12 Oct induction hob
Induction cooker - can you also use ordinary pots?
Not all pots can be used on the induction cooker
Requirements for the induction cooker
Induction stoves can only work with certain pots. This is due to the special way an induction cooker works. Pot bottoms must have magnetically conductive properties, otherwise, the stove cannot generate any heat in the pot bottom.
Most cooking pots in the home are made of either stainless steel or cast aluminum. Both materials are not suitable for the induction cooker if the floor has not been specially coated (so-called "sandwich floors" or encapsulated floors). This can be the case with some pots, but it is not always.
Many pots have different symbols embossed or printed on their bottom. If there is also a coiled symbol underneath, similar to a heating coil in a light bulb, it means: "Suitable for induction". If such a symbol is missing, although others are present, it can be assumed with reasonable certainty that the pot is not suitable for induction.
Test with magnets
A ferromagnetically conductive floor attracts a simple magnet and holds it in place. If this is the case, one can assume that the pot is suitable.
Pot bottoms must always be clean, smooth, and dry for use on the induction cooker. They must never be warped or uneven, otherwise, the pot is not suitable for an induction hob.
TIPS & TRICKS
Most induction hobs also automatically recognize which pans are suitable. If an unsuitable pan is placed on the hob with a little water, the induction hob will switch off immediately. However, it is better to look for symbols or to do the test with the magnet. So you definitely don't risk any damage or a constant error message on the induction hob.
What temperatures does an induction cooker have?
A permanent temperature can be set with the temperature setting of the induction cooker
Temperature setting function
With some induction stoves, you can not only select the level but also preset a temperature. If, for example, 80 ° C is set, the induction hob automatically clocks the heating output of the set level so that the food always remains close to 80 ° C, and the temperature is not exceeded and is not too far below. This is useful if you want to steam or simmer something for a long time.
TIPS & TRICKS
If your induction cooker does not have separate temperature control, you can use the controls as easily as you would with a normal cooker: Turn the highest level to parboil, then turn it down. The maximum temperature that is usually permitted is around 150 ° C, above which the stove automatically switches down.
Induction cooker: the structure
The coil is one of the core elements of an induction cooker
The most important part of the hob is the coil. It is comparatively large and only has one layer. It consists of special high-frequency wires, a so-called HF Litz wire. Such strands consist of a multitude of fine wires that are intertwined in a certain way. They are usually isolated from one another by varnish.
In total, these HF braids provide a very large cross-section, which is fundamentally important for the functioning of an induction cooker.
The oscillating circuit
The oscillating circuit for generating the pulsed magnetic field is formed from the coil and some capacitors (alternating current resistance). The resonant circuit is excited by a so-called Royer converter, alternatively by special switching transistors (IGBT). Whether one or more transistors are present depends on the design of the individual device.
Every induction hotplate needs cooling to dissipate the high temperatures that arise inside the hob. Since it is controlled electronically, the induction hob is particularly sensitive to heat. Usually, heat sinks and aluminum cooling elements are used.
Control elements must also be built into the circuit so that the power of the hob can be regulated. The control can take place in different ways:
- by varying the excitation frequency
- via control of the pulse width
- via controllable semiconductor diodes (thyristors)
Types of hobs
In addition to the cooktops of a fixed size, the entire glass-ceramic surface can also serve as a cooktop. The control recognizes where a pot is and adapts the heat transfer exactly to the size of the pot base. Such surface induction hobs are usually significantly more expensive than conventional induction hobs.
TIPS & TRICKS
You should never try to repair or even open an induction hob yourself.
What is the power consumption of an induction cooker?
Although the induction cooker consumes less electricity than other electric cookers, the high purchase costs still do not make up for it
Electricity consumption with the electric stove
Electricity consumption depends on several factors:
On average, depending on how much is cooked, the household consumes around 400 - 800 kWh of electricity.
Comparison with the induction cooker
The basic rule is: induction cookers save by their operation during parboiling around 30% power. Overall, however, the power consumption is not significantly lower.
A practical comparison carried out by Stiftung Warentest showed differences of around 2 kWh per month in operation. Expressed in terms of costs, this corresponds to savings of around 50 - 60 cents per month.
There are no savings in baking, as ovens operate in the same way on both a regular electric and an induction hob.
Cost use Bill
The possible savings in electricity consumption over the entire service life cannot make up for the significantly higher acquisition costs for induction cookers. In some cases, the following must also be taken into account:
- the significantly higher susceptibility to repairs
- the shorter lifespan
- the higher costs of purchasing induction-compatible pots
The cost-benefit calculation and the low energy savings clearly speak against the induction hob. In some cases, however, other advantages may be decisive for the purchase.
