What is Induction Cooking?

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Feed your appetite for culinary expertise with our easy-to-understand definition of induction cooking and its advantages.

Science would not be our Jeopardy! category of choice. (Understatement.) So, figuring out what induction cooking is has been something of a brain strain. But we have emerged triumphant from the science-speak, brandishing a simple explanation for this marvellous feat of physics.

Heating pots to prep food for our bellies is age-old. Folks have been fashioning cooking vessels from clay and the like since the Stone Age. Over the centuries, the culinary arts have undergone revolutionary change – no more laying mud or leaves over our roasting meats to keep them moist!

These days, thanks to the likes of Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules, every man and his pooch is creating cuisine fit for fine dining. But whether you’re entertaining or just cooking for everyday, induction cookware is a handy tool to have in your arsenal.

Neoflam MyPan Induction Fry Pan, Green Topaz
Neoflam MyPan Induction Fry Pan, Green Topaz. Browse induction cookware online at Zanui.

How traditional pots work

Traditional pots set over flames or on the elements of your stove heat food through thermal conduction. The heat generated is localised – it can vary according to where the heat source hits your pot, saucepan or frypan.

This can result in uneven cooking with different areas receiving different amounts of heat.

Neoflam MyPan Induction Wok Pan, Red Ruby
Neoflam MyPan Induction Wok Pan, Red Ruby. Browse induction cookware online at Zanui.

How induction cookware differs

By contrast, induction uses electromagnetic fields to generate an even heat throughout the entire pot or pan. The heat from the source is conducted throughout the pot via high-frequency currents (called eddy or Foucault currents), releasing heat in the process.

By generating the heat inside the pot or pan itself, the overall temperature is balanced.

Neoflam Retro Induction Low Casserole with Die-Casted Lid, 2L
Neoflam Retro Induction Low Casserole with Die-Casted Lid, 2L. Browse induction cookware online at Zanui.

Induction cookware vs an induction cooktop

Induction cookware generates significantly more heat than ordinary pots and pans through their electrical resistance. When a current is run through a material with a high resistance, much of the current is converted to heat.

Metals with magnetic properties, like iron, are poor conductors of electricity, and therefore have a high resistance and produce greater heat.

Similarly, an induction cooktop has coils beneath the surface that create magnetic fields that are only activated when they detect cookware on the surface. It then transfers the heat from the coil to the pot so the stovetop only exhibits a small amount of residual heat.

This is a great choice for homes with families and curious pets!

Neoflam Venn Induction Sauce Pan, 2L
Neoflam Venn Induction Sauce Pan, 2L. Browse induction cookware online at Zanui.

What are the benefits?

Induction cookware allows for rapid increases in temperature to occur so your time spent slaving over a hot stove is greatly reduced. Can’t argue with that.

Induction cookware is also more efficient. Its exceptional heat conductivity and even heat distribution delivers faster cooking with less energy consumption. Your planet thanks you.

Neoflam MyPan Induction Fry Pan, Red Ruby
Neoflam MyPan Induction Fry Pan, Red Ruby. Browse induction cookware online at Zanui.

Needs more science?

If your middle name is Marie Curie and physics is your bag, we’ve included the pic below. Otherwise, you’re all set. Go forth and cook up some trouble.

from blog.yaleappliance.com
Image source: blog.yaleappliances.com.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.