Microwave vs Induction Stove

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Updated August 19, 2022

Many consumers don’t think to compare appliances like a microwave vs an induction stove. However, these two devices present different ways to speed up your cooking while using less energy. Although the two operate differently, they both provide benefits over other stovetop cooking methods, including efficiency, energy consumption, and speed. To understand the differences between the best microwaves and induction stoves, continue reading. Similarly, you may want to compare a pressure cooker vs a microwave.


  • A microwave oven offers a fast and low-energy way to cook your food how you want it, without the hassle of a stovetop.
  • An induction stove cooks food through the contact of a pot or pan with the electromagnetic field, causing the process to take less time than other stoves.
  • Induction cooktops remain more energy-efficient than microwaves and other stoves, and they heat food evenly.

Differences Between a Microwave Oven and Induction Cooktop

Most households in the U.S. include microwaves as a way to cook food quickly. These devices cook, grill, or bake food quicker than stovetops do. As a result, microwaves are widely considered to be essential by many Americans. This is despite the fact that some people believe that microwave cooking over oven usage is detrimental to overall health and wellness. Meanwhile, induction stoves receive less attention because of the prevalence of gas and electric stoves, although they take longer to heat and cook food than induction cooktops.

Insider Tip

An induction stove provides greater energy efficiency than a microwave or more conventional stove.

Regardless, you may still wonder which is better: a microwave or an induction stove. Read on to find out. And, if you’re curious about other comparisons, check our article on infrared ovens vs. microwaves.

Heating Elements of Microwaves and Induction Cooktops

Both microwave ovens and induction cooktops utilize electromagnetic energy to heat food, but they use it differently. A microwave oven cooks by vibrating the water molecules within food using electromagnetic waves radiating from a magnetron.

On the other hand, an induction stove heats the surface by producing a magnetic field in the circle of the burner. As the cookware heats up, it cooks the food within. As such, the device also cools right away when the cookware is removed or turned off.

Energy Efficiency Differences

When it comes to energy efficiency, the induction stove reigns supreme. In this case, energy efficiency refers to converting the electricity going through the wall outlet into the appliance. For microwaves, the conversion rate rests at about 50%, meaning that most of that power goes into working various parts of the machine and not the device’s output. Induction stoves are significantly more efficient at 85%, and their efficiency surpasses that of both an electric range and an electric teakettle, at least while boiling water.

Energy Consumption of Both Appliances

Energy consumption refers to the amount of energy required to support an appliance in the kitchen or anywhere else in your house. For example, the induction stove outperforms electric and gas stoves, using less energy overall. However, the cost of gas could be less, making the induction stove more expensive to use.

On the other hand, microwaves typically feature low energy consumption overall. Because they are used for shorter times, you could save more energy by using your microwave, but you will sacrifice some versatility because microwaves can’t do everything.

Which Is Faster?

The biggest attraction of a microwave oven stems from the fact that you can cook food in a matter of minutes that may have taken hours otherwise. If you have a model with additional features, like grilling or convection, you can reduce your microwave cooking times even more. As you would expect from a cooktop, the induction stove takes longer to cook food than a microwave. Still, induction cooktops work at about twice the speed of other stovetop cooking methods. So, In general, if you’re short on time, a microwave may be better.

Insider Tip

Although microwaves cook food faster, induction stoves disperse heat more uniformly.


What is the most energy-efficient way to boil water?

An induction stove has an energy efficiency of about 85% when boiling water, higher than electric ranges, electric teapots, and microwaves.

What is the difference between convection and induction cooking?

Convection uses a fan to disperse the heat produced by a heating source more evenly around the space. On the other hand, induction creates an electromagnetic field around the burner that causes a pot or pan to heat when it comes into contact with this field.

Is it better to use the stove or the microwave?

The microwave will take significantly less time to cook your food, but the stove provides more even heating. So, it ultimately depends on what you are looking for in an appliance.

STAT: When it comes to boiling water, the microwave was 34 percent efficient, the electric teakettle was 71 percent efficient, and the induction hotplate was 83 percent efficient. (source)

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