The evolution of induction cooktops

April 30th, 2012

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When selecting the right appliances for our kitchen we often look to the experts for guidance. What appliances do chefs find practical, easy to use, and efficient?

A recent dinnertime debate between gas cooktops (the mother) and induction cooktops (the daughter) became muted when the daughter asked the table which famous chefs used induction. No one came to mind quickly enough, her point proven.

(What is induction?)

However, of course there are famous chefs, such as Quay’s Peter Gilmore, that use induction cooktops. With good reason, too. Induction cooktops, as Gilmore says:

•   Keep the kitchen a lot cooler than gas cooktops
•   Provide a more even heat for simmering
•   Have a boost function fantastic for melting butter
•   Are much easier to clean

Why then, is induction a bit of a dark horse in the kitchen?

The daughter explained: “Mum,” she said, “You had an induction cooktop 10 years ago, the technology has changed so much, they are so much further advanced now.”

Stainless steel induction wok by Electrolux

We took it to Appliances Online’s own kitchen specialist to explain the evolution of induction cooktops and why they are better now than ever before.

Colin Jones has witnessed the evolution of all household appliances over decades.

“Going back 10 or more years ago there really was only one player on the market, which was Kleenmaid, with one model and style to choose from,” Jones said.

“This unit also did what they call ‘power share’. Let’s say the unit is square in style, two burners in front with two directly behind. When you had the front plate on high and turned the element behind it on, the front element would reduce from a high to a medium setting to service power to the back element. This meant you could not have all four elements on a high setting.

“With this in mind, other suppliers over the years have produced better electronic boards and easy to use controls, now available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

“With more and more companies now moving into induction cooking this has also brought the cost down to an affordable price, so any consumer can afford to have this type of cooktop.”

Induction cooktops were originally made by one company, Brandt in France. Now induction cooktops are manufactured right around the world this also has helped reduce their cost.

“Some manufactures have even brought out induction cooktops with a boost function this allows the element cook at a higher then normal setting. Say the normal cooktop has a range from 1 to 9 setting then the boost will go to a 10 setting, giving you more control of your heat settings.”


Having once had to sit on the washing machine to stop it from bouncing into oblivion, Keri is today delighted with the new (smoother running) technologies that make housework easier every day. A self-confessed lazy-bones, Keri seeks out quirky inventions that ease the human workload, such as the robotic vacuum cleaner (wow). And as soon as someone figures out a Jetsons-like self-cleaning house, she will happily lay her pen to rest and retire from appliance journalism. Until then, her pick is a fridge that will tell her smartphone when it's time to pick up more beer on the way home. Magic.

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