How to Cook Nicely in the Dorm

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Apr 162016
 

If you are a student living in a dorm and fed up with the food in local cafeteria and restaurant around the college, or sometimes you are studying at mid-night and really starving, but cannot find a place to feed yourself at 3 a.m., it is a good idea that you cook in the dorm the food like ramen noodles, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, bacon, smores, toffee, chocolate fondue… You can also invite a bunch of friends to cook and share together whenever you want the party.

Here are some tips for you:

First of all, find the right cooker

Most of the time, you can have an induction cooktop to cook in the dorm. The stove works on electricity which is much safer than gas which sometimes can cause fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Besides, induction cooktop has high energy efficiency that can make food ready quickly, the feature that starving guy wanted most.

To see more good features of induction hob, and please read the article: What is induction Cooking and Its Difference with Gas and Electricity Stoves?

Since the space for you to cook is often limited, It is better that you have a portable induction cook stove. Here are some best portable induction cooktops to check it out:  Top 10 Best Portable Induction Cooktop Comparison

Based on the working theory of induction energy generation, people need to use induction cookware which shall contain iron to generate heat on the pan. If you are not sure what can you buy for induction cooking, please click the  list of the best induction cookware which is also economic.

Secondly, learn how to cook

Unless you are the guys are cooking genius who has the talent to make delicious food without studying, the suggestion is buy a cook book and learn how to cook from one dish to another. After a few weeks, you will be shocked with the progress you have made. Top selling cook guide in the stores

Thirdly, taking care of the safety

When you are cooking, please do not leave the kitchen or cooking area. Pay attention to any flammable items that may be close to the stove. And be careful of the oil splashes which may hurt you. Here are the tips to prevent it:

  • When you finish cooking, the first important thing is to turn off and unplug the electricity appliance.
  • When you are going to store your cook stove or cookware, please wait a while until is cooled down. Otherwise, you may get burned or cause a fire.
  • Last but not least, clean up the kitchen or cooking area after the meal. Leftovers of food can attract pests disgusting you and your roommates. Use dish soap or liquid to clean up the stoves, cookware and dishes.

How to Prevent Hot Oil from Splattering out of the Pan

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Apr 042016
 

It is very dangerous that hot oil splatters out of a cooking pan. Each year thousands of people are reported of being hurt by hot oil when they were cooking. And among them are the children who were standing beside or playing around the cook top.

Moreover, oil droplets can also result in stains on your stove or ranges, creating dirty and hard mess difficult to clean.

So, what is the best way to keep food particles, oil or any other liquid from spitting out of the frying pan? A good solution is to use splatter guard to make cooking safe and clean.

There are two types of products in the market:

One is in circular shape to cover a frying pan, represented by LiveFresh Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Fine Mesh Splatter Screen with Resting Feet. It is a premium grease guard which fits well for a pot, pan or skillet and stops oil spitting. Besides, it is a versatile tool and can be used to steam the veggies which stay on top of the splatter guard. When you need to cool down hot food, LiveFresh  Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Fine Mesh Splatter Screen can be turned inot a cooling rack.

 

 

The other solution is Norpro 2063 Nonstick Splatter Guard. The screen stands around your stove and effectively protects the cooker and surrounding place from being stained. It is composed of 3 hinged panels, each of which measures 10-inch by 9-inch or 25-1/2cm by 23cm. They are easy to clean by hand wash.

As yo can see from the pictures, the two types of splatter using different theories to keep splatters from making mess. LiveFresh covers tight the pans and make no splatters out of th pan while you may not be able to use spatula to cook; Norpro can give you the space to scramble food in the pan but there will be possibiy some oil running away although the range is limited by the splatter guard. So it is your choice to select between the products. Or you can take both home, because they are both excellent and versatile cooking pal.

