Are induction cooktops any good?

Are induction cooktops any good?

The main reasons that cause distrust of potential buyers are known – these are the high cost of the device and the incomprehensible, unusual principle of operation. It is believed that the effect of magnetic fields on the body is extremely negative. But according to the manufacturers, the field created by the induction surface has low frequencies and does not cause any harm.

If you use pacemakers or hearing aids, it is better to keep a distance from such a stove, and not to come closer than 0.5 m to it. It is advisable not to buy such a device at all – you’d better prefer an electric or glass-ceramic stove. It is worth considering the negative impact of such a stove on other household appliances in the room.

Claims about the harmful effects of an induction surface cannot be called completely untrue. They form a vortex magnetic field, but its negative effect can be compared to the effect of a mobile phone. It has very little negative impact.

Food cooked on such a panel is not radioactive. The stove body severely limits the eddy current exposure radius. Their influence will be equal to zero if you move away from the surface by only 0.5 cm

Induction hob is a new technological term unknown to many people. This is a modernized invention for safety and economy. It is not like the simpler, more common model. But does it make sense to pay a large amount for such a device, and in what cases is it impractical to purchase it?

The first induction cooker appeared in the 80s of the 20th century. The manufacturer was AEG.  At first, the devices were not popular due to the high cost and vigilance on the part of housewives to all innovations related to cooking.  Now the situation has changed: more and more people choose induction hobs due to their safety, convenience, heating speed and automatic control.

Are induction cooktops any good?

There are several types of induction cookers:

  • Desktop. These portable hobs have one or two cooking zones. A good option for small kitchens where you want to save space; as well as in the country. The main advantages: mobility, versatility, the presence of a timer, maintaining a constant temperature, accelerated operation. The surface of the plates is glass-ceramic or tempered glass; such coatings are not destroyed by strong heat or shock. A tabletop induction cooker is more economical than others, as it consumes much less current. In addition, its design cannot but please the eye, as it corresponds to modern trends and colors.

We talked about desktop views earlier in this article.  

• Embedded. Such devices are appreciated by professional kitchen chefs and practical housewives. The stove is highly efficient as it has 4 burners and an oven. The device has a variety of temperature options, timer, food judgment options. Built-in slabs are well suited for private houses, or in apartments with a large area.

• Combined. The secret is that two burners work in induction mode, and the other two – on electricity.

How an induction hob works 

Compared to a standard glass-ceramic hob or a product with cast iron pancakes, the safety of the induction hob is at a height. It functions according to electromagnetic induction. This principle means the appearance of electric currents inside a closed loop. They occur when the flow through the circuit changes.

This phenomenon has been used since the middle of the 19th century, after its discovery by the famous physicist M. Faraday. This phenomenon is widespread in transformational devices. Essentially, an induction hob is a portable transformer.

What is hob induction? Let’s consider the example of the Electrolux EHH56340FK model. In it, this phenomenon is ensured by a special coil that works like a winding. An electric current passes under it, the frequency of which reaches 60 kHz. The secondary winding is the cookware installed on the panel. Its bottom absorbs the induction current. Initially, the dishes are heated, then the heat is transferred to the hob.

The process of functioning of the burner in this type of panel (and similar ones) is clear. This is a chain of several components:

  1. utensils (saucepan, or other object);
  2. eddy current;
  3. surface (glass or ceramic);
  4. a coil that is connected to the mains;
  5. magnetic field.

Therefore, the algorithm for the functioning of the slab of this type itself looks like a sequence of a number of actions: 

  • The coil is located under the stove itself. The material of this component is copper.
  • When an electric current is passed through a coil, it turns into magnetic fields and begins to produce inductive currents.
  • A saucepan (or other utensil) becomes a conductor. Its contour is completely closed.
  • The eddy current generated by the cooker causes the electronic particles in the bottom of the cookware to move.·         Heat is generated from electrons. It heats the dishes and starts the cooking (frying) process.
  • The induction hob must not be heated to a very high temperature. This is due to its peculiarity – to heat it, you must first warm up the bottom of the dish.

Induction heating ensures minimal heat loss. Under its influence, cookware heats up much faster than on an electric or gas stove.

The first devices made according to this principle were expensive and were not available to everyone. They were not in great demand, and only after popularization did they find their buyer. But many still doubt the advisability of installing them in the kitchen.

