This new cooktop from Wolf uses induction to cook food efficiently, while the cooking surface stays cool to the touch. You must use a pan made of a magnetic material like stainless steel or cast iron. Induction stovetops are about 85-90% energy efficient, compared electric elements which are only 65-85% efficient. The manufacturer also claims that the rate of heat adjustment is 50% faster than gas or electric.
How does it work? The electricity flows through a coil to produce a magnetic field under the ceramic cooktop. When an iron or magnetic stainless pan is placed on the ceramic surface, currents are induced in the cooking utensil and instant heat is generated due to the resistance of the pan. Induction cooktops are a relatively new phenomenon in the U.S., but this type of stove has been popular in Europe for a number of years. Diva and Kuppersbuch also make induction stovetops.