Induction stoves have a smooth plate of glass over a big coil of wire. When AC electricity moves through it creates a magnetic field which causes friction in the iron in your pan and the pan heats up.(1) Because induction technology uses magnetic fields, cookware must have a magnetic bottom. You can check if your pan will work with a magnet.
Time and Efficiency
Induction stoves heat up to 50% faster and are substantially more energy efficient than gas and electric resistance stoves.(2)
Induction stoves cook faster and more evenly than electric, gas, and propane stoves. Because the glass surface doesn't heat up except where the pan has heated the glass, food doesn’t get cooked on to the surface making clean up much easier.(4)
Induction stoves are safer because they don’t have an open flame and there are no gas leaks.(3) If you touch a cooktop when it is on, it is not hot. After cooking, the heat from your pan will have heated the glass but not the electricity from below. There is no wasted heat from a burner heating the air around the pan. Induction stoves are about 85% efficient compared to gas which is 30% efficient.
Electrification for the Environment
This is one step to reducing fossil fuel use. If your electricity comes from 100% renewable energy, switching to an induction stove will lower your carbon footprint.
Induction stoves don’t put out toxic emissions like gas and propane stoves which lead to asthma and cardiovascular disease. Gas hot water heaters are required to be vented directly outside the home. Gas stoves don’t have this regulation and though many people have range hoods, not all of them vent outside nor do people regularly use them to vent the NO2, CO, and HCHO which exacerbate respiratory and other health ailments. A hood which vents to the outdoors should be used for 20 minutes after cooking is completed even for an induction stove so that grease and other microscopic food particles from cooking are dissipated.
The first two websites below are from our state and from California. The third resource is a short video showing how induction works.
Benefits of induction stoves by the MassCEC
Benefits of induction stoves by East Bay Community Energy
Intro to how induction stove works by Fine Cooking
Indoor air quality: TheGuardian.com
Health and Climate Change: NPR
Asthma and gas stoves Slate.com