Today, most smart kitchens use an induction cooktop. Besides saving time, these induction hobs have safety benefits. However, they can be a bit tricky to operate. Thankfully, this article is in your best interest. Keep on reading, and I will share with you how to use an induction cooktop.
Induction cooktops have slowly but surely replaced the conventional cooktops in most kitchens. But before we begin, let me break down all you need to know about induction cooktops into simpler words.
I’m sure you know that friction creates heat. It’s one of the basic concepts in Science class. Induction cooktops follow this concept, but instead of rubbing your hands together to create friction, the cooktop uses electrons inside the cookware. Typically, gas or electric cooktops will require you to turn on a heating source, but an induction cooktop will easily make a heat source on its own.
So, what is an Induction Cooktop?
An induction cooktop or induction hob is a cooking material that uses induction heating. There’s a coil of copper wire below the cooking pot, and electricity passes through it. In most cases, the induction hob will need a special kind of cooking pot. The container should contain traces of iron for it to cook.
The name induction is a simple way of saying electromagnetic induction. When the induction hob is powered, electricity in the form of electromagnetic current flows within the copper coil. Then when cookware that’s compatible with the induction hob is placed on top of the coil, the current helps to pull the electrons of the pan into the formation.
However, the electrons generally try to resist the pull into the formation. And this constant pull and push of the electrons lead to friction inside the cookware. The resistance leads to heat, which heats the food. With that in mind, the cookware must be magnetic and a ferromagnetic for this process to work.
How to use an Induction Cooktop
You don’t have to know all the science behind the cooktop to use the cooktop effectively. Thankfully, the models of induction cooktops we have today come with buttons that you can operate. But some people find it difficult using the induction hob even with the digital buttons. With a little bit of know-how, you can use this device without any worry.
To understand how to use an induction cooktop, you will need to install the device properly. Typically, the induction hob comes in a portable or fixed shape. But if it’s not set, you will have to connect it together and install it correctly.
In the case of a fixed induction cooktop, the company will send trained personnel to help with the installation. You can also tell them to adjust the device according to the height you desire. But if the company doesn’t get someone over to help you in the installation process, then it’s best to talk to a certified technician. Also, make sure you read the manual that comes with the device. The manual will tell you the required voltage and current needed and any other specifications. Additionally, the manual will also show you how to use an induction cooktop
You need to check the ceramic glass surface. The surface shouldn’t have any cracks or defects. In case you see any defects in the workmanship, then you should immediately inform the company. Generally, most of the induction cooktops come with a warranty in case of any defects on the cover.
Cookware for an Induction cooktop
Before you start cooking with your induction cooktop, you will need to have compatible cookware. So, if you are planning to purchase an induction cooktop, you should be ready to check your kitchen cookware. Check for cookware that’s friendly with your induction hob. Typically, the cooking vessel will be smooth, flat, and magnetic.
Generally, induction friendly means that the cookware features a ferromagnetic material that’s perfect for induction. Magnetic grade of cast iron, stainless steel, and also enameled cast iron will work perfectly with your induction cooktop.
Materials that are not compatible with your induction cooktop include copper, glass, or aluminum. However, some might have a magnetic base that will make them compatible with your device.
One of the best ways to check your cookware is by placing it on an ordinary fridge magnet. If the fridge magnet sticks, then that cooking vessel will work well with your induction cooktop. Some people recommend the use of interface disks for non-induction vessels. This is a magnetic plate that goes on the cooking vessel.
The downside of using such a device is that it will cook slowly compared to the average speed of your induction cooktop. That’s because there’s more heat loss in the process. More importantly, the disk will also heat up in the effort of trying to transfer the heat to your cookware, and it can damage the underneath cooktop. So, I wouldn’t recommend the use of an interface disk since it will risk the integrity of your induction hob.
Finding the best cookware
When purchasing cookware for your induction cooktop, choose one that has a smooth base to ensure maximum contact with your cooktop surface. Always avoid cookware that has dents or big dings. Unless you have a sunken work zone, the best choice for you is flat-based cookware for even cooking.
Yes, there are sunken induction cooktops available in the market. But such surfaces have unique cookware designed for them. Otherwise, flat-base is the only option for you. Also, do not use low-quality or thin cooking vessels since it will produce a lot of noise when you cook.
In some devices, tiny pots or pans will not be detected. Therefore, refer to the manufacturer’s manual and instructions guidelines. Typically, the minimum base size can be between 4 to 5-inches. Also, the maximum size can be between 12 to 14-inches, which also depends on the company’s model. There’s a new technique known as ‘element bridging,’ which is basically joining two or more burners. It’s an effective technique since it gives you a larger diameter to cook on.
Additionally, if you have a huge family, there are zoneless units. These devices take the shape and size of the cooking vessel placed on top of it. Another important fact is that you should not use spoons made of iron or stainless steel. Instead, go with wooden spoons when cooking.
Using the Induction cooktop while cooking
When you’ve ensured that the induction cooktop is installed correctly and you have the best cookware, you now need to know how to cook.
- Place the induction hob on a flat and stable surface that’s not magnetic. More importantly, you should leave a 5-inch space around the induction hob to help in the proper circulation of air.
- Next, wipe the bottom of the cookware. Then place the food to be cooked inside the cooking vessel then place the cookware onto the heating zone according to the manual instructions. Additionally, to prevent spillage, put a lid on top of the cooking vessel. Typically, the induction cooktop can have two or more heating zones depending on the design.
- Cooking zones are well defined and come with guidance on the size of the cookware to use. Go for the induction cooktop with an extra-large cooking zone to give you more cooking freedom. That’s because the extra-large cooking zones will match a variety of cookware sizes.
- Make sure you align the cooking vessel perfectly with the heating zone. You can use the ring drawn on top of the surface of the induction hob. Additionally, to avoid scratches on the glass surface, lift and drop the cookware. Don’t drag it on top of the surface.
- Plug the power cord into the electric socket. You should keep all objects that could potentially affect the magnetic flow away from the cooktop. Such objects include credit cards, radio, TV, and digital thermometer. Also, if you have a pacemaker or any sensitive device that could affect the magnetic field, then you should talk to your physician before purchasing an induction cooktop.
Currently, most induction cooktops come with preset menu settings. These will help in your operation. That’s because they have specific heat temperature and time that’s designed to cook the dish. There’s also a child lock that could help protect your kids from operating this device. All buttons will be locked. Looking For buy Best Induction Cooktop In India 2020
Last but not least, apart from learning how to use an induction cooktop, you also need to learn how to clean the induction coil. Most people use a toothbrush to rub the surface of the induction hob. Since the surface is made of glass, you can use a smooth cloth to clean. Don’t ever immerse the device in water since it has an electric gadget inside it.