What are the Differences between Electric Ceramic Radiant & Induction Cooktops

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Dec 062014
 

Many people asked ibestinduction.com the question about the differences between an electric ceramic radiant cooker and an induction cooktop. They are amazed by the words “radiant” and “induction”. Basically, the differences lie in how the heating is produced and transferred.
How Heating is Produced and Transferred
An electric radiant cooker use electric coil elements to generate heat which is conducted and transferred through the ceramic surface to the cookware where your food is contained.
An induction cooktop, whether it is portable, ranges or built-in one, use the burner to generate magnet field working on the induction cookware where heat in turn is generated.

Efficiency
As you see from the working mechanism above, induction heating is much more efficient than traditional electric burners because induction heating is not transferred by radiation or conduction where heat is likely to waste and escape to air from the glass surface; instead, heat is directly generated and works on the cookware.
Cost: Time, Energy and Money
Induction burners are lifesaver and they save time, energy and money. You will be very happy with the electricity bill which is cut the new way of induction cooking. Through reading the best induction cooktop reviews we have done, we can find all of the real customers of induction cookers are satisfied with the cost saved by using induction cooktops.
Safety
Unlike electric burners or traditional gas stoves transferring heat from open flames or red coils, induction burners stay cool during the cooking. The feature is very important particularly when you have kids around because you are relieved from the concerns to worry they get burnt or put your house on fire.
Health Issues and Risks
Do we really need to have the concerns on induction cooktop’s health issue and risks? Does the magnet field generate hazards on human beings? Please read the post we write: How to Avoid Worrying about Radiation Risks When Using Induction Cooktops?
Excerpt from the article:

Anything which is warmer than zero degree will radiate its heat outward. Home and office appliances we used have radiation; for example, refrigerator, TV Set, air-conditioner, computers and reprography machine. Other things also radiate, such as the Sun, rocks, composite floor and wall sticker.

There are case reported about radiation risks made by high voltage power lines, telecommunication base stations and even mobile-phones. Although we should keep alert to the hazards, but they are still controversial and people can hardly find sufficient reasons to kick them out of usage just based on the radiation hazard hypothesis. However, in order to protect our health, we also take some precautions; for example, it would be better to settle down close to high voltage power lines or telecommunication base stations, and not to use cell-phone too long.
We encourage you to buy and use quality induction cookers instead of some low-end products which may be cheap when you buy them and cost more money and time when you use them.
Cookware

Cuisinart 77-10 Chef's Classic Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set

Induction cooktop only use induction cookware which basically requires iron elements within so that the magnet field can works on the cookware and generate induction heating. Clay pot, glass, ceramic, copper or aluminum cookware are not applicable on induction cookers.
Do you know what kind of cookware can work on induction cooktops? Please read the best induction cookware list.
Hybrid Cooktop with All Cookware
From reading the above comparison between electric radiant cookers and induction cooktops, we know their pros and cons. Cooker makers understand the disadvantages and disadvantages of both types, and they launch and produce hybrid cooktops which have both traditional radiant burners and induction elements as well. So your cooker can heat your food quick and efficient with induction cooking while you can use non-induction cookware on traditional burners.
See the best hybrid cooktop with reviews

 

How to Clean an Induction Cooktop in 3 Cases ?

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Jan 032014
 

Cleaning induction cooktops is easier than cleaning stoves of gas and electricity, because the induction cooking, instead of open fire burning or red hot electric coils of the latter stoves, uses induction heat generated within the cookware to make meals. Induction cook tops stays pretty cool during cooking, except the heat transferred from the pan’s bottom, making less burnt residues on the stove.

 However, daily cleaning is necessary to maintain your induction cooktop in order to have the best outlook. And if food spills over the stove surface and leave stains on it, you may have to clean the induction cooktop with special care.

 Case 1: Daily cleaning Procedures:

1. It is a good practice to clean the hobs once you have finished cooking. The tools you need to have are soft cloth/paper towel and ceramic cooktop cleaner.

