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Panasonic Takes Induction to the Next Level

By Lee Davis, CFSP

 

Induction cooking is hardly new. Dozens of manufacturers build induction units and demand is growing. Why not? The burners are flameless and remain cool to the touch. Heat-up and recovery are fast, and temperature control is exact. Induction burners are easy to clean and energy efficient. The only drawback until now was that induction only worked with certain types of metal pots and pans. If you wanted the benefits of induction, you needed to make sure your pots and pans were made of magnetic (i.e., ferous) metal like steel and/or iron. Or more likely you needed to invest in a whole new set of “induction ready” pots and pans.

 

All that has changed. Panasonic is introducing the first induction burner that works with any kind of metal pan…even aluminum and copper! Panasonic calls it the KY-MK3500 with Met-all technology and nobody else has it. Chef Ken Megarr, Corporate Research & Development Director for Panasonic, demonstrated the new technology by boiling water in an aluminum pie plate. It could have been any kind of aluminum pan.

 

The difference between magnetic metal pans and aluminum or brass pans, is the amount of electrical resistance in the metal. Electrical resistance determines how much “magnetic friction” or heat that can be created when a pot or pan is subjected to magnetic energy. While traditional induction burners generate magnetic energy on the order of 20 to 30 kHZ, the Panasonic Commercial Induction burner has an internal coil that detects the type of pan being used and generates magnetic energy as high as 120 kHZ. This is sufficient to heat up a Reducer Plate that transfers heat to non-magnetic metal pans, such as aluminum and brass. This process can also heat up the cooking surface, so Panasonic engineered a Luminous Circle into the glass surface of their Induction burner. It lights up when the burner rises to a certain temperature, alerting users that the surface is hot.

 

Another exclusive feature of the KY-MK3500, is Panasonic’s Opitcal IR Thermistor Sensor that reads the temperature of the cooking vessel through the glass surface of the burner. This allows for very precise temperature controls.

 

If you’ve been waiting to buy induction burners until you can afford an entirely new set of pots and pans, or worried that you won’t be able to find the cookware you want in Induction Ready variations, then wait no longer. The Panasonic KY-MK3500 will provide fast, responsive, and accurate heating for any kind of metal cooking vessel in your kitchen. This is a Panasonic exclusive, and takes Induction cooking to the next level. The KY-MK3500 units will be available later this year.

Commercial Induction Cooktop (KY-MK3500)