Induction Cooktop Buying Guide

Whether you’re replacing a broken cooktop, upgrading your old one, or buying one for your brand new kitchen, selecting the perfect cooktop for your home can be tricky.

Induction cooktops have become more affordable in recent times, which means more people have been able to enjoy the ease and convenience of induction cooking. Affordability also means there are more options available, making your decision on which one to purchase, even harder. We’re here to help makes that decision easier for you.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is an induction cooktop?

An induction cooktop is a flat surface (with exception to wok capable induction cooktops) cooktop that offers super-fast heating, instant response rates, safer operation, and provides a sleek, contemporary cooking solution for your home.

Induction cooktops require a higher amperage power supply than standard electric cooktops. You should check with your electrician before buying, as you may need to upgrade your power circuit.

How does an induction cooktop work?

Induction cooktops create an electromagnetic reaction between your pots and the induction cooking zone. In the same way that steel or iron objects will 'stick' to a magnetic surface, induction cooktops utilise a magnetic reaction to create heat. Because of this, the surface doesn’t actually heat up, meaning not only is induction considered the safest way of cooking, but it also makes them the most energy-efficient cooktop surface.

Induction only works with flat-based cast iron and carbon steel cookware (with the exception of wok-capable induction cooktops), and some stainless steel. So bear that in mind when making your decision, in case you need to buy new cookware. The easiest way to test if your pots and pans are compatible is to see if a fridge magnetic will stick to the base. If it sticks, you're in business!

What style of induction cooktops are available?

Because induction cooktops have become incredibly popular in recent times, there are a lot more cooktops available for purchase than say, 10 or so years ago. This means finding a style that perfectly suits your kitchen is a helluva lot easier than before.

Most induction cooktops offer black, frameless glass as the finish, but if you have a bright kitchen design and black just won’t cut it, there are white options available, such as the Gorenje IT612SY2W

Induction cooktops - Appliances Online

What are the advantages of induction cooking?

Incredibly fast heat up times

An induction cooktop will bring a large pot of water to the boil much quicker than gas. This makes induction a cost-effective and time-efficient choice. Induction is also extremely precise. This is especially useful when cooking technically demanding dishes that require a consistent temperature.

Safer to use than standard methods

Induction cooktops work by creating an electromagnetic reaction with the metal in your pots and pans. Put simply, the pot itself heats up, not the cooktop. This prevents your kitchen from becoming hot and uncomfortable and also makes cooking much safer.

Smart cooking option

It's impossible to accidentally leave your induction cooktop switched on after you've removed the pot - if there's no pot, there's no heat.

More advantages with a flat surface

Price-wise, induction cooktops are still more expensive to buy than electric or gas cooktops. However, because they're so energy efficient, induction is worth the investment.

What are the disadvantages?

You can only use carbon steel, cast iron and some stainless steel cookware with your induction cooktop.

Because induction cooktops use a flat surface, your cookware will need to have a flat base. This makes cooking with a round-based wok difficult (although it is possible to buy an induction wok adapter to solve this problem).

You also need to be careful not to scratch the glass surface of your induction cooktop. Sometimes this can happen if you're roughly shaking a frypan.

Another potential issue with flat cooktops is that there's nowhere for spills to go - if your pot boils over, you'll end up with hot water on your benchtop and the floor. However, some induction cooktops come with a boil-over detector, which automatically switches the power off if any liquid is detected on the surface of the cooktop.

Price-wise, induction cooktops are still more expensive to buy than electric or gas cooktops. However, because they're so energy efficient, induction is worth the investment.

Factors to consider before buying an induction cooktop

Size

When buying a cooktop, your first consideration should be size. The smallest cooktops start with a width of 30cm (featuring a maximum of two cooking zones), while the largest go up to around 90cm. While all cooktops are different, the most common size is 60cm (with four cooking zones).

If you are replacing an old cooktop, be sure to measure the space available on your kitchen benchtop and then check the dimensions of the cooktop you're planning to purchase. Cooktop sizes have changed over the years, and you don't want to learn the hard way that your new cooktop is too big/small for your available space.

Number of cooking zones

A 60cm wide stove will give you 3 to 4 induction cooking zones, which should provide ample space if you only need to cook basic meals. Wider cooktops provide-more cooking zones, making it easier to prepare large quantities of food.

A wide cooktop will safely and efficiently accommodate large pots and pans - which is fantastic if you have a growing family and need to cook a lot of food.

Touch controls

Induction cooktop feature touch controls instead of control knobs. These cooktops allow you to change the temperature simply by touching the glass surface with your finger. Touch controls are great if you want your cooktop to merge seamlessly into the kitchen benchtop. They also make cleaning easy.

Automatic pan size recognition

Induction cooktops do this by default - they detect the size and shape of the cookware you're using. This is one of the reasons why induction cooktops are so energy efficient.

Child lock

Selected models feature a child lock to prevent your kids from playing with the controls.

Timer

Another feature to look out for is an automatic timer. Available in advanced models, the timer function allows you to program the cooktop to switch off (or lower the temperature) at a specified time - freeing you up to focus on other elements of the dish you're creating. (Note: it is not recommended that you leave your pot unsupervised at any time. Please read the manufacturer's instructions before use).

Boost

The boost function (available in selected models) provides an additional boost of power to the cooking zone - making it possible to bring large pots of water to the boil in record time.

Automatic safety shut-off

This safety feature (which is available in selected models) will automatically switch the power off if the cooktop detects that your pot has started to boil over. Some induction cooktops are also able to sense if a pot has boiled dry.

Need help with your decision?

If you’re unsure as to which induction cooktop to purchase, or have any questions regarding this appliance or any other, please give our Australian-based customer service team a call on 1300 000 500. Whether it’s 3 in the afternoon, or 3 in the morning, with our 24 hours a day, 7 days a week customer support services, you’ll be able to reach us anytime of the day!