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Induction Cooktops – Better than Gas?

I installed my first Wolf 2 burner Induction Cooktop about 10 years ago in a clients house, and I’ve been fascinated with them ever since.

The Wolf 2 Burner Induction top on this island was a late construction addition.  It quickly overshadowed the massive Wolf gas unit.
The Wolf 2 Burner Induction top on this island was a late construction addition.  My clients LOVED it from the start, and it quickly overshadowed the massive Wolf gas unit for overall use.

In the 10 years I’ve been installing Induction I’ve also seen the prices come way down!  In fact, I’m about to install a 30″ Miele Induction Cooktop in a remodel project and it’s $2600 price tag is less than the two burner unit I installed in the photo above.  A decade later and the prices are pretty darn competitive!  I frankly think these are another nail in the coffin for Gas lines to American houses.  I think with Induction Cooktops, Heat Pump Water Heater, and the new generation of Heat Pump HVAC systems there are few reasons to still want gas.  I foresee a not to distant future where the Net Zero houses I’m building today unplug from the grid and run at night off Tesla Home battery!  Ok, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.  Before I close this piece on Induction I must admit that I’ve never actually had one at my house.  Fortunately, my buddy Richard in Houston watched this video and made some great comments about his experience with Induction.  With his permission I’m including his email to me here:

Matt, I just finished watching your latest video…

I think you undersold how easy it is to clean a glass cooktop… spray with some windex and wipe down… no cracks or crevasses… no knobs… nothing – easy peasy to clean..  It should have been a reason on its own… the 6th reason 

But… I had reviewed induction myself and here are four cons that I had run into:

1) Familiarity… we have many different people coming into our home to cook.. nannies,   sitters, visiting relatives, grandparents, etc… Having to explain how a cooktop works is just something we don’t want to have to go over and over again… we have a fancy double convention oven with touch button controls and every time someone tries to fire

it up we have to go through a mini-presentation explaining how it works… its a huge pain… I mean its an oven, it shouldn’t need to be complicated… and I miss the two knobs – one for temp, the other for mode.

2) Durability… I’ve seen many glass cook tops that had gotten chipped on the corners, or completely shattered because someone dropped a pan or pot on it… typically what happens is that they underestimate how heavy or how hot something is and they just let go of the cookwear and it ends up busting the glass…

3) Cookwear compatibility… you have to own the right cookwear for induction to work, and work well… we happen to own a large set of All-Clad that works well for induction (I actually have a single burner plug in that we use for buffets occasionally) but we also have a lot of cookwear that won’t work with induction that we’d have to discard.  Also – there’s a lot of ethnic cooking that requires direct gas heat for things like toasting seaweed and the like… so in our kitchen, even if we were sold on induction we’d still need some gas burner somewhere.

4) Resale… You probably already know this – that people’s perception of a “high end” kitchen still requires you to have a giant 6 gas burner range top…. the more giant the better… and in terms of selling your house in the future, people want to see that… and from my research, the un-educated market perceives electric (any electric, including induction) to be a “cheap” cooktop… so in a world where the kitchen sells the home, its a bad move to have an induction top since you have to sell induction to every potential buyer that walks in…

So I share your vision of where induction would be awesome for every household – but I think its a tough sell for the masses…

-Richard Yoo

Thanks Richard!  So, there you go… 5+1 Reasons I like Induction, and 4 thoughtful reasons to hesitate.

I wish you the Best in your #BUILD!

-Matt Risinger

Risinger Homes in Austin, TX

Visit my Blog at www.MattRisinger.com

Risinger Homes is a custom builder and whole house remodeling contractor that specializes in Architect driven and fine craftsmanship work. We utilize an in-house carpentry staff and the latest building science research to build dramatically more efficient, healthy and durable homes.

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