Electric smooth-top ranges and cooktops have become the new rage in electric powered cooking. The traditional coil burners with grates and drip-pans are losing popularity over these innovative and easy to clean new comers. Smooth top ranges and cooktops have a flat surface that is generally made out of glass, ceramic, or a mixture of the two. It is one flat piece with the burners located underneath and generally notated by circles drawn or etched in the glass or ceramic. But did you know that there are several different types of heating elements to choose from? Today, I'll go over the differences in the two major forerunners: induction and radiant.
An induction burner functions very differently from other electric burners. Instead of heating up a metal coil that then transfers the heat to a pot or pan, it makes your cookware the heat source. Using electromagnetic energy, an induction element never gets hot, it just causes your cookware to heat up while the surface of the smooth top stays cool to the touch.
Induction ranges and cooktops are the most energy efficient. Because it uses your pot or pan as the heating element to cook your food, you can achieve your desired temperature much faster than other electric cooktops. Additionally, once contact with the cooking vessel is broken, most induction cooktops will automatically power off. For these reasons, induction ranges can be up to 80% more energy efficient according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association.
Induction elements are extremely safe. Induction elements are capable of instantaneous temperature changes so once the burner is off, it is instantly cool. It's just like turning off a gas stove, only it's safter because there is no open flame. Also, due to the fact that the surface of the cooktop or range itself is not being heated, the range is safe to touch once the pan has been removed. They are also easier to clean since magnetic-capable metal cookware is required for any heating to take place, so spilled foods do not burn to the surface of your smooth top.
Induction ranges and cooktops are considered top of the line in electric cooking appliances, so they are a bit pricier than others on the market.
Another disadvantage is that you must use certain vessels when cooking on an induction range. This isn't as difficult as it sounds, however. You just need to make sure that the cookware you purchase is made of iron or steel and has a smooth, flat bottom. Induction element ranges require metal cookware capable of maintaining a magnetic field in order to operate. For the same reason smooth, flat-bottomed cookware is necessary.
Radiant elements are much like traditional coil burners. The coils are housed under the surface of the smooth top's surface and, as the name suggests, it then radiates heat up to your pot or pan.
Much like induction ranges, radiant ranges are more energy efficient than most other types of electric ranges. They use the flat top to transfer heat through the solid surface, making them 12% more efficient than traditional electric coil ranges.
Since the radiant ranges and cooktops are better versions of the classic coil electric stoves, you need not worry about using any specialty cookware. Glass pots and pans, or copper-bottom cookware works just fine. Radiant cooktops are generally less expensive too!
The smooth glass surface of radiant ranges and cooktops still makes them easier to clean than ones with grates and coils.
If you're searching for a new range or cooktop browse our large selection of Viking Appliances today.