Your kitchen is one of the most important spaces in your home. This is where you store, prepare, and create the foods that you and your family know and love. With this in mind, you need the best equipment possible to make sure that this food is as good as it can be, and that your life remains as easy and straightforward as possible.
An induction cooker plays a big part in this. These are highly efficient machines, which are also safe and easy to use. It is no surprise then that many families across the country are turning to induction cookers for their own kitchens.
But which cooker is the best for you? To help you answer this question, we’ve prepared an ultimate guide, providing all you need to know.
What is an Induction Cooker?
An induction cooker utilizes magnetic induction rather than direct thermal heat transfer to cook food. This means that the magnetic field heats the vessel directly and is capable of impressive heat and cooking capability.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of an Induction Cooker?
Induction cookers are among the most efficient pieces of cooking equipment available. This is because little to no heat is wasted during the cooking process, making the units up to 70% more efficient than standard cooking means. This translates to serious savings over time.
Safer for children
As most of the cooker remains cool to the touch, an induction cooker is far safer in a home with small children, as there is less chance of them getting burned by the equipment. This factor also makes cleaning the surface easier, as food and spillages do not get burned on.
Versatile for use with many types of cookware
Aluminum, enameled steel, and iron pieces are all compatible with an induction cooker and will produce the same strong results.
Unfortunately, there are also some downsides to using an induction cooker in your home. Read on to learn more about this.
If the power goes out, so does the cooking
Unlike a gas cooker, induction cookers rely completely upon the electricity supply. If this electricity supply is cut off you will not be able to cook at all. This is a rare occurrence, so will not usually be a disadvantage, but is certainly something to bear in mind.
Some noise produced
While not exactly noisy, induction cookers are also not noiseless machines. There will be a low level of noise produced when the induction cooker is turned on.
Potential for damage to the surface if not used with care
Some substances, such as aluminum foil, may cause damage to the induction cooker. In some cases, this may lead to an expensive repair or even the purchase of a whole new machine.
Additional Features to Consider when Buying an Induction Cooker
There are many different features which may be available with different types of induction cookers. To help you navigate these features and to help you understand which ones are right for you, we’ve compiled a handy list, complete with information on each feature.
Safety should always be paramount when cooking, so you need a cooktop with sensors in place to provide this safety. These include the following:
Pan detectors – These sensors detect if there is a pan on the cooktop and will not allow the plate to heat up if there is no pan detected.
Pan status – If the pan is empty, continued heating can damage your cookware and can even cause damage and faults to the cooktop. A pan status detector will automatically lower the heat if the pan is found to be empty.
Digital controls are a standard feature on most induction cookers. However, it is still worth looking for these to check that they are included. A digital set up makes it much easier to control the cooktop and to ensure high levels of accuracy.
You won’t always want a blast of intense heat from your induction cooker. There are times when you simply need to warm something up or keep it warm for a set period. Warming options on your cooktop make this much easier and add an additional level of versatility to the unit.
Some areas may be subject to fluctuations in the power supply, which can make it difficult to cook using electrical equipment such as an induction cooker. Higher end induction models get around this problem by providing heating consistency even when the voltage starts to change. This means full reliability across all your culinary projects.
There are several automatic features which can make life easier when operating your cooktop. We’ve explored a few of these below.
Auto switch off – Auto switch off will automatically switch off the heat to the cooktop and begin the process of reducing the residual heat on the surface. This is important for preventing overheating and will be a vital safeguard against dangerous situations and potential damage to the equipment.
Auto heat settings – Some foods and dishes require a high-level of heat in the early stages of preparation, graduating to a lower level of heat as cooking progresses. To help with this, higher level cooktops will have an auto heat setting, enabling a maximum heat to be set, followed by lower levels of heat over time.
While both of these automatic features are very useful indeed when it comes to creating a safe environment in your kitchen, they should not be used complacently. They are not a substitute for care and consideration while you are cooking.
