2/ They improve the kitchen environment
Every chef will tell you horror stories about working in intensely hot kitchens and this, for me, is one of the big advantages of induction: they bring the temperature down.
A solid top will take crucial minutes to heat up, and so chefs turn their solid top on at the start of service and leave them on for the next three to ten hours. For all that time the air above the hob is being heated, and the whole kitchen heats up.
All new kitchens are becoming more condensed – space is money. People want to maximise customer space over chef space. So you can see tiny kitchens all over. If they have a solid top and fryers in there, they will heat up that space incredibly quickly.
This results in a sauna like atmosphere. Chefs hate it, they don’t want to work in it and they will look for somewhere else to work if the temperature isn’t brought down!
An induction hob doesn’t do that, and to replace a conventional solid top with an induction machine reduces the heat in the kitchen and can help to make the environment much more pleasant. And it’s important to remember that good chefs want to work in pleasant environments! They work longer and better in a cooler kitchen.
3/ The kitchen is safer
Every chef carries a towel on their hip – it’s not to clean things and it’s not to wipe their hands -it’s to pick up pots and pans from the hob, because they will be so hot. If you cook over flame, using a rag to grab the handles also adds the additional risk of the rag catching alight.
With induction you don’t have that problem – the handles are cool and so is the cooking surface.
Because heat is generated in the pan itself, not transferred to it by the hob surface, as soon as the pan is off the hob, no more heat is generated.
This makes the kitchen cooler, as we’ve mentioned above, but also means the surface is not so hot as to be a danger to you, your clothes or other items around the kitchen.
4/ You have more control than any other cooking
Early induction hobs had very little range in the power they offered: you had nothing, weak and too strong!
But the last few years have seen some massive improvements in the technology and we now have 10 different levels of power on our Falcon models, which allow you a huge range of control. The lowest is enough to almost forget about the food for as long as you need to, whereas the highest is incredibly hot and great for bringing pots to the boil incredibly quickly.
That’s another great thing about induction: you get power/heat incredibly quickly – up to twice as quick as a gas burner.
5/ Cleaning is a doddle – but be careful
To clean an induction hob all you need is some warm soapy water and some paper towels or microfibre cloth – there’s no need to use abrasive cleaners. In fact, that’s an important point about induction, don’t use abrasive cleaning products on them or you could remove the markings which show where the heating zones are for your pans!
6/ You can’t use aluminium pans
Induction uses magnetism to heat the pans you use, so it naturally follows that the pans you use need to be magnetic. The term for this is ‘ferrous’ but remember to avoid aluminium pans and you won’t go far wrong.