Induction Cooktops: Your Most Efficient Low-Power Cooking Method

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In the universe of the industrial world, there are concepts that I like the most. One of them is the concept of “Essential Variables” related to welding processes. It’s self-explanatory enough. I believe that our life is going to be easier if we categorize our gear under three different levels of the word “Essential.” This article explains the main reasons why I believe an induction cooktop (with the corresponding kitchenware! as otherwise is nothing but a fancy brick) is a piece of equipment that can be considered essential.

“Level 1 Essential” includes the gear you can’t make it without. That depends on your particular situation of course. A good, reliable hunting tool, your defense tool, the items for communications with your group, for instance. A vehicle, the shelter or BOL, a wood stove or fireplace. All of those, you fill out the form according to your needs. The other two levels of relevance will decrease in importance of the items within them of course.

Why I use an induction cooktop

As usual, everybody’s situation is different. Let’s put it this way: if you live in a cabin in the deep forest, with plenty of firewood and a fireplace, your need for an alternative cooking heat source is not the same as I may have.

Tropical forests can appear lusty and fast-growing, but only for certain species. The ones with higher density, more efficient for firewood, grow slower for reasons that a specialist could explain better.

If the lucky person living the dream has an average-sized battery rack and doesn’t receive too much sun, maybe the energy has a better use with other applications, like pumping water into the tanks or heating the chicken’s coop, than powering a cooktop.

In my case, where the gas cylinders can disappear from the shelves overnight because the supply is controlled by you-know-who, just like the power supply, having alternative means is a wise choice. The most efficient use of a cylinder gas (for me) is using it to feed my generator and plug the refrigeration equipment while using the induction cooktop simultaneously. 

This is why, although the stove would use a tiny amount of gas for cooking with a flame, using it as fuel for the generator and extending our capabilities for cold storage and using the induction stove simultaneously is a double benefit.

Induction Cooktops

Induction cooktops are a type of stovetop that uses a physical principle named electromagnetic induction to heat cookware. This means that a rapid-moving electromagnetic field (don’t worry about this, the electronics will) heats a stationary, physically unconnected element sandwiched in the middle layer at the bottom of your pot, frying pan, or even your espresso coffeemaker instead of a conventional resistance that turns red-hot and it’s scary to even look at. Without this connection, the power loss is practically nonexistent and neglectable. Meaning that most of the power is converted into heat.

They are becoming increasingly popular in many parts of the world, and for good reason. They are more efficient than traditional gas or electric stoves and safer and easier to use. In my short time in Ecuador, the government had an official campaign to replace the resistance-based stoves that consumed too much power for this technology. This country’s main cities have to supply energy from places far away. Public consumption is high because of the permanent cold weather, mainly in Quito: hot beverages with all sorts of herbs are a necessity. Then, the savings with a technology change make lots of sense.

They are also widely used in Europe, with its energy crisis, and older cooking methods are being replaced with induction cooktops when new kitchens are installed.

Here are the advantages of an induction cooktop.

For preppers, induction cooktops offer several advantages. Here are three reasons why every prepper should consider investing in one.

1) Efficiency

Induction cooktops are highly efficient. They convert up to 85% of the energy they use into heat, compared to just 40% for traditional gas stoves and 80% or less for conventional stoves with resistance heating elements. This means money savings on the energy bills. In induction cooktops is the cookware itself that converts the energy and gets hot.

2) Safety

Induction cooktops are also much safer than traditional gas stoves. They do not produce any flames or fumes, and they are less likely to cause fires. This is an important consideration for us for obvious reasons. Living in a disaster zone or other hazardous environment where gas leaks can be everywhere they are very convenient.

In the scenario where you need (for whatever reason) to cook without smoke to avoid disclosing your position, this is the equipment to use. They can boil water or other liquids in a hurry, as there is very little heat dissipation to the surroundings because all of the energy is transferred to the content of the vessel.

Odors are a different issue.

Coil resistance heating elements are a real hazard, too, as any contact with a rag or any hot oil spill will produce an instant fire, not to mention you’re very close to an almost red-hot metal.

