If you fancy yourself a home chef, you owe it to yourself to consider the benefits of an induction range. They cost a little more than comparable gas or electric ranges, but these cutting-edge machines offer faster boiling times, pinpoint temperature control, and incredible efficiency.
Induction has been very, very slow to catch on the U.S., much to the chagrin of appliance makers. Since it's the newest technology for full-size ovens, induction cooking is awash in questions, fears, and misinformation. That's a real shame, because induction is awesome—something professional chefs have known for years.
We've written about the topic a lot, but our Induction 101 guide is a great place to get started with basic questions.
If you’ve been meaning to make the jump into induction cooking but have been too scared to take the plunge, the Frigidaire Gallery FGIH3047VF might be right for you. The simple, sleek range has auto-adjusting burners and a straightforward layout to help reduce the induction learning curve, and the quick-boiling burners can cut down on total cook times. With the added bonuses of an Air Fry mode, true convection, and steam cleaning, this is a feature-loaded range at a great price.
In our testing, the FGIH3047VF roasted a 2-pound piece of pork without losing its juice, made a cooked-through pizza with a crisp crust, and brought six cups of water to boil in just over four minutes thanks to its sleek and speedy induction cooktop. Read full review.
Not only do we perform repeatable, lab-based tests on ovens, ranges, and cooktops, but we also do real-world evaluations. That means we can tell you which products will perform the best, will give you the most bang for your buck, or have the sleekest looks. For more information on how we test ovens, ranges, and cooktops, read on.
Burner Maximum/Minimum Temperature
For products with burners, we measure the maximum and minimum temperature of each burner. Once the burner is set to its minimum or maximum setting, we let it sit for five minutes. At the end of five minutes, we measure the temperature of each burner. Knowledge of the maximum and minimum temperatures of a burner can help consumers to identify which burners are ideal for simmering soup, and which burner can get hot enough to properly sear a steak.
A range or cooktop with multiple burners that can reach very high and/or very low temperatures will score well. If burners cannot reach very high or low temperatures—or if only one burner can do each task—scores will be lower.
One of the most common tasks for a range or cooktop is to boil a pot of water. For each burner, we take an appropriately sized pot, and fill it up halfway with distilled water. Then, we position a thermometer horizontally in the middle of the pot, and vertically in the middle of the water column. We monitor the thermocouple and record the time it takes for the temperature of the water to reach 212°F.
If the water hasn’t reached 212°F after 35 minutes, then we stop the test. Because the water volume is different for varying burner sizes, we score the water boil test on the rate of water boiling: Faster water boiling will result in higher scores, while slower water boiling will result in lower scores.
Using a stopwatch, we measure how long it takes for the oven to achieve a preheating temperature of 350°F. We stop the clock when the oven’s preheat indicator beeps.
Because no one wants to wait around forever, shorter preheating times result in higher scores, while longer preheating times result in lower scores.
One happy side effect of testing ovens is that there are always extra cookies lying around. In addition to being delicious, cookies double as a cooking/baking proxy for other thin food items, such as brownies or vegetables.
Those cookies started as twelve chunks of Pillsbury ready-to-bake sugar cookies, which we place on an ungreased cookie sheet in a grid formation. After preheating the oven to 350°F for 15 minutes, we place the cookie sheet in the oven on rack recommended by the manufacturer (or, if there is no recommendation, the middle rack) to bake for 15 minutes. We remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool for 2 minutes.
We repeat the process if there’s a second oven, or if the range or oven comes with a convection option. Because convection is commonly used to bake or cook multiple food items simultaneously, we place two trays of cookies on the two racks recommended by the manufacturer.
After looking the cookies over, we determine how evenly baked they are, both within a baking sheet (regular baking mode and second oven baking mode) and between multiple baking sheets (convection bake mode). Because convection is generally a more efficient way of cooking or baking something, it is important that the multiple food items on different racks be cooked or baked to the same degree.
For all of our cookie tests, the more evenly baked the cookies are, the higher the score will be. If the product has a second oven and/or convection capabilities, then the cookie scores for those tests and the main oven test are weighted and combined to arrive at a final cookie score. This way, products with just a single, conventional oven are not penalized for their lack of a second oven or convection capabilities.
To understand how each product cooks meat products, we also use fresh, never-frozen pork loins in our testing. While we recognize that all natural products have variations that can affect test results, pork is exceptionally uniform. After placing the 3-4 lb boneless pork loin in a roasting pan, we place a temperature probe is placed in the middle of the pork loin. After preheating the oven to 325°F, the pork is placed on the rack recommended by the manufacturer, and cooks until the internal temperature probe reads 160°F, which is the minimum safe temperature for cooking most meat products.
We then remove the pork loin, let it sit for 10 minutes, and cut it into thirds so we can see how evenly cooked the pork loin is. An identical test is conducted if the oven has convection capabilities, using the Convection Roast option if available, or the standard convection mode if not.
