Induction Hobs are faster than the speed of gas - and more economical, too.
A small revolution is happening regarding kitchen cook tops, as induction hobs are slowly developing into a serious contender to the traditional gas hobs. The environment and modern lifestyles will surely demand the newcomer to become more prominent.
As society turns to a more environmentally friendly attitude in the face of further global warming issues, a new technology is becoming more and more prominent in a bid to save the planet. The art of induction cooking might have appeared to have been lost, but as gas and electric hobs begin to find their grips on the market loosened, induction hobs have appeared as the catalyst of this slip.
Induction Hobs and the Cooking Purist
Cooking purists will always hold gas hobs very close to their hearts, and it is unlikely that any other hob will ever change that easily. The traditional method of heating up a pan and cooking with it is simple, especially with the high degree of control over the heat available to the chef. However, we are living in an ever-changing world, where people are increasingly dependant on technology to make tasks more convenient. Induction hobs can do just that, especially as they are almost twice as fast as gas equivalents when it comes to cooking. Speed has been king for a long time, in many different aspects of everyday life, and now there's an improved method to allow for quicker cooking, saving more time in general life.
Induction Hobs are Efficient
Induction hobs are also said to be considerably more energy efficient than gas hobs, using up to 90% of the energy produced in comparison to 55%, making them more economical. This could well be something of a false economy, seeing as the equipment required to use it is more expensive. However, as induction cooking becomes increasingly mainstream, the prices will tumble in accordance. Market experts believe that it is only a matter of time before induction hobs will begin to challenge gas hobs for market share, and over the next 5 years they expect induction hobs to double or even treble their 5-7% of the market. Just like the DVD replaced the VHS cassette, induction hobs look set to overtake and replace their gas counterparts.
As we saw with DVDs, the induction equipment is expensive in comparison to gas. In addition, regular pots and pans will not work on induction hobs. Pans made from a ferrous metal are required, in order to pass through the electro magnetic currents created by the induction hobs. Once the ferrous pan is in contact with the induction hob, heat is generated in the pan, rather than from the hob. The temperature can be controlled by adjusting the electric currents from the hob. All of this means that the hob itself won't heat up, it will only be the pan so there are safety advantages to be had too. Do not be put off by the fact that ferrous pans are required - it just means that your pots and pans will need to be made from steel or iron, rather than traditional Pyrex or aluminium. The required equipment is readily available from both the high street and from online stores, and there are different levels of quality with a wide range of prices to suit.
Cost of Induction Hobs
The hobs themselves are also more expensive than both the traditional gas hob and standard electrical ones. However, the technology involved in using them to cook is one of the reasons why. As previously stated, the hobs themselves don't heat up; they simply provide a source for the pan to heat up. Beneath the ceramic surface lies sophisticated set of electronics that make up the element, which in turn power a coil to produce a high frequency electromagnetic field. This action does not generate heat, but it is the circulating electric current that occurs when a ferrous object comes in to contact with it that does. As a result, even though the ferrous object will invariably transfer some heat to the cook top, it is by no means hot enough to burn, and will very quickly return to normal temperature. Temperature control during cooking is also as good as instantaneous, as it is simply a case of altering the electric current.
The future of induction hobs looks pretty secure, and could become even more readily available. Currently, German manufacturers such as AEG, Bosch and Siemens are the dominant forces in the induction hob market, and Smeg are also big players. Japanese companies are also beginning to develop induction technology that can be used with standard pots and pans, although this is probably a few years away yet, but the general consensus is that induction hobs will fall in price, and will then be much more accessible to all. The benefits of induction cooking will also become more apparent as its popularity increases with the public.
Maintaining Induction Hobs
In terms of maintenance, induction hobs are much easier to clean than gas hobs. Because the heat only occurs with the pan, it means that spillages do not get baked on top. It's also a continuous surface, so there are no obstacles to clean around. There's no energy wastage either, as the electromagnetic field transfers its energy directly to the pan. The hobs also begin to cool down as soon as the pan is taken away, meaning that they are very safe to touch. In comparison to gas, there are no emissions, and hence no fears about any gas leaks.
Induction Hobs vs Gas Hobs
Gas hobs are still very much the choice of the majority of people, but it seems that it is only a matter of time before induction equivalents will be looked upon as a serious everyday alternative to the traditional option. The evidence of the benefits are there to be seen, but change won't happen quickly. As induction hobs gain more popularity, prices will fall, and perhaps they will become the norm. With the environment becoming a bigger issue and people's lifestyles getting even busier, induction hobs could even be promoted by more advocates sooner rather than later.
