New Induction Burner


As you may or may not know, when I moved into the Moby, the oven range/stove top was not working. Well, one burner did, but the rest was dead. Way too expensive to fix at the time and I just didn’t have the money to buy a nice replacement. So, I thought, I can make do while we rehab with a toaster oven, crockpot and a hot plate.

And we did.

Actually, we got to liking it and I never bought a range!

Our little $18 extra burner was fine and we used it nearly every day.

And then it died. Apparently it’s more for those times when you just need an extra burner for a big dinner or like in a college dorm or something. Well, I think we got our $18 dollars out of in in two years for sure. So I thought, I’ll just get another.

But then I thought, no, there are some things about it, I didn’t like. Like, for example, it was not very hot. Took forever to boil, and it couldn’t get hot enough to fry an egg or do very good with a grilled burger or cheese sandwich. I wanted something that I could actually use for canning, or for larger pots of stock or whatever. More power.

And I think I would like something with a longer warranty, and the chance to live at the Moby for a bit longer. Yeah, that would be nice.

And price would have to be a consideration… but I didn’t want to go toooo cheap. Fairly complicated electronic stuff that costs too little means sweat shops in China and terrible economic complications. It’s just the only way they can actually make something, ship it half way around the world, sell it for $18 and still make a profit!!!

And since I am dreaming… it would be nice if it came in an eco-friendly packing and even better if it was a low draw on electrical power or something magical like that.

So, I started to do some research.

And very quickly I came across something that I had never heard about before. Induction heat cooking. Huh? Apparently, cooking has always involved the transfer of heat from one source to another source, like wood or gas then heating up a pot full of water, food or whatever.

Well, it’s fairly inefficient to do this, a lot of energy is wasted. And it’s slow, and difficult to regulate quickly, without say, lifting a pot off the fire, or turning off a burner to cool and dissipate it’s stored energy.

Induction is a third method, completely different from all other cooking technologies– it does not involve generating heat which is then transferred to the cooking vessel, it makes the cooking vessel itself the original generator of the cooking heat.


How does an induction cooker do that?

Put simply, an induction-cooker element (what on a gas stove would be called a “burner”) is a powerful, high-frequency electromagnet, with the electromagnetism generated by sophisticated electronics in the “element” under the unit’s ceramic surface. When a good-sized piece of magnetic material–such as, for example, a cast-iron skillet–is placed in the magnetic field that the element is generating, the field transfers (“induces”) energy into that metal. That transferred energy causes the metal–the cooking vessel–to become hot. By controlling the strength of the electromagnetic field, we can control the amount of heat being generated in the cooking vessel–and we can change that amount instantaneously.

Hmmm. Interesting. And the more I read the more I learned that you get power, or well, hotter heating temps that you can even stir fry with easily. ANd you get speed in which the vessel gets super hot fast so you’re using less time and electricity. And I liked that the pad itself didn’t get that hot, it was just the pot. And then I found that most of them were fairly expensive! Darn.

But I kept looking. And then I found a group that were very reasonable. Starting around $50 each to $100. Hot diggity!

I found that I liked the features of the TRU Eco Induction Heater. And at $69.00 it was a match to my budget.

Fresh design meets brilliant functionality with the TRU Eco induction cooker. This appliance uses 90% less energy and has more even heat distribution than tradition cooking methods. With 10 power level settings and adjustable temperature control, this cooker is a must-have for today’s busy cooks.

Energy efficient induction cooker
90% energy efficiency and more even heat distribution over traditional cooking methods
Over 50% faster boiling times than gas or electric ranges
1400 watts
Adjustable temperature control from 160F to 430F
120 minute timer
10 power level settings
Automatic cookware detection system
Safely shifts to stand-by mode when cookware is removed or cooking cycle ends
Easy-clean glass ceramic cooking surface
Non-skid feet
Model# TE-121

Now, I did order it online from Walmart. Yeah, Walmart. But I have been impressed by a lot of the things that Walmart is trying to do to help bring some of their evil practices in line. And after watching Food Inc., the DVD and hearing this fellow say that “me and you shopping at the mom and pop local place is all good, but when Walmart starts to seek out and demand organic and humane meats and foods, that is a HUGE major shift in the way the industry has to react and behave…” that really made me think. Not much is going to change in the world if me and my daughters make an effort to buy local and fresh eggs and such, but if the bazillion shoppers at all the Walmart start to demand local and organic, that is HUGE.

