6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Cooking with Induction

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(ABC 6 News) – The age-old debate amongst home chefs: gas or electric stoves?

If you’re not sure which one to use for your home, Consumer Reports reveals a newer cooking option you might want to consider.

Last year, Leah Brickley said farewell to her gas range and bought an induction range for her home kitchen. As a professional chef and baker she was conflicted.

“I was a little nervous when they actually pulled the gas stove out and put the induction in but I haven’t looked back and I don’t miss cooking on gas at all,” says Brickley.

Consumer Reports’ Paul Hope says if you’re looking to replace an old range, don’t let fear of the unfamiliar keep you from switching to induction.

“Induction uses an oscillating magnetic field to actually transfer energy directly from the element to the pan. The result is it’s much more efficient and it heats up faster, too,” says Hope.

And contrary to what you may have heard, you probably won’t need to buy all new cookware.

“It’s true that induction only works with magnetic cookware but that really isn’t as limiting as it sounds. Cast iron, most stainless steel, even an enamel cast iron dutch oven all work. If you’re not sure, stick a magnet to your pan. If a magnet sticks to it, it’s going to work with induction,” explains Hope.

What doesn’t work; aluminum. But anodized aluminum might, “traditionally Anodized aluminum cookware didn’t work with induction but more and more we’re seeing pieces like this that come with a special base that’s induction compatible,” says Hope.

Another plus, in CR’s range tests, induction burners typically outperform other types of cooktop burners.

If you’re not ready to be fully inducted into the induction club, CR also checked out several portable induction cooktops. Hope says, “a portable induction cooktop is a really good option if you routinely entertain or find yourself without enough free burners on your stove.”

And if you do make the switch from a gas range to an induction, you’ll likely need to pay and electrician to install a new outlet. That typically costs a few hundred dollars.