How Does Induction Cooking Work?
You may cook using electric. Others may cook using natural gas or propane gas. Still, others may just use an open flame. However, did you know that there is a growing population that is discovering the joy of induction cooking?
Using a cooking method unlike any other, induction cooking is increasing in popularity. The technology has been around since the 1950s, but it didn’t make its way into private kitchens until now.
But what is it? What makes it different? And why would someone choose induction cooking over other methods? We are going to explore all of these and more.
How Does Induction Cooking Work?
To get a good idea of what it is, it is important to understand how it works – even the parts that you can’t see.
The idea of induction cooking involves magnets. In fact, it uses an electromagnetic field to create the heat that will ultimately cook your food. Underneath the surface, you will find a coil of copper wire instead of your typical grate. When your pot, pan, or skillet is placed on the burner, a current of electricity alternates as it passes through the coil and straight to the cookware. The resulting oscillating magnetic field induces an electrical current within the cookware – and begins heating. It may sound complicated, but there is nothing different that you have to do with this type of cooking method.
Is your head spinning? In a nutshell, induction cooktops use electromagnetic radiation to heat up the cookware itself.
A Cool Surface
Did you read that last sentence carefully? Here it is again: induction cooktops use electromagnetic radiation to heat up the cookware itself. Notice that it says the cookware heats up, not the cooktop. This is perhaps the biggest difference between induction cooking and any other method.
Believe it or not, when you cook using the induction method, the cooktop will remain cool to touch. You could even boil water with a paper towel on the burner underneath your cookware. Your water would still heat up and the paper towel would be completely unaltered.
This method of cooking involves a connection between the burner itself and the cookware. Nothing else is involved.
The Right Cookware
It is important to note that because induction cooking involves the transfer of heat using magnets, it is necessary to use the appropriate induction cookware. After all, not all metals are magnetic. In your kitchen currently, you may have pots, pans, and skillets that will work just fine. Then again, you may not – and find that you have to purchase additional cookware for the induction cooktop to work.
Aluminum and copper are two common metals used in cookware that will not work on an induction cooktop. Why? Because they do not contain the needed magnetic properties. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is a great option.
Good news is that there is an induction symbol that is placed on the bottom of cookware so that you know which ones will have the ability to work for induction cooking. Typically, you will notice that these pans have a heavier bottom, allowing them to pull the heat in.
Cooking with an Induction Cooktop
Those who cook regularly often have a preference as to whether an electric or a gas stove works best. This is a long debate. But, of course, it is easy to prove that gas stoves tend to lead to faster heating – since the heat comes from the flame rather than having to heat a coil. Perhaps this is why gas is often preferred for cooktops.
It doesn’t stop there, though.
Because of the different ways gas and electric stoves heat the food, one is easier to control than the other. Can you guess which one? When turning the temperature down, the gas cooktop flame reacts and the temperature change is instant. When it comes to electric, you’ve got coil burners that need to cool down – and that takes time. This can affect the outcome of your food.
Now, there is a 3rd player in the game: induction cooking.
Induction cooktops are the fastest available cooktops in the market. Why? It bypasses the surface! Those who use induction cooking methods know that it regularly saves a lot of time in the kitchen.
Extended Benefits of Choosing Induction Cooking
We’ve been talking a lot about the benefits of induction cooking and how it stacks up against other methods. There are even more benefits, though, that has not been mentioned. But, because we are talking about induction cooking, you ought to know all the good stuff, right? Here it goes.
- Induction cooktops are incredibly easy to keep clean. Remember – their surface never heats up. So, when you spill or drip any food, it is not going to bake onto the surface and leave you exhausted from scrubbing. Instead, simply wipe the surface with a soft cloth.
- Induction cooking is very safe. If you have a family with small children or you have pets, then you know just how dangerous hot stoves can be. With an induction cooktop, you will not have to worry about little hands – or paws – getting burned. No matter how much cooking you do, the surface of your cooktop will remain cool to touch.
- Conserving energy is a huge bonus these days. Not only will energy-efficient appliances save you money in the long run, but it also benefits the world around you. Induction cooktops cook rapidly, reducing the time you are using the appliance. And, because it does not release the heat as other cooking methods do, your cooling system will not have to work as hard to maintain the indoor temperature. And that means even more money in your pocket.
If you are looking for something new to jazz up your kitchen, then consider an induction cooktop. You’ve got the info on induction cooking, now all you need is the cooktop.