Turn on the magnets
We love our GE Profile induction range that we bought a 2nd one for our new home!
Good points for sure. My only wish is that you wouldn’t have promoted Amazon for purchasing an induction cooktop.
Thanks for this, but there's an issue I wish you would have addressed: a full electric stove, with induction range but also an electric oven, requires a 220/240-volt line. I don't know how many kitchens in the US already have one of those, but I know that many - probably millions - of older homes do not, and I know from experience at my own house and my daughter's that adding such a line can require thousands of dollars worth of electrical work, sometimes including a new panel, which may require a city permit and inspection - in short, a big hassle and expense. Doing that for the millions of older homes would require a huge amount of money - a small fraction of the military budget, but hardly anybody seems to want to cut that. Most induction cooktops without oven work on a 120v line, but if you put one of those on top of an old gas stove, how much does that reduce the indoor pollution?
But what do you use for an oven???
I couldn't agree more. Wrote a humor piece about this last month: https://open.substack.com/pub/buildinghope/p/cooking-with-gas?r=4cg2x&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&showWelcome=true
I'm know I'm a few weeks late to the party here, BUT! I just got an induction cooktop per your suggestion, and I'm here to say, it works! swimmingly so! I just made dinner, anf it felt really good to leave my noxious gas stove alone. Thanks for this article, Bill, and for your wisdom, as always.
Love the article, however, often there is a compromise to be made. I owned a full induction cooktop for years in my previous house (on-grid), and it was wonderful. Loved it. However, I built a new house, totally off-grid (power, rainwater, sewerage). Now, 100% of my electricity is solar-derived. Consequently, induction is limited to a small one-pan device which works great when the sun is shining, and the batteries are charged. The rest of the time I am limited to using a gas cooktop. I'll never go back to a connection to 'the grid' as I truly enjoy being independent. But gas is part of what makes that work for me. BTW, I'm in NZ where we have a 220-230V electrical supply, which is what my solar system outputs.
Does having a natural-gas furnace also contribute to poor indoor air quality?
The MI reportedly gives chefs far more precise control over temps.
But we're not fans of government intervention in these matters. As Matt Ridley quipped, "Governments are bad at picking winners. But losers are good at picking governments."
We also note the US air quality data since the passage of the Clean Air Act, in relation to risk of hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP data). We think it's fair to ask whether the gross reduction in hazardous air pollutants since the CAA's passage more than offsets the miniscule risk to human health in relation to the small amount of natural gas commonly used in most homes.
Anyone who has cooked with both knows that gas is better than electric; it gives you much better control over temperature, and far quicker response. But I've living in a basement apartment with no stove at all these days, just a plug-in unit that can't even boil water. So a couple of months ago, in frustration, I bought a replacement. I had never heard of induction units, and it was by sheer accident that that was what I would up with. I can report that it is as good as gas for cooking, giving the cook as much control over temperature as gas, and, of course, better for the environment. It is excellent! I mostly use it for making soy milk and also tomato sauce, but I've also done smaller things, like scrambled eggs. I'm never going back.
Bill, great article.
How does this affect African cooking discussions? For decades, the focus has been to get base-of-the-pyramid populations off the three stone fire and onto more efficient biomass stoves, LPG or a few other options. For less than $5/day earners who are marginally electrified at best, a shift to high tech cooking devices is not on the cards --- at least not for a few years. Energy access initiatives have been great at supplying PV-powered lighting, cell phones and TVs --- but we have not been very effective at cooking. Which is arguably a more important need. Thoughts?
We took out our old gas cooking range and replaced it with a two burner induction hot plate which cost maybe $120 and a small convection oven designed for countertop use, which we bought at Costco. The hardest part of the project was making a new piece of counter top and a shelf for the little oven. We got a piece of butcher block and cut it to fit and it looks great. We also have an electric kettle. And a good old electric skillet. We have been cooking up a storm to test this concept. Only small complaints: boil over splashes from the hot plate sometimes change the setting :(. And we can't use our big cookie sheets but the slightly smaller ones are working great. Can't fit a whole turkey in the oven but we are vegetarian so don't need to. We make casseroles and pies and cookies and homemade bread. And lots of roasted veggies on the air fry setting. Yummy!
All wonderful until the power goes out, which it has for tens (hundreds?) of thousands of people across the country in the last few weeks alone. Here in the West, the only way many of my friends (several of them climate activists) were able to eat and stay warm was with their gas stoves. I agree we must electrify, but how do we address this weak link in the transition?
Excellent article, Bill!
Although the transition to 100% Renewable Energy sources is not taking place at the speed required to avert immense climate havoc and millions of human deaths, never mind all the mammalian vertebrate species the fossil fuelers and their bought and paid for politicians are dooming to extinction, I think we will get there much sooner than the hydrocarbon hellspawn expect. Here is a quote from around 2016 of a great journalist from Truthout (who sadly died recently of a heart attack) that encapsules the fact that, though we supporters of a 100% Transition to Renewable Energy have caring, reason, logic and common sense on our side, the Polluter Ideology (SEE: Social Darwinism), not just their polluting modus operandi, continues to be an existential threat to all of us.
"There is a terrible desperation to the increasingly pathetic rationalizations from the climate denial camp. This comes as no surprise if you take the long view; every single undone paradigm in history has died kicking and screaming, and our current petroleum paradigm is no different. The trick here is trying to figure out how we all make it to the new paradigm without dying right along with the old one, kicking, screaming or otherwise." - William Rivers Pitt
I know about Channing Street Copper's battery-equipped stove (their HQ happen to be a few blocks down the street I live on), but at $5,999 a pop, that product is hardly going to bring about mass adoption - no matter how big the rebates, that's even more expensive than adding a 240V line!