Do you have a passion for cooking? If so, you’ll know that your cookware and utensils are everything. But above all else, you need a reliable hob to make your cooking dreams a reality.
In this article, we’ll be uncovering one of the most underrated hobs on the market today, the induction hob. We’ll answer the question, ‘what is an induction hob?’. We will also discuss the reasons to get one, how you can care for one in your kitchen and more.
How Does an Induction Hob Work?
Unlike other hobs with an electric current, induction hobs heat the pan directly rather than heating the hob ring. And when you power on an induction hob, a magnetic field underneath is activated, which presents a temperature that you can then cook food on.
An induction hob contains copper wire coils that sit just beneath the surface. Once turned on, nothing will happen. However, when an induction-compatible pan is placed on the hob, it will create a magnetic field, and an electric current begins to run through the copper coil, causing it to heat the pan.
The Benefits of Induction Cooking
So why would you switch to induction cooking? Here are some of the top benefits of using hob induction you should know to create meals at home.
When you’re hungry or short on time, the last thing you want is the hob taking a while to generate heat. Fortunately, appliances with an induction hob heat up much faster, so you can cook and enjoy food in less time.
Very impressed with induction hobs, just tested boiling one cup of water, induction hob used 2.5 times less energy (31Wh vs 76Wh) and was 3 times faster (234s vs 75s) to boil the same amount of water. Measured using @Openenergymon #Emoncms pic.twitter.com/VxLbre06wk
— Glyn Hudson (@glynhudson) August 24, 2018
In addition, induction hobs heat the pan directly rather than the hob itself. This means that as soon as you increase or decrease the heat, the effect on the pan is immediate. This method not only increases the cooking time of your food but it prevents accidents such as boiling water pouring over the side of the pan.
With these benefits, surely an induction hob costs more to run? Well, that’s not actually the case. Induction cooking means that the flame isn’t heating the pan and everything around it. By only focusing on one item and a smaller surface area, you’ll spend less money on your energy bills.
I am always a big supporter of Electric Induction Hob.
— Lady Nisha (@Lady_nishaaa) February 27, 2021
Ease to Use
The beauty of induction hobs is that they’re easy to maintain and use. During operation, you simply have to select the power level by pushing a button. If you opt for a flex-induction hob, you won’t have to place the pans on the rings. This form of cooking means that you can place your pan, griddle, pot, etc., anywhere on the hob, and it’ll begin to get hot instantly and efficiently.
Furthermore, the flat surface on induction hobs makes them very easy to look after. Simply use soapy water and a cloth to wipe the surface clean. You don’t need any specific product. And compared to gas hobs, there aren’t lots of nooks and crannies that create a challenge when you want to keep certain zones crumb-free. In fact, because the hob itself isn’t heated, you won’t experience any burnt-on stains.
Plus, it’s safer to use. The ceramic hobs cool down quickly, and you can even place your hand right next to the saucepan while it’s heating up without burning your hand.
The Disadvantages of Induction Hobs
On the other hand, there are also some important factors to bear in mind if you’re debating on the idea of switching up your kitchen to install induction hobs.
These kitchen products are expensive to install. Although all of the benefits may outweigh this upfront cost, you would find that you need to set aside some money before buying one.
How much you spend on your new appliance depends on the size and quality you’re looking to buy.
Finally, the installation process can be complex, so you’ll likely need to hire a professional electrician to install the hob in your kitchen, rather than having to risk your safety in the hopes of saving a little bit of money.
Induction hobs require specific pots and pans. So if you don’t already own stainless steel with a magnetic field underneath, you may need to update your kitchenware.
What Pans Can You Use on Induction Hobs?
Since induction hobs heat up the bottom of the pan using an electrical current, they require specific pots and pans when cooking. These utensils feature a flat base that’s based on magnetic metal and are a common material used on high-quality pans. Therefore cast iron pans will not work, and you will need to opt for cookware made from stainless steel or another magnetic metal.
If your pan has a coil symbol on the base of the pan, it will generate a magnetic field, making it suitable for induction hobs. If you’re unsure, you can test your pan to see if the magnet sticks firmly to the bottom. If it only sticks loosely, it won’t heat up effectively. Moreover, pans that are suitable for an induction hob will be flat underneath. This is because pans with a curved bottom won’t produce good results.
Le Creuset. When we bought this house it had an induction hob so I used that as an excuse to buy expensive pans! pic.twitter.com/ZRkqGMEwEz
— 🦖Toria in McGilead 💚🤍💜 (@toriajayne) March 4, 2021
Tips for Cleaning for an Induction Hob
There’s a range of ways to properly care for and maintain induction hobs. Below are some efficient tips to consider to get the cleaning done.
Clean up as Soon as You Make the Mess
When you’re cooking meals, keep a damp, soft cloth to hand so you can mop up any spillage as soon as they happen. If you spill some sauce, don’t wait until later to wipe it up. Instead, use a gentle cloth to mop up the liquid on the zone before it becomes difficult to remove. In particular, sticky spills or sugary liquids require cleaning as quickly as possible to prevent any additional messes.
Maintain Regular Cleaning
It’s best to keep on top of cleaning by regularly wiping down the induction hob once the cooktop is no longer hot. Opt for a soft sponge and warm soapy water to remove any wet spills.
Alternatively, you can reach for a kitchen spray that’s specifically designed to target and remove grease. Rinse and dry, and then apply white vinegar directly ono the surface for a new gleam. When you’ve finished, buff with a dry cloth.
Use a Non-Scratch Scraper
When you can’t remove a spilt liquid quickly enough, you may need to keep a non-scratch on hand in your kitchen. This product will remove caked or dried stains without causing damage to your hob.
Spritz the hob with a liquid detergent and scrape the zone with a scraper to remove any debris. Ensure that you hold the cutting edge flat to the glass and move the scraper backwards and forward until the stain has gone.
Things to Avoid
It’s also important that you know what to avoid when caring for your induction hob. In particular, steer away from detergents containing bleach or ammonia as these can damage the electrical current on the hob. You should also avoid scrubbing or scouring your cleaning product onto the hob, as doing so could lead to damage.
Opt for soft cloths instead of harsh scouring pads or steel wool. This can be tempting when you have stubborn stains on the induction hobs, but avoid doing so as this could permanently damage the induction hob.
is anyone else’s mum obsessed with their induction hob? she’s just told me to wipe it down with soft tissues because kitchen roll is too hard?? ur kidding
— yikeseroonie (@estellebxx) March 6, 2021
Now you know the answer to the question, ‘what is an induction hob?’, you can decide what is best for your kitchen. Maybe you want to switch to a new electrical cooker to reduce your energy bills and make cooking times more efficient. An induction hob is available nearly everywhere, is easy to clean, and allows you to make a range of dishes.
What are your thoughts on these appliances? Do you have any tips on how to use or clean one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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Amy is a U.K.-based writer and editor with a penchant for helping consumers find the best home products for their needs, as well as providing easily digestible guides for living better at home. Her dedication to her work means she can usually be found elbow-deep in research or hunting down samples of the latest and greatest on behalf of her readers.
An avid DIYer herself, Amy’s passion lies in teaching others how they too can achieve their dream homes by tackling some of those pesky projects themselves! Whether it’s building furniture from scratch or turning an old dresser into a coffee table, Amy is always happy to share what she knows about making your house feel like home without spending a fortune.