At a Glance
Induction is still the best form of cooking. It is faster than a professional gas cooktop.
In this article, you will learn the basics of induction.
Then we will show you the best induction cooktops to consider, including reliability based on over 37,000 service calls completed by our service team last year.
Lastly, we'll cover the answers to the top five induction questions asked by our clients.
Let's get started.
How Does Induction Cooking Work?
Unlike the glass on a traditional electric cooktop, the glass on an induction cooktop does not get scolding hot.
Instead, a magnet excites the molecules in the pan so that the pan itself becomes the cooking surface, bypassing the glass.
For this reason, induction is the most efficient cooking method as there is little loss of heat.
Benefits of Induction Cooking
Induction is the most child-safe because the magnets need to sense metal to activate.
Thus, your child can't accidentally turn it on.
As previously said, induction is faster than a professional gas cooktop or range. Induction boils faster and can hold a better simmer than an electric or gas cooktop.
Induction is also the easiest to clean. Food can't be baked onto your cooktop since elements don't heat the glass.
It also does not require a professional ventilation hood like a gas cooktop because there is less heat emission.
Massachusetts Residents Take Note:
Induction complies with Massachusetts Make-Up Air Laws requiring Make-Up air over 400 CFM, whereas pro-gas does not.
That is huge, by the way. You can use an existing hood for induction but not a pro-gas cooktop.Short on time? Get our free Induction Cooking Buying Guide
6 Best 36-Inch Induction Cooktops for 2021
The following 36-inch cooktops were ranked higher than other brands for their configuration and wattage. If you're looking for the best 30-inch induction cooktops, click here.
The Café Appliances CHP95362MSS is not especially powerful and has fewer bridge elements than the others, but there are two important reasons to buy this induction cooktop.
First, it is one of the least expensive induction brands. You also have some decent package opportunities if you buy this cooktop along with other Café products.
Café's products have also been available for faster delivery, unlike many appliances and brands.
- Control Lock Capability
- Pan presence & size sensor
- Red LED display
- Five Induction Elements
- Melt setting
- Digital Touch Controls
- 11" 3,700-Watt Induction Element
Fisher & Paykel Induction Cooktop CI365DTB2N - $3,049
In a sea of stainless-steel appliances, Fisher & Paykel stands out with some unique styling (of course, style is only a matter of opinion).
However, you have two powerful 5500-watt burners on this cooktop.
Miele has the most power, but Fisher & Paykel has two of the fastest burners on this list.
Having these two 5500-watt burners means that you can operate the two burners at maximum power without sacrificing any heat from the other burners.
Fisher & Paykel offers a free 5-year warranty on their appliances.
However, five-year warranties can be an issue. Independent service companies do not typically repair appliances under warranty due to low reimbursement rates.
So, you may not pay for service, but you may not find it either.
- Instant response
- Safer choice
- Easy cleaning
- Enhanced features
- Superior efficiency
- Precise control
- Perfect steak with induction
Miele Induction Cooktop KM6375 - $3,499
Miele has made induction cooktops for many years. The most popular is Miele's flush mount cooktop, KM6375.
This unit has a great configuration with five cooking zones, allowing various pan sizes to fit on the cooktop. You have a 4-inch round burner to a 9 x 15-inch rectangular burner.
It also has a power boost setting like most other induction cooktops.
However, with the Miele, two of these inductors are used simultaneously on the 9" x 15" burner providing an incredible 7700 watts of power.
This unit will connect to a Miele hood by Bluetooth to turn it on as you begin to cook.
It also is required to be mounted flush with the countertop providing an incredibly modern, sleek look. It requires a 50-amp connection.
This unit comes with a 1-year warranty.
Due to the flush mount requirements, having a warranty is ideal for newer countertops as advanced preparation is required.
- PowerFlex Zone
- Auto Heat-Up
- Pan Size Recognition
- TwinBooster Function
- Direct Selection Plus Controls
- Connectivity 2.0
- Stop & Go Function
The configuration of this cooktop is pretty compelling, with a large, powerful high output burner in the middle.
You also can fit odd-shaped dishes on either side with attaching bridge elements.
It's similar to a Thermador for $1,400 less.
Why is KitchenAid ranked so high? Other than a user-friendly configuration, it is also available.
- Sensor Boil Function
- Simmer Function
- One-Touch Off Feature
- Keep Warm Function
- Performance Boost Function
- Touch-Activated Controls
Our chef's favorite performance is Wolf. Not just our current chef, but the two preceding Saba as well.
This Wolf cooktop features an 11-inch burner that can use up to 3700 watts of cooking power on the boost setting.
The four left burners can be "bridged" or connected in four ways to allow larger or odd-shaped pots and pans.
You can utilize all four smaller burners simultaneously, creating a 17" x 17" cooking surface.
Great for using large pots for lobster or large roasting pans for searing.
This unit also has a melt setting on one of the burners for simmering or melting chocolate.
This setting is like the simmer feature on all their gas ranges.
This unit comes with a full 2-year parts and labor warranty (3 years with Yale Installation).
You can buy this unit with a full beveled stainless trim to provide extra protection to the glass surface, or it can have a complete flush installation.
But you will need a great countertop manufacturer and installer.
Also, an important note, this unit will require a 50-amp electrical connection.
