How Induction Cooking Works

How Induction Cooking Works

Many of you may not be familiar with
induction cooking, so let’s review how induction works. Induction cooking is
a two part system. The first part is a coil of copper wire
like this one. When electric current is passed through
the coil, it creates an electromagnetic field of energy. All by itself, nothing happens. The control flashes a letter F telling
you that it failed to detect a pan. Electromagnetic energy is around
us every day in the form of AM and FM radio, cell phones, wireless laptops, microwaves, infrared, and visible light. The second part of this two-part system is the pan. Now you need to know that
not all pans will work on an induction cooktop. Pans that are a hundred percent copper,
hundred percent aluminum, or non-magnetic stainless steel will not
work. The bottom of the pan must have some iron content. The easiest way to tell if your pans have an iron base core is to use a magnet. If the magnet sticks
to the bottom of the pan then that pan will work on your
induction cooktop. The bottoms of many pans are of a
sandwich construction like this one. Often stainless steel inside and out but may have an aluminum core in the center. Those pains will work if the stainless steel is magnetic. Just
check it with a magnet. Now let’s see this in action. I’ll place
the pan on a cooktop with water in it and turn it on high. If this were a
traditional radiant cooktop, the entire element would heat and the
entire surface would glow red, but not with induction. The coil below
the ceramic surface does not heat and will not glow. All the
electromagnetic energy passes through the cooktop and into the pan. This causes the iron
molecules to vibrate tens of thousands of times a second and it’s a friction between those
molecules that creates the heat.

100 thoughts on “How Induction Cooking Works

  • @EvasiveEvo Hi! Here are a few suggestions for you:
    Use the smallest burner if not already
    Try a thicker bottom pan. One with an aluminum core will distribute the heat more evenly
    Hope this helps! Thanks, Megan from GE

  • so isn't there anyway I can use a Full Al pot? I have a Pressure cooker made from fully non magnetic bottom, guessing its Al, is there a way to use it?

  • @ruwan591 Sorry, unfortunately you can't use the non-magnetic pressure cooker on the induction stove. Thanks, Megan from GE

  • @ruwan591 You could always get a small block of iron and drop that into the bottom of the cooker. Might end up melting a hole in it, though.

  • @chuym249 Actually, that is not true. If the pan is not of a magnetic content, no heat will be produced. Thanks, Megan from GE

  • in an induction cooker, a coil of copper wire is placed underneath the cooking pot. An alternating electric current flows through the coil, which produces an oscillating magnetic field. This field induces anelectric current in the pot. Current flowing in the metal pot produces resistive heating which heats the food.

    Now my question is, when current flows through the vessel, won't we experience a shock when we touch the vessel..???

  • Dear GE, can you please explain why the pan needs to have magnetic content? Surely the changing field will induce currents in any good conductor that will lead to resistive heating. Why will a pure aluminium pan not heat up (like it would in an induction forge)?

  • Induction cooking uses a high-frequency coil, located just below the cooking surface, that produces a magnetic field that causes the electrons in the ferrous metal pan to vibrate, which produces heat (Like the friction when rubbing hands together produces heat to the hands). This is the only cooking method that directly uses the cookware as part of the cooking system. Magnetic induction cooking requires the use of cookware made of Ferrous metals, like iron or steel, to which magnets will stick.

  • I appreciate your response but this does not answer my question. Will the electrons in any good conductor, like pure aluminium, not vibrate when a high-frequency magnetic field is applied, according to Fleming and Faraday? What is special about ferrous metals in this respect?

  • Current induction cooking systems are only efficient on steel pans due to the frequency needed to “couple” with the pan (match pan resonance). An Aluminum or other highly conductive or different material pan requires a resonant frequency multitudes of frequency magnitude different (like 10 times) or more than required for steel or iron. Current technology does not have a practical or efficient means of generating large amounts of power over such a vast range of frequencies.

  • Interesting. Starting to make sense, Thanks. Is this magnetisation-demagnetisation hysteresis or ordinary currents where the power somehow depends on frequency?

  • The heating occurs due to “Eddy” currents and Hysteresis. Hysteresis heating also occurs in ferromagnetic materials and is a less significant in aluminum and copper because of their high conductivity.
    Thanks, Megan

  • Energy Conservation hard to answer question. Our electricity is generated primarily using natural gas. Generally speaking, would I be using less gas if I used gas or an electrical induction cook top? Anchorage AK

  • Good explanation understandable to common man too ! Any other cooking methods available using less energy and Electric bills?! Welcome for more information please.

