I’m really, really excited to build an amazing living space that I designed with my family: we’re starting foundations this month! But I’m dreading the inevitable Resistance to Induction Cooking Everywhere (R.I.C.E.). To promote environmentalism in our Passive House home design, we will not have fossil fuels at all. No natural gas, no oil, no propane: no gas cooking.

So, to my family members, who when we moved to the City, finally “made it” to a real kitchen with a gas cooktop, I apologize for this culinary transition.  I understand your impending revolt, yet I hope you forgive me and realize our sacrifice is for the good of the planet (and our own health!). I’m not going to try and convince you that induction cooking is “so much faster”, and “better for the earth” and “has so much less toxic indoor air pollution and so will keep us healthier” and “it’s also safer”.

I’d rather just commiserate because I, myself, am not looking forward to the switch!

What am I afraid of? Induction cooking is really great for both us and the earth! But it’s not the same a gas cooking. It just feels different without the flame, and the temperature rise is quicker in induction ranges so it’ll take a few burnt meals to become accustomed. Magnetic pots and pans are a must, so there are “specialty” items needed for induction ranges. And there are the stigmas about “cooking with gas” vs “cooking with electricity”: gas is just deemed superior by serious chefs, like my daughters. They will rebel. R.I.C.E.

Can passive house designs have gas cooking ranges in them? Yes. But… it’s not the best energy-wise.  Below is a quote from Ventilation for High-Performance Buildings

“If you are considering or in the process of designing a high-performance home we will recommend an electric induction cooktop with a recirculating range hood and continuous ventilation system due to its considerably lower cost and reduced indoor air pollutants.”

“Fear not!” I tell myself. A gas cooktop is really not good in a Passive House since it’s recommended they vent to the exterior (another hole in our tightly constructed building shell!), and there needs to be an air intake duct to balance the home when the hood turns on (more intrusion into the building shell!). This intake duct is a huge hole in the building we just spent a lot of money and time to make air tight! Induction ranges, however, need only re-circulation hoods, so do not need the fresh air intake ducts so we can keep our energy savings and help protect the earth.

Stay tuned. I’ll post breakfast pics cooked on our induction range soon enough.

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