Compared to gas cookers and electric hotplates, induction cooking is a relatively recent invention. It has been widely adopted in many European households but still suffers from numerous misconceptions over its uses and capabilities. Here are a few common myths to reconsider about induction cooking:
Induction cooking requires specialised cookware
You don’t need specialised cookware to use an induction stove; rather, all you need is cookware that is ferromagnetic, meaning a material that can be magnetised. This includes objects made from iron or certain steel alloys. Even stainless steel cookware, which is typically not suited to induction, can be used if it has a ferrous base. An easy test to see if a pot can be used for induction is to put a magnet on it: if the magnet sticks, it’s ferromagnetic.
Induction stoves are more expensive
Yes and no. An induction stove unit tends to cost more than a gas stove, but they are cheaper to operate in the long run. Gas stoves are much less energy efficient than induction stoves, as they only transfer 60 percent of the heat generated to the pan.
In contrast, it is estimated that induction stoves are about 80 percent more energy efficient, and the savings on your utility bill could outweigh the higher investment. Depending on your kitchen setup, induction stoves may also be easier and more convenient to install, as they do not require you to lease gas cylinders or risk running out of gas while you are cooking.
Induction cooking can be hazardous to health
A common misunderstanding is that, like microwaves, induction cookers use radiation to cook. They do not. Microwaves use electromagnetic radiation to heat molecules in food, while induction stoves use magnetic fields and resistive heating to generate heat in the cookware. The magnetic fields they use are harmless, and do not project more than a few centimetres above the hob surface in any case. As for safety concerns, while their flat surface may bear some resemblance to cooktops that use hotplates, the cooking surface does not heat up at all when in operation.
Induction cooktops are completely safe to touch even as they are heating up the pan.
Elizabeth Png is the retail and consumer business director at Hafele Vietnam. She can be contacted at