Induction cooking works using electromagnetic energy. An induction hob is made from a coil that is located below a tough glass panel. The coil generates a magnetic field which in turn triggers an electrical current in magnetic pans, causing them to heat up.
Induction cooking offers great temperature control – it can cook things very quickly, or very slowly, and allows you to simmer at a precise temperature. This makes it a good alternative to electric hobs and gas hobs, which offer either slow temperature changes, or little control in the upper ranges. When you turn off an induction hob, the pan starts to cool immediately.
Induction hobs are very efficient because there is no wasted heat. You don’t have to heat up an element and then transfer that heat to the pan. This means you can boil water almost twice as fast using an induction hob compared to an electric hob, and significantly quicker than you could using gas.
Induction hobs are not Energy Star certified, yet, but it is estimated that they offer 84% energy transfer, which is a huge improvement over a smooth top electric unit, which usually offers only 74% efficiency of transfer. This means the power use is also more efficient.
Is an Induction Hob Cheaper to Run?
The real question, though, is the running costs. Until recently, induction hobs were the clear and obvious choice because they are more efficient than standard electrical hobs, and cheaper to run than gas. In recent months, however, gas prices have fallen again, making gas hobs an appealing option for some people.
That said, gas hobs are generally cheaper to buy than induction. Induction hobs are more energy efficient, though, and better for the environment. They are also safer, because they cool instantly when a pan is removed from the hob. They also cook more quickly, and don’t carry the fire risks associated with gas.
This means that even though there might not currently be a compelling cost reason to purchase an induction hob, if you’re renovating your kitchen anyway they can be a good choice. The running costs are very low, and they offer more control and faster cooking. They’re a cleaner and greener alternative.
One thing that many people wonder is if there are hidden costs associated with induction hobs – such as the need to buy all new cookware. The answer to this is “it depends”. Many standard pans can be used with induction hobs. If your pans are magnetic then you won’t need to replace them. It’s only really aluminium, copper and non-magnetic stainless steel pans that are going to be an issue. It’s easy to check your pans with a magnet to see whether they will need to be replaced.
Browse from our full range of Induction Hobs here. Alternatively, see what you could get from our Gas, Electric and Ceramic Hob Range instead. For more information on our top-of-the-range hobs, check out the following helpful guides: