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What Is the Difference Between Induction and Electric Ranges

Posted February 15th, 2021

Electric and induction ranges both offer a sleek, modern cooking surface that is easy to clean. Induction ranges are gaining popularity because they’re energy-efficient and allow you to control cooking temperature with precision.

When remodeling your kitchen or replacing an old range, you’ll want to understand the basics about induction and electric ranges.

pumpkin pie tablescape

Electric vs. induction

While both appliances use electricity, the process that heats up food is different.

Electric ranges and cooktops feature a heating element underneath the cooking surface. This heating element is a coiled resistor that heats up when an electric current goes through it. The heating element transmits heat to the cooking surface, and you can prepare food by placing pots and pans on this hot surface.

Induction appliances use electromagnets to create an effect known as eddy currents. Eddy currents are fluctuating electric currents that produce heat. An induction range exposes cookware to these currents, which causes the cookware to heat up. This principle is also used in metal detectors, magnetic braking systems and wireless chargers.

How is cooking with an induction range different?

On an induction range, the cookware itself is the source of the heat. You can use these appliances to cook food by conduction as heat from the cookware is passed to the food, and by convection, if you use cookware with a lid.

Heating cookware directly is more energy-efficient and gives you precise control over the temperature. Food heats up fast, and your pots and pans will cool off quickly when you’re done. It takes about four minutes to boil water on an induction range. Boiling water on an electric appliance takes about seven minutes, and eight minutes on a gas range.

The surface of the induction range remains cool to the touch, which makes these appliances safer to use. Because induction ranges use electromagnetic currents, you need to use cookware made from magnetic steel. If a magnet sticks to the bottom of a pot or pan, you can safely use it on an induction range.

Top manufacturers of induction and electric ranges

Electric ranges tend to be more affordable and available from almost every major appliance maker, often with a built-in oven. Manufacturers like Whirlpool offer electric ranges with a sleek cooking surface and modern stainless steel finish options. You can also find GE electric ranges with dual elements and power boil elements to get the most of your electric cooking surface.

If you’re interested in an induction range, look into Frigidaire, Wolf, JennAir and Samsung. Wolf makes appliances that automatically detect the size of the pan you’re using. JennAir induction ranges are an excellent option for built-in ovens with a large capacity, and Frigidaire is your best bet if you’re looking for a versatile induction range with different cooking and baking modes.

Queen City Audio Video & Appliances has induction ranges from seven different manufacturers. Browse our selection of ranges to make your kitchen more energy-efficient with the added benefits of a cooking range that heats up food with speed and precision.

chicken and green beans being taken out of the oven
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