How Do Induction Cooktops Work?

While the art of cooking has been around since the discovery of fire, the technology behind it has continued to evolve to include gas, electricity, microwaves, and induction. While most methods can be easily understood the process of induction remains a mystery to many, and if you are among those who wonder "How does induction cooking work?" Mr. Appliance® has the answer.

What is Induction?

Electromagnetic induction is the process by which electricity is produced using magnetism. The induction cooktop was first introduced at the 1933 Worlds Fair in Chicago, and although it was slow to gain popularity in the U.S. due to concerns over noise and reliability issues, it is widely accepted today among those looking for a more efficient, precise method of cooking food.

How Do Induction Cooktops Work?

An induction range looks like an ordinary glass cooktop—but without the telltale red glow ordinarily seen when the burner is on. An induction burner is comprised of a ceramic plate that is set atop an electromagnetic coil, and once the burner is turned on, an electric current runs through the coil which creates a magnetic field with no heat.

When the cooktop is powered up and a steel or cast iron pan is placed on the burner, the magnetic field permeates the metal in the cookware, producing a number of smaller electric currents within the pan itself rather than the burner. This energy is then converted to heat which spreads throughout the base of the cookware, heating up whatever is inside of it. Once the pan has been removed, the cooktop cools faster than a traditional burner, as the residual heat from the pan dissipates quickly.

The Benefits of Induction Technology

When it comes time to replace your current appliances, consider an induction cooktop which comes with a number of significant advantages including:

Efficiency

While a traditional gas or electric burner transmits heat both onto and around the pan, a great deal of energy is lost to the stovetop and the air surrounding it. With an induction cooktop the energy is produced in the pan instead of the stovetop, making it approximately 60 percent more efficient than gas, and 40 percent more efficient than an electric element. In addition to the potential cost savings, this makes an induction cooktop a more environmentally friendly option, although the baking and broiler elements in the oven work the same as in a traditional electric range.

Safety

The only time your induction cooktop may be hot to the touch is immediately after removing the pan from the burner area. In the event that the burner is turned on accidentally or left on long after the cooking process is over, however, there is no risk to anyone that touches the surface. Most models have a built-in safety feature that will turn off the power to the unit in the event that a pot has boiled dry, for added peace of mind.

Speed

An induction cooktop delivers heat to your food instantly unlike a gas or electric unit where the heat comes from the burner instead of the pan. This means that a pot of water will come to a boil in almost half the time of a gas powered unit, and your cookware will respond to temperature changes instantly when you adjust the heat up or down.

Features

Available features include:

  • Built-in temperature sensor
  • Automatic shutoff
  • Burner lights
  • Automated timers
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Because the stovetop doesn't heat up, burned on food is rarely an issue, and you can keep your induction cooktop looking its best with these cleaning tips from Glass Doctor®.

Need help with any appliance in your home? A Mr. Appliance expert in your neighborhood would love to help. Give us a call today.

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