From rubbing sticks and stones together back in the caveman era, to channeling electromagnetic energy today, cooking has come a long way over the years. Induction cooking is the latest evolution of man’s cooking capabilities, using electromagnetism to turn cooking pans into cookers. Our forefathers would have marvelled at the modern phenomena at our fingertips today. Let’s dive a little deeper into the ins and outs of cooking’s most modern cooking invention.
Thanks to a bunch of brilliant Europeans scientists with fancy beards, electromagnetism is now available in our kitchens. Integrated into stovetops, electromagnetism turns cooking pans into cookers by creating heat energy inside the pan itself, instead of firing it in from outside. The advantages of this are two-fold. Not only does it use less energy, but it’s also far safer than conventional gas stove cooking, meaning you don’t have to fret about naked flames or gas leaks. Another safety plus is that electromagnetism transfers energy directly to the pan rather than the glass, which means that the surface surrounding the pan remains cool.
Faster and more efficient cooking time
As the modern world speeds up, and global warming increases, induction cooking is here to help, reducing our time restraints, while helping out the planet. ‘How?’ You ask. Induction is not only a faster and 13% more efficient cooking method (than traditional cooktops), it also saves more energy than gas.
It’s all science really. Because the heat is produced in the pan, not the cooktop, much more of the energy goes into the food. It also gets energy to your tasty cuisine more quickly, because pans that get hotter faster, cook faster. In fact, it’s typically 25-50% faster than other methods. Wow! That would sure make hosting a dinner party or running a busy kitchen a whole lot less stressful.
Induction cooking-safe pans
One prerequisite to induction cooking is the type of pans you use. Induction requires magnetic cookware because ‘electromagnetic’ waves are used to cook the food. If you’ve got any fridge magnets nearby, try sticking them to your collection of pans. It’s a simple test to see which ones are magnetic. In general though, compatible cookware includes: cast-iron, enameled cast-iron, and stainless-steel.
No naked flame
The most defining feature of an induction cooktop is that there’s no flame to monitor. And, if there’s no flame, there’s no fire. Simple. Unless of course you burn your food to smithereens, but that’s on you.
Flames can be a huge safety hazard, in an active family home, especially with little ankle biters running around. Because you’re not cooking with a gas-lit flame, there’s also less need for air conditioning and ventilation.
Electromagnetic cooktops can also detect whether pans are standing and for how long, and if the stovetop is left on. Unlike a gas-lit flame, most induction cooktops will then turn off automatically.
All in all, induction cooking is a great way to save yourself a visit from the local fire brigade.
Induction cooking has a buffet of perks, but with all those benefits comes a larger price tag. Cha-ching! Induction tends to cost a few hundred dollars more than its ceramic and gas stove counterparts.
Also keep in mind, induction isn’t suitable for all types of cooking, for example, woks. So, if you’re running a Chinese restaurant, gas or ceramic is a more suitable choice.