What Is An Induction Cooktop?
The only cooking method that directly uses the cookware as part of the heating system, induction cooktops can be an efficient and stylish addition to your kitchen. While traditional electric and gas cooktops use radiant heat, the surface elements on induction models heat pots and pans by using an electromagnetic field. A high-frequency induction coil below the cooktop surface is used to generate an electromagnetic field that quickly produces heat directly to the pan. This cooking method offers precise warming and control at a much quicker rate than traditional radiant heat models.
Why This Style of Cooking Is So Popular
Popular in cooking shows and online demonstrations, induction cooktops are becoming a choice for many amateur and professional cooks. Induction elements deliver fast cooktop heat and superb simmering, bringing water to a boil faster other cooking technology. This speed may take some time for new users to adjust to, but can be a luxurious feature for cooks once they have adapted their cooking techniques.
What Is Induction Cookware?
Cookware made of or containing iron is needed for induction ranges to work. The bottom of cookware must have some iron content in order to create the magnetic field necessary to heat the pan. Many new cooktop models come with a starter pot or pan with a magnetic core. Users can test their own pots and pans for compatibility with induction cooktops by checking to see if a magnet will strongly stick to the bottom of the pot.
How An Induction Cooktop Works
There are several differences between an induction cooktop and a traditional cooktops, but the appearance of the range while it is cooking is an immediately noticeable difference. Unlike radiant cooktops, the electromagnetic field created between the magnetic pot and the induction cooktop doesn’t create a glow from heat, making it difficult to see if some models are generating heat. Many models now use virtual flames or other special lights to indicate to users they are on. This kind of cooktop or range is ideal for residential kitchens because of the built-in safety features and their ease of use.
The Induction Advantage
There are many features of induction cooktops that are both convenient and great safety benefits. Many cooks enjoy the energy savings that accompany the quick cooking times with induction cooking. Induction can heat a pot of boiling water twice as fast as conventional ranges, using half the energy.
An induction surface stays cooler than a radiant smooth-top, as only the area that comes in direct contact with the magnetic cookware is heated. The unused portions of the element surfaces remain unheated. The localized heat makes cleaning spills easier, reducing the amount of food that might cook on the surface of the stove. This also reduces burns caused by accidentally brushing against a hot element. However, users must still be cautious when using induction cooktops. Pots will get very hot while cooking, and the heat will transfer from the surface below and around the pot. This can cause the surface of the induction elements to heat up, and users must be careful of any residual heat.
If a gas range is accidentally turned on, released gasses can cause a health and fire hazard. An unattended heating coil unintentionally turned on will become dangerously red-hot. Yet an induction cooktop will not heat unless the proper pot is on it. Heating stops when a pot is removed from an element. This safety feature greatly reduces the chances of accidents due to an element being turned on inadvertently.
Many induction cooktops fit into common cutout shapes, making it easy to replace an appliance without changing the shape of already existing counters. Sleeker models will have touch-screen options available, for a modern look without knobs or buttons. The gourmet style easily becomes a part of any kitchen.
An induction cooktop can be an investment for the average homeowner, but many people find the safety features associated with localized heating and no gas vapors outweigh the monetary costs. Households that appreciate the convenience and efficiency of induction cooking should consider investing in a cooktop that may change the way they work in the kitchen. If you are thinking about cooking with induction, carefully examine the features of any range or cooktop to make sure it will suit your kitchen needs.