The operation of an induction cooktop explained

Induction hob
Updated on 25 Jul 2023
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There is a revolution going on in kitchens in the Netherlands. More and more people are switching to electric cooking and opting for an induction cooktop. It is extremely interesting how such a plate works and not everyone understands it. However, I found out that it is wise to know in the basics how such a plate works, because it has quite an effect on the way you cook.

Cooking on a magnetic plate

The technology of an induction cooktop is not difficult to explain. The plate, as it were, makes the pan itself become the heat source. This is because under the glass there is a special spiral of copper. It is this spiral that heats the bottom of a pan by means of magnetic forces. The special feature of this system is that heat is created only where you want it – the bottom of the pan.

What pans for induction cooktops do you need?

I also found out that it is good to check if your pans are suitable for cooking on induction. For example, you can very well use pans made of enameled steel or cast iron, but special pans made of stainless steel are also fine. How do you know if a pan can be used on an induction hob? You do this by holding a magnet against it.

Check it with a simple magnet

If the magnet “sticks” to the bottom of the pan, then the pan is suitable. By the way, that does not mean that all pans that are not magnetic are unsuitable – there are some special pans that are not magnetic, but are allowed on an induction plate. What matters is the size of the magnetic zone. You can also just try it. If the pan does not get hot then it means that the induction plate does not see the pan and therefore it is not suitable.

The great advantage of the induction plate

The way the heating of the pan works is, at the same time, also the biggest advantage of an induction cooktop. There is really very little heat that is not used to heat the pan. If with gas sometimes as much as 40 to 50 percent of heat is lost to the environment, that is really almost negligible with an induction cooktop (somewhere between 10 and 20 percent).

Saving energy and the price difference

Now that you know how induction cooktops work, do you think it’s a good idea to purchase such a stove? It’s a question I’m often asked and I always say that it’s down to a lot of factors. Get out the calculator and do the math. On the one hand, an induction cooktop is quite expensive to buy. On the other hand, you’ll save quite a bit of money on gas.

And oh yeah, you might have to replace some pans. That too can cost quite a bit of money. Because good pans are not cheap at all. By the way, there are also plenty of induction stoves that come with a special new set of pans. It’s all possible these days!

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Induction hob

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