There are many kinds of kitchen cleaner in the market and some may contain abrasive, caustic, or flammable elements. Don’t use such cleaner, because it will destroy your induction hob surface. Cerama Bryte Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner combo kit is recommended to use, because it is very effective and friendly to induction cooktops. The combo kit contains cleaner, scraper and cleaning pad customized to ceramic glass surface.

2. Make sure your induction cooktop is powered off. Spray the cleaner over the hob surface.

3. After 5 minutes, use the soft cloth/paper towel to remove the cleaner off the surface.

 

Case 2: Cleaning with Scrub Pad

1. If there are some stains or residues happen, the above method may be insufficient to clean them off. In this case, you will have to use srub pad which we suggest to use the pad in the combo kit; otherwise, other srub pad may scratch the surface.

2. Spray the ceramic cooktop cleaner over the points, and scrub off the stains with appropriate pressure.

3. Wipe the residue and cleaner off with soft cloth/paper towel.

 

Case 3: Cleaning Stubborn Residue

1. If the stains or residues are so heavy that scrub pad cannot work alone, you will have to use the scraper contained in the combo kit. Hold the scrape against the residues at a 30 degree angle and carefully scrape the residue’s soil off.
2. Spray the ceramic cooktop cleaner to the residue.
3. Wipe the residue and cleaner off with soft cloth/paper towel.

 

The surface of the best induction cooktops are sleek, usually made with ceramic glass. While crap induction cooktops may have rough and untidy surface which will annoy you when cleaning. So it is important to buy a good induction cooktop anyway. We list the best induction cooktops we can find in the market, please read our post for your reference:

The Ultimate Guide to Select the Best Induction Cooktop

What is induction Cooking and Its Difference with Gas and Electricity Stoves?

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Jan 032014
 

Induction cooking uses induction heating which is safer, easier and more efficient than traditional gas or electrical red-hot cooker. Induction cooktops are used in the cooking, also called as induction cook top, induction heater, induction hob, induction cooker, induction stove, induction oven, induction range and induction hot plate. The last name is very odd since they are not hot during cooking, instead only the cookware is heated through magnetic induction.

How an Induction Cooktop Works?

You don’t need to be confused by the above names. Actually, they point to the same working mechanism. Induction cooktop has a coil of copper wire where alternating electric current creates an oscillating magnetic field and induces electric current in the ferromagnetic vessel people put on the cooktop. The flowing current produces resistive heating which heats the food within the vessel.

(See the Best Induction Cooktops we listed)
Difference with Gas and Electricity Stoves
So the basic difference between an induction cooktop and conventional gas and electricity stoves lies in the working mechanism of their heating: induction cooktops use induction heat created by magnet field while the latter two use gas burning and read hot electric coil.

The effects of cooking thus are much different. The advantages of induction cooktops are: 1. Fast and precise cooking; 2. Energy efficient at low cost; 3. Safety; 4. Easy cleaning while the disadvantages are: 1. cookware requirements and 2. humming.

Details of the differences can be seen at our post: Do You Know Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Induction Cooktops?

How to Re-Season You Cast Iron Cookware?

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Dec 202013
 

Seasoning is a required process to make your cookware have a smooth surface without rusts, putting on a coating of wax or oil on the cookware’s surface. Lots of cast iron utensils are sold at a pre-seasoned status; however, appropriate cleaning after each cooking will help the cookware maintain well-performing and extend the lifespan to decades. (You may refer to our post: How to clean a pre-seasoned cast iron cookware correctly?)

 

Sometimes, when you find your cast iron griddle or skillet cannot be cleaned as easily as before, because food tends to stick to the surface firmly. Or even worse, you find your utensil have iron rusts. It is the time to re-season your cast iron cookware.

 

Lodge gives very thorough steps for refurbishing the finish:

 

* Wash the cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. (It is okay to use soap this time because you are preparing to re-season the cookware).

* Rinse and dry completely.

