Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Induction stove

So, I'm back in my house. Details on the work will come soon, but today I want to talk about my new induction cooktop.

First, let me explain what an induction cooktop is. You're probably familiar with how electricity run through a coil of wire can create a magnetic field. That's how electromagnets work. The opposite is also true. A fluctuating magnetic field applied to wire can create an electric current in the wire. That's how generators work. If you put two coils of wire near each other and run a current through one then you'll get a current in the other. The difference in the two currents varies depending on the number of loops in each coil and the thickness of the wires. That's how transformers work. But, if you apply a magnetic field to something with a lot of electrical resistance then the electricity gets turned to heat. Ferric pans, pans with iron in them, are magnetic enough to respond to the electrical field, but resistant enough to get hot. You can tell if your pans will work if magnets stick to them.  

The reason you might want an induction cooktop instead of one of gas or electricity is the efficiency. Gas stoves get you heat fast, but there's lots of waste heat. Electric stoves have less waste heat, but it takes longer to get the heat. Induction has the least waste heat because it's the pot itself that gets hot, not the coil or the gas. As for speed... I turned on the heat, dropped an egg on the skillet, cracked open another egg, and the first egg was already turning white. The pan got hot just that fast.

There is a downside or two. First, induction cooktops are expensive. I only got a two burner cooktop because a four or five burner cooktop would have cost as much as most of the other appliances in my kitchen put together. I got a gas two burner cooktop in addition to the induction two burner cooktop because someday I'll want to move and rent out this place. A larger family will want more burners and probably something less unusual.

The second issue is that not all cookware will work. I thought I had bought cookware that was compatible with induction stoves. But the oven returns an error message if you try to use pans that won't work. Luckily, the cooktop came with an unexpected set of pots.

So far I'm very happy with the choice and plan to have another put in future houses.

1 comment:

james broad said...

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