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What are the Benefits of Induction Cooking?

I Purchased an Induction Burner!

A cook holding a soup pot in hand for transfer to a bowl.
Simple Cooking (media by Wix)

A few months ago, I felt compelled to buy a portable induction burner. After using it for a few months, I think I can speak intelligently on why this was a solid purchase.

To realize the benefits of induction cooking, you must first understand how it works. Induction is a specific method for generating heat. Traditional gas stoves generate heat by burning natural gas and heating the pot or pan in an open flame. A typical electric stove uses a burner couple with radiant heat to cook the food. Now enter induction cooking which uses electromagnetism to cook the food in the pot or pan.

Expect an electromagnetic reaction between the burner and the pan, which originates in the coil of copper under the ceramic glass surface of the burner. The electrical current flows through this copper coil when the power is turned on, producing a magnetic field. This field causes the molecules in the cookware to generate heat. The heat generated is then transferred to the food or water inside. If there is no pot on the burner, you can expect that no heat will be generated.

So what are the benefits?

  • If there is anything I can attest to, induction cooking is fast! Given my experience with electric stoves, which require you to adjust and wait for the burner to heat up, the induction is an “instant-on” process. Time estimates exist, but I believe it is fair to say you will cut half the time off your cooking time.

  • Induction cooking, unlike gas stoves, dramatically reduces air pollution. Gas stoves emit nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde (HCHO), which can all have detrimental impacts on your health.

  • Induction cooking uses less energy than traditional stovetop cooking: Since induction cooking is faster, it uses less energy than a conventional stovetop. It also generates less residual heat, meaning that any heat produced will be in your pot/pan and not from the stovetop itself.

  • Induction is safer- There isn’t an open flame or exposed heating element. You won’t have the kids accidentally hitting the knobs on the stove and having gas natural gas bleeding throughout the house. More importantly, if a pot or pan is not present, the unit will not conduct heat.

  • Cleaning my burner was never so easy. Given it is cool to the touch in shorter order compared to the electric stove, you can wipe down the portable burner and quickly store it.

  • Portability is one of the top features of this induction burner. I can store it just about anywhere when it is not being used. I can also transport it anywhere, provided I have compatible cookware.

With the benefits, I must also call out the negatives. In most cases, you will have to buy induction-compatible cookware. I found that if an incompatible pot or pan was used with my burner, a warning sound was emitted from the unit, and the burner would not activate.

Also of note, you will pay a premium for induction stoves over a typical gas or electric stove. As is the case with electric stoves, you will also be without your induction stove if the power goes out. This is one of a gas stove's limited advantages over both electric and induction stoves. I think it is fair to say, the advantages far outweigh the limited amount of disadvantages. In either case, I will continue to fully utilize my induction burner.

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