5 things you need to know about an induction cooktop stove

Are you considering replacing your gas or electric cooktop with an induction cooktop stove? Here are 5 things you need to know about an induction cooktop stove.

When we bought our home, the first big remodeling project we tackled was our kitchen. On my wish list was to replace the 20-year-old countertop stove with a induction cooktop stove.

I researched the top rated induction cooktops to make sure I wanted to go with a countertop induction stove rather than gas or a ceramic electric cooktop. I knew an induction stove cooktop was the newest technology, plus I’d never liked cooking with gas.

Are you wondering if an induction stove cooktop is right for you? Here were some of the best induction cooktops tips, tricks and nuances that you may not be aware of.

1. Cost. An induction cooktop stove can be expensive.

While the cost has gone down considerably since the days when they technology was new, an induction  cooktop stove can be much pricier compared to a gas or electric cooktop.

Even the prices between models vary quite a bit. I hemmed and hawed between a Bosch and the GE induction cooktops. I eventually got the GE. Both models were highly rated, and I knew that Bosch induction cooktops were highly desirable.

Plus, I owned a Bosch dishwasher and knew it was a good brand. However, at the time I was looking, there was a $600 difference. So I decided that I liked the GE induction cooktop s better because of price and buyer reviews.

When deciding what model you’ll end up with, besides cost, brand, and user reviews, look at number of burners, and other design features. Since I wanted five burners and a larger cooktop, that helped eliminate quite a few models for me right away. But it also meant I was looking at higher priced models.

2. Installation. Your induction cooktop stove must be professionally installed.

If you are replacing an electric stove top, it’s not just a matter of hooking it up to the old power source either. An electrician will need to run a 50 amp breaker with a #6 gauge Romex line (#8 minimum). It’s all in the installation book if there are any questions, so make sure to factor that into your budget.

If you order your GE induction cooktop through Amazon, they currently quote an installation price of under $200. (See the Amazon site for installation details.)

3. Induction stove cookware. You’ll need pots and pans that work on your induction cooktop stove.

Another item to consider in your budget is that you may need to get special induction stove cookware, since an induction cooktop stove relies on an electromagnet to heat iron or steel cookware.

The best way to determine if your current cookware works with an induction cooktop stove is to test it with a magnet – a refrigerator magnet will do. If it sticks to the pot or pan, you can use it on your induction cooktop stove. Anything else will need to go to Goodwill, though you may want to save lids and steamer inserts to use with any new pots or pans you purchase.

I’ve been lucky that my extensive Le Creuset cookware, since it’s enameled cast iron, works perfectly on my induction cooktop as does my Lodge cast iron. I did have to replace all my non-stick sauté pans and found a couple of wonderful ones by KitchenAid and a Calphalon spaghetti pot.

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French-Dutch Oven for your best induction cooktop stoveLe Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French-Dutch OvenLodge L8SK3 Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 10.25-inch for your best induction cooktop stoveLodge L8SK3 Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 10.25-inchCalphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 13-Piece Cookware Set for your best induction cooktop stoveCalphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 13-Piece Cookware SetKitchenAid Stainless Steel 10" for your best induction cooktop stoveKitchenAid Stainless Steel 10"

4. Care and cleaning. It’s easy to take care of induction cooktop stove once you know how.

The biggest reason I didn’t want to purchase a gas cooktop is because gas burners are a pain to clean. One boil over and you have to completely take the stove top apart to clean it up.

I previously had an electric ceramic cooktop, and loved how easy it was to clean. I’ve found that an induction cooktop stove is even easier to clean! As soon as the stove top has cooled down, you can clean up any spills with a wet sponge or paper towel. For bigger spills or dried on messes, use a ceramic cooktop cleaner.

GE induction cooktops come with a little bottle of Cerama Bryte, but I prefer Weiman Glass Cook Top Heavy Duty Cleaner and Polish. Just squeeze a little of the cooktop cleaner, spread it around with a paper towel (not a scrubbing sponge!) and then wipe it off with a clean paper towel. Wipe on - wipe off. LOVE IT! Very easy and you have a new looking, sparkling cooktop every time.

Weiman Glass Cook Top Heavy Duty Cleaner & Polish, 10 oz, Pack of 2Weiman Glass Cook Top Heavy Duty Cleaner & Polish, 10 oz, Pack of 2

Another induction cooktop tip is that you must careful not to scratch your induction cooktop. Try not to slide your cookware around carelessly. Instead, pick it up and place it on top of the burners.

I’ve had my induction stove for over three years now and haven’t had anything scratch it, but I still try to be careful. Also, don’t drop a heavy cast iron skillet on your induction cooktop. It’s strong, but it’s not metal!

5. Heats food quickly. This is why so many cooks love induction cooktop stove cooking!

There’s a learning curve on how to cook on an induction cooktop. I found that a large spaghetti pot of water takes only five minutes to come to a boil and a smaller pan only a minute or two, so don’t walk away!

You might be used to cooking things on very high temperatures and now find that you’re having a lot of boil overs or burning your food. Except for bringing water to a boil at H (or 10 depending on the induction cooktop you buy) try cooking on medium temperatures until you get used to what your induction stove can do for you.

The beauty of induction cooktops is that if you find that you need to get something hotter quicker, it’s easy to do very quickly – just dial up the induction dial a bit. (My induction cooktop has half settings – 5, 5 1/2, 6, 6 1/2, and so on.)

If what you’re cooking needs to come down quickly, take it off the burner for a second to get rid of some heat, dial down the burner, and continue cooking. You’ll get used to it soon enough.

Looking for the best induction stove top? Try a GE Profile PHP9036SJSS 36GE Profile PHP9036SJSS 36Looking for the best induction stove top? Try a GE Profile 36GE Profile 36Looking for the best induction stove top? Try a GE Cafe CHP9536SJSS 36GE Cafe CHP9536SJSS 36

Our purchase – a GE Profile 336" Black Electric Induction Cooktop Stove

Ultimately, we bought a GE PHP960DMBB Profile 36" Black Electric Induction Cooktop Stove. After over three years, I’m extremely happy with it. I love that this induction cooktop stove has five burners and allows me to cook many things at once. The induction cooktop stove heats foods quickly and evenly. I find that with the help of Weiman Glass Cook Top Heavy Duty Cleaner and Polish, my GE  induction cooktop cleans up easy and still looks brand new.

Purchasing the GE induction cooktop through Amazon was very easy, too. It came with an installation guide that gave specs that our countertop installation guys and electrician needed.

UPDATE March 2016: The GE induction cooktop that I originally purchased is no longer being made. Instead, you may want to look at the GE Profile PHP9036SJSS 36" Built-in Induction Cooktop Stove in Black with Stainless Steel, the GE Cafe CHP9536SJSS 36" Built-in Induction Cooktop Stove, or the GE PHP9036DJBB Profile 36” Induction Cooktop Stove. You can also order installation through Amazon for under $200.

Originally published on May 22, 2014 and March 8, 2016. Updated with new pictures and product information.

Are you considering replacing your gas or electric cooktop with an induction cooktop stove? Here are 5 things you need to know about an induction cooktop stove.