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Step halfway into induction cooking

The Samsung FE-N500 Hybrid Induction Range allows for induction cooking or traditional cooking with radiant heat.

One small step for a cook, one giant leap for cooking. Samsung

Jumping into unfamiliar technology can be a little intimidating. Perhaps more so in the kitchen than anywhere else in the house. After all, people don't like it when you mess with their food. Maybe it's a throwback to our caveman days, when our ancestors had to fight for survival, or maybe it is because modern technology doesn't always jibe with our instincts. In any event, at least when faced with an induction stovetop, one doesn't need to jump in with both feet when just one will do.

Inducing a current in ferrous metal cookware, induction cooking uses an electromagnetic field to generate the cooking heat, challenging our preconceptions that fire (or a red-hot coil burner) is necessary for cooking. The distinguishing mark of induction cooktops is that they are cool to the touch, heating the cookware directly, as opposed to transferring heat via an electric burner or gas flame. The result is a highly efficient method of cooking that is increasingly becoming popular. The drawback is, all cookware needs to be magnetic in nature for it to work.

The Samsung FE-N500 Hybrid Induction Range combines two radiant elements and two induction elements in one cooktop. (A slightly more affordable model, the FE-N300, upgrades just one of the burners.) With the dual nature of this range, all cookware is capable of being used. Inside, the range offers three-fan convection cooking and a 5.9-cubic-foot capacity. A convenient steam-cleaning feature, along with the smooth surface indicative of induction cooktops, makes this hybrid range a shiny vision of the future, the not-too-distant future, that is.