Is Induction Cooking Safe?
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Induction cooking is a superior technology for cooktops that is all the rage right now.
It is highly efficient and can cook your food faster, saving you a lot of time and energy when preparing meals.
With that said, it doesn’t use much power and can respond immediately to any setting changes.
Plus, it doesn’t pollute the environment because the cooking vessel is the only thing that gets heated.
You are probably wondering, how safe is induction cooking?
Here, we explain the process in detail and help you understand that it is a very safe method for making meals.
That way, you can feel comfortable about buying an induction cooktop and using it frequently.
How Do Induction Cooktops Work?
An induction cooktop features a coil with wires inside.
Alternating currents pass through those wires and into the coil to create a magnetic field, which is going to cause an electric current to then flow through the cookware.
Therefore, heat is created, and the food is cooked.
In a sense, the heat is generated within the cookware, and this allows the rest of the cooktop to stay cool.
Of course, that means the heat from the cookware doesn’t go into the atmosphere.
As such, your kitchen stays more comfortable, and your air conditioning isn’t going to have to kick on more frequently.
What Is An Induction-Ready Cookware?
For the cookware to work on your induction cooktop, you need to use materials that are induction-ready.
If the cookware attracts a magnet, it is going to work with the induction cooktop.
Generally, it is best to use cast iron and stainless steel options.
Aluminum, glass, and copper aren’t going to work with induction cooktops.
It is possible to make your cookware ferromagnetic by putting converters behind the cooking vessel’s base; still, this may not be safe to do.
You are going to find that induction cooking is much faster for simmering and boiling.
Plus, new models have touch sensors, which can switch off if there is no pot or pan on the cooktop.
This protects you from extra radiation getting out into the air.
How Safe Is Induction Cooking?
Most people wonder if induction cooking is safe, and the answer is yes.
With an induction cooktop, you aren’t going to risk burning your food because there is no flame.
Plus, you don’t have to deal with inhaling gas fumes, gas leaking, and other issues.
You are also going to notice that the cooking vessel you use stays clean on the sides and base, unlike what happens when you use electric or gas cooktops.
If that weren’t enough, the cooktop’s surface remains relatively cool, too.
Therefore, children and the elderly can be near it without getting hurt.
An induction cooktop doesn’t need a lot of power, so it can be plugged into a normal house outlet.
This means that you don’t have to worry about tripping the breaker or causing a kitchen fire when using an induction cooktop.
There are multiple sensors included on the cooktop, too.
For example, if there is an empty vessel without food in it, the appliance turns itself off.
It can also beep and turn on the fan if your cookware gets too hot during the cooking process.
Induction Cooktops and Child Safety
If you have children, you are likely worried about them getting injured or burned around the induction cooktop.
Most appliances feature a child safety lock; just turn on the button, and the display is going to show it is locked.
This means that all of the functions and features are locked, too.
In a sense, you need to set up how you want it to be while cooking.
Then, turn on the child safety lock so that they can’t change anything.
Many times, the power button is still useable while the child safety lock is on, but you can always shut it off if you need to do so.
Common Induction Cooktop Safety Features
While we talked a little about some of the safety features, there are plenty more.
We listed them down below to make it easier for you to find the ones you are more interested in learning about.
Cut Off Feature
With this option, you might switch on the cooktop and leave it on for an extended period.
If you don’t alter the temperature or make any changes, the appliance can switch itself off to avoid burning the food.
The time it takes for the safety cut off feature to work can depend on the model and the heat settings of your cooktop.
At a lower setting, the cooking zone is going to stay on for longer.
Often, cooktops have a low simmer option, which allows it to stay on for longer periods.
If the cooktop is set at the highest temperature settings, it is likely to shut itself off after about two hours.
Most induction cooktops have a timer feature that goes up to 170 minutes, which is almost three hours.
Therefore, the amount of time you have is based on the timer; after that, the cooktop is going to turn off.
Still, you can turn it back on immediately with almost no loss of heat if you are continuing to cook at high temperatures.
If you need to pause the cooking process for any reason, some induction cooktops feature a pause button.
With this, you can clean up a spill, use the restroom, or find out why the kids are yelling without fear of burning your dish.
The buttons get locked when you use this feature, and then you can resume cooking by pressing it again.
Automatic Pan Detection
Have you ever turned on a cooktop but forgot to put the pot on it first?
This happens more frequently than you may think.
The auto-pan detector shuts off the cooktop after one minute if no cookware is present, or it is removed.
Some cooktops feature sensors that can determine the temperature of the cookware’s bottom.
It can adjust its power output to avoid damage to the cooktop and your cookware.
Auto Heat Up
This feature ensures that your food is heated to higher temperatures quickly.
Then, it automatically turns the temperature down to a lower setting that you have preset.
With so many preset options, you can make the process safer and easier because you don’t have to lower and raise the temperature repeatedly while cooking.
