Induction Ranges: Foolproof Cooking

FRESNO, Calif.

At this store, Resident Chef Jehan De Noue does lots of cooking demonstrations on induction ranges.

"The induction range is faster, easier to maintain, easier to clean, and it's extremely energy efficient compared to the alternatives," De Noue said.

Induction ranges use a magnetic field to heat pots and pans more quickly. And they're not hot to the touch. These stoves are usually pretty pricey, costing $2,500 or more.

Consumer reports just tested ranges both regular and induction.

Each range is put to work on everyday challenges. First, testers heat tomato sauce to see how well a stovetop can hold a steady, low heat.

"If the sauce simmers without boiling or splattering, the burner is doing a good job," Sara Brown said.

Next, dozens of cookies are baked in each oven. When they're done, testers use this device to see how evenly the cookies are browned. The tops and bottoms of each cookie are also checked for even browning.

Finally, burgers are broiled to see which ovens can turn out a pan of patties with a well-browned crust - and which can't.

Consumer reports recommends digital controls, but they might take some getting used to.

"Ranges have evolved over the years, so if you haven't seen a new range or cooktop in a while, the digital controls might be a little more difficult to follow," Brown said.

That's true of this Samsung induction range, but consumer reports' tests show it does a great job for hundreds less than other induction ranges. It rated excellent overall.

If a regular range is all you need, you can get an excellent one for much less. The Kenmore model number 40479 does a great job at simmering and is very good at baking and broiling. It costs $700.

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