How Induction Cooker Works

Cooking technologies have advanced rapidly in recent years. One interesting innovation is the induction cooker, which uses magnetic induction instead of traditional heat sources like gas or electric coils. Induction cookers heat pans directly without heating the whole stovetop surface. This allows for faster, more energy-efficient cooking. Understanding the technology behind these cookers reveals some fascinating science. Let's explore how magnetic fields can cook our food.

What is an Induction Cooker?

An induction cooker is an electric cooker that uses electromagnetic induction to heat pots and frypans directly instead of heating a cooking surface like traditional electric and gas stoves. Induction cookers have a glass or ceramic flat surface under which a copper wire coil is involved. When the cooker is turned on, an alternating electric current flows through this coil, generating a rapidly alternating magnetic field just above the cooking surface.

Working of an Induction Cooker

An induction cooker has a copper coil inside. When the cooker is switched on, electric current flows through this coil, creating a magnetic field. Any iron or steel utensil kept on the stove top gets heated due to eddy currents induced by this magnetic field. So, the heat is produced in the utensil itself. The cooking surface gets hot because the hot utensil sits on it. A sensor monitors the temperature and controls the power by varying the alternating current frequency. This allows fine-tuning of temperature.

Key Benefits of Induction Cooker

1. Efficiency

Induction cookers are significantly more efficient than traditional gas stoves. They heat up and cook food much faster due to the direct heat transfer to the cookware. Where a gas stove can take 8-10 minutes to boil a litre of water, an induction cooker can do it in just 3-4 minutes. This speed and efficiency come from the electromagnetic coils under the cooktop surface that directly heat the pan rather than slowly warming the air and surrounding areas.

2. Temperature Control

Induction cookers allow you to control the cooking temperature precisely. They heat the pan directly rather than heating the cooktop surface. This means that the heat can be adjusted instantly and accurately by simply turning the knob or pressing the buttons on the induction cooker. As soon as you change the temperature setting, the induction cooker will rapidly heat up or cool down the pan to match.

3. Ease of Cleaning

Induction cooktops are easier to clean than traditional gas or electric coil stoves. Since the induction cooker does not get hot, no burnt-on residue or grease gets baked onto the cooktop surface. Any spills or boiled-over liquids will not burn and stick to the smooth glass surface.
You simply need to wipe the surface with a damp cloth or use a mild detergent to clean an induction cooktop after cooking.

4. Safety

Induction cookers offer a higher safety level than traditional gas or electric stoves. Since they don't rely on an open flame or hot heating element, there is less risk of burns, fires, or other accidents. Specifically, the cooking surface of an induction cooker doesn't get hot. Instead, the pan gets hot while the surface stays cool to the touch unless a pan is on it. This makes induction cookers safer around kids - little hands are less likely to get burned from accidentally touching the stove.

Which Cookware Should be Used on an Induction Cooker?

When choosing cookware for an induction cooker, the most important thing is that it must be made of a ferromagnetic material that can interact with the magnetic field created by the induction coils.

The most common types of cookware used are:

  • Stainless steel - This is one of the most popular options as long as it has a magnetic base or core. Check the packaging or product details to confirm. Stainless steel evenly distributes heat and is durable.
  • Cast iron - Due to their high iron content, cast iron pans and pots work very well with induction. They may take a little longer to heat up than stainless steel but retain heat wonderfully for tasks like frying and searing.

Pros and Cons of Induction Cooktops and Ranges

Pros:

  • Rapid heating: Induction cooktops heat up quickly, reducing cooking times.
  • Energy efficiency: They transfer heat directly to cookware, minimizing heat loss and saving energy.
  • Precise temperature control: Induction cooktops offer precise temperature settings for accurate cooking.
  • Safety: They have cool surfaces and shut off automatically when cookware is removed.
  • Easy cleanup: Since the cooktop doesn't get as hot as gas or electric stoves, spills are less likely to burn on.

Cons:

  • Compatibility: Induction cooktops require magnetic cookware, limiting options.
  • Cost: They are typically more expensive upfront, and non-compatible cookware may need replacing.
  • Noise: Some models produce a slight humming sound during operation.
  • Learning curve: Users may need time to adjust to the rapid heating and precise temperature control.
  • Limited portability: They require access to electricity, restricting outdoor or off-grid use.

