For years, induction cooking has been used in the States and internationally, both domestically and professionally, but recent technology advancements have made it more accessible than ever.
What is Induction Cooking?
Induction is a different kind of cooking heat than coil elements or microwaves. Coil elements heat up a pot or pan and all that’s around it. A microwave actually generates heat inside the food itself. But induction cooking makes the pot or pan the original heat generator by using powerful, high-frequency electromagnets. The stovetop remains room temperature, thus removing many of the hazards associated with hot stoves. Induction is great for households with young children or individuals with disabilities.
With cooking ranges that are equipped with induction, you can heat (or reduce heat) in pots and pans instantly to the desired temperature, from a simmer to a boil. As a result, they use 70 percent less energy than gas and 20 percent less energy than electric coils. You are also able to control the heat to the precise temperature your recipe requires especially at lower temperatures, which makes for better cooking results.
Induction requires that you use pots and pans made of what’s called a “ferrous” metal, one that can sustain a magnetic field such as iron. Cast iron is a common material used for dutch ovens, for example. If you have been using a range with electric coils or gas elements, you likely have pots and pans made mostly of copper, stainless steel or aluminum. If you can stick a magnet to the bottom, the cookware will work with induction cooking.
hhgregg Induction Options
hhgregg sells a number of induction hybrid cooktops, such as the Electrolux 36-inch Stainless Steel Induction Hybrid Cooktop or the GE 36-inch Stainless Steel Profile™ Induction Electric Cooktop that let you use all of your pans.
The Electrolux model includes both regular electric elements and induction cooking zones. It includes one six-inch induction cooking zone; 10-inch induction cooking zone; one six-inch, 1,200-watt electric element; and two dual expandable electric units. One expandable unit adjusts to either a 5-inch, 750-watt or a seven-inch, 1,800-watt unit, and the other lets you choose from six-inches and 1,600 watts to nine inches and 3,000 watts.
The GE model includes one 11-inch induction cooking zone and four elements with electric coils. The electric units include one 8-inch, 3,200-watt element; two 7-inch, 2,500 watt elements; and one six-inch, 1,800 watt element.
Both the Electrolux and GE cooktops generate rapid heat for a quick boil. Their controls let you immediately raise or lower temperatures so cooking can begin at any time – without waiting for preheating. Their induction elements automatically detect the presence of magnetic cookware, activate the induction field and adjust it to the exact size of the pan.
Both models require custom installation into your countertop, but hhgregg also sells the Frigidaire 30-inch Stainless Steel Induction Hybrid Convection Smoothtop Electric Range. In addition to the induction hybrid features offered by the cooktops, the range that doesn’t require custom installation, comes with a convection oven.