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So, you’ve finally saved up enough money to get an induction stove. Well done on a smart investment! The only thing left to do is to figure out how the different temperatures work on your nifty cooktop. It’s a little more intricate than traditional stoves.
Induction cooking is very different from cooking food on a normal gas or electric stovetop. Cooking food on induction using the correct temperature helps preserve vitamins, enzymes and minerals in the food.
In this induction cooking temperature guide, we'll share simple guidelines for induction cooktop temperature settings for different foods. It’s easy once you get the hang of it. Read on for valuable tips you’ll be using for years to come.
Induction Cooking in Action
Induction cooktops heat differently than electric or gas stoves. There’s no energy wastage as only the pan is heated and not the entire stove surface. This makes induction cooking both economical and energy-efficient.
An induction burner has a coil of wire (generally copper) beneath the glass/ceramic cooktop surface. Alternating currents flow through this coil. These currents generate a magnetic field that is constantly changing.
When a pot with ferromagnetic properties (cast iron, carbon steel, magnetized statinless steel) is placed on the cooking surface, the magnetic field induces a current (called an eddy current) in the pot. The eddy current flows through the electrical resistance (cooking vessel resists this current); the pot gets hot and the contents are heated.
Cookware That Works with Induction Cooktops
It's easy to tell what pots to use on induction cooktops. Place a magnet (a refrigerator magnet will do just fine) on the base of the cooking vessel, if it sticks securely, then the pot or pan will work on an induction cooktop.
Induction Safety Tips
Here are a few tips to keep induction cooking safe.
- Make sure the base of the cookware is large enough to cover the cooking zone
- The bottom of the pan should be flat.
- The pan should be set on the cooktop before powering the unit on.
- Place the pan in the center of the cooking zone.
- Don't use metal utensils
Induction cooktops have different temperature ranges. Single induction cooktops generally range from 100°- 450°F or 460°F. This is true for double cooktops also.
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Induction Cooking Temperature Settings for Cooking Food
Because the heat distribution is so precise you have to be careful with the temperature you set when you’re cooking. Overheating will cause food to lose its flavor and burn. Setting the temperature too low might result in spending hours in front of the stove.
Below is a summary of the different temperature settings that are relevant to different cooking scenarios:
This setting can be used for keeping food warm or melting chocolate. It can also be used for slow cooking if set at 150°F and generally works well when cooking most foods.
You can use this setting when making delicate sauces and soups. This is also the perfect setting to steam veggies. It won’t be overcooked or soggy if you set it at 210°F.
When setting your induction stove at medium there are two ranges. At 240°F, you can roast chicken and fry eggs. If you set the temperature at 270°F, which is the maximum setting, you can cook pasta and noodles.
This is the perfect setting to render items or caramelize foods. It’s also safe enough to make pancakes with the family. If you increase the heat a notch higher to 360°F you can easily make crispy chicken or sauté food.
Be careful with setting your induction stove to high when you’re starting as it can burn certain food easily. This setting is ideal for pan-frying meat such as chops, chicken, or shrimps. You can also sear and char meat and vegetables at this temperature.
You only use this setting to sear meat and veggies. After the meat is seared then reduce the heat back to 360°F to finish cooking it through. This temperature is perfect for creating a crispy skin on meat or crusts on vegetables.
Induction Cooktop Temperature Settings for Different Foods
When you're boiling vegetables the ideal temperature should be simmering heat which is a tad lower than when it reaches the bubbling point. Regulate the temperature to below boiling point at the exact point when the water simmers gently.
A common mistake made by many cooks is to heat the oil quickly when deep frying. The best method is to slowly heat the oil at a lower temperature. If the heat is too high the oil will smoke.
Set the temperature at medium-low to medium-high when deep frying. Don’t attempt to go higher than that.
To stir-fry, food requires such a delicate balance. You don’t want to overcook or burn the stir fry, right? The best temperature to use is medium because it’s enough to keep the pan dry. Don't get tempted to increase the temperature; it'll burn your food.
Again, cooking vegetables is a fine balancing act. You need to find the perfect temperature to give veggies proper steam. The aim is to avoid over steaming and fast boiling because that’ll leave the veggies soggy.
After the pot starts steaming, turn down the temperature to a lower setting to keep the veggies firm and tasty.
The secret to sautéing meat well is to cook it slow and low. Select a medium-low temperature for a beautiful brown finish. It will lock in all the flavors and nutrients.
When you sauté vegetables, also use the same medium-low setting for the best results.
When preparing sauces you should keep the temperature low. This ensures the sauce doesn't burn or clot up. Keep stirring it to maintain a consistent silky texture.
At this temperature, you can also melt chocolate or simply keep food warm.
Select a low temperature when cooking soups. The temperature used for soups is very similar to cooking sauces. Keep the heat consistently low to maintain a smooth texture.
Induction Cooking Temperature Table
The table below is designed to give you a general idea of the relatinship between cooking settings and temperature of single and double induction cooktops.
Information about the correlation between the temperature level or setting and the cooking temperature of your induction cooktop can be found in the user manual.
Induction cooking is novel and a healthy way of preparing a wide range of foods. Using an induction cooktop is economical but decreases your cooking time with better results when the correct temperatures are used. It locks in all the vitamins and flavors that get lost when food is overcooked.
Familiarizing yourself with induction cooktop temperature settings for various foods will help get the most out of your induction cooktop. Don’t be afraid to experiment either. Who knows what exotic dishes you can come up with?
Let us know what new dish you’re thinking of cooking next.