Induction cooking is quickly becoming a popular medium for cooking. It offers the control and sensitivity of gas and the heating power of an electric stove.
Induction cooking creates a lot of heat very quickly, but you can also cook your food very slowly at a low temperature.
This means you can bring your food to boil faster and then simmer at a precise temperature.
Electric stoves change the temperature very slowly, which can be a problem when you are cooking heat sensitive recipes. With induction, the moment the stove is turned off, the cookware begins cooling, like with gas.
If we look from an efficiency standpoint, does the claim that induction cookers are the greenest way to cook hold true? Read on to find out more.
The main advantage to using induction cookers is speed. The magnetic field created between the cooker and the pan or pot transfers heat directly into the base of the cookware. With an electric stove, you have to first heat the element and then transfer the heat into the base of the pan.
Induction cooktops essentially cut out the middleman. They can boil four cups of water in less than five minutes. Electric stoves take nine minutes to boil the same amount of water. The saving in time results in savings in power consumption.
Although it is lesser-known, the lack of excess heat creation is a great eco-friendly feature of induction cookers. Electric stoves also heat the air surrounding the cookware; meaning up to 50% of the heat generated is lost to the environment around the pot.
In warmer countries or hotter areas like restaurant kitchens, air conditioning and fans have to be used because the ambient temperature rises so dramatically. With induction cooking, all of the heat is transferred directly to the pan so very little waste heat is generated.
Smart and sustainable technology has been incorporated into induction cooktops, including detection sensors that turn the cooker off if there is no pan placed on the plate within a certain amount of time.
Some of the most expensive induction cooktops also boast a “boil alert” feature. It can detect the vibrations from hot liquids that could boil over, and then reduce the heat to a lower level. This means that there are no accidents, messes, or energy wastage. The boil alert sensors also detect the boiling point of different liquids like oils, soups, water, and milk. Once at boiling point, the induction cooker beeps to alert you.
Environmentally-friendly glass ceramic materials are used to make induction cookers. The cooktop is a poor conductor for heat, so very little heat is wasted through the base of the pan. This leaves the cooktop cool, lowering the risk of accidents and injuries. In fact, you can put your hand straight on the cooking area after you have lifted the hot pan up and you won’t be hurt. Of course, the opposite is true for electric stoves. They take a while to heat up and even longer to cool down, wasting lots of energy.
The fact that induction cooktops don’t heat anything that isn’t magnetic means that food won’t burn to the surface and the risk of fire is almost none. Unfortunately, the downside of using a glass surface is that it is easy to scratch the surface, which means its long-term durability is questionable. Electric stovetops are very durable and rarely break.
Research done by the U.S. Energy Department has found that induction cookers are 84% efficient at transferring energy. Electric cookers showed an energy transfer efficiency of 74%.
Most significantly though, induction cookers are 90% effective with their power consumption, using just 2.8 kW to generate 2.52 kW of power. Electric stoves, on the other hand, use 4.4 kW to generate 2.52 kW, making electric stoves only 55% effective with their power consumption.
When comparing induction and electric cooktops from a sustainable standpoint, it is tough to contend with induction cookers. Although induction stoves only work with magnetic cookware, which you may have to purchase if yours aren’t compatible, the amount saved in time, energy, and money will pay for the cooker time and time again.