Clean cooking with induction
Induction cooktops not only ensure a more precise and even heat but will save you money in the long run
Studies are showing having open gas in our homes is harmful to our health, especially for children and those prone to asthma
There is a range of electric cooking options to suit most kitchens
There are also a few options for electrifying your kitchen and safely using the appliances you already own. If you’re planning to go all-electric, you’re going to need an electric cooktop
What is electric cooking?
Not so long ago, electric cooking meant the familiar 1960s element-style cooktop with all the downsides that went with that: slow response to turning the heat up or down and the consequent risk of burnt fingers (or melted implements) as the elements stayed hot for a long time after being turned off. Today there are a range of induction and ceramic resistive stoves that are changing the way we cook for the better!
Other electric cooking options include built-in ovens, microwave ovens, and a wide range of portable appliances such as rice cookers and sandwich grills. Portable induction cooktops can be a cheap way to give induction cooking a try to see if it’s right for you.
What are induction stoves?
Induction cooktops can be three times more energy efficient than gas cooktops because they use electromagnetic energy to heat the pot instead of heating the air which then transfers heat to the pot. This happens when an electric current is passed through a coiled copper wire underneath the cooking surface which creates a magnetic field that induces (hence the name) a high electrical current throughout the cooking pan to produce heat.
Unlike conventional gas stoves, induction cooktops can achieve extremely high temperatures in a very short amount of time; during cooking, heat adjustments are almost instantaneous and quite precise. Because there are no elements induction stoves are easier to clean, provide an even cooking heat and are safe to use for you and your family.
Induction stoves can help you cook faster and safer with better control and easier clean-up, while fighting climate change and improving indoor air quality. Induction stoves or cooktops are efficient because they heat the cookware directly rather than heating the space around it (like gas) or through a glass surface. They are increasingly common, getting cheaper and can be bought at many homewares or kitchen store.
They are sold as ranges with four to six element cooktops usually paired with an electric convection oven that are usually 240 volts, cooktops with four to five elements that drop into a countertop installation independently from a standalone oven of any variety that require a 240-volt outlet or may be hardwired into the electrical system. And portables that are usually one and two element units that can be set on a countertop anywhere and plugged in to a standard 120-volt outlet. Prices range from $50 to over $500 for some commercial grade portables.
You will still need an extraction fan with your induction cooktop. Even though it won’t generate the combustion products from burning gas, there is still a lot of steam produced from boiling, and smoke from frying that you’ll need to extract from above the cooktop to avoid condensation or smoke build-up in your kitchen. Alternatively, some cooktops come with a downdraught extractor which sit under the cooktop. Separate downdraught extractors are also available to add behind existing cooktops if space allows. These look like a narrow extension of the cooktop, until they are turned on.
Making your kitchen safer
Before you look to change out your gas stove, there are a few things you can do to minimise the potential health risks of using an open flame and/or gas indoors.
- Open your windows while you cook.
- Use exhaust fans that move the air to the outdoors. (Ductless fans that recirculate the fumes through filters do not work as well)
- Keep the cooking surface clear and orient pan handles so that they do not protrude from the stove.
- Always keep the lid of the pan within easy reach.
- Never turn on the stove prematurely.
- Never move a burning pan.