When thinking of sustainability, we often think of climate change and the massive steps required by the world to reduce our carbon footprint, but the truth is, sustainability matters in all types of environments, no matter how big or small, and there are a number of things you can do to improve your business’s sustainability, whilst helping in the battle against climate change.
The modern commercial kitchen, for instance, has for many years relied upon gas and electric cooking equipment, but how sustainable are they for businesses and how do they compare to the latest cooking technologies, including ever-popular induction cooking ranges?
Selecting the right cooking equipment is crucial to any restaurant or other catering business as acquiring the best solution can save on energy usage and reduce overhead costs amongst many other benefits, which ultimately increases profits. So, it’s a big decision to make!
Here, we list some of the top benefits of choosing a commercial induction range for your commercial kitchen and how it can help your business become more sustainable:
Induction – Faster than gas and electric radiant plate hob cooking
One of the foremost advantages of induction cooking technology is its speed. While an electric hotplate takes just under 10 minutes to boil one litre of water, and gas burner roughly eight minutes, a 3.5kW induction hob can achieve the result in well under three minutes.
Induction technology works by generating heat within the pan base rather than through the transfer of heat from a heating element or flame beneath the pan. Induction technology transfers 90% of the energy used directly into the product inside the pan, with only 10% waste heat entering the atmosphere, compared to gas which wastes 60% of energy. Induction hob cooking is therefore much more energy efficient, saving time and more importantly energy, which results in a significantly more sustainable cooking process.
Induction – Concentrated heat to reduce energy wastage
It’s well known that kitchens with gas and electric ranges get incredibly hot, especially in the summer months. Heat is generated from a source beneath the pot and transferred through the pan into the product, however, in most cases this can result in over half of its heat being lost into the surrounding environment. Whilst this makes for difficult working environments for chefs, it also means 60% of the energy it takes to cook something is being wasted, which is an unprecedented amount in the grand scheme of trying to achieve a more sustainable business.
An eco-friendly attribute of the induction range is stopping excess heat from escaping by generating heat directly in the pan and transferring the concentrated energy into the product. This means chefs can keep kitchens cooler by avoiding the need for energy-zapping kitchen ventilation systems and air conditioning heating and cooling systems to keep the room at a comfortable working temperature.
Induction – Glass ceramic cooktops offer long term durability
The eco-friendly glass ceramic material used in induction cooktops carry many additional benefits.
For instance, glass is a poor heat conductor meaning minimal heat is transferred from the pans across the surface. In fact, you can put your hand around the glass cooking area while the pan is in use and would only be warm to the touch.
The easy cleaning and rapid cooldown of the material also means chefs don’t have to worry about burnt on food, ensuring a durable, easy clean surface for long term commercial use.
Induction – Integrated with smart technology
Another major benefit of induction cooking ranges is that they can come equipped with many bells and whistles, most of which increase sustainability. Some models, for example, have sensors that can recognise the pan temperature and beep to alert the chef or switch off in a pan boil dry situation.
Overall, induction offers the power, responsiveness and control of gas and the safety with the sustainability of renewably sourced electricity. It can generate high temperatures in a short time, while also being able to heat pots and pans at very low precise temperatures, so chefs can cook and boil faster, and simmer with more precision. Its energy saving capabilities make induction cooking significantly more sustainable than its gas and electric alternatives, and helps to create a healthy, productive and profitable cooking environment.
By David Pedrette, managing director of Target Catering Equipment, a family-run business that has been providing quality, bespoke catering equipment to the foodservice industry for over 30 years