Monday, July 18, 2005

Cooking without heat

An article in Saturday's Washington Post described a very cool new stove technology called "induction burners." These use magnetic induction to heat the bottom of the pan - basically, electromagnets in the cooktop make the iron molecules in the adjacent pan vibrate and thus get hot. Advantages: They're far more efficient than a standard ceramic cooktop, and the cooktop itself doesn't get hot (which improves both safety and cleanup). Disadvantage: It only works with pans with iron in them, so no aluminum or glass cookware.


  • They are cool... but really, the best stove tops for cooking are gas. They give the best heat control, work with any pot or pan, and don't even need a flat bottom surface to get even heating.

    By Anonymous Jesse Blomberg, at 11:08 PM  

  • The technology is far from new - just hasn't been popular probably due to cost.

    I've had a de-dietrich unit for about 5 years and you'd have to prise it out of my cold, dead hands. Just as controllable as gas, you don't actually need a flat bottom (you can cook 1/2 an inch above the stove surface!) and the real winner - flat surface to clean. No more gas burners to slave over.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:51 PM  

  • Gas is great, for sure, but I'll never have it because (a) the knobs are on the front (so you don't have to reach over fire to use them), and I have small children, and I won't tolerate those annoying safety thingies on the knobs, (b) it would cost me ~$500 to have a gas line run to my kitchen, and (c) they're a pain to clean. I love my flat-top electric, and I'm sure my next one will be one of these induction models.

    By Blogger Joe, at 1:29 PM  

  • If you don't want to spring for a range but want to try this, you can probably find a small countertop unit (probably less than 2 ft by 1 ft) at a restaurant supply store. Seems to me it was around $CAD100 last time I checked.

    By Anonymous Julie, at 9:03 AM  

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