An induction hot plate works by using an electromagnetic field to create heat in a cooking vessel. Heat from the vessel is then transferred to the contents to be cooked.
When an electric current is passed through a coil, a magnetic field is generated. Placing a conductor within this field induces current flow in the conductor. This process is known as electromagnetic induction. Induction hot plates take advantage of this phenomenon by using an electric coil embedded in the cooking surface to generate the magnetic field.
Placing magnetic cookware in the field then generates a current in the cookware. Resistance to the current generates heat, which is then used to cook the food. The heat is generated solely within the cookware and not outside of it. When the cookware is removed from the hot plate, current stops flowing and heat generation ceases.
One drawback to induction hot plates is that the cookware to be used must be able to react to magnetic fields. This makes cookware made from materials such as glass, aluminum and copper unsuitable. Induction hot plates heat faster than standard cooktops, and that heat is distributed more evenly. In addition, because the heat is generated in the cookware, there are no open flames or hot cooking surfaces to worry about, making induction hot plates safer to use.