It used to be that if you were looking for a new cooktop, your selection would be limited to either gas or electric. Happily, this is now no longer the case and there is a third option. Induction cooking. If you haven’t heard of this before, you may be wondering what on earth induction cooking is.
If you are looking for a new cooktop, the induction cooktop is certainly something to take into consideration. If you have always cooked with gas or electric, it is worth your time investigating induction cooking. You should check out the site Induction Select where you can find out the pros and cons of induction cooking along with reviews of the best induction cooktops.
What is Induction?
Before we look at an induction cooktop, we need to understand what induction is. Induction is short for electromagnetic induction. This means that electricity has been generated using magnetism.
When you cook with either gas or electric, your pots and pans are being heated indirectly by the element underneath. Induction directly heats the pots and pans as they are not being heated by an element underneath the pot, but the atoms that make up the pan are being heated.
An induction cooktop looks the same as a ceramic cooktop. Inside the glass cooktop is a coil of metal, at each place where you would sit your pot or pan.
When you switch the power on, the alternating current throws through the coil to produce a magnetic field. You need to place a pan on the space to produce some heat. The current then flows through the pan as well thereby warming both it and the contents. You need to use a pot or pan containing iron for the induction cooking method to work.
Benefits of Induction Cooking
- Cooks quickly. Induction elements heat up far quicker than any other type of cooking.
- Loses less heat. As the element only heats the pan, there is no wasted heat from putting a small pan on a large element.
- More efficient. As you are cooking directly rather than indirectly, more of the energy is actually heating the contents of the pan.
- An induction cooktop has a wider range of temperatures than gas or electric.
- As soon as you remove the pan, the element starts to cool.
- Easier to clean. Because the electromagnetic field is heating the actual pot, and not the element, our cooker surface stays cooler. This makes it far easier to clean your cooker surface after use as spots and spills wipe off easily as they are not burnt on.
Drawbacks of Induction Cooking
- More expensive. Your initial layout is still more expensive than gas or electric. However, remember that your overall running costs will be less.
- Don’t know that it is on. Because your pots and pans are being heated via an electromagnetic field, this doesn’t create a glow like gas or electric heating elements. You therefore don’t know that the element is on and working. Some manufacturers add either additional light or flame to let you know that the element is on and hot.
- Only works with certain pots and pans. If you have an expensive set of copper or glass pots and pans, you would be disappointed to learn that they wouldn’t work with your new induction cookertop. Only iron based pots and pans work with induction cooking. If you are unsure, if a magnet sticks to the bottom of the pan, you can cook with it on your induction hob.
- The noise. Many induction cookers emit an audible hum or buzz. This gets louder the more the element is turned up. Not only that, but you will hear a clicking sound when the element is turned down low and there is also the noise of the cooling fan. Some people aren’t bothered or barely hear these sounds. Other people find them very annoying.
Induction cooking may have been an expensive option that you could only dream about. As the prices are dropping, this is now far more affordable. Yes, there are drawbacks to cooking by induction as opposed to gas or electric, but you can see that the benefits far outweigh the few drawbacks.