When it comes to choosing a cooktop for your kitchen, there are many options available. One of these options is the radiant cooktop. Radiant cooktops have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their sleek design and cooking capabilities.
What are they? How do they work? Fret not! You’ll get the basics, and more importantly, you’ll be able to learn radiant cooktops’ pros and cons to make choosing easier!
Are radiant cooktops good?
Radiant cooktops are electric cooking appliances that use heating elements to cook food. These elements are located under the glass-ceramic surface of the cooktop and produce heat that is transferred to the cookware placed on top of it without significantly warming the surroundings.
Suppose you’re a home cook who loves to perfect her food and aesthetics at the same time. In that case, radiant cooktops create even heat distribution and safety and modernize your kitchen with its flexible installation!
One of the biggest advantages of a radiant cooktop is its fast heating time compared to an open flame. It also reaches a higher temperature than gas since there’s no space between the cookware and the stovetop. Additionally, the even heating produced by radiant cooktops ensures that your food is cooked uniformly, preventing hot spots and uneven cooking.
Whether you are making a delicate sauce or searing meat for a lovely dinner, the broad temperature control of radiant cooktops will not fail you!
Unlike gas cooktops, which require regular cleaning of burners and grates, radiant cooktops are easy to wipe down and maintain. The flat surface of the cooktop allows for easy cleaning of spills and stains, making it a convenient option for busy families.
Often, radiant cooktops are equipped with advanced technology to make your kitchen experience more convenient and efficient. No more wasting electricity, effort, and time!
Is radiant cooktop safe?
Radiant cooktops come with a glass surface that provides a shatterproof and durable material that can withstand high heat levels.
Got little kids? No problem! It does not pose a fire hazard since there’s no open flame in the first place.
One of the potential hazards of radiant cooktops is the risk of burns. The cooktop’s glass surface can reach high temperatures quickly and remain hot for a while, even after removing the cookware. Additionally, accidental contact with the cooktop can result in severe burns.
However, many radiant cooktops come with safety features, including temperature sensors that monitor the cookware’s temperature and the cooktop’s surface, which can prevent the surface from getting too hot and causing burns.
Another concern about modern cooktops is the potential for electromagnetic radiation. But before you dump your remodeling dreams for your kitchen, here are some radiation facts to convince you otherwise.
To compare, a traditional gas stove also emits radiant energy even though it doesn’t have the word “radiant” on it. Unlike radiant cooktops, gas stoves also cause indoor pollution and exacerbate asthma.
Simply put, X-rays and UV rays are dangerous for you because they belong to that spectrum. But microwave and infrared, both non-ionizing radiation, post negligible risk. The thermal radiation you feel when cooking is also non-ionizing. Unless you use a high-energy source for cooking (unlikely!), you are a-okay!
If you are considering purchasing a radiant cooktop, be assured that they are safe to use. With proper care and caution, you can enjoy the benefits of this sleek and efficient cooking option.
How long do radiant cooktops last?
Every piece of appliance in your house does not have a guaranteed lifespan. It solely depends on how you treat it on and off using. So, there’s no one answer to this question.
Generally, a well-maintained radiant (electric) cooktop lasts 13-15 years. However, if the cooktop is not well cared for, its lifespan may be shortened.
Additionally, damages caused by accidents or overuse can also affect the longevity of the appliance. It is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance to ensure the radiant cooktop lasts as long as possible.
Don’t wait for your cooktop to show signs of failure before cleaning it! The little effort you make helps prolong your investment!
- Immediately clean any spills (but wait until the cooktop is cool to the touch!). It’s a flat surface, so this should be easy-peasy.
- Use gentle pads, paper towels, or cloth which do not scratch your ceramic surface.
- Use a ceramic cleaner to polish the surface occasionally.
- Never drag your pots and pans across the surface.
What is the difference between radiant and ceramic glass cooktops?
If you are a newbie to the kitchen space, all these options may be overwhelming! Radiant and ceramic sound like they do not belong in one category at all!
Here’s a nugget of knowledge for you: Radiant cooktops belong to the greater umbrella of ceramic glass cooktops.
Ceramic glass cooktops consist of any cooktop with a tempered ceramic glass surface. It’s a feature most modern kitchen cooktops have since it offers an aesthetically-pleasing design, additional counter space, and convenient clean-up for the user.
Radiant cooktops are examples of those that utilize the smoothened ceramic surface in their design. Other related ceramic glass cooktops are halogen and semi-halogen cooktops. Instead of a metal coil, a halogen bulb, or a mixture of metal and halogen for the latter, is used as heating elements.
These two types of ceramic glass cooktops are akin to sisters since they work by the same scientific principle!
The last type of ceramic glass cooktop is induction. It’s a cousin of sorts! Induction is now rising in trend as it lessens overall indoor air pollution and promotes efficiency by directly heating the cooking vessel rather than the ceramic surface first.
Which is better: a radiant or induction cooktop?
Induction and radiant cooktops both use ceramic glass surfaces; at a glance, they might as well be the same. That is far from true!
So then, which is better: induction or radiant cooktop?
Induction science is new to the kitchen scene. It’s more expensive than your radiant cooktop and has the buzz of a miracle product going for it. It is not for a blasé reason, though.
Unlike conventional cooking, which uses conduction, convection, and radiation to transfer heat, induction uses electromagnetism instead.
For this reason, an induction cooktop requires special ferromagnetic cookware, i.e., the cooking vessel needs to contain a significant amount of iron. If you don’t own a cast iron or magnetic stainless steel, opting for induction might be a disadvantage as you need to purchase a new cookware set.
Radiant cooktops heat the glass surface first and, consequently, the vessel, then what’s inside it. So cooking time is slower.
An induction cooktop, on the other hand, is less time-consuming as it reaches the required temperature faster. Remember all that electromagnetism talk earlier? Induction cooktops heat the ferromagnetic vessel directly through an electromagnetic field without heating the surface first.
You just skipped a step! Cool, right?
Energy-wise, induction wins again. Heat loss during heat transfer from the cooktop to the surface to the vessel to food can be a lot, especially when cooking with large pots. Increased heating time equals higher electricity bills.
You also lessen the risk of serious burns since the surface remains cool as cooking progresses on an induction cooktop. In contrast, a radiant cooktop needs a significant cool-down period before you can clean it and also requires attention to its heated surface while using. Thermal radiation may also make the surroundings hotter.
If you are more of a chef than a casual cook in your home, temperature control might be a deal-breaker for you. In this case, an induction is better. Because it heats and cools down relatively faster, you get more precise temperature control.
As for safety, both have high-end versions that are well-equipped with advanced features which ensure you use and leave the kitchen with peace of mind.
Radiant cooktops may sound entirely inferior to induction. That’s to be expected, perhaps, since it offers more than a pretty design; it is a true technological advancement in the kitchen. But you should not base your choice on what is trending or expensive but on what suits your kitchen.
Induction cooktops have disadvantages aside from their price. The lifespan of an induction cooktop is typically 5-10 years. Moreover, calling maintenance personnel to fix your induction might be challenging since the inner workings of induction are more complicated than traditional stoves.
So if you want affordability, familiarity, aesthetics, and ease of application without the burden of a hefty price, make a radiant cooktop a permanent addition to your home!