What’s the Difference Between Induction and Ceramic Hobs?
If you’re looking to buy a new hob for your kitchen, you might be stumped as to why induction hobs are so much more expensive than their ceramic counterparts when they can look almost identical. With their simplistic glass appearance, either will make a great addition to any modern kitchen and their smooth surface makes them very easy to clean, but the similarities just about stop there!
Within this blog, we will explain the differences between induction and electric ceramic hobs to help you determine which is best for you. If you’re contemplating buying a range cooker or a separate oven and hob, you can check out our buying guide here.
Induction vs Ceramic Hobs: How Do They Work?
As the name implies, induction hobs heat up pans through electrical induction. In case you’ve not touched a science book since secondary school, this means that the hobs have copper coils fitted beneath the surface which produce a magnetic field when switched on. The benefit of this being that the magnetic field only heats the base of the pan and the rest of the surface remains relatively cool. Therefore, induction hobs are a very energy efficient option.
Ceramic hobs, on the other hand, rely on conduction. When turned on, its underlying heating elements will heat the active ring and its surrounding surface. The heat then transfers from surface to pan to food. As the entire ring is heated during this process, the surface will take a short while to cool down after it has been switched off.
Which Best Suits my Budget?
The short answer is, ceramic hobs are more affordable than induction hobs, initially.
Not only are induction hobs more expensive, but they are only compatible with ferrous metal cookware, so you might also have to factor in the cost of replacing your current set (see more information on choosing pans for induction hobs here). To test whether your pans will work on an induction hob, hold a magnet underneath the pan and if it sticks, it will respond to the hobs’ electric currents. Alternatively, purchasing an induction hob heat diffuser (which is a base that non-ferrous metal pans can rest on) may also work.
That said, induction hobs are cheaper to run due to them being more energy efficient. So, if your budget can stretch to it, an induction hob might save you money in the long run.
Which Heats Up Faster?
Ceramic hobs heat up quicker than a solid plate, but induction hobs are the clear winner of this one. Induction hobs offer unparalleled temperature control, both heating up and cooling down, enabling you to adjust your meal from boiling to simmering in an instant.
Which is Safer?
Most ceramic hobs will have a light that stays on until it has cooled down after use, however, this might not be enough if you have young children. Induction hobs will normally also include a heat indicator light so this, paired with the fact that a smaller area is heated and cools down much quicker, will be safer for households with children.
On the topic of safety, please note that induction hobs can interfere with medical equipment such as pacemakers, due to the strong electromagnetic fields they produce. If this applies to you, please follow the guidance published by the British Heart Foundation (BHF)or avoid induction hobs altogether.
I want a new hob!
That’s great! If you still have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01623 625 658 during our opening hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org where we will aim to respond within 24 hours.
Looking for advice? Try our handy guides on all things hob related: