This past year, my husband and I renovated our kitchen. Primarily, we replaced the kitchen island. That project included replacing our stove. We previously had a GE Profile electric drop in range.
Since we moved into this house, I have taken to cooking much more than I ever did before. Specifically, when I started eating according to the Paleo diet, I really started to make most of my own foods. Now I love to cook and, of course, love all the gizmos that come with cooking! Picking out a new stove was going to be one of the best gizmo shopping experiences ever.
The first thing we considered was to move to gas cooking. Many, many high-end cooks prefer using gas for cooking because of the fine control they have over the heat. It also allows you to instantly change the heat setting. Standard electric stoves, on the other hand, still emit heat for a time until the element cools.
The downside to a gas stove was that our stove is in the island. It would have meant that our contractor would need to get into the ceiling in the room below to run the gas line from the wall to the island. This seemed like an unpleasant and expensive process. But I really wanted some of the qualities of using a gas stove!
Induction as an Option
That’s when I came across induction cooking. With induction, you get much of the same fine control and instant adjustment. If you are new to induction, let me quickly explain. Induction uses magnetic energy to cook. Instead of the element in the glass top getting hot and transferring the heat to the pan, the magnet ONLY heats the pan itself. Induction cooking offers several advantages over standard glass cooktops. First, it’s FAST! You can bring a pot of water to boil in just 2-4 minutes depending on the size of the pot. Coffee never brewed so fast! Also, because the top doesn’t provide the heat via the glass, the temp is adjusted instantly when you change the setting.
Another significant advantage of the induction top for me is maintenance. It was always a struggle to keep the old glass top clean, particularly if something spilled over. Inevitably the spilled food would cook onto the element. Then it was a chore to remove without scratching the glass top. The induction top is much better for two reasons. First, the top itself doesn’t get hot – only the pan on it does. So I keep a flour sack towel near the stove and put it over the cooktop before I start. Then, any splashes or spills land on the towel instead of the stove. Just toss the towel in the laundry and the stove is clean! Also, because the top doesn’t heat, even if the food does land on the surface, it doesn’t get hot and can just be wiped up. See the video below showing how I use the towel on the surface while cooking.
Safety is another feature. If you have small children or maybe someone who suffers from dementia in the home, using induction is a little safer. If there is no pot or pan on the stove, the stove turns off. No more open burner waiting to start a fire. The stove top itself doesn’t heat up. However, if you have a hot pot or pan on the glass for a long time, it does get a little warm to the touch. Still, it is not enough to burn you. So if you have a little one you don’t need to be worried about them touching a hot element when you’ve turned your back.
Selecting an Induction Stove
We chose the Samsung NE58H9970WS Slide-In Induction Chef Collection Range with Flex Duo™ Oven for a couple of reasons. First, it is a drop in range which worked better for us in our island configuration. But another reason was the oven. This model has one large oven cavity. However, there is a plate/shelf that you can insert to divide it into two areas and have different temperatures for each area. It’s not quite as cool as two separate ovens. But it does the work of cooking two things at a time about 95% of the time. Since I typically only use the upper part on a daily basis, it also saves energy by only heating the smaller space. The big plus is that I can still put the 25lb turkey in the full cavity if I want to. Lots of options!
Speaking of options, it has all kinds of gizmos for the gizmo: timers, clock, start later features, a probe to bring your meat to the perfect temp and more.
Finally, a bonus for me was the warming drawer. I’ve never had that feature before and I have to confess that I still sometimes forget I have it. But I have used it when a recipe calls for keeping something warm while working on a sauce or other part of the recipe. I’ve also kept appetizers there just before guests arrive so that I didn’t have to plate while entertaining. It has three levels of warmth (low, medium, high) and works great. I anticipate I’ll use this more and more over time. Maybe I’ll even get fancy and start heating our plates!
Of course, there is no perfect solution. With all of those advantages come a few downsides. First, while it is much more granular and easy to control than glass, it is not as fine a control as gas. It is enough for me but some cooks may not be willing to adjust. Second, it does require that you use pans that are “induction ready.” To see if yours are, just try to stick a magnet to the bottom. If it sticks, it’s induction ready. I was fortunate that my everyday pans were ready. There are quite a few others, however, that aren’t. I’ll keep those for the stove we have downstairs. You can buy plates that are suppose to allow you to adapt the induction elements to standard elements. I tried one and it caused my stove to throw an “over heated” error. Plus the color of the adapter even changed. That adapter went in the trash. I’m not willing to risk damage to my nifty new stove. I’ll get whatever pans I need.
Overall, I love this new stove. It’s a treasure in our home. My best gizmo purchase of the year by far! You can learn more here.
- Easy to control
- Easy to clean
- Love the dual/single oven option
- You might need new pots or pans
- The control is not quite as fine as gas, but far superior to standard glass top