October 5, 2018
Induction Cooktops: What They Are, How They Work, and Are They Right for You?
When shopping around for new appliances for your kitchen, you might have a few must-have features in mind. Some homeowners are all about the convenience factor – appliances should be easy to operate and fit their busy lifestyle. Others place more importance on style or having the latest technology. And still others are looking for energy efficiency to help them shave some money off their utility bills. If you are in the market for a new cooktop, induction cooktops can fit all of these requirements with their unique blend of function, style, and energy efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at induction cooktops and whether they make sense for your needs!
What is Induction and How Does It Work?
Induction cooktops are flat and look a lot like traditional glass-top cooktops. However, you’ll notice one key difference between the two varieties during operation – the top doesn’t glow on an induction cooktop. That’s because induction cooktops work on a completely different principle to heat up – namely, the principle of induction! There is an electromagnetic field located underneath the glass top. When you turn your cooktop on, it activates this field – when you place a piece of magnetic cookware on the glass-top, it instantly transfers the current to heat it up.
Advantages of Induction Cooktops
This principle gives induction cooktop a number of advantages over other ranges and stovetops. Induction allows for much faster heating times because there is much less energy wasted with the direct transfer from surface to pot/pan. On average, it takes 2-4 minutes less time to bring 6 quarts of water to a boil on induction cooktops than even the top of the line glass-top ranges. In addition, induction cooktops are much safer to operate. With the direct transfer of energy from top to pot/pan, there is no actual heat being generated on the surface. If you don’t have a pot on the surface and accidentally turn an induction burner on, it won’t get hot. Induction cooktops are also one of the most energy-efficient options out there, being an estimated 60% more efficient than gas cooktops.
Are They Right For You?
There are a few things you should keep in mind before deciding to purchase an induction cooktop. Since they operate with an electromagnetic field, you’ll need magnetic cookware in order to use them. Glass, ceramic, and aluminum cookware won’t work with an induction cooktop, so if your kitchen is already stocked with these you’ll have to also shop for induction-compatible pots and pans. Also, the magnetics can also interfere with digital thermometers. If you rely on these for your cooking, you’ll have to start using an analog thermometer for accurate temperature readings. Finally, there can also be a slight buzz or humming sound during operation at higher settings. Heavy, flat-bottomed pans can often help nullify some of the vibrations which cause this buzz to be present.
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