Most people out there, from celebrity chefs to ordinary folks, love their gas stoves, despite the hazards and health risks. Some gas-stove enthusiasts insist that food over an open flame, atop iron grates, tastes better. Some homeowners just think they look superior, even sexy, in their kitchens. And others, apparently, would die before giving them up.

What if the majority of Americans just don’t know that there’s an alternative? Enter induction, a cooking technology that’s popular in Europe and Asia, but has captured less than 5% of the U.S. market. For Bloomberg Businessweek, Aaron Gell writes an informative and entertaining piece that explores induction’s benefits and its potential to change the way we cook. (The hero image, too, will make you laugh.)

But a home appliance that summons gorgeous blue flames with the twist of a knob still induces a bit of wonder, and people aren’t likely to give it up without a fight. “I mean, gas has the UX [user experience],” says Sam D’Amico of Impulse Labs, a Silicon Valley startup gearing up to pitch its new induction stove to the masses. “The UX is, literally, you’re turning the valve and gas is burning. That’s going to be tough to defeat.” There’s a reason that nearly all competitive cooking shows—with the notable exception of The Great British Bake Off, which uses induction—feature chefs frantically turning out dishes on commercial gas stoves. “It’s kind of sexy,” says Stacy Jones, founder and chief executive officer of product placement agency Hollywood Branded. “You see the flames licking up into the pan, and you can almost feel the heat coming off of it even though you’re on the other side of the television.”

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.