Fast, efficient, and safe, induction cooking is one of the latest and greatest advancements in cooking since the knife. The simple shape, structure, and design combine with the efficient inner-workings to give powerful heating potential while taking up minimal space in your kitchen so you can increase both versatility and output. Suitable for everything from saute pans to soup pots, the only real limitations of induction systems are the size of the cooking surface and the types of pans you can use. But with our selection of induction ranges, induction buffet tables, and induction ready cookware, those are no longer issues.
How Induction Works
The "induction" part of induction cooking refers to the generation of heat through the use of magnetism. Induction units use a series of electrical components and a large, thin coil of copper wire to create magnetic resistance in induction ready cookware. This resistance creates heat in the base of the cookware, as opposed to the surface of the cooker itself, which then heats the food. When the food is done cooking, simply remove the cookware from the induction range and the source of heat is immediately cut off, and both your cookware and range will begin to cool.
Commonly, induction ready cookware is made of materials with some amount of iron in them, like cast iron, enamel cast iron, and most types of stainless steel. It's important to remember that aluminum, copper, and glass are three materials that will not work with induction equipment unless there is a layer of magnetic material somewhere in the base of the product. If you're not sure about the materials in a certain piece of cookware, simply place a magnet to the bottom of it. If the magnet sticks, then it will work on an induction range. If it doesn't, you'll have to find a substitute.
Benefits of Induction
Induction ranges have four major benefits over traditional gas and electric cookers. First, induction ranges heat up more quickly, allowing you to cook more, faster. Additionally, the transfer of heat to the pan is 84% efficient, as opposed to 74% for non-induction equipment, so you can save big on energy costs. Because the heating takes place exclusively in the bottom of the cookware, induction ranges don't have open flames or red-hot elements to worry about, and the air surrounding the range doesn't warm up as it's used. So at the end of the day, you wind up with a faster, safer, more efficient kitchen than you had before.
Choosing Induction Equipment
When searching for an induction range, there are some important questions to ask yourself. What purpose does the equipment need to serve? Are you looking for a basic or high-end brand? Do you need a countertop or drop in unit? What is the output of your kitchen? And how much food will you be cooking on these at one time?
1. First, you'll need to consider what purpose an induction product would be fulfilling in your business. If you operate a buffet, consider looking at an induction buffet table to help save on energy costs while keeping food at safe temperatures. Wok ranges are a necessity at Asian restaurants, and soup warmers are a good selection for practically any foodservice establishment. You also have the typical ranges that can be used for nearly any purpose, while an induction griddle is at home in nearly every commercial kitchen. So depending on your needs, the specific kind of induction unit you'll need may vary from a simple range.
2.On top of that, are you looking for a countertop or drop in unit? Countertop induction ranges are the most common cookers. They feature simple single-unit designs with front-facing controls, low profiles, and easy-to-clean structures. They're also more affordable, making them a viable option for start-ups and kitchens looking to increase cooking efficiency without expanding space or cutting into valuable countertops.
Drop in units are less common and typically more expensive. They can feature a two- or even three-piece design, with control panels separate from the cooking area. Some extra work is required, as these units must be installed into a flat surface like a countertop, and the control panels need to be mounted as well. However, the flat, smooth surface of these cookers makes them great for front-of-house use, and unlike their countertop cousins, they offer a sleek, attractive, and modern appearance.
3. Third, how powerful do you need your induction range to be? Will a simple 1800 watt unit do the job, or do you need something with a little more kick? Commonly, you can find both single-hob and multi-hob units ranging from 450 to 5000 watts. If you want greater power, a potent multi-hob unit is a good choice, but don't underestimate the utility of a single unit either. For start-ups and entry-level entrepreneurs, an induction unit from Avantco is an excellent choice, while units from Vollrath, Garland, and other vendors may come with additional features at a greater price tag.
4. Last, how much food will you be cooking at a time? Because induction heating only takes place inside the cookware, the size of your cookware will affect the warm-up and cook time. In taller cookware, such as stock pots, it could also take longer for the heat to spread. So if you're only planning on using a fry or saute pan on your unit, it's probably a better bet to go with a standard single hob unit. However, if you're looking to make large quantities of food in large containers, consider a multi-hob unit with a larger surface area so that you can expose more of the cookware to heat at one time. This will help you turn out more volume at a faster pace, and you'll be more satisfied with your purchase.