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An induction cooktop comes with a unique technology wherein the cooktop does not heat up, but the pan that is placed on it touching the cooktop gets heated. This means we can even place ice cubes on the cooktop, but they wouldn’t heat up. It is an energy saver and very safe to use.
Induction cooking induces heat in a cooking pan or vessel through electrical induction rather than thermal conduction conducted by an electrical element for heating or open flame. The cooking pans or vessels are separately designed for modern induction cooktops. These should consist of or made from a ferromagnetic metal like stainless steel or cast iron. The heat energy is utilized within the cooking pan, making the cooking efficient. One cannot have aluminum or copper cooking pan provided they have magnetic layers added on the lower side of the pan.
How does induction cooking work?
Induction cooking is a lot similar to a ceramic cooktop. This is generally equipped with different zones for pans and pots placement. The surface for cooking is from heat resistant, strong glass-ceramic material.
Within each induction zone of cooking, a metal coil is wound tightly. When you switch on the current supply, an AC streams into the coil and generates a high frequency, invisible and alternating magnetic field encircling it. The best thing is no heat is generated unless a cooking pan or pot is placed on this zone of cooking. Until then, the zone of cooking is cold.
A high frequency is generated as an induction cooktop enhances the current home supply of around 50-60 Hertz to around 500-1000 times, i.e., 20-40 kHz. This avoids the shifting of the magnetic forces from the pan to the area encircling the cooktop.
Steps of induction of heat in an induction cooktop
- The magnetic field generated by the coil is penetrated iron within the cooking pan that is placed on the cooking zone.
- Eddy or swirling electric currents are induced by the magnetic field within the pan that turns like a heater.
- The pan that is induced with heat streams within the food directly or into the water within the food through conduction.
Physics of an induction cooktop:
A copper coil that is within the induction hob and under the ceramic hotplate generates a magnetic field when an AC is passed in it. When a ferrous pot is placed on top, a magnetic flux is generated due to the resultant oscillating magnetic field. This generates an eddy current within the ferrous cooking pot that is the secondary transformer winding. This eddy current stream into the pot resistance is heating it.
Some of the major benefits linked to induction cooking are:
So an induction cooktop will give more energy transfer as compared to a gas cooktop. It is safe as there’s no open flame in this and until the cooktop is placed on it, the cooking zone is cold. The induction pans have a long life as no hot spots or scorched food since the current is streaming all through the cooking pan.