* Apply a very thin, even coating of MELTED solid vegetable shortening (or cooking oil of your choice) to the cookware inside and out. Too much oil will result in a sticky finish.

* Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven (not directly on bottom) to catch any drips.

* Set oven temperature to 350 – 400 degrees F.

* Place cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven to prevent pooling.

* Bake the cookware for at least one hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven.

* Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled.

* Repeat as necessary.  

 

Lodge’s cast iron products have enjoyed a good reputation of being sturdy, well-structured and high quality. A variety of their products can be found at Amazon: Lodge cast iron cookware>>

How to clean a pre-seasoned cast iron cookware correctly?

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Dec 202013
 

A pre-seasoned cookware means that it has been placed with a coating on the surface, before it is sold to consumers, in order to help the cookware have natural, easy-release finish and away from rusting. Cleaning a pre-seasoned cast iron cookware is easy. First wash the cookware with water. Dry it as soon as possible. Then rub the cookware with a thin coating of vegetable oil. Too much oil may lead to a sticky surface.

This process of “wash, dry and season” not only makes you cast iron cookware clean and keeps it away from moisture but also maintains its lifespan for decades. You may use it for over 100 years.

To wash the cookware, dishwashers, strong detergents or metal scouring pads is not recommended, as they will reduce the seasoning surface. It is applicable that using only water to wash even without soap, because the smooth seasoning helps cleaning easy. If you are really worried about non-soap washing, just use mild soapy water.

Below is a video showing how to clean a 10.5 inch Lodge L9OG3 Pre-Seasoned Round Griddle which is made up with cast iron. This process is applicable to cast iron cookware, such as griddles and skillets, of other brands and models.

Dec 132013
 

In order to know the advantages and disadvantages of induction cooktops, let’s first get to know what is induction cooktop and induction cooking?

Induction cooktop is also named as induction cook top, induction stove, induction oven, induction range and induction hot plate. The last name is very strange because they are not hot when people cook. Instead, only the pan is heated through magnetic induction.

An induction cooktop has a coil of copper wire inside where alternating electric current creates an oscillating magnetic field and induces electric current in the ferromagnetic vessel people put on the cooktop. Thanks to the current flowing, resistive heating is created.

 

The advantages of using induction cooktop

1. Fast and precise cooking

Induction cooktops produces heat from the induced electric current; therefore, the heating mechanism makes cooking become fast and precise. Most customers are very satisfied with the fast speed to adjust the pan temperature to an ideal one. They observed making a quart of water boiled through induction cook tops only needs less than half time of gas or traditional electrical cookers. Besides, induction cooktops have various built-in cooking settings and multiple temperature levels which enables the temperature control precisely and smoothly.

 2. Energy efficient at low cost

Energy is used in induction cooking with very small waste, because it is directly transformed to heat through magnetic induction; whereas gas cooking transfers heat through gas burning and traditional electrical stove delivers heat to pan from the heated electric coil. So induction cooking has higher energy efficiency than its gas and electrical counterparts.

Besides, since only the cookware is heated during cooking, the external heat flows to the ambience is minimal and it makes great significance during summer. Your air-conditioning bill will be cut a lot and you don’t need to stay in the unbearable hot kitchen as long as you replace your old gas stove with induction cooktop.

 3. Safety

Unlike gas and traditional electrical stoves transferring heat from open flames or red coils, induction cooktop itself remains cool during cooking. It is very important when you have kids around. You don’t need to worry they get burnt or put your house on fire.

Moreover, most induction cookers, no matter they are portable cooktop, built-in stove or ranges, have auto shut-off features when the pan is lift from the cooktop surface or when food overflows.

 4. Easy cleaning

Cleaning induction cooktop is quite easy. Little byproduct is generated during cooking whereas gas cooktop becomes increasingly dirty from the day-after-day gas burning. The surface of most induction cooktops is sleek, made up of glass ceramic. And the controlling part is built in underneath the smooth surface without knobs. To clean an induction cooktop, you will only need to wipe up its surface with a towel as soon as you finish cooking.