Pros and cons of induction hobs

Fast heating, safety and convenience, a large number of different programs make the induction hob common among chefs, housewives and lovers of cooking different delicacies.

The purchase of a device requires a detailed analysis of its positive and negative characteristics. Let’s try to compare it with others, more familiar to us.

Pros and cons of induction hobs

The result will help determine which is better – an induction or electric hob:

  1. Principle of work. The hotplate heats up the dishes only after it has warmed up itself. The induction hob remains cold, while the cookware itself is hot.
  2. Whimsicality. Any kind of cookware can be used for electrical devices, for induction only models with magnetic properties are required.
  3. Security. The induction starts only after the dishes are placed on it (they must not be empty). This should only be a large container – a fork or spoon will not start the device.
  4. Speed. The stove takes more time to warm up.
  5. Energy consumption. Induction has 1.5 times less consumption than electric.

The disadvantages of the induction panel, in comparison with the electric stove, are associated with the very high cost of the former. She is also able to influence the work of nearby devices, slowing them down.

Now let’s look at how the induction and glass-ceramic hob differ:

  • Efficiency. With the task, for which the induction will take 1-2 minutes, the glass-ceramic will cope with at least 5 minutes.
  • Intensity of warming up. Induction panels do not heat up at all, which cannot be said about glass-ceramic ones.
  • Safety indicators. The induction surface does not get hot and therefore protects the user from burns. This stove has an automatic on and off function. It is easy to operate – just remove the dishes or place them. The operation of the glass-ceramic panel should be monitored regularly.
  • Resistant to damage. The induction hob is afraid of the “unsuitable” cookware, so you need to select special items for it. Glass ceramics are highly susceptible to scratches, impacts, frequent heating.

The induction hob is much more expensive than its counterparts.

Choosing cookware for an induction hob 

As noted above, this device is susceptible to cooking appliances in which food is prepared. Therefore, it will need to be replaced with one intended for such tiles. What kind of cookware is needed for an induction hob?

We need special items that differ in ferromagnetic characteristics. To buy them, you do not need to visit narrowly focused stores. These are simple models of pans and pans that attract magnets. You can also check your enamel saucepan for such abilities – if it coped with the task, then it can also be used.

It is categorically impossible – copper and aluminum products. You should not purchase items made of glass for such panels, and porcelain will not work either. Ceramics is prohibited. A good solution is cast iron pans, stainless steel dishes.

Cookware for an induction hob must meet a number of requirements: 

  1. Thick bottom. The minimum permissible diameter is 12 cm, the thickness is 2-6 mm. This is the only way to achieve the desired area of ​​contact between the burner and the bottom.
  2. Marking. How to understand that products have the desired properties? Look at the manufacturer’s labels and markings.
  3. Cost. You need to prepare for the fact that good dishes that will fully interact with the panel are not cheap. Such utensils can also be used on standard tiles. But this is rarely necessary, because when an induction hob appears, an electric or glass-ceramic stove loses its relevance.

You can find combination models with standard and induction cooking zones. For them, you can use enameled items, or made of stainless steel or cast iron.

Specialty cookware is not just a frying pan or a set of pots. Manufacturers represent ladles, braziers, saucepans. In Europe, they make items with a durable non-stick coating. These are expensive products intended for users who prioritize quality. Relatively inexpensive goods are presented by French and Czech firms.

Thus, the purchase of an induction cooker requires additional costs. If you cannot find suitable utensils in your kitchen, you will need to purchase one. Otherwise, the device will not cope with its purpose and will quickly fail.

Is it advisable to buy an induction hob? 

If your kitchen has an old, worn-out stove, while you do not suffer from diseases requiring the use of stimulants, and you have sufficient capital, you should inquire about the characteristics and cost of this device. The induction hob will allow you to spend much less time on cooking, protect yourself from burns and appreciate the latest technological inventions.

In any case, when buying kitchen or home appliances, analyze all the pros and cons, based on what is most necessary and important to you.

See also: Wide Possibilities Of The Dual Gas And Induction Cooktop: Models, Functions, Material

See also: What To Do If The Hob Is Damaged?

See more: 7 Types Of Cooking Stoves And All You Need To Know About

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