The Best Induction Ranges (and Stoves) Review in 2019!
The Best Induction Ranges (and Stoves) Review in 2019!
If you are in the market for a new range you are likely trying to decide between purchasing a gas or electric stove, but have you stopped to seriously consider an induction cooking range in your kitchen?
Although these magnetic induction cooktops have been around for a long time, they really haven’t gotten the attention they deserve (in our humble opinion).
As opposed to induction stovetops (which are both portable and less expensive), induction ranges are seen as a long term investment. However, if are chosen wisely, they are well worth the price tag.
Don’t let the fact that you will need to save up for this piece deter you; as you will see in this article, if you cook regularly, an induction range is definitely an appliance you will want to seriously consider.
An induction cooking technology heats the pan using magnetic induction, and not by transferring heat through electric current or gas burners. There are many benefits to this type of cooking which we will get to into a little later.
How do induction cooking zones work?
So using magnetism to cook your food may seem like magic, but bear with us and we’ll explain how it works.
An induction range or stovetop still works using electricity (your range will need a power point to plug in to) but heat is not transferred from the burner to the pot as is usually the case. In induction cooking, an electric current runs through a coil which creates a fluctuating magnetic field. There is no heat on the burner, but when a compatible pot (made of iron or stainless steel) is placed on the burner, that magnetic current is transferred through the metal cookware and to the food.
Why you should be using an induction stove?
There are so many reasons to switch from using electric or gas stoves to using induction, which we get into more detail below.
Because an induction cooktop transfers its heat directly to the pot (and only to the pot) the energy created is used to heat the food. All that heat focused in one place means that food can cook a lot faster. (See below for exactly how quickly a 2 liter pot of water will boil when using induction, gas, and electricity).
Induction cooktops are more energy efficient than gas or electric because they cook food faster (see above) and less heat is lost in the cooking process.
(So not just saving you time, as mentioned above, but also saving you money).
Less heat lost to the atmosphere also makes for more comfortable cooking in even the hottest weather.
The Main Safety Features
Cooking inherently has some danger attached. Whether it’s the heat of an open flame or a hot burner that ignites, or melts, an item left too close to the stove; an unlit gas burner pouring gas into the air; leaving a burner on with no pot; or a child who accidentally switches on an electric burner while playing or simply touches a burner or stovetop before it has cooled down; using a gas or electric stovetop can be risky.
These dangerous and potentially life threatening situations happen all the time as a result of cooking on a gas or electric stove. But they are all situations that have something else in common; none of them can actually occur if you are using an induction range.
Induction stovetops are easier to clean. Their seamless surfaces don’t get hot like traditional stoves do, which means no baked on mess to try and scrape off after cooking.
What is the difference between an induction stove and using gas?
Gas is a popular method of cooking, especially as it does not use electricity (which is helpful should you ever have a power failure). Gas is also more precise than electric, and the surface cools faster than an electric stovetop.
But how does cooking with gas compare to cooking on an induction range?
Installing gas can be expensive if your kitchen is not already set up for it, not to mention, having propane tanks can also lead to a dangerous situation.
On the other hand, installing an induction range requires a similar set up to that of an electric range (just requiring a suitable power cord and outlet).
Induction stove wattage
As we mentioned above, an induction range is beneficial because it saves time, cooks faster, and is more efficient. But how much more beneficial is induction over gas and electric? How can you measure the economic and time saving properties of induction cooking?
Let’s look at the math (thanks to Popular Mechanics for figuring it out) and compare the amount of time and work required to boil 2 liters of water using an electric, gas, and inductions stovetops.
A 2000-watt electric stove uses 320 watt-hours and the job would take 9 minutes 50 seconds;
A gas range uses 3100 watt-hours and the job would take 8 minutes 18 seconds;
A 2800-watt induction stovetop using 225 watt-hours and the job would take 4 minutes 46 seconds.
As you can see by the table above, an induction range not only uses less watt hours but also boils the same amount of water in literally half the time than that of using an electric stove.
