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Induction cooking for the whole family
Posted by Hayley Gilbert Monday, 15th September 2014
One of my earliest memories is helping my mum make fairy cakes – probably more of the mixing and tasting than the actual cooking but children do love to help out in the kitchen, especially when it comes to baking. If you’re concerned about safety, one of the most child-friendly options in terms of hobs is induction. Its main benefit is that it’s an extremely safe method of cooking, as it’s the pan that heats up and not the hob. This is great when cooking with little ones, as if they accidentally touch the hob’s surface, they won’t get burned. Another bonus is that they usually come with built-in safety controls such as automatic shut-off if a pan is not in contact with the hob.
It works by using electromagnetism to heat the pan, which heats food more quickly, more evenly and creates a cooler cooktop. Pop a pan of cold water on a high setting and it won’t be long before it’s bubbling away and when you turn the heat down, it responds immediately, just like gas. In fact, many people who are used to the controllability and familiarity of gas have been converted to induction once they’ve seen it in action.
Induction is also energy efficient, precise and easy to clean. I bought my first induction hob seven years ago and I could never now be without one. It’s more efficient than gas or ceramic, because less energy is wasted by heating up the air around the pan – pretty much all of the energy goes directly into the pot on top. I also love the fact that spills don’t get burnt on and with a sleek glass design, one wipe with a damp cloth is all it takes to clean.
You will need compatible cookware to cook with induction but prices have come down in recent years and availability has grown and you can now buy a wide range of pots and pans from online suppliers, specialist kitchen shops and even Ikea. Pots and pans should be made from ferrous metals such as steel or cast iron, so aluminium, glass or ceramic won’t work. Your current cookware may be compatible – if in doubt, see if a magnet sticks to the bottom of the pan. If it does, it will work.
You can buy induction hobs as a standalone hob to team with a built-in oven but if you prefer an all-in-one freestanding cooker option, Rangemaster has a selection of models to suit. I love the Hi-LITE 90, which comes with the option of an induction top and has an illuminated fascia design, great for creating a subtle lighting effect after dark. The Slate colour would also look really sophisticated in either a modern or classic kitchen design. If you would prefer a more traditional range, check out the Elan 90 with induction top, spiral handles, crafted control knobs and curvy door design.