Everyone is talking about energy efficiency these days. Things are changing day by day and new energy efficient products are being launched in the market. Along with other aspects of life, our kitchen is also changing with time. There were days when gas stoves were considered a great and magnificent invention. Then came the electric stoves, microwave ovens and various types of cooking ranges. And now Induction Cooktops or Induction Stoves are a new way of energy efficient cooking.
1. What is an Induction Stove
An induction stove heats the pan or pot electrically via electromagnetic induction. Instead of thermal conduction or from a flame, magnetic induction heats the pan directly and high temperatures can be achieved rapidly thus making induction stoves more energy efficient.
2. How Induction Stove Works
As we have mentioned early, an induction stove heats the pan directly by electromagnetic induction. So, first of all, we have to know what is electromagnetic induction and how it works.
What is Electromagnetic Induction
Electromagnetic induction was discovered by Michael Faraday in 1830s. Electromagnetic Induction is the production of voltage or electromagnetic force due to a change in magnetic field. There are two ways of generating electromagnetic induction.
- By keeping a conductor in a moving magnetic field.
- By moving a conductor in a static magnetic field.
Watch this youtube video for a better understanding of electromagnetic induction.
What is Eddy Current
Eddy currents are induced by changing magnetic fields and flow in closed loops, perpendicular to the plane of the magnetic field. The size of eddy currents are directly proportional to the area of the loop, rate of change of magnetic flux and the size of the magnetic field and inversely proportional to the resistivity of the conductor. For more understanding of eddy currents watch this youtube video by TutorVista.
How Electromagnetic Induction Works in Induction Cooktop
Induction Stove looks like electric stove but there are no burners beneath the surface. In an induction cooktop, a coil usually made of copper wire is places and alternating electric current is passed through it. The electromagnetic field is produced and the electromagnetic field induces an electric current in the pan placed on the cooktop. And as the pans have large resistance there will be a larger amount of eddy current flowing which will cause resistive heating.
3. What is The Difference Between Induction Stove and Electrical and Gas Stoves
As you know that induction stove works using an electromagnetic field. Eddy currents generate heat in the pan or pot. The top surface of the induction stove is not made of any ferromagnetic material and is safe to touch. Induction cooktops only work with ferromagnetic pans and pots. Means the pans and pots that are made up of iron or steel or have any composition of iron or steel will work with induction stoves. Nonferromagnetic materials and metals will not work with induction stoves like copper, aluminum, silver, and bronze, etc.
On the other hand, electric stoves have nichrome element wire embedded in porcelain insulation. This nichrome wire is then placed inside a hollow iron coil. Heat is generated by this nichrome wire and transferred to iron and it gets hot. The heat is then transferred to the pot or pan by conduction.
While gas stoves use gas as a fuel and a burner is used to directly heat the pan or pot you are using. Gas stoves waste a lot of energy in the form of heat.
4. What are the Advantages of Induction Cooking
There are many advantages of induction cooking over other methods of cooking. Here we have gathered some of the advantages of induction cooktops.
The speed of Induction Cooking
Induction cooking is the fasting cooking methods available in the market these days. Induction cooking is way faster than gas and electric stoves. According to an experiment if you boil approx. 6 cups of water the gas stove will take around 9 minutes, the electric stove does the work in approx. 6 minutes while the induction stove took around 3 minutes to take the water to boiling point.
Efficiency Of Induction Cooktop
Induction Cooktops are efficient up to 80 to 90 percent. That’s why they are more energy efficient than regular electric and gas stoves. A gas stove has an efficiency of approx. 38 percent whereas the efficiency of an electric stove is approx. 70 percent. The flame of a gas stove not only heats the pan but the ring and air around it and a lot of energy are wasted. The same way electric stoves waste a lot of energy in the form of heat. But in induction cooking, the induction cooktop only heats the pan. Even if you place something on the surface of the cooktop it will not be heated and energy will not be wasted. That’s why Induction Cooking is so efficient and precise.
