Induction cooker: pros and cons of an innovative hob
Today, a wide range of induction cookers is presented in home appliance stores. However, not all potential buyers have information about the distinctive features of this device. The stove is characterized by a unique principle of operation, which significantly increases its advantages in comparison with other options. What is an induction cooker: the pros and cons of such a cooking surface are discussed in detail in this article.
What is an induction cooker: design features
An induction cooker is an electric kitchen appliance, thanks to which metal dishes are heated by induced eddy currents created by a high–frequency magnetic field. Heat is generated directly in the bottom of the cookware.
In appearance, such a plate is difficult to distinguish from traditional devices with glass-ceramic surfaces. Induction coils with a copper wire winding are hidden in the flat housing, through which a high-frequency current flows. The main element of the induction cooker is an electronic control unit, the chip of which contains the necessary programs that ensure convenience and high efficiency of the cooking process.
The structure also includes an inverter, a fan and a glass-ceramic panel. The stove is not equipped with heating elements. They are replaced by the bottoms of cookware, which are made of a special material with ferromagnetic properties.
A stationary or built-in induction cooker is equipped with many functions. There is a fast heating burner located here, which is brought to maximum power a few minutes before the water boils in the dishes. Then the power is reduced to the required level. Another interesting feature of this device is the “booster” function, which consists in transferring half the power from one burner to another.
The design needs to comply with certain rules when installing it. Having understood the question of what an induction cooker is, it is important to provide conditions for the removal of heated air. Since induction burners are characterized by decent power, special fans are used to cool them, which are located on the lower side of the cooking surface. In this regard, when embedding the device in kitchen furniture, ventilation gaps must be provided.
The principle of operation of the induction cooker
The principle of operation of the induction cooker determines the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction, which was discovered by the famous physicist M. Faraday at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In a closed circuit, an electric current arises due to a change in the magnetic flux that passes through the circuit. The induction cooker is a portable transformer.
How does an induction furnace work? An induction coil with a copper winding is located under the glass-ceramic surface of the plate. An electric current flows through it, the frequency of which is 20-60 kHz. It turns into magnetic fields and begins to produce induction currents. The bottom of the dish is a conductor with a closed circuit. The vortex flow generated by the induction cooker causes the electronic particles of the bottom of the dishes to move.
From the electrons, heat begins to form, heating the dishes. Thus, heat is supplied to the bottom, leaving the glass-ceramic surface cold. It can be heated directly from the dishes.
Induction cooker – what is it? It can be said that this is a household appliance, the characteristic heating technology of which ensures minimal heat loss and maximum heating speed of dishes. The energy is directed exclusively to the dishes, while the power is not wasted. The efficiency of induction heating is 90%, while for electric stoves this value reaches 60%.
Important! The induction panel does not heat up to a very high temperature, because the bottom of the dishes is heated first.
Induction cooker: pros and cons of the hob
The induction cooker, thanks to a special principle of operation, is characterized by a lot of distinctive advantages. One of its main advantages is the high speed of cooking, which is carried out by heating the bottom of the dishes, and not the cooking surface. If we talk about the pros and cons of an induction cooker, the power consumption, which is minimal, is considered one of the main advantages of the device. The current is consumed solely to create a magnetic field in the induction coil. As a result, one more positive feature can be highlighted. During cooking, the room will not be too hot, as in the case of using a gas or electric stove.
It is impossible not to note another advantage of the induction cooker – the high safety of the device. The heating process begins at the moment when a special dish is installed on the surface, which has magnetic properties. When it is removed, the panel turns off automatically.
Another advantage of the induction cooker is that the edge of the burner will not be hot. This reduces the risk of getting an accidental burn. Greasy splashes that hit the surface during cooking can be removed immediately, since the burner does not heat up. Food that has fallen on the stove will not burn, forming smoke.
The stove automatically determines the diameter of the bottom of the dishes, adjusting to it. The surface is easy and simple to care for. It is enough to wipe it with a damp sponge without using cleaning agents and abrasives.
Important! Heavy dirt is removed by special devices that are used for glass-ceramic plates.
