Everything to Know About Induction Cooktops

You asked, we have answers.

May 27, 2022
Photo by Rocky Luten

Get cooks talking about stoves, and they are bound to have an opinion. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when a small mention of my desire to swap from gas to an induction stove in my last No Space Too Small column sparked a flurry of comments. It seems some people are wary of induction cooking and have lots of questions while others are passionately in love with the technology.

Induction cooking was first introduced at the World's Fair in Chicago in...1933! It has been widespread in Europe for decades, as those countries have moved more quickly to electrification, but in the United States, it makes up a really small market. According to a Morning Consult survey of around 2,200 adults, induction accounted for only three percent of the ranges or cooktops uses, while 39 percent use gas, 59 percent use electric; the same study found that only a third of respondents were likely to consider induction.

So, what’s the deal with induction? We looked at the state of induction cooking from our community of trusted home cooks, architects, and appliance industry experts. Here’s everything we learned about it, along with some of our experts’ favorite induction cooktops.

What is induction cooking?

Don’t confuse electric-powered induction cooking with the electric-coil ranges of the past. The technology that powers induction cooking is electrical induction, rather than thermal conduction from a flame or an electric heating coil. “Induction is super fast, super safe, and super efficient,” says Albert Fouerti, CEO and co-owner of Appliances Connection, which has been selling stoves for more than 20 years.

Induction cooktops are better for your health than gas stoves.

Cooking gas negatively impacts indoor air quality—a big contributing factor behind the move toward induction. Four research and advocacy organizations—the Rocky Mountain Institute, Mothers Out Front, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Sierra Club—partnered on a literature review, assessing more than 20 years’ of peer-reviewed studies and found that “gas stoves may be exposing tens of millions of people to levels of air pollution in their homes that would be illegal outdoors under national air quality standards.” The impacts are particularly acute for asthma sufferers and young children. Research also suggests that our stoves are leaking harmful pollution even when not in use.

They heat and cool faster, too.

Speed is one of the areas where induction technology has improved. “In 15 seconds you can have a pot of boiling water,” says Fouerti. A Food52 member who goes by Complicity also points out that induction is fast to cool down because there aren’t any heat-retaining grids—a major plus for safety and hot days.

Induction cooking technology has greatly improved.

If you tried induction in the past and found it lacking, you might be pleasantly surprised by today’s models. Fouerti says the induction technology has greatly improved over time. “In the beginning, [induction] wasn't fast enough. It was more powerful than the standard electric cooktop, but it wasn't as efficient as the high-end [gas ranges]. In the past 10 years, we have seen a huge improvement in induction.” There are also new cooktops with a fully activated surface, so the old worry of matching pan sizes with the burner is no longer relevant.

You may not have a choice between gas or induction.

Not every home’s electrical wiring can support an induction range, as several of Food52's community members point out. This is especially true in older apartment buildings where it might cost thousands of dollars to get adequate amperage for an induction range.

Many cities are also banning new gas hookups, including New York City, Seattle, and 50 cities in California. They’re not going to take away your current gas stove, but if you’re building a new home with the proper infrastructure, you might have to go electric. ​​Architect Yaiza Armbruster, the principal of Atelier Armbruster in NYC, says her firm would no longer design kitchens with gas stoves because of health concerns and her firm’s climate goals.

Induction is a boon to small spaces.

I’ve noticed that many European apartments make do with just a two-burner induction range, which frees up counter space. Induction cooktops also blend more seamlessly into kitchens, as Food52 member Marion B., who has a KitchenAid 30-inch induction cooktop, points out. “I love the way the cooktop provides extra counter space and visually disappears into my black granite countertop, making the space look sleeker and bigger.”

But you might have to switch up your cookware.

Despite all the pros, there are drawbacks to making the switch—namely, not all your cookware will work on an induction stovetop. Among the Food52 community, many people said that they missed their favorite non-stick pans, which won’t work on induction. On the flip side, others were rediscovering the glorious non-stick properties of a well-seasoned cast iron pan. If you need recs for induction cookware, we have the best ones right here.

