Are you unable to install a gas range in your home, but unhappy with your electric cooktop stove? Consider a magnetic induction range. What is magnetic induction and how does it work? According to Fine Cooking:
“An induction burner consists of a ceramic plate with an electromagnetic coil beneath it. When you turn on the burner, an electric current runs through the coil, generating a fluctuating magnetic field, but no heat on the burner itself. Once you set an iron or stainless steel pan on the burner, the magnetic field induces many smaller electric currents within the pan. As all these small currents run through the iron, much of the energy is converted to heat. Thus, on an induction cooktop, the heat is coming not from the burner, but the pan itself. This can make for more efficient cooking – a pot of water will come to a boil on an induction stove in almost half the time of a standard gas stove. You’re also less likely to have hot spots in your pan, where food gets scorched because it has more contact with the heat source below. And, once you remove the pan, an induction cooktop cools off faster than a conventional burner, because it was only hot from contact with the pan.”
The above description highlights some of the best advantages of magnetic induction.
- According to Consumer Reports, “Induction cooktops heat 25-50 percent faster and distribute heat more evenly than radiant stovetops, and they offer quick, precise temperature adjustment.”
- Induction cooktops are safer since they only heat the pan, not the burner, and cool quickly after the pan has been removed. In addition, a burner turned on but without a pan will not heat, lessening chances of burns, especially for children.
- Induction cooktops heat more quickly than electric, and temperatures are more precise and responsive than they are with electric burners.
- Induction cooktops are easier to clean. Since the burner is heating the pan and not the surface, spills don’t get baked on the way they do with electric ranges, and the surface can be wiped clean almost immediately after the pan is removed.
- Induction emits less heat than electric cooktops since it works by heating the pan, not the burner, which makes for a cooler kitchen and a more comfortable cooking experience.
While induction cooking has many positives, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider. On an induction range, you must use induction-friendly cookware, which means glass, copper, or aluminum pans are out. Induction ranges require ferromagnetic cookware, which includes stainless steel and cast iron. You can test the compatibility of your cookware by holding a magnet to the bottom of your pans and skillets: if the magnet sticks, the cookware is induction compatible. Enamel-coated cast iron, like the well-known, stylish brand Le Creuset, is a good choice for induction ranges.
According to Consumer Reports, another concern is that you may hear buzzing or humming of some ranges at higher settings. However, “Heavy, flat-bottomed pans help reduce the vibrations that cause this buzz,” and with the correct cookware, most consumers report that noise is not an issue. Really, for most cooks, the advantages of induction cooking far outweigh any potential disadvantages.
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone here discusses the benefits of induction cooking:
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