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Induction ranges heat the pan, not the cooktop

Induction ranges are relative newcomers to the appliance market. Unlike conventional electric ranges, which use heating elements to cook, an induction range uses electric current to generate an electromagnetic field on the cooktop. When magnetic cookware, such as cast iron or enameled steel, is placed on the cooktop, the electromagnetic field generates heat directly within the pan while the cooktop itself stays cool.

We found fewer reviews for induction ranges than for other types of electric ranges, primarily because they're less common. Moreover, most of the induction ranges reviewed in professional sources -- including the top pick of our last report, the Samsung FTQ307NWGX -- have since been discontinued.

One induction range that performs very well in professional testing is the Frigidaire FGIF3061NF (Est. $1,700). In addition to a very responsive induction cooktop, this freestanding range is loaded with other common but convenient features. It offers convection heating in the oven along with a temperature probe and storage drawer. Oven settings include auto shut-off, keep-warm, delay-bake and Sabbath modes.

The induction stovetop has five heating zones -- one of which serves to keep cooked food warm. In professional testing it does an excellent job of rapidly bringing water to a boil at high temperatures. At low temperatures, it's rated as excellent for melting and holding chocolate as well as simmering delicate soups without scorching either.

The 5.4-cubic-foot oven has six rack positions and comes with three racks. It fares well in testing, doing a very good job of evenly baking several racks of cookies and cakes. The broiler, however, only did a mediocre job of broiling a pan full of hamburgers.

Unfortunately, we didn't find enough user reviews for the FGIF3061NF to give an adequate idea of how this model stands up to daily household use.

The Kenmore Elite 95073 (Est. $2,000) is another induction range that fares well in professional testing. Reviewers at Good Housekeeping give the range an A grade for its overall performance in their stringent tests.

The range particularly excelled at stovetop cooking, where it evenly distributed heat and brought water to a boil quickly. Editors say a large pot of water (for boiling spaghetti) was brought to a boil in just 12 minutes. The range has five heating zones -- one of which is a warming zone -- with pan-size detection sensors to ensure that energy output is tailored to each pot or pan.

The 6.1-cubic-foot convection oven also performed well in tests. It did an exceptional job of evenly baking multiple sheets of cookies and cakes and further impressed experts with its self-cleaning performance. The oven has seven rack positions and three racks and features keep-warm, slow-cook and Sabbath modes. It also has an integrated warming drawer.

Frigidaire FGIF3061NF Gallery 30" Stainless Steel Electric Induction Range - Convection
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