Apart from a rice cooker, the other gadget we picked up during our stay in Hong Kong is an induction cooker.
You don't see them in stores in Australia for some reason.
Now that the big element on our electric stove top has died, again, I've brought it out of retirement.
Induction cookers work by inducing an electric current in the metal base of the pot that's sitting on it. This means that the heat generated in that metal is transmitted directly to the food being cooked rather than being partially lost in the kitchen. As you can see from the picture, the device itself remains cool.
In use, the induction cooker is very responsive and includes some advanced features for running a program of temperatures over time, but we never use those.
I read on Wikipedia that induction cookers are twice as efficient as electric elements or gas cookers, [although citations are needed].
The only downside is that it only works on pots with a thick, non-laminated base. If the pot isn't suitable the cooker sits and blinks until it feels something it can induce.
Works nicely with my coffee maker:
I wonder why they aren't in the stores here?