Generally we are very choosy about the food we eat, its taste and its presentation. But most of us do not pay much heed to how the food is cooked. Well, going in this in detail and picking the right cooking technology can definitely add more taste to our food, not literally ofcourse but metaphorically. Methods of cooking our food have evolved considerably with time and availability of various options demands making choices about what we should opt for. Here I compare two different cooking equipment/ technologies to help us in making the right choice.
Induction Cooktop: Working Principle
They utilise electromagnetism to generate heat within the pan or cookware over its flat top. It has a coil placed beneath its cooking surface which generate oscillating magnetic field when electricity passes through it. When we place a conductive kitchenware or a pan over its top, the oscillating magnetic field induces an electric current in the pan. This current also known as Eddy Current flow in all directions and its flow in the pan generate heat. The heat thus generated in the pan is used for cooking.
Electric Cooktop: Working Principle
Like induction cooktop, they also have a coil beneath their cooking surface. When we switch on the cooker, current pass through these coils and this passage of current generate heat because of the inherent resistance of the coil. This heat flows toward the top and raise the temperature of the kitchenware or pan placed on its cooking zone. Here the heat generated in the coils is used for cooking.
Both these technologies have different working principles and because of this inherent difference there are some relative advantages and disadvantages. Let’s first take up the advantages that Induction Cooktop over Electric Cooktop.
In an induction cooktop, the heat is generated within the pan or cookware being used for cooking. This proximity between the heat source and the food being cooked offer unparalleled advantages when it comes to energy losses. In an electrical cooktop, heat is generated in the coil beneath the ceramic top cover over which a cookware or pan is placed. This distance between the heat source and food directly increases energy losses.
Further, considerable amount of energy is consumed in raising the temperature of the heating coil making the electric cooktop comparatively inefficient.
Because of better energy concentration within the cooking pan, cooking on an induction cooktop is fairly quick which saves your considerable time which can be utilised for other endeavours.
Better cooking control
There is marked difference between the response times of the two equipments. You can change temperatures of an induction cooktop far more quickly than an electric cooktop as the coil in latter takes its own time to heat or cool. So if you require varying heat inputs during different stages of cooking, opting for induction cooktop will be far more rewarding.
Safer and easy to use
Electric cooktops have to produce a lot more heat than an induction cook top due to their low efficiencies. They retain this extra heat for some time even after the food is cooked and hence take more time to cool down. So for the time when their temperature is high they pose a potential hazards to kids as well as to ignorant adults. There is no such risk with induction cooktops.
Modern induction cooktop are coming with features like memory sense where the cooker can itself switch between different temperatures for a given food item which makes the whole process a lot easier. They are also much easier to clean.
Now let’s have a look on the disadvantages induction cooktop suffers from.
Limited kitchen ware
Only those kitchen wares made of material having iron or having a layer of magnetic material can be used for cooking on an induction cooktop. This restricts the use of kitchen wares made of Copper or Aluminium. However these days kitchenware manufacturers are adding additional layers of metal to the bottom of most of their products to make them induction compatible.
Based on size and configuration of the induction coil, each induction cooktop has a pre-defined cooking zone. It only works when the bottom of cooking ware is within that zone and there is not much difference in their sizes. Hence it is also possible that a small size pan might not work on induction cook top.
Induction cooktops are generally more expensive than electric cooktops because they employ better and more efficient technology.
I hope this article helps you to decide between an induction cooktop and an electric one.