Don’t ask how I learned this…

Even more, if this coil is hot and receives a splash of some liquid, even if this is boiling, the chances of ruining it are high. The sudden cooling (even if the liquid is boiling) will make the material shrink and crack, and the stove stop working. This is a severe threat if you are in the middle of a heavy winter storm. Unless you can replace it (which means let it cool first) in a hurry and put it back to work before you’re too cold. On the other hand, if there is some malfunction or short-circuit could result in a fire. We ALWAYS unplug these stoves, used only in emergencies when there is no cooking gas.

3) Convenience

Induction cooktops are also very easy to use. They have a smooth, flat surface that is easy to clean (excellent for single dads like me!) and precise temperature controls that make it easy to cook your food perfectly. Some comfort creatures like auto-power-off timers make the whole device much more versatile. What can I say? I am a fan and happier than ever to have bought this thing.

Powering our cooktop

In a disaster situation, or one where we don’t have access to the power grid, we must use our resources as efficiently as possible. Every watt of electricity counts and induction cooktops can help you save those watts. A sinusoidal wave inverter is the best choice – mind you, these cooktops have electronics. However, it is a one-time acquisition, and this same inverter will surely power your other electronics, too.

Being creative with the wiring is a good skill to master, though. Unless your BOL is a huge, complicated one, this could be done well by thinking ahead a little. I like compact spaces as a headquarters, without too much furniture in the middle so one can walk freely. All of the wall space, though, should be used to organize gear and all the other items. You could locate your “office” or “surveillance room” or whatever you call the place your electronics are going to be (with a wall in the middle) behind the kitchen, so you can just run a wire through the wall and plug the cooktop.

In the event of a power outage, induction cooktops can still be used as long as a backup power source is available.

Portable induction cooktops seem to have earned their place. It is worth giving them a try, to diversify our gear and means to purify water, cook, or heat. I prefer them over the glass-ceramic stoves for obvious reasons, being the efficiency one of them.

Things to consider when choosing an induction cooktop

Here are some additional for those considering purchasing an induction cooktop:

  • Choose a cooktop with a large surface area. This will give you more cooking space, which is important if you cook for a large group. This will save fuel by cooking faster if you run your generator to cook. In the long run, saving fuel can be a valuable advantage.
  • Look for a cooktop with a variety of features. Some features that can be useful for preppers include a timer, a keep-warm setting, and a safety lock.
  • Make sure the cooktop is compatible with your cookware. Induction cooktops require cookware made of ferromagnetic materials, such as cast iron or stainless steel. This last option is the one I like the most, as it is light and easy to clean.

As an anecdote, I found something interesting before sitting down to write this article. My gas cylinder will be empty soon, so I took my portable induction stove out and plugged it in. It emits a beeping sound when the inductive coil doesn’t “feel” the pan or pot to cook. I filled out my little but faithful two-cup espresso stainless steel coffee maker and put it on top of the stove to see if the beeping stopped…much to my surprise, it started to heat instantly. Meaning it’s induction-compatible! It is an Italian-made appliance, and when I bought it, I didn’t even know it was induction-compatible. It has no markings anywhere. Maybe it was on the box, but I can´t even remember ever having seen that on the package.

This lovely coffee maker has been with me for over 15 years and found its place in my suitcase down to Peru, and back. 

Now, I can keep cooking with far less energy usage as long as I have a way to power my stove.

To finish, the risks of modern cooktops interfering with other appliances or devices are practically inexistent, too. The radiation level is much lower than a microwave.

This is based on my own experiences with my portable humble cooktop!

I look forward to hearing your comments!

Stay safe, and keep tuned!

Have you ever used an induction cooktop?

Are you a fan of induction cooktops? Do you have a stove like this in your home? Have you used one before? Do you have any additional tips for using these?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has an old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Jose and his younger kid are currently back in Venezuela, after the intention of setting up a new life in another country didn’t  go well. The SARSCOV2 re-shaped the labor market and South American economy so he decided to give it a try to homestead in the mountains, and make a living as best as possible. But this time in his own land, and surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances, with all the gear and equipment collected, as the initial plan was.

 Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on PatreonDonations: paypal.me/JoseM151

J.G. Martinez D

J.G. Martinez D

About Jose Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151

Leave a Reply

  • We have a induction cooktop and love it. It heats our cast iron cookware just fine but works fantastic with our Hexclad cookware which is the best cookware ever. It is amazingly fast and controllable. As you said, it won’t work with your aluminum cookware so you can donate it to someone needy. Our cooktop has been totally reliable since new (6 years) but I’ve read that it is expensive to repair.

