I am always looking for kitchen gadgets that make life easier for cooking in our campervan, ‘Trev-the-Prev’, and I decided to try out an induction hob. As you probably know, you can get the full monty, 4-ring hob for your cooker at home but did you know that you can get a portable, one-ring hob that you just plug in to a normal electric socket? Well, you can and they are bloomin’ marvellous!
Obviously you need to be on hook-up to use it so no good for wild camping but then you would be using your gas rings anyway. But if you are on hook-up and paying for the electric why not make the most of it and save your gas? The induction hob cooks really quickly and it boils our kettle for a cup of tea in no time and it isn’t affected by the wind which can sometimes make cooking difficult and take longer than it should. And, because the hob only heats the area in contact with the pan, it is really safe too.
So how do induction hobs work?
This is what the Fine Cooking website (http://www.finecooking.com/videos/induction-cooktop-action.aspx) has to say:
“An induction burner consists of a ceramic plate with an electromagnetic coil beneath it. When you turn on the burner, an electric current runs through the coil, generating a fluctuating magnetic field, but no heat on the burner itself.However, once you set an iron or stainless steel pan on the burner, the magnetic field induces many smaller electric currents in the pan’s metal.
Iron is a poor conductor of electricity, so as all these small currents run through the iron, much of the energy is converted to heat. Thus, on an induction cooktop, the heat is coming not from the burner, but the pan itself. This can make for more efficient cooking–a pot of water will come to a boil on an induction stove in almost half the time of a standard gas stove”.
So, this does mean that you will need to have a pan/kettle that has a stainless steel or iron bottom but these are really easy to find – just check the labeling to make sure it is compatible for induction cookers.
If you want to try one you can find a range of them on Amazon and they cost from £30 upwards. Our one was one of the cheaper ones and it manages just fine so you don’t have to spend a lot.
Once you have tried it I don’t think you’ll want to be without it.