Clever cookery – A beginner’s guide to induction cooking

The lure of induction cooking is strong. Induction cooktops are sleek, responsive and free of the hot spots that you get with electric and gas cooktops. Best of all, they are safer for your family, as the surface doesn’t get hot and there is no flame. Like any new technology, they do require a few adjustments in the way that you cook. We have put together a quick crash course to have you whipping up a feast in no time.

Induction Compatible Cookware

If you are having trouble getting your pan to heat up on your fancy new cooktop, then chances are it is not compatible and you need to get yourself some quality induction cookware. Induction cooktops create an electromagnetic field that, when connected to ferrous metal like cast-iron and some stainless steel, generates heat. The cooktop stays cool, and the bottom of the pan heats up. Modern cookware designers are starting to incorporate ferrous metals into the base of their entire range, so they work on any stove, but this isn’t the case for all pots and pans. The easiest way to check is to see if a magnet sticks to the base of your pan. If it does, you can use it with your induction cooktop.

Some Like it Hot

One of the advantages of an induction stove is that the temperature control is precise, stable and heats up to the required temperature almost immediately. These are all helpful features, but some people don’t anticipate how much quicker their food will cook. If you are used to an electric or gas stovetop, you need to be very attentive while you adjust the cooking times of your favorite recipes, and maybe even dial the temperature down a tad.

Keeping it Clean

The beauty of a flat stovetop is that you don’t need to spend ages cleaning in and around heating elements. Plus, because the cooktop itself doesn’t heat up, you don’t end up with hard, crusty baked on gunk that has to be scrubbed and coaxed off the surface. Some induction cooktops even have an overflow protection feature which switches the stove off and generates a beeping noise if an overflow is detected.

Generally, a spray with a multi-purpose cleaner and a wipe down with a cloth is sufficient to keep it looking shiny. Make sure that you don’t use a scouring pad, as this could scratch and damage the surface.

Handle with Care

While induction cooktops are generally very user-friendly, you do need to take a little bit of care with your new toy. Don’t drop anything heavy onto the stovetop as it could crack. You also need to take care with leaving any non-cookware items on top. Anything magnetic, like a fork, mobile phone or credit card will heat up if the stove is on. To avoid burning yourself or ruining your phone and your cooktop; melted plastic isn’t going to come off with a spray and wipe – try to keep the surface clear.

What’s that Sound?

You might have to get used to a different range of sounds when working with induction. The cooktops have integrated fans to disperse the heat while cooking so you may hear a whirring noise. A clicking sound usually indicates that your cookware is not compatible with the cooktop.

While there may be a short adjustment period, the safety features make induction cooktops perfect for families with young children, and the superior cooking performance make them a logical choice for anyone looking for a brand-new cooktop!


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