- "Best in Class" Cooking Options
- 40% Faster Response
- Cooktop Stays Cool
- Cookware Sensing
- Highly Efficient
- Incredible Control
Thermador has an entry-level model, but this high-end Freedom model lets you put a pan anywhere to maximize cooking space.
With this flexible setup, you can use multiple 10-inch pans, a large griddle, or a Teppanyaki-style pan up to 16 inches long.
This unit has 17 power modes to help dial in the exact temperature, and in boost mode, it can utilize up to 3600 watts of power.
This cooktop has numerous smart technologies, including a Move mode sensing your pan movement and maintaining the same power setting on the next burner.
It also has a heat shift setting like a French top.
This cooktop features a 2-year warranty and requires a 50-amp connection.
- Cookware detection
- The cooktop automatically detects the position, size, and shape of the cookware used.
- Residual heat indicator for each side of the cooktop
- Panel Lock allows you to lock the cooktop
- Extra-large full-color interactive touch screen display
- Frameless design
- Dark gray glass color
What to Consider When Buying an Induction Cooktop
First off, your pans need to be magnetic (do not worry, most are), and if you plan to buy some new pots and pans, you do not have to spend a fortune buying special pans.
If a magnet sticks to the bottom, you are good to go. We recommend any grade 5 or better.
Induction cooking surfaces work well with any pans with a high ferrous metal content at the base.
Cast iron pans and any black metal or iron pans will work on an induction cooking surface.
If you plan on putting a wall oven below your induction cooktop, pay special attention to the manufacturer's specifications.
Only certain brands and models are approved to have an oven placed below in the same cabinet.
Most can accommodate, but you always want to be sure.
For smart technology, you can sync your Miele cooktop to your ventilation hood, so it activates as soon as you turn on your cooktop.
Are Induction Cooktops Reliable?
Induction cooktops require far less service than most appliances.
Induction cooktop reliability is excellent for all the major brands. The average appliance service rate is 9.7%.
Electric, in general, has always been good because the burner is protected by glass.
It's not an easy repair when you do need service. Check to make sure you have a capable service department in your area.
Induction Cooktop Reliability from December 2019-November 2020
These figures are based on a minimum of 30 cooktops sold per brand and over 350 total pieces.
Read More: Most Reliable Induction Cooktops for 2021
Which Induction Cooktop Should You Buy?
All make compelling arguments for being the best cooktop. Fisher & Paykel has decent power and comes in black glass.
KitchenAid has the best price and a user-friendly configuration. Miele has the most powerful induction burner at 7700 watts.
Thermador has the sensor moving the power when you move the pan. It is undoubtedly the most forward technologically.
The chefs at Yale love the Wolf for its fast-heating response. It is their favorite induction cooktop.
For odd-shaped pans, it is the best cooktop because of the four-burner bridge.
In terms of reliability, Wolf, Thermador, and Gaggenau have been on our most reliable induction cooktop list over the last few years.
One last consideration: Availability is a problem. Some brands' products are delayed 9-12 months, so the best induction cooktop may be the one you can buy now.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Are induction cooktops better than gas or electric?
Induction cooktops are better than gas or electric for a variety of reasons:
- It is safer as the glass surface does not get hot (but there may be residual heat from the pan).
- They require less ventilation due to less heat emission.
- Cooking times are faster, saving energy and cooking time.
- Response times are faster for specific recipes, and they will simmer lower.
- Cleaning is easy because spills don't bake on.
- Without a metal pan, induction can't activate. One of the values of this is a child can't power your cooktop by accident.
2. Do induction cooktops use more electricity?
Induction cooktops will also use less electricity due to their speed but will require higher watts in many cases.
3. How long do induction cooktops last?
As with most built-in appliances, the average lifespan of an induction cooktop should be around 10-15 years or more.
The glass surface protects the working elements underneath, increasing its lifespan.
4. What is Power Sharing?
In all the cooktops except BSH brands, if you turn on a burner on the highest level, it will "share" power with the burner behind it.
So, that back burner will only be operating at 30% power, you can still warm food, but you are not cooking with both burners on high in the same grid.
For an exact explanation, read Wolf's guide.
"For induction cooktops, boost mode boosts power on one element by diverting power from an adjacent element. If the adjacent element is on a high, the power output will be reduced. The reduction in power is displayed on the power level indicator of the adjacent element. ... Illuminates when an element is in boost mode. Boost mode deactivates automatically after approximately 15 minutes of continuous operation and can be reactivated if desired."
5. What is Power Boost?
PowerBoost is for BSH brands such as Bosch, Gaggenau, and Thermador. It uses all the power of the back burner.
From Thermador's Use and Care Manual:
"The PowerBoost function enables you to heat up large quantities of water faster than when using [the] heat setting. This function can be activated for a cooking zone at any time, provided the other cooking zone in the same group is not in use."
6. Will induction affect your pacemaker?
Although manufacturers claim induction is safe, you should check with the manufacturer of your pacemaker as well as your healthcare provider before making any purchase.
Read our Induction Cooking Buying Guide for features, buying tips, and ratings of every available induction cooking product in the market. Well over 620,000 people have read a Yale Guide. Induction is our most popular.
Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.
Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.
A Note About Pricing