Alright, so by now you are probably more convinced than ever that an induction range is the safest, cleanest, and most economical choice for your kitchen (we applaud you on this good decision).
Now let’s look at the cookware needed for using an induction stove and then we’ll review three induction ranges that are available online.
How to choose cookware that is compatible with your induction range?
In order to use cookware on an induction range the pots and pans will need to be made from (or at the very least coated with) a ferromagnetic metal (think cast iron or some stainless steel).
If you are not sure whether your existing cookware will suffice, try this simple test in your kitchen: place a magnet on the bottom of your cookware. If the magnet sticks to the pot, the cookware will work on an induction stove.
If you ready to buy an induction cookware set be sure to read this article which is filled with tips for induction cooking and buying induction cookware, as well as reviews of six top cookware brands to help you make your choice.
Honest induction stove reviews of three induction ranges
With so many choices available, it can be really difficult to choose the right induction range for your needs.
To help you make this decision a little easier, we’ve conducted reviews on three ranges that are currently available online (so you don’t even need to get dressed to go shopping). The three induction ranges that we will take a look at below are: the GE PS950SFSS, the Samsung NE58H9970WS, and the Frigidaire FGIS3065PF.
First of all it is important to note that this appliance has an electric stovetop (not induction).
Before replacing an existing range you will need to double check that whatever appliance you choose will fit in the space that you have. The dimensions of this product are as follows: 28.9 x 31.2 x 37.2 inches.
But there is more to consider when it comes to fit beyond the obvious dimensions. On this particular model the oven handles bow outward (which adds to the overall depth).
An interesting feature regarding the design of this appliance is that the left and right sides of the top lap over (which means less gap between the stovetop and the counter).
We happen to love this feature because it helps to create a seamless look and it also stops all those pesky crumbs and messes from falling into the no-man’s land between the stove and the adjacent counter!
Another common question we hear is regarding the vent; this particular model has an upward vent (from the back of the cooktop area; you will see why vent placement is important when we review the third range in this article) so an existing overhead fan will come in useful.
The double ovens are a good size; the main oven will accommodate large roasting pan and does have the convection feature as well as rollers on the bottom tray so that it is easier to slide the racks out (for basting or to see if a cake is done).
The ovens have three options: bake, convection bake, and broil; however, convection bake is only available on the bottom oven.
HINT: Convection bake means that a fan runs while you are baking, which circulates the hot air through out the oven. In this mode you will be able to cook or bake on more than one rack at a time; items on both racks would cook evenly.
Cleaning the GE PS950SFSS
There is a lock for the burners and oven controls (really helpful while cleaning or if you have children in the house); they will literally lock the controls when set to clean.
For cleaning the glass stove top, pick up a good cleaner made especially for this purpose (available at most home stores).
If you are looking for a top-of-the-line cleaner, we suggest purchasing a cleaning kit that contains a cooktop cleaner, cooktop protect ant, and cleaning pads at the same time you purchase your range.
For peace of mind, all General Electric appliances are all made in the USA.
The dimensions of this range are: 28.9 x 31.2 x 37.2 inches and as above, the induction hobs reach over to the counter which creates a professional, installed look (and not to mention, it is easier to keep clean). You will need to purchase a 240v range cord separately (and we would suggest saving yourself the headache and opting for the professional cookers installation option as well).
The first feature that is important to know on this range is that, unlike in the General Electric model reviewed above, the burners on the Samsung appliance are induction. As we’ve talked about the benefits of using an induction stovetop, you will now get to see those features in action.
This is a highly rated appliance and if you love to cook, this is definitely a contestant for the best induction range that you can choose; it is a highly powered performance range.
Heating up quickly and evenly, the temperature control knobs for the range top are big and bold and there is an additional display on the induction hob showing a digital display for each burner.
If you do bake in this oven, keep in mind that as it is convection oven the baking time may be a little bit faster than you are used to (see review above where we explained the benefits of convection baking)! As the stovetop is induction, that will be a lot faster too!
