During the 18 months we lived in a small apartment in preparation for our move from California to Colorado, I did not have a traditional stove and oven. Instead, I used my Breville Smart Countertop Oven and Duxtop Portable Single Burner Induction Cooktop.
INDUCTION IS DIFFERENT
Induction is definitely a different cooking method with a somewhat difficult learning curve. But oh, my! Once you get the hang of it, there’s a good chance you won’t want to go back to traditional electric or gas cooking. It’s really unbelievable. Because the hob itself does not create heat, it uses little energy. The cooking vessel (pot, pan, hotplate) creates its own heat, which is just cool!
INDUCTION, EASY CLEANING
Cleaning the induction cooktop is always quick and easy no matter how messy I am using it. I prepared our big traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals in this little kitchen with these two appliances. The cleaning was easy and the food was even better. We did not suffer!
KITCHEN UTENSILS READY FOR INDUCTION
As for kitchen utensils, they must be induction compatible or, as some manufacturers describe them, “induction ready”. I wouldn’t be surprised if the cookware you already own is induction ready, as are all cast iron and stainless steel pots and pans.
HOW TO TEST
You can determine in a second whether your cookware is ready for induction. Get a magnet. If it sticks well to the pan, it will work wonderfully for induction cooking. If it doesn’t stick at all, this pot is probably made of aluminum, which is not compatible with induction. If it sticks a bit but can easily slide or move around on the pot, it is probably poor quality stainless steel or aluminum coated with stainless steel. You are looking for a very strong connection between the magnet and the pot.
One exception: if your wok has a round bottom, it will not work on an induction burner, regardless of its contents. And you can’t just add a ring to your cooktop; you will need either a flat-bottomed wok or a special induction hob, which will be an additional expense.
Here are my tips if you are considering switching to induction: While your appliances are still in working order, take the time to test induction cooking. Invest in a good portable induction cooktop burner, then use it whenever you have the chance.
For a small investment of around $ 50, you’ll soon know if induction cooking is right for you before committing to a big investment in an induction cooktop or range. This will also give you the opportunity to test the compatibility of your current cookware. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that the cookware you already own is fully induction compatible.
With our last kitchen remodel in 2018 (we moved to Colorado), I went from this one-burner induction cooktop to the GE Cafe five-burner induction cooktop. It’s just amazing, and I don’t believe we’ll ever go back to the smooth-roofed gas or electric options. My induction hob cleans like a dream (I said this before, right? But this is such an important feature!). And it is powerful.
I can set my induction cooktop to high and bring a large pot of water to a boil, and it’ll roll in about 90 seconds – and that’s at 5,280 feet above sea level.
I can sauté a pan of vegetables and / or meat over high heat, observe it’s done and put it on low, and it will cool down to a low heat almost instantly. Induction has a reactive quality that is superior to gas cooking and a cleaning quality that far surpasses a smooth glass top electric cooktop.
Induction cooking is powered by electromagnetism, which heats steel and iron in cookware that is compatible with induction. I don’t know the details, but I can guarantee the results!
As for the resale value of a home, as induction cooking becomes more well known (and loved), a beautiful induction cooker or hob will, in my opinion, make your property more valuable and desirable. As the pros say: the kitchen and bathrooms sell a house.
Mary invites you to visit her on EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, “Ask Mary”. Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living”.
Photo credit: CorrieMiracle at Pixabay