What Is an Induction Cook Top?


Quick Answer

An induction cooktop is a type of stove that uses a fluctuating electromagnetic field to generate small magnetic currents in iron and steel cookware to efficiently heat food. Cookware on an induction range heats from the inside instead of transferring heat from the burner to the food.

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Full Answer

The surface of an induction stovetop is typically made of ceramic and is flat for easy cleaning. Induction cooktops only work with pots and pans that contain iron, so aluminum and copper pans are not compatible with induction stoves. When used with the proper cookware, induction ranges are highly responsive, so the temperature inside the pan rapidly adjusts when the chef turns the control dial.

Food typically cooks more quickly on an induction stove than on a traditional electric or gas stove, and this type of burner uses less electricity than an electric stove. Pots and pans on an induction range also heat up more evenly, and the burner surface cools down quickly because it does not generate any heat itself during the cooking process. Induction cooktops are safer than gas or electric stoves because the stove produces no direct heat that could cause a fire. However, induction ranges are usually more expensive than standard gas and electric stoves.

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