Written by Dale Richardson - Updated: June 23, 2023
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The portable induction hob presents an energy efficient, effective, and safe way to cook food. They work by creating an electromagnetic field to heat food. Electricity passes through a coil in the base. Food sits atop a glass or ceramic buffer, which does not conduct the electromagnetic energy. When an iron-containing pan is placed on top of the surface, the electromagnetic field extends to the pan and generates heat. They are energy efficient, meaning that more of the energy input is conserved when compared with electric or gas burners, and less heat is lost to the environment. They heat food directly and quickly, and then return to a cool state faster than the other types after cooking. Portable units offer greater flexibility and ease of cooking. These factors have led to induction hobs’ gaining popularity.
Portable Induction Hobs offer many advantages but are, like most machines, known to have some issues. The first is the learning curve associated with adopting induction cooking. Most cooks are habituated to cooking in a certain way with electric and gas stovetops, so induction cooking may be a little difficult to get used to initially. For example, conventional cooking heats pans up slowly and so the cook may use that time to prep some part of the dish. Induction hobs, on the other hand, require immediate attention because they are able to heat up very quickly.
Since induction hobs require iron to work, one may find that certain pans are not usable any longer. This may tack on the additional cost of buying iron-containing pans, which can be prohibitive. The pans you use must also be perfectly flat-bottomed and balanced to ensure even cooking. If they aren’t, food in different parts of the pan will cook with differing intensity. Moreover, you must ensure you have the correct weight of pan. Lightweight pans tend to heat unevenly and can burn food. Too heavy of a pan can result in premature burning.
Some users report that their burners turn off during cooking. This may be the automatic time or maximum heat sensors. A manual can give you specific information about remedying the problem in your particular model. Checking that the vent holes are uncovered and unblocked may fix the issue. Induction cooktops are designed to heat only when a pan is present. This can make the unit turn off if the pan is not centred or is moved slightly. Therefore, one must be diligent about aligning the pan to the designated cooking surface. This can also ensure that food will be cooked adequately. Some induction cooktops shut off when a pan is lifted during cooking, like the motions used to flip and saute. If your model is one that shuts off, you may have to train yourself to cook differently. Sometimes, initially, the heat setting needs to be adjusted to get the right temperature output. This may require some trial and error and extra vigilance. After adjustment, however, the portable induction hob should make cooking easier and more cost-effective.
Portable induction hobs, versus inbuilt induction hobs, can suffer in quality so it’s important that you find a unit that has enough variable power settings to give you sufficient control over cooking. You should also ensure that the fan is of good-quality, otherwise you’ll have to deal with it with some regularity. The cooking coil and hotspot should be sufficiently large for your vessels. A control panel that is on the same plane as the cooking surface runs the risk of being heated along with the pan. Obviously, this can cause damage to the unit. A control panel that is angled downward is recommended.
Although they’re more expensive, most people who use induction hobs find them to be superior to electric and gas cooking. Like any good investment, buying a portable induction hob requires care and attention. It requires that one does their due diligence in researching and learning about the unit and how to cook with it. Therefore, it is helpful to take advantage of pre-done research in the form of comprehensive product reviews. This one gives a thorough dissection of popular models available now.
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