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You’ve probably heard the term “induction hob” many times when shopping for a new kitchen or upgrading your cooking appliances. However, some people still don’t understand how induction hobs work. So, what is an induction hob?
An induction cooking system differs from the old-fashioned gas hobs and even various electric hobs. If you’re installing these flexible cooking zones into your home, you need to make sure you have the right Induction hob pans and cleaning utensils in place.
Today, we’re going to introduce you to everything you need to know about the induction hob, how it works, and how you can keep your hob in great condition.
A Brief Definition of Induction Hob
So, what is an induction hob? It is a form of electric hob designed to directly heat induction hob pans using a magnetic field. The right induction hob can be excellent for energy efficiency and quick cooking, making these products top picks for various homes.
In many ways, induction hobs give you an excellent way to upgrade and enhance your kitchen. You can combine the cooking power of gas with the sleek design and appearance of an electric hob. Not only does an induction hob look great, but it can speed up your cooking too.
Look up the question “what is induction cooking?” and you’ll notice a lot of people talk about how your induction hob cookware can help you cook your food much faster and more efficiently than a standard cooker.
How Do Induction Hobs Work?
So, how does the induction hob work, and how is induction cooking unique?
Induction hobs heat the pan on your stove directly, using something called “induction coils”. These coils are essentially copper wire circuits designed to create a magnetic field through the use of an electric charge. When you place a pan with a magnetic base on the induction cooking surface, the circuit of your induction hob completes, and the pan begins to heat up.
Unlike other electric hobs, the surface of an induction hob doesn’t actually heat up. This means induction hobs can heat much faster than a traditional electric hob. What’s more, once you remove the pan, the circuit breaks, and the hob ring stops generating heat. Induction hobs can also use fans under the surface to give you quick and simple control over your temperature without the stress of a naked flame.
Induction hobs only work when the magnet sticks your cookware to the top of your hob. You won’t be able to start boiling water or cooking food until you have the right cookware.
What Is the Difference Between an Induction Hob and an Electric Hob?
Induction hobs are some of the most modern forms of cooking surface for today’s households. An induction hob works similarly to an electric hob in a lot of ways, but it’s much more advanced, thanks to the use of coils beneath the surface, which induce electrical currents for the generation of heat.
Induction coils only generate heat when they’re connected to the magnetic base of the pan you’re using. This is why an induction hob will need a specific kind of pan for cooking. Of course, since the coil can create a lot of heat over time, it does take a short time for the heat source to cool down after you remove your pan, so be careful.
An electric hob is different to an induction hob because the system heats up a specific electric plate within the cooker. When you’re using electric hobs, the heat source is on the surface of the hob rather than the cookware you’re using.
This is true for both solid plate and ceramic hobs. A ceramic hob uses ceramic glass to make cleaning the heating elements on the surface of your cooker easier.
Do You Need Special Pans for an Induction Hob?
As mentioned above, the pots and pans you use for cooking with an induction hob are extremely important. If you have a gas hob or an electric hob, you can’t simply swap your pan from your gas cooker to a new induction hob. This does mean there’s the extra expense associated with switching to a new energy-efficient form of induction hobs.
To cook with your induction hob, you’ll need a magnetic surface on the pots and pans you use, which can connect with the coil to create your electromagnetic field.
How to Test if a Pan Is Suitable for Induction Hobs
You can test to see whether a pan is made from the right metal to connect with the coil by testing the base with a fridge magnet. If it sticks but comes off easily, your pan might cook your food slowly but will usually still work.
You can usually check if a pan is suitable for an induction hob by checking the description on the product listing. Many new pans come with additional layers, which make them suitable for an induction hob. However, you might not be able to use the same stainless-steel pans and cast iron skillets you would use on gas and ceramic hobs.
How Do I Know if My Hob Is Induction?
You can check if your hob is an induction hob easily by checking to see whether it only works with a magnetic pan. If you can only use magnetic pans, it’s an induction hob. However, if your hob can work with all kinds of pans, it may just be an electric or ceramic hob.
Benefits of Induction Hobs
While there are many gas and electric ceramic hobs out there, induction alternatives are becoming increasingly popular. The induction hob offers an environmentally friendly way to become more energy efficient with your cooking.
The surface of your hobs doesn’t heat up directly, so you don’t have to worry as much about safety as you would with a gas hob.
Cooking on an induction hob is very straightforward. Most people can learn how to use an induction hob in a matter of minutes. The induction hob has the same simplicity as hobs powered by electricity, but you get more added benefits, like energy efficiency.
Other benefits of an induction hob include:
An induction hob can heat significantly faster than other hobs because it heats your pan directly. It’s also much easier to control your heating power with relative safety when using induction hobs.
You can cook all kinds of food with an induction hob without using as much power or electricity as you would with other hobs. This makes the induction hob better for the environment and your energy bills. Because the energy is transferred directly into your magnet cookware, you’re not wasting energy heating the environment around the pan.
Once you’re done using an induction hob, you’ll usually find it’s easy to clean. Because the induction cooker can cool in a short amount of time, you can clean the surface with some soapy water relatively quickly, without allowing food to “bake on”.
What Are the Disadvantages of Induction Hobs?
While many people appreciate all the benefits of an induction hob, such as its extra features for energy efficiency and the ability to cool quickly, there are some downsides too.
Compared to standard hobs powered by gas or electricity, an induction hob can be a lot more expensive.
A high-quality, energy-efficient and environment-friendly induction hob can cost a lot, particularly if you want a special design for your cooking zone. You can usually find gas and electric cookers for a much lower price.
Suitable Cookware Cost
Additionally, there’s an extra expense associated with getting an induction hob because you’ll need to purchase new cookware. If you’ve been using a gas hob until now, your current pans won’t work with your new induction cooker. Induction hobs work by using an alternating electric current, creating a circuit when the magnet on a pan sticks to the top of the hob. Not every stainless steel or cast iron pan will work with an induction cooker.
If your induction cooktops aren’t suitable for your expensive cast iron skillets and pans, you might need to buy a new range of utensils.
It’s also worth noting that while induction hobs are relatively easy to use once you know how the magnetic field elements work, you will need to have your induction hobs properly installed. Installing induction cooktops requires specialist equipment and knowledge.
Get an Induction Hob to Improve Your Energy Efficiency
Now you know the answer to the question,” what is an induction hob?”. Using induction hobs is simple and energy-efficient. You can even find cookers specially designed to suit your kitchen space and unique sense of style. However, it’s worth noting that there are downsides to induction hobs too. If you’re willing to pay for a new set of cookware utensils if your existing pans don’t work with your induction hobs, this kind of hob could be the ideal way to improve your energy efficiency and reduce your bills.
Plus, you can reduce the stress associated with having open flames or hot cooktops around children in your household as an added benefit.