Ultimate Guide To Induction Cooking

Ultimate Guide To Induction Cooking

An interesting fact is that induction technology has been present and used in cooking since the 1900s.

However, lately is gaining popularity in the United States and many countries around the world.

Induction cooktops heat pots and pans directly instead of using an electrical or gas element to do so. Therefore heat is only supplied to the bottom of your pots and pans via an induction plate.

It is also much faster than gas or electric cooking and heats water up to 50% faster than either of these methods.

The surface also remains cool so you can wipe up splatters and spills in case of accidents.

So what exactly is induction cooking?

Induction cooking is one of the most revolutionary ways of cooking your food that is taking the world by storm. For one, it heats water faster; it offers precise temperature control, it heats your pots through an electromagnetic current and the possibility of burns and injury is significantly less as compared to using a gas or electric element. The surface also remains cool to the touch, so it is easy to clean and maintain.

There are various other benefits to using induction cooking, and below, we take a look at how induction cooking can change your experience in the kitchen for the better.

What Is Induction Cooking?

Induction cooktops may assemble electric or gas ones; however, it is definitely different beneath the surface.

While induction cooking uses electromagnetic energy to heat pans and pots directly, gas and electric cooktops heat indirectly through a heating element below the surface.

Therefore these gas and electric cooktops are faster.

Energy-wise, it’s far more efficient to heat a pot directly as opposed to indirectly.

Induction cookware is able to deliver 80 – 90% off its electromagnetic energy to the food in the pan.

Whereas gas-only converts that 38% of energy and electric elements manage roughly 70% of energy transfer.

Ultimately, induction cooktops heat your pots and pan much faster and have much more precise temperature control settings.

So when you switch on your induction cooktop, there is an instant reaction in the cookware. So there’s no longer waiting for lengthy periods of time for your pan to heat up.

They also have a wide range of temperatures and take a fraction of the amount of time to boil water as their gas or electric counterparts.

Therefore the cooktop surface remains cool to the touch, and you don’t have to worry about accidentally burning your hand, your dish towel, or any other utensils you are using to cook.

You may be surprised to learn that while cooking, you can place a paper towel between your induction burner and a frying pan that tends to splatter.

However, you want to keep an eye on that simply because even though the cooktop doesn’t get hot, the pan does.

As mentioned earlier, your induction cooking is almost always faster, cleaner, and safer than electrical or gas cooking.

How To Cook On Induction Cooktops?

Cooking On Induction Cooktop

Okay, so if you know that induction cooktops look great, cook effectively and are easy to clean and maintain.

However, how do these things actually work?

Well, it’s true that all appliances have a so-called learning curve, especially when the technology you’re using isn’t something you’ve grown up with.

If you would prefer to learn from someone else’s mistakes rather than make your own, here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your induction cooktop and take the best care of it at the same time.

There are basics to every appliance in your kitchen, and therefore induction cooktops have basics that you need to learn as well.

Firstly induction cooktops are electric, so they don’t use gas. And even though they work with electricity, they work very differently to a standard electric cooktop.

Induction technology doesn’t get hot. Instead, electromagnetic radiation is used to heat up your cookware. So induction cooktops will not heat the air between them and the pan.

Therefore one of the benefits of this is that your kitchen will remain cooler and less polluted when you’re cooking.

Using The Right Cookware

Stainless Steel Cookware Set

If you have attempted to use an induction cooktop with ordinary pots and pans, it wouldn’t have been unsuccessful.

Since induction cooking technology using the electromagnetic system, it needs to have suitable cookware to function.

So when cooking on an induction cooktop, you need to use cast iron or certain stainless steel materials. Aluminum, glass, and glass cookware will simply not be effective.

Soft metals may be effective but will leave marks on your cooktop, which are impossible to remove.

Modern cookware combines a mixture of materials, so it’s hard to be certain whether a specific pot set will be compatible with your induction cooktop.

You need to perform a simple check prior to using any cookware on your induction cooktop.

One of the easiest ways to determine video cook ways to check if your cookware is induction ready is to hold a magnet just below the base and see if it sticks.

So if it sticks, then you’ve found suitable cookware if it doesn’t, you have a problem.

Most induction cookware will be labeled appropriately on the package.

There are likely to be symbols or notes on the packaging of the pots and pans itself to let you know that it is suitable for induction cooking.

How Is Induction Cooking Different?

Cooking On Induction Cooktop

If you’ve mastered all of the cooking techniques throughout the years using gas and electric hobs and cooktops, you need to throw all of that out the window immediately.

This is because induction cooktops work differently.

