Induction cooking is taking the cooking world by storm. Induction stoves/hobs have the characteristics of both gas and electric cookers, but with the added benefit of not using as much energy which is great for reducing your carbon footprint.
What is induction?
An induction cooktop looks just like an electric one. It uses electricity to create heat, but does so in a different way. A magnetic array called an inductor is placed under the glass surface, and vibrates at a high frequency. If there’s nothing placed on the inductor on the glass, nothing happens and it shuts off. However, when you place a pan on top, the magnetism causes the molecules in the pan to vibrate and that generates heat – making the pan itself the heating element. This creates the ability to cook with extremely responsive heat and the best efficiency. If you need more convincing, here are three reasons to switch to induction cooking.
Compared to gas and electric cooking, induction is definitely the most effective in terms of energy consumption. With a gas range top, you’ll be using 65% of the energy produced, 75% with electric, and 85% with induction. What does this mean? Your cooking time will be shorter and you’ll be spending less money running your appliance.
2. Ease of use
Whether it’s cleanliness you’re worried about or the ventilation of your home, induction is the answer to your problems.
The top never gets hot enough to sear on spills – you can even touch the surface right next to a boiling pan and it won’t be hot. You’ll even be able to cook inside in the summer without breaking a sweat, since you’ll only need to ventilate steam and smoke. This is one of the main reasons that restaurant kitchens in France and Spain are switching over to induction.
Induction cleanliness is by far the most simple. Since the glass top won’t sear spills, simply spray it with glass cleaner and wipe down.
3. Get the most for your money
With a gas range top, the differences between high and low quality are very pronounced, which means you’ll need to spend a pretty penny for the best quality cooker. With induction, however, the differences in quality are not as pronounced. You’ll be able to get exactly what you need with any model, and as you spend more, you’ll be getting upgrades in features, not power or control.
We’ve had a look at the pros of induction cooking and they definitely outweigh the cons! However nothing is perfect so we’ve outlined the major con of this method below.
Cons to induction cooking
After all this, you might be wondering if there’s anything induction doesn’t do. It does have one detriment, and that is that not all cookware will respond. Your pot or pan must have iron or nickel in it – aluminum will not respond.
Cast iron, stainless steel, and copper all work beautifully, and most cookware will indicate on the box whether it is ready to be used for induction. If you’re not sure, try holding a magnet to the bottom and if it sticks, it will work! There’s also a smartphone app called ‘Induction Ready’ that can help you out if you can’t track down a magnet.