Studying the pros and cons of an induction or glass-ceramic stove, it should be mentioned that the device is equipped with a variety of programs that are very useful in the process of cooking various dishes. The necessary function is selected using the touch control panel. The temperature is adjustable and smoothly adjusted to the required level. Modern models of induction cookers have a stylish design design, so that the device will fit into any kitchen interior.
List of the main disadvantages of induction cookers
Despite the numerous advantages, such a hob is characterized by negative aspects. The main disadvantage of an induction cooker is the high cost of the product. There are models with an affordable price, but they are characterized by limited functionality. The efficiency, safety and energy-saving feature of the stove will be provided exclusively with the use of special dishes.
Important! It is not allowed to use dishes with a bottom diameter of less than 6 cm for an induction cooker.
The glass-ceramic surface is very fragile, which requires careful and careful handling, eliminating accidental impacts and strong mechanical influences. In order not to damage the stove, do not use abrasive chemical cleaners and brushes.
During the operation of the induction cooker, a specific noise is created. It occurs as a result of the rotation of fans that cool the coil and the electronics board. This can cause some discomfort to particularly sensitive individuals. An induction cooker can negatively affect the operation of nearby household appliances, slowing it down. Therefore, it is not recommended to install such a surface above the oven.
There are models of plates that are not designed for a long period of work, which is required for the preparation of certain dishes of Russian cuisine in the form of jelly, jam or stewed meat. The built-in timer will turn off the stove automatically after 3 hours of continuous operation. Such a feature is necessarily indicated in the instructions for the device, which you should definitely familiarize yourself with before purchasing a stove.
What kind of cookware is suitable for induction cookers: basic requirements
For the efficient operation of the induction cooker, the use of special dishes strictly corresponding to certain requirements is required. Dishes should have a thick, perfectly flat bottom with a thickness of 3-6 mm. The minimum allowable diameter of the bottom is 6-12 cm. Thus, the necessary contact area of the bottom and the burner will be provided.
The products must be made of stainless steel or enameled steel. The material must have the necessary ferromagnetic properties. Do not use products made of aluminum and copper. Ceramic, glass and porcelain dishes are also not suitable. A frying pan for an induction cooker can be made of cast iron.
Useful advice! To check the suitability of cookware for induction cookers, a magnet must be brought to the product.
Given the growing popularity of induction cookers, many manufacturers of cookware perform special ferromagnetic layers on the bottom of products made of any material, allowing the use of models for these surfaces. Layering increases the ability to accumulate heat, which has a positive effect on the cooking process.
Dishes intended for an induction cooker will have a characteristic marking. High-quality products have a high cost.
Is an electric induction cooker harmful to human health
There are both positive and negative reviews about this cooking surface. The induction cooker is characterized by an unconventional heating principle. Misunderstanding of the essence of the process contributes to the erroneous opinion that the hob has a negative impact on human health.
Most experts and manufacturers assure that the harm to the health of the induction cooker is minimized. Magnetic induction is not dangerous to humans if certain safety rules are followed when working with the device. The coil creates a low-frequency magnetic field, which is no more harmful than the radiation of a mobile phone.
Important! People with pacemakers should refuse to purchase this type of plate.
Human body parts should not come into contact with the stove during its operation. An absolutely safe distance from the surface is 0.5 m. 0.3 m is also quite acceptable. Household appliances and gadgets should not be placed closer than 1 m from the stove. Food prepared by induction is not harmful to health. The magnetic field generated during the operation of the device does not affect the products in any way.
Having dispelled the main myths about the harm of an induction cooker, it is impossible not to mention that food cooked in stainless and cast iron products is enriched with iron. This element has a positive effect on the immune and circulatory system of the human body. This cooking option is the most optimal for people with diseases of the circulatory system.
Electric built-in oven: tips for choosing
Types of devices. Dimensions and functionality of built-in electric ovens. Features of the choice. Rating of ovens.
Manufacturers of induction cookers: product prices
Today, many manufacturers of household appliances produce induction cookers. The most popular among consumers are models of the world brands Siemens and Bosch (Germany), Electrolux (Sweden), Gorenje (Czech Republic), Hanca (Poland), as evidenced by numerous reviews. The pros and cons of induction cookers of well-known companies can be found by reading the responses on forums and specialized websites.
