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Pros and Cons of Induction Cooktops in Commercial Kitchens

Pros and Cons of Induction Cooktops in Commercial Kitchens


Commercial-grade induction cooktops are getting a lot of buzz in the restaurant industry. More operations are moving away from traditional gas or electric ranges and are instead investing in induction equipment. And for good reason; induction cooktops use smart technology that works tirelessly to help operations excel. But what is an induction cooktop? How does it work, and is it right for your operation? We’ll explore those questions, as well as the great depths of commercial induction cooktops, what makes them great, and why some folks are hesitant to make the leap to induction.

How does an induction cooktop work?

Induction cooktops feature copper coils below the surface of the cooktop. These are used to create high-frequency electromagnetic waves. The waves react with particles in cookware that contain iron, which includes most stainless steel as well as some specialty pans that have multiple-ply construction. It is easy to determine if a pan will work — just use a simple fridge magnet. The stronger the attraction the better it will work.

Is there a difference between induction for a home vs. commercial kitchen?

There’s a big distinction between a home-use and restaurant-grade induction cooktop. Commercial kitchen equipment needs to cook at a higher capacity and have greater durability than a home-use range.

One thing a commercial-grade induction unit should possess is conformal coated boards. Coated boards help protect the unit’s electrical elements from grease and moisture (two things there’s no shortage of in a commercial kitchen). Commercial units also have to handle the heat. Ambient temperatures of most back-of-house areas get pretty toasty. A unit that can withstand higher temperatures will simply last longer. Multiple temperature sensors, quiet scroll fans and more cooking power are also some features that distinguish a commercial from a home-use induction unit.

Pros of induction cooktops for commercial kitchens

The benefits of an induction cooktop are vast and impact the entire workflow of most kitchens. They also have multiple applications within a kitchen, making induction a valuable choice for many operations. Here are the ways induction cooktops will boost your operation’s capabilities.

Cook time and even heating

Induction cooktops cook food at incredible speed with no lag time. For example, a 3600-watt induction unit will boil six cups of water in only three short minutes. That’s compared to six minutes on an electric range and over eight minutes with gas. In addition to a quick cook time, induction cooktops evenly distribute heat throughout the entire pan (again, the pan is the heating element). This eliminates troublesome hot spots that can lead to inconsistent dishes — and not so happy customers. Of course not all induction cooktops are created equal, so do your homework on which options perform best.

Temperature control and range

Smart technology gives induction cooktops a wide range of temperatures and precise heating controls. In addition, incredibly quick responsiveness is a valuable feature that provides an almost instant boil, quick cool and close to immediate recovery. Crank the controls, and quickly sear a tasty steak. Or turn it down, and gently melt and temper chocolate without scorching or burning (even without the use of a bain marie). On some solutions, a convenient digital display unit indicates power and temperature. Operators no longer have to guess the exact temperature of their cooktop. Recreating tasty dishes can be simple and consistent. But again, not all manufactures offer the same capabilities, so check out all the features of whatever model you’re considering.


Earth-conscious equipment helps conserve resources for our environment, but the benefits go even further. Foodservice utility costs make up a fair share of most operation’s budgets. Induction cooktops are energy-savers partly due to their ability to heat food quickly with precise temperatures. But, they also deliver 85% to 95% of the energy they consume directly to the food. In comparison, a gas range delivers 35% to 40% of the energy used to the food, and an electric range delivers 45%-50%. A whopping 60% savings in energy consumption can go a long way in sustainability practices and utility costs.

In addition to incredible heating efficiency, quality induction units run cool. Most commercial kitchens can get pretty hot (enter: lots of equipment, staff and fast-paced work). Equipment that runs cool is helpful to limit the amount of heat within the kitchen environment. Cooking with induction units often lowers air conditioning costs and boosts employee comfort.


The small footprint of induction cooktops and no gas hookup requirements open the flexibility of future kitchen modernizations. Induction equipment is also uniquely engineered with drop-in and portable options that work for the back-of-house as well as multiple front-of-house applications.


Since the pan is the heating element, induction cooktop surfaces stay cool. Many units also have automatic shut-off capabilities and pan-sensing technology that reduce burn and fire risks. In addition, there’s no fuel or flame created with induction cooking, which limits the number of chemicals released into the air. This helps create a cleaner and safer kitchen environment.

Easy cleanup

A cool surface means more than a safer unit; it also means no scorched food and an easier cleaning process. Induction cooktops are typically one smooth surface that can quickly be wiped down. Anyone in foodservice management knows efficiency is key for a smooth-running operation. Easy clean-up means fewer labor hours, increased sanitation and happier employees.


Automation continues to gain ground and wow foodservice establishments everywhere. Programmable recipe presets allow the operator to input preset temperature and cook times for different recipes. These presets boost efficiency and provide the ability for staff to recreate recipes, pleasing your diners every time. Equipment manufacturers offer different automation capabilities, so just ensure that you’re getting the features you want most.

Cons of induction cooktops

Of course, it’s necessary to explore all facets of potential equipment purchases. Understanding which areas can create pause is essential to finding the best solution for your needs. Here are the top concerns associated with induction cooktops.

Learning curve

It can take a little time to acclimate to the speed of an induction cooktop. The learning curve might, at first, result in a few burned dishes. But after a little practice, your operation will get a handle on the efficiency of induction cooking. Once you do, you’ll never want to go back to the old ways. Automated features will also take some additional training for employees but in the long run, it will save your operation time.

Specific pans

Induction cooking requires specific pans, but don’t be confused on this one. The pans need to have a flat bottom and contain iron particles. Most magnetic stainless cookware works just fine, and even a simple cast iron pan will do the trick (tip: see if a magnet sticks and the pan will probably work). There’s no need to go out and purchase expensive or “induction only” pots and pans. Your operation most likely already uses pans that work with induction cooktops.

Price point

The price point of an induction cooktop can be higher than electric or gas units. Are they worth the additional cost? The efficiency of an induction cooktop is phenomenal and can set the pace of your entire kitchen. Getting tasty meals to your customers at a faster rate is a monetary win for any establishment. Also, the energy savings you’ll gain almost pays for itself in utility costs alone (over the life of the unit). In addition, automated settings help decrease labor hours and provide more opportunities for multi-tasking in the kitchen. Still not sure? Look for a “no frill” induction unit that comes at a lower price point than alternatives with all the bells and whistles.

Cooktop surface durability

Not all induction cooktops are created equal. Some induction cooktops are created with tempered glass, which can bow at higher temperatures and scratch easily. A simple solution to this “con” is for your operation to purchase induction cooktops made from ceramic glass, an extremely tough material that we’ve seen power through some pretty intense strength tests (think: steel weights dropped again and again from impressive heights).

Top of its class.

Purchasing the best type of range for your operation is a big decision. Take into account what your establishment needs and weigh all the benefits and challenges involved. With Hatco’s intuitively designed induction cooktops, you’ll gain a sleek cooktop that’s top of its class in power, precision, safety and quality. Click here to take a look at all our induction solutions.

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