TIPS & TRICKS
Even with a normal electric stove, you can save a lot of electricity if you pay attention to a few things. For example, always cooking with the lid on (reduces energy consumption by up to 60%!), Using residual heat and pressure cookers, and always using the kettle to heat water.
Induction cooker: is the magnetic field harmful?
Small magnetic fields form around the magnetic field of the induction hob
Strength of the magnetic field
Due to the way the induction cooker works, weak magnetic fields can also be measured around the cooker. These are not static, but so-called "pulsed" magnetic fields.
As with static magnetic fields, however, their strength decreases very quickly with increasing distance from them.
Strong magnetic fields - including high-voltage lines - can be detrimental to health if the whole body is exposed to them for long periods of time.
The exposure to the magnetic field measured in many studies can, however, be classified as very low for healthy people. All measured values are well below the applicable limit values in all tests.
The load is lowest in the front area in front of the induction cooker. Higher magnetic fields can be measured on the side of the pots and in the rear area of the devices. Here, too, all values are well below the limit values.
Higher levels of radiation can be emitted if:
- Pots are too small for the hob
- Do not stand pots in the middle of the hob
- Pots have an uneven bottom
A very comprehensive study by the Swiss Ministry of Health made the following recommendations:
- Keep a distance of 5 - 10 cm from the stove
- Always use perfectly fitting, sufficiently large, and flawless pots
- if possible, always use the rear hobs
- People with a pacemaker should keep a distance of around 40 cm from the stove and also speak to their doctor if they want to use an induction stove
- Do not use metal kitchen utensils if you have a pacemaker (so-called leakage currents can occur, which can interfere with pacemakers and other medical implants)
TIPS & TRICKS
Also, keep in mind that your pets may be able to hear the magnetic pulses during operation and they may be uncomfortable or disturbing for them.
When the induction cooker is buzzing
If the induction hob hums, hums, or cracks, most owners of such a hob often fear the worst. After all, on a conventional ceramic hob, they were not used to the fact that the stove could hum or hum. But many of the noises that are made during induction cooking are easy to explain and do not announce a defect or damage.
The humming is an integral part of induction hobs
Induction stoves are the most modern way you can cook. If you do not yet know where the advantages and disadvantages of the induction hob are, you can read about them in detail by following the link. In it, we also go into the fact that a certain humming, whirring, and crackling is quite normal with an induction cooker.
How induction cookers work
First, we want to describe the working principle of an induction hob. Then you can better understand why such a noise development can occur. An induction coil generated permanently changing magnetic fields, which are directed in a vortex towards the area of the hob marking.
If there is an electrically conductive vessel on the hob, induction occurs. This creates heat in the electrically conductive metal. The heat is therefore not generated in the induction coil and then conducted to the bottom of the pot or pan. It arises directly at the bottom of the pot. These magnetic fields can be bundled even better if the metal is ferromagnetic, i.e. reacts to a magnet.
Induction coil and a lot of electronics
The principle of induction was discovered back in the 19th century, but only today's electronics enable it to be implemented in an attractive way. However, these electronics are above all sensitive to heat. A fan can help here. More heat is generated, especially at full power. There are several components and parts that can generate a humming or cracking noise when the induction cooker is switched on:
- the bottom of the pot or pan
- the fan
- the induction coil
Especially with older devices, it can be the case that the drive shaft of the fan gets a little louder over time. But even cheap manufacturers may have used components that are inherently a bit louder.
An imperfect pan or saucepan (bottom)
There is a high potential for noise from the bottom of the pot or pan. Only really perfect pots and pans make almost no noise. Multi-layer floors in particular (for example aluminum pots with a ferromagnetic floor) tend to hum because the floor material is set in motion.
Use of apparently suitable cooking vessels
This can also lead to other noises, for example, if it is a very old cast iron pot from grandmother's stock. Because these pots usually do not have a completely flat (smooth and even) base but are always somewhat rounded. This can increase the swing.
Induction coil and process of induction
However, a humming or humming noise can also be heard during induction. This is also generated by the induction coil itself. Sometimes those affected even speak of a crackling or hissing sound. Even with older devices, it can explicitly happen that more noises can be heard.
The rare case of real noise problems
In very rare cases, however, there may be an installation fault in the induction hob. Then, after the ceramic hob has been installed, the sound waves are transmitted unfavorably to the surrounding components of the built-in kitchen, while at the same time it acts like a resonance body that can amplify noises.
TIPS & TRICKS