Convert to induction

Induction cooktop and control area

Keen cook Sophie Liu loved cooking on gas until induction came along. She describes why it won her over.

IT’S BEEN two years since I researched and purchased an induction cooktop, and wrote a product profile for ReNew’s sister magazine, Sanctuary (see issue 30). Since then I’ve been using this new technology on a daily basis and it’s official—I’m an induction convert!

I am a keen cook and for the longest time I loved cooking on gas. But the advantages of induction for the environment and usability won me over. Like any new appliance, it took a while to get used to, and there are a few tips and issues worth pointing out and a few downsides to avoid. I’ve also outlined my good experiences and the many advantages of induction cooking below.

Renewably sourced electricity—one, Gas—nil

While cooking makes up a small part of a household’s energy use, it is still important to a home’s environmental footprint and running costs, particularly when other higher energy use areas have been addressed (see ‘Energy-efficient cooking’ and ‘Are we still cooking with gas?’ in ReNew 130). In terms of energy efficiency, ATA’s analysts have found induction comes out on top, just ahead of ceramic electric resistive cooktops, and with both these electric options ahead of gas hobs (input: induction 600 MJ/year, ceramic electric 667 MJ/year, gas 1200 MJ/year, all for the same energy output of 480 MJ/year).

ATA energy analysts estimate that energy use for an average household with a gas cooktop and oven is 2000 MJ/year—less than 4% of the average household’s energy use. By contrast, an induction cooktop and electric oven come out at 1000 MJ/year, 50% less. I also prefer electric induction to gas as I can run it on renewable electricity rather than using a fossil fuel.

With great power comes great responsibility

My experience of cooking with induction is that it’s the fastest, most responsive and most powerful method of cooking out there.

It took some time to get used to the faster, more powerful cooking. At the start, I certainly burnt or overcooked a lot of things—I even spectacularly ruined rice one night, which, with my Chinese heritage, is embarrassing to admit!

However, as with any new appliance, you gradually learn how to use it successfully. Now I know the power levels to start rice or pasta on, then what to turn them down to. We can slow cook things, too, and not have to worry about the gas going out, which often happened on low with our old hob.

Read the full article in ReNew 140.