    • Dear Lew,
      Indeed, maintenance can be somehow expensive, but if you plan ahead and get a few spares beforehand and store them properly (like capacitors, these don’t like humidity and get damaged, or cooling fans that work while the device is operating and I consider them a replaceable item) your equipment will work for a long time. Using it sparely to prolong you other fuels is another good idea. Mine has already more than 10 years, and I got it used.
      Cheers!

  • And of what use will they be when the power goes off? Then they don’t work. Just like the electric vehicles. They won’t be going anywhere either. Gas stoves, fireplaces and wood stoves and a grill will be good in times of no power

    • Absolutely agree. If there is enough s**t going on that the gas supply is damaged, good chance you will not have power either. And, I have a very heavy All American pressure canner – I need a stove that can handle it heat and weight-wise. Instant on, instant off, instant temperature changes with the gas range…
      Nope – I will NOT give up my gas range until I am forced to under extreme duress, I’m afraid.

    • I bought a portable one-cookpot-sized induction cooktop at Costco (back when). It can be powered by an inverter running from my car battery. Useful in an emergency, BUT the EMF emissions are horrndous and NOT recommended for everyday use. EMF exposure health harms are from CUMULATIVE EMF exposures.

      • Best test it with a battery before you depend on it
        Check the amp draw of your cooker.

        After stepping the 12 V up to 110 you’re gonna probably lose half your car battery capacity.
        And if you draw the battery voltage below 10.5 you were damage the battery.

        Volts times amps equals watts

        If you need 5 A for your cooker at 110 V you will need 46 amps coming out of your car battery

        A lot of car batteries are rated for over 100 cold, cranking amps but that’s only gonna last a few seconds

        Even if you have a really big cable from your battery to the inverter, the battery itself is going to heat up, as well as the connection at the posts and melt the case at the terminal post.

        Like I said test at first

    • Dear Wandakate,
      Yes, of course, they need electricity. However, they don’t draw so much power like the resistor ones, a hair dryer or even a clothes iron. The intention was provide an affordable and practical option to these resistor-based stoves. On the other hand, the no-smoke feature is a trait that I like very much. If you have to disinfect surgery instruments and bandages to remove a bullet and the meanies are still on the hunting out there…this smoke will be like a flag indicating your position. I mentioned this in the heading 2, “Safety”.

  • One huge disadvantage is that many canners are made of aluminum, including mine. My Presto canner’s user manual specifically states not to use in on an induction cooktop. If you can your own food, either use a different canner or a gas stove.

    • Dear Jayne, canners are usually quite heavy and very likely will break a portable stove. Induction is not intended to replace 100% gas or wood stoves if you live off grid, but provide an alternative, just like a microwave, so you can extend your resources. There are iron accessories that allow you using non-compatible cookware with your induction stove.

  • Power outages are not the only gotcha regarding induction burners. I bought a portable induction stove/burner several years ago to learn about that technology. Some stainless steel pots and pans will work on an induction burner but some won’t. The quickie test is to see if a magnet will stick strongly to the bottom of such cookware. All cast iron cookware will pass that test but copper or aluminum cookware will fail it. Strong sticking is a good indication. Very weak sticking is a negative indicator.

    There are other gotchas. The instructions that came with my induction burner specify both the minimum and maximum diameters of the pot bottoms. Check to see what pot size limits your instructions specify for the burner you buy. Even if the pot size passes the strong magnet test it might still be prohibited by being outside of the bottom diameter limits per your instruction booklet.

    Another gotcha is medical. If anyone in your household has a medical electronic implant such as a heart-preserving device, they must stay some distance from that induction burner whenever it is turned on. That’s especially deadly if the primary cook in your household has such an implant … that pretty much rules out their being anywhere close to that burner while it’s turned on. If somebody else turns it on without warning … the result could be deadly.

