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An Induction Cooktop Saves Energy

Because I'm enormously fond of finding new gadgets, I was drawn to this seemingly safer way to cook food with an induction cooktop that controls and intensifies heat using electromagnetism. It's a process that's been around for decades -- moving heat through the bottoms of cookware -- but until recently never made it past a restaurant's kitchen.

Why? At one time, the induction cooktop was way too expensive and the concept too weird, according to this awesome article in today's New York Times, to find a consumer audience.

The other interesting advantage: The induction cooktop quickens your cooking time exponentially. For example, it took a little over five minutes to boil a pan of water on an induction cooktop, about half the time it normally takes on a conventional burner. All the heat goes into the cookware and not making you sweat in your kitchen, making cooking far less of a chore than before.

Three very important caveats to consider: For one, paying for the elegant look and no flames isn't cheap (upwards of $1,400). Power can also be problem, as your kitchen must be wired for 220 volts (unlikely if you use gas for cooking).

The third -- using only steel or cast iron cookware -- may be especially problematic for many of you. If you want to take advantage of this energy-saving cooking tool, however, here's three tips worth considering:

  • When you cook, use a stable oil like coconut oil (vegetable oils are easily damaged by the heat.
  • Don't overcook your food.
  • If you must use Teflon or aluminum cookware, never heat it to high temperatures.

New York Times May 18, 2005 Registration Required

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