Buying Guide: How To Buy A Induction Cooktop for Healthy Cooking?
Are you looking for a superior cooking performance with fast heating and quick responses to changes in temperature, power and other settings, all this while the device is not hot to touch, then you are looking for an induction cooktop. You could look here for more information.
So, how does an induction cooktop work?
- The device produces an electromagnetic field that creates energy around the glass surface
- This turns the cookware into a heating element
- The energy heats the base of the cookware placed in one of the cooking zones of the cooktop
- The electromagnetic field between the stove and cookware ensures that the food is cooked quickly through the heat in the cookware and not from the cooktop
Now, how to choose one for your home? This buying guide for induction cooktop should help you.
Let’s begin by considering some factors, along with your budget, that you must keep in mind while selecting the right model.
Also See: Which best kettles in India can work on induction cooktops.
- The rating for most of the induction cookers lies between 1000 and 1800 Watts at 120 Volts or 240 Volts
- The higher the power, the faster will be the cooking
- However, higher power devices are expensive and may also consume more electricity
- Also, though the rating may be 2000 watt, the actual power may be as low as 900-1350 Watt
- So, while checking the power rating, ask for actual wattage and not the rated wattage
- You may have to control the power for cooking specific recipes so that the dish is heated to the recommended temperature
- For this, many power levels help in maintaining the required heat in an induction cooktop
- Most models come with many power levels that can are useful while cooking
- E.g. an 1800 Watts induction cooker can have ten power levels ranging from 200 to 1800 Watts
- Size is among the most important considerations
- Induction cooktops come with a width of just 30cm and can be as big as 90cm
- The most widely used induction cooktop is the one with a width of 60cm
- It is essential to ensure that there is enough space on the kitchen bench to place the cooktop
- Size and cooking zones are directly proportional, more the cooking zones, the better
- An ordinary 60cm wide cooktop will have three cooking zones
- This will provide enough space if you only cook basic meals
- If you prepare large quantities of food, then go for wider cooktops as it offers more cooking zones
- 70-75 cm wide cooktops accommodate four cooking zones
- 90 cm wide cooktops have five cooking zones
- Wide cooktops can accommodate large pots and pans
- In case you need only one cooking zone, then go for a portable induction cooktop
Every model has several functions, but here are some crucial aspects of the induction cooktop you need to check.
- So, you want to boil or heat a dish for only a particular amount of time
- In such cases, cooktops with timers are very handy
- Just set the time till when the cooktop must heat the bowl and after the time is up the cooktop will automatically shutdown
- Most cooktops come with a built-in countdown digital timer with 1 min increments up to 170 minutes.
- After the pre-set time, the cooker will turn off automatically
- This will help you to focus on other elements of the dish you are cooking or on other chores in the kitchen
- Also ensures that the device doesn’t consume additional power and avoids any fire mishaps
- The control panel must be digital so that the controls are simple and intuitive
- Check for control panels with tiny press buttons or touch panels like mobile screens
- Touch panels are more sophisticated and bit expensive
- Touch panels also make cleaning easy
- Also, check for LED/LCD indicators
Pan size recognition:
- Ever wondered why induction cooktops are so efficient?
- It’s because they immediately detect the size and shape of the cookware
- Specific recipes need a set amount of heat for a particular time
- For this, cooktops have pre-set menus like the grill, stir, boil, milk, fry etc.,
- Instead of adjusting the timer and power buttons every time, all you need to do is select the menu
- The cooktop then quickly finishes the job
- With this, the cooking zone can be heated to a higher temperature and then automatically the temperature comes down to a particular temperature after a certain amount of time, all of which can be preset.
- E.g., if your cooking rice using the absorption method, then you will need to bring the rice to a boil initially and then simmer
- This feature ensures that the cooking zone heats the dish at the highest temperature setting quickly at the beginning
- The temperature then reduces to a preset amount
- This divides the power between two cooking zones in a pair
- Maximum power function can now only be set for one cooking zone
- In case you need maximum power in two pans, they need to be in the opposite zones
- This feature is useful as a system has to be in place to manage the power of a cooktop which has high wattage
- This feature temporarily locks your heat settings so that you can wipe down the controls without accidentally pressing any buttons
- This helps to keep the food warm for a long period of time
- Lastly, check for wok cooking feature only if you need it
- These models are quite expensive as they come with a specially indented area for the purpose
Here are some of the safety features that you must have in the cooktop.
- If there is an empty pan in the cooking zone, the power output is adjusted to avoid any damage
Automatic safety shut-off:
- This turns off the cooktop if there is overheating or if you remove the cookware
- Also, it automatically switches the power off if the pot begins to boil over
- Some models can sense if a container has boiled dry
- If the temperature is not altered in a cooking zone for a very long time, then the cooktop switches off automatically
- This feature depends on the heat setting of the cooktop
- If the heat setting is low, then the cooking zone will be on for a long time
- If you cook continuously, then opt for a cooktop with longer safety cut-out
- Some times, the food/liquid could spill over onto the controls
- A beep sound alarm will then be triggered
- Now, clean the spill and continue cooking
- If you have children, then do check for this feature
There are a few quality parameters also to keep in mind.
- Go for A-grade German Crystal Plate if you are looking for a good quality induction cooker
- This will also ensure a long life
- Always avoid ceramic top plate induction cooker
- Avoid an aluminium induction coil
- Such models won’t help you with cooking, though they are relatively very cheap
- Always buy a model that comes with a warranty
- Check for a 2-year warranty model and also ask which parts are covered
- Some models only give warranty for manufacturing defects
- Ask the dealer about the spare parts like top plate if it accidentally gets damaged
- Go for popular models as their spare parts will be readily available
An induction cooktop can be invaluable to your kitchen. So, take some time off, think about the factors listed above, compare models, read reviews and then go for the one device of your choice.