4. April 2016
Reading time: 3 minutes
A look under the glass-ceramic
A pot of water on the stove, fire up the cooktop and the water boils. Normal enough. Remarkable, however, is that the cooking surface does not heat itself, but rather warms up via heat from the pot bottom. So how does cooking with induction work? Today we’ll take a look under the glass-ceramic edge, instead of over it. This will quickly reveal that it’s got nothing to do with magic, but rather magnetism and electricity.
This is how an induction cooktop works.
Under the glass-ceramic there is an induction coil which generates an alternating field using electricity. Magnetic fields are invisible, have no temperature and do not affect all materials. In order for a magnetic field to have an effect, we need a special cooking pot made of ferromagnetic material. The term ferromagnetism comes from Latin ‘ferrum’ for ‘iron’ and describes the characteristic of certain bodies to create their own magnetic field or to be attracted by the pole of an exterior magnetic field. The electrons in our ferromagnetic pot are thus excited by the magnetic field of the coil and begin to rotate. This creates so-called eddy fields, which cause the temperature of the material of the pot bottom to rise. This in turn causes our cooking water to start boiling. While pot bottom and water are heating up, the universal SCHOTT CERAN® glass-ceramic remains relatively cool – only the heat coming off the cooking pot warms it, otherwise it does not react to the magnetic field. By the way, if you want to find out whether your cooking pot or pan is suited to induction, then just hold a magnet to the pot bottom – does it stick? Then it’s perfect. You can find out more about pot selection here.
We have already described the first advantage: the glass-ceramic under and around the pot stays relatively cool. This reduces the risk of burning oneself on the cooktop. At the same time, food which falls from the pan does not so easily burn onto the cooking surface. Moreover, the heat is evenly distributed, shortening reaction time. This means that energy efficiency is better compared to other cooking technologies using electric radiation and gas – 80% of the heat generated is transferred directly from the pot to its contents. And as with gas, heat input can be precisely adjusted.
Popular wisdom often falsely has it that there is a difference between ‘cooking on Ceran’ and ‘cooking with induction’. ‘Cooking on Ceran’ refers to the black cooking surface with red-hot cooking zones. Yet black ceramic is also used in induction. The difference thus lies in the heating technology: electric radiation, gas or induction. Each of these technologies can be combined with SCHOTT CERAN®.
That’s all from us on the theory of induction. If you would like to know more about its practical uses, our upcoming blog will describe how easy it is to prepare a perfect steak with induction. If your mouth is already watering then don’t miss it.