INDUCTION COOKTOPS—burners they rely on electromagnetic fields to efficiently heat up a steel or iron pan—have been around for years. But there’s a new twist: Through the use of smart tech like thermometers integrated into pans, ultraprecise temperature controls, and companion smartphone apps that walk you through a recipe, the appliances have gained new audience, from kitchen newbies to the cooking elite. And they can assist you with everything from nailing sunny-side up eggs (which is harder than it sounds) to crisping the skin of a nice fish fillet. Our tester, L.A.-based chef Jeff Mahin, had doubts about this high-tech gadgetry, but perfectly charred and cooked-to-temp rib eyes, among other dishes, made him a believer. “This almost puts me out of a job,” he says. “The tech will change how we cook and how we learn to cook. I’m eating my words.”
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