Induction cooking has been used in Europe and Asia for many decades. It is becoming more well-known in the United States and the market share has been steadily increasing.
Induction cooktops use a different heating mechanism than conventional ovens that have electric heating elements or a gas flame.
An induction cooker has an electromagnetic coil under the glass/ceramic cooktop surface. When an induction compatible cooking vessel is placed on the plate and the unit is turned on, an electric current flows through the coil. This produces a magnetic field which in turn generates electric currents in the pot or pan's metal. Heat is transfer to the food because the cooking vessel acts as a heat source. Only ferromagnetic materials such as steel and cast iron work with induction cooktops.
One of the advantages an induction cooking hob has over gas and electric stoves is that there is no electrical heating heating element or flame. A copper coil wire is placed under the glass cooker and this helps to pass the electrical current through to the pan (which also has a conducting metal on the bottom). Another benefit is that a high temperature can be reached in a short time.
Past research has argued that induction cooking is one of the most efficient ways to cook as it puts less wasted heat in the kitchen (as it can be quickly turned off) and the cookers normally have more safety features than the standard gas or electric oven.
The best thing about the induction cooking hob is that without the pan on the stove, there is no circuit. Therefore, the heat cannot be transferred to the pan above the heating plate. This can avoid many dangerous accidents that happen with normal stoves every year.
There is also the benefit of the cooker top being shallow if needed, compared to gas or electrical cookers; this can improve wheelchair access since the user’s legs can go below the counter and the user can cook with ease.
The History of Induction Technology
The induction cooker was originally produced and put on the market in 1933 at the World’s Fair in Chicago. During the fair, several demonstrations of the induction cooker were shown and how to actually use the cooker itself, including an explanation to the different types of cookware you can use on an induction cooker.
Then, in 1970, more modern developments of induction cooking developed in the United States. Since technology had moved forward and there was more room for improvement, the induction cooker became a lot better and more popular with the general public. Since then, Westinghouse developed their very own type of induction cooker (including matching and compatible cookware) and started selling it to the public.
NASA also developed a form of induction cooker to use during their space missions; it was able to work without an atmosphere and astronauts thought it was life changing. However, there were many problems with general induction cookers and the idea of them never really took off in the US during this time.
It has only been since induction cooking became a lot quieter and there are now fewer reliability issues that it has become more popular. While induction cooking failed in the US (during its first few years of being in the market), it thrived in Europe and Asia; more people invested in induction cookers, there were more advances to make it better and thus. it started becoming more popular in the US.
Induction cooking has now become a popular choice for those who love aesthetically pleasing kitchens, and those who love modern technology in terms of cooking. While cooks and chefs are becoming more familiar with the idea of using induction cooking so is everyone else who wants to try it out.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of an Induction Cooking Hob?
Like every product on the market, there are advantages and disadvantages to its use and that’s why we felt that it was important to add the pros and cons to this list. To give you a real indication of these advantages and disadvantages we have thought of all the possible situations and outcomes that could come out of your induction cooker.
- There is instant heat whenever you put the pan on the glass top
- Research has found that this type of cooking is 70 percent more efficient than both gas and electric cookers
- They cool down relatively quickly which is a huge benefit if you live or have children in your house. There have been many cooker related accidents throughout the world that you should take all the measures possible to reduce the likelihood of this happening to your children
- You can’t use readymade non-stick pans with them unless you use a method to make a pan non-stick yourself there doesn’t seem to be any available
- The compatible cookware for the induction cookers can be expensive and if you already have perfectly good cookware from your previous cooker then it can be annoying having to buy more
- To buy, they’re generally a lot more expensive. However, people often see it as an investment rather than a one-off purchase.
Induction cooking is an interesting way of preparing your meals. It does take a little getting used to, however, given its benefits, it's certainly something worth considering. The decision as to whether to add a portable single burner cooktop, a double burner, a built-in unit or a full-sized induction range to your kitchen, boils down to your cooking style, budget, and what works best for you.