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Induction cooktop

Q. What is an induction cooktop and does it save energy?

A. Energy-efficient induction cooking may seem a bit like magic. Only the pan and food heat up; the cooktop surface stays cool. How does it work? An induction cooktop creates a magnetic field that causes electrons to vibrate. That tiny bit of friction (invisible to you) heats the pan. Once the pan is removed from the “burner,” the magnetic field is broken, and there’s no more heat.

So what does all this mean for the cook?

  • Faster cooking: Boil water in as little as 90 seconds.
  • Instant, precise control: Move from boil to simmer immediately.
  • Increased safety: The cooktop stays cool.
  • Energy savings: An induction cooktop uses 10 to 20 percent less energy compared to other cooktops because it’s faster and heats only the pan.*

There are two other things to keep in mind. First, only magnetic cookware, such as stainless steel or cast iron, works on an induction cooktop. Second, this technology is generally a more expensive option, but prices are starting to come down.

Want to know more? A number of appliance manufacturers have videos online showing how induction cooktops perform.

*Source: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy