Induction cooking technology differs from traditional cooking methods because it uses the direct induction heating of the cooking pan instead of radiation, convection, or thermal conduction. Induction accomplishes this through a magnetic field that directly heats up the pot and not the cooktop itself. Since the cooktop doesn’t heat up, it is much safer than traditional cooking. If you place your hand on an induction stove top shortly after cooking on it, it will only contain the residual heat from the pan. Induction is easier to cleanup than other electric cooktops because the temperature is much more regulated and the cooking surface is only indirectly heated. Induction allows for fast increases in temperatures, and unlike traditional electric stove tops, the changes in temperature are instantaneous.
Induction cooking requires compatible pans made out of ferrous metals. To quickly check whether or not your cookware is compatible with induction cooking, try attaching a magnet to the underside of the pan. If it sticks, it’s compatible. If it doesn’t stick, it’s not compatible. Cast Iron and stainless steel cookware will work, while purely aluminum cookware is not compatible.
Looking for a high quality portable induction unit? Check out my review of the Breville PolyScience Control Freak here.