Good Question: What Is Induction Cooking?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Does anyone have experience with induction cooking? I’m remodeling a kitchen and we must have electric cooking (there’s no gas in the building).

I’ve lately read that induction is catching on. I wonder, is it good at regulating heat? Is it easier to adjust the heat with induction than it would be with electric? And can one use Le Creuset pots (that’s basically all I have).

– Stacey

Induction ranges have been become very popular in Europe in the last ten years, but they are still catching on over here. What’s an induction range? With induction, each burner on a stove is a powerful, high-frequency electromagnet, generated by electronics under the ceramic surface. The field transfers, or induces, energy into any metal pan placed on its surface, and the transferred energy causes the pan to heat up. You can adjust that energy instantly, so you can reduce a boiling pan of water to a simmer in just a few seconds.

Induction is very efficient, and professional cooks have long loved its instantaneous heating and cooling. They are also quite easy to clean. We are fascinated by induction cooking – its utter precision and efficiency is very appealing. There are no hot surfaces except directly under the pan, so they’re also a good choice for households with children.

So yes, they are very good at regulating heat, and much better for that than electric and even gas.

And to answer your question on Le Creuset – yes! They are fine for use on induction stovetops. Here’s a quote from their FAQ: You can use Le Creuset cast iron with confidence on whatever heat source you choose – Induction, halogen, ceramic, gas, electric ring and solid plate, and solid fuel (e.g. Aga, Rayburn).

We don’t have any direct experience with induction cooking, though, so we’ll throw your question out to the crowd – what’s been your experience with cooking on induction stovetops? Would you recommend induction?