Siemens produces induction cookers with four hotplates for rapid heating. One of them is a two-circuit. The surface of the products is equipped with a low temperature maintenance zone. A feature of the cooking surfaces of the world brand is the presence of infrared sensors, thanks to which the fast cooking process is carried out.
For added convenience, some models are equipped with a “stop sensor” function, thanks to which the operation of the stove is interrupted for three minutes. Pressing the key again helps to resume the system according to the previously set settings. If this does not happen, the panel is completely disabled. The surfaces are presented in black, gray and white versions. The cost of Siemens induction cookers is in the range of 30-75 thousand rubles.
The global brand Bosch produces several varieties of four-burner induction cooking surfaces of various designs with different numbers of heating zones. All burners can be induction on the surface, or one or two will work in HiLight mode. They can also be combined into one heating zone. A distinctive feature of Bosch plates is the original design of the product, as a result of which the design stands out noticeably in the interior of the room.
Many Bosch induction cookers are equipped with a PowerBoost function, thanks to which the power can be increased up to 50% for each burner, which helps to reduce the time for the cooking process. In this case, additional power will be borrowed from the neighboring burner. The surfaces are equipped with electronic sensors that recognize the nature and size of the dishes, as well as select the necessary power. The average cost of Bosch induction cookers is 35 thousand rubles.
Popular global brands of induction cooking surfaces
A wide range of induction cookers is presented in the catalogs of the Electrolux concern. The surface of the products is made of reinforced corrugated glass ceramics. Some models have beveled edges, which noticeably improves their appearance, emphasizing modernity and stylishness. The induction cookers of the Electric Suite are equipped with an expanded set of functions, which makes them indispensable for the implementation of all kinds of culinary ideas.
The company also specializes in the manufacture of combined models, in which induction burners and gas burners can be located on one cooking surface. The products are equipped with an indicator for turning on the burners, which displays their power level. There are models with a Wok induction hob that have a special recess in the glass-ceramic surface for installing a frying pan. You can buy an induction cooker Electrolux from 25 thousand rubles.
The induction cooker of the Czech company Gorenje is not inferior in versatility. The models are characterized by compactness, low-noise operation, convenient location of touch buttons and a large number of functions. Gorenje induction cookers are equipped with an acoustic timer, protection against accidental pressing, and a quick boiling function. The models of this brand are distinguished by a stylish design. The average cost of plates is 32 thousand rubles.
Among the budget category of induction cookers, Hanca cooking surfaces deserve due attention, the price of which is in the range of 15-20 thousand rubles. A feature of the models is that they are suitable for installation in apartments with old wiring, since they are equipped with a self-regulating EGO module.
The indisputable advantage of the device is a single-phase connection. Therefore, no additional preparation of the electrical network is required before turning on the induction cooker. The models are equipped with all the necessary functions: power increase, overheating protection, the ability to recognize dishes and a timer. Despite the low cost, Hanca induction cookers are characterized by an original design.
Rules for installing and connecting an induction cooker
The basic operating requirements and installation parameters of the hob are defined in the instructions and on the induction cooker circuits that are attached to the product. The panel cannot be located above the oven, washing machine or dishwasher. The refrigerator must be at least 1 m away.
Useful advice! For small rooms, it is advisable to purchase induction stoves with an oven.
The induction cooker should be connected to the power supply system via a separate cable with an individual circuit breaker located on the power panel. The wire must be connected to a separate outlet, to which only the hob will be connected.
To install the product in the countertop, a seat is made, the size of which corresponds to the dimensions of the surface of the device. To prevent moisture from entering the end sections of the chipboard, a furniture edge is glued or a silicone sealant is applied. The correct position of the product is checked using the construction level.
The induction cooker is currently at the peak of popularity. Characterized by a special operating principle and having the highest efficiency, the product provides a fast, safe, economical and efficient cooking process. The only significant disadvantage is the high cost of the plate. However, this is a justified investment that will pay off quickly and will allow you to save money in the future without damaging your health.