In case you haven't heard, induction cooking is the future. Faster and steadier than electric, more responsive than gas, and more energy-efficient than either, induction is a comprehensively superior cooking technology.
That's why we remain bemused by the American market's resistance to it. Sure, induction rangetops were expensive when they first appeared, but as prices continue to drop, the arguments against them ring hollower with each passing day.
Fortunately, the move to induction is slowly picking up steam in the United States, following the lead of Europe, which has already embraced the technology with open arms. As induction gains traction, we'll hopefully begin to see the technology used in increasingly ingenious ways.
For an early example of that trend, you need look no further than the Cookplat.
Described as a modular, portable induction cooktop, the Cookplat could bring a new level of versatility into the kitchen—or anywhere else, for that matter.
The device is a series of interchangeable induction cooking surfaces of various sizes that can be snapped together into any number of configurations. The designers describe it as a complete home, workspace, and campsite cooking solution. The Cookplat is also completely waterproof and dishwasher-safe.
The Cookplat was designed by Spanish inventors Jokin Arregui and Monse Garcia, and won a Red Dot Best of the Best design award for 2013. It's easy to see why: It eschews the popular stainless-steel style found in contemporary appliances in favor of a sleek, futuristic aesthetic. The product is only a concept at this point, but nonetheless provides a compelling vision of the future of cooking.
But for us, a couple things don't quite add up. For home use, a smaller induction cooking surface doesn't make much sense. Though quite adaptable, the modular design is less flexible than current induction surfaces, which can can reshape and reposition their heating area to match the pots and pans placed on it.
And if you want to use the Cookplat on the go, you'll need to be near a beefy power source. Induction cooktops require serious wattage—certainly more than the average car's DC outlet can provide. It's an inconvenient truth that puts a kink in the Cookplat's supposed versatility.
But remember: For now, it's only a concept. Despite these minor, presumably surmountable issues, it's a tantalizing glimpse at how we all could be cooking a few years from now.