Induction cooking stove

by John Botch

The latest innovation in kitchen technology is the Induction cooker or induction stove. These use the principal of induction, which means instead of applying direct heat to a vessel on the cooktop, they heat the metal by electromagnetic induction. Induction cooktops contain copper induction coils and alternating current (AC) flows through the coils. This produces an oscillating magnetic field that creates a low voltage current in any pan with a high ferrous content base. The current cooks by making resistive heat.

Induction cookers are highly efficient and environment friendly. They produce zero smoke as compared to traditional solid fuel or gas stoves. Induction cookers are much safer than electric cookers where hot plates get heated and can be dangerous if touched, whereas the induction plate stays cool and therefore safer. It also eliminates the risk of accidents caused by gas leaks, which account for several deaths every year across the world.

A major drawback of induction cookers is that they require the cookware to be made of materials with high ferrous content, so it's magnetic. Iron and stainless steel are obvious choices, and cookware made of copper, aluminium, glass, etc. cannot be used. Also, the initial cost of buying the cooker is higher than traditional gas or electrical stoves. Buying special cookware further increases the cost. Thus, induction cookers are still not widely used, and are out of reach of normal middle class people. Induction cookers also have glass or ceramic tops, which are likely to break in case of high impact. They also require extra care.

Current consumer resistance to induction cookers won't last long as customers adapt to induction cooking. With the energy crisis and potential lack of gaseous fuels in future, induction cookers are definitely a better solution.

Induction cookers have been shown to be 12% more energy efficient than conventional electric stoves, and performed even better against gas cookers. Producing neither flame nor gas makes induction an environmentally friendly technology that could definitely reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas production.

Induction cookers are clearly the choice to build a better future, if we reduce the front end costs. With more research and advances in this still innovative technology, the price will eventually come down. Government subsidies to promote these environmentally sound devices could make these innovative cookers affordable, using induction cookers for a better tomorrow.