Hobs

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Induction Cooktops

Induction frying pan

Induction cooktops are very different from all the other cooktops in the market, as they directly heat the pan and not the hob ring. When you turn on an induction cooktop, a magnetic field underneath the surface is activated. When you place a pan on the cooktop, the circuit is completed and the base of the pan gets heated. This is why induction cooking is so fast and efficient. All other cooktops heat the ring, which then heats the pan, which then heats the food. But with induction, a whole step is taken out of the process.

The Difference Between Ceramic And Induction Cooktops

In the most part, ceramic and induction hobs can look almost exactly the same. So why are induction hobs so much more expensive? In this guide, we explain the difference between ceramic and induction to help you decide which one’s for you.

First off, let’s talk about their similarities – they both offer that same streamlined, glass look. This smooth surface makes it really easy to clean and you don’t have any pan supports to try and scrub – a job no one enjoys doing! If you have children, many ceramic and induction cooktops come with a number of safety features such as hot indicators to show when a zone is still hot to the touch, and locks which stop the hob from being operational until the right combination of buttons are pressed. Both ceramic and induction cooktops often need a specific supply configured with the correct cables and breakers so we would always recommend installation by a professional electrician.

Ceramic hobs are a great choice for people who have a strict budget. They are often a lot cheaper than their induction equivalents and come in a vast number of styles and sizes to suit any kitchen. Ceramic hobs advantages includes quicker to heat up than an electric hot plate but are often quite a bit slower than a gas or induction hob. If you are energy conscious, ceramic hobs are normally not the best choice as the entire cooking zone is heated. This means that a lot of energy can escape from around the sides of the pan, plus the zones can remain hot for quite a while after you have turned off the heat.

At Roasten, we don’t hide the fact that we absolutely love induction cooktops! They are easy to clean and can give your worktops an uninterrupted, streamlined look but with the same power and control as a gas hob. Induction technology is completely different to ceramic. Induction hobs use magnetism to heat the pan, not the cooktop. This means that heat permeates the food incredibly fast and can even boil water faster than a kettle! Because induction heats the pan only, it is very energy efficient as well as being a very safe option, as it minimises the risk of burns during and after cooking.

A lot of people can be put off induction hobs because they have heard that you need to buy special, expensive pans. Induction hobs only work with ferrous metal, but you may be surprised to know that your current pan set may actually already be suitable. A quick test is to see if a magnet sticks to the bottom of the pan. If it does, then your pans should be suitable with an induction hob. Nevertheless, induction pan sets have very much come down in price and are often not too much more expensive than a regular set. Induction hobs often require a specific power supply to the kitchen and need to be connected to a suitable 6mm cable with a 32-amp breaker, or a 10mm cable with a 45 amp breaker (providing the isolator switch, which turns the power on and off to the cooker, does not incorporate a 13 amp socket).

Advantages of Induction cooktops

1. Speed

As we’ve just touched on, induction is the fastest cooking method available on the market. It’s significantly faster than gas and can even beat a kettle when boiling a small amount of water!

2. Responsiveness

We’ve all been there. You’re cooking pasta in some boiling water with the lid askew, you turn away for two minutes and before you know it your hob is covered with water! Since induction heats the pan directly, as soon as you turn that heat down or up the effect is almost immediate. Induction more than rivals gas for precision and responsiveness.

3. Energy Efficiency

We’ve all heard the phrase “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. This saying alludes to the fact that there is so much wasted heat with gas appliances. The flame doesn’t just heat the pan or even just the ring but everything around it. You have a similar situation with ceramic and solid plate hobs too as once the ring is heated, it takes a very long time to cool down.

With induction though, you’re only heating the pan. You can place your hand right next to the saucepan and won’t get burned.

Induction frying pan

As you can see, half the egg in the frying pan is cooking away nicely but the half on the hob is absolutely stone cold! This means that you will only ever use as much energy as you need to heat your food and a much smaller amount of energy is wasted. This isn’t just good for the environment, but it’s good news for your wallet too!

4. Easy to Clean

As induction hobs are a flat surface, they are very easy to clean. All you need is some soapy water and a cloth. Job done!

5. Ease of Use

Induction is incredibly easy to use – you simply select the power level you require at the touch of the button. Plus, if you invest in a flex induction hob you don’t even have to put your pans on the rings. Let me explain. With a flex induction or zoneless hob, you can activate the whole surface. This means you can place your pans, griddles, teppan yakis and even kettles anywhere at all on the surface of the hob and they’ll heat up perfectly.

Disadvantages Of Induction Cooktops

1. Cost

Naturally, all this wonderful technology comes at a price which means that induction hobs are currently the most expensive on the market. However, when you weigh this up against the benefits and the potential energy costs, you may end up agreeing with the thousands of our customers who believe that it’s worth the extra money.

2. Pans

Yes, you do need to have a compatible pan set for induction. However, your pan set may already be suitable for use with induction if it’s made from magnetic stainless steel or cast iron.

3. Installation

Most induction hobs do have a specific electrical requirement, and you will need to hire an electrician to install the cooktop. They need to be connected to a suitable 6mm cable with a 31 amp breaker, or a 10mm cable with a 45 amp breaker (providing the isolator switch does not incorporate a 13 amp socket).

Conclusion

Induction really is the best heating method on the market at the moment but all this technology does mean that you will need to pay a little bit extra for it. That being said, the energy and time savings could mean that the extra expense will easily pay for itself over the lifetime of the cooktop.

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