Induction stovetop cooking has changed the way van lifers safely prepare meals in the backcountry. What is an Induction cooktop though? How does it work? What pots and pans work with this unique kitchen appliance?
In simple terms, an induction stove creates an electromagnetic field instead of an open flame or hot surface. From a safety standpoint, this is decidedly better than the other options for both an accidental touch or spill. Because the electromagnetic field itself won’t create heat unless a conductor is placed on it - a bare hand placed on the cooking surface won’t feel hot or transmit any heat. Similarly, many induction cooktops have built in additional safety features that automatically shut off in the absence of a pan.
Aside from the safety standpoint - induction cooktops are dramatically more efficient than an open flame or standard electric burner. They’re able to maintain a more consistent temperature that’s directed right into the pot or pan. This translates into a more evenly cooked meal that’s less likely to be burnt. For even simpler things such as boiling water - this means that the entire process is faster for you to get that essential early morning coffee. For hungry and caffeine crazed campers out on the trail - this is obviously ideal.
Now - what cookware is compatible with an induction stove? That’s a great question - and one that’s easily answered with a magnet. If it sticks - it cooks. In more broad terms, most cast iron, enamel covered iron, and stainless steel cookware will work on an induction stove. Aluminum, glass, or all-copper cookware will not work on an induction stove. There are a few combinations of steel coated aluminum cookware that also work - and it’s always best to check with your cookware manufacturer to clarify if it will work or not on your induction cooktop.
Overall - we’re big fans of induction cooktops. Just as we mentioned above, they provide a whole host of reasons to be a superior choice in your adventure van build. Check out our van build options and see how you can incorporate this amazing little kitchen appliance into your next build: Build Your Custom Van by OHV