Hey everyone, it’s Yasmin here with my comprehensive take on induction cooktops after extensively researching customer experiences and testing the appliances firsthand. We cut through the buzz and give you the unbiased lowdown so you can determine if induction is right for your kitchen. Grab a snack, because we’re about to dive deep!
Our Favorite Induction Cooktops
Bosch® 800 Series 36″ Black Induction Cooktop – Model #: NIT8660UC
Out of all the induction cooktops tested, the Bosch 800 Series stood head and shoulders above the competition. With an average 4.8/5 star rating out of 20 reviews, this appliance blew away customers with its advanced AutoChef technology for precision cooking, SpeedBoost feature for rapid boiling, and intuitive touch controls through an LED display.
During our product team demos, we were dazzled by the Bosch’s responsiveness and consistency in heating. Soups and sauces came out perfect every time, thanks to the AutoChef regulating temps. Its Home Connect app also lets you control the cooktop remotely – I loved being able to preheat my pan while tackling homework with the kids! While pricy at $2799 MSRP, the Bosch 800 earns its keep if you do a lot of cooking. This cooktop checks all the boxes.
Miele 36″ Black Induction Cooktop- Model #: KM 7740 FR
For techies who crave home automation, the Miele 36-inch induction cooktop is the smartest WiFi-enabled model around. Miele’s clever Con@ctivity technology automatically syncs induction cooking zones with your ventilation hood – no more scrambling when smoke starts billowing!
The Miele also features intuitive lighting that indicates when elements are active, timers and a pause function. I loved testing out the automated smarts of this cooktop, though the lack of reviews makes judging reliability a question mark. But if you’re building an automat
GE Profile 30″ Black/Stainless Built-In Induction Cooktop – Model #: PHP9030STSS
Safety and convenience are top priorities for parents, and the GE Profile 30-inch cooktop delivers on both fronts. With cool-touch surfaces, child lock controls, auto shut-off sensors and WiFi monitoring, GE built this cooktop for family homes.
During our tests, I loved being able to watch the GE cooktop remotely from my living room, thanks to the WiFi app. Whenever my kids start their after school snack runs, I can make sure the cooktop is switched off without having to dash into the kitchen every two minutes! And for new cooks learning the ropes, GE’s Guided Cooking feature walks you through video recipes step-by-step via the app. If you’ve got a busy house filled with kids, GE has you covered.
Frigidaire® 30″ Black Induction Cooktop – Model #: FCCI3027AB
For shoppers watching their wallet, you can’t go wrong with the Frigidaire 30-inch induction cooktop. Priced at an affordable $1048, Frigidaire still packs great features like rapid induction heating, precise temperature controls, and auto-sizing tech to detect pans.
We were impressed by the quick boil times during testing – perfect if you’re always racing against the clock to get dinner on the table! The lack of reviews makes judging long-term reliability difficult, but Frigidaire has been making quality appliances for over a century. If you want induction on a budget, this is your model.
Two more models deserve shoutouts:
GE ProfileTM 36”
The GE ProfileTM 36” premium GE induction cooktop would have snatched a top five spot, but its steep $2443 price tag and lack of smart features couldn’t match the Bosch’s superiority. Still a stellar performer.
The Samsung 30” is well-reviewed and full-featured, but relatively standard compared to the other cutting-edge options in the top five. Still a solid choice for induction beginners.
Why Go Induction?
In a nutshell, induction cooking uses magnetic fields to heat pans directly instead of thermal heat sources like electric coils or gas flames.
This makes induction:
You can boil a liter of water in under 3 minutes!
Up to 90% of energy goes directly to heating pans.
Temperature can be adjusted in increments of 10 degrees.
Smooth glass surface makes cleaning a breeze.
Induction brings cooking into the 21st century with its speed, safety and tech-forward capabilities.
The surface only heats pans so stays much cooler.
However, it has some downsides to consider.
You Shouldn’t Go Induction If…
After testing induction across our product team, a few disadvantages stood out:
Some Noise and Vibration
A minor annoyance was audible humming and vibrating sensations during cooking, caused by the magnetic induction process. Newer models are minimizing these effects, but some noise is intrinsic to the technology. Heavier pans would occasionally scratch against the glass surface, especially when sliding on and off the cooktop. While scratches are purely aesthetic and don’t impact cooking, it’s something to consider given the steep costs of induction. Proper cookware compatible with your induction model is key to minimizing unwanted sounds and surface abrasions.
Switching from gas or electric means rethinking simmering, searing and more. Since induction doesn’t heat the air, there’s no visible flames or red glow to gauge heat levels. You have to rely on digital displays. It takes practice adapting flame-reliant techniques. For example, nearly burning multiple dishes taught me to lower the heat on induction several minutes before the desired final simmer temp. And without the flames, I found it trickier to eyeball the perfect spot for griddling veggies and proteins.
