How Does Induction Cooking Work?
For a long time, human beings have found ways to make their food more pleasurable to eat. We have gone from eating raw to adding all sorts of spice to our meals to enjoy it better. The process of cooking itself has gotten better with the introduction of Induction cooking. Induction cooking involves the use of an electromagnetic mechanism to prepare food for eating. The stoves that use this mechanism come in different forms which will be looked at subsequently. The utensils that can be used for induction cooking should be magnetic based. Cast iron and magnetic stainless steel will do fantastic on induction cooktops.
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Evolution of Cooking Stoves
Before these innovative ways of cooking existed, we were cooking on open fires. The open fires were fueled by wood or charcoal over which the pots were placed, and food was prepared. To regulate the fire, you had to move your containers higher or lower. Before that, the earliest stoves were fueled with wood and charcoal and enclosed in clay. It had a hole in the front where the fuel was passed through. On top was another outlet to place your pots. The main disadvantages of these structures were the smoke is generated, and the inability to effectively regulate the fires. The heat it produced was also wasted because of the openness of the structure. Steps were made to counter this problem, which led to the design of better stoves for cooking. In the 1970s the modern kitchen began to rise, and improvement came on how to make the wood or charcoal-fueled stoves more efficient.
Around the 1820s, gas stoves had been built but, it was not until the 1880s that they became popular and were commercialized. After electricity became more accessible, electric stoves also surfaced on the market. The year 1892 saw the earliest invention, but this type of oven was slow to catch on as compared to the gas alternative. The gas stove comprised of a hot plate on an oven with a grill between them. The old gas stoves did not have a thermostat, and the heat was controlled by some elements. Some of these elements involved in heating were made of metal with high resistance. To power the stove, there were provisions for it to be plugged in. Later updates included thermostats to regulate the temperature. Other inventions that made cooking easier were microwaves, which used radiation to heat the water inside foods to cook them. Cooktops also emerged which were a portable version of stoves. They were not enclosed and so you could move it from one place to another.
How Does An Induction Stove Work?
So by now you may be asking ‘Exactly how does induction cooking work?’ An induction stove has magnets which if present in your cooking utensils can heat up without getting the surface of the stove hot. Picture this: you place you cooking pan on the stove halfway and place a piece of cheese in it. Place another piece of cheese on the other half of your stove. After some time, the cheese in the pan melts but not the cheese directly on the stove. So, how do Induction cooktops work? Firstly, let us look at how the heat is generated. The stoves through electric current, directly heat cooking utensils via magnetic induction. The is a copper wire beneath the surface of the stove through which electric current passes. The magnets in the stove, when attracted to that of the pan inducts the heat into it because induction does not use an external heat source. It is essential that your cooking utensil also has magnetic properties for this to work. To test your usual appliances, bring a fridge magnet close to it. If the magnet sticks then you can cook by induction, otherwise you would have to purchase magnetic pans.
What Makes Induction Cooking Better?
Modernization has made it such that every upgrade is supposed to be better than the existing model. In the case of Induction cooking, it has revolutionized the whole experience. This is because the mechanism has solved a lot of the problems the old techniques of cooking had. It has also greatly increased safety when it comes to heat in the kitchen. Some of the benefits are explained below.
Energy Efficient: As mentioned earlier, one of the significant issues with open fires, gas, and electric stoves was the amount of energy that was wasted. Most of the fuel was lost along the way before getting into the pan. With induction cooking, however, the power goes straight from the source into the pan. Even the barrier between the two does not heat up.
More control: With the nature of induction cooking, it is more precise to check and control the temperature of the stove. The induction hobs respond very quickly, and there is no need to worry about refilling on fuel.
Powerful: Because of the high response of the induction stove, you get results faster. The pan heats up almost as soon as the device is turned on and so you waste less time and resources.
Easy to clean: On induction stoves, there is nothing like burnt debris from food on the surface. Everything that falls on the surface of the stove can easily be wiped off instantly. The only thing that heats up when it is in contact is magnetic appliances. A sponge or napkin or even your hand is not at risk of getting hot when in connection with the surface.
Disadvantages of Induction Cooking
Even though Induction cooking is a better option than the others, it comes with a few downsides.
First of all, it is costly. Induction cooking is cutting edge technology that is relatively new, and so the price is reasonably high. Unlike traditional stoves, which are easy to come by and need no special treatment, this alternative will cost you more than usual.
Also, you need special cooking utensils to use the device. This may be an inconvenience because your stove will require that only special appliances with magnets can be used on them. It will mean changing your whole kitchen which comes back to the issue of funds.
Another issue with Induction stoves is that they cannot be used when the power is out. If you live in an area which has frequent power outages then you might have a big problem with this stove. Even for one day if the power runs out you may not be able to cook anything. That is one advantage that gas stoves have over this option.
Because of how fast this stove works your ingredients need to be ready even before you turn it on. The stove is for people who want to be finished with their cooking in no time. If you are someone who likes to deal with ingredients while you go, then this is not for you.
Last but not least, induction stoves have a buzz to them. When they are on, they make a sound that might be irritating to some. The type of pan or pots used may contribute to this: the lighter ones tend to create more noise than heavier ones.
What Types of Induction Stoves Are There?
Built-in Stovetops: These are units that can be installed within existing kitchen appliances to give the kitchen a more organized look. They have a sleek design and you can even make provisions for disabled members of the family to use it.
Freestanding Stovetops: These types can be slid in and out of spaces or be placed in a counter in the kitchen. This option is more flexible since it can easily be replaced without any hassle. They also come in different sizes for different spaces.
Portable Stovetops: These can be considered the most versatile because it can easily be moved from one place to another depending on where you need it.
Within these three types of stovetops there are single zoned and multiple zoned ones. The single-zone types have only one area that heats up while the multiple zoned alternatives have many. Mostly, the freestanding and portable stoves carry one zone but may have multiple zones in some cases.
When purchasing an induction stove, take into consideration features like timers, childproof lockout, auto safety lock, spill, and over-heat detect shutoff and residual heat indicators.
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To answer the question “How do induction cooktops work?” is not as difficult as it may seem. The idea behind induction cooktops was to make life simpler for the human species and so is explaining how it works. The mechanism adopted in designing this device has changed the face of cooking and is gradually penetrating the market. These days everybody wants to make good use of their time for maximum efficiency, and cooking should be in the loop. Even though it is expensive, it is gradually making way into mainstream culinary processes. In a while this efficient energy method will be more popular across the world. Technology keeps surprising us with new ideas, and we are enthusiastic to see what other convenient methods of cooking will come up.