This article is brought to you by Kitchen Science, a trusted supplier of a wide range of kitchen appliances including Built in Hobs.
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"Very, very useful. We have been using a Halogen hob for the past 26 years, it now needs replacing and thanks to the information supplied we will be purchasing an induction hob - Thank you "
TJ and SS
"very helpful page since i am seriously looking at a new zoneless induction hob(still feel the need tho' to have something like a domino dual gas hob as well). husband is anxious about scraching which we've noticed on all display models. stainless steel will scratch but the beauty of a slick black glass hob will be ruined by scrtaches. any views?"
"We have an induction hob and all the positive comments are perfectly true. If you want to know what pans will work on induction, just hold a fridge magnet to it. If it sticks you should be okay. Just slip one in your pocket when you go shopping "
"will I be able to use my le crueset casserole on an induction hob"
"can i use normal pans on induction hob"
"My biggest concern (which I am very suprised no one has yet mentioned) is the fact that Induction hobs cook much quicker than gas/ceramic/elec. So how does this effect my tried & trusted recipies? does this mean I will have to guess how long each item will need be adjusted on a induction hob? do I now have to throw all my cook books away and get new ones???"
"Had my Induction Hob for a couple of weeks now. Absolutely fantastic. I love demonstrating it to friends and family who can\'t believe how quick the water boils and cleaning is an absolute doddle. Quite a few of my pans were okay to use but just been and bought a new frying pan and griddle. I really don't mind as we love it so much. Cuts cooking time down by half and no more relying on my son to keep an eye on things when walking the dogs as we can just use the timer - no more burnt dry pans???"
"I bought my induction hob five years ago and have never looked back. Even after spills and splashes, the hob just gets the same treatment as the worktops, a quick wipe down with a damp cloth. The adjustment of heating and cooling are practically instant, far far better than gas hobs and there are no fiddly burners to clean. I adore my induction hob and could not go back to gas or ceramic,they are a pain when it comes to cleaning, and after five years my induction hob stills looks brand new, could\'nt say that about a gas or ceramic hob."
"I want to sell these!I'll make a fortune!"
"Thanks very useful but can I use normal pans and where do I get specialist pans for induction hobs?! Help! :-)"
"My Induction hob is fantastic but there are two thing to be careful about. First, When I first used it I just couldn't believe how fast I burnt my eggs! I now use it at a much lower setting. 2nd. I bought 2 Woks from ASDA that were labelled 'Suitable for induction' they were not and I was treated like a fool by 2 ignorant Managers who had not got a clue about induction cooking or consumer law, I emailed the CEO of ASDA and this matter is ongoing"
"I like the idea of induction hobs and may well buy one. But I don't agree with the environmental argument. Currently, most of our electricity comes from power stations burning fossil fuels. The combined efficiency of the power station and induction hob is far worse than a gas hob. Unless you have your own wind farm in your garden, gas hobs win the environmental argument."
"Informative, apart from some sloppy journalism: "Induction hobs are also said to be considerably more energy efficient than gas hobs, using up to 90% of the energy produced in comparison to 55%, making them more economical." Except that electricity is more than 3 times the price of gas, so it's actually twice as expensive."
"Like Jan in Swansea, this tells me all I wanted to know. My new cooker will be the one with the induction hob - and luckily I already use stainless steel pans."
Jan in Nottingham
"thanks for telling me everything I needed to know my new kitchen will have an induction hob"
jan in swansea
"It will take a long time, because junk food will reign for a long time yet. "
"Very helpful and informative. Thanks."
"Are induction hobs sensative to power surges? Seems my 3 year old one, bought from a leading manufacturer, was and now it\'s going to cost a fortune to repair !!!!!"
"excellent info ... tks .. off to buy 9induction hob"
"I love my induction hob, and I do a LOT of cooking. It is as quick as gas and so safe compared to either gas or ordinary electric ceramic hob. Don't be put off by the special pans bit, just go around with a fridge magnet, the pans it sticks to will work fine. Most of my old pans were fine. Marvellous with le cruset"
"i bought a de dietrich induction hob 2 years ago,with a free set of pans.it has been the best kitchen buy ever.all the claims made are true,cleaning is so much easier than any other system,and it is safe in respect of accidental burning they look smart and do not deteriorate like old fashioned ceramic hobs--buy one!"
