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Why Does My Induction Cooktop Get Hot?

Time to talk about why induction cooktops get hot to the touch and dispel some of the myths about how these bad boys work.

I’ve heard a lot of chatter about how induction cooktops don’t get hot because they heat differently than gas or electric cooktops.

But as someone who’s been cooking on induction for a while and has experience using multiple induction cooktops, let me tell you, that’s only partially true. Let’s talk about how these bad boys work—and what sets them apart from all the other cooktops out there.

A gas cooktop uses a flame to heat up your pots and pans, while electric cooktops use heated coils or radiant burners. But with induction cooktops, it’s a whole different ball game. See, they don’t generate heat. Instead, they create an electric current that charges the pans and pots, getting them to heat up from within.

An induction cooktop heats your cooking vessels almost instantly, and it does so pretty efficiently. As kitchen appliance brand Fridigaire explains on its website, very little energy is lost when cooking with induction. (The magnetic field that carries this electric current? It’s pretty strong, and the British Heart Foundation recommends that you keep a distance of at least 2 feet if you’re wearing a pacemaker.)

Why Is My Induction Cooktop Hot to Touch?

So if everyone goes on and on about how cool induction cooktops stay during cooking, how come yours get hot to the touch? Well, my friend, it’s one of those little-known secrets that cooktop brands don’t mention in their product descriptions and salespeople don’t tell you at the store.

The burners on an induction cooktop don’t generate heat, but the cooktop can still get hot from the contact with the pan or pot. The longer you cook and the higher the heat, the hotter the induction cooktop’s surface gets.

If you’re using a cooking vessel that’s really good at retaining heat, like a stainless steel frypan, a carbon steel skillet, or a cast iron Dutch oven, your cooktop’s bound to get seriously hot—and stay that way for a while after you’re done cooking.

Should Your Induction Cooktop Get Hot?

Generally, it’s not unusual for an induction cooktop to get hot if you cook with a pan or pot that’s good at holding heat. That’s why induction cooktops have fans that cool the electronics while you’re cooking.

Depending on the make and model of your cooktop and how it’s installed in your kitchen, the fan may be really quiet and excellent at dissipating heat, or it may be really loud and do a lousy job at keeping your cooktop cool during operation.

I used to cook on this high-end cooktop at my previous place, and it was a dream. The fans were whisper-quiet and the glass-ceramic surface stayed relatively cool, even after hours of cooking. But, now, I have this mid-end cooktop, and let me tell you, it’s a whole different story. The fans are straight up loud, like an old computer that needs cleaning, and the cooking surface gets seriously hot. It’s still a reliable cooktop; you just have to remember not to touch it.

The Bottom Line

Look, I’m no electrical engineer, but my understanding is that if your induction cooktop gets hot, it’s pretty normal.

With that said, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to strange smells or error messages, as they could indicate a problem. And if you suspect that something’s not right, it’s better to have a professional take a look and double-check. Safety first, my friends. You don’t want to have a potential fire hazard in your home, trust me. Remember what they say; better safe than sorry.

Know your author

Written by

Dim is a food writer, cookbook author, and the editor of Home Cook World. His first book, Cooking Methods & Techniques, was published in 2022. He is a certified food handler with Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates in Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering, and a trained cook with a Level 3 Professional Chef Diploma.