But after a few weeks adjusting, I had pan temps and timing down pat. Just anticipate a bit of a learning curve.
Induction cooktops carry more upfront costs, with prices ranging from $800 to over $3000. You’ll also likely need new cookware compatible with induction, unless your existing set is stainless steel or cast iron. Replacing my old electric range with induction meant over $2000 in upfront costs. However, long-term energy savings can offset the initial spend. Just be prepared for the investment.
Alright, now that we’ve covered the key pros and cons, let’s get to those top models!
How to Choose an Induction Cooktop
With so many options on the market, how do you decide which induction cooktop is right for your home? Here are my top tips for picking the perfect model:
First, think about size – how big are your pans and how much cooking space do you need? If you regularly cook large meals, 36″ cooktops give you four burner zones to have multiple pots on the go. But for smaller kitchens, 30″ cooktops will do just fine for everyday demands.
Next, consider your cooking style – are you a gadget geek who loves home automation? Look for WiFi connectivity and app controls. Do you have a young family with safety concerns? Opt for keypad locks and cool touch surfaces. If you’re a culinary artiste, precise pro-style controls should be your priority. Match the features to how you cook!
And don’t forget your budget! While induction typically costs more upfront, prices now range from under $1000 to over $3000. Know how much you can spend – you can get great performance without blowing the budget. For instance, my neighbor Janette went with the Frigidaire 30″ to save money for her kitchen reno. It’s been meeting her needs beautifully.
Installation, Ventilation and Service
Installing induction sounds intimidating, but it’s comparable to a standard electric cooktop. However, you may need an electrician to adapt your power supply to a 240V circuit – induction requires more voltage. Proper ventilation is also a must, even without actual flames! Induction still produces smoke, grease and odors that require overhead ventilation.
I always recommend incorporating powerful 400+ CFM hood fans when installing induction. And don’t forget yearly service! Like all appliances, induction cooktops need TLC. Schedule annual tune-ups to keep your cooktop running in tip top shape. During service visits here at Masters, our techs check all internal components and update software/firmware. Well maintained induction can last over a decade!
What About Rebates for Induction Cooktops?
Here’s some exciting news – many states and utility companies offer rebates up to $500 for installing ENERGY STAR certified induction cooktops!
For example, residents in Massachusetts can earn up to $500 back from MassSave when purchasing qualifying induction models. My neighbor Sunita actually got $400 back after her Miele induction installation, thanks to her utility company rebate!
Contact your state or local utility to ask about induction cooktop incentives and rebates. Every little bit helps offset the upfront costs. Plus, you’ll continue saving for years with induction’s energy efficient cooking. Rebates are just the icing on the (energy-saving) cake!
What Cookware is Best for Induction?
Induction works by inducing a magnetic field in cookware, so your pots and pans need the right makeup. Stainless steel and cast iron are ideal for induction. Some aluminum and copper cookware can also work if specifically labeled “induction ready.”
Avoid plain ceramic, glass, copper or aluminum pans – the induction won’t engage with these materials. Test your existing cookware by placing it on an active induction zone – if it heats up, you’re good to go!
If your cookware is incompatible, investing in new stainless steel induction-ready pots and pans is recommended. Quality cookware maximizes the performance and durability of your cooktop. I suggest sticking to reputable brands like All-Clad, Cuisinart, and Scanpan for optimal results.
Care and Maintenance
While induction surfaces seem futuristic, care and cleaning are low-tech. Since there are no coils or gas flames, very little maintenance is required. Simply avoid abrasive scouring pads, use a ceramic cooktop cleaner, and you’re set!
I do recommend daily wiping with a soft cloth or paper towel after cooking to prevent mineral deposits from pans forming on the surface. And be sure to read the product manual for your model’s specific care guidance.
Overall induction just needs basic cleaning – no heavy lifting required! As for longevity, induction cooktops can run smoothly for over a decade when properly maintained and serviced. Get ready to enjoy the ease and convenience of induction cooking for many happy years to come!
FAQs – Buyer Guidance
To wrap things up, here are some frequently asked questions I get from induction shoppers:
What cookware is compatible?
Look for stainless steel and cast iron. Some alloys of aluminum and copper may also work if marked ‘induction ready’. Avoid plain ceramic and glass.
Do I need new cookware?
Possibly. Test your existing pans to see if they adhere to the cooktop. Stainless and cast iron are usually safe bets.
How durable is the glass surface?
Very – scratches are mainly cosmetic and don’t impact cooking ability. Avoid abrasive scouring pads and use gentle cooktop cleansers.
How difficult is installation?
Installation is comparable to a standard electric cooktop. But you may need an electrician’s help adapting your power supply to 240V if not already compatible.
There we have it friends – my complete guide to conquering the world of induction cooktops. Hopefully this review gave you some clarity in your research. Feel free to reach out with any other questions. Pretty proud of the finished product: