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It is chiefly distinguished from other common forms of stovetop cooking by the fact that the heat is generated directly in the cooking vessel, as opposed to being generated in the stovetop by electrical coils or burning gas. To be used on an induction cooker, a cooking vessel must be made of a ferromagnetic material and be electrically conductive.
What are the benefits?
- More Efficient: This form of flameless cooking has certain advantages over conventional gas flame and electric cookers, as it provides rapid heating, improved thermal efficiency, and greater heat consistency, yet with precise control similar to gas.
- Safer: In situations in which a hotplate would typically be dangerous or illegal due to the flame it produces, an induction plate is ideal, as it creates no heat or flame itself.
- Easier to Clean: Induction cookers are easier to clean because the cooking surface is flat and smooth, even though it may have several zones of heating induction. Food tends not to burn onto the cooking surface as it is not as hot as the pot and contents.
What are the Drawbacks?
- Pan Compatible: An induction cooker must match the shape of the pan; the usual flat cooker works well with flat-bottomed pans, but induction-compatible woks, for example, with rounded bottoms, need an induction cooker that fits the shape of the wok
- More Expensive: Induction cookers are more expensive than other electric cooktops.
- Careful Installation: Induction cookers require especially careful installation, because the electronics within an induction cooker must not be heated excessively during operation.