The upper oven is small, but that can actually be an advantage as you will be able to use it as a toaster oven; for anything that is small.
The lower oven is larger and you will be able to use the two separate ovens to cook different things at the same time.
Cleaning the Samsung NE58H9970WS
This induction range is really beautiful, and as mentioned a high powered piece definitely suits someone who will use it often! Certainly an appliance that you will keep for a long time and proudly show to friends and family so keep the stainless steel finish looking new with daily buffing.
As with are previous two reviews, let’s begin with the product dimensions (always be sure to carefully check the space that you have available for your new range): the Frigidaire FGIS3065PF is 34 x 35 x 40 inches.
This range does come with an induction cooktop and a convection fan to move air throughout the oven, which results in faster and more even cooking on more than one rack.
This model displays the oven temperature while it is preheating which is certainly helpful (and not all ranges have this feature).
There is a Steam Cleaning feature (a 20-minute light oven cleaning which does not use chemicals and has no odors). We aren’t convinced that this will clean up really sticky messes, and please read the manual before trying this control, but there is also the regular cleaning mode which is also available.
The Keep Warm Zone, known as a warming drawer on other models, will keep food warm until all the food and guests are ready to eat. This is helpful if you aren’t able to take the food out of the oven right away. There is also a radiant heat center which will lightly warm bread and tortillas.
As with everything, there are pros and cons, and the Frigidaire FGIS3065PF is no different. This appliance costs a lot less than most other ranges on the market so it is to be expected that there will be some trade off of features and functions in exchange for a better price.
One challenge that we noticed on this range is that the oven vent is located in the front, under the control panel (right where you will be standing to cook). When the oven is on, air passes through this vent. Although the vent is a necessary function (so please do not block the vent) the constant air can be annoying, especially if you find the air a bit cool. Most ranges have this vent in the back.
Another challenge to note with this model is that the bottom storage drawer cannot be removed without being disassembled.
Cleaning the Frigidaire FGIS3065PF
If you like to keep your area really clean, you may struggle with this model. Deep cleaning the Frigidaire FGIS3065PF is a little more difficult than in many ranges first of all because the knobs are not removable (they will often just pop off in most ranges making cleaning underneath the knob much easier). As these knobs cannot be removed you may feel like there is dirt trapped underneath that you just won’t ever be able to reach.
Another hard to clean area on this particular model is the stainless steel plate in the front (where the temperature controls are located). This plate is not seamless against the rest of the stovetop so that means all sorts of messes from cooking (crumbs and spills) get embedded in the fine crack between the materials.
This may not be a deal breaker for some, though others will resent the extra cleaning step that you will need to keep the area clean.
Also, as with all glass tops, unless you are pedantic with cleaning, there will be streaks and thumbprints left behind so we do recommend using a cleaner that is specific to this type of stovetop.
If you are an avid baker, this oven may seem a little cramped. The inside dimensions of the oven are 15.5 x 24″ (the height from the lowest rack to under the element is 13 inches, which is quite low). In part this is due to a fan which is located in the back; for this reason the rack cannot be placed any farther back.
Although there are a few challenges with this particular range, mostly to do with space and cleaning, it is still an induction range which means you will reap all of the benefits that we listed earlier, and for a lower price point. Induction cooking is time saving, economically and we really believe that once you try induction cooking, you will never look back!
This is one of the least expensive induction ranges on the market so do consider that there will be trade offs when comparing to a model that may be up to as much as $1,000 more expensive.
This range certainly makes for a cost-effective starting point in the world of induction cooking.
Now that you can see there really is a range that suits every style and budget, we think this statement by the NY Times truly sums up the essence of magnetic cooktops; “Induction cooking may be the iPad of the kitchen.”
And we certainly agree.
By the way, we now offer a full scholarship. Let us know if you have anyone in mind!
Nate is an aspiring chef, and father of two. He is always on the lookout to try new healthy recipes and kitchen gadgets. He has a passion for cooking delicious miso black cod and enjoys a nice sip of pinot on occasion.