    The instructions that with my induction burner said that inserting any kind of plastic on the induction burner’s top surface to, for example, prevent a cookpot from scratching the induction burner’s glass-like top surface is prohibited. I smelled a rat from what I guessed was some attorney’s fears, so I tested that prohibition with a very thin sheet of high temperature compatible plastic sheet by cutting it to the maximum pot size diameter allowed by the instruction booklet. That was for two reasons — one to prevent the metal pot bottom from scratching the glassy induction burner’s top surface, and two to see if that prohibition in the instruction booklet was an over-reach when high-temperature compatible plastic sheets were used.

    The results were a victory for me. The high-temp compatible plastic sheet (which I bought on eBay) created no problems whatsoever. It did not melt or create any sticking problems while fully protecting my induction burner’s glassy top from getting scratched. It also confirmed my suspicion about some attorneys’ occasional over-reach.

    So the limits about using an induction burner include using ONLY cookware that passes the strong magnet test … and that has a bottom diameter size INSIDE the minimum and maximum DIAMETERS per the instructions that came with that burner. The medical prohibition is absolute — you don’t want to kill somebody who has an electronic medical implant (who might not know that you have an induction burner in your kitchen … and might not even know about the absolute need to keep their distance from it).

    Finally … if you cut a sheet of high-temperature compatible thin plastic sheet to the maximum diameter of a cookpot (as allowed by your burner’s instructions), that’s a handy way (without digging out the instruction booklet) to confirm whether your strong magnet test passing cookpot is not too large for your induction burner … while keeping that cookpot from scratching the glassy top of your induction burner.

    It’s also not a bad idea if you want to minimize the number of cookpots, pans, etc you have to store and/or transport occasionally that are induction burner compatible to label or make a list of what you have (or want to acquire) that you can use on your induction burner as long as you have electric power for it … and that such cookware remains usable for your other ways to heating them up when the power grid goes down. One example of such a cookpot that’s capable of all such uses might be one that (1) passes the strong magnet test, (2) passes the bottom diameter limits test, and (3) has been painted flat black on the outside using a high temperature compatible paint … so it even works better inside a solar cooker as well.

    –Lewis

  • When I was in culinary school, we had these. I’d never seen one before and I really liked our portable, single ‘burner’ units. I’d never boiled water so fast! I was under the impression that they were big electricity hogs because when we had a dozen or so running at once, it would trip the breaker, so it’s nice to know they aren’t bad. I would love to purchase one like I used in school but they are really expensive so it’s on my “someday” wish list!

    • Dear Sita,
      Mine was purchased used and is still running good. When I run out of bottled gas (a bottle lasts like 5 months, cooking and baking bread almost daily) I just switch to this stove until I can get a bottle. A real life saver in the worst of the crisis when you couldn´t get bottled gas because of the commie strategy to make millions of people run away, lowering the population to controllable levels.

  • We purchased a stand alone induction stove last year. When it was delivered it wouldn’t work. It was the circuit board that needed to be replaced. We waited at least a month to get it replaced because of shipping time and having the repair people available. The fist thing we did was purchase new induction ready cookware. Getting familiar and used to the induction stove was interesting.

    • Dear Patricia, in my experience, I could extend the gas bottle like almost 2,5 times without using the induction stove too much. Just alternating them both you easily duplicate the use you get from the gas, and from the stove. In our case, where getting a gas bottle was (back in the day) very difficult, it solved a real problem. As long as you have electricity or some means to generate it, it will work.

  • tested one for a season as running on solar. it beeps at you all the time for all sorts of reasons.. digital nightmare, so if you don’t like swiping your stove to set temperatures and it beeps at you for neglecting it… its just annoying, we have enough stuff to worry about than to clutter our heads with 1. is this pan suitable in a)its metallic, b) it the right size 2. has anyone in the household got a pacemaker or something that this stove can kill them with? 3. beeping instructions about a)temperature settings, b)timer c)incompatibility or simply d) lifting the pan off the stove to shake things and all hell breaks loose with beepers.. i may have forgotten some of the many other annoying things by now, thank GOD, back to good old gas and when on solar use a normal spiral stove and forget about the so called safety non sense they bang on about called common sense to most.. i enjoy cooking and induction hobs just stress one out.

    • Dear Kurt,
      Jumping out to a new tech can look like a setback. However I found your comment amusing because it’s an honest review.
      Thanks for commenting!

  • When I posted here this morning I had not yet seen this article from Consumer Reports as updated in 2023:

    Pros and Cons of Induction Cooktops and Ranges, By Paul Hope,
    Updated by Daphne Yao, Updated March 26, 2023

    https://www.consumerreports.org/appliances/ranges/pros-and-cons-of-induction-cooktops-and-ranges-a5854942923/

    It addresses some issues we discussed while adding others as well. Apparently there is a wide variety of available features throughout the variety of induction system on the market that you have to sort through and decide what features you want to pay for — including the rather high cost of a professional to replace your existing gas or electric stove unless you choose a smaller portable model.

    The article does NOT discuss the variety of medical device implants that an induction system might disable. There is not only the risk to someone in your household (or a guest) with a vulnerable electronic medical implant … but also the possibility that in years to come either you or a loved one might be surprised by a medical event which requires such a vulnerable implant. The implications of that could mean the new implantee (is that a word?) might have to keep his/her distance from the kitchen when an induction system is turned on … OR that induction system might need to be removed from the house completely. Obviously such risks increase in likelihood as you or yours approach elderly status.

    –Lewis

    • Thanks for this. We had been considering one, but with a relative with medical implants, we will have to do more research.

    • Being EMF/RF sensitive, I’m out. I always wondered about that with those stovetops.

      BTW, microwaves are equally harmful & dangerous to EMF sensitives & people with pacemakers (WIFI too-don’t get me started). Our microwave is unplugged & never used (hubby does occ.) due to the RF readings screaming off the chart even when I test with my meter 40+ feet from the kitchen when micro is on. Certainly NEVER stand in front of it when it’s on!! Yikes.

  • Sorry, think I’ll stick with my 1950’s era wood and propane cookstove. Works when the Power is out. Which is something that may happen more frequently in the near future.

  • My previous set up was a gas cooktop for cooking in warmer months and morning coffee, and wood stove for colder months. I would use a 9kg (20lb) gas bottle in about 4 months. When I installed off grid solar I purchased a cheap portable induction hotplate for $50 AUD as an extra source for cooking. My current gas bottle has now lasted 14 months and still going. The little hotplate has already saved me double its original cost in gas savings alone. Another nifty tool in life’s toolbox.

    • Dear Joe,
      That is great. Overlapping resources to make them last as long as you can is just how you do it until times get better. Glad to hear that.
      Stay safe!

  • We use our single induction cooker during the summer. We live in the southern Arizona desert, where the temperatures can get up to 115 degrees. We don’t have air conditioning, just a swamp cooler (which doesn’t work well during the humid monsoon season). We have a gas stove in our kitchen, which takes longer to heat the food and puts out more heat than induction does. We use enameled steel cookware on our induction cooker. Cast iron is too heavy for me and our particular stainless steel cookware won’t work for some reason. So enameled steel it is.

    • Dear Tamkae, the reason stainless doesn’t work is because it does not respond to induction. It’s just because the material is like that. The induction-compatible stainless cookware is really a two-layers vessel with a round carbon steel plate sandwiched in between. This is what heats up the entire pot. Be careful with the weight though. On the other hand I don’t know if enamel is good for continuous use. Maybe the contraction and expansion when heated could crack the enamel on time? I couldn’t say but you may want doing a search.

  • J.G. Martinez wrote: “They convert up to 85% of the energy they use into heat, compared to just 40% for traditional gas stoves and 80% or less for conventional stoves with resistance heating elements.”

    I question this unsupported assertion. If gas stoves only convert 40% of the energy they use into heat, where does the other 60% go? 100% of the flame on a gas stove IS heat (and light). If one lights the gas stove manually, rather than using an electric-arc starter, I assert that 100% of the “energy” (gas) is converted into heat and light.

    Kindly cite the reference from which this appalling 40% statistic was gleaned.

  • J.G. Martinez wrote, “The radiation level is much lower than a microwave.”
    Jose, how did you measure the EMF emissions from the induction cooktop? Will you publish the data? Did you test the quality of water heated by induction, comparing it to water heated by gas? You might be shocked to see the difference.

    • Take a deep breath, and a swig of coffee.

      If you didn’t see the information, you wanted it his article it won’t take five minutes to do a search and find it online,

      Most articles on this site are not gonna answer every question you have about any topic but they provide a lot of ideas.

