In the Induction Zone


Many years ago, my impression of inductive cooking was that a (highly) resistive Coil made of NiChrome was fabricated into the bottom of a pan, and a current was induced in that Coil by a strong magnet, and that created heat from ordinary resistance (like an electric heater). This may have been done in the early ~1900 prototypes.

Induction today is based on that same principle, a high frequency oscillating magnetic field heats a conductive iron or iron alloy pan using the natural resistance in those metals. (Even good conductors have some resistance.)

The top of the range is covered with a passive ceramic surface where individual pan(s) can be positioned in the focused magnetic fields generated by electronics below the surface. Controls and feedback play a big part in the system.

First batch of oatmeal before cooking on new induction stove


Pans are an integral part of the system, coupling magnetically with a coil below the ceramic surface. The Magnetic Field passes through the ceramic range top and induces a current in the steel/iron pan bottom, thus heating it.

No Pan, No Power! A cooking zone element (see below) senses whether you have a pan on it.. and won't turn on unless there's a pan there.

Good Pan Test: a magnet sticks to the bottom. (Strongly! Not weakly.)

Did we say 'Magnet"? Yes, but pans aren't HELD or stuck magnetically to the cooking surface. This is because the mag field is rapidly oscillating — constantly pushing/pulling — so the net movement is zero. However, if a lightweight panhandle is loose, for example, it may vibrate or buzz. That's certainly different than a electric stove!

We now have mostly New pans. A few pans we had will work. Old, massive Cast Iron Pans will work, but maybe not the best for general use! For special dishes maybe.


The cooking surface consists of four 'cooking zones' where pans in use are centered, indicated by circles of dashed lines. A "magnetron" (my term) heats A pan sitting in A cooking zone. The surface does not get hot in order to heat the pan.

If you move the pan out of the 'cooking zone', the field shuts off. If the pan is removed for 30 seconds, the burner will go off, and will not come back on without hitting the controls.

Pan size can vary a lot -- but too small may not work at all. Too big, and only the center may get heated.

Since the PAN does get hot, it will indirectly heat the cooking surface by virtue of sitting there. Depending on how long you are cooking, the surface may only get warm to the touch.


The Oven is has conventional electric heater elements for baking, broiling. It has fans, making it a "convection" oven, and also Air Fry oven, all new to us.


The Power states are P, H, 9..2, L. P is a Power boost for Pre-heating pans. P gives the pan a wakeup call.

State Diagram of an Induction Cooking Zone — JM

When 'on-off' is hit, the Zone starts in state "_", indicating Lockout. (I'd prefer call this the Quiescent state, as '_' is ambiguous.) Anyway, you then select the power you want by merrily Tapping or Holding down - or +

From states P or L, you can adjust the power you want by Tapping or Holding down - or +

From ANY state, hitting on-off will jump you back to the all-black square.


This is for the benefit of peeps who have never seen an induction stove in operation.

Once you try it, there is no doubt it works... too well almost, so pay attention when using P-Power level. Don't walk away from it, unless you are going to boil a large pot of water.

You have precise control in the lower range.

This stove doesn't have any intelligence ... like "Siri, tell the stove to Cook Oatmeal!" You can't even tell a burner to shut off after 4 minutes, etc. Timed burners might be nice, but you'd need more buttons or an App to do that.

For reheating, induction performance is similar to a microwave. similar to the way a Microwave oven radio frequency adds energy into vibrating water molecules in food items to heat it (faster vibes == hotter). Induction DOES NOT heat the food directly, it heats the container, and keeps heating the container, but the instant it's turned off, that heat is not replenished, and the pan is all on its own. Unless the pan is massive, no more cooking will be done.

For example, start eggs at 7, and quickly drop it to 3 or 4, and watch what they do. I am experimenting with my "Night-Before Alternative" for making oatmeal, using induction.

What's really amazing is how Quickly a pan responds... you don't have to wait for the flame (or hot burner coil) to heat the bottom of the pan, and the heat to spread into the thickness of the pan, and so on. The mag field SIMULTANEOUSLY seems to heat all the metal in the bottom of the pan. (Or certainly the surface of the pan) SO if you start on high power, the water starts bubbling (on the metal surface) almost immediately. There is no lag time waiting for heat to diffuse in the metal. When you turn it down, the energy level drops dramatically, immediately.


ONE CONCERN we had when considering this technology was of course - what are the Potential Hazards we aren't being told about!?? You know, like people's brains getting buzzed and damaged by mysterious beams at US embassies around the world, etc. I found a very good article that addressed this concern. Basically the amount of total energy needed in such a beam to damage human cell structure would be like 10 to 100 times more power than is available at a typical residence. So no need for checking your Cell Structure, baby.

Some stoves have WiFi and can be controlled via App. One manufacturer's stove can read a temperature sensor in their proprietary pan, so the stove can keep the sauce at 135° or whatever as it monitors the temperature of the pan. That's not a standard (cross vendor) feature. I don't remember if you set the temp using the pan handle or what. I think there is a LCD temp display on the pan handle!

Ours is a FridgidAire model GCRI 3058 AFF. It's made by Electrolux (in Sweden?). We got it from Standard Appliance after shopping at Home Depot for the same. See Consumer Reports. As you can see - we opted for controls at the back of the cook top, like other stoves we've had. There is a version of this same thing with controls up front. I won't go into the Pros and Cons of that. Delivery time may vary. (Price was less at Standard Appliance)

Thoughts on a new generation of stoves...

Conventional Electric ranges worked using "burners" made of a resistive metal that warmed or glowed red Hot when a current passed through it. The Electrical Resistance generated heat (whether with direct or alternating current).

GAS ‐ With Gas, I had to go by size of flame, and take time to fine tune it, then still not know if that's the same exact low flame I had yesterday.

QUITTING GAS ‐ Look Ma! No Gas! No combustion products in house. Doesn't contribute to Climate Change. Now focus on where our power comes from...

Photos.. John with Gus. Gus with Kit? John, Gus, Kit?

Time Haven has had a wood stove, electric, gas, and now Induction.


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