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Appliance World

What is Induction?

A cooktop with the fastest heating method and an even faster clean up; induction is for those of us who want our kitchen to always look brand new or are serious about cooking and especially those who want both. Personally induction is my favorite heating method as it provides efficiency, smooth control and is extremely easy to clean. When first seeing an induction cooktop it is easy to dismiss it as just another electric cooktop, but you’d be wrong. While they may share a similar sleek glass top look, the function and maintenance differ in many ways. At Appliance World one of our sales associates or chefs will gladly give you a live demo on how induction works as we have several brands of induction cooktops on display in our live kitchens.

 

Due to the heating method, it is much simpler to clean an induction cooktop and controlling the temperature is as responsive as a gas cooktop while being far more efficient than either. A traditional electric cooktop operates by heating up the coil, it will then start to glow orange or red. As more electricity runs through this coil, it in turn heats up the glass; from there the heat is applied to the pot or pan and eventually your food. It is hard to adjust the level of heat precisely since the heat is transferred several times through this process. This also makes an electric cooktop inadequate when it comes to wanting your pot or pan to go from a high heat to a low or medium heat since there is no real cooling system and you can only just adjust the amount of power the coil is receiving. Even with several layers your electric cooktop will get about 75% of its energy used to your pot or pan. Anyone who has ever owned an electric cooktop knows how easily it can get dirty and can be almost impossible to completely remove stains, even when using specialized cleaners and a razor

blade.

 

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When using a gas stove you have superior control since you can adjust the amount 

of gas being released with the valve and it has an immediate response to the amount of heat being applied to your cookware. While a gas cooktop may have excellent control, efficiency is where it is lacking. Many brands boast about how powerful the burners are and how much heat they can disperse, while these numbers might sound impressive only about 40% of the heat is actually transferred to the pot or pan. When it comes to cleaning a gas cooktop you must take care of the grates or they will easily show the wear and use over time. Depending on your surface under the burners, either porcelain enamel or stainless steel, it will also require daily or frequent cleaning to maintain a brand new look.

 

 

An induction cooktop has magnets instead of burners under its glass surface. An alternating current is passed from the magnet to the cookware, when a pot or pan that contains a ferrous metal (which is anything containing iron and most stainless steels) this electric energy heats the metal pan, meaning your pan is the heat source. It is simple to test your cookware by applying a standard kitchen magnet to the bottom of the pot or pan, if it sticks it will work on an induction cooktop. This means when cooking 90% or more of the energy generated is heating your food, instead of relying on the direct heating method which needs a heat source to heat the cookware first. Since you can control the amount of energy the magnet is using when lowering the heat the reaction is instant and the overall energy uses is less than a traditional electric cooktop. Even heating a pan is much faster when using induction and can save you time when boiling a pot of water.

 

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As a safety measure, if you put too much water into your pot and it spills over onto the surface the induction cooktop will sense this and turn off. Some of us with gas ranges have almost all had a friend or family member lean back onto the cooktop’s controls, or even young children who love to turn things on, and within seconds you can hear the clicking as this might cause the burner to ignite. Unfortunately even some house fires have started this way when something flammable is left on the gas cooktop such as a pizza box. With induction, even if you turn on the cooktop no heat will be generated until a pan is placed on its surface. If you accidentally leave an empty pan on the surface and power it on, once it gets too hot it will turn itself off to prevent overheating.

 

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Another reason to consider induction over other forms of cooking is availability. On Long Island, and many other areas through the nation, gas is not readily available and the cost to bring it into your home can be excessive. For more information about induction cooktops please visit one of Appliance World’s showrooms and speak to a trained sales associate or one of our chefs. They can provide a thorough explanation of how induction works and the benefits to you while showing you how simple it is to use.

 

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