Induction cookers use direct induction heating of pots and pans rather than relying on thermal conduction, convection, or indirect radiation to create heat. This approach makes it possible to create a high-powered kitchen and a rapid increase in temperature when making a meal while benefiting from instantaneous changes when you change a heat setting.
The induction process occurs thanks to the placement of a copper coil underneath the pot or pan, powered by an alternating electric current which passes through it. This design creates an oscillating magnetic field which induces an electrical current in the cooking vessel.
Because of this design, most induction cookers must work with a ferrous metal, such as stainless steel or cast iron, to be an effective tool. This combination allows for the pot or pan to concentrate the current, producing heat in the metal so that a consistent cooking surface becomes available. It is an efficient and fast method of producing meals at home without paying a high utility cost.
If you’re thinking about an upgrade to your kitchen today, then these are the induction cookers pros and cons which you will want to review.
List of the Pros of Induction Cookers
1. Meal preparation times go down with this technology.
Because induction transfers heat directly to your cookware, instead of the surface of your cooktop, it provides a faster method of food preparation at home. Some cookers can boil water up to 50% faster than other appliances that you have in the kitchen. Food products can heat up at a similar speed when compared to gas or electric models. Since it takes less time to finish a meal, you will feel more inclined to make something at home instead of eating out more often. Over time, this means you can save money on your food expenses and the utilities necessary for preparation.
Consumer Reports says that no other cooking technology they have tested it is faster than the fastest induction elements. You can bring six quarts of water to a near-boil up to 4 minutes quicker with this technology.
2. It will provide you with consistent and delicious results.
Induction technologies allow you to control the temperature with more precision when cooking in comparison to the traditional gas or electric cookers that are in kitchens today. When you can have more control in this area, then it is easier to create consistent results with the foods that you make. There are fewer risks of undercooking poultry items or overcooking beef with this option thanks to the advantages in this area. Because you are cooking over a consistent temperature, you can produce delicious results which are constantly repeatable every time you make something.
3. You can quickly clean induction cookers using basic tools.
There is always a risk of having a pan boil over or grease splatters occurring when you are making something in the kitchen. Because an induction cooktop follows the same construction process this as an electric model, you will have a smooth surface in which to operate. Because induction burners do not heat the overall surface of the cooker, you won’t need to worry about this food debris turning into your appliance.
Induction cookers reduce their temperatures almost immediately after you finish making something, which means the cooktop is cool enough to clean whatever mass gets left behind in just minutes. A simple wipe with clean water or a mild detergent is usually enough to prepare the appliance for your next cooking activities.
4. You can place the heat right where you need it to be.
Some induction cookers come with a technology that will instantly detect the size and shape of the pots and pans used on the cooktop. This feature makes it possible to place heat at the exact location it is needed so that you receive a fast and efficient cooking experience. That means you are wasting less energy because the appliance adapts to the equipment you use. Add in the faster preheat times and you may find yourself saving a surprising amount of money over the course of a year with regards to your utility expenses.
5. It is a safe technology to use in virtually every home.
The safety of your family should always be the primary concern when you are thinking about bringing a new appliance into your home. Cookers and ranges are designed to provide heat so that you can use your pots and pans for meal prep work. Induction technologies are no different. Since this process heat your cookware directly instead of the actual surface of the appliance, it won’t get hot until the correct materials are placed in the cooking zone. That means there are fewer risks of accidental burns if you turn on the wrong burner for some reason.
It is also less likely to create a fire if you turn on the wrong burner because there must be a pot or pan made of the correct materials on the surface for there to be a threat in the first place. If you have children in your home, the automatic shutdown of the induction elements is an advantage that is difficult to ignore.
6. The flat surface creates aesthetic appeal for the modern kitchen.
Although the looks of an appliance may not be as important as its functionality, the modern induction cooker does have a superior aesthetic appeal. Most designs from today’s manufacturers allow for the cooktop to blend seamlessly into your kitchen so that your décor feels consistent and comfortable. Because you are going to be spending a lot of time in this room, it is helpful to have a supportive environment which allows you to focus on your work instead of managing the challenges of a malfunctioning or underperforming unit.
7. You can create a superior level of temperature control for intricate sauces.
Restaurants are quickly adopting induction cooktop technologies because of the way that he distributes through the pots and pans on the surface. It delivers consistent and precise low levels of heat which specific sauces and confections require during their creation. You can create superior results with less work because of the energy transfer involved. Because of this advantage, many businesses at the higher end of service have at least one burner in operation to create their demanded items.
8. There is less background heat created with induction cooktops.
If you grew up in a home which used a gas or an electric oven, then there were days during the summer when the hot temperatures stopped your folks from cooking something. That is because the heat generated from these appliances radiates into the environment to create discomfort. Induction cookers offer an advantage in the fact that they do not cast off as much heat during their operations, which means there are fewer venting and cooling requirements needed for the kitchen.
When Thi and Ngueyn Tran opened Starry Kitchen in Los Angeles about a decade ago, their Asian comfort food had to go with induction because of the cost to vent gas. Estimates were above $200,000 for this new business just to punch a vent through a building. Using induction surfaces, a fryer, and a small electric griddle removed that cost entirely.
9. You can use paper products to protect the surface of your cooktop.
Because the power of an induction cooktop comes from the use of magnetic fields, you can protect the surface of the appliance with simple paper products. Let’s say that you have a cast iron pan that you love to use all of the time. The only problem with it is that there are rough surfaces on the bottom of it which could scratch the surface of the cooktop. Although you probably don’t want to do this every time that you cook, you can lay down a newspaper or a sheet of paper towel to protect the surface without creating a fire hazard.
