Why Does an Induction Cooktop Make Noise?

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Most electrical devices generate some type of noise; it’s simply the nature of these machines. The induction cooktop isn’t exempted from the shortcomings of most electrical appliances. It carries the same burden of producing noise as microwaves, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners. Manufacturers are constantly trying to produce noise-free machines but haven’t gotten there yet.

In this article we will cover these topics:

  • Types of Induction Cooktop Sounds
  • How to Reduce Induction Cooktop Noise Levels

Types of Induction Cooktop Sounds

Some of the more common sounds induction hobs make are humming, buzzing, and clicking. While reading product reviews and comments on forums, the range of descriptions of the sounds was surprising.

In terms of humming – some folks didn’t hear any while others said it was low-pitch. Clicking and ticking sounds were described as faint or none. The buzzing sound was reported to be nonexistent, slight, horrible, loud grating, or high-pitched.

Humming

There are a few reasons for the humming sound sometimes emitted from induction burners. One reason is due to the embedded fan. Most induction cooktop fans are quieter than an exhaust hood.

Another reason has to do with the cookware. JennAir attributes the humming sound heard during cooking to the amount of energy transmitted from the appliance to the cookware. They also state the sound will quiet or go away when the power level is reduced.

The hum is also attributed to cooking temperatures. Induction cooktop owners have remarked that it is more pronounced when boiling the contents of the pot. This is in line with some consumer reviewers who remark a humming sound is more noticeable when cooking at higher temperatures or using high power levels.

Buzzing

Sometimes if the bottom of a pan is crooked, it will vibrate and a buzzing sound can be heard.

Induction cooktop owners also report a buzzing sound is emitted at both lower and higher power levels. The sound appears to decrease as the food in the pan heats up. Some folks turn on the exhaust fan so they don’t hear the buzzing.

Some consumers have reported hearing buzzing when the base of the pan has an encapsulated disc bottom. 

Fully-clad induction cookware with thick cladding don't make as much noise as those with disc bottoms.

Black pan on induction stovetop

Low whistles

There are two accepted explanations for a "low whistle" sound emitted from an induction stove or cooktop.

First, a low whistle sound is sometimes heard if the pan does not completely cover the element ring. Most cooktops have placement guides for centering the cooking vessel.

Second, if more than one pan or pot is being used on a double induction cooktop, a built-in unit, or an induction range, then you might hear a low whistle sound. This is due to the proximity of the cookware to one other. A solution is to lower or raise the power level settings.

Ticking/Clicking

A ticking/clicking noise can have three causes. First, the control cycle switches the power on and off. This sound doesn’t usually last for long stretches.

Second, this noise sometimes occurs when a low-power setting is used. Third, the type of cookware may play a part in these noises. When cast iron is used, a ticking or clicking sound is barely audible. 

How to Reduce Induction Cooktop Noise Levels

Lower the Temperature

The higher the temperature while cooking the more prone the induction cooktop will be to make a noise. Lower the temperatures, if possible, to create a more steady supply of heat.

The Base of Cookware Should be Flat

Wobbly pans and pots are one reason for excessive noises. Select only cookware that fits well on the induction surface.  

cast iron frying pan with eggs in tomato, onion, garlic, pepper and green parsley sauce.

Heavier Pots Works Better

Cast iron cookware is ideal for induction cooktops for two reasons.

First, heavier cookware produces a lot less noise than lighter weight multi-ply stainless steel since it sits firmly on the surface without wobbling or moving involuntarily.

Second, a large cast iron skillet fits well on the glass surface and completely covers the heating element. When a cooking vessel covers the entire element, vibrations are eliminated or lessened. A "whistling" sound is less likely to be heard.

Use One-piece Cookware 

Noise emission on induction stoves can be lessened by using one-piece cooking, e.g. cast iron skillets, carbon steelpans, or enameled steel pans.

Use Large Cookware that Covers the Element

When you cook something on the induction cooktop, ensure the cookware covers the entire element. Under the surface is a copper coil that distributes electromagnetic currents to the cookware. If the pot or pan is too small to cover the entire element it causes a vibration which results in a whistling sound.

Avoid Loose-Fitting Handles

If your pan’s handle isn’t securely fitted to the base it will cause a vibration when you’re cooking. The same is true for lids that don't fit tightly on the cookware.

Select Your Power Levels Wisely

Using high temperatures to cook with while using lightweight cookware can cause a buzzing sound. The energy flow caused by the higher setting creates a vibration in the system and that leads to some noise.

Final Thoughts

Most people don’t enjoy a noisy kitchen, especially if you’re trying to juggle doing other tasks while cooking. 

Hopefully, after reading this article you have a better understanding of why an induction cooktop makes noise and how to reduce it.

Let us know if you have other noise reduction tips to share with our readers.