  • Georgie Daniel – Induction is considered the most energy efficient surface cooking method. However, for helpful hints to lower your energy costs when using any surface units, please visit our GEAppliances website and type "range energy tips" in the search field. The Support Results will provide the appropriate links. Thanks, Michelle with GE

  • Now repeat but replace the pan with a laptop or a magnet ;D

    Fun things will happen

    Heart pacemaker, hmmm anyone got one, i want to test something 😉

  • internetzwemmer – Induction and standard ceramic cooking produce the same amount of heat. The difference is the process and speed. Unlike radiant cooktops, induction cooktops create a magnetic field, which in turn heats up the cookware. This means that induction cooktops can heat cookware instantly. As a result, induction cooktops are faster than radiant cooktops. Thanks for asking! – Michelle with GE

  • Hello Rabone, you are correct the GE induction cooktops are easy to use and are completely safe. Enjoy! – Sheree with GE

  • correct me if i'm wrong.. and sorry if my english is not good. during heat pan stick to the cook top? how hard stick to it? I ask because maybe it is also a good security option to avoid kid accidents with a pan with oil or hot water..

  • Hi Musikdoktor, I will be glad to assist you with your questions. The induction cooking is very safe and the pans will not stick to the cooktop. It is just the field of energy that creates the heat; it is not actually a sticking action at all. I hope this explains the process a little more thoroughly. Enjoy! – Sheree from GE

  • I hear that this type of cooking emits radiation. How does this affect quality of food being heated? There is a hospital ward where nurses are forbidden to feed microwave heated formula to infants because premature babies are more likely to die

  • Hello Arxsyn, Thanks for your interest in our GE cooking products. Both the GE induction and our microwaves are very safe, but 2 different types of heating. Induction cooking, like our video shows, uses an electromagnetic field of energy and a pan with an iron-based core. The microwave uses non-ionizing radiant energy like radio waves or visible light. In sufficient concentration microwave energy generates heat. Both are safe and user friendly. Thanks for your questions – Sheree with GE

  • Does it create other forms of radiation? Will these stoves make high energy photons which are dangerous?

  • Spyderkat – The GE induction is very safe. The induction cooking uses an electromagnetic field of energy and a pan with an iron-based core to create heat. The induction units even have temperature limiters which keep the units and the cooktop from overheating (such as when a pan would boil dry). This cooking is very safe and easy to use and does not create any other forms of radiation. I hope this helps! – Sheree with GE

  • Is there anyway that I could email an engineer or speak with one? I teach an independent research class for young / early teen scientists. It seems like there is a TON of science here and much to yet discover. Also, it seems like it is safe for kids to be around. I'd love to be able to connect to GE engineers. I can vet/credential myself if I knew whom to contact. Thanks.

  • Spyderkat – You are right this is a great and exciting way of cooking. While the cooktop does not get hot, the pan and food will definitely be hot and you should use the necessary cooking safety precautions. I would recommend that you visit our GE Appliance website and type in "induction 101". We offer some great information for you there. Thanks again for your interest! – Sheree with GE

  • Hello Josh, you are so right! I love the technology of induction cooking and think it is a plus for any kitchen. Thanks for your positive comments. Sheree with GE

  • this is not how it works but how to use it.

    and very little that it says how is just commercial you cannot learn nothing from it

  • Hi David, You are right! The induction cooktop uses a high-frequency coil, located just below the cooking surface. This coil produces a magnetic field that causes the electrons in the ferrous metal pan to vibrate, which produces heat. A fabulous way to cook! Thanks for contacting us. – Sheree with GE

  • Hi sintoniza2z, Thanks for the great suggestion and your interest in our GE products. I will be glad to pass along your comments to our product managers. – Sheree with GE

  • Hello Devin Sikiric, Thanks for your interest in our creative induction cooking process. As far as the pan temperature goes, it would still be hot and could burn you. Since the pan would absorb the heat from whatever was being cooked or even boiling water, it would reflect this temperature so be careful. What is neat is that you could place a paper towel between the cooktop surface and the pot and the paper towel would not scorch at all. I hope this helps!

  • I don't know- I overdosed 4 times and am still able to spell and write with some coherence. As to your note: "and very little that it says how is just anticommercial you cannot learn nothing from it." U Duhhh. Intetessting enough,I DID manage to learn something- how induction heating works- from it. Clean up your syntax, man, or you only contribute to the idea that computers are making humans dumber and dumber.

  • Prestige, Pigeon, Butterfly, TCL, I-bell, Electrolux, Sunflame, Glen, Inalsa, Padmini, Softel, Singer, Usha, Khaitan, Wipro, Faber, Maharaja induction cooker error codes (Applicable for Chinese brands too)

    E0 –Cooking vessel is not placed correctly. Vessel is either removed or not made of a material usable with induction cooker

    E1 – Some issue with internal circuitry of cooker. Try switching off the cooker and switch it On after some time.

    E2 – Temperature sensor error. Circuit is open or closed. It means the system cannot read correct temperature of working and results in switching OFF of the cooker. Replace the temperature sensor if the error persists. Costs about 150 Rs.

