Induction Cooking – What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

While induction cooking has been popular in Europe and Australia for a number of years, this technology is just beginning to become popular in the United States. What is induction cooking? It is often referred to as heatless cooking because it does not require an open gas flame or red-hot electric coils. Instead, heat is generated by electromagnetic currents in the burners that respond to metal cooking pots and pans. When you cook on an induction cooktop, only the pan and food contained within it become hot. As soon as the pot or pan is removed from the burner, the cooktop surface becomes almost cool to the touch.www.ezinearticles.com

Advantages of Induction Cooking

Efficiency. The biggest difference between induction cooking and other methods is where the heat is actually generated. Gas and electric stovetops produce heat on a burner. This heat is then transferred to a cooking pan and then its contents. In contrast, induction stove tops generate heat in the vessel. There is no transfer from the burner to the pan. Thus there is virtually no wasted heat. According to studies, induction cooking is about 90% efficient, compared to electric and gas cooking that have 47% and 40% energy efficiency rating respectively.

Safety. Safety is a major selling point. With induction cooking, the burners stay cool (room temperature), eliminating the worry of burning your hands, using hot pads, or dangerous fumes being admitted into the air.

Time-saving. Induction cooktops achieve extremely high temperatures in a short period of time. During the cooking process, any adjustments to the heat are precise and almost instantaneous. Gas heat is fairly precise as well, but it takes longer for the burners to heat the pan to the initial temperature.

Comfort. Induction burners won’t heat up your kitchen. This appeals to chefs, caterers, and even home cooks.

Convenience. Food spills and boil-overs aren’t burned on to the stove and are easily wiped off. Most stove-tops are either easy-to-clean glass or ceramic. In addition, you can leave the pot on the burner after cooking without having to worry about excess heat burning your food.

Drawbacks of Induction Cooking

Cost. Typically, induction cookware is more expensive than gas or electric ranges, often starting at about $1,500. If you cooked with gas prior to switching to induction, you may need to rewire your kitchen to accommodate the 240 volts required for most induction cooktops.

Special cookware. For your pan to conduct energy, it must be magnetic. Induction can heat food only through pans made of steel or iron. You can test your cookware to see if it is compatible by passing a magnet across the pan. If the magnet sticks to the pan, the pan will work. Not all stainless steel cookware is compatible with induction cooking.

Availability. Induction cooking in the United States is still a relatively new concept. Therefore, induction ranges are not as widely available as their gas and electric counterparts. As the demand for induction cooktops increases, prices should begin to fall. by Marcia Klun

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