This option is similar to the auto heat up version.
It can be used to preheat the cooktop if needed.
You can also use it to heat up the food fast to get to a warmer temperature so that it cooks thoroughly and quickly.
With this safety feature, the cooktop beeps and shuts itself down when it senses food spills or overflowed liquid.
It’s embedded in the sensor controls for protection.
When spills happen, you can easily wipe up the spill and then restart your cooking process.
Residual Heat Light Feature
Some heat is likely to be present around your cookware, and this is called residual heat light.
You can trust that it is going to dissipate quickly; when it doesn’t, then the light will glow brighter.
If this happens, shut off the device for a few moments to let it cool down.
What Is EMF?
One study shows that EMF (electromagnetic field) exposure could possibly exceed maximum exposure levels that are deemed safe.
Therefore, some cooktops don’t comply with the restrictions put out by the FDA and ICNIRP.
Keep in mind that this study was completed in 2012; since then, manufacturers have been made to keep EMP exposure lower.
Still, you should stand about one foot away from the cooktop when it is being used.
Doing that ensures you do not get too much radiation exposure.
An electromagnetic field is an invisible area of energy (radiation).
It is produced by electricity, which is the movement of electrons and current through wires.
Electric fields are produced by voltage, which is the pressure that’s used to push electrons through the wires.
When the voltage increases, the electric field becomes stronger.
Magnetic fields come from currents that flow through wires and electrical devices.
It also increases in strength when the current increases.
Still, the magnetic field decreases the farther away you are to it.
Electric fields are going to be produced regardless of whether the device is on, while a magnetic field is only produced when the current is actively flowing.
Plus, electric fields are weakened and shielded by walls and objects (like the cookware and the encasement of the appliance).
On the other hand, magnetic fields pass through things, even living ones.
Categories of EMFs
They exist together whenever there’s an electrical charge. You can find two types of EFM. These include:
Low or Mid-Frequency EMF
These include magnetic fields from appliances and power lines.
They produce non-ionizing radiation and are considered safe in small doses.
These can include ultraviolet, gamma, and X-rays.
They’re designed to penetrate the body and can damage cells and DNA.
Which Types of EMFs Are Harmful?
The spectrum for electromagnetic energy includes all of the possible frequencies.
Some are very long wavelengths that have a lower frequency and less risk of exposure.
There are also very short wavelengths, which have both non-ionizing and ionizing radiation (such as those from X-rays.)
Generally, waves from the lower end of the spectrum have low frequencies and aren’t harmful.
Higher frequencies are more dangerous.
Induction cooking uses non-ionizing radiation, which means it is slow-moving and doesn’t put out a lot of energy.
Though it can be dangerous at high levels, very little is actually introduced into the atmosphere when you cook with an induction cooktop.
If you happen to be standing near the cooktop and notice headache or dizziness, it is best to move away from it quickly.
Although, your symptoms are going to go away, and it’s not going to cause negative or permanent effects on your body.
Induction Cooktops and Pacemakers
Many people worry about using an induction cooktop because they must wear a pacemaker.
In the past, such cooktops were not recommended for those with this implanted device.
Now, however, it is safe to use induction cooking methods while wearing a pacemaker.
Nevertheless, it is advisable to stand at least a foot away from the cooktop while it is being used.
That being said, you may want to measure the space where you hope to use the appliance to make sure you have that much room.
For example, in an RV, you may have to make do with a cramped kitchen space.
In this situation, it might be wise to cook outside or stay in another room while the food cooks on your induction cooktop.
Of course, it is safe to check on the food periodically or give it a stir.
After all, you aren’t going to accumulate that much radiation in such a short period.
Cleaning Induction Cooktops
While most people don’t think much about it, cleaning the appliance can be dangerous.
If you’re looking for safety issues, you aren’t going to find it here.
Of course, there are some obvious things to consider.
For example, you should wait until the cooking vessel is removed from the cooktop and that everything is cool to the touch cleaning it.
Also, you should unplug the cooktop before you start the cleaning process.
That way, it doesn’t accidentally get turned on while you are wiping it down.
To clean an induction cooktop, you should use a damp cloth; you probably aren’t going to need any dish detergent.
Then, wipe it down with a dry cloth to help prevent water spots from forming.
If that does happen, you can use a touch of vinegar to remove the spots.
The other parts, such as stainless steel, can be wiped down with soapy water and a cloth.
You shouldn’t use harsh chemicals, such as oven cleaner, and you should not use abrasive cleaning tools either.
How safe is induction cooking?
It’s a question that is on most people’s minds.
You’ve probably heard that it is more energy-efficient and saves a lot of time and money.
Of course, you don’t want to use something that could harm you and your family.
As long as you follow the directions and stay about one foot away from the appliance while it is in use, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Remember, microwaves also require you to stand a distance apart to prevent being touched by the EMF, and you’ve likely been using it for many decades.