Induction hob on compact quartz worktop

Why induction? Are induction hobs better than gas hobs?

 Click here for 10 Great reasons to choose an induction cooktop

Is a GAS hob or INDUCTION hob a better option for a kitchen hob? ….the debate is heating up!

The question of which is better with regards to a gas or induction hob is a question being asked more and more frequently. For anyone not familiar with the kitchen industry (or cooking!), the induction hob may be something you have never really given much thought to. But their must be a justification for the rapidly increasing number of consumers who are opting for an induction hob rather than a more traditional gas or electric hob.

Taking the following graph as a proxy it is clear that people are increasingly searching online for and also buying more induction hobs:

Induction hob market interest

The popularity of induction hobs is also evident from the increased selection that are presently available on the market; Main name brands such as Siemens and DieDietrich now offer a wider range of induction hobs than more traditional gas or electric hobs.

What is an induction hob?

Induction hobUnlike other types of hob that work through conduction, induction hobs, as their name would suggest, generate heat through the process of induction. To work the induction hob requires contact with a ferrous metal such as a steel or iron saucepan. Once contact is made an electromagnetic current passes through the pan and generates energy in the form of vibrations. These in turn emanate heat. The outcome is that the saucepan heats up for cooking food yet at the same time the hob remains completely cool. This occurs because there is no latent heat produced from the coil, so the heat generated from the pan radiates back into the hob.

Cookware for Induction Hobs

To work successfully Pans for Induction Hobs typically require saucepans with a base made from a high grade steel or cast iron. A wide selection of these are available at varying quality and costs. For help in choosing induction hob pans that are right for you we would suggest visiting a consumer product review site such as site such as Amazon or Which

Benefits of Induction

So if it means possibly having to purchase a new set of saucepans, as well as the hob, then surely it’s questionable whether induction cooking is worth the expense? There is still a lot to be said for more traditional hobs, yet we would suggest they are surpassed by induction hobs and the benefits of induction cooking substantiate them as a worthwhile investment. The main advantages of hobs, or cookers with induction hobs are detailed as follows:

Induction Hob Prices

Since their emergence into the consumer market induction hobs have typically been a more costly option than other forms of hob. However their growth in popularity means prices are already becoming increasingly competitive and consequently more affordable. Also, as utility prices, (especially Gas more-so than electricity) have risen considerably over the last few years people are more inclined to move away from traditional gas hobs. Instead they favour more energy efficient options that are cheaper to run.

We believe that the replacement of old and energy-hungry domestic appliances with new efficient ones can make a significant impact on household bills and greenhouse gas emissions and that this should be supported by Government and other bodies

AMDEA: ‘Time to Change’

Cost saving also occurs through the purchase of an Induction hob as there is no additional charge for installation. This would typically apply for connection of a gas hob as they require certification by a Gas Safe competent installer (successor to the CORGI register).

Induction Hob Speeds

Inbuilt power-boost options produce a 50% increase in power output. This means induction hobs can heat a pan almost twice as fast as gas equivalents so are a cooking option well suited to modern and busy lifestyles. (Please see our video demonstration for a comparison of cooking times between a gas and induction hob).

Induction Hob Safety

Neff induction hob tl1722Induction hobs are more controllable and safer as the hob does not get hot, only slightly warm. This means there is no risk of burns whilst waiting on the hob cooling post cooking. Induction hobs also turn themselves off if you forget to do this as the removal of the pan automatically switches off the power.

Furthermore, a lack of gas emissions omits the danger of gas leaks or the possibility of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. The absence of combustion fumes from a burning hob is certainly healthier for individuals and also avoids the all-too-familiar scenario of becoming hot and bothered in an increasingly hot kitchen. This can’t happen as all heat generated radiates back in to the hob rather than into your workspace.

Induction Hob Cleaning

Induction hobs are much easier to clean than gas hobs. They have a smooth surface that is easy to clean around and because the hob doesn’t heat up spillages won’t get baked on to the hob’s surface. Instead they can be instantly wiped away without first having to wait for the surface to cool. Aside from the safety element this is healthier as being easy to clean makes induction hobs more hygienic and less likely to conserve germs.

Environmentally – Friendly Induction Hobs

Induction cooking is a more environmentally friendly option than other forms of hob cooker due to its energy efficiency. There are no CO2 emissions and very little energy is wasted when cooking because it is instead transferred directly into the pan in the form of heat:

“As almost all of the heat generated is transferred into the food, they (induction hobs) use considerably less energy than other hobs… The energy requirement of an induction hob is 15-50% less than that of a conventional gas or electric hob. As less heat is generated, further savings are also achieved through reduced ventilation requirements.”
The Carbon Trust: Food Preparation and Catering

 

Induction hobFor a detailed comparison of the energy efficiency of an Induction Hob and Convention Electric Hob, as well as the cost of wastage please see this study

Choosing the Right Induction Hob

Lifestyle, price and safety are the principle factors taken into consideration when purchasing any new appliance. They determine which type of hob is right for each individual consumer. Induction cookers are rapidly increasing in popularity and affordability so are becoming a realistic alternative to traditional forms of cooker. However the latter, and particularly gas hobs, are still very much a popular choice for people and shouldn’t be dismissed. Even professional chefs have mixed feelings towards induction hobs; LWK Kitchens personally experienced this via a cooking demonstration by Celebrity Chef, Jean Christophe Novelli. He struggled to adjust to the induction hob on the basis that he couldn’t ‘shake’ the pan the way he liked to on a gas hob. Whichever your preference, and for whatever your reasons it is strongly advisable to seek professional advice when when selecting the cooker, or any other appliance. Be sure to visit consumer review websites for product comparisons. This should provide the perspective of others who have already bought and experienced the hob that you are now considering.

 

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