Learning how to cook on an electrical gas cooktop is tricky as the heat isn’t always even, and it’s quite a challenge to maintain a stable temperature.

You have to constantly adjust and fiddle with the settings and temperature controls to get the heat just right.

When using a gas stove, you have to deal with gasoline and a flickering flame.

Even when you get the temperature just right or as low as possible, your traditional burner or hotplate will continue to heat up your pan even though it does so slowly.

When using induction cookware, many of these problems are eliminated. With an induction stovetop electromagnetic projection infiltrates the entire surface of your pen.

So there are no warm or cool spots and no need to shift the pan around while you cook. The heat distribution is even and constant.

The temperature is always precisely maintained without the hotness, and this temperature will remain constant throughout your cooking session.

Induction cooking will take some getting used to.

The stovetops themselves heat up so quickly, and the temperature is so even that you will be able to cook much faster than you’ve ever been able to do.

So it’s easy to burn and to overcook a familiar dish. This is even if you have cooked that dish for years or decades before.

So if you’re not careful or you do not watch the clock, it’s quite possible to scorch or burn your favorite dishes.

Instead, be aware and constantly monitor your cooking when using induction cookware. Alternatively, trying to use the lowest settings until you are used to cooking this way.

Cleaning Up

Cleaning Induction Cooktop

It’s easy to wipe down the ceramics or glass surface of the induction stovetop. It doesn’t heat up to bake on grease and spills and this also makes cleanup a breeze.

However, the first mistake that you can ever make is neglecting your induction cooktop just because it is so easy to clean.

Cleaning an induction cooktop is simple and straightforward, and all you need to do is wipe it with your favorite detergent.

However, there are a few points to remember for long-term care.

  • Refrain from dropping heavy items on your induction cooktop. The ceramic or glass surface is tough; however, it can crack.
  • Don’t use your cooktop for chopping. Although it is enticing to do so when looking at the smooth flat surface, and it can double as a kitchen workspace, chopping is absolutely out of the question.
  • The pans you use should be smooth and flat bottomed. There is no need to slide your cookware from side to side as a heat distribution is even and constant. Furthermore, sliding your pots and pans could leave several scratches.
  • Clean up, spills immediately. Grease and residue are less likely to stay on an induction cooktop are, however, any spills that are left behind will be harder to clean up later on. So it’s best to clean it immediately.
  • Magnetic items should be kept as far away from your cooktop suffers as possible. This includes cutlery, credit cards, kitchen foils, mobile phones, and anything that contains a magnetic strip or pot.
  • Abrasive cleaning materials should be avoided at all costs. They can scratch the glass or ceramic surface, and the damages could be it permanent and quite unsightly.

Ultimately, the points above should give you a basic understanding of how to do induction cooking and how to keep your glass and ceramic cooktops clean and looking good for years to come.

Difference Between Regular Cooking And Cooking On Induction Tops

Irrespective of what type of cooktop you choose, they are all designed to cook your food.

However, all appliances wear out over time and don’t work as well as the used two at one point. Sometimes it costs you more to call in a repairman than to purchase a new appliance.

Modern appliances are more reliable in operation and do not give up so easily.

However, different people still have different preferences with regard to what appliances they would like to cook on.

So while some people prefer a gas hookup, others would prefer an electric cooktop, and lately, more people are looking to induction cooking.

However, since induction cooking is new to people, lots of people stay away for fear of the unknown.

Ultimately preference plays a crucial part when it comes to choosing what type of cooktop to prepare dishes with.

However, to narrow down your choices, you are able to choose between gas, electric, and induction cooktops.

There is a difference between how each of these cooktops is powered and the technology in which they use to cook your food.

However, each of these cooktops has its advantages and disadvantages.

So let’s take a look at each type of cooktop, and the pros and cons that each one delivers.

Gas Cooktops

Built In Gas Cooktop

Gas has a great performance in terms of output and precision. It achieves heat quicker than an electric cooktop and switches off immediately on demand.

Advantages

Some of the benefits of gas cooktops are that they are versatile and will work even when you don’t have electricity. All you need to do is use a match or lighter to ignite the gas.

Gas cooktops also use precision and is a little bit more accurate in control as the output of the flame is easily and quickly adjusted in real-time.

Gas cooktops are fast since the gas immediately powers on from the point of ignition and heats your pot or pan faster in comparison to electric cooktops.

Disadvantages

The disadvantage of gas cooktops is that they are hard to clean. It requires more effort since there are lots of crevices and grooves on the burners.

Also, thorough cleaning involves removing the burner grates, and cleaning them up requires a lot of effort.

