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Which type of stovetop is the most energy efficient?

If you love cooking as much as we do (check out our amazing recipes here!), then you might have asked yourself at one point, "is my stovetop the most energy efficient option?"

If you're thinking of replacing your stovetop or renovating your entire kitchen, here's what you need to know about different options and their sustainability cred:

Induction stovetops

Induction cooking heats a cooking vessel by magnetic induction, instead of by thermal conduction from a flame, or an electrical heating element. They're widely considered to be the most energy-efficient cookers out there, and are applauded for their fast heating-up time as well as precision in achieving exact temperatures.

According to Grist , "Because they heat your pots and pans through direct contact, with no heat lost to the surrounding air, they notch about 84 percent to 90 percent efficiency."

The downside to induction is that they can be pretty expensive to put in, plus they only work with magnetic steel or cast iron.

Electric stovetops

Electric elements boast about 74 percent efficiency. HOWEVER, a 2014 study from the Electric Power Research Institute found that by using pots that completely covered the heating element, electric stoves can be just, if not more, efficient as induction models. Using larger pots and pans might not always be the best option for what you're making, but bear in mind that this is the way to capture the lion's share of the energy created by your stove.

Gas burners

Cooking with gas might sound efficient, but in reality these stovetops are only around 50 to 55 percent efficient. This is due to the energy expended on pilot lights and heating up the air around the burner.

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How to make your existing stovetop more efficient (no matter what type it is!)

Efficiency isn't just about what we have, but also how we use it.

It's worthwhile keeping cookware clean, as shiny surfaces reflect heat back up to the pot, while blackened pans absorb it, reducing efficiency. Flat-bottomed pans are also the way to go, as an uneven surface can suck up to 50 percent more energy.

Choosing fast cooking methods such as stir-frying over slow cooking is also a good way to reduce the amount of energy your stovetop uses (and another reason to cook more vegetables over meat, which can take AGES to cook!).

What are your top tips for a sustainable kitchen? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: Shutterstock

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