What Is An Induction Hotplate?

Induction cooking uses a magnetic field to direct precisely the right amount of heat for the size of pan you're using. This means that an induction hotplate can usually cook food faster then even the best gas stove. Hotplates are often portable, and able to be used both inside and out, making an induction hotplate ideal for parties, as well as a must-have for those with small spaces.

Induction hotplates don't work with all kinds of cookware, however: the cookware needs to be magnetic, in order for the magnetic field of the hotplate to function. Also, it is worth bearing in mind that induction hotplates become very hot, very quickly, and the focused nature of their heat direction means that non-stick coatings don't often survive an encounter!

Finally, but most importantly, induction hotplates are not recommended for people who have a pacemaker fitted, so please do bear this in mind before purchasing.

Who Needs An Induction Hotplate?

As they take up very little counter space, induction hotplates are ideal for people living in small apartments, or those in a house share situation. They are also a good investment for those who regularly cook for formal dinner parties, for example, as they provide additional stove-top space. This means multiple dishes and accompaniments can be cooked at the same time, ensuring a perfect, tasty, and timely end result.  At house parties, induction hotplates are useful for keeping potluck dishes such as chili hot, while your guests enjoy themselves.

Induction hotplates are also a good investment for individuals concerned about their carbon footprint, as they are 90% energy efficient. This means that only 10% of the total energy used is “wasted” energy, which is dispersed into the atmosphere. The rest goes directly to the core function of the hotplate.

Where Can An Induction Hotplate Be Used?

Pretty much anywhere, indoors or out. Most induction hotplates are portable, and so are ideal for bringing out onto the deck when you have friends over. Their small size also makes them ideal for small kitchens, and for use in an RV or trailer.

Best Induction Hotplate Reviews 2017

The Secura 8100MC is portable, easy to clean, and suitable for indoor or outdoor use. It comes in a choice of stylish black or luxury gold, and has a digital control panel for ease of use. A sophisticated centerpiece at parties, the Secura looks just as good on your decking as it does on your kitchen counter.

The cooking spot automatically adjusts to the size of your pan, to provide direct, efficient cooking heat.

The Secura has been noted as being somewhat inaccurate at low temperatures, which is its only drawback. If you are just using it for general purpose cooking, the accuracy issues may not be much of a problem, although it may well be a significant drawback for those who do a lot of cooking.

Presented in a range of colors to match any kitchen décor, the NuWave Pro 1800 comes complete with a practical carry case, and a users' manual which includes sixty recipe suggestions.

The NuWave offers the ability to pre-set a temperature: ideal if you want to be able to pop your pan straight on the stove when you come in from a day's work and have your meal ready in minutes. However, some people have experienced issues with the NuWave not holding the pre-set temperature.

Another drawback is that, as the NuWave is slightly slanted, pans can easily slide around on its surface. This is particularly an issue when cooking dishes that require vigorous stirring. Often, the only solution is to hold the pan with one hand, whilst stirring with the other. As induction hotplates do run at quite high temperatures, this is obviously somewhat uncomfortable, and, in some cases, dangerous.

The ID1-350, from Salton, features an easy to read LED display. The ID1-350 is portable, and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, making it ideal for parties, and an essential addition to any RV road trip.

The ID1-350 offers an excellent introduction to the benefits of using an induction hotplate. It would make an ideal gift for someone who has just moved into their first apartment, or a college student looking for quick, easy, yet healthy cooking.

The Induxpert is lightweight and portable, and benefits from the additional safety feature of a child lock. If you have young children who might be able to reach countertops, this feature of the Induxpert provides peace of mind that they won't accidentally turn the unit on and injure themselves.

The Induxpert comes in a stylish design, with sensor-touch control for complete ease of use.

This induction hotplate can run quite loudly, which some people (i.e. me) might find irritating. There have also been concerns raised about its long-term durability, although, sadly, the days of any appliance or product lasting ten years or more seem to be long gone.

The Induxpert would be an ideal purchase for someone who likes to entertain. If you're keen to be seen as cool and contemporary, then the Induxpert may just be the kitchen accessory for you.

Finally, the Gourmia GIC-100 offers everything you would expect from a good, basic induction hotplate. However, it does take a while to lose heat once it has been switched off.

As with other induction hotplates, pans move around too easily on the Gourmia's surface, which some people find somewhat off-putting.

It is also less intuitive to use than other models, and the instructions provided are somewhat unclear.

While induction hotplates are a relative newcomer to the personal kitchen realm, the overwhelming consensus is that to try them once is to be converted! They are particularly good when it comes to cooking stir fry, as they get the oil very hot, very quickly, allowing the ingredients to simply be tossed through, as they should be. Even on the best gas stoves, a stir fry takes far longer than it is traditionally meant to. This is most definitely not the case with an induction hotplate.                               

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