the formula with that in mind, it would look something like this:
2kW x 0.05 hours x $0.12 = $0.012 – so just over 1 cent.
As you can see, the kettle is the winner in this instance, but it all depends on the variables you’ve got going on, and the difference is minimal.
How Much Do Induction Cooktops Cost To Buy Compared To Electric?
Induction cooktop prices start from around $400 and work their way up to $3000. Yep, you read that right! The more expensive models will have extra features like Flexinduction, which allows you to extend the heating zones for larger cookware like fish kettles.
You’ll also find premium models with food warming settings, specific cooking zones for woks, preset cooking menus and timers. For the safety conscious, there are things like item detection settings, which let you know when something’s on the cooktop that shouldn’t be, and finally, automatic shut-off to detect spills.
There’s Always A But…
Before we continue to wax lyrical about induction cooktops, though, there is something you should know. For the electromagnets to work, you must ensure your pans are made from magnetic stainless steel, cast iron, enameled iron or nickel.
If your cookware is made from any other material, your induction cooktop won’t work, and you’ll be reaching for those takeout menus quicker than you can say pizza!
Thankfully, electric cooktops keep things simple. They start from about $200 in price and go up to $2000 top end, so they’re much more cost-effective. They also work with any cookware, so you won’t have to shell out for any extras.
Let’s Look At Some Options
So, now you know the costs, we decided to round up a few of our favorite induction and electric cooktops for you to peruse at your leisure. You’re welcome!
VA – use product boxes
First up, we’ve got this little induction beauty. Not only is it at the more ‘value for money’ end of the scale, but it’s packed with some top features, including five cooking zones, a boost function, a timer and a Stop and Go feature to prevent anything from burning if the doorbell rings.
On the flip side, we have this more expensive model. It’s extremely sleek and sophisticated and packed with features, including Automatic Quick Boil, to get those sauces bubbling away in no time.
And I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t give you an electric model to ponder over as well. This one’s highly rated, from a popular brand, and has both a Quick Boil setting and a SpaceWise expandable zone for larger cookware. Fancy!
Is Induction Worth It Over Electric?
Cost-wise, it’s difficult to say which option is best. Induction is more energy efficient but costs more upfront, and you may need to splash some extra cash on new cookware, too.
Electric cooktops are cheaper to buy, but they’re less energy efficient. The margins aren’t massive, but a saving is a saving and every little counts when it comes to managing the purse strings and being kinder to Mother Nature.
Where induction does have the upper hand though, is in its cooking performance. It provides fast heat, even distribution and precise temperature control.
It’s so good, a lot of pro chefs have ditched their old faithful gas hobs, in favor of induction. So, if it’s good enough for the experts, it might also be a worthy winner of your heart.