Electric Cooking with Friday Apaliski

sustainability Apr 21, 2021

Friday Apaliski is the San Francisco-based authority on sustainability and has developed a process through her company Sustainability Concierge to aid homeowners in developing a more holistic and sustainable home. 

If you would like to get in touch with Friday, you can reach her by email at [email protected].

Watch our interview or read the transcript below: 


Friday: That brings us to our third, my favorite topic, electric cooking. I love talking about this and people think I'm such a nerd. It's okay. That's why I do this job. Of course, when I say electric cooking, everybody immediately thinks of like a 1950 stove with the coils or like the stove that you used when you were in college was terrible. And it took a million years to heat up and the never, ever cooled down. That is not at all what I am advocating for. I don't want that. You don't want that. Nobody wants that, but I implore you. Another thing we have borrowed from the Europeans that is absolutely worth it is induction cooking. 

Induction is powered by electricity, but it works entirely differently. It's a whole bunch of magnets. And when you say "I would like to boil some water, so I want it to be as hot as possible," all the magnets stick only to the pot that you have. So there's no heat leaving the outside of your pot. There's no flame that's heating up the air or burning, scorching the sides of your pot, or catching your sleeve on fire, or making the handle of your pot hot. 

All of the heat and all of the electricity is concentrated just on the pot itself. Just on the bottom surface, which means that heats that up really fast. So you’re not wasting anything. Because the heat is conducted through magnets, when you want to not have a boiling pot of water, as soon as you can press the lower number, whatever that is, that many amount of magnets fall away, which means just like that the heat is gone. 

Jenny: There's no waiting period of like, "Oh, I have to take the pot off or?"

Friday: No, it's reactive just like gas. In that gas, you turn it up, it's hot. You turn it down. It's not hot. Although I would argue better because when I cook on gas, I find that if somebody opens a window in the kitchen or somebody walks by, it blows the flame and that affects my cooking. And so none of that happens when you are working with induction because there is no exterior input to it. 

I have a very long list of reasons why I love induction cooking. But I will say that from a design perspective, there are a couple of really big benefits. One is that it is a glass top. So it's very sleek. It's very minimal. You can get a slide in that has bright colors and big fancy knobs if you want, so it kind of looks like a gas stove or a more traditional version. Or you can make it super sleek so that you almost don't even notice it. It's very easy to clean. It is huge when we're talking about health in your home. Because burning gas in your house for cooking really creates terrible indoor air quality. There is particulate that comes from the gas. There is also not all the gaskets burned, so it's just, it's a very dirty process. If you have asthma or you've had any kind of respiratory issues at all, induction is going to be much better for your personal health.

I'm a mother of a young child and just the simplicity of knowing that my kid is not going to burn himself on our stove is phenomenal. So even if he accidentally turns it on and sticks his hand on it, because it only gets heated through magnets, it's not going to burn his skin. 

Jenny: Oh.

Friday: Right. 

Jenny: Oh, it doesn’t? 

Friday: It only gets hot when there's metal. So like when I put my hand on, this part gets hot where my ring is, but that's it. 

Jenny: I mean, this is a major cultural shift. Do you realize like, this is, this is really going to be hard for people to accept. 

Friday: I understand that. And usually I invite my clients to come to my house and use my induction stove top. I also invite them to look up some of their favorite chefs on Instagram or Twitter or wherever. And they will find that those chefs also really love induction cooking, because it gives you the control. And I think that there are towns like Berkeley and San Francisco, literally right now, as we are speaking, is working on passing an all electric ordinance for new buildings. I understand that people definitely have a nostalgia and they've learned to cook on gas and that is understandable, but it is not the future of cooking. 

What I would stress to anybody taking this course is if you're planning on a large remodel and you're trying to be efficient with your dollars. I would hate to see you spend $10,000 on a Viking range and then tell you five years from now that you have to get rid of it because California as a state has mandated that we are going to be next zero emissions by 2050 I believe it is. Natural gas is not a renewable energy. It's very dirty. 

There are a thousand reasons to choose induction cooking over gas cooking. Maybe it's that you don't like being manipulated by the industry group. Maybe it's that you have health concerns, maybe it's that you're worried about gas exploding, or maybe it's that you really care that the polar bears are dying because the glaciers are melting. All of those reasons. Or any one of those reasons is a good reason to make this change. 

Jenny: And I don't think anybody's intentionally resisting it. I think it's just like anything it's just hard to come around. I mean, every time I update my phone, I'm like, again, I have to  learn something.

Friday:  Totally a hundred percent and truly something I sympathize with having had to go through this again. So I started induction cooking almost 12 years ago when I moved into my apartment that did not have gas. I said, well, not cooking on these coils, not an option. There must be another way. So I got this ridiculously expensive Bosch induction stove top because nobody else was making them. No, you can get them by Costco. You can get them inexpensive. They're all over the place. And I had to learn a new way of cooking, which was a little hard. 

But then a year and a half ago, when I moved into this house, With all things original from 1950, there was this cheapo gas stove, and I about lost my mind. Cause I drink a lot of tea. So I turned the tea kettle on, and I am used to it taking quite literally three minutes for my tea pot to boil. I turn it on. I like go help my son get dressed. I brush his teeth. I'm like, is it done yet? It was driving me crazy. And I could smell it. I went through that transition that I am now expecting everybody else to go through. Like I have the opposite version of it, but it was painful. It drove me crazy. 

Jenny: It's like a three month transition to just get used to it? 

Friday: I don't even think it takes you that long. This is what you have and it works great. And then you're like, why did I wait so long? And I have to say, it's not just with cooking, but I hear this with almost all sustainable swaps all the time. Every day. Why did it take me so long to get to this place? I love this.

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