Professional and at-home chefs alike will tell you that there's a big difference between conventional and induction cooking. While it might seem like there's only one way to heat up a pan, the fact of the matter is that some methods are more efficient than others – induction cooking is one of them.
Induction cooking is a preferred method for many, heating 25 percent to 50 percent faster, distributing heat more evenly than radiant stovetops and offering quick, precise temperature adjustment. Induction uses electricity and magnetism to heat food, according to Discovery. This means that it turns the vessel – whether it be a pot or a pan – into a source of evenly distributed heat. In contrast, conventional cooking applies a flame or another form of heat to the vessel above it. This can result in an uneven distribution of warmth in the pan or pot, making it more challenging to cook remove its contents.
The inner workings of induction cooking
Like gas and electric cooking options, induction appliances come as either a cooktop, a slide-in or free-standing range. The Miele KM5753 is a popular cooktop choice, however, if you'd like the induction range with a true convection self cleaning- oven, the KitchenAid Architect Series II KIRS608BSS provides an overall cooking experience – but what's the big deal? Understanding the basics of induction cooking can give you a better idea of how these products operate more efficiently than others.
Induction cooktops have coils underneath the surface that carry a charge and create an alternating magnetic current. When a pot or pan is placed on the cooktop, it develops a small current of its own. A mixture of magnetic fields and currents causes molecules to start jumbling around. Components within the appliance such as the transformer, rectifier and inverter speed up the currents, creating heat.
Could you benefit from induction cooking?
Besides a cooking surface that offers precise temperature control, there is no open flame to ignite grease. Induction cooktops are safer and easier to clean than their radiant counterparts making them ideal for households with small children. For kitchens that need to take into account special needs, such as wheelchair access, nothing can beat induction for both safety and convenience. However, induction cooktops emit a small amount of radiation, so people with pacemakers or similar devices may want to check with their doctors before using one.
It's also worth noting some of the factors that could make induction cooking a challenge if you aren't prepared. For instance, the New York Times reported that it's critical to have the proper iron cookware – not copper or any other metal – to utilize induction heating. Additionally, it's important to remember that induction cooktops can heat up rapidly. This means that you'll need to keep an eye on food that has the potential to boil over. Installing some induction appliances require a different voltage, so it's best to understand the electrical requirements of the appliance before purchase.
See what other Designer Appliances readers are saying.