It’s faster than the speed of gas – and more economical, too.

May 19 06:41 2007 Darren Rascally Roberts Print This Article

A small revolution is happening regarding kitchen cook tops, as induction hobs are slowly developing into a serious contender to the traditional gas hobs. The environment and modern lifestyles will surely demand the newcomer to become more prominent.

As society turns to a more environmentally friendly attitude in the face of further global warming issues,Guest Posting a new technology is becoming more and more prominent in a bid to save the planet. The art of induction cooking might have appeared to have been lost, but as gas and electric hobs begin to find their grips on the market loosened, induction hobs have appeared as the catalyst of this slip.

Cooking purists will always hold gas hobs very close to their hearts, and it is unlikely that any other hob will ever change that easily. The traditional method of heating up a pan and cooking with it is simple, especially with the high degree of control over the heat available to the chef. However, we are living in an ever-changing world, where people are increasingly dependant on technology to make tasks more convenient. Induction hobs can do just that, especially as they are almost twice as fast as gas equivalents when it comes to cooking. Speed has been king for a long time, in many different aspects of everyday life, and now there’s an improved method to allow for quicker cooking, saving more time in general life.

Induction hobs are also said to be considerably more energy efficient than gas hobs, using up to 90% of the energy produced in comparison to 55%, making them more economical. This could well be something of a false economy, seeing as the equipment required to use it is more expensive. However, as induction cooking becomes increasingly mainstream, the prices will tumble in accordance. Market experts believe that it is only a matter of time before induction hobs will begin to challenge gas hobs for market share, and over the next 5 years they expect induction hobs to double or even treble their 5-7% of the market. Just like the DVD replaced the VHS cassette, induction hobs look set to overtake and replace their gas counterparts.

As we saw with DVDs, the induction equipment is expensive in comparison to gas. In addition, regular pots and pans will not work on induction hobs. Pans made from a ferrous metal are required, in order to pass through the electro magnetic currents created by the induction hobs. Once the ferrous pan is in contact with the induction hob, heat is generated in the pan, rather than from the hob. The temperature can be controlled by adjusting the electric currents from the hob. All of this means that the hob itself won’t heat up, it will only be the pan so there are safety advantages to be had too. Do not be put off by the fact that ferrous pans are required – it just means that your pots and pans will need to be made from steel or iron, rather than traditional Pyrex or aluminium. The required equipment is readily available from both the high street and from online stores, and there are different levels of quality with a wide range of prices to suit.

The hobs themselves are also more expensive than both the traditional gas hob and standard electrical ones. However, the technology involved in using them to cook is one of the reasons why. As previously stated, the hobs themselves don’t heat up; they simply provide a source for the pan to heat up. Beneath the ceramic surface lies sophisticated set of electronics that make up the element, which in turn power a coil to produce a high frequency electromagnetic field. This action does not generate heat, but it is the circulating electric current that occurs when a ferrous object comes in to contact with it that does. As a result, even though the ferrous object will invariably transfer some heat to the cook top, it is by no means hot enough to burn, and will very quickly return to normal temperature. Temperature control during cooking is also as good as instantaneous, as it is simply a case of altering the electric current.

The future of induction hobs looks pretty secure, and could become even more readily available. Currently, German manufacturers such as AEG, Bosch and Siemens are the dominant forces in the induction hob market, and Smeg are also big players. Japanese companies are also beginning to develop induction technology that can be used with standard pots and pans, although this is probably a few years away yet, but the general consensus is that induction hobs will fall in price, and will then be much more accessible to all. The benefits of induction cooking will also become more apparent as its popularity increases with the public.

In terms of maintenance, induction hobs are much easier to clean than gas hobs. Because the heat only occurs with the pan, it means that spillages do not get baked on top. It’s also a continuous surface, so there are no obstacles to clean around. There’s no energy wastage either, as the electromagnetic field transfers its energy directly to the pan. The hobs also begin to cool down as soon as the pan is taken away, meaning that they are very safe to touch. In comparison to gas, there are no emissions, and hence no fears about any gas leaks.

Gas hobs are still very much the choice of the majority of people, but it seems that it is only a matter of time before induction equivalents will be looked upon as a serious everyday alternative to the traditional option. The evidence of the benefits are there to be seen, but change won’t happen quickly. As induction hobs gain more popularity, prices will fall, and perhaps they will become the norm. With the environment becoming a bigger issue and people’s lifestyles getting even busier, induction hobs could even be promoted by more advocates sooner rather than later.

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Darren Rascally Roberts
Darren Rascally Roberts

This article is brought to you by Kitchen Science, a trusted supplier of a wide range of kitchen appliances including Built in Hobs.

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