There is no way that you could do this with a gas or an electric stove.
10. Most induction cooktops offer touchpad controls.
Although control knobs are useful way to manage temperatures when cooking, and an induction cooker will usually provide touchpad controls to give you more precision over your processes. This design can cause fingerprints to be left behind if your hands get messy while cooking and some can be slower to operate, but their smooth appearance and ease of cleaning can be advantageous in some situations. There are plenty of design options with this advantage to consider, so be sure to review each appliance before purchase to ensure that it can meet your needs.
List of the Cons of Induction Cookers
1. You need the correct cookware to take advantage of this technology.
Unless you have used an induction cooker in the past, there is an excellent chance that you will need to upgrade your pots and pans to take advantage of this technology. When you start shopping for the new cookware, you must look for items that are marked as being compatible for induction. You can also check what you have at home by using a magnet to see if it will stick with strength to the bottom of your pots or pans. If it does, then you can use it on an induction burner. If not, then you will need to replace it.
2. Induction cookers can create a lot of noise.
Most people who own an induction cooker can notice a humming or buzzing sound coming from their appliance while they are cooking. If you turn the temperatures higher on the cooktop, then this sound can become significantly louder. You can also detect a lot of clicking sounds as the electronics at the lower settings begin their operational processes. Even the noise from the cooling fan joins this cacophony of noise pollution to create a sound problem in small kitchens.
The best way to reduce the impact of this potential disadvantage with induction cookers is to use pots or pans that are heavy, with a flat bottom, because this design will reduce the number of vibrations that occur during the food preparation process.
3. It can be challenging to cook animal proteins on an induction surface.
Because an induction cooker creates a magnetic field to produce the heating effect for your pots and pans, this appliance can interfere with how many stove top thermometers operate. You will need to perform manual checks for any animal proteins you cook on the surface because the reading on the thermometer is unreliable. The fastest way to get around this disadvantage is to use an analog product as it will not be impacted in the same way as modern digital technologies.
4. You are going to pay more to bring an induction cooker home.
Induction cooktops currently cost more to purchase than the traditional gas or electric stoves and ovens which are available today. Part of the reason for this expense is because of the higher levels of technology that go into the manufacturing process. Prices have been coming down in recent years for this option, but you can still expect to pay at least $1,000 for an entry-level model. If you want something that is state-of-the-art, then it is not unusual to see appliances priced above $2,500.
A Viking induction range can top out above $6,000.
When you are on a budget, the $500 expense for a premium gas or electric cooker can make all of the difference in the world. You won’t need to worry about the additional expense of new pots and pans if you choose one of the other options either.
5. Power can be an issue when using an induction cooker.
Because the induction processes require electricity to function, you cannot use this technology during a power outage. You also need to make sure that the wattage of the cooktop you prefer can work with the wiring structures of your home. If you have more than two burners, then some models only have the ability to distribute power evenly.
Let’s say that you have a model which produces a total wattage of 2,000. If you had all four burners operating simultaneously, then you would receive 500W per surface. Should there only be one burner in operation, then it would receive the full power of that is available.
6. You will need to relearn how to cook since the pot heats up on the cooker.
Kitchen Designer Christopher Peacock told The New York Times that he installed one in his home in Cape Cod, drawn to the technology because of its modern look. “What’s wonderful about it is that the pot heats up very quickly, but what I’ve had problems with is controlling it and understanding which setting will provide the right amount of heat,” he said. “The most basic forms of cooking, a stir-fry or searing, I actually find rather difficult to do. I’ve certainly had many a pot boil over.”
7. Some people cannot be in a home or business with an induction cooktop.
The magnetic forces which are responsible for the transfer of energy with an induction cooktop make it challenging for some people who have a pacemaker. This technology can interfere with the signals from the device much in the same way the older microwaves used to do and required warnings. It is a disadvantage which depends on the type of equipment installed to regulate the hearts.
If you have a pacemaker, then you will need to speak with your doctor about whether or not this technology is an option for your home. Although the likelihood of interference is minimal except under extreme conditions, it is always better to take a safer approach.
8. Induction cooktop surfaces can scratch rather easily.
Most induction cooktops are constructed with a durable ceramic, glass, or composite surface. This design makes it easier for the appliance to suffer from a scratch if you scrape something against it. There is also a significant risk of cracking if you happen to set a heavy pot down with too much force. The surface of the cooktop might have an aesthetic appeal for many homes, but you have to be careful with them to ensure that their operations continue to function as designed.
9. You will need to use the burner that is closest in size to your pan.
Unless you purchase an induction cooktop which comes with automatic sensing technology, you will need to choose the correct burner for each pan every time you start cooking. Your owner’s manual will let you know the precise placement best practices that work with your equipment to ensure a quality result. If you use a pan that is too small for its burner or don’t center it very well, then there will not be as much power conducted. This disadvantage means that you can experience hots pots on the bottom and cold spots on the top during cooking.
Conclusion of the Pros and Cons of Induction Cookers
Induction cookers make it faster and safer to cook meals at home. You will receive an experience that is similar to the traditional stove top appliance, but without the issues that occur when messes happen, or the wrong burner gets turned on or forgotten about while you’re working.
If you can afford the initial investment which is necessary to bring this appliance home with you, then the advantages will eventually help this cooker to pay for itself.
These induction cookers pros and cons can help you to decide if your kitchen would benefit from this technology. If you make meals at home most of the time, then there is real value to consider with this investment. There may be some disadvantages to consider, but those issues are rarely deal breakers for most households.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.