Before purchasing any domestic appliance we prefer to know its advantages and disadvantages in order to make our final decision. This article describes pros and cons of induction cooktop which will help you form your own opinion about this type of stoves.
Related: electric vs induction stove
How does an induction stove work?
It looks like an ordinary stove with a glass ceramic cooktop, but there is a secret, hidden inside. Instead of a heating element, it has an induction coil. When current flows through the coil it creates a magnetic field around and above the coil. In order to produce heat, there should be fluctuating magnetism created by an alternating current.
location of the induction coil
Therefore, the induction cooktop generates a fluctuating or constantly changing magnetic field. It does not produce heat directly, so if you put your palm on such cooktop it will not be hot. However, when the current goes through the bottom of a pan it heats it up. This type of the electric current is different for the one which flows and carries electrical energy through wires in a straight line. The current in the induction stoves is swirling and has no exit for its energy, that is why it is called eddy current
Pros of induction cooktop
Due to the above-described innovative qualities, the induction stoves have certain advantages.
First of all, as it was mentioned previously, they do not get hot unless there is a pan or any other suitable cooking vessel on the glass top. This quality is especially appreciated by the parents of small children, who will not burn their fingers or hands because of touching the surface.
Another advantage is that the induction stovetop heats up very quickly, much faster than the stoves with traditional thermal cooking.
Induction stoves are widely used in the Thai restaurants since most of the Thai dishes require instant and short heating.
Since the magnetic field supplies energy directly to the cooking vessel, it also provides uniform heating of your pan’s bottom. Therefore, there is no need to adjust the size of your cooking vessel with the stovetop. The food will be cooked in the most efficient way and no heat will be wasted.
The latter means that one more benefit of having an induction stove is a slightly reduced consumption of electrical energy.
All housewives will definitely appreciate this benefit of the glass tops of induction cookers. Liquids such as broth or milk will not be burnt on the cool surface and it will be extremely easy to clean it afterwards.
Dangers of induction cooker
However, having an induction cooker is a double-edged sword because the stove generates a powerful electromagnetic field which, as we know, is not good for our health.
Research shows, that any person standing close to an induction stove is exposed to an excessive EMF. In fact it significantly exceeds the maximum exposure levels.
In order to stay safe while cooking with an induction stove, one should not stand close to it keeping a distance of at least 1 feet or 30cm. However, not all users will find such a requirement convenient.
Though the question about induction stoves safety is still controversial some people refuse to buy them due to the potential hazards.
Other induction cooking disadvantages
Special cooking vessels
One of the main disadvantages of induction cooktops is that not all vessels are suitable for them. In order to make induction work, you can use only those cooking vessels which are made of magnetic materials, such as cast iron or stainless steel. Therefore, if you are used to cooking with glass, copper or aluminium pans you will have to replace them with a new cookware. Moreover, not even all stainless-steal vessels are suitable for induction units.
In other words, if you decide to buy an induction stove you will most likely need to make a significant investment into a new cookware and to spend some time looking for suitable options.
Induction cookers are quite expensive. Though the price depends on particular stoves and there are smaller and more affordable models, they are still quite expensive compared to other types of cookers.
However, since buying a stove is a long-term investment high price is justified by its advantages and a long lifetime.
It may surprise you, but induction cookers are rather noisy. Firstly, because of the fans often installed in such stoves. Another reason of noisy work maybe the cookware, the stainless-steel one in particular. This is one more reason to chose the pans for induction stoves very thoroughly.
Though there can be other minor pros and cons of induction stoves, the above-mentioned characteristics are enough for taking a well-balanced decision. One thing is certain: induction cooking is the most innovative technology which is becoming more and more popular nowadays.