Precision and Responsiveness Of Induction Cooking
As the induction heats the pan or pot directly it increases the speed, responsiveness, and precision of the induction cooktop. Either you turn the temperature up or down the result is immediate. On the other hand, regular gas and electric stoves heat up and cool down very slowly as compared to the induction cooking.
Also, induction cooking is a lot more precise. A gas stove or electric stove can take time to heat up and cool down and can’t be much precise while cooking on lower temperatures. But induction cooktops are precise for the delicate cooking. Induction cooking has a wide range of temperatures leaving gas stoves behind. Though regular electric stoves have a wider range of temperatures than induction cooking they are not precise, while induction cooking provides instantaneous results precisely.
Are Induction Cooktops Safe?
The answer to the question is “Yes”. As induction cooktops only heat the pan not the surface like other stoves, they are far more safe than regular stoves. You or your curious little one can touch the surface without any danger. Gas stoves and electric stoves were always a fire risk. The flame of gas stove or filament of electric stove could cause fires and burns. But induction cooktops give you a safe experience. Here are some tips about “How to Prevent Kitchen Fires“.
Most cooktops come with a different kind of sensors and safety functions, they will shut down if a pan is not present or if the pan is empty. Some cooktops (for example Samsung) have burner lights to simulate the working of the cooktop like a gas stove.
Induction Cooktops are Easy to Clean
As induction cooktops only heat the pan so if you splatter, it will not burn and makes the cleaning of the cooktop easy. Also, induction cooktops have a flat surface which is easy to clean. You only need a soapy towel to clean the surface. Read our article on how to clean induction cooktops properly?
Induction Cooktops are Easy to Use
Induction cooktops are really easy to use, you just have to select the temperature by a touch button and place the pan in the cooking ring. If you have zoneless or flexinduction cooktop you don’t even need to place the pan in the ring, means you can utilize the full surface of the cooktop. Isn’t it interesting?
5. What are The Disadvantages of Induction Cooking
Everything has it’s own pros and cons, so does induction cooking. Here are the drawbacks of induction cooking.
Induction Cooktops are Costly
Induction cooktops are still new in the market and that’s why they are expensive at the moment. They will cost you more than regular stoves. But if you compare the benefits with the price, you may agree that they worth it. All the good things come at a price.
Induction Cooktop Requirements
Induction cooktops only work with specific kind of pans and pots. Your cookware should be made up of ferrous metals such as steel or cast iron. Other cookware will not work with your induction cooktop, you will need compatible cookware.
Induction Cooktop Noise
Buzz or Hum sound is common in induction cooktops. Sometimes you will hear the clicking of electrical equipment, as well as the sound of the cooling fan.
Magnetic Field Interfere
The magnetic field of an induction cooktop can interfere with your digital device placed nearby. So, keep your digital device a bit away from the cooktop and use an analog thermometer to check the temperature of the cooking food.
If you are interested in buying, we have created a list of Best Portable Induction Cooktops.
6. Cookware For Induction Cooktop
As we already know that you need magnetic cookware for the induction cooktop. Here are the answers to your question regarding cookware for induction cooktops.
What Type Of Pots Will Work With Induction Cooktop?
Magnetic materials work with induction cooktops like cast iron and steel. There should be ferromagnetic material in the pans or pots to work with induction cooktop, other materials will not work with induction cooktops.
What Type Of Pots Will Not Work with Induction Cooktop?
Pots and Pans made up of nonferromagnetic materials like aluminum, copper, glass, ceramic, etc. will not work induction cooktops. They should have a layer of magnetic material on the bottom to work with induction cooktops.
Will My Pots Work With Induction Cooktop? How to Know?
If you are not sure that your pan or pot will work with induction cooking, try this. Hold a magnet near the bottom of the pan or pot and let it go. If the magnet sticks to the pan your cookware is magnetic and will work with the induction cooktop.