Options are limited, but growing.

Small-space dwellers looking to replace their old 24-inch gas range (like me!) have noticed that there are no 24-inch induction ranges available stateside. Likewise, a high-end interior designer told me she was longing for a 48-inch version for one of her clients. Fouerti says 30 or 36 inches is the standard, but more options are coming. (In fact, his company is working on producing a 48-inch induction range). “It is a bigger piece of glass, so you have to think about how to transport it,” he says. The problem is also price, he points out. “It’s expensive right now. People don’t want to spend $2,000 or $2,400 on a 24-inch range,” he says, adding that prices will eventually come down as demand grows.

Our favorite induction cooktops

Fouerti is clearly excited for the future of induction, but he says we’re still a few years out from full market saturation in part due to supply chain shortages, but also because the U.S. market didn’t anticipate how quickly demand would grow. In terms of style, Fouerti is excited by the “beautiful” ranges from Ilve and “amazing, almost touchless” cooktops from Monogram and Gaggenau.

If you’re still on the fence, you can even test drive the technology with a portable burner. One Food52 member has been using hers for three years, even though she initially bought it as a stop-gap measure when her previous stove broke. And if you need some more convincing, here are 10 induction cooktops and ranges that our experts and community members love.

Photo by Frigidaire

1. Frigidaire Gallery Series 30 Inch Freestanding Electric Induction Range

Fouerti likes this Frigidaire model for its “smudge-proof” finish (a boon for busy families). Plus, he notes its design is “sleek and perfect for a modern kitchen.”

Photo by Samsung

2. Samsung 30 Inch Smart Slide-in Electric Induction Range

Samsung's tech-forward model features a combination of stainless steel and black. Fouerti says, “I especially like the added attention to detail with the blue illuminated LED buttons and Wi-Fi capabilities.”

Photo by Fisher Paykel

3. Fisher Paykel Contemporary Series 30 Inch Freestanding Electric Induction Range

Fouerti says you can’t go wrong with Fisher Paykel for design or performance (a sentiment echoed by another homeowner I interviewed), but he likes this model in particular because it has all of the elements of a modern cooktop but has the look of a more traditional model.

Photo by Gaggenau

4. Gaggenau Induction Cooktop 400 series

Susan Serra, kitchen designer and founder of Susan Serra Associates, Inc., says, “The majority of my clients are requesting induction cooking.” Serra has used a variety of induction cooktops in her client’s homes, but she says her favorite is by Gaggenau. “You can put a pot or pan anywhere and it will heat, and if you're adding another pot to the cooktop, you can move it over and the cooktop detects the location of the pots.”

Photo by Signature Kitchen

5. Signature Kitchen Suite 36-inch Flex Induction Cooktop, $4,199

Serra also likes the SKS induction cooktop due to its flush installation and extra powerful burner.

Photo by GE Café

6. Café 36" Smart Touch-Control Induction Cooktop, $2,699

Another favorite is the GE Cafe smart control cooktop, which Serra likes for its cool features. Reviewers like the syncing burners feature in particular.

Photo by Dacor

7. Dacor 36-inch Induction Cooktop, $3,699

Serra recommends Dacor for “truly intelligent features that I find useful, smart, and fun.” One standout is the “virtual flame” created with LED lights to visually signal when the cooktop is in use.

Photo by GE Profile

8. GE Profile 36 in. Electric Induction Cooktop, $2,198

Stefan Bucur and Maegan Bucur, founders of Rhythm of the Home in Lewisville, Texas installed one of GE’s Profile cooktops in a kitchen remodel years ago, calling it a great choice that’s still going strong.

Photo by Bosch

9. Bosch Benchmark Series 36-in Induction Cooktop, $3,299

Vicky Cano, a recipe and meal kit blogger, cooks on a Benchmark Induction Cooktop by Bosch. “This cooktop is a little on the pricier side, but not without reason as it's more of a ‘smart’ cooktop,” she says. “The FlexInduction lets you combine two smaller heating zones into a larger one, which is a life-saving feature—especially during holiday cooking.”