      Jose’s article dealt with a very simple method to heat and cook, but underneath is a highly technical subject that few except us engineers and similar geeks understand.

      percentages used when comparing various systems are always based on a number of assumptions and conditions.

  • Four or five years ago there was an infomercial on Saturday night TV for an induction plate cooking appliance . It was one of those deals … BOGO , pay for the extra shipping and you also get cookware. My husband and I thought it sounded good so we bought it. It was a great decision. We received two induction plate cooking units. I have one in the kitchen on the counter which basically has become my main cooking unit. I have a traditional electric stove which seldom gets used. With the induction plate I use either a fry pan or a 3 quart pot that came with the set. The second unit gets switched between our Class B motor home and our camper. I prefer using it rather than the gas stove as it doesn’t heat up the inside of the “recreational vehicle. I find the induction plate quick, efficient and it doesn’t heat up the room. When my kitchen stove needs replacement I will get an induction unit.

    • Dear Liz, that’s the general opinion I have heard from everyone else asking for my point of view. Combining it with the alarm clock of my gas stove is very helpful, too. I can do some other stuff on the house and still hear when the alarm triggers.

  • I recently got an induction stove, a small, portable one. It has become my go to cooking surface. Below are a few notes:

    Stainless steel—there are different formulations of stainless steel, some are magnetic, some not. So if you have stainless steel cookware, you need to use the magnet test to see if it works.

    Aluminum and copper are not magnetic, so forget them.

    My sister got a cast iron fry pan larger than the cooking coil—because cast iron spreads the heat well, it cooked evenly over the whole bottom.

    I knew that a traditional Chinese wok is made of regular steel, so I put a 14 inch wok on its wok ring on the induction stove—got hot and cooked. However the cooking surface in the bottom of the wok is no larger than the induction coil. (I happened to look at Chinese woks in a catalog—all of them wrote not to be used on an induction stove. Now they tell us!)

    I tried cooking some rice in the bottom of a small magnetic stainless steel steamer—it came to a boil much faster than what I was used to on a regular electric or gas stove top. (I cook rice by bringing rice in a pan of water to a boil, then pop it into a thermos to finish cooking, usually about six hours. Using this method, the rice never dries out or burns.)

    My induction cooker came with a ceramic coated steel fry pan. It is now my go to cooking set up for cooking eggs for breakfast and other foods that don’t splatter. For foods that splatter, I use the wok because it’s so big almost of the splatter falls inside the wok instead of making a mess.

    These are my personal experiences.

    • Great! Good to know that. There are some steel plates /with a handle) to use with those pots that are not induction-compatible. However, they do get very hot, and I’m not sure how safe that is. I’d rather to invest in a set of pots and frying pans, instead of accessories to use what I already have that may not result so good, but to each their own.

  • Jose, good article
    Your experience in Venezuela is worth a lot to us who have not experienced hardship as of yet.

    Having a number of options is very valuable.

    I’m glad you mention smoking cooking odors.

    It’s gonna be hard to convince people who are two or three days you have no food when you smell like food.

    One thing I did not see mentioned about induction compatible cookware is stray pieces of metal in the handles that could heat up in the magnetic field as well as jewelry.

    Several have said that aluminum will not work and only certain types of stainless steel, but in reality all conductive materials will absorb energy from the magnetic field created by the induction coil.

    Haven’t done the studying on cooking but it seems that the more conductive the metal the less it will heat up in the given field strength.

    I’m sure the coil and field strength are designed to offer minimum danger to people and would need a certain resistance in the cookware to work properly.

    I’ve walked through a magnetic field, strong enough to make a paperclip stand up in your palm, but did not heat my wedding band or the keys in my pocket.

    The magnetic field of an induction coal is not the same as the energy used in a microwave.

    A damaged microwave that leaks excessive radiation could damage electronic components in the same way and electromagnetic pulse will damage electronics.

    Severe leaks and damaged microwaves will feel like hot needles on the surface of the skin. The same situation exist if you’re too close to radio, antennas of sufficient power in the proper frequency to be absorbed by water.

    While the magnetic field of the induction coil can damage electronics, you should not be in any danger unless you have implants or shrapnel.
    That’s metal implants by the way.

    Even then, I would find it hard to believe that a commercial product would be produced where there is any possibility of it frying a pacemaker.

    I am considering getting a 12 V model to have in the car.

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