The Top 10 Best Induction Cooktops of 2015 & 2016

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Induction Cooktops: Questions & Answers

What are the benefits of having an induction cooktop in my home?

An induction cooktop makes a great, eco-friendly addition to any kitchen. Induction cooktops are faster, easier to use, and safer than standard gas or electric ovens. Due to its advanced technology, induction cooktops stay cool to the touch during use (except for where the pan comes in contact with the surface), making it a safer alternative to regular stovetops, especially if you have small children in your home. Induction cooktops also heat up in seconds for faster cooking, and the temperature controls take away the guesswork that you can experience with gas flames. Portable induction cooktops are also great for campers or use at parties. They also use far less energy than electric stovetops and don’t require any gas, making them a green alternative suitable for any kitchen.

How does an induction cooktop work?

An induction cooktop uses electromagnetic principles to deliver an all-over heating for your food. Induction cooktops have induction coils which create a magnetic field; the magnetic field is responsible for generating heat which is conducted throughout the entire cooking vessel. Unlike a conventional stove which will only heat the bottom of a pan, an induction cooktop heats the whole pan.

What kind of pots and pans can I use on an induction cooktop?

Due to the induction cooktop’s reliance on electromagnetic heating, you must use cookware that has ferrous metals. These include any cast-iron or stainless-steel pots and pans, as well as some steel-plated cookware. You will not be able to cook on an induction cooktop with glass or aluminum vessels. For a quick test of whether or not your pots and pans contain ferrous metals, simply hold a magnet up to the cookware; if the magnet sticks, you are good to go.

What types of induction cooktops are there?

There are three main types of induction cooktops: portable, built-in, and freestanding slide-in ranges.

What are the benefits of portable induction cooktops?

Portable induction cooktops give you the convenience to cook anywhere that you can use electricity. They’re great for anyone whose existing kitchen set-up would make installing a full, freestanding cooktop too difficult, as well as for anyone who wants to keep their electric or gas stove while also having the option to use an induction cooktop. They are easy to store and can be attached to your stove if you are preparing a large meal and need extra heating space. They can range from one to two or more burners and can offer as much heating power as their full-sized counterparts.

What about built-in cooktops and slide-in ranges?

Built-in cooktops are larger than portable models, but are still compact and can be fit into any kitchen; they are thin and often have ample room underneath the range for storage or shelving. A freestanding slide-in range will include an oven and is the size of a regular stove. These larger models may or may not require professional installation.

What kind of temperature controls should I look for in an induction cooktops?

Some induction cooktops offer exact temperature controls, especially higher-end True Induction models, while others will offer anywhere from 5 to 10 heat settings that can either take the form of temperature ranges or cooking types. For example, Nesco makes induction cooktops that offer controls like simmer, fry, and sear, while SPT offers a model with 7 settings based on wattage. The large variety of control types can make it difficult to know exactly which type will work for you. If you like to have a large amount of control over the cooking process, opt for a model with exact temperature controls. If you like to keep things simple and think you will be confused, look for a model that gives you general temperatures under understandable labels. If you want more control but don’t need to cook your food at an exact temperature, opt for one of the models that gives you 10 temperature controls measured in wattage.

What are some good features to look for in an induction cooktop?

Some good features to look for in an induction cooktop include a timer, keep-warm options, pan sensors and pan suitability sensors, child locks, zoneless cooktops, and troubleshooting indicators.

Why is a timer beneficial?

A timer allows you to set the unit and walk away without having to worry about how long the food has been on the cooktop. A timer will automatically shut the heat off after a certain amount of time or will automatically switch to a lower temperature to keep the food warm.

What are the benefits of keep-warm options?

Automatic or programmable keep-warm settings allow you to prepare food way in advance and then serve it up when you’re ready without having to re-heat it. It’s especially handy if you have a model with a timer, because you can set something to cook for 30 minutes or however long you need it to cook, walk away, and when you get back an hour or more later it will still be warm and ready to eat.

What are pan sensors and pan suitability sensors, and why are they beneficial?

Pan sensors and pan suitability sensors, available on many True Induction and Duxtop models, allow your induction cooktop to detect when a pan has been placed on the range or taken off, and will alert you if the pan you are trying to use is unsuitable for use on an induction cooktop. The pan sensors will automatically shut the unit off after a certain amount of time has passed without a pan touching the surface, saving you worries about the unit staying on and causing damage if you forget to turn it off.

Why is having a child lock beneficial?

Even though induction cooktops are very safe to use, you will probably still want to ensure that your children can’t get hurt by playing with them. A child lock, available on many Duxtop and Max Burton models, will require the user to manipulate the digital controls in a certain way in order to turn on and use the machine.

What are the benefits of zoneless cooktops?

A zoneless cooktop will allow you to cook anywhere on the cooktop’s surface, allowing you to utilize any shape or size of pan or pot without being limited to pre-set areas.

What sort of troubleshooting indicators are available?

Many advanced induction cooktops will have indicator lights that alert you when there is any sort of voltage problem or connection problem, allowing you to easily figure out what’s wrong and what exactly needs to be fixed. Some advanced models, including many Duxtop models, offer digital diagnostic displays that will tell you what’s going on.

How is cleanup if something spills on my induction cooktop?

Spillage on an induction cooktop should be simple to clean up if you opt for a non-stick or glass-coated model; just wipe it up with a moist towel or paper towel. Because an induction cooktop will stay cool throughout the heating process, there’s no risk of food being burned onto the surface. As long as you don’t allow food to dry up on the surface and get caked on, you shouldn’t have any issues with clean-up.

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