What Is An Induction Cooktop?

Induction Cooktops

You are thinking of changing your vitroceramic or gas hob for an induction cooktop, and perhaps you still do not know all the differences and advantages that it can offer you in your kitchen.

With respect to the traditional butane gas or natural gas hobs, the difference is more than evident, since visually they have nothing to do with it. Its surface is covered by a sheet of high-quality glass-ceramic material, to withstand normal use, small bumps, liquid spills and small scratches. This glass-ceramic surface is completely smooth and flat, so its cleaning is very quick and practical.

On the other hand, the main difference between a glass-ceramic and induction cooktop is that the glass-ceramic cooktop continuously generates heat on the glass and can heat up any container that we put, even after turning it off, the heat remains for a while. In contrast, induction generates heat to the container, but not on the surface itself, which makes it heat up much faster and uses less energy. To better understand how it works, we explain it below.

How Does An Induction Cooktop Work?

Induction cooktops have series of copper coils under each cooking zone, through which the electric current circulates. Whenever the current flows through a copper coil, what is known as an electromagnetic field is generated, which is nothing more than the energy that flows in one direction, in this case in the vertical direction where we will place pots and pans. These pots or pans, by containing a ferromagnetic metal material (containing iron), let’s say they react and heat up.

What Types Of Induction Cooktops Are There?

We can find different types of induction cooktops, according to their measurements, their number of cooking zones, or technologies.

The 30 inches induction cooktops are the most common, with 4 cooking zones. Plates especially recommended for conventional kitchens and domestic uses where we can make several preparations at the same time.

An example and an excellent option can be the purchase of the GASLAND Chef IH77BF 240V induction cooktop, with 4 Powerful Cooking Zones and a maximum total power of 6600-7400W for quick cooking. The 4 cooking zones have different sizes and power. The two 6.3″(160mm) round cooking zones with a maximum 1500W power and the two 7.1″(180mm) round cooking zones have a maximum 2000W power and Digital Sensor Touch Control. The sensor touch control induction cooktop has 9 power levels, for precision to switch into different levels, from boil to simmer. The digital sensor touch controls help to easily control the induction cooker heating accurately.

Gasland Chef

And then there are models of longer lengths (36 inches) such as the Empava 36 Inch Electric Stove Induction Cooktop with 5 Booster Burners with 5 cooking zones. The Empava 36 inches induction cooktop features an 11 inches centre element up to 13,000 Btu/s, Two 8 inches burners up to 9,000 Btu/s each, and Two 7 inches burners up to 7,000 Btu/s each in Power Boost Mode up to 5 minutes.

The built-in digital display timer (up to 99 minutes) can be set to turn one or more cooking zone off, each cooking zone has individual timer setting. You can set it to turn the cooking zone off automatically after your setting time is up, rest and enjoy the rare leisure time! It will help you to cook perfectly and accurately.

On extra large kitchen countertops and islands, options up to 30cm and 36cm are often used, although these are less common. In them, we can find models with 4 and 5 different cooking zones as above.

What is Flex Induction?

Flex induction or flexible induction technology is available in a series of exclusive induction cooktop models. In these models, an area or even the entire surface offers the possibility of placing the containers randomly, making the plate activate only in that area. This is thanks to the coils (inductors) that we mentioned at the beginning of this article. In this case, their size is very small, hence they adapt to a greater diversity of sizes and shapes, being able to use even metal dishes for cooking, or several pots, saucepans and pans in the same area.

This technology is relatively new and represents a great advance for the kitchen in general, since it can be cooked with any container, regardless of the shape or size of the fire. The plate adapts to the container so that it can be cooked for example with a paella pan, a griddle, a wok, a small frying pan, etc.

What To Look For When Buying An Induction Cooktop?

Apart from the aforementioned measures, it is very important to look at the power, colour, or types of cooking zones.

  • Prices: You can buy an induction cooktop for many prices, but not all are the same. Take a good look at the total power, because if you want to cook with 2 or 3 active zones, and that they do not lose power, the cooktop must have a power of at least 6000W.
  • Electric power: It is also vital to take into account the contracted electric power in our home, even more so if until now you had a gas cooktop. Installing an induction cooktop will entail a greater electrical flow that you will have to ensure can support your electrical supply contract.
  • Electrical connections: Pay attention to electrical connections. An induction cooktop demands a high electrical voltage, so the power outlet must have cables with a minimum section of 6mm and at least 25 amps. Of course, it will always have its corresponding ground connection.
  • Installation gap: When installing it, there must be a space of at least 5cm for ventilation of the components of the plate in the lower part, with its corresponding grid or lattice through which the air will be renewed.
  • Colour: If you don’t want your cooktop to stand out too much, you have options in certain colours to combine it with kitchen furniture. An example would be the BOSCH PID672FC1E white induction cooktop.

What Is The Price Of An Induction Cooktop?

In general, and due to the characteristics and advantages that we have discussed above, induction cooktops have a higher price than glass-ceramic or gas cooktops. However, we find a wide range of options, from the cheapest that could range around $350, to the most expensive such as the Flex induction that we have talked about earlier, which could be above $900

The average price for an induction cooktop would be between $350 and $1000 and we would already be talking about a product with very good performance. However, portable induction cooktops are cheaper and cost at least $70.

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