Are you considering switching to an induction cooktop?
Induction cooktops have gained popularity for its quick cooking times, energy efficiency, and safety: but how exactly does induction work?
Induction cooking takes place on a flat glass surface equipped with heaters.
The heating coils are powered by electromagnetic energy that's only activated by the iron in cookware.
When the iron makes contact with the active heaters, the iron particles agitate causing the pan to heat up quickly.
This is different than what happens with an electric or gas cooktop because a transfer of heat from the burners to the cookware does not take place: instead, the pot or pan heats up while the cooktop remains cools – and safe to touch!
This process takes place more quickly than electric or gas because there's no waiting for the burner to heat up first.
Pros of induction cooking
Induction cooktops heat faster than electric and gas counterparts.
That's because, with induction, you don’t have to wait for the heating element to transfer to the pan.
Instead, the pan heats up directly and super quickly.
Induction cooktops offer precise temperature control.
Electric cooktops take time to heat up and cool down, and it's difficult to hit a precise temperature with gas cooktops.
With induction, you can achieve super accurate temperature control which allows for more precise cooking.
When you turn the cooktop off, heat transfer stops immediately, so there's less of a chance of boiling over or overcooking.
Induction cooktops are more energy-efficient than electric or gas because heat isn’t lost in the transfer process.
With gas and electric cooktops, a lot of energy is lost to the air around the pots and pans.
With induction, only the cookware heats, which ultimately translates to energy- and cost-savings!
Induction cooktops maintain a cool cooking surface.
Since only the pan gets hots, a hot element will never be exposed, preventing fire hazards and the risk of burns.
This also allows for quick clean-up.
It can be safer to cook around children but keep in mind that the cookware (and food inside it) still remains very hot.
Induction cooktops offer a safer way to cook than electric or gas.
It doesn't emit gas into the air, and it won't catch objects, like dishcloths, on fire because it only heats items with iron particles in it.
It also turns off when the cookware is removed so there's little risk of accidentally leaving it on when you're done cooking.
Cons of induction cooking
Induction cooktops are traditionally more expensive than their electric and gas counterparts since the technology is relatively new.
If you’re in the market for a new cooktop and don’t mind the extra cost, it will pay off in the long run: Induction uses 10% less energy than a smooth-top electric cooktop.
Induction cooktops require specific cookware.
While most cookware, especially stainless steel cookware, is compatible with induction, your older cookware may need to be replaced if you're going with induction.
Induction-safe cookware contains iron particles, which activate and create heat when they interact with an induction cooktop.
If you’re unsure about your older cookware, do the magnet test: If a magnet sticks to the bottom, it can be used with induction.
You will need to learn to adapt to your new induction cooktop.
The right sized cookware must be placed in the centre of the burner in order for it to be properly activated.
The saucepan can't be too small, off-centre, or wobbly, so flat-bottomed pots and pans work best.
While most induction cooktops have a lock setting that allows you to freely shake your pan around while cooking, sometimes it cuts off prematurely or shuts off without warning.
Induction cooktops sometimes cause a rattling sound, which is a result of the high energy transferring from the coil to the pan.
This whirring sound often goes away when you turn down the heat or add food to the pot or pan, but it can be annoying for some users.
Induction cooktops need a bit more respect.
While electric and gas cooktops can withstand more wear and tear, inductions are made with smooth glass, which makes them more prone to scratching.
Induction cooktop manufacturers suggest using cookware with clean, smooth bottoms, and avoid sliding your pots and pans around on the surface.
It's also advised to not use sharp tools or abrasive cleaning materials on your induction cooktop.
Having never used an induction cooktop, I cannot speak from experience but I have had many clients that just love their new induction cooktop.
Would I buy one?
YES- when my cooktop (electric ceramic) is due to be replaced I think I would spend the extra dollars for an induction cooktop.
I am certainly not a master chef- far from it, but I do like new technology and love saving energy when even I can.
Being easy to clean is also a huge bonus.
Plus it will be an excellent excuse to buy new cookware!!