The latest innovation in kitchen technology is the Induction cooker or induction stove. These use the principal of induction, which means instead of applying direct heat to a vessel on the cooktop, they heat the metal by electromagnetic induction. Induction cooktops contain copper induction coils and alternating current (AC) flows through the coils. This produces an oscillating magnetic field that creates a low voltage current in any pan with a high ferrous content base. The current cooks by making resistive heat.
Environmentally friendly Induction cookers are extremely efficient. They produce no smoke in contrast to traditional solid fuel or gas stoves. Induction is a much safer cooking method than electric cookers where hot burners could be dangerous. The induction plate is safe to touch, even while in use. Induction also eliminates the risks of accidental gas leaks, which account for several deaths annually across the world.
One big disadvantage of induction cookers is that the cookware used must be made of magnetic materials. Therefore, iron and stainless steel are the only options. Any pans made of copper, aluminium, glass, etc. are useless. Buying an induction cooker involves higher initial costs than traditional gas stoves or electrical stoves. Replacing the cookware further increases the cost. Thus, induction cookers have met major market resistance; they're out of reach of normal middle class people. Also, the glass or ceramic tops common to Induction cookers can break in case of high impact, so they require extra care.
Current consumer resistance to induction cookers won't last long as customers adapt to induction cooking. With the energy crisis and potential lack of gaseous fuels in future, induction cookers are definitely a better solution.
Studies show that induction cookers are 12% more energy efficient than conventional electric cookers, even more efficient when compared to gas cookers. They produce no flames or gases to contribute to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases so they are environmentally friendly and could possibly help to reduce the greenhouse effect.
It's clear that once we bring down the initial cost, induction cookers will become the better choice for the future. More research leading to breakthroughs in this technology, which is still fairly new, will surely help in reducing the price. Government investments or subsidies could also help reduce the price and promote their use for a better tomorrow.
John Botch is a widely respected writer who has been writing for 5 over years often writes on Rangemaster 90 and a wide range of other subjects.