Induction Friendly Cookware of Stahl Kitchens

When it comes to Cookware, Stahl Kitchens is committed to meeting global quality standards. Their extensive collection of induction-friendly cookware ensures efficient heating and even heating no matter what stove top you have. Here are the induction-friendly cookware of Stahl Kitchens:

1. Cooker Duo (3L & 5L)

Cooker Duo is a handy set with a 3-litre and 5-litre stainless steel pressure cooker, giving you two sizes depending on the menu. With sleek triply stainless steel construction for even heat distribution, plus thoughtful extras like triple safety features and a food-grade stainless steel lid that doubles as a tempered glass lid, these cookers make cooking quick, safe and simple.

2. Grill Pan

Stahl Kitchens embraces both durability and convenience with their Cast Iron Blacksmith Hybrid Grill Pan. This innovative design pairs the natural non-stick surface and heat retention of cast iron cookware with a black enamel coating that eliminates the need for seasoning while preventing rust.

3. Versatile Cooker

This versatile cooker from Stahl Kitchens is designed for convenience and versatility in the kitchen. It features bakelite handles on both sides for easy transport from the stovetop to the table. It comes with a pressure lid for accelerated cooking and a glass lid for seeing inside while simmering. The triply stainless steel construction's fast and even heat distribution makes it perfect for all kinds of everyday cooking.

4. Steel Sauce Pan

The Artisan Saucepan by Stahl Kitchens is an induction-friendly, triply stainless steel saucepan promoting even heat distribution through its precision-manufactured heavy-bottom design, ensuring impeccable utility with an unmatched feel and finish.

The Bottom Line

Induction cooktops represent an innovative advance in cooking technology. By using electromagnetic fields to induce heat directly in ferromagnetic cookware, induction stovetops offer faster heating, improved temperature control, easier cleaning, and enhanced safety compared to traditional gas or electric ranges. Induction technology makes cooking more precise, efficient and accident-proof. With their sleek, modern design and smart functionality, induction cookers exemplify how science can solve everyday problems in the kitchen.

FAQs

Is induction cooking cheaper than gas?

Induction is generally more energy-efficient than gas cooking. Direct heat transfer means less wasted energy. So, while the upfront cost of an induction cooktop is higher, you'll save money on lower electricity bills over time.
What are the disadvantages of induction cooker?
Induction cookers require magnetic cookware, which can limit options. They tend to be more expensive initially, and some models may produce a slight humming noise during operation.

How does induction cooking differ from gas?

With gas stoves, burners emit flame and heat that warms pots and pans. Induction uses electromagnetic fields to induce vibration in pan materials, causing the pan to heat up. This allows more precise temperature control.

Can we use normal utensils for induction cooker?

No, you must use cookware made from ferromagnetic materials like cast iron or magnetic stainless steel. Induction won't work on things like copper or glass. Check if your pans are marked induction-ready.

Is food cooked in an induction cooker healthy?

Yes! Because there is no direct flame or burning element, very little oxidation occurs compared to gas or regular electric stoves, so nutrition levels tend to be higher. Induction just uses electromagnetic waves to vibrate and heat the pan.

Is induction cooker safe to use?

Absolutely. Induction cooktops safer than gas and radiant-electric models as there is no open flame minimises risks like burns, fires, or gas leaks. The surface only gets hot in places where a pot makes direct contact, so accidental touches won't burn. Safety sensors also prevent overheating.

What is the common problem with induction cookers?

Occasional electromagnetic noise or buzzing can occur but doesn't pose safety issues. Sometimes pans make slight rattling sounds too due to the vibrations. Proper cookware helps minimise these effects.

Does an induction cooker consume a lot of electricity?

Induction is much more energy-efficient than traditional cooktops. Those electromagnetic fields transmit heat directly to pans only when needed instead of constantly heating the air and surroundings.

What is the benefit of induction cooking?

The benefits include faster heating, easy temperature control, cool-to-touch surfaces, decreased fire risk, no gas emissions, and energy savings compared to gas and normal electric ranges. Cleaning the flat glass surface is super easy, too.

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