Should I Consider an Induction Range if I Have Natural Gas?
Within the last decade, cooking ranges with new electric heating technology became available to the commercial food service line up of choices. Before the availability of induction ranges, the answer would have been a flat out “no” for electric. Electrical costs historically have always been far higher than that of natural gas. While the initial cost of an electrical unit may have been enticing, the fact of the matter is that over time, gas trumps financially. With the introduction of the induction burner, the tables may have turned!
Electric ranges would work on the heating up of cal rod-type elements either exposed or in sealed plates, or the range could have “even heat” thick steel plates. These types of electric ranges - as well as gas fired ranges - would leach much of the heat produced into the air. This would add to the high ambient temperature of a kitchen. A much smaller percentage of the energy consumed would actually go into the cooking utensil itself.
Once airborne, the heated air would be caught by the hood above and sent outside. As you can imagine, this results in much wasted energy. The energy efficiencies for cooking with induction are 84% vs 40% for gas!
The reason induction works so well and cooks faster is because the energy used for cooking goes directly into pan. It is so effective that if you were to touch the surrounding surface of the range, it would be at room temperature. Only the pan gets hot!
Clean up is simpler because there is no burning of the food that typically splashes onto a hot range. Please note that it is necessary that the pans used with induction ranges be flat to the surface and composed of ferromagnetic metal: e.g. steel, cast iron or stainless steel and with induction ranges. Most pots and pans state that they are induction ready in their product descriptions.
While the technologies of kitchen equipment are still evolving, it seems that induction is certainly the way to go! Give me a call, and we’ll discuss what works best for your individual situation.
E Friedman Associates