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How Does Induction Cooking Work?

Cooking with induction has become popular within many households. But what is an induction hob & what cookware is best for induction cooking?

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Cooking with induction has become more prevalent and popular in recent years, which is unsurprising considering the advantages of using an induction hob and induction cookware. Not only is induction cooking more efficient, which is great news for households looking to be more eco-conscious, but an induction hob offers incredible responsiveness, so you have greater control over your hob's temperature.

Whether you're contemplating the switch to induction cooking or are wondering how to get the most out of your induction hob and cookware, read on for advice on which cookware is best for induction cooking, how to clean an induction hob, and more.

What is an Induction Hob?

An induction hob works similarly to an electric hob, but has some key differences. Firstly, induction hobs feature a coil that's located beneath its surface that creates an electrical current. It is this electrical current that generates heat and conducts with your induction compatible cookware. Secondly, it is because of the electromagnetic field that the surface of your induction hob stays cold until you place a pan on top. Without the right cookware, your induction hobs will fail to conduct and produce heat.

Induction stoves typically have a glass ceramic top that offers a sleek and modern aesthetic. Although the flat and smooth cooking surface of an induction stove makes them easy to clean and low maintenance, dropping heavy items on top of the hob can cause cracking while sliding pans across the surface can cause scratches. 

The Advantages of Induction Cooking

For many, induction cooking has revolutionised their cooking experience. Here are a few main advantages of induction cooking and why it may be beneficial to you and your kitchen.

Quick Heat Up

Your induction hob isn't going to heat up unless there's induction-friendly cookware on top. However, this direct transfer of heat that travels from the hob's coils to your pan is incredibly fast and heats up much quicker than electric or gas hobs.

Responsive Temperature Control

Any adjustments made to your hob's temperature is reflected almost immediately, making it easier to avoid boil-overs and burnt food. 

Precise Cooking

By having such a responsive temperature control, you can enjoy more precise cooking. Better temperature control allows you to deliver more consistent cooking results, so you can serve up delicious food time and time again.

Efficient

Induction hobs include pan detection, so unless you have a pan on top of the hob, it'll automatically turn off. Furthermore, the use of magnets instead of elements means energy is only ever used for cooking and never wasted, for example if agas or electric ring was left on. 

Easy to Clean

Their smooth, flat surface make them incredibly easy to clean. Wipe down your induction hob after each use to stop build up of grime food splatters and keep it looking pristine.

Increased Safety

Many induction hobs are equipped with heat sensors that increase their safety. The heat sensors work by switching themselves off once the hob reaches a higher heat than normal, or you've removed the pot or pan from the surface.

What Pans Can Be Used on an Induction Hob?

The best cookware for induction hobs is made from metals like cast iron and stainless steel. However, cookware made from other metals like aluminium and copper can be compatible if they have an induction plate built into the base. Before buying new cookware or using cookware on your hob, check for the induction compatible mark. The induction symbol resembles 4 loops of wire.

TIP: If you can't find the symbol indicating whether your cookware is induction compatible, you can test to see if a magnet will stick to the bottom of the pan. If it sticks, then the cookware is induction-friendly.

Induction CookwarePots and Pans Buying Guide

What is an Induction Pan?

An induction pan is simply a pan that is compatible with an induction hob. To make an induction pan compatible for induction cooking, it needs to have a magnetic base, so it can conduct with the coil of copper wire underneath the ceramic plate.

You can find a variety of induction cookware, ranging from induction frying pans, induction saucepans, induction woks and even induction compatible steamers and stockpots.

TIP: While replacing your cookware with induction-friendly cookware is the best way to retain energy efficiency and more consistent cooking results, our induction hob converter plate allows you to use non-compatible cookware like a stovetop coffee maker. The converter plate is also ideal for households in the middle of transitioning from old cookware to induction compatible pots and pans.

You might need these:

Gourmet Stainless Steel Frying Pan Set 20 & 24cmTypical Price £75Only £55Shop Now
Gourmet Stainless Steel Shallow Casserole & Lid 24cm / 3.2LTypical Price £49Only £34Shop Now
Professional Granite Saucepan Set 2 PieceTypical Price £99Only £69Shop Now
Elite Tri-Ply Stockpot & Lid 24cm / 7.6LTypical Price £149Only £79Shop Now

Induction stoves can be considered safer than gas and electric. Firstly, induction stoves do not emit gas fumes and moisture into the air and won't cause objects like tea towels to catch fire because induction hobs only heat items that can conduct. Secondly, induction hobs automatically turn off once any induction compatible cookware is removed from the hob.

Induction cooking is safe, and although induction stovetops generate non-ionizing radiation, they do not emit harmful radiation. When coupled with induction hob's inability to become too hot and only directly heating the cookware, induction cooking is considered one of the safest cooking methods.

Is Induction Cooking Safe?

An induction stovetop is renowned for being low maintenance and easy to clean. However, there are still best practices to ensure you properly remove all residual grime or grease from your hob. Remembering to wipe down your induction stovetop is the best way to fight against a build up of dirt. Furthermore, you should always read the care instructions provided by the induction hob's manufacturer.

  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Microfibre cloths
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle

Method

Take your white vinegar and baking soda and make a mixture of 1 part baking soda with 1 part vinegar in the spray bottle. Before spraying the mixture, wipe the surface with a microfibre cloth to pick up any loose food and dirt on the hob. Once done, spray your hob with the solution and leave it for 30 minutes before wiping it with a damp cloth. This solution should make it easy to remove any grime and dried on food stains.

Tips to Keep Your Induction Hob Clean

  • Do not drag your pots and pans across the surface as this can leave marks and irreparable damage
  • Use hot, soapy water and a soft cloth to wash down the surface after each use to stop a build up of grime
  • Avoid using abrasive materials such as wire wool when cleaning, as this can leave marks
  • Clean up any spills as soon as you can, so they do not have time to dry onto the stovetop

How to Clean an Induction Hob

How to Clean Your Induction Cookware

As with any cookware, you should read the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Improper care can lessen the cooking performance of your pots and pans but also impact their appearance. We have product care guides for all our cookware, so be sure to read them before you start treating your pots and pans.

After buying new cookware, remove all labels and wash in hot, soapy water. Rinse your cookware before drying it completely to avoid watermarks or rust from developing. Never plunge your hot pan with cold water as this can cause the metals to cool too quickly and increase the chances of your pan warping, cracking or chipping. Warped pans can impact its cooking ability, as it will struggle to cook your food evenly.

For further tips and guidance, check out our guide on How to Care for Your Cookware.

TIP: When cooking on an induction hob, you may notice a noise that resembles a slight humming sound. This is not a fault with the cookware or induction stovetop but very normal.

You might need these:

ProCook Stainless Steel Cleaner 500mlTypical Price £13Only £9Shop Now
ProCook Microfibre Cloths Set of 4Typical Price £5Only £3Shop Now

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