One of the most common reader questions we get is whether a specific oven can get hot enough to actually cook a pizza. To answer this question, we place a batch of Pillsbury Classic pizza dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet, place a temperature probe in the dough, cover it with tomato sauce and cheese, and bake it at 500°F for 10 minutes. Between the temperature data and our own subjective assessment, we determine whether the oven is capable of cooking a pizza all the way through or not.
While we obviously go to great lengths to test the cooking/baking abilities of these cooking appliances, we also incorporate more subjective information into our overall assessment. For example, how easily can the cooktop surface accommodate multiple pots and pans? How easy is it to understand the control panel? How nice are the burner knobs or buttons? How loud is the preheat notification noise? We answer all of these questions and more in order to determine if there are any major drawbacks to the product that might not make it a good fit for most households.
What You Should Know About Induction Ranges
Electric vs. Induction Cooking
Although they resemble electric smoothtop burners, induction cooktops don't have burners underneath the surface. Induction cooking uses electromagnetic energy to heat pots and pans directly. In comparison, gas and electric cooktops heat indirectly, using a burner or heating element, and passing radiant energy onto your food.
Induction cooktops can achieve a wide range of temperatures, and they take far less time to boil than their electric or gas counterparts. In addition, the cooktop surface stays cool, so you don't have to worry about burning your hand. It's even possible to put a paper towel between a spattering frying pan and an induction burner, though you’d want to keep an eye on that. Remember, the cooktop doesn't get hot, but the pan does.
What Cookware Works With Induction?
Because induction relies on electromagnetism, only pots with magnetic bottoms—steel and iron—can transfer heat. The winners of our best stainless steel skillets roundup are induction-friendly. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy all-new cookware. If a magnet sticks to the bottom, your pots and pans will work with induction.
Other Induction Ranges We Tested
GE Profile PHS930SLSS
Featuring a sleek slide-in design, true convection oven, and Glide Control touchscreen, this luxurious-looking GE Profile PHS930SLSS outperformed most of the induction ranges we’ve tested.
In testing, the PHS930SLSS baked batches of evenly browned cookies and was able to preheat the oven noticeably faster than the other units we’ve tested.
There are no knobs on the cooktop; you can give commands either by sliding the Glide Control touchscreen or by monitoring the cooking process from your phone.
In addition, the two left burners can be linked for synchronized cooking at the swipe of your fingertips, making it possible to fit a large griddle. Read the full review.
We loved our time with the Frigidaire FFIF3054TS. It's not the fanciest range you can buy by any means, but the induction cooktop is simply too good to ignore, especially since the price has dropped below a grand.
With that price barrier breached, it may convince some people who've been on the fence to finally give induction a try. That said, there are some things to consider. The FFIF3054TSW is a great value, but it's not hard to find where some corners were cut when you compare it to a more premium range. There's no convection bake mode, and the fit & finish isn't perfect. But likely, you'll end up as happy—or even happier—than you were with your old gas or electric cooktop. Read full review.
No convection mode
Fit and finish is lacking
Induction is a great technology but has always had a problem: It’s expensive. That’s why we love Frigidaire’s new FGIF3036TF (also available in black stainless as the FGIF3036TD). On sale for just under a grand, it’s the least expensive induction range we’ve ever seen with an oven that also offers convection baking.
If you’ve always been interested in induction, but have been scared off by high prices, we think this Frigidaire would make a great introduction.
Strong convection mode
Fit and finish is lacking
Not extremely fast
If you’re looking for a technology-forward induction range, LG doesn’t disappoint. With their app, you can check the oven timer, preheat the oven, and even turn it off without having to get up off the couch.
While it did boast excellent burner performance – boiling water as quickly as some of the best induction ranges we tested – the oven struggled to match up. Despite its ProBake Convection technology, the oven underperformed in both baking and roasting tests. Couple that with a high price tag and a touchpad that you have to push so hard it actually hurt our fingers, we’re going to give this one a pass.
Valerie Li Stack is a senior staff writer for Kitchen & Cooking. She is an experienced home cook with a passion for experimenting with the cuisines of countries she's visited. Driven by an interest in food science, Valerie approaches the culinary scene with a firm grasp of cooking processes and extensive knowledge of ingredients. She believes food speaks to all people regardless of language and cultural background.
Cassidy covered all things cooking as the kitchen editor for Reviewed from 2018 to 2020. An experimental home chef with a healthy distrust of recipes, Cassidy lives by the "Ratatouille" philosophy that, with a few techniques and key tools, anyone can cook. She's produced in-depth reviews and guides on everything from meal kits to stand mixers and the right way to cook an egg.
Kori began her journalism career as a teenage fashion blogger and has enjoyed covering a wide variety of topics ever since. In her spare time, she’s an amateur poet, avid reader, and gluten-free cake baker extraordinaire.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.