Everything You Need to Know About Induction Cooking
In recent years we have seen a soaring number of clients make the move to induction cooking, away from gas and electric. Why? We are breaking down all you need to know about cooking with induction. It’s the cleanest, fastest way to cook and we’re catching up to bring it into more homes.
Appliance brands are hearing the consumer call and offering some type of induction cooking offering, both cooktops and full ranges. There is an offering for any home cook to satisfy all cooking needs, including separate cooktops, full ranges, a combination induction and gas range, and come in a variety of sizes and price points.
What is Induction Cooking?
Induction cooking is when a magnetic field creates an electrical current to create heat. Once a magnetic pot or pan is placed on the “burner,” heat is generated from the electrical currents in the metal pan to begin cookingg food.
Pros of Induction Cooking
Cool to the Touch
Even when turned on, the “burner” is not hot! To heat, a magnetic source needs to be applied to the surface. That means a hand, cooking utensil, cutting board, hand towel, etc. will not burn. This allows the whole family, including kids, to be involved in cooking as the dangers of burns is increasingly minimized. As soon as a pot or pan is removed from the surface, the cooktop will remain safe to the touch and not burn.
Note: since the pan does the cooking instead of the cooktop, the pan will be hot!
Fastest Way to Cook
Game changer – water boils in less than two minutes! Need I say more? The electromagnetic energy makes the pan the heat source instead of the burner, therefore cooking food faster.
Precise Cooking & Temperature Control
In addition to faster cooking, induction cooking gives you ultimate control of temperature to have precise cooking. Induction cooktops have the ability to reach extremely high and low temperatures, and remain consistent through the duration of cooking. So whether you want to scorch your dish and cook something low and slow, the induction cooktop offers the widest range of temperatures compared to gas and electric.
Since there isn’t really an output of heat, induction cooking is more energy efficient as it does not heat your home, requiring the house to work harder to maintain cool temperatures. Nearly all of the electromagnetic energy is transferred directly to the food instead of the flame or electric burner.
Induction cooktops does not pollute indoor air quality, unlike gas. When in use, gas ranges release nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde in amounts that violate outdoor air quality standards. While not in use, gas ranges still leak methane. Induction does none of that!
Headlines in the United States are fired up about the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommending consideration of a ban on the installation of new gas ranges in American homes. This comes after research shows evidence of hidden hazards such as indoor air pollution and increased risk of health issues, such as childhood asthma and other respiratory conditions, linked to the use of gas ranges.
Easy to Clean
Induction cooktops have a smooth, easy to wipe glass surface. Digital buttons eliminates the need to clean around protruding knobs. Since the surface of the cooktop does not get hot, you can say goodbye to burned on food that need to be chiseled off. Cleaning couldn’t be easier.
As previously mentioned, induction cooktops are flat and glass. Most cooktops are black so when paired with soapstone, black granite, or other dark countertop, the cooktop can nearly disappear. Because induction cooktops are more energy efficient and don’t omit as much off-gassing compared to other cooking methods, you can also get away with a more minimal hood vent.
Cons to Induction Cooking
Honestly, there aren’t many downsides to cooking with induction so these are a bit of a stretch.
Compatible Cookware Needed
If you make the switch from electric or gas cooking to induction, you may need to invest in new cookware as not all are induction compatible. Since induction uses electromagnetic energy to directly heat the pan, the cookware needs to be magnetic. Simply check if your existing pots and pans are compatible by holding a refrigerator magnet to the bottom.
America’s Test Kitchen did a beautiful round up of the Best Induction Cookware.
There’s something primal about cooking over an open flame. Learning to cook more precisely may take time to adjust to.
Is This Thing On?
Induction cooktops are mainly quiet and, unlike the flame on gas or orange coil on electric, induction cooktops don’t have a visual key that it is on. Therefore, it may be easy to forget that it is on. However, since the cooktop itself does not get hot, it is not a fire or safety hazard.
We are on board with induction cooking. We anticipate Americans catching up to other parts of the world in adoption of induction cooking. We will see much more installations of induction cooktops and ranges to come this year.
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