What is an induction cooktop stove? It’s a kind of burner that uses electromagnetic fields to cause the pan or pot on top to heat up—meanwhile, your appliance remains cool, thus making this method of cooking safer, faster, and more energy-efficient.

While induction cooking technology has been around for decades and induction ranges have long been common in commercial kitchens, they are now catching on like crazy in regular people’s homes. Here’s why, and what you need to know about induction cooking and these special appliances.

What is induction cooking?

Unlike traditional electric or gas stoves, this cooktop’s “burner” doesn’t emit any heat when turned on. Instead, it emits an alternating electric current—which creates electric currents in the metal pot you’ve placed on top. This, in effect, turns the pot itself into the cooking surface.