Electrolux's 36-inch-wide induction model
Photo: David Lewis Taylor
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Cool Cooktop

Slap your hand on an active burner of any other electric cooktop, and you'll be cursing like a salty sailor. Not so with induction technology, which, after years of hovering around the fringe, has finally entered the mainstream. An electromagnetic field transfers heat directly to cast iron or stainless steel pots and pans (only magnetic materials can be used), meaning food cooks faster, stovetops stay cool to the touch, and, because renegade cheese shreds won't melt onto the cooktop, it cleans up with a quick wipe of the Bounty. Electrolux's 36-inch-wide induction model ($2,499), its first on the U.S. market, has an impact-resistant glass surface and five burners ranging in size from 6 to 10 inches. Also available in a 30-inch model ($1,999); electroluxusa.com
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