21 May Where's the flame? How Induction Cookers Work?
You have probably seen people cooking on a type of glass plate on some TV show. The appliance is an induction cooker, which has as its most impressive feature something hitherto considered essential in the preparation of many foods: fire. This is only possible because they make their own interpretation of the concept of electrical induction, discovered by physicists Hans Christian Oersted and Léon Foucault - a theme that was later also studied by Croatian inventor Nikola Tesla.
When fed by the mains, induction cookers work as transformers. The energy reaches a circuit called an oscillator, which produces an alternating current of 24 KHz. This current, in turn, is applied to a coil composed of several coiled wires, which are below the glass that will support the pan, and create an electromagnetic field around it.
When the stove is turned on, this magnetic circuit closes and a large amount of current starts to circulate through the pan. Then, the encounter of this current with the metal of the pan generates energy losses that turn into heat.
Temperature control is done by increasing or decreasing the intensity of the magnetic field generated by the coil.Here, the relationship is straightforward: the stronger the magnetic field, the more it will be absorbed by the pan. If the current intensity is higher, it means higher temperatures
Is it possible to use any type of pot on these stoves?
No. As a rule, the material of the pan to be used needs to be able to conduct electricity, which already excludes those made entirely of ceramic. On the other hand, materials that conduct electricity very well, with aluminum or copper, tend not to do very well with this type of technology. In them, the induced current ends up "shielding" the material and does not allow the penetration of the electric and magnetic fields.
Metals such as iron and stainless steel are the ones that work best with these stoves, as they conduct electricity while offering sufficient resistance to heat. In addition, they have high magnetic permeability.which makes it possible to deflect the lines from the magnetic field, causing them to circulate preferentially through the structure of the container
So, a good way to know if the pan works or not in this type of stove is to approach a magnet to it and see if it "sticks"
"Ah, but I saw ceramic and aluminum pots that work on induction cookers." In this case, these pans have a special bottom, which makes them capable of being heated in this type of material.
Can induction cookers burn your hand?
No. An induction cooker, when turned on, does not produce heat. You can put your hand on it and nothing will happen. This, however, does not apply if the stove has been used recently - after all, a hot pan was on the glass - or, if you have an iron or stainless steel ring on a finger of your hand.
Can the pan on an induction cooker shock you?
The answer is no, because the pan acts as a single spiral coil, making the induction cooker / pan set work as a voltage-reducing electrical transformer. As this voltage is low, it is insufficient to overcome the electrical resistance of the human body, which is what would cause the shock
Is an induction cooker better than a conventional one?.
This is subjective. In technical terms and in terms of energy use, yes, an induction cooker is better than the conventional one. In addition, it makes the pan heat up faster than on a gas stove, as well as allowing more precise control of the cooking temperature. The downside is that they are considerably more expensive than a conventional stove. And it is also necessary to consider that using them implies having a higher consumption of electric energy.