The Induction Cooking Guide
Induction cooking has been gaining a lot of popularity over the past few decades, even though the technology has been used in cooking for over a century.
If you are looking for an answer to the question, "What is induction cooking?" or want a full guide on how to optimize it in your own kitchen, you have come to the right place. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about induction cooking, and why it’s a great idea.
What is Induction Cooking?
So, what is induction cooking and how does it work?
The simplest explanation of induction cooking is that it heats your pots and pans directly instead of doing so with a gas-heated or electric element.
Due to this, it is able to always maintain a precise and consistent temperature. It also allows the cooking surface to stay fairly cool, so anything boiling over, spilling, or splattering onto the cooktop isn’t going to burn into it, so it’s easier to clean.
How Induction Cooking Works
Induction cooking works by using electric currents to directly heat your pots and pans with magnetic induction. While other types of cooking use thermal conduction, induction cooking heats up your kitchen products almost instantly.
There is an electric current that passes through a copper wire that is coiled beneath the cooking surface, and it creates a magnetic current throughout the pot or pan to heat it up. Induction cooking is considered to be far more efficient, simply because there is little heat energy lost.
Why Should You Use Induction Cooking?
Induction cooking is being adopted in both home and professional kitchens for the litany of benefits that it offers to chefs.
In a commercial setting, this technology truly shines as it can help you speed up your production line and serve more guests.
There are actually quite a few advantages to induction vs. gas or electric stovetops.
Better and More Precise Temperature Control
Induction cooking gives you a lot more control over the heat, and it allows you to be as precise as you would like with the temperature.
With better and more precise temperature control, you are able to reduce the risk of either over or under-cooking your food. Instead, your food has the potential to come out perfectly every time you make it.
Faster Boiling Time
Due to induction making instant heat within the metal pots and pans, there isn’t any heat being wasted throughout the process. So, when you boil water using induction heat, it will boil up to 50% faster than it would on electric or gas cooktops.
Easier to Clean
Induction cooking surfaces are very smooth, and they stay relatively cool throughout the cooking process. Meaning that they are much easier to clean, and have a much smaller risk of food and liquids sticking to the surface.
Induction Cooking Temperature Guide
Hotter is not always better, and this is especially true with a commercial induction cooktop. In fact, using the highest heat setting possible with an induction stovetop could burn your food completely and make it inedible. Here’s a guide for using induction cooking for different types of food.
Deep Frying Food
- Deep frying with induction cooking consists of heating up your oil slowly over low heat, and then fry the food for a longer time on a medium or medium-low setting.
- When barbequing food using induction cooking, the temperature should stay between 200 to 250 Fahrenheit.
- For sautéing meat, right below medium is the sweet spot. Oil and meat should be cooked slowly to avoid burning and bad flavors.
- Vegetables should be boiled at a temperature just below the boiling point. Simply adjust the temperature level until the water is bubbling gently.
- Delicate dishes like sauces should be cooked at a low temperature, in fact, the lower the better.
- Frozen foods can also be cooked at a low temperature, they don’t have to be boiled at a high temperature, just melted slowly.
What Kind of Pots and Pans Should You Use for Induction Cooking?
There are many different types of commercial kitchen equipment and many different materials that will work well for induction cooking. However, there are some to avoid as well. Here are the best choices when it comes to pots and pans to use for induction cooking.
High-Quality Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is an excellent option for induction cooking, but it has to be high-quality. Really inexpensive stainless steel pots and pans don’t have any core, while the more expensive options have copper and aluminum cores stuck between the layers of steel. Having this makes it a much better conductor of heat than stainless steel on its own.
However, it’s also important to avoid stainless steel products with too much nickel content, as those won’t be able to react magnetically either.
If you like cast iron but want something a little lighter, carbon steel is a great alternative.
They are a little more expensive, but they do have a faster reaction to heat adjustment than cast iron. Carbon steel products are well known for how well they work with induction cooking.
Cast iron is a hearty option that is ideal for induction cooking. Ideally, choosing an option like Lodge’s products is the best, as it’s made of pure iron ore and recycled cast iron.
What is an Induction Cooking Range?
A commercial induction range will have options for you to cook with a variety of different pot and pan sizes. Typically, most units will have safety functions that protect from overheating or automatically shut off if nothing is cooking on them. Making them safer is the fact that the cooking surface is not hot to the touch as heat is only transferred to compatible materials listed above.
There are different options you can choose from to fit the type of operation you run and the space available. Some are installed directly into the countertop, and others have an oven built-in as well. There are also modular options that allow you to add induction cooking functionality to your existing equipment.
Induction cooking equipment is easy to find room in your existing lineup, which makes them a quick, convenient upgrade if you need a boost in production capacity. Many countertop units are portable so you can create an instant cooking station anywhere there is an available electrical outlet and counter space. This makes them a great addition to your catering equipment lineup or can be installed in cart or pre-existing cabinets.
Finding the Right Induction Cooktop For Your Needs
Induction cooktops can have one or several burners or cooking zones. Countertop units can have up to four while ranges generally have six. If you opt for a range, the base options you have are very much what you'll have in a gas-powered or electric oven: a storage or cabinet base, a standard oven, or a convection oven.
Induction cooktops have a glass-ceramic surface that creates a sleek and modern appearance that will surely add style to your kitchen. They are also very easy to clean, but will still require careful use to prevent damage or scratches. Some induction tops are labeled as having a glass or ceramic top, but both materials are usually present.
Glass-ceramic has the appearance of glass and the durability of ceramic, which means it is more robust and harder to break. It can handle extreme cooking temperatures and still manage to add a little bit of flair to your workspace. One of the most popular induction cooktops you'll find use Schott Ceran glass-ceramic, which leans into the strength of each material to create a cooking surface that's beautiful, durable, and functional.
Induction cooktops usually have markers that indicate where the cookware should be placed to be properly heated. The area outside that marker will not heat up. This marker is sized to standard pots and pans so the ones you can use the ones you already have. There are models, however, that remove this limitation so you can use the entire surface.
There are also induction food warmers that operate at a lower temperature range to keep food hot for extended periods. These are great to use at the front-of-the-house or at catering events because they elevate the presentation while performing a valuable function.
Interested in starting out with induction cooking? Take a look at the commercial induction cooktops that CKitchen has to offer and take the leap in your cooking today.