Equipment
Futuristic Features of Induction Stovetop Cooking
The future is here! These are a few of the innovative features of induction cooking.
12-03-2021
Lisa McManus

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.

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Want 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.

 

Bridging

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.

Some induction stoves offer a feature called bridging, where two individual burners can be joined up with the area between them to form one long burner, left. At right, making a single "bridged" burner is ideal for cooking with a stovetop griddle.

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. 

Many induction stoves offer "power boost" or similarly named functions, where a single burner can "borrow" power from the surrounding burners. Power boost is useful for boiling a big pot of water fast, but it will diminish or eliminate the use of the other burners while it's on.

Settings Memory

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.) 

If you want the benefit of multiple cooking technologies, a few manufacturers offer stovetops with both gas and induction burners (or both induction and glass-topped electric burners). Others sell smaller induction cooktops that can be installed beside a gas or electric cooktop (above).

Smart Features

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.

A prototype of an induction cooktop by GHSP shows some of the possibilities of the future. Above left, you might be able to watch a game right on the cooktop as you use it. Above right, a recipe and a campfire appear, and you can put your pan on the “fire” to cook.

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