Induction hob is the fastest, cleanest and most energy efficient method of cooking. It also provides precise and safe cooking with easy-to-wipe surfaces.
Induction cooking uses a magnetic induction to directly heat the independent cooking zones. This means the surface stays cool to touch, making it suitable for children.
The only drawback of induction cooking is that it requires special pans – they need to be marked as induction compatible or have a ferromagnetic base. If in doubt you can test the suitability of older pans by putting them in contact with a magnet.
Induction cooktops are a great alternative to traditional electric and gas hobs. The technology uses electric currents to directly heat independent cooking zones on the hob surface, while the rest of the area stays cool and safe to touch. Induction cooktops are faster, more energy-efficient, and safer than other types of cookers. They are also available in a frameless design to integrate seamlessly into your kitchen or a stainless-steel framed design to stand out and be a focal point.
It’s important to choose induction-friendly cookware to avoid damage to your hob and ensure its long-term performance. Pans can be a good indication of suitability as they are magnetic and will stick to the base of an induction hob. AGA offers a wide range of induction-friendly pans that can be purchased online. If you have a pacemaker fitted, be aware that induction hobs can create a strong electromagnetic field and may interfere with it. For this reason, you should keep a minimum distance of 60cm from the hob when using it.
Induction cooking is a highly efficient way of heating up pans. It uses one of the odd quirks of electromagnetism: when certain materials are placed in a rapidly alternating magnetic field, they will heat up. This technology allows for quick, accurate control over temperature and it also requires less energy than conventional gas or electric cooktops. The cooktop itself stays cool, so it’s safer to touch, and it doesn’t generate a lot of residual heat.
The only drawback to induction cooking is that it only works with metal pots and pans – they must be made of ferromagnetic steel or cast iron. However, a number of manufacturers have developed a type of induction cooktop that will work with non-ferrous metals. The Panasonic model, for example, uses frequencies three to five times higher than standard induction cooktops to produce the same heating effect with other metals. This hasn’t yet reached the commercial market, though.
Magnetic field cooking
Unlike traditional gas or electric hobs, an induction cooker doesn’t use thermal conduction to heat the cooking vessel; instead, it uses electric currents guided by magnetic induction. The glass-ceramic surface stays cool to the touch and only the area of the pan in contact with the coil becomes heated.
When a pot or pan of a suitable material is placed on the cooktop, the changing magnetic field produced by the coil induces small electrical currents within the base of the pan, known as eddy currents. These currents generate heat and start the cooking process.
The induction cooktop can only be used with pans made of ferromagnetic metal, such as stainless steel and cast iron. The easiest way to see if your cookware is compatible is to check that a magnet sticks to it. People with electronic medical devices such as pacemakers are usually advised to stay away from sources of electromagnetic fields, and this applies to induction cooking surfaces too.
Using induction hobs is safe and easy, as the surface stays cool to the touch and only the area of the cookware that comes into contact with it gets heated. This is a very useful feature if you have small children or if you live with someone who has limited mobility.
Induction hobs emit electromagnetic fields (EMF) but these EMFs are not as harmful as the EMFs produced by gas or electric stoves. However, EMFs can cause tingling and numbing if you hold your hand directly over an active burner for a long time. This symptom is temporary and there’s no evidence that it has any cumulative effect on your health.
Some users may hear humming, clicking or ticking sounds from their Induction hobs but these are normal. You should always clean your Induction hob after each use to avoid the build-up of dried food particles which can scratch or abrasion the surface. This is especially important for the glass top models available with some AGA induction range cookers.