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Induction Cooktop Buyers Guide | STOREFRONT COMPANY

Induction Cooktop Buyers Guide

Confused about induction?

Induction cooking is one of the most efficient and safest ways of cooking. Our induction cooktop buyers guide will explain everything you need to know if you are considering buying an induction cooktop.

How do induction cooktops work?

Induction simply relies on the mechanism of electromagnetic fields which emits energy. Induction cooktops produce a magnetic field around their glass surface, basically turning your cookware into the heating element.

 This eventually results in the heating up of the pan (its base) which is positioned on the induction cooktop. While your stove is cool to touch, the magnetism between the cookware and stove means that your food is cooked extremely fast by the cookware, not from the cooktop itself.

Induction cooktops utilize a magnetic reaction to create heat. Induction cooktops generate heat within the pot while common electric cooktops work by heating the cooking zone before transferring heat to the pot. Hence induction cooktop cooking is extremely fast, energy efficient and safe.

Induction Cooktop Buyers Guide 2018

Advantages of induction cooking

  • Induction cooktops heat up extremely fast
  • Induction cooktops are also very precise. This is useful when cooking dishes that require a constant temperature
  • As cited, induction cooktops work by generating electromagnetic reaction with the pot. This simply means that only the pan and food get hot while the kitchen stays cool
  • If accidentally you leave the cooktop switched on, the induction automatically switches off since heat won’t be generated if there’s no pan on the cooktop
  • It's a safer option—since the element itself doesn't get hot, it's safe to touch unless you've had a hot pan on it for a while
  • Most induction cooktops have automatic switches to detect if there is nothing on it, meaning there’s less energy loss when leaving it on
  • Children and the disabled will find it easy to use
  •  It's easy to clean

    Disadvantages of induction cooking

  • Only stainless steel or cast iron can be used on your induction cooktops.
  • You may have to replace pots and pans if they are not suitable for induction cooking
  • It's possible to hear some noise when cooking
  • The installation process may require more work and energy
  • You will have to be careful when cooking in order not to scratch the glass surface of the cooktop. This normally happens when you are frying
  • Water can spill over and run under the glass, which may cause electrical problems. Though some inductions come with an automatic boil-over detector which switches off power when liquid is discovered on the surface of your cooktop
  • Factors to consider when buying an induction cooktop

    Size

    When purchasing an induction cooktop, size should be your first consideration. The most common size is 60cm with four cooking tops; the largest is around 90cm while the smallest cooktops are around 30cm, having a maximum of two cooking tops.

    Make sure you measure the space available on your kitchen counter and check the dimensions of the cooktop you are planning to buy. The cooktop has changed sizes over the years.

    Number of cooking zones

    Normally a 60cm medium induction stove will provide 4 induction cooking tops, which should be enough if you are cooking basic meals. Wider cooktops will need additional cooking space; the more cooking tops you have, the easier for you to prepare large quantities of food.

    If you are growing a family or using it for commercial purposes, a wide cooktop will easily accommodate large pots and pans. This will also save you a lot of time.

    Cost

    The cost of installing and purchasing an induction cooktop depends on the type you are buying. It is important to consider a few things before purchasing. You must consider the purpose (personal use or commercial use), your cooking style, energy bills, and the time you have to cook. The initial purchase price may be a big one, but it may be a better option for a long-term investment.

    Requirements for installation

    Induction cooktops require a lot of energy and therefore many require special power connections. (Note that this doesn't mean that they are inefficient.)

    An induction cooktop requires a standard connection. Our daily home plug may require 10Amp while an induction cooktop may require 20A, 32A or even 42A depending on the electrician.

    Seek and ask questions from several installers to get the best price and method when you are ready to install. The price may likely depend on the type and model of induction cooktop you decide to use.

    When installing the induction cooktops, it requires that specific dimensions are observed which would likely take more time. This is due to the amount of heat that the induction operating system releases during operation. Though they normally come with fans to disperse the heat, it’s also likely you hear some sounds during operation.

    Always use the installation manual and hire a licensed electrician. This will ensure safety and will also ensure that the cooktop lasts longer.

    Some features of induction cooktops

    Automatic pan size recognition

    By default, induction cooktops automatically discover the size and shape of the cookware you are using and it will adjust the power supply to suit the purpose. This makes the induction cooktops energy efficient.

    Child lock

    Selected models feature a child lock to prevent your kids from playing with the controls.

    Auto switch-off

    This feature automatically turns off the induction cooktop in case there is overheating or in the case of where the pan has been removed from the surface for a long period of time. Most models have some form of this feature.

    Automatic safety shut-off

    This automatically switches off power when the pot has started boiling over the cooktop. Some induction cooktops are also able to sense when the pot has boiled dry. Most models have some form of this feature.

    Boost

    Available in some selected models, the boost function will provide additional power to the cooking zone thereby fastening up your cooking.

    Conclusion

    If you decide to purchase an induction cooktop, make sure you check your cooking specialist to help with sizes and styles of cookware that best fits your cooking standard as cookware advance daily.

    About the Author

    My name is Heather Dunbar, and I'm the founder of Storefront Company, a place where I review portable induction cooktops and accessories. I welcome your feedback and suggestions.

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