Induction cooktops have become increasingly popular in Europe (my parents have one), but have not been widely available in the US until recently. However, major players in the cooktop and range market have started to introduce these cookers, which heat via an electric magnetic field. A bit of research turns up the following pros: Faster cooking times; ability to adjust heat instantly; superior energy efficiency; and safety (the surface remains cool to the touch, even when in use).
The cons? Special cookware is required (the induction technology works only with cookware made of magnetic materials); cast iron and steel are most common. Induction cookstops are dependent on electricity, so they’re inoperable during power outages, and they are currently more expensive than their gas counterparts.
N.B. If you have experience with an induction cooktop, we would love to hear from you.
Above: Viking 36-Inch Professional Series All-Induction Cooktop VICU; $4,409 from US Appliance, the 30-inch model is $3,459.
Above: The Viking cooktop is available with a white glass top, as shown in this kitchen (via NJ Savvy Living).
Above: Viking also offers induction cooktops in a freestanding range; the Viking Professional Series VISC5304BX 30-Inch Pro Style Induction Range; $6,599 at A.J. Madison.
Finally, get more ideas on how to evaluate and choose your kitchen range or oven in our Remodeling 101 Guide: Kitchen Ranges & Ovens.