It is very important for any housewife to make the daily process of cooking the most comfortable and fast. Thanks to modern technology, induction hobs for cooking have appeared on the market. In recent years, they have gained great popularity due to their specific properties that distinguish them from other varieties of such household appliances.
What is an induction cooker
This is a device that heats dishes from a special alloy due to the functioning of induced eddy currents generated by a high-frequency electromagnetic field with a frequency of 20-100 kHz.
Principle of operation
Externally, this type of hob has much in common with stoves with a smooth glass-ceramic surface. But at the same time, an electromagnetic coil is located inside instead of a heating tape element. It passes a current, thereby forming a field, under the influence of which its own currents induced in the vessel appear. To perform the heating function, they must be high-frequency (quickly change direction). The current is guided by force lines penetrating the bottom of the dishes. Heating is due to this current. This is considered the main distinguishing characteristic of such a stove, because thanks to the features of its functioning, the hob does not heat up during cooking.
REFERENCE! Heating takes place quite quickly and this is a huge plus, as it provides minimal energy consumption.
The design of such a device is quite simple:
- electromagnetic coil;
- control board on the microcontroller;
- glass ceramic panel;
Pros of induction cooker
Due to the features of the functioning of this kind of stove, its efficiency during heating is 90%, which is significantly higher compared to gas (60%) glass-ceramic (less than 50%) and electric (30%) analogues. In addition, advanced models have many different operating modes and a wide range of power. In most cases, 16 modes is quite enough. This allows you to quickly, without difficulty, select the most suitable conditions for the preparation of a dish. The temperature on a device of this type can be set accurate to a degree, and its change occurs instantly.
The energy consumption when using induction cookers is almost 1.5 times less when comparing such models, for example, with electric stoves. Moreover, they are characterized by a higher heating rate. Due to the lack of a heating stage, heat is transferred directly to the bottom of the heated dishes. For example, boil a pot of water on an induction stove will turn out 3 times faster than on an ordinary gas.
The contents of the dishes begin to heat up immediately when the induction hob is turned on. In this process, there are no time costs for heating the heating element and the dishes themselves, which is very convenient.
Caring for a device of this type is very simple - it takes a minimum of time. After removing the dishes from the burner, you can wipe it with a damp cloth almost immediately. Due to the smoothness of the hob, dirt does not accumulate on it. When food enters the burner, smoke and burnt food debris do not form, since it does not heat up. You can clean such a stove using a special spray and a soft sponge.
Auto on and off
The inclusion of an induction hob occurs only when dishes with magnetic properties are placed on it. As soon as such dishes are removed from the burner, the stove will automatically shut off.
Cons Induction Panel
The most popular hob today has its drawbacks.
While the cost of appliances of this kind is significantly higher than the cost of conventional cooking surfaces. But the situation is gradually starting to change for the better. Manufacturers of modern household appliances in recent years are increasingly beginning to offer buyers more affordable options for induction cookers.
Harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation
In this case, there is no particular danger to people. The eddy currents generated during the operation of the induction hob are locally limited by the housing of this appliance. However, care must be taken to ensure that body parts are not in continuous contact with such a stove during cooking. The optimal safe distance is 0.5 meters, acceptable - 30 cm.
Increased tableware requirements
Since this type of stove uses the magnetic interaction method, they need special handling and a certain type of cookware. For cooking on the induction cooker, only cookware with ferromagnetic properties can be used.
REFERENCE! To check whether the cookware possesses the necessary properties for subsequent use on an induction hob, a so-called magnetic test can be carried out. To do this, you need to take a magnet and check whether its surface will attract the selected dishes. If the magnet adheres well to it, such dishes are ideal for these purposes.
When cooking on an induction cooker, aluminum or copper utensils are not allowed. Glass, porcelain and ceramic products are also not suitable for this purpose. You can use enameled utensils, cast iron pans and stainless steel items:
- The bottom of the cookware should have a diameter of at least 12 cm. This will provide the required contact area with the burner, because if the pot or pan occupies less than 70% of the surface of the burner, the induction cooker will not carry out heating. The thickness of the bottom of the product should be from 2 to 6 mm.
- When choosing cookware for an induction cooker, it is recommended to pay attention to the marking. Manufacturers in most cases try to inform customers about the ferromagnetic properties of the dishes using special characters.
If the cookware used has a bottom that is not flat, but with an elevation in the center area, noticeable noise may appear on such a device during cooking.
Induction Panel Selection Criteria
The selection of a household appliance of this type is a rather complicated process. The quality of food subsequently prepared on it will directly depend on how rationally it was made. To make the right choice, it is recommended to focus on the following characteristics.
- Type of management. It can be a slider, a sensor, as well as a magnetic switch. The most favorable price-quality ratio is provided by the touch panel. In this case, there will be no knobs, buttons or switches on the hob. The slider is also quite easy to use, but its cost is slightly higher. Recently, magnetic switches are becoming less common.
- The size and number of burners. You must first determine the number and size of the zones necessary for cooking. For example, for a country house a two-burner induction cooker will be quite enough, and for an apartment it is better to purchase a model with four rings. The larger the family, the greater the number of burners should have an induction cooker. The size of the heating zones is also of great importance.
- Energy class. To ensure minimum energy consumption during operation, it is recommended to choose models that belong to the energy consumption class "A" or "A +".
- Universality. You can purchase a combination type hob. Half of the burners in such a stove are gas and the rest are induction. For many people, this option often becomes optimal.
- Heating zones. A certain part of induction hobs is equipped with heating zones with expandability. This feature allows you to use dishes of more impressive dimensions in the process of cooking.
- Timer. Its presence provides the ability to set the required cooking time, after which the device will give a certain sound signal. In addition, using the timer, you can easily program not only the time the hob ceases to work and the duration of the sound signal, but also the procedure for turning off the heating zones.
- Intensive heating function. It is also called a “booster” and is sometimes very useful if you need, for example, to boil water very quickly. Using this function allows you to instantly transfer the power of one heating zone to another.
- The function of maintaining heat for a certain period of time. It is very convenient when there is a need to keep cooked food warm for family members returning home at different times.
- Child protection. If the family has small children, to prevent the risk of burns, it is better to give preference to innovative models, with an increased level of security, equipped with the ability to lock buttons.
Induction cookers, presented on the modern market, combine the advantages of gas and electric models. They are economical, safe and hygienic. Despite the fact that the price of such devices is higher than usual, these financial costs will pay off quite quickly, and the induction hob will greatly simplify and make the process of preparing your favorite dishes more comfortable.