When people think of a stove cooktop, they usually think of it as either electric or gas. Each one has its pros and cons, but in recent years, a third contender is on the rise. Induction cooktops are growing in popularity in the United States, having had significant usage in Europe for its unique benefits. If you are in the market for a new range, check out below to see if induction cooking is right for your kitchen.
What Is Induction Cooking?
Induction cooking uses a smooth cooktop, similar in appearance to some electric stovetops. However, instead of using thermal heat or an actual fire like gas, induction cooking uses electromagnetic heat to transfer energy from its underlying electromagnetic plates directly to the cookware and the food.
How It Works
To cook with an induction stove, you will need to use induction-compatible cookware. Cast iron and some forms of stainless steel work well. Stainless steel with nickel in it will not work, but any pot or pan that has a magnetic bottom will. As the electromagnetic plate directly stirs up the atoms in your compatible cookware, the food will cook steadily and quickly.
Induction cooking is perhaps the most efficient type of cooking appliance out there. It wastes no heat, only transferring energy electromagnetically. Because of this, your cookware heats up faster and saves you energy. It also means that its ceramic surface will not get hot and no excess heat will warm up the kitchen. These characteristics make induction stoves safe and efficient, great for small or crowded kitchens and families with young children.
Its construction and composition do lend it some disadvantages, unfortunately. People with pacemakers should avoid induction cooktops, as the electromagnetic energy can mess with those devices, as well as your digital thermometer. The fact that it only works with some pots and pans can also be a downside, meaning you might have to get a whole new set of cookware just for the purpose. Induction stoves also make a humming noise which might get louder at higher temperatures, a minor annoyance.
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