Cities like San Francisco and Ojai have voted to ban the use of natural gas in new construction projects, opting for all-electric homes for the environmental and indoor air quality benefits they provide. As we move toward this new generation of construction, magnetic induction offers solutions to the frustrations of traditional electric cooking appliances.
Magnetic induction is not a new concept. It was first created over 100 years ago and is common in Europe and Asia, but the prominence of natural gas has kept it from permeating US markets. These cooktops use magnetic fields to produce electric charges and generate heat in pots and pans while keeping the stovetop itself cool to the touch. These stoves work best in tandem with pots and pans made from materials like iron and nickel that easily absorb magnetic fields.
Electric stovetops traditionally take longer to heat up and can pose safety hazards as they remain hot to the touch for a while after being turned off. Magnetic induction solves this issue with rapid heat up and cool down times. Temperature-wise, they are actually safer than gas stoves as the stove itself never becomes hot.
So why aren’t magnetic induction cooktops more common in the US? Despite eliminating the dangers and pollution of natural gas stoves, these appliances are still slightly more expensive than mainstream gas or electric stoves. Fortunately, electric appliances are more cost-effective than gas in the long run, so the initial investment will pay off with lower utility bills.
As more cities promote all-electric homes, we will likely see a rise in electric stove innovations, like magnetic induction, in US homes. All-electric stoves have gotten a bad reputation as less responsive than their gas counterparts, but with magnetic induction, we can create stoves that are chef-approved, better for the planet, and better for our health.