Photo by Thermador

10. Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop 36'', $5,799

At home, chef Bridget Bueche (@cooksperspective) uses a Thermador Freedom cooktop, which lets you use the entire surface of the cooktop as one continuous cooking area. “It’s a built-in, flush mount,” she says of the sleek design. When she’s cooking on the go, including outdoors and at events, Bueche uses three portable CookTek tops. “People are starting to practice with portables to get a feel for induction,” she says. “There are also electrification groups and utility agencies offering rentals to promote the switch.”

Are you a fan of induction cooktops? Let us know below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

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Laura Fenton is the No Space Too Small columnist at Food52. The author of The Little Book of Living Small, she covers home, design, and sustainability. Laura lives in Jackson Heights, Queens in a 690-square foot apartment with her husband and son. You can follow her on Instagram @laura.alice.fenton or subscribe to her newsletter Living Small.


Michael F. June 13, 2022
Can anyone suggest a good (known from experience) portable induction burner? I see there are a lot out there in various price ranges but which ones are proven to be reliable and worth what you pay for it.
Laura F. June 14, 2022
Hi Michael, while reporting the story, Bueche suggested CookTek's portable models, which she uses when doing cooking demonstrations. She said: 600501 is 1500 W the heritage induction single range, I have had that for over nine years. The 600901 heritage 3500 W newer twice as much power really strong unit. Hope that helps!
Kestrel June 9, 2022
We have had an induction cooktop for many years. Our first was a DIVA and it was great, but finally one of the units died, and by then, DIVA had gone out of business. Our current model is a WOLF. I would not recommend it. It is VERY hard to see where the pans go, so I was happy to see some brands here where the burner lights up when it is on. Actually, I have been pretty disappointed with all my WOLF appliances and appreciate knowing more about these other brands. All that said, induction cooktops are by far the best way to cook - easy to clean, fast, responsive, precise. I have no idea why they are not more popular.
Medora V. June 9, 2022
I'll toss in my two cents after 3 days' experience with a "portable" two-burner induction cooktop. It's the stopgap between my very elderly gas range that died a dramatic death (involving the fire department) last week and the new electric range that may arrive by the end of the month.

I always preferred cooking on gas (or outdoors over an open fire!); then, about a year-and-a-half ago, I read, which alerted me to the nitrogen dioxide we had been inhaling all these years. My response was not to heave my range to the curb but to get a pricey air filter, the only downside of which was that I could no longer smell what I was cooking.

Then, this past March, I came across, which highlighted the dramatic difference in environmental impact between gas and induction in the kitchen. I read everything I could find on induction and determined that I'd have to dispose of most of my beloved cookware. Again I postponed the inevitable.

Based on my brief experience with the new technology, I'd suggest that if anyone is on the fence regarding induction, they ought to make the much more modest investment in a one- or two-burner plug-in cooktop and give it a whirl. The one I chose cost about $200 and is giving us a valuable introduction to a different way of cooking. When the new range shows up, I can pack this away and bring it out when I'm feeding so many people that I need seven burners (in my dreams).

First observation: the magnet test on one's cookware is not conclusive. Some pans that attracted the magnet were rejected (the cooktop bleeps plaintively when asked to heat the wrong kind of pan), and some that didn't attract the magnet worked fine. Whether or not the pan is non-stick seems to make no difference. So, bit by bit, I'm going through the entire collection and setting aside the pots and pans that aren't going to work. The best test is to pour a bit of water in the pan; if it's going to work, it heats up so quickly that you'll see steam or bubbles right away.

Pros: the speed with which the cooktop responds to adjusting the temperature, the astonishing fact that handles remain cool to the touch, and (although I haven't yet used this feature) the ability to program a complex recipe and walk away. Cons: saying goodbye to some of your favorite cookware, getting used to not seeing what "medium" or "high" looks like underneath the pan, and learning what temperatures are appropriate for making dishes that you used to be able to make in your sleep. I'm also afraid of breaking it, as I've never cooked on glass before.

