Remember the old (old!) catch-phrase “now you’re cooking with gas”? Sure, natural gas (and propane) are (arguably) slightly more efficient and cheaper than cooking with electricity… and solar cookers just aren’t fast enough for today’s microwave generation. Is there a better way?
Levi’s Blog (no not me, just a guy with a cool name), has a post about cooking via magnetic induction that’s really worth a read. Here’s a snippet to whet your whistle:
The magic behind … [the] instant heat is the principle of magnetic induction. The coils within the cooktop create a magnetic field, and when a piece of magnetic metal passes into the field, energy is transferred directly to the metal. The energy directly excites the molecules in the metal, thereby heating it up.
The process of heating a pan via magnetic induction is 85-90% efficient, compared to 43% for gas and 44% for electricity. The cooktop does not need to transmit heat, and so it can be made of an insulating material and remain completely cool throughout the cooking process. The pan stops heating immediately when the field is turned off, so there is no cool-down period like that of an electric element…