I am in love our new induction electric range. With it, we have inched one step closer toward electrifying our home and ditching polluting fossil fuels. If you have similar goals and, like me, find the process daunting, I hope this blog post of our experience swapping a gas range for an induction electric one answers your questions. I wish I had known some of this information before starting.
We began the process of electrifying with the range only because we replaced a damaged kitchen floor, which required moving the appliances out of the room while the work took place. I really did not want to hook the gas range back up so I figured now might be the time to go electric.
- And induction electric range consists of induction elements, which use electromagnetic energy to heat, and an electric oven.
- Induction cooktops are the built-in, countertop or island elements, separate from ovens.
- Electric ranges consist of electric elements and electric ovens.
- Gas (i.e., mostly methane) powers the elements and ovens of gas ranges.
Breaking up with the gas range
Our gas range had worked, which posed a dilemma. We couldn’t simply toss a functioning appliance out on the curb. I contacted Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore to find out if I could donate it. ReStore told me it wants newer stoves—less than 10 years old, like ours. After filling out a donation form and sending pictures of the range, ReStore approved it for donation and I scheduled an appointment for pickup. Easy!
Because many people still want gas stoves, I figure someone will buy ours at the ReStore, Habitat for Humanity will receive money to help build affordable homes, I get the range of my dreams and one fewer gas stove will be manufactured.
And many people do still want that gas range. While comparing induction electric ranges in the various showrooms I visited, the sheer number of gas models kind of surprised me. Although gas stoves have not been banned in Northern California despite absurd headlines you may have seen, in some cities in the Bay Area, new homes cannot have new gas hookups. In other words, no one is coming to confiscate the gas stove in your kitchen. These restrictions on new construction will help wean us off the fossil fuels that cause climate breakdown.
The induction electric range I chose
I picked this LG model. (Be sure to shop around. We paid much less than the retail price listed on the LG website.) Consumer Reports ranks it as the top model of the induction electric ranges it tests, reviewers rate it highly, it looks great and has all the features I want and none that I don’t (although I could do without the WiFi). By the way, no one has paid me to hawk this range. I’m just showing you which one I chose.
Benefits of induction
I love this thing. I don’t regret dumping gas one bit and will never go back to it!
The induction elements run quieter my portable induction cooktop (which I still need for online and in-person workshops). Occasionally I’ll hear the complaint that induction elements are loud. When you cook with gas, you should always run the fan to help reduce pollutants and that fan tends to be much louder than induction (I measured with a decibel meter app).
Induction creates a magnetic current in the pot, which heats it—and not the air surrounding the pot. This efficient heating helps keep your kitchen cooler as well.
In the below thermal images, orange indicates heat—not flame. Although the small pot shown in the left image sat on the appropriately sized burner and flames did not lap its sides, you can see a lot of heat escaping. Induction on the right has heated only the pot.
Fast and responsive
One day, while cooking on my portable induction cooktop when I still had a gas range, I needed a second burner to boil water. I turned on the gas and wondered if the element had broken. I was so used to cooking on induction—it heats so quickly. The gas heated so slowly! The elements on my range heat even faster than my portable induction cooktop. And they respond instantly to increasing or decreasing temperature.
Although induction powers the elements only, not the oven, as a sidenote, everything I’ve baked so far has baked to perfection—peanut butter cookies, sourdough discard pizza, banana bread, more cookies…
Easy to clean
The cooktop cleans up so easily. I simply wipe it with a damp cloth. I used to dread removing the heavy grates of my gas stove to clean the elements.
Gas stoves fill homes with pollutants similar to what comes out of a car’s tailpipe: carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and formaldehyde. These pollutants have been associated with a host of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Of all the unburned methane gas that gas stoves emit, about 80 percent leaks from loose couplings and fittings between gas pipes and stoves. In other words, gas stoves emit most of their methane when they sit idle.
We have rooftop solar so we don’t power this induction electric range with, say, coal. But in many states, you don’t need your own solar panels to power your home with clean energy. According to Energy.gov, at least half of all utility customers in the US can choose renewable energy for their homes through their power supplier. If you live in an individually metered rented apartment, you can switch—you don’t need to own the unit.
To make the switch, log into your utility account and switch to green electricity if your provider offers it. If you have trouble finding information on your utility’s website, call and ask for help. Or do an online search with the terms “switch electricity to clean energy [YOUR CITY].”
