Cooking utensils have developed a lot over time and so have the cooktops. Once a time there was gas or electric stoves which were considered the best deals until many critics pointed out how unsafe and unhealthy they actually were.
Then came the time of induction cooktops. These cooktops have been the fastest growing trends in the cooking world for quite a good amount of time. They have been arguably known as the healthier and the wiser cooktops among the rest.
Thus, this article will provide you with all the information you need to know before considering to buy an induction cooktop.
What is an Induction Cooktop?
Such a burner does not actually have heaters underneath the surface. Induction cooktops consist of a ceramic plate with a magnetic coil on the underside. It uses an electromagnetic field to heat up your cookware and at the same time keep your cooking surface cool.
A pot of water will come to a boil on an induction stove almost half the time of a standard gas or an electric stove.
How Does it Work?
When you switch on the cooktop, an electric current flows through the coil and starts an electromagnetic field of energy. Accordingly, when you put stainless steel or an iron pan on the cooktop, the magnetic field induces several bursts of current in the metal. As all this current runs through the metal, most of this energy turns into heat.
Hence, on an induction burner, the heat comes from the pan itself making the cooking more efficient. This causes the iron molecules to vibrate tens of thousands of times in a second, and the friction between the molecules to create the heat.
Difference between Induction and Regular Cooktops
- The coil below the ceramic surface of the induction cooktop does not heat and neither does it glow red.
- All the electromagnetic energy passes through the cooktop into the pan.
Benefits of Induction Cooktops Compared to Gas or Electric Stoves
Let us look at some way in which these induction cooktops can be benefitting you:
Induction cooktops are about 50% faster to actually heating the gas. Energy is transferred to your pan directly, and there is no heat on the burner.
No Ambient Heat Produced
In induction cooktops, heat is generated in the pan itself. As a result, you end up having a much cooler kitchen when you use an induction cooktop because it uses a magnet technology and heats the pan instead of the air surrounding it.
Food Gets More Heat
Almost 90% of the heat goes to the pan when using an induction cooktop. However, when you use gas or electric stoves, about 60% of the heat from the burner is lost in your kitchen, and only 40% goes into the pan!
These cooktops are much safer because there is no radiant heat source. If you’re cooking with gas, you need to run your vent fan the entire time to get rid of the noxious gas. In the case of an induction cooktop, nothing burns on the countertop, even if it’s a piece of paper.
Cleanup is a Lot Easier
With no mess to worry about, cleaning up an induction cooktop is very simple. All you have to do is wipe it using a damp cloth.
These cooktops are undoubtedly the most energy-efficient ones compared to traditional gas or electric cooktops. When using an induction cooktop, 90% of the money spent on energy is going directly in the pan. Compared to gas, which delivers only about 55% on the pan with electric ones delivering 65%.
Similarly, it is clear how high the cost savings are. Additionally, you can save your billing cost as there won’t be any gas line connected to your house when using an induction cooktop.
The cooktop automatically goes to standby mode when the pan is removed from the cooking surface which furthermore helps to save energy.
Moreover, there are lesser chances to get hot spots on the pan that will cause the food to be scorched since it has a larger area that is in contact with the source of the heat.
Induction cooktops might be the best choice for you so far, but that does not mean you wouldn’t take any safety measures while using one:
- Even though the induction cooktop itself doesn’t get hot, the pan is going to be really hot. The heat from the pan is directly going to the induction cooktop. Be careful in both touching the pan and the cooktop while cooking, and also after you are done.
- Don’t leave any random metal objects on the cooktop. You can be careless and end up doing so. For instance, if you leave your metal fork on there, the fork will conduct the heat which may be dangerous when your child touches it.
- Be gentle with the induction cooktop. The top is made of ceramic, and you want to be careful while picking it up and putting it down. However, you also need to be careful when you are tossing or flipping food on your pan.
- When you are not cooking, don’t leave an empty pan on the cooktop.
- Wipe whatever mess you make on it right away so that it doesn’t start burning. Especially with food that has sugar, it has a tendency to burn.
- Be careful not to touch the controls with your pan. Keep it within its cooking space.
- Avoid using metal spoons while stirring.
- Stay a few inches away from your induction cooktop while cooking.
- Since it emits magnetic lines, you might want to keep away from objects such as TV, radio, etc.
- Look out for the letter ‘F’ on the control. The control flashes a letter ‘F’ indicating that it failed to detect a pan.
Drawbacks of Induction Cooktops
The only downside to these cooktops is that only pans made from iron will work with induction cooktops. Pans made solely of copper, aluminum or non-magnetic stainless steel are really good conductors of electricity to generate significant heat. Therefore, these materials won’t work on an induction cooktop.
However, for your induction cooktop to work, the bottom of the pan must have some iron content. An easy way to identify pots or pans with an iron base core is to use a magnet. If the magnet sticks on the bottom of the pan, you don’t have to worry because the iron pan will work on your induction cooktop very well.
Induction cooktops have become a lot popular these days and have already started to take over regular cooktops by storm. By saving energy and cost, these cooktops come with a modern look with their subtle and smooth designs to help you to provide versatile cooking options.