When cooking with gas, you should be prepared for a hot kitchen. This is because they emit a lot of radiant heat, which emanates throughout your cooking space and kitchen as well.

So cooking, especially in summer, can tend to get quite uncomfortable.

Gas cooktops can also tend to be expensive as and when fuel prices fluctuate. This is especially if your cooktop uses a pilot light mechanism that requires a constant flow of gas.

Electric Cooktop

Five Burner Cooktop

Electric cooktops come in two options, a ceramic or glass option, and those that have an element under the surface.

They also have desired temperature control settings and cook much slower as compared to gas. However, when the heating elements are turned off, it will take a while to cool off.

Advantages

These cooktops are easy to clean since they have no indents or crevices.

It also maintains a cool kitchen as it will not generate too much ambient heat so, your kitchen cooler throughout the cooking process.

 It’s less expensive than purchasing a gas cooktop.

Disadvantages

Electric cooktops are dependent on electricity. So in the event of a power outage, you will not have use of your electric cooktop.

Another disadvantage is the fact that it retains heat after shutting it down for quite some time. So ultimately, they don’t cool down quickly, like gas burners.

It’s easy to damage an electric cooktop. Although it is easy to clean, it also requires regular maintenance.

They are more vulnerable to damage, scratches, and abrasive cleaning materials, and the ceramic can crack if it comes into contact with something icy while it is still hot.

Induction Cooktop

Pan on Induction Cooktop

Induction cooktops are a type of electric stovetop that also uses electricity as a fuel source. The difference, however, is that with induction, the heating element is hidden under a smooth surface.

The major difference between induction and traditional electric heating is the elements.

Induction cooking uses electromagnetism instead of actual heating elements.

There’s a metal coil that produces the transference of heat from the induction cooktop through to the induction-ready cookware.

So any cookware that contains iron will work with induction stovetops.

Advantages

They are safe as the heating element emits no heat except through appropriate metals. However, the heat will still be present around the cooking area or on the pot or pan that you’re using.

So while it is quite possible to place your hand on it induction cooktop even while cooking, it is advisable not to do so.

Your kitchen also remains cooler since heat is not transferred to any other appliance or item aside from the pot or pan sitting directly over the induction burner.

There’s also no wasted heat, so it’s more economical than other traditional stovetops.

Disadvantages

Since the induction stovetop works with electricity, you will not be able to access it in the event of a power outage.

It’s also quite expensive, and these cooktops are pricier as compared to gas and electric cooktops.

They also require induction compatible cookware.

So you will not be able to use absolutely any cookware on these induction cooktops, and only those made from cast iron and certain types of stainless steel will be able to conduct heat.

Tips For Induction Cooking

Man Cooking On Induction Cooktop

Induction cooking is not rocket science; however, there are a few tips that you can use to ensure that cooking on an induction cooktop is nothing but a pleasure.

Firstly, you should ensure that your cookware is induction ready.

It is advisable not to use aluminum cookware since it retains heat quite quickly and, therefore, could result in scorching or burning your food.

The temperature should also not be set at the highest level when you are still getting accustomed to using an induction cooktop.

Since the heat transfer is instant, you also need to monitor your cooking quite closely.

Set the temperature as low as possible in the beginning. Your induction cooktop is fairly easy to clean; however, this does not mean that you should neglect it.

Cleaning and maintaining your cooktop is easy, and if you do so after every use, it will stay looking great for years to come.

List Of A Few Simple Recipes For Induction Cooktops

Different Food On Table

When cooking with an induction cooktop,  remember that your pots or pan will heat up instantly, therefore, you should have all of your ingredients prepared, ready, and waiting to be thrown into the pan.

However, when it comes to the recipes you are going to cooking, you can use any one of your favorite recipes just as long as you remember to constantly monitor the cooking time to ensure that your dish does not scorch a burn.

Below are some of the most induction compatible recipes we found online.

  • Pad Thai – Recipe using rice noodles, designed to help you cut down on artificial ingredients and sodium.
  • Pasta Carbonara – Classic and flavorful Italian dish
  • Shrimp Fajitas – Shrimp, onion, pepper filled tortillas
  • Avocado scrambled eggs – Traditional scrambled eggs with a twist of avocado.

Related Questions

Is Induction Cooking Faster Than Gas Or Electric?

Yes, it transfers heat to pans instantaneously.

Do I Need Special Cookware To Perform Induction Cooking?

Yes, cookware specifically designed for induction cooking is recommended. Alternatively, cookware made from cast iron and certain types of stainless steel can be used.

Are Induction Cooktops Expensive?

While they cost more to purchase than gas or electric hobs, it consumes less energy, saving you money in the long run.

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