How Induction Cooking Works

Many of you may not be familiar with induction cooking, so let’s review how induction works.

Induction cooking is a two part system.

The first part is a coil of copper wire like this one.

When electric current is passed through the coil, it creates an electromagnetic field of energy.

All by itself, nothing happens.

t-fal-induction-cookware

The control flashes a letter F telling you that it failed to detect a pan.

Electromagnetic energy is around us every day in the form of AM and FM radio, cell phones, wireless laptops, microwaves, infrared, and visible light.

The second part of this two-part system is the pan.

Now you need to know that not all pans will work on an induction cooktop.

Pans that are a hundred percent copper,hundred percent aluminum, or non-magnetic stainless steel will notwork.

The bottom of the pan must have some iron content.

The easiest way to tell if your pans have an iron base core is to use a magnet.

If the magnet sticks to the bottom of the pan then that pan will work on your induction cooktop.

The bottoms of many pans are of a sandwich construction like this one.

Often stainless steel inside and out but may have an aluminum core in the center.

Those pains will work if the stainless steel is magnetic.

Just check it with a magnet.

Now let’s see this in action.

I’ll place the pan on a cooktop with water in it and turn it on high.

If this were a traditional radiant cooktop, the entire element would heat and the entire surface would glow red, but not with your best induction cookware.

The coil below the ceramic surface does not heat and will not glow.

All the electromagnetic energy passes through the cooktop and into the pan.

This causes the iron molecules to vibrate tens of thousands of times a second and it’s a friction between those molecules that creates the heat.

 

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