Anyway… back to induction heating. Well it arrived and it was even packaged in 100% recycled materials! Cool. And we got it out and found that all our pots and saucepans worked with it just fine. (You need stainless steel or iron pots/cookware to work) However my two nasty fry pans did not. Of course, they are nasty and cheap and well, probably poisoning us with the disintegrating Teflon coating and all. They hit the trash.

Oh my gosh… is it so neat. You turn it on, and it won’t heat until the pot is in place. You set a pot of water on and within NO TIME it’s bubbling and then boiling. You can actually watch a pot to boil now! How cool is that. We found that it was quiet, there’s a little fan that runs but it’s not loud at all. And it was fast and when you were done, it was cool to the touch in seconds.

And one of the best features is a timer. So you can set the timer and then go and do whatever. No more burned food. It even has a sensor that if the pan gets too hot, it shuts down. Just neat.

And it works great with cast iron, so I read online. Actually anything that a magnet will clip to. So you can take a little magnet with you to the thrift stores and test out the pots and pans to find the right kind. I started to look online after a trip to our grocery store limited pot and pan selection turned up no fry pan safe induction cookware. A good deal of the “induction” cookware is expensive. At least what I saw. But of course, on ebay I started to find stuff that was more reasonable.

Since I have a Foreman grill that I like, and a nice electric skillet, I’m really only looking for a small to medium sized fry pan. Something for eggs or a grilled cheese sandwich, perhaps to saute a few veggies for a light meal. Often it’s just me to cook my dinner and I don’t want to use the big skillet or whatever for a bit of this or that. I found a nice looking pan for $22 and I think that will work nicely. More of a saute pan, but that will be nice to saute up veggies and that kind of thing. Still make eggs or an omelet, that’s perfect.

Well, that’s our little review and excitement of the week in the cooking department. Interesting to learn the new and exciting things that people keep inventing!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


New Induction Burner — 8 Comments

  1. started reading this blog and it was amazing how great minds think alike we too have been for the longest time without a working stove.
    i got us a 2 burner hot plate a toaster oven we have 3 crock pots that get used at least once a week. we also live in a moby and love it

    • Cool! Another Moby Gal! Yeah, we love not having a stove. I know it sounds weird, but I think it saves money as well as time. It’s so much quicker to heat up a little space and we’ve done all sorts of things in our little oven, even turkey! One of these days I’ll write about all our little appliances. And the best part, most have come from thrift stores and cost less than $5 each! Amazing. And they work great. I love being able to move them and set them up where ever needed. No more being chained to the kitchen counter. Welcome to the blog! Thanks for writing! – Sherri

  2. How about stainless steel pots with aluminum or copper clad bottoms? Most stainless steel cookware has some other cladding on the bottom because stainless is a poor heat conductor. Because it uses magnetism do all steel pots work best?

    • Well, it really depends on the pot and all, I just take a frig magnet with me to the store/thrift store/kitchen cupboard (the first time) and anything that was magnetic, or well, stuck to the magnet, worked! About half my pots and pans worked, the others did not.

      Thanks for writing!


  3. I really appreciate this knowledge. I live back up in the mountains alone & have to cook on propane which is very expensive. I also have been wanting to find ways to cut my costs down since I am on a fixed income. I usually make a big pot of soup in my pressure cooker once a week. But after about day 4 I am getting tiered of it. Again thanks

    • You’ll love this little hotplate then, it’s nice and fast, we really enjoyed it.

      Oh I know what you mean about soup too many days in a row!!! We will eat out meals like that, but then I tend to freeze up the rest for later. That seems to help a bit! Thanks for visiting!!!

  4. Dear Sherri,

    The new cooking device sounds great, but I was wondering if copper-bottom pans are safe and/or work on this? I just tried a magnet on the bottom of the pan, and it did NOT stick, so I’m guessing it won’t work. I know that copper is a good conductor of heat, but have heard that it is a “soft” metal, and don’t want to ruin my expensive pans. Thanksgiving is coming up, and that usually requires more pans cooking at the same time. Any thoughts?

    Thanks so much,


    • No, alas, if a magnet doesn’t stick, it won’t work. It was kinda weird, about half my pans worked fine and the others, nothing. I took a magnet with me to the local thrift stores and scored several great deals for next to nothing! I imagine some folks thought I was weird, but hey, you do what you gotta do!!!

      Thanks for coming by! Drop back again some time!!!