Induction Hobs: Discover their advantages and get an ideal partner in your cooking.
How do they work; What is the main difference between them and the classic ceramic hobs?
Induction hobs heat the cookware with electric induction, instead of the thermal conductivity used in conventional electric hobs or for cooking on fire. The induction hobs do not heat up themselves when you turn them on, but a magnetic field is created which heats the base of the cookware when in contact. In the induction hobs, there is a coil of copper wire under the cookware, through which alternating electric current passes. The resulting oscillating magnetic field induces a magnetic flux, the ferrous vessel acting as the secondary winding of a transformer. The vortex of the current that leaks the resistance of the cookware eventually heats it.
Do you need special utensils for use in induction hobs?
For almost all models of induction hobs, the cookware must be made of or contain significant amounts of a ferromagnetic metal, such as cast iron or stainless steel. Utensils and containers made of copper, glass and aluminum can be placed in an interconnecting tray made of ferromagnetic material, which acts as a conventional hob.
To find out if your cookware is suitable, you can check it with a magnet. If the magnet is attracted to the bottom of the pan, then it is compatible with the induction hob.
What are the advantages of an induction hob?
In an induction hob you can boil the water by placing the utensil on a piece of paper. The paper remains intact, as heat is produced only at the bottom of the pan and not in the hearth, which in theory remains cold but is practically heated only by the temperature of the pan itself (pot, pan, etc.).
Now imagine that we cut an induction pan in half and placed it on an induction hob. So half the utensil would cover the induction hob while leaving the other half uncovered. So if we placed an egg in the middle, that is, half of the egg is on the pan and the other half directly on the stove, what do you think would happen if we lit it? Exactly what you imagine. Only the part of the egg that is on the pan will be cooked. This, as we said, is done because in induction hobs, the utensil itself heats up directly without heating the hob itself.
Induction cooking provides faster heating, improved thermal efficiency and more controlled heating than thermal conductivity cooking (classic enamel or ceramic hobs). It also provides precise heat control, similar to that of a gas stove. An induction element has a heating efficiency comparable to a gas burner, but is much more energy efficient. The cooking surface is heated only under the utensil, by the utensil itself and thus does not reach dangerously high temperatures. The control system shuts off the element if there is no utensil above the cooking position or if the pot is not large enough or unsuitable. All of the above result in the induction hobs being easy to clean because they do not heat up enough to burn food debris on it.
The unit can detect if there are cookware on the hob by monitoring the power provided. This way it can hold a pot as it simmers, or automatically turn off an eye when the cookware is withdrawn.
Also the induction hob detects unsuitable utensils and does not work. If someone e.g. place a plastic utensil on the hob and putting it in operation or hob will not even work and the utensil will not melt on it.
The induction hob can adjust its operation depending on the size of the cookware, ie it simply does not need the cookware to be the same size as the cooker. Today there are induction hobs with a completely flexible surface on which you can place utensils of any shape or size and in any position and this will automatically recognize it and heat it in the most ideal way possible.
Summarizing the main advantages of induction hobs are:
- Faster cooking
- Higher efficiency and therefore lower consumption
- Greater safety, since the utensil is heated mainly, and the base less.
- Great ease of cleaning, as the low temperature of the base is not enough to burn food debris on the device.
Is there a danger to human health from the magnetic field of the hobs?
The range of the magnetic field reaches up to a few centimetres from its surface, which does not pose a risk to human health, while the level of exposure is very low. The only case where one may have to worry is in a case that someone in the family has a pacemaker. Then, medical advice should be sought.