My Family Switched to Induction Cooking and We'd Never Go Back

After using one for a month, we are not missing gas.

Kitchenaid Induction range with oven


People don't like change. When wood stoves were introduced in the 1800s, there was huge resistance to them; Linda Peterat writes in BC Food History:

"In the early 1800s many patents were granted for cook stoves, beginning the rush to develop an efficient and functional cook stove that could gain wide acceptance. But there were numerous obstacles. There was considerable angst beginning in the mid 1800s about the impact of the stove on home life. Some people believed that the disagreeable odours, bad air and smoke from stoves were harmful to health, causing headaches, giddiness and stupor. Others, mainly men, sentimentalized the open fire of the old fireplaces, believing that adopting a cook stove would ruin domestic life and social intercourse that occurred in the glow of an open fire. Others believed the energy emanating from an open fire nurtured the human spirit." 

Now we have the induction range, another revolution in cooking and there is, again, considerable angst. Take my wife, Kelly Rossiter, please.

She is an excellent cook and used to write about food and cooking for Treehugger. She loved her gas range and rejected all my entreaties to change it for an induction range. A reader of Treehugger, she is aware of all the air quality issues and understands the need to stop burning fossil fuels. But much like what those Instagram influencers paid to shill gas stoves keep saying, she believed you had more control.

Intuitively, this makes sense. We quoted a chef in an earlier post who said, "A lot of chefs love cooking on gas still because it's reminiscent of the French grand cuisine days. It's 'proper cooking' controlling the heat by eye, which you don't have when you're selecting heat by a number on induction."

Then our old gas stove finally died. The oven failed, thanks to its electronic controls that couldn't be replaced. Kelly was resigned to the fact that we were going to get an induction range this time, but warned me she was only doing this if I understand that I am going to be spending a whole lot of money on new pots and pans that work on it.

We went off to Caplan's—a high-end appliance store where I had good experiences years ago—looking for a 30-inch-wide drop-in replacement range with oven below. There were not that many choices, but I did not want knobs—goop always gets caught in them. Otherwise, it was up to Kelly since she does all the cooking. The salesperson pointed us to a KitchenAid model and said he had the same one, which was encouraging.

Kitchenaid top with frame


I did not like the metal frame around the glass top of the KitchenAid and liked the way the Bosch had a clean one-piece glass top that went right to the edge. The salesperson said it was a serious problem: Any liquid spilled on the top would go right over the edge, whereas the KitchenAid rim would catch it. We were convinced by these arguments and bought the range.

Bosch range with continuous glass top
The Bosch range had a continuous glass top.


I thought we would have the proper outlet for an electric stove because there used to be one, but when I pulled the gas range out that night, there was only a 110-volt electric outlet. I suspect now that the cable for the stove was fed into the new sub-panel in the basement, so I called an electrician to install a new circuit from the main panel to the kitchen.

Electronic controls for the stove top
Electronic controls for the new stove top.

Lloyd Alter

In the end, though, the proof is in the pudding ... or the risotto ... or in my favorite ma po tofu. Kelly tells Treehugger what she loves about the induction stovetop.

  • The induction stove heats faster than gas. With the morning oatmeal, the water is boiling before she gets the oatmeal even out of the cupboard.
  • The slider controls on the top are easy to use and she found them intuitive, although a lot of people prefer the more traditional knobs, which are now available on many induction ranges.
  • It's extremely easy to clean the top, and the pots and pans are much easier to clean as well.
  • The biggest surprise for her was how much more comfortable it was to cook without that open flame and the heat; it's just easier and safer.

I feel the air in the house is a lot fresher, and my Awair air quality monitor noticed a drop in particulates and volatile organic compounds—though they are still emitted from the cooking itself, so you still need an exhaust hood.

Unit in place in our kitchen

Lloyd Alter

I do think, in retrospect, that it is probably not a good idea to combine an induction cooktop with a conventional oven, as we did so we didn't have to change the whole kitchen. This is a historical artifact from when ovens and cooktops were heavy iron things fired by one source of wood beneath and maybe made a bit of sense with gas ranges that would only need one hookup.

But when the oven is used, it generates a lot of heat, and all the electronics of the induction range are getting heated up too. I will not be surprised if this unnecessary cooking of the cooktop is the reason for its eventual demise. There is no reason anymore for these to be together in one unit, other than for people like us who have to fit a new unit in the same space.

And as for the pots and pans, Kelly misses a few of her favorites. But KitchenAid had a promotion and supplied a few very nice pots and pans, and I now have a few items on my seasonal shopping list. It won't be as big a deal as she or I thought it might be.

In the end, after a month, the committed gas stove user loves her induction range; loves the cooler, cleaner kitchen; and loves the time saved on cleanup after. She doesn't miss gas at all and I suspect most people will feel the same way.