What?!! Cooking bacon on a paper towel? You can on an induction cooktop. What's an induction cooktop? It is an electric cooktop that creates an oscillating magnetic field that heats the pot directly.
Cooking without Flames, The Safer Option
Cooking pots and pans need to be ferrous, like steel and iron, to sustain the magnetic field. Though the technology has been known for over 100 years, it has only gained popularity in more recent years and is lately catching up to gas cooking. Why? It's safer with no flame. It's faster than gas because there is no energy loss. It responds instantly, so it is like cooking with gas. The actual burner doesn't heat. It only gets hot with the heat transmitted back from the pot or pan. This means a lot safer with small children and animals around. It's easier to clean; food doesn't burn on the surface.
Space Saving, Flexible Cooking Options
With its safety and ease of use benefits, it's no wonder that it first started being used in places like NASA. And then, of course, the marine world. I remember it was about 15 years ago when we first went to IBEX (The International Boat Builders' Exhibition and Conference). That's where I was introduced to the technology. Kenyon has been the leader of cooktops for the Marine world for years. If your yacht or boat has an induction cooktop, it is likely from Kenyon. However, if you have an older boat, like we do (1992 Tiara 3600 convertible), it probably came with an electric cooktop. I seriously did not like mine. It was inefficient, it took up countertop space (this is serious in a galley), and those burners stayed hot for quite a while (husband melted a couple of water jugs). Even though I wanted a new induction cooktop, I kept postponing the project. While having conversations at boat shows in recent years, a theme emerged; why not just get rid of the cooktop and bring out a plug-in electric skillet or cooktop on the occasions you need to cook something. Portable induction units work great, they're slim, and they are cheap.
Options for Old Cooktop Space
So out with the old cook top. I was not ready for a whole new counter top project, but I found a commercial cutting board that fits great over the hole. The induction unit fits in my small bottom drawer. The setup is fabulous. I have a great prep area, and I just bring out the cooking unit when I need it and plug it in. Cooking on your boat or yacht is not typically a big passion, but if you spend a good deal of time there, it is a reality. Quite frankly, I do enjoy cooking in my little galley. Maybe we should swap favorite boat recipes someday. Cheers!