Induction cooking uses magnetism to generate heat and cook your food. This more high-tech type of cooking lends itself to innovative features. Here are some that are currently available on induction stovetops, plus a few that may be on the way.
The Best Induction BurnersWant to try out induction cooking before investing in a full-size range? Standalone portable induction burners are useful as an extra cooking surface for holidays and parties, for traveling, or where you can’t have a full-size stove. Check out our review of the ones worth buying.
Some stoves have a button that combines a pair of adjacent burners and the area between them to form one big burner, which you can use to heat stovetop griddles and other oblong pans. This is called bridging.
Rectangular Rather than Round Burners
Induction works best if you match the pan to the burner size and shape. But some stoves offer larger square or rectangular burners rather than round ones, giving you a bit more of a landing zone for placing pans. One induction stove on the market has no designated burners—you can put up to four pans anywhere on its surface.
Power Boost/Power Sharing
This function can transfer all or part of the power from other stovetop burners to a single burner. However, it disables the burners whose power is being shared.
Some induction stoves save heat settings if you pick up a pan for a short time and resume cooking when you put it back, but most will “forget” once the pan is lifted.
Gas/Induction Combo Ranges
If you can’t decide, consider a dual-fuel range that has both gas and induction burners. (Note: Induction ovens don’t exist; induction ranges use regular electricity in their ovens.)
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You can turn the stove on and monitor cooking with your phone or tablet or use voice commands through smart speakers.
Innovations to Come
Induction stoves could eventually use a rainbow of colors for their glass surfaces rather than the black surface you usually see now, or they could even use stone instead of glass as the cooking surface. The surface might display recipes, entertainment, or photos or change the appearance of its burners. At the Consumer Electronics Show, we saw a prototype of an induction stove that could play live TV, display a recipe, and change to look like you’re cooking on a campfire—or molten lava.