Fast and safe cooking is possible for all enthusiastic cooks with an induction hob. With induction, the base of the cookware is heated directly - and only with a magnetic field.
Working with this hob is energy-efficient, intuitive and convenient. With the help of a wide range of functions, cooking becomes a real experience. Cleaning the glass ceramic hob is simple and uncomplicated.
In our detailed induction hob test 2021 you can find out everything you need to know about induction hobs. To make your decision as easy as possible, we have summarised purchasing and evaluation criteria. We have also answered the most important questions about induction hobs. So you're sure to find the right induction hob for your cooking abilities.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts
- 3 The Best Induction Hob: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for induction hobs
- 5 Decision: What types of induction hobs are there and which is the right one for you?
- 6 Guide: Frequently asked questions about the induction hob answered in detail
- 6.1 What is an induction hob and how does it work?
- 6.2 Who is an induction hob suitable for?
- 6.3 How much does an induction hob cost?
- 6.4 What cookware should I use on an induction hob?
- 6.5 What are the alternatives to an induction hob?
- 6.6 How dangerous are induction hobs?
- 6.7 How do I clean an induction hob?
- 6.8 How do I connect an induction hob to the electricity?
The most important facts
- When you switch on the induction hob, a magnetic field is generated. This only reacts with induction-compatible pots and heats them by causing electrons to vibrate.
- Induction hobs are more energy-efficient and safer than ceramic hobs. The energy of the magnetic field is transferred directly to the cookware without heating the hotplate.
- There are many different models of induction hobs. We distinguish between built-in hobs and portable products.
The Best Induction Hob: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for induction hobs
Induction hobs are available in numerous designs. In the following, we show you criteria with which you can compare the hobs with each other:
The aspects are explained in more detail in the coming sections.
The size of an induction hob is a decisive purchase criterion. Before buying, think about how many dishes you want to prepare in parallel. There are models that allow you to heat 1 or 2 pots at the same time. Built-in induction hobs often have 4 to 5 cooking zones.
When buying, make sure that the cookware is the same size as the cooking zones. Pans that are too small or bent increase energy consumption.
Which size you should choose also depends on your space at home. If you have limited space, a compact portable appliance that you can easily store is a good choice. A built-in hob offers great convenience and a large work surface for efficient cooking.
Before you buy, find out what power is required for your needs. Induction hobs usually have a power consumption of 2 kW to 4 kW. However, 2 kW is usually sufficient for everyday use.
If you set a booster function, the energy consumption can rise to 7.5 kW. For a short period of time, the hob with induction becomes very hot. Especially at the beginning of cooking, you can reduce the boiling time. For example, water boils after only 2 minutes.
The indicated power is usually not the same as the actual power. The power output depends especially on the quality of the pot. But convection, heat conduction and heat radiation of the induction hobs also reduce the power.
Simple and convenient operation is an advantage with an induction hob. Nowadays, both portable and built-in hobs are equipped with touchscreens and LED displays. Only a few models are controlled via control knobs.
You can use the controls to switch the hob on and off, regulate the heat, set the wipe protection functions or the cooking time. On some models, you can control the cooking assistant via the display. This automatically adjusts the settings to your selected dishes.
Operation via a touch screen is very intuitive. Symbols help you to select the right settings quickly and safely.
Induction hobs are known for safe operation. Safety is ensured by the way induction works. With this type of heat generation, the glass ceramic plate does not get hot. This means that you can touch the plate without any problems. It is possible that the surroundings are slightly heated because the pot radiates heat.
Some manufacturers use other safety precautions. We have summarised the most common measures for you in this table:
|Child lock||You can unlock and reactivate the child lock using the key symbol. This safety feature ensures that the unit cannot be switched on without supervision.|
|Wipe protection function||With touch screen controls, you may accidentally change the settings by wiping the glass. This is why there is a function to freeze the control surface. This prevents you from accidentally raising or lowering the temperature.|
|Residual heat indicator||The residual heat indicator shows how warm the hotplate is after the temperature has been lowered. This prevents you from touching the heated plate or placing heat-sensitive objects on it. You can also save energy by using the residual heat selectively.|
When buying, it is important to know which measures you do not want to do without. Especially if there are children or elderly people in the household, it is worth paying attention to a high level of safety.
Automatic pot detection
An automatic pot detection can raise your cooking process to a comfortable level. You no longer have to worry about whether the pot fits on the cooking surface - the cooking surface adapts to your pots.
There are so-called flex induction cooktops. Sensors underneath the glass ceramic surface detect the position and size of the cookware.
For large pots and pans, several cooking zones are then activated and brought together. For example, you can heat teppanyaki and grill plates evenly on the induction hob.
Full-surface induction goes one step further. Micro-inductors are installed on the entire surface of the hob. Sensors detect where and how large the cookware is and activate the corresponding micro-inductors.
