induction cooking boiling water

The pros and cons of cooking with induction come up quite a lot at AlbionBKE. (You could say customer requests have reached boiling point). So, we’ve put together this handy induction hob buying guide and answered your hot topics.

 

Q. Are there different types of induction hob?

Yes! And the differences aren’t talked about enough. There are three kinds of induction hob you need to be aware of when deciding on what’s right for your cooking needs.

  1. Plug-in: The less disruptive option, ideal for replacing a gas hob as there’s no extra electrical expense. It does the job and is ideal for everyday standard cooking.
  2. 20-amp induction: you’ll need a 30 amp supply of electricity for this (6mm cable). You’ll find your rings reach temperature a little bit faster with the extra bit of juice.
  3. 32-amp induction: the most expensive but most versatile option. Some come with flexi-zones, which allow you to join two or more heating elements together — ideal for heating larger pans or griddles. This powerful induction hob uses a standard cooker cable (6/10mm cable). This means you’ll get the greatest power – and fastest cooking – out of your induction hob.

Q. How does an induction hob work?

An induction hob has a surface made from ceramic glass. Underneath the hob are induction coils made from copper wire. The coils create a magnetic field as soon as you supply a cooking zone  with electricity.

Q. Will I need new pans for cooking with induction?

Cooking with induction may require new pans. Your pans must have a ferrous metal base to use induction (some aluminium pans have a metal encased base). To check, see if a magnet (grab one off the fridge) will stick to the bottom of the pan. Place a pan without a metal base on the induction hob and it won’t detect it so will remain cold.

Stainless steel, aluminium, copper, glass or hard anodised will not work unless they have an induction plate built into the base.

Cast iron cookware and any pan made from some form of ferrous material will work.

The pan must have a flat base, to ensure good conductivity. It must also be close in size to the induction ring.

You can also look for an “induction compatible” symbol which looks like this: 

Q. How easy are they to use?

All induction hobs are touch sensitive with the power controlled by either pressing an up or down arrow or sliding your finger along a power bar. The heat selected is usually output on the hob as a number making it easy to select where you need to be to cook the perfect dish. Once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to set the correct number depending on what you’re cooking.

Q. Is it safe to use?

Yes. Electrical and magnetic fields are found on all devices driven by electricity. Such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners and hair dryers. There are internationally recognised limits and standards that all manufacturers adhere to.

If you remove the pan the hob stops cooking and will switch itself off automatically after a short period of time. Additionally there will be an indicator showing which ‘ring’ has recently been on and that it may still have some residual heat. If you worry about those little fingers touching the buttons you can activate the child lock feature.  

Q. Is cooking with induction something I can afford?

Let’s not beat around the bush here. Induction hobs will cost you more to buy than traditional electric or gas. It’s like buying a smartphone over a basic mobile phone — the technology is more advanced. But the price of induction is inching downward. You have to think about how induction enables you to cook any type of dish faster. Add that to the potential savings you can make on your energy bills and you’ll start to see your return on investment.

Cooking with induction Mereway Kitchens

Image credit: Mereway Kitchens

Mereway Kitchens Segreto range

It’s about time someone unravelled the myths surrounding cooking with induction. How does an induction hob work? Is it really cheaper than gas or electric? Can I use it with my existing pans?

Here’s everything you need to know about your new kitchen investment before you make the switch.

1. Top-notch fast food

carrots and peas boiling in a pan

Speed is one of the greatest selling points for induction cooking. Thanks to some pretty cool technology, your pans will heat up quicker which means it takes less time to cook the foods you eat every day — 25 to 50 percent less time, in fact.

Induction removes the middleman – flames and electric – to transfer heat to the pan. It uses electromagnetic activity to generate heat directly in the pan instead.

That means it takes less time to sear your steak to medium, bring your soup to serving temperature and brown your onions.

2. Stay in the heat of the moment

Generating heat directly in the pan means more heat gets to the food and less of it warms up your kitchen. As you’d expect, this comes with increased energy efficiency with an added bonus of increased personal comfort when you cook (i.e you’re less likely to work up a sweat while cooking). So you can cook a romantic dinner for two in more than just your apron — some may call this a downside, others call it a blessing in disguise.

Steak with gravy and vegetables

No energy was wasted in the cooking of this steak

At the time of writing, that means lower electricity bills compared to an electric hob and a healthier environment.

Notice how I didn’t mention gas cooking? Let’s bust that myth….

Right now, gas is still cheaper than induction. To put this into numbers, the average annual running cost of a gas hob is £16, electric a staggering £50 and induction is a middling £34.

3. Safety first

Hand touching induction hobThere are no open flames and cooking surfaces cool quickly. So you can wave goodbye to one of the most dangerous places in the kitchen. Hot surfaces no longer pose threat to little hands or pesky paws. Plus, no flames mean no chance of grease fires. Or, the occasional mishap with tinfoil when you pull your tray of chips from the oven.

The heat is instantly under control. Since the heat is created in the pan itself, induction hobs don’t get all that hot. The pan’s response to turning off the ring is almost instant. As soon as you turn off the heat the pan cools down.

4. Be the head chef every night

vegetables on induction hob

There’s a reason you’ll hear the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver say they prefer gas to electric. It’s because gas burners are more responsive. But what they don’t mention is that induction hobs are just as responsive as gas to a turn of the dial. Gas has less choice. You’re stuck with the lowest heat you can get out, which, even on the smallest ring, often isn’t low enough to create the perfect slow-cooked bolognese.

With more settings, induction makes cooking delicate sauces or just keeping food from burning much easier. You can use a built-in electronic timer to make overcooking your food a thing of the past. The rings switch off automatically when the timer goes off. Now that’s smart cooking!

5. Bang! And the dirt is gone

Woman's hand cleaning induction hob with cloth

Get your dinner to the table faster, with less wasted heat, less forehead sweat, less risk of burning yourself and a less intensive cleanup exercise after. A spitting pan, a pasta sauce splatter or a boiled over mess will not burn on. All you need to do is give it a quick swipe of the sponge — it can be as easy as an ad for Cillit Bang.

You can avoid the cleanup altogether by placing a tea towel or kitchen roll under your pan. Yes, I said it and no it won’t burn. If your pan boils over, then the mess is absorbed. It’s amazing what technology can do these days…

6. A hob for the design-conscious

Mereway Futura Tobacco Oak kitchen

Image credit: Mereway Kitchens

Looks are important when planning your new kitchen. You spend a lot of time in there — a lot of life’s important conversations are started in the kitchen.

With induction, you no longer are bound by the same dated design. An induction hob is designed to blend into the decor of your kitchen seamlessly and look like it’s part of the worktop. There’s a degree of flexibility and a contemporary feel.

Induction won’t burn a hole in your pocket

Let’s not beat around the bush here. Induction hobs will cost you more to buy than traditional electric or gas. It’s like buying a smartphone over a basic mobile phone — the technology is more advanced. However, the price of induction is inching downward. You have to think about how induction enables you to cook any type of dish faster. Add that to the potential savings you can make on your energy bills and you’ll start to see your return on investment.

Simmer down and talk to our team about making the switch today.