Induction Hobs – What is an induction hob and how does it work? Everything you need to know about the next generation of cooking
Wondering whether to purchase an induction hob with your new kitchen? Here we answer the most common questions we get asked about Induction hob cooking which is the method of cooking by electrical induction rather than thermal conduction (flame) or with an electrical heating element (electric).
What is an induction hob?
An induction hob cooker is a glass hob that has copper coils beneath the hob surface. When a pan is put in contact with the hob, an electrical current is generated which in turn creates heat. Induction hobs only use magnetic pans so if you’re thinking about buying one, you’ll also need to consider whether you will need to buy new pans too.
How does an induction hob work?
An induction hob works by passing an alternating electric current through its copper coils. If a magnetised pan is then placed on the hob, the magnetic field causes the pan to heat up. Unlike other hob technologies, with an induction hob, it’s the pan, not the hob surface that gets hot.
Do you need special pans for an induction hob?
Pans for an induction hob aren’t special but they are magnetic. Because an induction hob works by electrical induction, you’ll need to use pans made from iron or stainless steel which are capable of allowing an electrical current to pass through them.
What kind of pans can you use on an induction cooktop?
Induction hob pans are usually heavy-bottomed and are made from either stainless steel or iron. Other cookware such as copper, glass, ceramic or aluminium won’t work unless they have an induction plate built into their base.
What kind of pans can’t you use on an induction cooktop?
- Glass / Pyrex
None of these will work on an induction hob unless they have an induction plate built into their base.
Can you use stainless steel on an induction cooktop?
Yes. Stainless steel pans make great induction hob cookware.
Can you use Le Creuset on induction?
Yes. All the Le Creuset cookware can be used on an induction hob aside of the stoneware range which is not magnetic as advised here in the product section of Le Creuset FAQ.
Can non-stick pans be used on an induction stove?
Yes. As long as the induction hob saucepans are magnetic, non-stick coatings are fine.
What happens if you use a non-induction pan on an induction hob?
Basically nothing. If the pan isn’t a magnetic pan, it just won’t heat up.
How can you tell if a pan is an induction pan?
Induction hob pots are magnetic so if a magnet sticks to the bottom of the pan then it can be used on an induction surface.
What will an induction hob mean to me?
Having an induction hob essentially means saving time, money and energy in the kitchen because the step of heating up a burner to transfer heat to a cooking pot is skipped.
Are induction hobs energy efficient?
Cooking with an induction hob is very energy efficient as there’s no wasted heat or energy. Because you don’t have to heat up an element before heating the pan, energy, money and time are saved. With an induction hob, 85-90% of the energy is used for the cooking compared to 65-70% of gas or electric hobs. A pan of water can boil nearly twice as fast using an induction hob when compared to an electric or gas hob.
Are induction hobs good?
If you consider energy-saving, time-saving, and increased cooking safety as good then yes, induction hobs are good in a number of ways.
Are induction hobs noisy?
During cooking, you may hear a humming, slight ticking or clicking from the hob. This is perfectly normal. Sounds from the hob also vary on the type of cookware being used.
Can an induction cooktop cause a fire?
Unlike electric or gas, induction hobs don’t use electric elements or gas lines so are relatively safe since the area around the pan stays cool. Induction hobs come with lots of safety features built-in but still have a small chance of causing a fire if using oil, there is a fault or you’re using poor quality cookware. Want to know more?
How to use an induction hob
1. Switch on your hob on at the mains
2. Place your pan on the hob ring you’d like to use
3. Press the power button on your hob
4. Select which ring your pan is on
5. Select which power level you’d like to heat your pan
Using an induction hob is really easy once you get the hang of it. The level of heating is so precise and accurate and if used alongside a timer can create consistent cooking results every time.
Is an induction hob better than ceramic?
In short yes. The performance of induction hobs is much more efficient than ceramic cooktops. They’re faster to heat and safer to use too.
Are induction hobs better than gas?
That depends on what your priorities are. Take a look at our induction hob advantages and disadvantages below to see which hob is the perfect fit for you. Alternatively, some manufacturers will let you have the best of both worlds where you can combine an induction hob with a gas burner.
What are the disadvantages of induction hobs?
Induction Hob VS Gas
More expensive to run / Less expensive to run
More expensive to buy / Less expensive to buy
Need a specialised induction hob model or flat bottomed pan to Wok fry / Easier to Wok fry
Need induction pans to use / Can use any pans
What are the advantages of induction hobs?
Induction Hob VS Gas
Easier to clean / Harder to clean
Easier to use / Harder to use
Faster cooking / Slower cooking
Cooler cooking environment / Hotter cooking environment
Sleek / Cumbersome
More precise / More responsive
More energy efficient / Less energy efficient
Safer to use / Less safe
Do chefs prefer gas or induction?
This is a real hot topic, one for a big debate!
As with anything, personal preference and chefs training will come into play as will the type of cooking being done.
Eurokeras blog talks about this in more detail here.
Do induction hobs get hot?
Although an induction hob doesn’t heat up itself, the surface does get hot from the residual heat from cooking pans.
How to clean an induction hob with burnt-on stains
If your cooktop is suffering from some burnt-on stains that cannot be removed with soap and water we’d firstly suggest the use of some cream cleaner and a dish-washing sponge. If the stains are still present you can employ the use of a specialist scraper specifically designed for use on glass and ceramic.