Owners of electric and induction cooktops have their reasons for preferring one or the other and at the end of the day it simply comes down to a matter of personal preference. That said however, the current preoccupation with energy conservation and the overall price of energy tends to suggest that an induction cooktop has more advantages. From a performance perspective too, many users also cite heat consistency and speed of cooking as the deciding factor for their purchase as it is ideal for any type of precision cooking.
Pros for Induction Cooktops
This is only important for those who are dedicated to cooking and tasks such as melting chocolate, boiling, simmering and slow cooking may be accomplished with precision on an induction cooktop, particularly if the base of the pan you are using is suitably thick. With most induction cookers having approximately ten heat levels, maintaining a precise cooking temperature can be easily achieved and maintained for extended periods.
Heat and Energy Efficiency
This is generally considered to be the main reason for the popularity of induction cookers. An induction cooker heats food faster than a traditional electric cooktop, resulting in less energy being used. In addition to this, energy is saved as a result of the cooktop itself not being heated. The cooking pot is all that is heated: not the cooktop or the air around it. Wasted energy is also significantly reduced when compared to an electric cooktop.
Cleaning an induction cooktop is relatively simple. A smooth, flat ceramic glass surface is always faster to clean than many electric cooktops, which have sunken surfaces and pans that require removal. The simple process of wiping over the flat surface with a damp cloth is all that is required with induction cookers. The absence of burned food on the cooking surface is also a plus with induction cooking because the stovetop does not become heated with the induction process. Of course, if you prefer to use abrasive cleaners and soaking stove parts in water, then an electric cooker will be more suitable for you.
This is another area where an induction cooker has many advantages over an electric stove. If you have a tendency to not keep a close eye on things or forget to turn off the burner, you could face the possibility of a kitchen fire. Induction cookers generally come with a built-in system shutdown feature, which prevents this type of disaster. In addition to preventing kitchen fires and burnt pots, the risk of burning yourself by touching part of the cooker is also significantly reduced. These safety features are not associated with electric stoves.
Cons of Induction Cooking
Anyone considering purchasing an induction cooktop should also be aware of his or her limitations, although most of these are not difficult to overcome. It will likely be necessary to purchase induction specific cookware featuring a thick base with a flat bottom, it needs to be stainless steel or iron, and unless you are looking for a single burner induction cooktop, the initial purchase price of a built-in cooktop could be more expensive than a regular electric stove.
Inadvertently dropping a cast iron pot on the induction ceramic cooktop can break it while sliding pots across the same surface can also cause damage. Using cookware that is too heavy for the surface can also result in damage, as can using aluminum foil.
The other issues worth a mention involve not using an induction cooker if you have electronic implants such as a heart pacemaker for example. It is thought that electronic interference from the magnetic induction process may affect electronic medical devices. Noise from the internal cooling fan of an induction cooker can also be irritating to noise sensitive individuals. So it is evident that in all the instances described above, a traditional electric cooktop would be preferable.
If faster cook times, saving energy, more precise temperature control and safety features are important to you then an induction cooker will prove indispensable well into the future. For those who need built safety features, induction cooking is also preferable. On the other hand, if you are accustomed to using an electric stove, and are satisfied with its performance, then all the benefits of induction cooking will likely be meaningless. It is a personal decision, based on individual likes and preferences that ultimately results in the best choice.