Many professional chefs have replaced their traditional electric and gas ranges with commercial induction cooktops. Some people consider these units the best of both worlds, with the quick heating that gas ranges are known for and the energy efficiency and cooler kitchens of electric cooking.
Much like traditional ranges, these are available as standalone units with cabinet or oven bases. They can also be installed inside a countertop to create a flush cooking surface. Portable units are also available, which are ideal for kitchens with limited space as they can be stored away when not in use. They are also great for catering or other businesses that might need to create a mobile kitchen for onsite events.
The Benefits of Electronic Design
This equipment offers control over cooking temperatures that traditional methods can't always provide. Cooks who value that precision may prefer this type of cooking equipment. Many of these feature digital controls and LED displays. Adding to their energy efficiency, some commercial induction cooktops include a feature that detects the presence of pans and shuts off operation when one is not present. Those can also detect if an operator attempts to use non-magnetic cookware and will keep the element off if that happens. This conserves electricity by using power only when it's needed.
Durable and Easy-to-Clean
The cooking surface on a commercial induction burner is glass-ceramic, which acts as an insulator and does not transfer heat very well, so heat generated in the cookware is not absorbed into the surface but is used to cook the food. This results in a very energy-efficient cooking method and keeps the surface relatively cool-to-the touch. These glass-ceramic surfaces are also durable and designed to resist impact, so they'll hold up well in high-volume operations. The stainless steel body construction of these units also makes them easy to clean and enhances their durability.
Choosing the Right Cookware
To work with a commercial induction range, your pots and pans must have magnetic bottoms. The magnetism in a cooking pot comes from the presence of iron, so cast iron cookware is always a safe bet. Although all stainless steel has iron in it, some types are not magnetic. Choosing the right kind of cooking vessel to use with these ranges might sound intimidating, but it shouldn't be. You can check any type of cookware for compatibility using a common refrigerator magnet. Simply take the magnet and press it to the bottom of the pot in question. If it sticks, then that pot can be used with one of these units.
Even if you don't own any magnetic cookware, it is still possible to use non-magnetic cookware with a commercial induction cooktop. In order to do that, you'll need to buy an induction disc, which is a thin plate of magnetic material that is placed between the pot and the element. It responds to the element as magnetic cookware would, then transfers the heat produced to the you non-magnetic pot. This is less effective, but is always an option when you want to use a favorite non-magnetic pot with your commercial induction cooktop.
Woks are a traditional style of cookware found in the cuisines of many regions in Asia, and they are gaining popularity worldwide. Usually made of steel, they are round with curved sides and deep, round bottoms. Their round bottoms and high walls make them excellent for cooking a large quantity of food quickly. Many chefs run into problems when using woks because their round bottoms make it impossible to set them on a standard burner. The surface of a wok version of the commercial induction cooktop has a bowl-shaped indentation to accommodate the unique shape of a wok. This allows cooks who value the versatility and efficiency of a wok to use them with a commercial induction cooktop.