Power On Indicators
Induction cookers have a habit of getting very hot, very quickly. This makes them great for quickly and efficiently cooking food, but can make them hazardous for you and for other users of your kitchen. This is why power on indicators are so important.
These lights should be highly visible, to avoid accidental contact or touching while the cooktop is set to on. What’s more, these lights should remain on while there is still residual heat being emitted by the cooktop, even if the induction cooker has been turned off.
Spills can be seriously annoying when you are trying to prepare food. They create unsightly marks and stains and add further tasks to the least pleasant part of the cooking process – the cleanup. However, spills can be even worse than this, and can even cause damage to your cooktop.
Make sure that your induction cooker has spill protection features in place which will shut down the cooktop before any damage occurs. It is also important to make sure that the controls are not within reach of any spillages and are appropriately sealed for protection.
Cleaning is an unfortunate and unwanted phase of any cooking endeavor. As if cleaning up plates and cutlery wasn’t enough, cleaning cooking equipment can be even more awkward and troublesome.
With this in mind, you will want to find an induction cooker which is quick and easy to clean, featuring wipe down surfaces and minimal nooks and crannies where dirt and grime can accumulate.
Boosters do precisely what the name suggests – they provide an additional boost to the heating capabilities of the induction cooker. While such additions are not always necessary, they do make cooking much easier and are therefore a very popular feature of an induction cooktop.
Consider your own needs before you make your purchase. If you think that you will be getting good use out of this additional heating power, then this feature may be something worth spending a bit of extra money on.
We’ve mentioned already that safety is vital in the kitchen, but nowhere is this more of a concern than in a home with small children. These small children have a habit of getting into the wrong place at the wrong time, of knowing no fear, and being able to cause trouble and mischief even when they are under close supervision.
If you have young children, then child safety features are a must. Don’t leave anything to chance – use a child lock to prevent your little ones – or any other children who might be visiting your home – from turning the cooktop on, accidentally or otherwise. Induction cookers are one of the most child safe cooking methods available – this feature helps to enhance this even further.
Induction cookers are very straightforward and easy to use. However, this does not mean they are not versatile. Some models will have preset options designed to help you to create culinary masterpieces with ease.
Of course, this will add a few dollars to the unit’s price tag, so only consider this if you are certain that this is a feature you need. Remember to take your budget into account also when deciding on which features are important to you.
This is a fairly comprehensive rundown of the different features and options available to you when purchasing an induction cooker. However, it may not be complete. This technology is developing all the time, and there may be new features and capabilities which become available after this guide is published. Remember, if you have any questions at all during the buying process, the Appliances Connection team is only a phone call away.
The Best Rated Induction Cookers at Appliances Connection
This buying guide is designed to give you the knowledge and insight you need to help you make the ideal choice when it comes to buying your induction cooker. However, sometimes you need to go further, and to look at the products which are performing well among other users – users just like you.
Take a look at some of the most popular and the most highly rated induction cookers and cooktops at Appliances Connection, and learn more about these best selling products.
This 23.5-inch wide double ring cooktop is a portable piece of equipment, which uses induction technology to provide effective and reliable cooking. The piece currently has an almost perfect record of five-star ratings among Appliances Connection customers.
The freestanding 12-inch C1823 cooktop includes a wealth of smart features including pan presence sensor and digital controls. The unit represents a slightly lower cost option for those users who do not need to run two cooking tops side by side, at the same time.
A higher-end model, the 13.7-inch wide Eurodib CMC850 is capable of a power output of 1800 watts and uses induction technology to heat the smooth top cooktop surface. While this device will set you back a little more than some of the other pieces in the Appliances Connection range, if you have a healthy budget to work with and you are looking for a higher level of capability, this is the machine for you.
Hopefully, this guide has provided you with some of the insight and the understanding you need to make the right choice when it comes to an induction cooker. However, we also understand that you may have additional questions that you would like to put to our team. We are always on hand to answer any questions you may have, so get in touch.