How to choose an induction hob?

6 minutes of reading Tips & Tricks
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With induction, you can cook quickly and effectively, with minimum operating costs and safety risks. Compared to a classic glass ceramic hob, it is up to 30% more efficient. How to choose the best induction hob for your kitchen?

Article contents:

What is an induction hob

Cooktops are divided according to the used type of energy into electric and gas. Electric hobs with classic zones are gradually being replaced with more modern types of heating and surfaces – glass ceramic and induction. In glass ceramic models, the electric spirals radiate heat to the hob from the bottom and consequently the pot on top of it. Efficiency is about 60% and it takes a while for the surface to get hot.

Induction uses magnetic technology for heating. The electromagnetic field inducts heat, which instantly passes to the base of the pot. The hob itself heats up minimally. Almost all the heat (about 90%) is used to heat the food. An induction hob will bring 2 litres of water to a boil in just 5 to 6 minutes. The only condition is the use of special induction cookware. A suitable pot or pan can be identified is a magnet sticks to the bottom.

Benefits of induction cooking

  • The hob is ready for action instantly
  • Shorter cooking time
  • Up to 90% efficiency and low energy consumption
  • Higher safety (the hob cools quickly)
  • Flexible cooking for various pot sizes
  • Easy hob maintenance

Comparison of induction and other heating types

 

Induction hob

Glass ceramic hob

Gas hob

Energy efficiency

90%

60%

50%

Energy consumption to boil 2 l of water

0.230 kWh

0.395 kWh

0.275 kWh

Cooling time after cooking

6 minutes

14 minutes

25 minutes

Connecting an induction hob

When connecting an induction how, there are two steps - preparation of the installation hole in the kitchen counter and connection to power supply. Leave at least the second step up to the professionals. The hubs are prepared for connection to various types of electrical circuits (they do not have a plug directly for the socket). Incorrect connection can damage not only the appliance, but in the worst case the entire electrical wiring.

Find out beforehand what types of sockets your apartment or house has. In order apartments, there are usually only classic 230 V (1 phase) sockets. Then choose among the appliances which have the power Management 230 V function. If possible, it is better to meet the requirement for three-phase connection so you can cook at full power. In reality, the hob only uses 2 phases, while the 3rd is reserved for the oven.



PROFESSIONAL TIP:
 We recommend a 25 A primary circuit breaker and a 25 A circuit breaker specifically for the induction hob.

One of the advantages of induction: Easy maintenance

The cooking surface itself barely gets hot. This means food doesn’t burn or get stuck to the glass surface. After cooking, just wipe the surface with a damp cloth. This prevents unsightly stains. To restore full shine, use standard glass cleaning detergent or a special cleaning spray or cream.

TIP: Read our guide on how to care for glass ceramic and induction hobs.

5 criteria for choosing the best induction hob

Are you hesitating as to which induction hob will be best for your household? Follow these 5 steps:

1.   Size: 2 or 4 zones?

How often and how many people do you cook for? If you mainly eat out and don’t have children, 2 zones will be enough. The price is lower and they take up less space. If you cook often and use several pots at once, it is better to opt for a classic rectangular or square hob with 4 zones. If you use large pots, e.g. for preserving, you will appreciate a flexi-zone. The flexi-zone can work either for several pots with variable output, or combine on a large surface.

TIP: Don’t forget to choose a hood to go with your hob. The hood must have minimally the same or larger dimensions. Don’t feel like comparing sizes? Take a look at ready appliance sets with matching design.

2.   Acquisition costs

  • The most affordable induction cooker costs just 6 500 CZK, or even less in the offer of unpacked goods. Appliances in this category usually offer basic functions. Check that the appliance has a timer, residual heat indicator and child lock.
  • The golden middle road is between 9 000 and 12 000 CZK. These models usually offer more advances options, like the Power Booster function for extra fast heating.
  • The most expensive models cost between 16 000 and 20 000 CZK. They save time and money with higher input and 6th Sense, which automatically controls the ideal output for various cooking types - from melting butter to deep frying. The top models offer a maintenance free surface with fingerprint-proof treatment.

Naturally, the hob performance is closely linked to the price. The higher the price, the most quickly and affordably you cook.

 

Cheap model

Mid-range

Top model

Max. output of smallest zone

1200/- W

1200/1800 W

1400/1800 W

Max. output of largest zone

2100/2500 W

2200/3200 W

2300/4200 W

For illustration, 3 200 W is a high operating output, at which the hob will heat a pot to an incredible 630 °C in just 8 minutes.

3.   Controls and design

Modern induction hobs offer 2 common types of controls - either classic touch controls or sliders. Both types required one finger while cooking. Also check their position on the hob. Either classically in front or along the side. Better appliances also offer a graphic text display with information about cooking progress.

In terms of design, you can choose between framed and frameless. Framed hobs with bevelled edges are particularly popular. The frame can be in contracting stainless steel, or classic black.

TIP: Did you know that induction hobs are not just black? You can now cook on light coloured hobs, such as white or champagne.


4.   Safety elements

Induction cooking is among the safest on the market. However, not each hob has all the safety elements. If you want to protect yourself and your children, choose an appliance with:

  • Overflow protection

- The appliance switches off automatically if liquid overflows from the pot to the hob

  • Residual heat indicator

- Indicates when it is safe to touch the pot.

  • Control panel lock

- Child lock protects against unwanted switching on of the hob.

  • Automatic safety shut-off of the hob

- If you accidentally forget to switch the appliance off, it will do so automatically after some time without your intervention.

  • Protection against oil ignition

- Maintains a maximum temperature of 300 degrees while frying. At higher temperatures, there is a risk of oil ignition.

  • Empty pot sensor

- If the pot is empty, the output will be reduced to prevent burning the bottom.

  • Cookware detection

- If you do not place suitable cookware on the hob, the hob will switch itself off to save energy.

  • Pot size detection

- The induction hob only works with cookware that has a diameter of more than 10 cm. In the opposite case, it won’t switch on.

  • Undervoltage detection

- As soon as undervoltage occurs, a warning signal will go off.

  • Overvoltage detection

- Detection of overvoltage protects electrical circuits from damage.

5.   Additional functions

Induction hobs offer plenty of other clever functions and options. Choose the ones you will make most use of. The best include:

  • 6th Sense – it uses sensors to control pre-set functions and save time and up to 20% of energy compared to older induction hobs. The best models automatically set the output for grilling, frying, slow cooking, melting, etc. With 6th Sense, the water won’t stop boiling even if you add cold ingredients.
  • Patented Ixelium™ surface with fingerprint-proof treatment – prevents mechanical and chemical damage. It is up to 30% more resistant to scratches than the standard glass surface.
  • Timer – controls the cooking time for you. After the set time, the appliance switches itself off.
  • Stop and go function – quickly switches the zone off and on again.
  • Keep warm – the food is no longer being cooked, but will not cool down.
  • Power Booster – for very fast heating at the maximum output.
  • Flexi Full zone – with one large flexi-zone for maximum use of the surface and option of positioning dishes anywhere.

Repairing an induction hob

Modern induction appliances are very reliable if connected correctly. The most common defects are related to power supply – either there is no power feeding the applying, or only some zones or some temperature levels work. In this case, your basic expertise will not suffice; contact our brand name induction hob repair service. We handle Whirlpool, Hotpoint, Indesit and Bauknecht appliances.

Do you have any questions concerning the selection or maintenance of an induction hob? Write in the comments.

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