"I love my induction hob, but, makers please note. Please do not put small ring at back, wok has small base but wide upper , and I cannot use it, as base of pan has to be wider than ring. There is no room for it!!"
"Well said. I have been using an induction hob for over 1.5 years now and i am really impressed by the speed and economy of the device. It is worth the investment. The only thing to make sure is that all your pans are suitable for induction cooking."
"induction hobs are brilliant, I have used one whilst camping and amazed the neighbours at the speed I had the meal ready."
"Excellent analysis! Gas cooking? Sometimes you have to change a winning team. Hans Vles, Middelburg, Holland."
"recently purchased a Bosch induction for £500 including delivery to replace my ceramic AEG, there is no comparison Induction every time. Working on the hysterisis of the metal cooking times are reduced as heat is prctically instant and you are not heating the surrounding air as with gas and it benefis from cleaning with apropritory ceramic cleaner such as hob bright, this creates a layer on the surface making spills easier to clean and helps to protect the surface. I even use it to boil a kettle as it is more efficient and cheaper than my 3Kw electric one."
"I have a metal plate in my arm following an accident some 30 years ago. Does any user know if there are implications for someone like me? I'd hate to be cooked from the inside if I accidentally leaned on an induction hob or got too close."
"Now induction cooker has its upgraded version: HIGH-FREQUENCY INDUCTION COOKER. It is even more energy-saving. Cooking temperature could be of big range like gas hob. Knobs control + stainless steel cooktop also available."
"I have been using an induction hob for some 5 years and although I previously used gas, I would not go back to any other method now. Induction hobs are cleaner, quicker, more controllable and have the added benefit that they turn themselves off if you forget!"
"very useful thanks "
"Just bought one from ebay less then £30, and very happy with it, it boil the water so quick! Amazing!"
"I have only just bought a Stellar portable induction hob. Only boiled water in a wok so far as the work, apart form a huge old le creuset frying pan is the only ferrous pan I have. It is so fast. Couldn't believe it! So wok cooking, egg boiling etc.. In fact microwave might get a bit lonely. Would certainly consider replacing the gas hob in due course. Also going to see if my mum likes it as she hates cleaning her halogen hob so much she doesn't use it."
" good article, and it would be useful to actually state some of the costs under the section discussing them. Are there any top chefs who already advocate? Also a photo or two would be nice. Thanks, Mark. "
"I have just bought an induction hob, it is amazing it boils a pan of water faster than my kettle. I love it all ready!!!!"
M C Davies
"After reading your description on induction hobs I went out and purchased one ..the prices have started falling already on the net ...I purchased quite an expensive one this was just choice ...they never need to be cleaned just wiped even when there is spillage also majority have timers so you can set the time and not need to stand over it..I can honestly say it out performs gas in many respects "
"I have recently moved into a house with a gas hob, when I previously had an induction hob and what a disappointment! I have burnt my hand ( induction hobs have no naked flame and are only warm to the touch!) and I also burn my pans as I cannot get the gas low enough when simmering! I am currently changing to an induction hob but there is a cost implication because a greated surge of electricity is required. Once you have become a regular user of an induction hob you will appreciate the superiority of induction cooking."
"I am a gas hob user and when there's a power failure I can still cook a meal or simply make a drink. My concern is losing this option. "
"Although induction hobs may be 1.7x more energy efficient than gas (95%/55%), the unfortunate fact that a kWh of electricity in the UK typically costs 4x a kWh of gas somewhat destroys the pure cost argument."
"Everyone states how quickly induction hobs work to heat the pans and the food inside. I'm more concerned with how quickly everything cools down, which is essential for complicated hob cooking."
"Including heating the water, I cooked some potatoes in about 10 minutes. After the water boiled, I turned to the lowest power settings and covered the pot. All for 1.3 pence(I metered it). That was on a little 1.8kw portable hob. My next main cooker will be induction. It's the only way."
"i have just moved into a house with an induction hob, after having to go and buy a new set of saucepans that were suitable i find cooking with the hob easy and very responsive and would certainly buy another when the time comes. Previously used a ceramic hob but prefere induction."
"i will now be buying a induction hob after reading about and being given a demonstration by a friend,the saftey aspect and clean lines are very pleasing and give the kitchen a much more luxorious look. "
Mr Ron Johnston
"Cleared up what induction hobs were my wife thought her ceramic hob might be one"
"just got an induction hob, far better than gas, and when gas runs out it will still be going strong!"