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Portable Induction Cooktop

Updated on October 30, 2014

A Little Induction Cooking History

Did you know that induction cooking has been around since the early 1900s? My research indicates that the first patents date from that time period. In the 1950s, the Frigidaire division of General Motors toured a stove demonstration in North America. Even though it was never put into production, the induction cooker was shown heating a pot of water with a newspaper placed between the stove and the pot to demonstrate the convenient and safety. In 1971, the Westinghouse Electric Corporation out of Churchill Borough, near Pittsburgh, displayed what they called the Cool Top Induction Range, at the National Association of Homebuilders convention in Houston, Texas. Priced at $1,500, this stand alone, single burner range came with a set of high quality cookware made of Quadraply, a laminate of stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum and another layer of stainless steel (outside to inside).

My two sources of reference for this lens:

wikipedia

theinductionsite

Image reference: wikipedia

GE PHP900DMBB Profile 30 Inch Black Electric Induction Cooktop
GE PHP900DMBB Profile 30 Inch Black Electric Induction Cooktop

Are Heat Induction Appliances Common?

GE PHP900DMBB Profile 30 Inch Black Electric Induction Cooktop

There are now several types of induction cooktops on the market.

The portable induction cooktop is a stand alone unit with one or more heating areas and can be very inexpensive.

The permanent induction cooktop looks identical to the induction stove top, but is much more flexible as to locations to install, and is a space saver.

The induction stove comes with induction cooktop and options whether you prefer regular electric heat oven or induction oven.

So, whether you are looking for a portable cooktop for quick, portable heating, a space-saving countertop cooktop, or an induction range, the art of induction cooking is now affordable to the general public. There are several brands of portable induction cooktops,permanent induction cooktops, and induction ranges on the market, so you have quite a choice to suit your wants and needs. Good luck!

Pictured is the GE PHP900DMBB Profile 30" Black Electric Induction Cooktop available at Amazon. It is rated 4 out of 5 stars with 42 reviews.

Duxtop Whole-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Induction Ready Premium Cookware 10-Pc Set
Duxtop Whole-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Induction Ready Premium Cookware 10-Pc Set

Induction Heating Cookware

Duxtop Whole-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Induction Ready Premium Cookware 10-Pc Set

Whether you only need a portable induction cooktop that you can plug and unplug in various locations in your kitchen, a permanent induction cooktop that you incorporate into your kitchen countertop, or an induction range, proper cookware is crucial to a great cooking experience.

Because induction heat is created by exciting iron molecules on the cookware with a magnetic field on the cooktop, it only stands to reason that you must have proper cookware. Only cookware made of iron, cast iron, black metal, or magnetic grade stainless steel pans will work properly with induction cooking. Ceramic, glass, copper bottom, aluminum pans, and cookware not made of iron are not suitable for induction cooking. There are several brands of induction cookware on the market. You may find some cookware with a symbol indicating it is compatible with induction cooking. A rule of thumb is to use a small magnet, such as a refrigerator magnet, on the base of the cookware - if it sticks, it is suitable for induction cooking.

Pictured is the Duxtop Whole-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Induction Ready Premium Cookware 10-Pc Set, a beautiful stainless steel induction cooking set sold by Amazon. 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 124 reviews.

Nuwave PIC 2 - Precision Induction Cooktop 2
Nuwave PIC 2 - Precision Induction Cooktop 2

Remember The Electric Hot Plate?

Nuwave PIC 2 - Precision Induction Cooktop 2

Remember your days in college, the military, or just trying to find yourself away from home? I was always looking for a way to heat whatever canned food I could afford in my dorm room in college, my barracks in the military, and my first apartment. Remember trying to heat water for Top Ramen, or whatever noodle dish you could afford? What did we use(?)...an electric hot plate. I can't believe I didn't burn down my living space in those good old days, tho' I guarantee I tried :-). So many burn scars from the red hot open coil - ouch!

Well, things are so much better today. There is this thing catching on called Induction Heat. There seems to be a wave of portable induction cooktop appliances in the market today. Now you can plug a portable induction cooktop anywhere on the counter and not worry about an open heating element, or excessive heat from the element causing injury to you or the kids. The only heat produced is between the cookware and the cooktop. Heat control is very precise and so simple that even I can cook on this portable induction cooktop. So now I enjoy heating my canned goods and Top Ramen.

Pictured is the Nuwave PIC 2 - Precision Induction Cooktop 2 offered by Amazon. This is a very popular portable induction cooktop also sold through TV. This product is rated 4 out of 5 stars based on 50 reviews.

GE PHS920SFSS Profile 30 inch Stainless Steel Electric Slide-In Induction Range - Convection
GE PHS920SFSS Profile 30 inch Stainless Steel Electric Slide-In Induction Range - Convection

Some Pros Some Cons

GE PHS920SFSS Profile 30 Inch Stainless Steel Electric Slide-In Induction Range - Convection Oven

Cooking with induction heating has several benefits. You have no open flame as in a gas stove. There is no heating coil in the cooktop. The coil is only used to furnish electrical current to form a magnetic field that excites the iron in the cookware, creating heat only in the vessel. If you only require a portable induction cooktop, you don't have to worry where on the counter (or portable heating space) you plug the appliance. It is safe, as there is no heating element to create an unwanted heat source.

If you prefer a permanent induction cooktop or an induction range, there is very little unused heat away from the cookware, the result is energy efficiency, less heat in the kitchen, and faster heating. You have the ability to control the cooking temperatures more exactly with a touch of a button.

Some cons to induction cooking are, induction cooktops can be more expensive to purchase compared to regular gas and electric stoves. That being said, the portable induction cooktop is very affordable when compared to portable heating appliances. The glass ceramic cook top is easy to scratch if you slide the cookware across the surface, and may be damaged by impact. You probably already have some cookware that is suitable for induction cooking, and may only need a few additions. If none of your cookware is suitable, you will need to invest in a good set, which may get pricey. The price of excellent induction cookware sets is much more affordable today. If you invest in a permanent induction cooktop or stove, ascertain you have a sufficient electrical supply for the unit.

Pictured is the GE PHS920SFSS Profile 30 inch Stainless Steel Electric Slide-In Induction Range - Convection by Amazon. It is a full induction range with convection oven. It is rated 4 of 5 stars with 4 reviews.

DUXTOP 1800-Watt Portable Sensor Touch Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner 8300ST
DUXTOP 1800-Watt Portable Sensor Touch Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner 8300ST

Electric Heating Is Not Electric Induction Heating

DUXTOP 1800-Watt Portable Sensor Touch Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner 8300ST

Today, you have a choice of portable induction cooktop (with one, two or more cooking areas), permanent induction cooktop (with four or more cooking areas), and induction ranges.

Do not confuse the electric induction cooktop with the electric heating cooktop. Basically, induction heating is the process where electricity creates a magnetic field on the cooktop that excites iron molecules on the cookware, thereby creating heat only on the cookware. Even if the cooktop is turned on, it produces no heat until the cookware is placed on it. The cooktop is constructed of a glass ceramic material that is a poor conductor of heat, so stays fairly cool to the touch. Every commercial or add I have seen has something cooking or melting in the cookware and no effect on the cooktop. Therefore, there is much less heat in the kitchen when cooking. The effect of only the cookware heating, the cooktop will only be hot because of the heat of the cookware, addresses a great safety issue of burn injury.

This DUXTOP 1800-Watt Portable Sensor Touch Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner 8300ST is another example of a portable induction cooktop and is sold at Amazon. This item has a 4 out of 5 star rating based on 273 reviews.

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