This is pretty cool: Panasonic has announced at the International Home & Hardwares Show that it will be producing a Countertop Induction Oven. Induction Cooking uses magnetic induction to heat a ferrometal pan or cooking vessel, rather than using a flame or an electrical method that heats through resistance (like you'd find in a toaster or stovetop). An alternating electrical current is passed through a copper wire under a cooking pot, creating an electromagnetic field, which in turn heats up the cooking vessel. It's an extremely efficient and quick way to cook food: it uses less energy and doesn't require a lengthy pre-heat time.
Up to this point, induction ovens have mainly been large devices, the size of a regular stove: what Panasonic is releasing is a much smaller version, about the same size as a regular microwave.
Panasonic is hoping that its device will have a major impact on the home cooking market. It comes with an interior plate that heats to different temperatures for different types of food.
It's not available on the market just yet, though: the oven will hit stores in the US and Canada later this year. CNet has reported that it will likely retail for around $US600 ($802). No word yet on Australian pricing or availability.
Image credit: Panasonic