Induction cooking is a method of cooking that uses an alternating
magnetic field to heat the cookware. This method allows for an
direct heating of the pan, while the stove top is not heated.
A stove for induction cooking consists of an electric power supply
that generates a high-frequency alternating magnetic field through a
coil, located directly under the stove top. The stove top itself is
non-magnetic (usually ceramic). When an iron or stainless steel
pan is placed in the magnetic field, electromagnetic induction
generates electric currents (so called eddy currents) in the
cookware. Due to the electric resistance of the pan, these currents
result in the generation of heat.
Induction cooking has several advantages over traditional methods
of cooking (gas, electric, halogen):
- Speed: Conductive heat transfer to the food is very direct,
because the cookware is heated uniformly, and from within. Induction
cooking is even faster than gas cooking.
- Safety: There are no open flames, no heating elements. This
reduces the chances of fire, and the cold stove top is also more
- Cleanliness: There are no burnt-in food residues, no messy
grates. Just a smooth stove top surface.
- Efficiency: Since heat transfer is directly to the pan, this
system is far more efficient than gas or electric cooking. Energy
efficiency for induction cooking is around 90%; for electric and gas
cooking this is around 65%, and 55% respectively
- Work Environment: Since less heat is lost to the surroundings,
the workspace remains relatively cooler.
Most types of steel and cast-iron cookware can be used on an
induction stove. Aluminum (yes, aluminium), and certain types of
stainless-steel pans won't work. If you're shopping for pans suitable
for induction cooking, bring along a magnet; if the pan is magnetic,
it will work!