Here at New Day Practical Energy, we’re always looking for new ways to answer your energy needs and questions. You may be interested in finding out which cooktops are more energy efficient, so that you can cut down your energy consumption and make your home more practical.
On average, induction cooking tops are considered 5-10% more energy efficient than traditional electric cooktops, and up to 3 times more efficient than gas cookers. So, let’s take a look at induction cooking, and tell you everything you need to know!
Induction cooking works by heating up a cooking vessel via electrical induction instead of thermal conduction such as gas cookers that use open flames to provide heat.
Induction cooking in the most simplest terms works by creating a magnetic field between the magnetic coils beneath the cooking surface on an induction cooker, and the pot used on the top of the cooker.
These types of cooktops look pretty much the same as any other glass top cooker, however these cooktops use electromagnetic waves in order to heat up the cookware, making them the heat source rather than the actual flame you would find on a gas cooker.
However, you need to use induction cookware to see the real benefits.
What Is Induction Cookware?
It’s important to note that not all cookware can be used on an induction cooker or stovetop. You have to ensure that your cookware is compatible. This type of cookware is referred to as induction cookware.
Induction cookware needs to be magnetic as it has to interact with the magnetic field beneath the glass top of the induction cooker.
In order for the cookware to work, you need to have induction-compatible cookware made with a magnetic metal. To be magnetic, the metal must be ferrous which means it contains iron as part of its composition. Some examples include some stainless steels and cast iron cookware.
This will ensure that you get the most efficient heat transfer possible when using an induction cooker.
However, you can test if your cookware is going to work with an induction cooker by using a magnet to touch the bottom of the pot to see if it sticks. If it does, then it’s magnetic and will work with the cooker.
In addition, induction cookware can be found if you look for the ‘induction’ symbol. This looks much like a coil spring. If your cookware has this, then it’s suitable for an induction cooktop.
What Is The Difference Between Regular Cookware And Induction Cookware?
The main difference is that traditional stovetops and cookers will heat pots on top through direct contact.
This will be from open flames on gas cookers or electrical elements in order to generate heat to warm the food.
This contact transfers the heat from the gas or electric burner to the bottom of the pot in order to complete the process of thermal conduction.
In contrast, induction cooktops do not generate heat. You could actually put your hand on the top of it and you would not feel anything.
This makes them much safer and easier to use, particularly if you have children around. What it does do is generate a magnetic field that heats the pots almost instantly.
This allows pots to warm much more quickly, reducing cooking times by almost 50% in some cases.
This is why induction cookers are far more energy efficient and popular, as you do not have to use them for as long, and there is more control when it comes to temperature.
However, as this cooker only works magnetically, you have to have magnetic cookware in order for it to work properly and efficiently.
This means that induction cookware has to have an iron or steel (magnetic) base or it will not stick and connect to the induction cooker.
Therefore, the main difference is that you cannot use regular pots and pans on induction cookers, as they may not have a magnetic base, which means the magnetic field or coil underneath the induction cooker surface will not produce the energy you need to heat the pan and subsequently your food.
Can You Use Induction Cookware On A Regular Stove?
So, we know that you can’t use regular cookware on an induction stove, but what about the other way around? Can you use induction cookware on a normal cooker? The answer is actually yes, you can use induction cookware on an electric or gas stove, as they are compatible, and will work as normal with these types of burners and cookers.
Whilst induction cookware often works fine on regular stoves, and are highly compatible, induction cookers are not so compatible, and regular cookware may not necessarily work with them.
The only reason that you cannot use non-induction cookware on an induction cooker is because the magnetic coils will not penetrate the pan and generate the energy you need to cook.
With this in mind, almost all induction compatible cookware can also be used on regular cooktops such as gas and electric cookers.
To sum up, induction cooking is far more energy efficient than traditional styles of cooking such as gas cooktops or electric stovetops.
With an induction cooker, you can reduce cooking times, and create a safer, more efficient cooking experience. That being said, for induction cookers, you have to have induction-compatible cookware. You can find this cookware online here or ensure that any cookware you purchase has the induction ready symbol, which looks like a coil spring.