For those looking to make a kitchen appliance upgrade, the cooking range is a great place to start. Manufacturers of kitchen ranges have embraced energy efficiency and smart technology, making the gourmet cooking experience more accessible and affordable. While ranges or cooktops for your kitchen traditionally come with either electric or gas cooking capabilities, induction ranges have gained popularity because of their time-saving cooking features and reduced energy consumption.
Induction technology uses magnetic induction in combination with an induction-compatible pot to heat and cook food with astonishing speed. Additionally, induction ranges have convection ovens, which give roasted dishes that delectable crispy-on-the-outside and juicy-on-the-inside texture. And with natural gas being responsible for 38 percent of US carbon dioxide emissions, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, induction technology is a more climate-friendly option.
Induction ranges are more expensive than gas and electric ranges, but because of induction technology’s energy efficiency, the investment will pay off in the long run. Read on to learn about product features to look for before you invest in the best induction range for your kitchen, and check out the list of top picks in each category.
- BEST OVERALL: KitchenAid Slide-In Induction Range KSIB900ESS
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Frigidaire Gallery Induction Range FGIH3047VF
- BEST SMART: Cafe Smart Slide-In Double Oven Induction CHS950P2MS1
- BEST DOUBLE OVEN: KitchenAid Double Oven Electric Induction KFID500ESS
- BEST SELF-CLEANING: LG Smart Slide-In Electric with Convection LSE4616ST
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Induction Range
When selecting an induction range, there are some key factors to consider. The following sections detail some of the most important features and qualities to consider when shopping for the best induction range that suits a variety of cooking and baking needs.
Freestanding vs. Slide-In
The type of installation needed will determine if a freestanding or slide-in range is most suitable for the kitchen space. While freestanding ranges are often more affordable, slide-in ranges offer a sleek, built-in look between cabinets for a more customized feel. Freestanding ranges have finished sides for stand-alone installation and typically are available in more sizes and finishes.
The average size of an induction oven is 30 inches wide. However, if size variety is important, more size options are typically available in slide-in models. The average cooking/baking capacity of an induction range is 5.8 cubic feet, but smaller- and larger-capacity ranges are available. Unless you’re cooking for groups or a large family, a smaller-capacity range should meet your needs.
Induction ranges usually come with cooktops featuring four cooking burners, or elements, but some gourmet ranges have five burners. The elements cook at temperatures between 100 degrees and 573.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Some ranges even come with a warming element for more delicate recipes. The cooking zone sizes typically range from 5 to 12 inches in diameter, and the induction stovetop will accommodate two or three different sizes of pots. Some cooktops even allow for element bridging, joining two side-by-side elements to create a larger cooking space.
Temperature and Cooking Settings
Even though induction cooking requires less wattage, the technology can still reduce cook time––it is a quicker heating alternative to electric ranges, and it offers a more responsive temperature control than gas. Induction ranges equipped with preset cooking features include cooking menus for frying, grilling, boiling, and adjusting the temperature and power for different food types. Some ranges offer Sabbath settings, which disable the automatic 12-hour shutoff, and a delay bake, which allows baking to begin at a preset time. Some induction ranges provide voltage and energy consumption dates on the control pad.
It is important to note that induction ranges require magnetic-bottom cookware. But before tossing any of your cookware, check your existing pots and pans for compatibility by placing a magnet on the bottom. If the magnet sticks, the cookware is compatible.
The heatless technology of induction ranges is a bonus safety feature, but it’s certainly not the only safety feature available. Burners only produce heat when in contact with induction cookware because pan detectors switch the heating element off upon removing cookware from the stovetop’s surface. Liquid boil-over also triggers the burners to shut off. Common safety features include child locks on both oven doors and control pads and surface heat indicators.
Induction ranges come with a variety of additional features. The LED flame feature indicates when an element is on. Cookware detection features indicate when an element is on and if the cookware is induction compatible. Safety sensors also can determine if an empty pot is left on a burner, triggering the burner’s shutoff to prevent heat damage to the pot. Other sensors can distinguish small items placed on the cooktop from cookware so as to not falsely signal for heat output. Food-warming drawers keep dishes at ideal temperatures prior to serving. The auto heat-up features allow for rapid boiling followed by a temperature reduction to a simmer, and pause features enable the user to temporarily halt controls for a quick button wipe-up while in operation.
Because of its smooth surface, an induction range is easier to clean than its electric and gas counterparts. One of the biggest factors in extending the cooktop’s life is avoiding scratches on the glass surface, so when cleaning the stovetop, do not use steel wool or abrasive cloths or cleaners. For everyday cleaning, wipe the surface with a damp sponge or cloth. For removing spots and stains, use a special cooktop cleaner or a ceramic top scraper to dislodge dried spillage. Ranges are also available with self-cleaning ovens, often with both quick and traditional cleaning settings that require only water for cleaning.
Our Top Picks
This list of top picks takes into account the shopping considerations above and includes a variety of choices to help you find the best induction range to suit your needs and budget.
