In light of the Smartpack November special I thought our readers would be interested in some unbiased information about an induction cooktop.
Induction cooktops work via an electromagnetic field that essentially turns your cookware into an element by inducing a thermal electric current in the pot or pan causing it to heat up. Food is cooked by the heat of the cookware and not from the cooktop itself.
Benefits of induction cooking
Safer: There are no open flames and the air around the cookware is not heated other than by the cookware. The cooktop remains cooler to the touch than the traditional ceramic non induction cooktops. The only heat is from that from tranferance from the bottom of the cookware.In fact a piece of paper can be in between the cooktop and the cookware while cooking and it will not burn.
More efficient: Induction cooking can be precisely controlled compared to traditional electric elements and gas. Energy transfer in induction is about 84% , electric element 71% and gas 40%, which means there is a cost saving in power bill for the user. Induction cooking recognises the base of the cookware, directly heating only the diameter of the pot so very little energy is wasted.
Quicker: Heating and adjustments are immediate, saving up to 50% of the cooktime when compared to more traditional methods.
Even heating: Hot spots and rings are avoided because the bottom of the cookware heats uniformly.
Easy cleaning: The surface is flat and smooth like a electric ceramic cooktop, but in induction cooking spills and overflows do not burn on the surface of the cooktop and can be easily wiped away. There is no heat from the cooktop outside the pot or pan.
Additional features: In induction cooking a pot can be kept on minimum boil or automatically turn the element off when the cookware is removed from it, or when the contents have boiled dry. This is because the induction source can detect slight changes in the current so it can be precisely controlled.
Limitations of Induction cooktops
Cookware: The cookware must be ferromagnetic. In other words ,if a magnetic sticks to the bottom of the cookware it is fine for induction cooking. You cannot use copper or aluminium bottom pots. The cost of cookware replacement might need to be considered with the price of the induction cooktop.
Glass top: This can crack with impact just like a ceramic cooktop but is made to specific impact standards. Aluminium foil can melt onto the top and can cause permanent damage or crack the top.
Noise: In some situations an audible hum may be produced on high power. Radio receivers (not digital) may experience some interference close to the cooktop.
The November special $99 appliance package can be upgraded to induction cooktop for $630.