insideKENT Magazine Issue 60 - March 2017 - Page 9

INDUCTION COOKWARE BY COPPERFIELDS OF WHITSTABLE Induction cooking is taking the kitchen world by storm. It is more powerful, more energy efficient, more controllable and safer than gas. See the Consumer FAQs section for more details about these benefits. Induction cooking is not some radical new technology: it has long been widely used around the world, both by professionals and homeowners. But in the last few years the technology and accessibility has improved and the costs continue to fall; in addition most new building projects specify for an induction hob as it is easier to install and safer to use. As a result there has been a substantial change in the kitchen hob and cookware market. Copperfields MD Kim Foster says: “There is a direct relation between the type of cookware sold and sales of hob types. We have found a growing demand for induction ready cookware, a demand fuelled not only by the growing number of induction hobs being installed, but also by customers wanting to be ‘future proof ’ and energy efficient when investing in Trends. With energy bills continuing to rise, consumers are more and more concerned about energy efficiency. The more energy-conscious consumer is more likely to purchase an induction hob, and to look for induction-specific pans. Many cookware brands have adapted their existing cookware ranges, to ensure that they are suitable for induction. But the adapted cookware can often be less efficient on more traditional hob types. There is a lack of understanding as consumers struggle to recognise the difference between induction, ceramic and halogen hobs, as they look very similar; consumers can be unpleasantly surprised when their existing cookware does not work on their new induction hob. In 2010, 20% of electric hob sales were induction hobs; the government wants to see this figure rise to 80% by 2020. (Source: DEFRA Policy Brief: Improving the energy performance of domestic cooking products, July 2008.) Gas is still favoured by traditionalists, because it is so well established and is associated with 'proper' cooking. But more and more professional kitchens are switching to induction hobs, due to their speed and controllability, their ease of cleaning and the fact that they keep the kitchen cool (compared with gas). Innovations There are many ways to combine metals to get the best out of cookware. For example, the Stellar 3000range features an aluminium pan with a highly ferrous engineered steel base (to make sure it works on induction hobs). Aluminium rods are pressed through the steel base to maximise the heat conductivity between the steel base and the aluminium pan. Another method is the use of an induction thermic base. The Stellar Induction range, for instance, is cleverly constructed from three layers of metal: l 18/0 stainless steel – the high ferrous content is great on induction hobs; l 'High flow' aluminium – a great conductor of heat, which spreads evenly across the base; l 18/10 stainless steel – easy to clean, long lasting, and self-healing. By combining all three materials the manufacturer can achieve great performance on all hob types, especially induction. For the best possible performance, there is a further method that uses laminated sheet metal, such as the Stellar James Martin Lamina range. This uses the same ingredients of metals as the 'induction thermic base' but they apply to the entire vessel, not just the base. The resulting product offers outstanding performance and not only heats up but also cools down quickly. Consumer FAQs Q: Is induction more powerful than gas? A: Yes; a large gas hob will create approx 12,000 BTU (British thermal units) per hour, while a 1.7 kW (typical) induction hob will produce the equivalent of 15,000 BTU. Q: Is induction more energy efficient than gas? A: Yes; according to the U.S. Department of Energy the typical efficiency of induction hob tops is 84%, while that of gas hob tops is only 40%. Q: Is induction more controllable than gas? A: Yes; on some hobs you can even set the temperature you would like your food cooked to, and it will adjust the heat accordingly. This facility is commonly used by chocolate makers, who need to melt the chocolate below 44°C. Q: Is induction safer than gas? A: Yes; there is no risk of a naked flame, the hob is not directly heated and the hob will switch off if a pan is not detected, or even if the pan boils dry. Q: Do I need to buy pans from an induction range? A: Not necessarily; as long as the pans are marked as being suitable for all hob types, they should work. But pans that are specifically built for induction use are likely to be more efficient. Q: Will my existing pans work on my new induction hob? A: Check to see if the base is magnetic. If a magnet sticks well to the base they should work. If you’re not sure, contact the manufacturer. Q: My pans are suitable for all hob types, but my smallest pan does not work on any of the rings. Why? A: Very occasionally there can be incompatibility between induction hobs and pans that have a base diameter of less than 140mm. This is due to the variation between different manufacturers’ hob safety circuits. These circuits are designed to ensure that metal items like tongs, spoons, ladles and jewellery (rings or bracelets) will not activate an element. On older models the detectors are often set rather conservatively. Copperfields 93 High Street Whitstable will be pleased to help you on their extensive range of Induction Cookware. Open 7 days a week. Tel: 01227 273519.