Compared to electrical cooktops, induction cooktops heat up your food a lot faster, much more safely and a great deal more efficiently. You can also check out our Induction Cooktop FAQ for more information.
See Also: Induction vs Gas Cooking: Pros & Cons
Induction is fast
Induction cooktops are able to heat up food around 20% to 50% more rapidly than electric cookers based on conduction. They also allow for the immediate adjustment of temperature, heating up immediately and very quickly cooling down, the effect of which is to both speed up your cooking process and increase the safety of your cooking environment.
With electrical cooktops, the heat is generated within the cooker itself, meaning that the process by which the heat, or thermal energy, is transferred between the cooktop surface and the cookware surface is a source of inefficiency.
By cutting out this step of conduction between the hob and the pan, induction cooktops are inherently more efficient and faster at heating up your food. Instead, an induction cooktop works by generating the thermal energy within the cooktop material itself, rather than within the appliance.
See Also: Induction Cooktop Review
In order to do this, the induction cooktop has to create an electromagnetic field through the use of an exceedingly powerful electromagnet, generally at a frequency of 24 kHz. This goes on to quickly and rapidly heat up the entirety of the lower surface of your pot or pan.
While the induction cooktop is still cooking the food indirectly, (by heating up the cooking vessel and applying heat to the food that is contained within) the simple and effective difference is that by sidelining the process of heating the cooktop surface, an induction cooktop dramatically increases the efficiency and speed with which the food is actually cooked.
Also, because less heat is lost to your surroundings, this means that your kitchen won’t suddenly become intolerably hot when you’re cooking with multiple pots and pans.
Related Topic: Non-Stick Induction Cookware Review
In domestic situations, this reduces the need for extractor fans, ventilation and cooling systems. For restaurant chefs, the bonuses of using induction cooktops is even more readily apparent as professional kitchens can often become unbearably hot as a result of the use of electric cooktops.
Through minimizing the degree of heat given off in a wasteful manner, an induction cooktop can significantly boost the working conditions for professional cooks and remove the need for venting and extra cooling.
Induction cooktops are remarkably safer than their electric counterparts. Due to the fact the cooker’s surface itself is heated exclusively by the cookware within which the heat is generated, the induction cooktop surface generally is unable to reach a hazardous temperature.
Additional safety features of induction cooktops include the function of the control system to switch off the electromagnetic element when no ferrous cookware is present. It can do this by detecting the degree of power being delivered through to the cookware—if no power is being used, then the element can be automatically turned off.
Other safety advantages over electric cooktops include the induction cooker’s safety sensor, which requires a pot or pat to span the diameter of the cooking surface before the element is activated. Consequently, the induction cooktop does not begin the heating process upon a ferrous metal pot unless it is the right size for the cooktop. This prevents erroneous heating of objects like misplaced spoons or forks.
Unlike the vast majority of electrical cooktops, induction cooktops feature precision temperature controls, allowing the user to choose particularly low temperature settings for the careful cooking of select foods and decreasing the chances of accidentally boiling your food.
Induction cooktops heat the food inside your induction ready cookware considerably more evenly than it would be if heated by an electric or gas cooktop.
Water can be boiled exceptionally quickly, about twice as fast as on an electric cooktop with the induction cooktop circulating and spreading the generated heat more evenly, and therefore preventing the occurrence of hot spots.In general, with an induction cooktop, food is cooked faster with a much decreased risk of burning than it would be through less-even cooking via an electric or gas cooktop.
Induction cooktops often have very useful additional features
For instance, induction cooktops have a pan suitability detector which confirms whether your cooking vessel is made out of the correct material, as well as whether it is the correct size for the cooktop surface’s diameter.
Low-temperature keep-warm settings as well as pre-programmed heating levels (for simmering etc.) are just some of the features that set induction cooktops apart from their electrical counterparts.
A few induction cooktop models also include limiters, which turn off the electromagnet when excessive temperatures are reached, in order to prevent fire hazards. Additionally, overflow detection is used to eliminate possible accidents from spilled liquids etc.
Misconceptions and concerns
One popular misconception is that the material of induction cooking cookware has to be able to conduct electricity. While it is certainly true that materials for electrical cooktops need to be able to conduct electricity, for induction cooktops, it is actual the ferrous qualities that qualify the material as suitable for the purpose of induction cooking.
A common concern about induction cooktops, when people are choosing between induction and electric or gas appliances, is whether their current cookware will be compatible.
While it’s true that induction cooktops require ferrous (magnetic) metal, bear in mind that these are readily available and probably already make up the majority of your current cookware. Remember that any magnetic cooking vessels can be used for induction heating, such as cast iron or stainless steel pots and pans.
For those instances where your cookware is made of different materials, for instance aluminum, ceramic, Pyrex, or copper, why not consider a ferrous induction plate? This allows any cookware to be used on an induction cooktop, simply by placing it on top of the ferrous induction plate.
In this situation, the ferrous induction plate is heated just like a magnetic pot or pan would be. By placing your non-ferrous cookware on top of the plate, the heat generated inside the ferrous induction plate is transferred to the cookware via conduction, which is then transferred to your food, cooking it in exactly the same manner.