Ten years ago, the New York Times even wrote an in-depth article asking “Is Induction Cooking Ready to Go Mainstream.”
The article talked about the benefits of induction cooktops and how they were set to become the next big trend while quoting Chef Lisa Simpson as falling in love with induction the first time she tried it.
“It was like I had driven a VW Beetle my whole life and someone suddenly handed me the keys to a Ferrari,” Simpson said.
Nearly a decade later the New York Times “Wirecutter” section took up the topic again, this time asking in the article title “If Induction Cooktops Are So Great, Why Does Hardly Anyone Use Them?”
The article is quite interesting so we thought we would summarize some of its key points that explore why induction cooktops still remain relatively uncommon in kitchens around the world.
Induction cooktops work only with certain (though very common) cookware.
According to the article author, Tyler Wells Lynch: “Every manufacturer I contacted (GE, LG, Samsung) confirmed that the concern over compatibility is a major reason for the slow growth.”
Wells goes on to add that it’s “a misconception that you’ll have to throw out all your cookware, and that’s almost certainly not true. Most stainless steel and all cast-iron pots and pans will work, and those are among the most common materials used for cooking.”
It’s expensive (but not wildly so)
Wells makes the great point that while induction technology appliances “are, on average, a bit pricier than gas or electric stoves, they’re not some Veblen good meant for image-conscious elites.”
We couldn’t agree more. When considering the number of benefits that cooking with induction brings to your kitchen, be it remarkably faster cook times, energy efficiency, and easy cleaning to name a few, the investment in superior technology and design that induction cooking offers is well worth it.
Induction cooking technology hasn’t been marketed very well
According to Wells, “This is perhaps the biggest barrier to induction’s adoption so far,” before adding that a lot of kitchen designers and remodelers are still unsure what induction even is
Industry relations manager at the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Elle H-Millard, said of the “serious” knowledge gap.
“We do many trainings and it is surprising to see so many designers asking questions about induction.”
Wells added that most big-box retailers don’t even display induction appliances in their showrooms
The article goes on to talk about how some consumers are simply reluctant to try something new, quoting a representative from LG making the great point that “People don’t fully understand induction, or are not sure how the new tech could impact their cooking, so they stick with what they know.”
Perhaps most interesting in the article is making the case that induction cooktops are simply a victim of bad timing.
As Wells writes:
“Induction appliances first became somewhat common and affordable in the late 2000s, right before the housing market collapsed and the economy fell into recession. People who may have been willing to splurge on a new range or cooktop instead opted to buy something cheaper and more familiar.
Recessions have a way of inspiring a more minimalist approach to life, and that includes the things people buy to fit their lifestyles. Induction, with its strange underlying technology and the (potential) need for special cookware, is far from the spartan ideal some people may be looking for when tightening their belts.”
You can read the full article here. Check it out, it’s quite interesting.
If you have any questions about induction cooking? Contact us anytime: email@example.com