Drawbacks of induction
Expensive electrical upgrades
Because our home is piped for gas, not wired for an electric range, we needed an additional circuit for the electrical panel, a 40-foot copper cable installed under the house, running from the kitchen to the panel and a new 220-volt socket for the range. The electrical work cost almost as much as some new ranges! (In high school, my daughter Charlotte had thought about becoming an electrician and after seeing the bill for this, I sort of wish she had.) We needed a plumber to fix our dishwasher so capping the gas didn’t cost all that much—he was here anyway.
I could have chosen a cheaper range. This Samsung model costs less than half what we paid for ours and has good ratings. We do qualify for at least one rebate, which will help cover some of the costs of this upgrade. I’ll get to rebates in a bit.
Potential issues with very old pacemakers
According this New York Times article, “If you have a pacemaker, induction is safe to use. Fred Kusumoto, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, assured us that the risk is basically zero, unless you got your pacemaker more than 30 years ago.”
Your current pots and pans may not work on induction
To check compatibility, attempt to place a magnet on the bottom of your pots and pans. If it sticks, the pots and pans will work. I cook with stainless steel, cast iron and enameled cast iron, all of which work on induction. The one beautiful copper pot I had didn’t work so I gave it to my daughter MK for her first adulting apartment.
Non-sitck pans may contain toxic PFAS—also known as forever chemicals because they persist in the environment and our bodies—and so if the magnet doesn’t stick to your non-stick pan, good riddance. A well-seasoned cast-iron pan prevents food from sticking and works on induction. (Go here for more on avoiding PFAS.)
Rebates for induction or electric stoves
You may be eligible for more than one rebate.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) rebate for electric or induction electric stoves goes into effect in 2024, which will be here very soon. Unlike the IRA 30 percent rooftop solar tax credit, the (up to) $840 electric or induction rebate has an income requirement—your household can’t earn over 150% of your area’s median household income. Also, the rebate is not retroactive. So if you qualify for it, you may want to wait until the rebate goes into effect.
The IRA rebates will be distributed through each state’s energy office. States have only recently received the green light to set up their programs—California’s isn’t up and running yet—and states that have politicized electrification and physics may drag their feet.
After electrifying everything in our home—heat pump, heat pump water heater, electric dryer and induction cooking (or had we already had an electric stove)—we can apply for this rebate program in our state. (We have a long way to go.)
Here in the Bay Area, BayREN (Bay Area Regional Network) offers a $250 rebate for an induction range or cooktop. Your utility may also offer rebates or incentives. In California, search for programs using your zip code here. Search for similar programs in your state.
I’m sorry the rebate information applies mostly to Northern California but researching all the various programs for every state (and region) would take me months and months. I hope this information gives you an idea of what to look for in your location.
Before you start your project
Search for rebates
Even if you won’t start your project for months, consider researching available or soon-to-be available rebates now and determine the requirements. You may want to install your appliance tomorrow but it may be backordered or, unless you’ll make the necessary upgrades to your home yourself, you may have trouble finding professionals to make them for you.
Many, if not all, rebates will require proof of your old gas range or cooktop and the capped gas. I had already taken lots of pictures of our gas range before we started because I write a food blog. I also took pictures of the hole in the wall resulting from capping the gas because I need to constantly feed the social media beast.
Save all your receipts
Most rebates will require copies of receipts for your new appliance and any electrical upgrades.
Find a plumber
You’ll need to hire a plumber to cap the gas. I had no trouble finding a good plumber right away. You could search YouTube for a video and cap the gas yourself if you feel confident you won’t blow your house up. When I saw our plumber cap the gas, I was surprised at how straightforward it was.
Find an electrician
Electricians in my area are booked up, some well over a month out. You may want to research availability now.
Find a drywaller or painter
We patched the hole in the wall with a piece of new drywall and painted it ourselves and you can sort of tell if you look closely but it’s behind the stove where no one will see it.
Try out induction for free
Not sure if you’d even like induction? A few libraries in my area lend portable induction cooktops to residents. If you are a PG&E customer in California, you may be able to borrow one through its Induction Cooktop Loaner Program. Or search here for cooktop lending programs in other areas of California. Check your library or utility for similar programs.
Although difficult for a self-deprecating Canadian, I must flout modesty and say that I have written an award-winning cookbook (two awards, one shortlist) so I do know something about food and cooking. The fossil fuel industry had me duped for years over the supposed superiority of cooking over polluting “natural” gas. Consider the source. It’s simply not true.
Buy my award-winning cookbook!
- Taste Canada silver for single-subject cookbooks
- Second-place Gourmand cookbook award in the category of food waste
- Shortlisted for an award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals