The pros and cons of induction cooktops, according to Consumer Reports

For consumers looking for a health alternative to gas, an induction cooktop may be a viable option for you. 

Roughly 35% of homes in the U.S. have gas stoves that, according to reports, release carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and other matter that the World Health Organization and EPA deemed unsafe because they can potentially cause cardiovascular problems, cancer and other health conditions.

Some experts say induction cooktops and rangers are safer and more energy-efficient, according to Consumer Reports. 

Despite numerous studies pointing to induction cooking being safer and healthier than gas, the tech doesn’t come without it’s limitations or concerns. 

Here’s everything you need to know about induction cookstops to help inform you on your next purchase. 

What is it and how it works

The induction cooktop is an electric-powered stove that uses the technology of an electromagnetic field to transfer heat directly to metal cookware made of ferrous metals. Induction cooktops automatically shut off when the cookware is not present on top of them, making them safer and more energy efficient compared to traditional electric and gas stoves. 

The good

  • They’re much more environmentally friendly: An induction cooktop is up to 10-percent more energy-efficient than conventional electric stoves, according to Consumer Reports.
  • They come with built-in safety features: This lowers the risk of fires in a home. If someone turns on their induction burner by mistake with no pot on it, it won’t get hot. That’s because the heat is created by the cookware itself.
  • They’re easier to clean: Since it’s a flat surface, all you have to do is wipe it down.

The bad

  • Flame might be your preference: Self-proclaimed chefs may argue that cooking over a flame with the immediate feedback of controlling the heat with the knob means better control of cooking your meal. Because of the electromagnetic field on the induction cooktop, there’s also no glow to indicate whether it’s on or not.
  • You need special cookware: This could get expensive. Yes, most newer cookware is induction-compatible, but pans made of aluminum and anodized aluminum won’t work. Make sure to look for pans with a label "induction -compatible."
  • Certain health hazards for some: Consumer Reports says that some manufacturers of induction cooktops recommend that people with pacemakers check with their doctor before using one because the magnetic field could pose a risk.
  • They make weird noises: One other drawback is a buzz or hum is common when using the higher settings, and you may notice clicking sounds on lower settings.