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Induction Takes Heat out of the Kitchen

If you’re shopping for a new cooktop, Ken Garozzo, a salesman at Aitoro ’s in Norwalk, has some advice for you. “Take a look at induction,” he says. Induction cooking is nothing new but Ken says it’s catching on. Luxury appliance manufacturer Viking recently launched a free-standing range with a self-cleaning electric oven and an induction cooktop. Electrolux and General Electric offer less pricey induction ranges and cooktops.

“Gas has always been popular with the pros,” Ken says. “It’s totally controllable. The gas is on or off. You have heat or no heat. Electric cooking is less flexible because the burners stay hot. Induction, with its easy-clean, smooth glass top, which never gets hot, offers a great alternative to both."

The science behind induction is simple, according to Ken. A magnetic generator below the unit sends a signal to the cooking vessel. “If a pot can hold a magnet then it’s suitable for convection cooking,” he explains. Ken likes to demonstrate induction cooking using a 100 dollar bill. “I put the bill on the burner, put a pot with water on top and turn on the burner,” he says. The water boils very quickly -- in less than two minutes – but Ken’s bill does not burst into flames. “It feels slightly warm but that’s just from the bottom of the pot,” he adds. The cooktop itself doesn't heat up and that makes induction a good option for households with small children.

Another advantage to induction cooking is that it requires less ventilation. “It doesn’t generate unnecessary heat,” says Ken, noting that many European restaurants use induction for this very reason. When you cook with gas or electricity, much of the heat dissipates into the air around the pan. An induction burner heats only the pan so there is no extra ambient heat.

Do you know anyone who cooks with induction heat? I'd love to know. Email me at fpearson@mainstreetconnect.us.

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