 

Disadvantages

1. Cookware Requirement

Cookware needs to be ferro-magnetic. Because of the identified working mechanism, non-induction vessels are not favorable in induction cooking. Compatible cookware is needed and the vessels are usually not expensive, made up of cast iron or steel.

There are skills in selecting induction cookware for the purpose of good cooking experience. We have a post here:

The Ultimate Induction Cookware Reviews and Guide

2. Humming

Noise is made during induction cooking at a very low level. There are fans installed in some induction cooktops. Most users suggest that the humming is hardly noticeable when you cook food.

 

Conclusion

What do you think of induction cooking compared with traditional gas and electrical one? What will you choose when you are going to buy a cook top for your new home or a kitchen renovation?

 

The above pros and cons of the induction cooktops hope to lead you through the selection puzzles. Induction cookopts have so many advantages that the two little flaws are neglectable. If people really don’t want ferro-magnetic utensils at home or little-noise-sensitive, induction stoves may not be their favorite. Otherwise, it is not a balanced comparison; the drawbacks are not a big deal when you have easy, safe, fast, economic and clean induction cookers.

How to Avoid Worrying about Radiation Risks When Using Induction Cooktops?

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Dec 072013
 

It is much safer of induction cooking than having gas and electric stoves in your kitchen.

Unlike conventional cookers, induction cooktops don’t generate open flames or red hot electric coils during cooking. They use electricity to create magnetic field through copper coil within them. Induction heating, as a result, is produced at the ferrous cookware. Induction cooktops remain cool though some heat would be transferred from the cookware. It is very important for families having kids running around.

Is there any risk when we use an induction cooktop?

The answer is yes. What causes concerns to some customers is the possible hazard of radiation coming from the copper coil within the induction cooktop. They worry that the radiation may lead to potential health problems.

Actually, radiations are ubiquitous

Anything which is warmer than zero degree will radiate its heat outward. Home and office appliances we used have radiation; for example, refrigerator, TV Set, air-conditioner, computers and reprography machine. Other things also radiate, such as the Sun, rocks, composite floor and wall sticker.

There are case reported about radiation risks made by high voltage power lines, telecommunication base stations and even mobile-phones. Although we should keep alert to the hazards, but they are still controversial and people can hardly find sufficient reasons to kick them out of usage just based on the radiation hazard hypothesis. However, in order to protect our health, we also take some precautions; for example, it would be better to settle down close to high voltage power lines or telecommunication base stations, and not to use cell-phone too long.

Well-made induction cooktops have the least risk.

There are well-made induction cooktops with the best design, healthy material,  fine manufacturing and the most stringent quality standard. Top safe portable and built-in induction cooktops and rages are listed below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is unnecessary to be fussy about the induction cooktop radiation hazards.

Radiations created during induction cooking are those of radio frequency which will diminish in short distances. The magnetic field works only on ferrous metal. The RF microwave can be hardly detected within a range of 30-40 centimeters from the induction cooktop. So long you do not set your body over-intimately to the working induction hobs you will not be affected at all.

Careful Precautions :

But if you want more protections when using induction stoves and avoid any risks, the following tips may alleviate your concerns:

1. Your induction cookware should have a flat bottom with a size large enough to cover the hob. The below cookware are exactly the best suit for induction cooking.

2. Set the cookware at the center of your induction hob when cooking.

3. Buy the induction cooktop which has a function of lift-and-shut-off so as to radiation will not take place when pan is lifted away from the hob surface.

4. Do not buy low quality induction hobs which may have less security measures and thus increase the danger of risks. We have a premium induction cooktop list and they have been used for long time by lots of people: best portable induction cooktops, best built-in induction cooktops and best induction ranges.

5. For those who are equipped with implanted electronic devices such as cardiac pacemakers need to consult with doctors when using electronic appliances.