What is induction cooking?

As a home cook, wouldn’t you love a cooktop that allowed you to cook faster, use less energy, cook more precisely, and remain easy to clean? All of this and more is available through induction cooktops.

Most cooktops or cooking appliances work by heating an element, either with gas or electricity, and the heat from the element is then transferred into a pan, which absorbs that heat and allows you to cook food. This transfer of heat takes time, and some of the heat energy is lost to the surrounding air, the metal parts of the stove or appliance, etc.

Induction Cooking Explained

Induction cooking, however, removes the middleman (heating up the burner) to create heat directly in your cooking pot, making it more efficient, reliable, and safe to use. Induction cooking, which is gaining in popularity around the world, utilizes electromagnetism to create heat directly in the pan. Induction cooktops use electricity to create a magnetic field around a coil. Once a cast iron or magnetic stainless steel pan is placed on the coil, the magnetic field penetrates the metal and creates electrical currents. The byproduct of these currents in the metal is heat. The pan heats up, and you cook your food.

Benefits of Induction Cooking

There are many benefits to induction cooking that make this option very appealing when considering a kitchen redesign or the purchase of new appliances:

  • Using induction cooking means you’ll reduce the time it takes to prepare a meal. Induction cooktops heat your pans faster and you can prepare your meal in less time- 25% to 50% less, in fact.
  • Because you are only heating the pan, and not the air around it with a flame or burner, induction cooking is more energy efficient and produces less wasted heat, which in turn will keep you cooler in the kitchen.
  • Induction cooktops can be safer for you and your family. Because heat is generated in the pan, and not on the burner, the cooktop stays much cooler than a standard hob. Because you have said goodbye to gas, that means less injury due to flames, grease fires, or gas leaks, as well.
  • Induction cooktops allow you more control and precision in your cooking. The cooktops are more responsive to your temperature adjustments, they have more temperature settings, and they perform very well at very low heats, unlike gas. Because the heat is generated in the pan, any adjustment means an instant response from your cooking vessel.
  • Induction cooktops are a breeze to clean. The surface rarely gets very hot, so food splatters don’t stick. A simple wipe with a damp towel is usually enough to do the trick.
  • If you are considering a new cooktop, remember that induction tops are very thin and require minimal surround, so you’ll save space, too.

Cooking with induction stovetops means you can boil water faster, simmer sauces much lower and with more consistent temperatures, and cook all your favourite recipes with ease. Many professional chefs are now beginning to prefer induction cooktops because of their precision and ease of use.

Cooktops that utilise induction cooking require you to use pans that are magnetic. These include cast iron, stainless steel, and specially designed induction cookware. While built-in induction cooktops are available, there are also many smaller kitchen appliances that use induction cooking. Portable induction cooktops are very popular and come in one- and two-burner configurations. These are great for small spaces, for cooks who enjoy the features of cooking with gas but don’t have that option in their own kitchen, or anyone looking to save room.

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