web statistics

How Does Induction Cooking Work?

Induction cooking is definitely becoming popular due its unique design and ability to precisely control cooking temperatures. This type of cooking once was considered just a passing fad, so to speak, but as more people began using induction cooking, the advantages far outweighed any objections.

But, exactly how does a magnetic induction cooktop work? The answer lies in the complexity of the electrical properties of magnetism, alternating current, and resistance. Once a person gets used to cooking with induction, it will most likely become the preferred method for most cooking tasks. There are many advantages with induction cooking that make it the choice of the most demanding cooks. For example, using tried and true forms of cooking such as with gas where instant heat is available, one problem is the inherent inability to accurately control the cooking temperature. This is due mainly to the open flames, which aren’t always easy to control, nor is the height of the flame. Depending on the condition of the appliance (dirt in the pores of the burner, for example) the flames usually are hard to control and to keep even. This of course, results in uneven heat which causes problems when precise cooking temperatures are required.

For those who always cook with electricity find a more challenging set of rules that must be followed or the food will burn, or may not be completely cooked. This is a common problem with this type of cooking that a cook must learn to deal rather quickly! Additionally, the slowness of electric cooking is just one more disadvantage in this type of cooking. However, with enough practice and patience, great results can be obtained. Still, once a cook uses induction cooking until he or she is comfortable with it, there simply is no going back except in a few instances where gas is preferred.

If you’re still wondering what induction cooking is, try the article – What is induction cooking? But now we can move on to how it works, and specifically how a cooktop that uses magnetic induction works.

How does an induction cooktop work?

To understand the principles of induction, a bit of technical reading follows. The terms and concepts were taught early in high school and in induction cooking, basic electric principles apply.

The easiest explanation for induction can be made by considering first that it’s the job of the induction “element” to produce a magnetic field. This is similar to the magnetic field present around a magnet. Remember that a magnet has a north pole and a south pole. One rule of magnetism is that opposite poles attract, and like poles repel, or push away. The body of the magnet has an invisible field surrounding it called magnetic lines of force. It is these lines of force that make up the magnetic field. Depending on the direction of the lines of force determine the north and south poles.

Heating food with induction is simply a matter of inducing an iron pan into the existing magnetic field. This action creates a circulation of current induced into the bottom of the pan. Note that because iron doesn’t conduct electricity easily, the current induced into the bottom of the pan is resisted by the iron bottom, creating the heat necessary for cooking. The intensity of the magnetic field determines how high the heat becomes.

An interesting phenomenon with induction cooking is that the surface the pan is placed on doesn’t get very hot. This is because almost all of the heat is produced in the pan itself. With the intensity of the magnetic field, water can boil in only a few minutes compared to several with conventional cooking methods. A final point about induction cooking is that conventional aluminum cookware will not work with induction. This is because aluminum is non-magnetic. A term to remember when shopping for cooking pans is “ferromagnetic”. In other words, they are magnetic.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: