Kitchens Are Getting Invisible Cooktops — And It Feels Like We’re Living in the Future

published Sep 16, 2021
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Fruit and vegetables in kitchen
Credit: Getty Images/ Westend61

Counter space is a hot commodity in any kitchen. And large appliances (like stoves!) take up a lot of valuable space that could otherwise be used as more kitchen work space. But, you guys, the future is here — and the invisible cooktop is slowly gaining steam.

What’s an invisible cooktop? Pretty much exactly what you’re picturing … or maybe not, actually. It’s an induction cooktop that gets installed underneath your stone countertop. It gives you stovetop without any visible burners: You simply cook by putting the pan in the right spot directly on your counter!

Credit: Courtesy of Invisacook

There’s a hidden control panel (some of these can even be activated through your phone!) and the burners heat up pots and pans — through the stone — quickly to transition your work surface into a cooktop in no time! (For what it’s worth: Induction heating is also reported to be faster than traditional gas or electric cooktops, making it more time- and energy-efficient.) Plus, the cleanup is a cinch: Wiping down a countertop is always going to be faster than cleaning up a stovetop.

The invisible cooktop is functional, of course, but it’s what it does for kitchen design that has me hooked. You get more work space and you get a kitchen that’s less cluttered and, well, a little less kitchen-y. Something that could mesh better with an open floor plan, for example.

A perfect example of a kitchen with this integration comes from award-winning Canadian designer and television personality Karen Sealy, of Toronto-based Sealy Design Inc. Check out her space (above), featuring an invisible cooktop from Invisacook, and you’ll see what I mean.

“The trend in kitchen design has been moving more and more toward the truly uncluttered kitchen,” Sealy says, noting appliance garages to hide small appliances to panel-ready fridges and dishwashers. “With the Invisacook, now we can hide our cooktop, too.”

For this reason, she predicts we’ll start seeing a lot more invisible cooktops in kitchens. As this high-tech wizardry becomes popular, Sealy notes that the cooktops come with some pros and cons worth considering. On the one hand, they allow for a clean, cohesive, and clutter-free countertop. And on the other, it’s a costly transition (the average cost for a four-burner unit is roughly $2,400) — especially because you may also need to swap out your pots and pans in order to use it. (You need induction-friendly cookware!)

If you’re not familiar, induction cooking works by creating a magnetic field between the pot and the magnetic coils beneath the cooking surface. Simply put, the energy created in the electromagnetic field heats the pot. That means aluminum, all-copper, or glass cookware won’t work unless they have a bottom layer with magnetic properties. Instead, you want clad stainless-steel, thick magnet-bottom pans.

Related: How an Induction Stove Works — And the Right Pans to Use on It

Still, the sleek, easy-to-clean surfaces of invisible cooktops are turning heads. The demand to convert kitchens into true extensions of living space continue to grow, making the invisible cooktop option just one more exciting example of how innovation has begun to grace the kitchen design world. Also, it makes me feel like the year is actually 3021!

What do you think about invisible cooktops? Tell us in the comments below.