The Electric Kitchen, the Final Frontier 1

Recently I visited two 1950s era houses in Mountain View. They are both cclose to or are emissions free. Both had projects including:

–           Electric Hot Water Heating
–           Heat Pump  Space Heating
–           Upgraded insulation
–           Electric Car support

The major difference between the two homes is in the kitchen. One household moved to an all-electric kitchen with a radiant stovetop. However, the other still has a a gas stovetop. There is a preference for Natural Gas for cooking, However, people are moving to the electric Kitchen with induction and radiant cooking.

This article  explains why. In addition, it also tells how you can move to an electric kitchen.

Why Gas? 2

Gas has been the traditional method to cook food. People like its instant control response.  In addition, they also like the ability to fine tune the temperature. Many ommercial kitchens have gas stoves.

Gas Stove picture
This is a gas stove picture from Wikipedia

What is the First Electric Alternative?

The predominant electric stove is electric resistance. However,

–           Changing temperature in not quick.
–           It does not have fine grained control.

Regardless, Julia Child, a well-respected chef, successfully cooked with this type of stove. 2

What is Radiant Cooking and Why is it Better? 3

Radiant cooking can also be part of an Electric Kitchen. It transfers heat via radiation through the transparent covering. Some key points:

–           The heat display is clear.
–           It warms up faster than the resistive heating element ,
–           The cooking surface is slick and transparent, ( easy to clean.) 
–        Controls are more fine grained.  are easier to read.
–          Radiant cooking currently is  a bit less expensive than induction cooking.

What Makes Induction Cooking Even Better for an Electric Kitchen? 3

–           It is safer t because the heat is transferred directly to the pan.
–           It warms up and cools down faster.
–           It has digital controls and can set temperature more precisely        

Induction Cook-Services
This is the ultimate electric cooking surface.(Wikipedia Photo)

Are Restaurants using Induction Cooking?

Yes, the famous French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, CAhas usesInduction Cooking. Three famous chefs that are using it are Ming Tsai,4  Rick Bayless5  and Fabio Vivani.6.

How Does One Get Started with Induction Cooking?

There are several inductive “hot plates” available. The general price is under $100 for one burner and under $200 for two burners. This get you to the ultimate lectric kitche withiut replaing your existing kitchen.

Some do include the pan needed for induction cooking.7

How Safe is Induction Cooking?

The electric kitchen is safer than a gas kitchen from a number of angles:

  • Gas cooking can generate dangerious gases like formaldehyde and Carbon Monoxide.
  • One has a safety issue with possible burns from an open flame. This happens even to experienced chefs.
  • Gas in the home can be dangerous. The explosions in San Bruno are a vivid example

What Are the Next Steps After That?

–           Go with INduction cooking when replacing your stovetop.
–           Watch for new building codes in 2019.
–            Other references to Inductive cooking can be found here 8 


1  With apologies to “Star Trek

2  Gas cooking, Julia Child and electric stoves

3  Induction and Radiant Cooking

4 Ming Tsai

5 Rick Bayless

6 Fabio Vivani

7 Induction “Hot Plates” crid=

194NE9LJE7NMO &sprefix=induction+cook%2Cgarden%2C204& ref=nb_sb_ss _i_1_14

8   Other Induction Cooking References

9  Heat Pump Water Heater Rebate Program

Picture Credits

Other pricutes from Bruce Naegel