Induction cooktops have been around for a while, but are only now gaining popularity due to becoming more and more affordable. But they are still expensive when compared to the more traditional electric and gas cooktops. So are they worth the investment? And which brand of induction cooktop is the best?
Inductionpros.com has a wonderful range to choose from to get you started on your induction cooking journey. But first we need to take a look at what are induction cooktops and are induction cooktops worth the investment in the first place? Read on to find out more.
What Exactly is Induction Cooking?
First came fire (now celebrated as a barbecue), then came electric and gas, and now we have the revolutionary induction cooking method. This incredible heat-free cooking method uses a technology reliant on electromagnets in your cooktop and your pans to cook your food. And yes, I did say heat-free. It’s completely different to cooking on traditional cooktops, because the heat that is generated is in the pan and not on the actual stove top. Sounds confusing, right?
Let’s explain a bit more. As the electricity passes through the magnets (yes, it still needs electricity), the magnets create a resistance. When this resistance comes into contact with the magnetic induction cookware, it heats up the pot and cooks the food. But, the surface remains cool. Amazing, right?!
This hi-tech innovation allows the cooktop burners to reach high temps quicker than it does on electric or gas cooktops. The moment you remove the pot from the burner, the magnetic resistance stops, and it is completely safe to touch the burner. So you never have to concern yourself about forgetting the stove on and risking burn accidents.
Advantages of Induction Cooking
1. The efficiency that comes with induction cooking will be noticed almost immediately
They use considerably less energy than electric and gas, as no energy is wasted while heating up the cooktop and pot. All that energy goes to the pot and cooking your food.
2. If you accidentally leave a traditional stove/cooktop on, energy and heat is wasted and there is a risk of injury
However with an induction cooktop, this problem is eliminated, as when the pot is removed, all energy transfer stops. Even if you have the cooktop turned on full, if there’s no pot on the burner, no heat will be generated.
3. They are precise instruments
The induction cooktop is very responsive and can be easily controlled. This means you have more control over the temperature output, although first-time users may take a while to get used to this method.
4. The safety
As mentioned, the safety features are mind-blowing. Yes, there’s still heat and risk of burning while there is a pot on the burner. And it does get hot. But it cannot be denied that induction cooktops are definitely safer than traditional cooktops.
I know most of you who are clumsy cooks dread the cleaning part. Even non-clumsy cooks have spills now and again and if you don’t get to it quick enough, you have to scrub! Especially as you have to wait for traditional cooktops to cool down before you’re even able to clean. Also, traditional cooktops can have nooks and crannies where it can be difficult to clean. The induction cooktops are usually smooth and made of glass, and have no nooks or crannies for spilled food to hide. Also, it cools the instant you remove the pot, making clean ups quicker.
Will you need special cookware?
Yes, you will. If you’re going the induction route, take into consideration that you will need to look for “induction compatible” cookware. But this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to use any of your existing pots and pans. Simply grab a magnet from your fridge and see if it sticks to the bottom of any of your current cookware. If it does, there’s one less pot to buy. Bonus!
Basically, there is only one: Cost. The technology behind the induction cooktop is expensive. Although it is reducing in price as the years go on, it still remains more expensive than the electric or gas cooktop options. Also the cooktops designed for home usage tend to not have the same lifespan as those made for commercial kitchens. Another drawback is if you have to buy all new costly cookware.
Induction cooking is the way of the future, and hopefully this information can help guide you in your decision making.