A Complete Guide To Buying Induction Range - Key Considerations to know
With continued advancement in the cooking industry, cooktops are now gas-free, wood-free, stone-free, and even element free all thanks to new and innovative technology such as induction ranges. If you’re interested in making the change to an induction range, then you’re about to be free from the usual worries that come with gas and portable stoves. However, the only thing needed for an induction range is a source of electricity.
In essence, induction cooktops are smart, safe, quick, and extremely efficient for cooking. Before you purchase an induction range, there are quite a couple of things that you should consider. Read on as we dive into a complete guide on everything you need to know before purchasing your very own induction range.
How Does An Induction Range Work?
Simply put, heat energy is generated in combination with the principle of magnetism. This is done via the wire coil and then transferred into the cookware. The magnetic field is created by an alternating current that flows through the wire coil. This then induces electric current that flows directly into the cookware, which generates heat.
In most cases, cookware is specially made for induction ranges and the material is both ferromagnetic and magnetically conductive. Hence, the current within the cookware generates the heat needed to cook your food. While these units are sometimes expensive, they offer a ton of benefits for users and are more than worth the initial investment.
- Cooktop Size
If you’re skilled at multitasking, then it’s a great idea to use two cooking zones at the same time. While induction ranges can have up to five induction zones, four are common in the US and the UK, while two are common in Hong Kong and three are more common in Japan. However, relatively small portable induction ranges are somewhat expensive and the size of your cooktop should be chosen based on the size of your kitchen.
Some of the most economical models are usually countertop and portable variants. The prices for these tend to vary according to the style of the cooktop. Hence, it is a good idea to purchase one with a big body so that air can properly circulate and cool the unit. This also preserves the life of your cooktop.
- Cooking Zones
If you’re interested in using larger cookware, then larger cooking zones are needed. These tend to have diameters larger than 21cms. Most of the time, the cooking zone of the cooktop is rather defined and provides some guidance for selecting cookware. Induction cooktops with extra-large cooking zones can prove quite beneficial on many occasions.
- Control Panel
The control panel on the induction range is the one place where you’ll find all of the cooking options on your range. There are buttons, a rotating knob, and even touch sensor controls. When it comes to the price, touch panels are generally more expensive than buttons to press.
The control panel also allows users to set the temperature and power depending on the mode that they use. It should be noted that controls should not be placed in close proximity to the element on the range.
- Temperature/Power Settings
The temperature or power settings on the range should also be taken into consideration since it makes cooking easy. A slight decrease or increase in these settings makes it much easier and more user-friendly. Additionally, it’s also a great idea to ensures that the range is set on the default settings. If you’re aiming to achieve the best results a cooktop that can adjust between 140 and 430 degrees F gives the best results.
If you’re concerned about power consumption, there are other options that don’t have too much of an impact on your electric bill. However, these lower power options provide just as much temperature as the regularly powered cooktops.
- Induction Cooktop Design
Depending on your personal style, you’ll be able to choose from a line that goes best with your taste. However, when it comes to the style, you should still keep in mind that grime and dirt tend to build up more on those that are framed. Framed designs are also great for containing spills while edgeless designs are easier to clean.
- Portable Vs. Non-Portable
If you invest in a portable range, you’ll be able to take it just about everywhere that you go. However, you’ll also need to remember to pack an electrical socket to power up. These are more suited for persons traveling and staying in hostels.
Since becoming more popular, there are a ton of features that have been added. Some of the main features are as follows:
- Timer Setting
Timers come in handy if you’re boiling or heating since it allows you to set the timer and return when it’s finished. When the timer expires, the range automatically shuts down. Cookers tend to come with specially designed timers that allow you to increase the time in one-minute increments. Since it automatically shuts off, both energy and power are saved.
- Comes With Preset Cooking Menu
Cooking menus are ideal for stirring, grilling, boiling, water/milk, frying, and a ton of others. This is one of the most user-friendly features on the range and allows users to save time by selecting their desired type of cooking.
- Electrical And Voltage Display
Both electrical and voltage consumption is displayed on the control panel. There’s also a child lock to ease of use and sticky fingers. This allows users to keep track especially if they live in an area that has low voltage.
- Pan Detection
The automatic pan detection feature can be considered as a safety feature and turns off when cookware is removed. After a pan is removed, the cooktop stays powered for a max of 60 seconds before shutting off. This essentially saves energy. If for some reason cookware is returned to the surface, the power levels remain the same from the previous use.
- Safety Sensors
These state-of-the-art sensors monitor the temperature at the bottom of a pan or pot. This is suited for when empty pans are left on the heating zone while the power is still on. The safety sensors easily adjust the output in an effort to reduce and completely avoid damages to the range and the cookware.
- Auto Switch Off
Another great feature is the auto switch-off. This is a common induction feature and shuts the element down without it overheating and ruining cookware. In the instance where unsuitable cookware is used, a symbol shows up and after a while, the induction range turns off.
- Cookware minimum base size
If small items are left on the heating area the range doesn’t heat up and burn those items such as spoons and others.
- Child Lock
If you didn’t already know, most if not all inductions come with a child lock safety. this ensures that the cooktop is locked during use and it can also be locked during cleaning. When this mode is activated only the display setting will always remain active but functions will be locked. However, the power button will be functional in case of an emergency.
As we conclude, we have just looked at everything that you need to know before you can purchase an induction range. Induction ranges offer their users a lot of benefits and they come packed with tons of features that work in their favor. While the initial investment is somewhat costly, there are many things to look forward to and enjoy. Induction ranges can be considered as a true work of ingenuity!