Decision: What types of induction hobs are there and which is the right one for you?
The range of induction hobs is diverse. Basically, you can distinguish between two types of induction hobs:
- Built-in induction hob
- Transportable induction hob
In the following sections, we show you the advantages and disadvantages of both types. This should make it easier for you to decide what to buy.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about the induction hob answered in detail
In this section we answer the most frequently asked questions about the induction hob. After reading this, you should know everything you need to know about the induction hob.
What is an induction hob and how does it work?
Induction coils made of copper wire are located under the glass ceramic surface. When you switch on the induction hob, a magnetic field is generated there. This is not visible, has no temperature and only reacts with certain substances. The magnetic field spreads through the glass ceramic surface, but does not react with it - the plate remains cold.
If you place induction-suitable (ferromagnetic) cookware on the induction hob, it reacts with the magnetic field of the coils. The electrons in the cookware start to move in a circle. This movement is called eddy current. This generates heat in the cookware and heats the food.
Who is an induction hob suitable for?
- Speed: With an induction hob you can prepare food quickly. With induction technology, the cookware is heated directly without having to heat the hob first.
- Safety: Because the heat is transferred directly to the pot or pan on induction hobs, you cannot burn yourself on the surface. This is because the surface is not heated as well.
- Economy: If you use an induction hob, you save energy. The cookware can be detected by the hob and then heats up selectively. Hardly any energy is lost in the process.
- Easy cleaning: Food cannot burn on the surface of the induction hob because the plate does not get so hot. The glass ceramic plate can simply be wiped clean with a damp cloth.
The aspects mentioned are advantageous for easy, safe and fast cooking. An induction hob combines all the functions.
How much does an induction hob cost?
|Built-in induction hob||from approx. 200 euros to 2,000 euros|
|Transportable induction hob||from approx. 30 euros to 100 euros|
Transportable induction hobs are cheaper because they are smaller, have low power and offer only basic functions.
With built-in induction hobs, the options are more varied: multiple fields, integrated extractor fan, modern touchscreens and safety features.
What cookware should I use on an induction hob?
With a magnet test you can find out whether the bottom of your pan has a sufficiently high magnetic content. If a standard magnet is attracted to your pan, the pan can be heated by induction.
Induction hobs quickly reach high temperatures. For this reason, Teflon coatings are rather unsuitable, as they are damaged by too much heat. We recommend a ceramic coating.
When buying pans and pots, you can look for a label. The label shows a picture with a coil and indicates that the cookware is suitable for induction.
What are the alternatives to an induction hob?
|Electric hob with radiant heat||heating elements below the glass ceramic surface generate heat that is transferred to the cookware.|
|Gas hob||gas is fed to the hob via the gas connection. When you open the valve, the gas flows out of the side of the burner. Either you light the flame with a lighter or you press a switch that lights the flame electrically.|
|Grill||You can fry and cook various dishes on a grill.|
You don't necessarily have to choose one type of hob. Some manufacturers offer combination hobs that allow a personalised work surface. You can select and combine teppanyaki plates, wok trays, gas, electric and induction hobs individually.
How dangerous are induction hobs?
As the cookware itself also heats up and radiates heat, the plate may heat up slightly. However, this is not so hot that you will hurt yourself.
Scientists are not in complete agreement about how harmful the magnetic fields of induction hobs are. Therefore, caution is advised when handling the hob. It is important that the radiation is minimised.
You can achieve this by keeping a distance of about 15 centimetres from the hob and ensuring that the hob is completely covered with the cookware. It therefore makes sense to choose the right size of pans and pots.
How do I clean an induction hob?
- Damp cloth / sponge: A damp cloth with a little washing-up liquid is usually sufficient for cleaning. For a streak-free result, you should dry the glass plate directly with a cloth.
- Glass cleaner: You can use a glass cleaner to remove light dirt from the induction hob and give it a new shine. Here, too, drying is important so that no streaks appear.
- Scraper: For stubborn encrustations, there are hob scrapers that you can use to remove food without scratching it.
- Dishwasher tab / baking soda: Thorough cleaning is possible with a dishwasher tab. To do this, dissolve the tab in water and spread the paste on the hob. Then remove the paste with a damp cloth. Alternatively, you can mix baking soda and water to make a paste, rub it in and wash it off again.
Cleaning and care are uncomplicated and therefore child's play because of the insensitive glass ceramic plate.
How do I connect an induction hob to the electricity?
When buying an induction hob, you should check whether it is supplied as a hob combination, i.e. hob and oven, or whether it is self-sufficient.
Unlike a combination appliance, a self-sufficient induction hob has its own controls and connection. It can be installed independently of an oven.
With an oven combination, the hob is connected to the oven via a clamp connection. A self-sufficient appliance is connected via the oven connection socket.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure that you use the connection option according to German conditions.
Image source: brizmaker/ 123rf.com