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  • Writer's pictureKerry Lipp

Induction Cooking Review

I recently did a comparison of an induction cooktop to an electric range and a microwave. I wanted to see how much energy each one used to boil a quart of water.

The induction cooker I used was the Duxtop 9100MC 120V 1800W model by Secura ($69.99). There are two cooking modes; power level, and temperature. In power level mode, you select the level you want between 1 and 10. Level 1 is the lowest level and uses 200 watts. Level 10 is the highest level and uses 1800 watts. In temperature mode there are 15 different settings ranging from 140 - 460 degrees F.

The cookware must be induction compatible (steel) which means if a magnet sticks to it it will work. Aluminum and copper wont work. Stainless steel will work if a magnet sticks to it. I used an enameled steel kettle.

The experiment was to fill a kettle with one quart of tap water and time how long it took to boil. For the microwave experiment I just used the jar and not the kettle.

The induction cooker on 10 boiled water in 4:38 and used 139 watt hours.

The induction cooker on 7 boiled water in 6:06 and used 128 watt hours.

The induction cooker on 5 boiled water in 7:55 and used 127 watt hours.

The electric range's 1250 watt burner element boiled the quart of water in 7:28 and used 165 watt hours. The microwave boiled the quart of water in 13:25 and used 242 watt hours. I measured actual power and energy rather than relying on rated values to get more accurate numbers. With the electric range normalized to 100%, the induction cooktop on 10 used 80% of the energy and boiled water in about 2/3 the time. The other power levels showed slight decreases in energy usage but that gain came at a cost of time. The microwave was terrible both for time to boil and energy used (See chart in gallery). I also used the induction cooktop with the off grid system, Xantrex inverter and (2) Trojan 12V/225AH batteries, and it worked flawlessly.

Conclusion: The microwave took too long, and used too much energy . The electric range was a contender but also took longer and used more energy than the induction cooktop. The induction cooker was the clear winner and also worked great with solar. I would recommend it for energy savings in conventional grid-tied homes and also for use in off-grid homes. Coupled with a wood cookstove and used in the warmer months, an induction cooker fueled with solar (When solar is in abundance) would make a year round, carbon neutral, cooking solution, and keep the kitchen cool.

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