Piedmont resident Jennifer Nixon loves to cook and try new things. She is also exploring more ways to be a good climate citizen and is inspired by the Piedmont Climate Challenge and all the helpful ideas on the website, she says. After watching an induction cooking party video with chef Rachelle Boucher, from BayREN & Kitchens to Life, she was curious to see if this new cooking method would change her style. So last April she became one of the first Piedmonters to borrow the single-burner, induction cooktop, offered for free by the City of Piedmont for a short-term trial.
And how did she like it? “Everything I cooked — omelettes, sautés, pasta, polenta and soup — turned out well,” Nixon says. “I also appreciated the City providing two pieces of induction cookware (a sauce pot and a fry pan) and a magnet to test my own cookware. Four of mine passed the test. Induction cooking is very fast, which means you spend less time at the stove and use less energy. And I imagine less heat means having a cooler kitchen on hot days. I had a little learning curve with the temperature settings, and you have to get used to not ‘seeing’ how high the heat is, as with gas burners. But I believe it’s safer, since the cooktop is cool to the touch — only the pan heating the food gets hot, and there are no gas emissions. It’s also easy to keep clean.”
Before deciding to purchase an induction cooktop, Nixon plans to do more research on any potential safety issues, and the cost of a five-burner induction cooktop, which can run from $2,000 – $3,400, plus the cost of installing a 240V electric outlet, which is required for a five-burner cooktop. (Cost of a non-induction, electric range begins around $900.) Nixon might also consider buying a one-or two-burner induction cooktop, which is far less expensive and uses a regular household plug. As an incentive, BayRen offers a $300 rebate for purchase of a new induction cooktop. Regarding the required magnetized cookware (cast iron is fine), Nixon notes that pans should have a flat bottom and concentric rings on the outer edge of the base. “The base of the pan must completely cover the burner,” she says. “There are lots of great induction-friendly cookware options out there.”
For residents interested in trying out induction, please visit the City’s website here: https://piedmont.ca.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=13659823&pageId=17510635
You can fill out this google form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdIaydvDOI06oLRetRhYD_1PHNCyUUzHx90y0hSrytFpiV32A/viewform) to try one out for yourself.
Contact Nate at email@example.com with any questions about induction or other climate matters.