This 30-inch induction range features KitchenAid’s Steam Rack, which adds moisture to enhance cooking results, and Even-Heat True Convection to help keep dishes crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. AquaLift technology cleans the oven in less than an hour by combining low heat with water to release baked-on spills. The range features glass touch controls and a warming drawer to keep food warm and toasty until dinnertime. Safety features include hot-surface indicator lights and a safety lock.
Select trim pieces in either black or white to complement the stainless design. The range includes a warming zone and four heating elements that measure 11 inches, 7 inches (two), and 6 inches. If a larger cooking space is needed, bridge the two 7-inch elements to create a larger cooking surface. Its capacity is 7.1 cubic feet, and it measures 28.9 inches deep, 30 inches wide, and 36 inches high.
When it comes to features and affordability, the Frigidaire Gallery delivers. The induction cooktop and steam-clean features can cut cleaning and cooking time in half. The 30-inch range is the first range with an air fry right in the oven, allowing home cooks to spice up weekly meal planning with healthy options. The True Convection oven measures 5.4 cubic feet and is equipped with multi-rack space, a convection fan for optimal heat dispersion, and a fast steam-cleaning setting for easy maintenance.
The digital front control style gives the look of a built-in range without the extra expense. Safety features include auto pan sizing to heat only the stove surface that’s in contact with the pan. A lower storage drawer keeps cookware organized. The stove’s surface includes four heating elements: two 7-inch elements, an 8.3-inch element, and a 5.5-inch element.
Its dimensions are 25.75 inches deep by 29.88 inches wide by 36.625 inches high.
This induction range features gourmet-guided cooking (including video-guided recipes) that automatically adjusts temperature and time according to the cooking menu. The range’s wireless technology gives control over cook settings from a smartphone. The 6.7-cubic-foot oven capacity features True European Convection for temperature precision, and both the lower and upper ovens feature a broiler, hidden bake element, delay bake mode, Sabbath mode, and self-cleaning.
The premium finish comes in stainless steel, matte black, or matte white. The stovetop includes one 6-inch element, two 8-inch elements, and an 11-inch element. The range’s dimensions are 29.5 inches deep by 29.88 inches wide by 37.38 inches high.
This freestanding induction range features a double oven with separate temperature zones for preparing multiple dishes at once. KitchenAid’s Steam Rack adds moisture to enhance cooking results, and Even-Heat True Convection helps keep each dish crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The top oven has one rack and two rack guides, while the bottom oven contains two racks and five rack guides. The range also boasts several safety features: auto shutoff, door lock, and hot surface indicator lights. The oven’s hidden bake element makes cleaning a breeze.
The range is equipped with four elements measuring 6 inches (two), 7 inches, and 11 inches. With a capacity of 6.7 cubic feet, the range measures 30 inches wide, 47.4 inches high, and 28.5 inches deep.
While most induction ranges feature self-cleaning technology, the LG induction range’s EasyClean cleaning cycle technology keeps the oven sparkling clean in between the traditional self-cleaning deep-cleaning cycles. Simply spray the oven’s interior with water, and after the 10-minute EasyClean cycle, wipe away residual grime and spillage. The PrintProof fingerprint and smudge-resistant finish easily wipes clean with a soft, dry cloth, and the SmoothTouch glass controls and smooth ceramic cooktop are easy to wipe clean.
The 6.3-cubic-foot oven is compatible with the ThinQ app for LG STUDIO, which sends notifications while the oven is operating. The oven also features ProBake Convection technology for precision baking and a warming drawer with three temperature settings. The range has five heating elements, measuring 6 inches (three), 8 inches, and 11 inches. The range’s dimensions are 37.88 inches high by 28.94 inches deep by 29.88 inches wide.
FAQs About Induction Ranges
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about induction ranges.
Q. What’s the difference between an induction range and other types of ranges?
An induction range uses magnetic technology to generate heat––but heat is only generated when electromagnetic waves come into contact with magnetic-bottom cookware.
Q. How safe are induction ranges?
Induction ranges are extremely safe. With induction ranges, there’s no need to worry about the dangers associated with gas appliances or unattended hot electric burners. Also, the heating elements of induction ranges automatically shut off once cookware is removed from the element. The glass stays cool.
Q. Do induction ranges save energy?
Induction ranges save energy by using less wattage and reducing cook time. They create very little excess heat, and since the cooking elements heat and cool quickly, the precision heating produces fewer carbon dioxide emissions.
Q. Are induction ranges noisy?
Induction ranges do produce some noise, usually in the form of humming or buzzing, which is generated by the induction fan or the electromagnetic power controllers. Although the noise can be somewhat unpleasant, it’s normal and doesn’t cause damage to the range or the cookware.
Q. Do I need a hood for an induction cooktop?
Because cooking indoors generally produces steam, smoke, and airborne grease particles, using a ventilation hood is recommended with induction ranges.