How to Choose the Best Induction Cooker
Table of Contents
Top Popular Induction Cooker
Why You Need an Induction Cooker?
The most obvious disadvantage of cooking on the direct flame in a regular gas-based stove is that your foods will be in direct flame. When this happens, the foods that are being cooked will lose all the vital vitamins and nutrients. But, with an induction cooker, you can ensure that the nutrition is sealed in the food. It means that you can expect healthy cooking with this type of cooktop.
Also, the induction cooktop creates heat almost immediately on switching it on. In the same manner, the heat immediately vanishes when you switch off the cooker. Even, some models come with sensors that can identify whether you have left the pan without switching off by mistake. It will immediately shut off the power, thereby saving both your food and energy. Thus, it can function as a wok for stir-frying as well.
Now, let us get into some tips that will provide you the answer to the question of how to choose the best induction cooker:
A quote reads “Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all”. If you plan to get into cooking, you can consider buying an induction cooker. It will make your cooking easy and hassle-free. But, you might be confused about how to choose the right appliance. Before getting into this, let us first understand why choosing induction cooker can be the best choice as compared to regular stove-based cooking:
Advantages of Induction Cooktop
Some of the common and widely accepted advantages of induction cooking include:
- Safety in usage
- Easy Maintenance
- Saves time
- Energy efficiency
- multifunction, like stewing and steaming food.
You can get the above-mentioned benefits from an induction cooker as against any other type of cooker.
12 Factors to Consider When Selecting an Induction Cooker
#1 Consider the wattage
Among the many factors, wattage or power is the essential factor to consider. Here, most people have a misconception. The misconception is that the bigger the power, the better. People believe that more power quicker will be cooking. But, in reality, the greater the power, the more energy it will consume. Also, higher power units will cost you more. So, when you consider the wattage, make your decision based on the number of members of your family, the size of the pot you will use and the main use. For instance, if your family comprises of less than three people, you can choose the unit with about 1700W power. If the members are 4-5, you can choose 1800W and the watts should increase with the number of members in your family.
#2 Understand the different types of induction cookers
As you plan to choose the best induction cooker, you should know about the types you will come across in the market. Here are the common types:
- Built-in stoves: This type of induction cooker is mounted right on the kitchen platform itself. They will have many cooking zones. This type of cooktop will be helpful for large families. However, you cannot carry them from one place to another. The reason is that they are affixed to the kitchen countertop. And make sure your range hood is perfectly matched your induction cooker in terms of design and functions.
- Compact and portable induction cookers: This type is a single cooking zone appliance. They are easy to clean and fully portable. For bachelors and small families, this type will help.
- Freestanding induction: You can fix this type in between counters. You will find them in different colors. In addition to being easy to install, this type is easy to clean and use. For additional support, they come with an electric oven.
#3 Know the compatibility of your cooking utensils
The important thing to remember when you buy an induction cooktop is that not all cookware is compatible with this cooker. Of course, there is a great chance that the majority of your pans will work fine with this cooktop. The utensils should be made out of ferrous metal. In simple words, only when a magnet clings to your utensil, it will work on your induction cooktop.
#4 Conducting a magnet test
If you plan to shop for new cookware that will work in your induction cooktop, grab a magnet and carry it to the store. Even, a simple magnet test can be conducted on the utensils that you already use in your home. Just hold the magnet to the bottom of the cookware. If it clings, the cookware will work on your induction cooker. If there is an attraction, but it just grabs the magnet softly, the cookware may or may not perform well on the cooktop. If there is no magnetic attraction, the utensil will not work in your induction top.
#5 Consider the control panel
Nowadays, the induction cooktop comes with a digital control panel. From this control panel, you can access the intuitive and simple controls. Just make sure that the control panel controls are easy to understand. The interface should be user-friendly. Only then, cooking on the cooktop will be easier.
#6 Know about the timer
Almost all induction cookers come with timers pre-set for cooking some foods. For instance, you will find individual timers for preparing soup, boiling water, cooking rice, etc. When you have this feature, the unit will automatically switch off once the pre-set time reaches. When this feature is available, when the dish is being prepared, you can complete your other tasks without fear of overcooking. The reason is that the cooker will switch off automatically when the pre-set timer reaches. It is important when stewing or making soup dishes.
However, make sure that the timer is flexible. Sometimes, you might feel that lesser time is enough as compared to the pre-set timer suggested by the cooker. In this case, you can set the timer so that the unit will automatically switch-off once it reaches the set timer.
#7 Child-lock facility
If you have kids at home, this feature will help. You can just touch the lock button when the dish is being cooked. Even if your kid touches any button in the middle, nothing will happen as the keypads are locked already. Even, this feature will help you as well. If the unit has a touch-mechanism, your unintentional touch will not disturb the cooking with the child-lock feature.
Indeed, most induction cookers come with a flat surface. The surface is generally made using glass or ceramic material. The flat shape will prevent the cooking utensil from slipping. Even though they have a flat surface, they come in different shapes like square, rectangle and circular. So, choose one based on your interest.
#9 Quality of the induction coil
When you go for a low-price variant, the manufacturer would have used a wattage range of 900~1350. Also, it would have a tempered or ceramic glass-top plat. Further, it would have a small PCB board for low wattage along with a plastic body and aluminum induction coil. When you go for this type of cooktop, any power fluctuation will create an immediate issue with the unit. So, it is better to make sure that the induction cooker that you plan to buy has a copper coil. The unit with this type of coil will ensure durability.
#10 Consider the sensors in the induction cooktop
The latest induction cookers come with sensors for different purposes. For instance, some of them include auto heat up sensors, auto-pan detection sensors; auto power cut sensor and safety sensors. When you go for a unit with these sensors, you can expect efficient functioning. Even, these features will help with bringing down power consumption. Also, these features will ensure your safety when using as well.
#11 Pan size for induction cooktop
When it comes to induction cooking, it can permit maximum and minimum pan size. In case, you use a smaller size pan that is less than the minimum size recommended by the induction cooker, the cooker will not detect the pan. In turn, it cannot cook the food in the pan.
Ideally, the size of the pan should match the internal coil size or diameter of the cooktop for better efficiency. If you go for a unit with a 14-inch coil, the circular hotspot in the unit will be around 7 inches in diameter. So, before you shop for an induction cooker, make sure that the size will match the pan that you regularly use in your home.
#12 Consider the warranty
Like any other appliance, go for an induction cooker that comes with warranty. Do not forget to ask the seller about the availability of spare parts like repairing or replacing the top plate after damage. Also, check whether they will service the unit. Make sure that service centers for the brand are available near you. In general, the induction cooker comes with a warranty for one or two years. The longer the warranty, the better will be your safety. Do compare the warranty period before you decide on any induction cooker.
Now, you know what should be considered in shopping for an induction cooker. Also, it is better to know about the advantages of using an induction cooktop.
In short, induction cooking is beneficial in many ways. In addition to considering the brand, do consider the points discussed above that will help with deciding on the right cooker that will stay with you for long.