We got an induction range. The thing is cool. It uses electricity for power, not (necessarily) fossil gas. We have 100% green electricity through Brookline Green Electricity. If you have electricity from other sources, using an induction range won’t be fossil-fuel free.
The brand is GE Café (GE’s high end option.) The model we got is: CHS900P2MS1. The price was high. It works well and it looks pretty good:
GE Café CHS900P2MS1, with Pan, and Dishtowel
You can make things like grilled cheese, with vegetables. Most of our old pans worked. Put a magnet to them. If the magnet sticks, it should work. But we bought this pan, which is non-stick, and hopefully healthier than many common non-stick pans.
Grilled Cheese, Veggies, on a Non-stick Pan
I like making scrambly stuff. Often with eggs, sometimes with meat. But, I am trending toward fewer eggs and less meat.
The oven works well. You can make pizza in it. But, just remember it is a standard electric oven. You are not getting super efficiency gains on that (but, at least it is not fossil gas!). The oven is probably not as efficient as gas, but it seems better insulated than older stoves and it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.
Oven, with Pizza
This was the Tillreda cooktop that we got for about $50 from Ikea. It worked well. Cheap cooktops are a good option, if you have counter space for them. Because induction ranges only benefit from the efficiency of the cooktop, cheap cooktops can be a good option. The oven is still standard electric. But, we got rid of a gas oven, so that was good..
Food Cooked on the Tillreda Cooktop
Here’s another picture of scrambled food and a ceramic pot we use to cook oatmeal in.
Note that we chose a range with knobs, not just display controls.
Cast Iron Pan and Ceramic Pot on Induction Range
Cast iron works, ceramic pots, like Dutch Ovens work. We also got a GE Café promotion that gave us some free pans. Some are WiFi-enabled. Did we need WiFi-enabled pans? No, I do not think we did.
My wife got the range connected to her iPhone. But I could not get it connected to my Android phone.
That is kind of a bummer, since I think some functionality is only available through WiFi.
The range comes with a probe for the oven. But, our fitting broke on the first use. A third party support company sent us a replacement one.
Broken Fitting for the Oven Probe
You have to have an electrical panel that has the capacity to support a 220V electric range:
Electrical Panel Supporting the Induction Range
A Note on Cleaning; Health; and More Food Porn
Induction cooktops are also easier to clean, as this recent New York Times article mentions.
Induction cooktops are also healthier, as you are not polluting your house, burning fossil gas, as this Carbon Switch article indicates.
Food Porn: Eggs. Toast. Veggies. Cheese
This range was not cheap. But, we needed a new range. And I wanted to get rid of fossil gas. There are cheaper options. There should be more cheaper options. I feel kind of guilty bragging about this range. Lots of people on social media are talking about their induction ranges. These ranges should be more accessible. They should have been more accessible 40 years ago.
In terms of accessibility, for example, Brookline Public Housing is looking to put induction ranges in. I hope we can move to broader adoption of induction ranges. We have a climate crisis, we need to get off of gas to reduce our dependence on autocratic leaders. Induction ranges can play a part in addressing it.
It can take some adjustment to cooking with induction. High heat is high. Be careful about burning pans and food.
A friend with the same range has a problem when opening the oven door while roasting two large pans of veggies — a wave of steam rises up, condenses inside the touch pad and starts turning off the oven settings. She now knows to watch out for this and if the steam cancels the convection roasting, she waits until the touchpad is operable again and turns it back on. GE support was not very helpful in addressing this design flaw. But my friend still loves her induction range.
My friend also has issues with water vapor from simmering pots condensing on the microwave/hood above and the backsplash behind. A mechanical engineer explained that the heat from her old gas stove warmed up these vertical surfaces (while also warming up the entire kitchen!). But with induction cooking, the heat stays in the pan, so when the water vapor from simmering pots hits the unheated vertical surfaces you get condensation. A simple solution: use a small portable electric fan to circulate the simmering vapor cloud back into the kitchen to avoid condensation on the vertical surfaces.
Compost Bin with Air Sealing Measures