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Food Science Basics: Heat Transfer

Food Science Basics: Heat Transfer

The Culinary Institute of America

Induction Cooking

Induction cooking is a relatively new cooking method that transfers heat through a specially designed cooktop made of a smooth ceramic material over an induction coil. The induction coil creates a magnetic current that causes a metal pan on the cooktop to heat up quickly, yet the cooktop itself remains cool. Heat is then transferred to the food in the pan through conduction. Cookware used for induction cooking must be flat on the bottom for good contact with the cooktop, and it must be made of ferrous (ironcontaining) metals, such as cast iron, magnetic stainless steel, or enamel over steel. Cookware made of other materials will not heat up on these cooktops.

Induction cooking offers the advantages of rapid heating and easy cleanup because there are no nooks on the smooth surface of the cooktop in which spilled foods get stuck, nor do spilled foods cook on the cool surface.

Reprinted by permission from The Culinary Institute of America, The Professional Chef, 8th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2006).