What you should know about the induction cooker, so as not to be disappointed in the purchase
Induction cookers continue to gain popularity. While some housewives take pride of place in the kitchen, others shrug their shoulders skeptically and talk about the insecurity of their use. Let’s try to figure out which side is right and whether it is worth changing the usual electric or gas stove to a new induction one.
Principle of operation
The main difference between such a stove and a classic electric or gas stove is the principle of operation. With a gas stove, everything is obvious: the combustion of gas causes a flame that heats the dishes and the food in it. A classic electric stove works by releasing thermal energy when an electric current passes through a metal heating element.
Cooking on an induction cooker thanks to induction current. Electric current passing through the turns of a copper coil located under the hob is converted into an alternating electromagnetic field. It creates an eddy induction current, which drives the electrons in the bottom of the dish and heats it up.
Features of the choice of dishes
An induction cooker involves the use of special cookware. This is directly related to the principle of operation of induction: the device of the stove is similar to a transformer from physics lessons, only the primary winding is the coil, and the secondary is the dishes.
Cooking on an induction hob is only possible in cookware with a ferromagnetic bottom.
Manufacturers mark it with a special sign in the form of a spiral, and today a set of induction cookware can be purchased at almost any specialized store.
You can check if your pan or pan is suitable for an induction cooker using a magnet: if it sticks to the bottom, then you can safely use it.
If you put the wrong container on the burner, the stove simply will not work. During cooking, only the bottom of the cookware is heated and, accordingly, the food in it, but not the hob. Therefore, if a piece of food falls on the burner, it’s okay. The protein will not curdle, the onion will not burn, and you will not have to scrape the coals in agony.
When choosing dishes, you should definitely pay attention to its bottom, which should be even, without dents or bulges. Manufacturers recommend choosing cookware so that the bottom diameter matches the diameter of the burner: the smaller the pot or pan, the lower the power.
But what if you are used to drinking freshly brewed Turkish coffee in the morning? Then you will have to additionally purchase a special adapter – a metal adapter disc that will cover the surface of the burner.
Such a disc allows you to cook food in ordinary dishes that are not intended for induction cookers. However, it is hardly convenient to use it on an ongoing basis. Firstly, adapter manufacturers do not recommend turning on the stove at maximum power, which already limits you in dishes. Secondly, one disk is still not enough for you to cook several dishes at the same time on different burners. It is advisable to think about purchasing it if you really have a need to use small dishes at low or medium power. For example, for brewing coffee or heating milk.
In induction, no energy is spent on heating the contacting surfaces and air. Heat loss is excluded, because all the forces are thrown into heating the food.
Food cooks faster: no need to pre-heat the pan, the heating process starts instantly, and the heat is distributed strictly along the diameter of the bottom of the dish, optimizing electricity consumption.
On the other hand, there is a chance that you will have to replace the dishes with new ones.
Variety of designs and functions
Like classic cookers, induction cookers are produced in different versions:
- full size – freestanding stove with oven and burners.
- hob – built-in panel, which can be installed directly into the countertop.
- Portable – mobile tile with one or two burners.
- Combined – Equipped with both induction and classic burners.
Choose any option, depending on your kitchen.
To make the cooking process even easier and more comfortable, manufacturers are not stingy and are introducing more and more additional features, some of which can really be useful.
- Booster (Booster or Power Boost) – the function of transferring power from one burner to another. You just borrow some power from a free burner for a while if you need to cook a dish very quickly. Almost all models are equipped with it.
- Fast start (Quick Start) – you turn on the stove and it automatically determines which burner has dishes.
- Keep warm mode – with the function enabled, you can leave cooked food on the stove and it will not get cold.
- Timer with and without automatic shutdown – you set the cooking time, after which a signal will sound and the hotplate will either turn off (automatic switch-off) or continue to work (without automatic switch-off).
- Safety shutdown – will work if…