    E3 – Supply Voltage is high. Reduce voltage if the cooker is connected to a stabiliser. Or switch the cooker off and then turn ON after some time.

    E4 – Supply voltage is low. Increase voltage from stabiliser if you are using one. Or else wait for a few minutes till the voltage increases.

    E5 – Surface temperature of cooker is too high. Don’t let hot water or vessels rest in cooker top after cooking. Remove any vessel and let the cooker cool down for a few minutes.

    E6 – Circuit temperature is high. Internal circuitry is too hot to work. Wait for a few minutes to let it cool down. It may also be a result of malfunctioning fan, which fails in cooling down the internal circuit and device. Blocked air vent also causes this error. Remove any blockage and let the device cool for some time. If the problem persists, call for service.

    E7 – Internal temperature sensor is not working properly. You should have to consult a local electronic repair workshop to get it cleared.

    E8 – Non usable pot placed in cook top. Use some vessel with magnetic properties.


    Whirlpool Error codes

    C1 – Low input voltage. Increase voltage with stabiliser or wait for some time.

    C2 / C3 – Over heat in device or the surface. Wait a few minutes to let it cool down. If problem persists, you may have to consult repair for replacing temperature sensor.

    F0 – Some internal error is there. Wait for some time to see whether it is solved by itself. Or else, call customer care.

    F2 –  Too hot cooking area. Wait for some time after removing any vessels and try again.

    F4 –  Place the vessel towards the centre of cooking plate and not near the control panel (switch board).

    F8 – Long time in cooking. Your cooker needs some cooling and so, shut it down for a few minutes.


    Morphy Richards, Redfyre, Frigidaire, Spring USA Buffet and many other cooker shows similar error codes. For model specific error code meaning and explanation, please comment through comment column below. Hope this post was useful and informative

  • We don't have a induction cooker but if we buy one we have to make sure that it's from the well known brands like GE, etc. so that we are not scam by the price from the unknown brands. Induction cooker is one of the most popular product use by scammers in the Philippines because of their amazing properties like they put a paper on the induction cooker and a cooking pot on top of the paper and shows that the water boils without burning the paper to demonstrate about its safety but they charge you Php 60,000 (US$1,350) for a double burner.

  • My friend bought an induction cooker recently and I'm impressed, I know the method was proven a very very long time ago now but it's like cooking by magic.  It reminds of seeing other material specific reactions and some very strange effects possible when tinkering with electromagnetic waves and fields.  Thanks for the vid GE.

  • I shifted to induction cooking last year. I prefer induction cooker for cost-effectiveness and better performance. Here is a review article:

  • There are so many types of stainless steel stock pot on the market. 304 grade, 430 grade, or 205grade.
    I'm choosing a big stainless steel stock pot to cook meat stew. I will be using it on an induction cooktop.
    Is it correct that one material conduct more heat than another material on induction cooktop? or as long as they are a little magnative, they all have the same cooking speed?
    I'm wondering if the iron content matters the speed.

  • So beware punks (or married people) :o) don't put your hands full of metal rings over the surface, or you will get hot fingers :o)

  • Just saying "electromagnetic energy is around us all the time" is a little misleading. Sure it is, but there are some forms that are dangerous. Not that I'm saying this is dangerous, but you need to state more information like what form of electromagnetic energy it is. I could put you in a microwave, turn it on, and say "don't worry electromagnetic energy is all around you all the time".

  • really? GE can only manage a 240p upload? Is there a reason for this? Well at least it's progressive. I suppose it could have been interlaced. Thanks for the info though. That is providing value. good job.

  • Use this technology with Manson engine design and create an electronic rotary motor. One that you can throttle up or down. No more need for fossil fuel. Novartis

  • This still doesn't explain why bringing iron into the energy field of an electromagnet actually heats it to, how hot and what voltage or Gauss? Also, why iron and not copper or aluminum? And what's to stop someone from getting shocked when running the pan over the magnet (law of induction?) Anybody know where to get such answers?

  • This may also be how California "wildfires" work.

  • I recently purchased an induction cooker …. when i placed induction base pot on it – i just put a tester to see if current is passing or not as its connected via 230v – The tester light glows in red showing current is there ….. will it give me shock if i touch the pot?

  • I' am cooking chaineese food. Using gas big burner to created instant heat on my wok. And give a taste of fire, i 'am intresting to use indiction method. Please give me advide to choose induction stove.

  • you'll save more money by using induction cooker . While gas stoves make your expenses more than double in cooking.

  • Friction between the molecules of iron, it means that whole iron container will be hot, in fact the portion above liquid food will be more hotter. As liquid food will take away energy from the iron container.
    But, why my induction cooktop work differently, only the lower portion of container become hot rest remain cool.
    Is this cooktop faulty…???

  • My problem is it requires yanking out on electric outlet every night, and it does spark every time we plug it in!! Am scared

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