My son recently purchased a portable induction burner. I have friends who have them and love them but I do not have one so decided to do a little more research on them. Maybe I need one!
The units plug into a standard outlet so it is easy to use on your countertop or even outdoors if you have a deck or gazebo with outlets or an outdoor kitchen. An electromagnetic field below the glass surface provides heat that heats up the pan you are using. The cookware is considered the transformer so the surface of the burner cools down immediately after a pot is removed.
Because the cookware is the transformer not all cookware can be used on the induction cooktop. Aluminum, glass and ceramic will not work. You don’t necessarily need to go out and buy new cookware though. To test yours, see if a magnet will stick to it. If it does, it will work on your induction cooktop.
Using magnetic induction heats pans up more quickly than either gas or electric. This saves energy and time. Induction burners also respond immediately to temperature adjustments. If you raise or lower the heat you will see results right away.
As I mentioned before, the induction burner will not work if the transformer (the pot/pan) is not on top of it. That is especially advantageous if you have small children present. It is also a plus if you happen to spill something on the burner. Since the burner does not get hot the splatters do not burn. Many induction burners can also sense if there is nothing in the pot and they will turn off after 60 seconds.
Before I go out and purchase one there are several things I need to consider:
1 – how much do I intend to use it?
2 – how much counter space/storage space will it require: will I leave it out or tuck it away when I am not using it
3 – how much power do I need: some burners have more power levels built in and can reach higher temperatures
4 – what size: how many people do I regularly cook for? will I need double burners or will a single burner suffice
5 – budget: the sticker shock I initially experienced may reduce depending on how I answered the other questions about an induction cooktop
I was looking at portable induction burners but you can also purchase them as a built-in cooktop. I definitely think they are energy efficient and I like the fact they heat up quickly yet the burner itself does not get hot. I will wait and see how well my son likes his and maybe even try his myself then decide if I think it is a worthwhile purchase for me.