“The Great British Baking Show” is a favorite among viewers who want a cooking competition with a lighthearted feel. The show’s famous tent is also the perfect showroom for must-have cooking gadgets — including induction stoves from the German appliance company Neff.
What is an induction stove?
Traditional stoves cook food by generating heat directly — either by burning fuel or running electricity through a heating element.
Induction stoves take a revolutionary approach, as explained by Chris Woodford on Explain That Stuff. Instead of generating heat, they create a quickly shifting magnetic field. This field affects only magnetic metal objects directly above the stove — for example, a steel cooking pan. The steel pan heats, but nothing else around it does.
Why are induction stoves getting so popular?
As TGBBG points out, the most likely reason induction stoves are used on “The Great British Baking Show” is the same reason that parents like Shannon Bannister have made the switch: safety.
When used properly, the stovetop itself stays cool enough to touch with bare skin. This reduces the risk of burns since the only hot surface is the pan itself. “It avoids having a blazing hot surface next to a distracted baker,” says TGBBG.
Induction stoves are also more efficient than traditional ones. “Typically, it’s around [25% to 50%] faster than other methods,” says Woodford. “Much more of the energy goes into the food. That’s why induction cooking is more energy efficient than most other methods (around 84% compared to 71% for a traditional cooktop).”
The less energy a stove uses, the cheaper it is to operate. TGBBG suggests that this is one reason these stoves are rising in popularity. “They’ve been very popular in Europe for a much longer time than in the U.S., where energy has been fairly cheap historically. This is changing — quickly.”
This efficiency also makes induction stovetops eco-friendly, since they use less energy and don’t produce any fumes or heat-trapping gases.
Where can I get one?
Sadly, Neff appliances are difficult to get hold of in the U.S. “If you’re in the USA you’re going to have issues,” TGBBG says.
But the blog goes on to list several other sources for induction stoves, including Home Depot, Amazon — and its appliance brand of choice, Wolf.