MAIL: Induction Cooking

Beginner

Kathleen Jarschke-Schultze wrote about induction cooking in “Home & Heart” (HP157), and, like her, we’ve been thrilled with induction cooking. I recommend theinductionsite.com as a source for information on induction cooking, and comparative testing and evaluations of induction cooking appliances. That’s where I found information on our Max Burton hotplate by Athena, which delivers 1.5 kW at its top setting (more than Kathleen’s)—close to the maximum that a 15 A, 120 V household circuit can deliver. It boils a pot of water faster than on our gas stove, so in summer we haven’t used the stove at all. The hotplate is also portable, so I use it to do canning outside, keeping the house cooler, and sometimes for camping or traveling.

I recommend that you never put an empty pot on the burner when it is on, nor one that is not round, or is larger than the induction area shown. Also, don’t wear on your hands any jewelry that has so much iron in it that a magnet will stick to it. The magnetic field has a limited range of about a half an inch above the “burner” surface, so it is no threat to those with pacemakers, but anything mostly ferrous that spends much time in that magnetic field, like a spoon, for instance, will get blazing hot.

We figure induction cooking saves us cooking energy and house-cooling energy in summer—a win-win scenario. Though solar cookers can save even more energy in both areas, they require more advanced planning, so sometimes we use the induction cooking even when the solar cooker is also ready to go. It’s nice to have so many good options!

Christina Snyder • via email

Thank you for your letter. I’m so happy you have found induction cooking such an excellent fit into your lifestyle. Your unit is clearly more powerful than mine. Actually, my favorite setting is a very low simmer—it’s hard to burn the sauce that way. You don’t say whether you are off grid or not. I would love to use mine for fall canning, but alas, that is when our energy production is at its lowest. In the winter when our hydro is up and running’ I do not mind heating the house with my cooking. theinductionsite.com is a wealth of information—thanks for that.

Kathleen Jarschke-Schultze • Home & Heart column author

Comments (2)

Marc Fontana's picture

I've been using my single burner Aroma induction cooktop for 5 years now and I love it. I really like the timer feature which really helps with timed cooking. I picked it up at Costco 5 years ago for $50 and I'm surprised that Induction cooking hasn't really become that popular in the U.S. On my visit to stores that carry kitchen appliances, I always look for induction cooktops and they are getting harder to find. Are they not selling? Why are they not more popular in the U.S ? I've looked at upgrading my home range to one with Induction, but I am shocked at the price tags. The same models with gas or conventional electric burners cost half as much as one with Induction. I thought I had found a Frigidaire model at a reasonable price, but when I learned it did not have a timer one can set for individual burners, Really? I said "No Thanks". You can find single burner induction cooktop at reasonable under $100 prices. But try to find a range with 4 or 5 inductions burners and the price goes up $1000 or more. I don't get it...

richard turner 2's picture

I bought a "Nu-wave model & fripan,I do enjoy it,I was shocked at a Cook pot price & lid.but It's nice
haven't taken it camping Yet.

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