FEJ – JULY 2016
Please attributes any quotes to Ray Hall, Managing Director, R H Hall
What’s the single greatest benefit to using induction cooking technology versus other cooking methods?For must users, speed will be the biggest benefit of induction cooking. Induction cooking is faster than traditional electric cooking and many people don’t realise that it allows for the instant control of cooking energy similar to gas burners. However, the energy saving and safety elements of induction cooking should not be discounted – the direct heat source heats only the pan, meaning very little energy waste and a ‘cool to touch’ surface when the pan is removed.
What are the biggest myths or misconceptions that still surround induction equipment?
Cost is still a factor with induction equipment and some users still believe the technology to be very expensive. There are however, a number of small countertop induction hobs available that will allow users to trial and test induction technology with their menu, before perhaps making a larger investment – either in multiple countertop units, or larger freestanding models.
In some cases, there also seems to be a lack of understanding of what induction cooking can offer and I believe now is the time to educate the industry about the benefits of this different way of cooking and whether that is at the catering college level or kitchen design/specifier level, is yet to be seen, but more chefs need to be able to appreciate the speed, control and productivity that can result from induction cooking. We have seen though that this type of cooking is becoming more popular, especially front of house with easy to install counter top induction hobs coming into their own.
What are the main features/qualities that operators should look for when sourcing induction equipment to ensure they aren’t left disappointed?
Caterers need to assess their needs in line with current and future menu requirements, covers and times/peaks in service. They should also look at their current catering facilities in line with whatever budgets they have available – is there a case for prime cooking equipment replacement or could just a couple of stand-alone induction hobs provide them with the additional speed and productivity required for certain menu items - complementing their operation?
There are a number of options available now but it depends to what extent an operation may want to introduce Induction. It could be the prime method of cooking, so as with all large equipment investments they should look at the entire lifetime costs and the potential savings that can be made due to induction’s efficiency or for a very small investment they can introduce induction into the kitchen by using a small single zone unit.
What applications or processes is induction equipment best used for?
There really aren’t any applications that induction should not be considered for, but it should definitely be the first point of call for anywhere with a focus on safety or energy efficiency. In kitchens where mains gas is not available, induction should also be considered as it can offer the speed and flexibility of a traditional gas hob when used correctly.
Some operators still say that induction is expensive. What’s your response to this? Is the fact that the market is now more heavily supplied and prices have come down in the last 5 years a good thing?
Induction cooking equipment is becoming cheaper and more cost effective, especially since the interest and acceptance of it is widening and with more ranges becoming available in the market – most manufacturers now offer some form of induction cooking equipment from entry level single zone countertop models, to freestanding multi zone ranges.
The high cost of most induction equipment has held back volume sales in the past. We are seeing more induction equipment being used and coming into the market, with more affordability. Once acceptance of this new technology is even more wide spread, prices will definitely be driven down further. Further product developments in this area will build on the environmental benefits and the precision cooking control aspects induction can offer.
For more information: www.rhhall.com or www.maestrowave.com
R H Hall are Exclusive Worldwide Distributors for the Maestrowave range of Catering Equipment, including the best selling MCB30L4B Induction Hob.
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