“Induction is finally finding a home in the U.S. market given the growing trend toward energy conservation and increased regulations/restrictions in kitchen ventilation,” says Oliver Schmidt, induction cooktop category product manager for Miele Inc. in Princeton, NJ, U.S., “Induction is tremendously efficient, using less energy and—since there’s no open flame—less ventilation as well. In certain regions of the country, induction has added advantages. For instance, in higher elevations, where the air is thinner, gas doesn’t burn as efficiently, making induction the alternative of choice. In warmer climates, induction…doesn’t produce residual heat, which keeps kitchens cooler and more comfortable.”
Induction cooking performance is typically held up as being comparable to gas cooking, and new technologies are improving the performance still further. Miele’s Power Boosters raise the temperature setting to its highest level for 10 minutes at a time to reduce overall cook time. The cooktops can operate two or three boosters simultaneously.
Diva de Provence introduced induction units in recent months that have substantially increased power levels. The new 3600-W induction units have 23% more power than the previous 2800-W units and provide cooking power equivalent to 25,000 Btu.
“This power increase makes Diva Induction cooktops the most powerful cooktops in North America, far surpassing the other induction cooktops available today,” said Amir Girgis, managing director of Diva de Provence. “With this upgrade, our units are over 30% more powerful than the pro-style gas ranges available to consumers.”
OEMs are also using the programmability of the cooktops to give induction functionality that gas can’t match. Miele’s new Stop and Go function brings the power level down to the lowest setting for all active cooking zones, which allows the user to step away briefly to, say, answer the phone. The cooktop uses sensors under the glass to sense problem situations and respond accordingly. It recognizes an empty pan, a missing pan, or cookware of the wrong material and switches itself off. It recognizes the size of the pan and adjusts the heat zone to fit. Some units even have programmability to memorize favorite cooking processes.