It is clear that if reducing your environmental footprint is your primary objective, induction cooking is the way to go. And, be braced for the learning curve.
Medora V. June 10, 2022
For some reason the link to the NYT article was truncated; look it up by its title: Your Induction Stove Is the First Step Toward Plugging In the Whole House.
Alida L. June 6, 2022
I love induction! I won’t recommend our 3-year-old 36” Bausch+Lomb because we had to replace the motherboard just after the warranty expired (on a very lightly-used stove), and because their idea of sleek design required me to put dots of nail polish so you can see where to start it up, etc. Also watch out for edge protection if a stovetop is not flush mounted. Friends dropped a heavy pot on the edge and had to replace the whole top. Just frustrated that it doesn’t seem easy to exchange the Frigidaire gas stove in the NY apartment we have because of the electrical demands. Will be looking into that further, because in a hot climate, induction is the only sensible choice! Now with new info about out-gassing, a gas stove seems highly undesirable.
Alida L. June 6, 2022
The edge of their induction top, not mine, thankfully!
Nancy H. June 5, 2022
I OWN a 24" Bosch induction cooktop. I live in Chicago. Wolf also makes a 24" induction cooktop or at least did when I was shopping for them.

Also re: cookware. You can find non-stick cookware. What I find far more important is that the metal remains magnetic throughout the pan - i.e.. up the sides.
brandyk June 5, 2022
These stoves seem really great. My question though, is what amount of Emf radiation are these putting out? Especially since you will be standing directly over them while cooking? We are already bombarded with wifi and so many other harmful things in the home. These stoves seem like not a wise choice especially to those sensitive. I predict in the near future there will be new etiquette rules surrounding these issues. Like asking if it would be ok to bring a mobile phone into people's homes. Just food for thought.
Shannon June 5, 2022
So is the oven part of these ranges a "normal" electric? What's the verdict on their performance?
zile June 5, 2022
Did I miss it or have any recommendations for a "try it out" portable single burner?
Nancy H. June 5, 2022
I used an 1800 watt (I think) portable/hotplate for a while before I remodeled my kitchen. It worked quite well. Once I even managed to brown previously frozen scallops in a non-stick pan. Thawed scallops give off a lot of liquid and non-stick is notoriously weak at browning.

These are relatively cheap. I had Duxtop.
Medora V. June 9, 2022
My two-burner is made by NuWave, and so far it seems fine. They make a single burner version.
MedAvenue June 5, 2022
We replaced our 24" gas range several years ago. I was not willing to consider anything other than induction. Wolf was the only 24" induction cooktop available then, so we purchased the largest Breville conduction Smart Oven to install below it. Works for us. The only change I'd consider is to replace the microwave and smart oven with a combination, once we need to replace either one of them.
RYoungberg June 2, 2022
Many decade fan of gas cooking but tried a $150 portable induction countertop to see how it works and love it! Heats amazingly fast and fine temperature controls makes it a joy to use. Brings water to a boil about 4 times faster than gas. And zero combustion air polution. Just waiting to find an induction unit the right size to replace the existing 5 burner gas cooktop.
Oh, and it uses the free electricity from my home solar system which has already paid for itself.
Diane June 1, 2022
I absolutely love my induction cooktop. It’s fast, and easy to clean. Although the author claims that you cannot use non-stick cookware, that is not the case. I have several that work really well on my cooktop. Cast iron also works beautifully.
Kaiju June 5, 2022
That's good to know about the non-stick cookware. Is it anything in particular about the ones that do work i.e. heavier base?
Alida L. June 6, 2022
You just need to look for induction-compatible non-stick pans. Most in the past were on an aluminum base, which will not work.
Toutizes May 27, 2022
For those who want real mechanical buttons on their induction cooktops there are very few choices. The most affordable are the Frigidaire 30" and 36" models (

It took me a while to find them so I created an account just to be able to share the info.
Go Induction!