Induction Cookers - Technology

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Let's learn about Induction Cooking Technology

As we know that the latest cooking technology in the world is induction cooking .The technology behind is quite simple.The basic concept is that induction cooker works on electromagnetic induction principle.The  electromagnetic induction principle can take place only in steel and iron utensil. The induction coil inside the induction cooker generates magnetic field and eddy current in the steel or iron utensils.due to this the iron molecules starts rapid movement and give resistance to each other ,Due to this heat is generated in the utensils very quickly.

In somany cooking technology , the best available technology is induction cooking,Induction cooking completely different from all other cooking technologies-- it does not involve generating heat which is then transferred to the cooking vessel, it makes the cooking vessel itself the original generator of the cooking heat.

How does an induction cooker do that?

Put simply, an induction-cooker element/induction coil (what on a gas stove would be called a "burner") is a powerful, high-frequency electromagnet, with the electromagnetism generated by sophisticated electronics in the "element" under the unit's top plate. When a good-sized piece of magnetic material--such as, for example, a cast-iron skillet--is placed in the magnetic field of the induction coil is generating, the field transfers ("induces") energy into that metal. That transferred energy causes the metal--the cooking vessel--to become hot. By controlling the strength of the electromagnetic field, we can control the amount of heat being generated in the cooking vessel--and we can change that amount instantaneously.

(To be technical, the field generates a loop current--a flow of electricity--within the metal of which the pot or pan is made, and that current flow through the resistance of the metal generates heat, just as current flowing through the resistance element of a conventional electric range's coil generates heat; the difference is that here, the heat is generated directly in the pot or pan itself, not in any part of the cooker.This type of current is called eddy current)

 how induction cooker works

  1. The element's electronics power a coil (the red lines) that produces a high-frequency electromagnetic field (represented by the orange lines).
  2. That field penetrates the metal of the ferrous (magnetic-material) cooking vessel and sets up a circulating electric current, which generates heat. (But see the note below.)
  3. The heat generated in the cooking vessel is transferred to the vessel's contents.
  4. Nothing outside the vessel is affected by the field--as soon as the vessel is removed from the element, or the element turned off, heat generation stops.

 

 

(Note: the process described at #2 above is called an "eddy current"; heat is also generated by another process called "hysteresis", which is the resistance of the ferrous material to rapid changes in magnetization. The relative contributions of the two effects is highly technical, with some sources emphasizing one and some the other--but the general idea is unaffected: the heat is generated in the cookware.),

(You can see what such a coil and its associated electronics looks like in the image below.)

 induction coil and pcb assembly in induction cooker

 There is thus one point about induction: with current technology, induction cookers require that all your countertop cooking vessels be of a "ferrous" metal (one, such as iron,or steel that will readily sustain a magnetic field). Materials like aluminum, copper, and other metal are not usable on an induction cooker. But all that means is that you need iron or steel pots and pans. And that is no drawback in absolute terms, for it includes the best kinds of cookware in the world--every top line is full of cookware of all sizes and shapes suitable for use on induction cookers (and virtually all of the lines will boast of it, because induction cooking is so popular with discerning cooks). Nor do you have to go to top-of-the-line names like All-Clad or Le Creuset, for many very reasonably priced cookware lines are also perfectly suited for induction cooking. But if you are considering induction cooking and have lot invested, literally or emotionally, in non-ferrous cookware, you do need to know the facts.

(And there are now available so-called "induction disks"-a round iron plate that will allow non-ferrous cookware to be used on an induction element; using such a disk loses many of the advantages of induction--from high efficiency to no waste heat--but those who want or need, say, a glass/pyrex or ceramic pot for some special use, it is possible to use it on an induction cooktop with such a disk.)But the life of induction cooker reduces drastically using a iron disk on the top plate.

More Cooking Technology in Future may come but its too far.

On the horizon is newer technology that will apparently work with any metal cooking vessel, including copper and aluminum, but that technology--though already being used in a few units of Japanese manufacturer--is probably quite a few years away from maturity and from inclusion in most induction cookers. If you are interested in a new cooktop, it is, in our judgement, not worth waiting for that technology.

(The trick seems to be using a significantly high-frequency field, which is able to induce a current in any metal; ceramic and glass, however, would still be out of the running for cookware even when this new technology arrives--if it ever does.)

 

Now finally on this side of that "horizon" is the so-called "zoneless" induction cooktop (every maker has its own trademarked term for "zoneless', but that's the common term). It rather seems, at this point, as if the mountain has labored to birth a mouse. The original promise of zoneless was a surface on which you could put down any size or shape of cooking vessel in any location or orientation and have everything work. In fact, even that, when once one comes to think it through, is not so very exciting except as it may involve cooking vessels of unusual sizes or shapes--the few things (griddle, grill, fish pan) that don't function well, or at all, on standard circular heating elements; for most pots and pans, having fixed-location heating elements is just not an issue.

Well, zoneless has been in Europe for some years, and now is arrived in the U.S. with models from (as this is written) two BSH Group makers: Thermador and Gaggenau. (No doubt there will be more from other makers soon enough--both the Electrolux Group and the Fagor Group have substantial expertise in "zoneless".) The issue on which, in our opinion, these new zoneless units disappoint is capacity: they are 36-inch units, a size one would normally expect to be able to carry up to five vessels--but to achieve the "zoneless" quality, they restrict the cook to a maximum of four cooking vessels at any one time. To us, that seems a big step backward in technology.

It would be less disappointing were it not that there are now several units on the market that provide the option for true induction-powered "bridging" between a front-and-back element pair, effectively turning the two into a single quite long heating element, so that exactly the "problem" vessels--grills, griddles, fish pans, and the like--are accomodated perfectly well. There are 30-inch, four-element units with bridges, and 36-inch, five-element units as well. What one might gain over such a bridged unit by going to one that is 36 inches wide but only takes four vessels escapes us.

Finally, there is also now such a thing as an induction oven. (The usual heating coil on the base of the oven has been replaced by a ferrous plate, which is energized to heat by embedded induction coils beneath it--so any sort of bakeware will work in it.) Expect to see more such things before long.