By April Khan, Appliances Connection
You’ve probably heard of an electric or gas cooktop, but induction cooktops are fairly new. These cooktops resemble the newer flat electric cooktops, but they work in a completely different way. While it does run on electric, the heating mechanisms and features are completely different.
In this article, we’re going to break down the benefits, let you know what’s different about it and why so many cooks are choosing to use them.
In a nutshell, induction cooktops work by turning the cooking vessel into the heating source instead of the cooktop offering the source of heat. On an electric cooktop, the electronic heating component sends heat through the sleek cooktop surface and the pot or pan is then heated up. On a gas cooktop, the flame causes the cooking vessel to reach the temperature set. However, induction cooktops do not use thermal conduction; instead, it uses a process called magnetic induction.
This magnetic induction is created by placing a copper wire beneath the cooking vessel, which allows a current to flow through it. This causes something called magnetic flux. Magnetic flux treats the cooking vessel as a magnet and uses it as the magnetic core. This redirects the currents to the cooking vessel and heats it.
(I know that was a lot to take in. Luckily you really don’t have to know this, but I just added it in for those who want a summary of how it works. And believe me it really was a very small summary. )
For this process to work, the cooking vessel must contain or be completely made up of ferromagnetic material. Examples of these kinds of cooking vessels are cast iron and stainless steel. If you place a cooking vessel that’s made out of another material such as glass, aluminum or copper, it will only keep it warm. It won’t heat it to boiling.
Pros and Cons
(Do not try this at home)
One of the biggest pros of an induction cooktop is a lower risk of fire. Even if you sit newspapers on the surface and place a pot on top, the heat will only heat the inside of the vessel with the paper remaining untouched. This means that items accidentally left on the surface such as cooking mitts and utensils will not catch fire. This is good for people who do a lot of cooking and for families that have a lot of children.
Another benefit to using an induction cooker is that it will never overheat. The heat literally reaches the heating point of the vessel itself, so this way it will never overheat or cause anything to burn. Burning occurs when the cooking vessel has been heated beyond what’s necessary.
For people in a wheelchair, induction cooktops are perfect. They can have them installed at just about any height and be able to easily reach them. There are no rings or racks covering the rings so the surface is flat enough to easily access.
The biggest con is that you must use compatible cooking vessels, or they just won’t heat. This is bad news for cooks who need to use multiple cooking vessels. Currently, you can only use ferrous pots and pans. If you sit a vessel of another material on the rings, the cooktop will act as a hotplate.
In addition, Induction cookers are not as silent as electric cooktops. This is because induction cooktops generate current, which could cause a little bit of buzzing.
So, if you need to cook at precise temperatures, you own ferromagnetic cooking vessels and you don’t mind a slight buzz, an induction cooktop may be perfect for you.
At Appliances Connection we carry a variety of induction cooktops from top brands like Bosch, Electrolux and GE. Head over to our online store to choose the induction cooktop that’s best for your family and specific cooking needs.