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Induction Cooktops

Heat from the friction produced by magnetized molecules: A cool way to cook

Induction cooktops cook faster and use less energy

Want to know how to cook faster, using less energy, with more control? Try cooking with magnetic induction, a process that bypasses heating the cooktop surface and goes right to heating the pot.

Magnetic induction cooking uses electricity to produce a magnetic field that sends currents into iron atoms that react by movement which causes friction and heat in a metal vessel. The electro-magnetic elements are housed under a ceramic-glass surface. Cookware made from ferric content - like steel, iron, nickel and various alloys - magnetizes easily, so pots and pans used already stocked in many kitchens would heat with electro-magnetism.

Unlike conventional cooktops that create heat below a pot, the magnetic induction process makes the pot into the heating element. Food is heated more quickly and to precise temperatures. A pot heated by magnetic induction will warm the surface below it or the air around it more slowly than traditional stovetop cooking methods so less energy is lost to conditioning the air in the kitchen. Because they are not directly heated, cooking surfaces cool more quickly eliminating the potential of injury from unknowingly coming in contact with a hot surface.

Energy Efficiency

With induction cooking, it is the pot itself, not the cooktop element that heats to cook the food. Therefore, the time required to heat the pot’s contents is reduced, providing additional energy savings. With gas or electric elements, the energy is first converted to heat and then directed to the pot through conduction which uses additional energy.

Safety and Disaster Mitigation

There are no open flames or fumes produced with induction cooking. If the unit is on and a pot is not present, the surface is cool to the touch.


Magnetic induction cooktops are installed in the same sequence and fashion as their electric counterparts. Manufacturer’s specifications will indicate the wiring size. Units are available in traditional sizes, so they can be fit into custom kitchens with the same ease as traditional electric cook tops. /p>

A magnetic induction cooktop costs three to four times more than an electric cook top. A magnetic induction cooktop with four elements ranges in price from $1800 to $4000, dependent upon the manufacturer and features.

Cooking with magnetic induction is 90 percent efficient, as compared to resistance electric at approximately 65-percent efficiency, and open-flamed gas which measures in the 55-percent efficiency range. Magnetic induction cooktops also feature sensors that adjust the energy setting to the pot size and a broader range of settings than traditional cooktops.

Magnetic induction cook tops should meet the same requirements as electric cooktops including a UL, or similar third party certification, dedicated electrical circuit, stove top overhead clearances, etc.

Not Applicable

Magnetic induction cooktops are available in 120 and 240 volt models. Manufacturer’s specifications will detail cabinet clearances that are required.

Warranties vary by manufacturer, but one- to two-year full warranties are the norm, much like other kitchen appliances.

With magnetic induction, the pot, not the stove is essentially doing the cooking, so cooking can be accomplished faster, using less energy, with more precision. Units are available in traditional sizes, so they can be fit into custom kitchens with the same ease as traditional electric cooktops.

Magnetic induction relies on cooking with vessels that can be magnetized, so glass and copper pots are not suited to this cooking method, but other commonly used cookware made of steel or iron works fine. Caution must be used to keep some common household items, like aluminum foil, out of contact with induction cooktops. The foil will bond to the surface.

Disclaimer: The information on the system, product or material presented herein is provided for informational purposes only. The technical descriptions, details, requirements, and limitations expressed do not constitute an endorsement, approval, or acceptance of the subject matter by the NAHB Research Center. There are no warranties, either expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of this information. Full reproduction, without modification, is permissible.