Have you ever cooked using an induction cooktop? If you haven’t, you may be missing out on an industry-leading kitchen appliance that is gaining popularity in homes worldwide. You may be wondering what exactly is an induction cooktop and why are so many people making the switch from traditional gas to induction cooktops? 

In this article, we will answer all of your pressing questions about induction cooktops. We will cover how induction cooktops work, why they are more energy efficient compared to other forms of cooktops, and the potential problems you may encounter whilst making the switch. No matter whether you love cooking or you are looking to upgrade your appliances, keep reading to discover why there is a rise in the popularity of induction cooktops. 

The Background 

There is growing interest around induction cooking from consumers recently due to the benefits over more traditional cooktops. This interest will only increase with the uptake in home solar, fluctuating gas prices and the eventual phasing out of natural gas in Australia. 

Major builders in Australia have stopped providing natural gas connections in apartment buildings, making induction cooktops the best route. One of the reasons for this change is due to 15% of all operational emissions, about 14 million tonnes of CO2 per year, is due to the use of natural gas in buildings

The United States Government, through its Inflation Reduction Act, is providing an $840 (US) rebate for households switching from a gas cooktop to an all-electric or induction cooktop and Australia may soon follow with its own incentives. Converting from a gas cooktop to an all-electric or induction cooktop is set to significantly reduce the amount of methane gas that is released in America. Currently, the emissions these gas appliances cause equates to the climate impact of tailpipe emissions of 500,000 cars

Decreased indoor air quality has been demonstrated in kitchens that utilise gas stovetops in homes. When a gas stovetop is turned on, it releases a gas called methane, and once the burner is on other pollutants may begin to accumulate in the kitchen too. These gases have been linked to poor indoor air quality and may be a contributing factor to some respiratory problems, which is a contributing factor to the rise in induction cooktops. 

How Induction Cooktops Work

So, how do induction cooktops work? Induction cooking is based on the magnetic conductivity between the burner and your pot or pan. Essentially, an electric current is passed underneath the cooking surface through a coiled copper wire, which then produces a magnetic current within the cooking pan to produce heat. 

Due to this technology, induction cooktops can cook food quite quickly with a high level of power, although conductive cookware is required for these results. On the other hand, gas cooktops use combustible gas and rely on a flame to heat the food, not requiring specific cookware to heat through. 

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Benefits & Energy Efficiency of Induction Cooktops

Now that we know how induction cooktops work, you may be wondering what the benefits are of switching to an induction cooktop. The most significant benefit of induction cooktops is that it is far more energy efficient compared to traditional gas. This is because induction cooktops don’t have to heat up an element to transfer heat, meaning that no heat or energy is wasted. 

A second major benefit of induction cooktops is that they are much cleaner than other stovetops. It is very easy to accidentally make a mess whilst cooking – although you do not want this to impact your kitchen appliances. Luckily, an induction cooktop is simple to clean as it has a non-porous ceramic glass surface, which cools down quite quickly. Induction cooktops can be easily cleaned with spray and wipe, ensuring it looks its best for years to come. 

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Potential Problems with Induction Cooktops

When making the switch from natural gas to an induction cooktop, it is important to consider the potential problems and compatibility issues you may face before you make the swap.

The new induction cooktop must fit the old cooktop cutout in the benchtop. Ensure you tell your appliance specialist the make and model of your existing cooktop. If you have a timber, laminate or Corian benchtop, alterations to the cutout can be made, however, stone or quartz based stones can not be altered. 

There must be enough clearance underneath the induction cooktop to allow for air ventilation. You’ll need to measure the thickness of your benchtop and let your appliance retailer know this size. Thicker benchtops (50mm + will have a better chance of fitting an induction cooktop.) Thinner benchtops often do not have enough clearance, unless there is ample space in the cabinet below. 

A dedicated circuit (usually in the range of 30 to 40 Amps) may need to be installed by an electrician. This is not always feasible if your electrical board is hard to get to. This process can often be as expensive as the cooktop itself, so speak to your electrician first before purchasing an induction cooktop. 

You may have to throw away existing pots (or use an induction ring) as induction cooktops require you to use magnetic-based cookware such as stainless steel or cast iron. 

In most cases, the potential problems when converting from a gas cooktop to an induction cooktop are not too significant for people and the benefits outweigh the possible issues. 

The Switch To Induction Cooktops

If you are considering switching to an induction cooktop, contact your trusted appliance retailer, however, when considering your next kitchen why not switch to induction cooking and future-proof it, whilst looking after your health and the environment?