Induction Cooktops

How to Choose the Best Portable Induction Cooktop

Induction cooking is more efficient than gas or traditional electric stoves, because the heat is generated by a magnetic field directly on the cookware, where you want it. Instead of heating an element, such as a metal coil or flames, most of the electricity goes into making the pan or pot hotter. This also translates into a cooler house, since the magnetic field only heats the metal cookware above it, not the air around it. Because of this, you can save money just by switching to induction cookware.

In addition, induction cooking is also safer than gas cooking, because the heat goes directly to the pot, instead of burning nearby things. You can even touch the cooking surface while it's on without getting burned, making it perfect for a house with kids or pets. Also, since most models come with electronic controls, it is very easy to set up a childlock with most models.

Size

While induction cooktops are usually smaller than other stoves, space is still an issue. Therefore, the first thing you need to know to choose which induction cooktop is right for you is the number of burners that you need. If you have little space, then a 1-burner model is perfect for you. If you find yourself usually cooking multiple dishes at once, then a 3 or even 4 burner model would suit you better. Make sure to measure the dimensions of your space before purchasing a cooktop.

Power

The next thing you have to worry about is the power output. Make sure that your kitchen plug can support your cookware. You don't want your circuit breaker tripping because of your cooktop.

The right cookware

It is important to remember that not all pots and pans would work with an induction cooktop. Since it heats by magnetism, the pots and pans should be magnetic for the cooktop to work. The most popular cookware used with induction cookers are cast iron and stainless steel. Copper pans and aluminum pans won't work because they are not ferrous (magnetic). Make sure that you have enough pots and pans that you can use with your cooktop before buying one.

Features

Most cooktops have a feature to turn off if there is no pan on the cooktop, or if the pan is too small. If you plan to use a small pan, such as an egg pan, make sure to buy a cooktop with an appropriately sized burner. Some models also offer a pot size detector, and will adjust the coverage of the heating element accordingly.

If you are concerned about safety, consider buying a model with spillover protection, which will turn off the cooktop when liquid touches it, preventing possible scalding or other messy situations.

Another feature that you may want is a timer that can shut off an individual burner after a set amount of time. This is especially useful for busy cooks, or if you have the tendency to forget your cooking. If you've burned a dish before, you may want to look into this feature.

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