Induction hobs are all the range nowadays; sleek, modern, clean and quick. It has become as much of a must have in a modern luxury German kitchen as white minimal handleless doors. Your kitchen designer should be able to tell you all you need to know about the suitability of induction to your design. For now I will list some pros and cons below:
– It is so easy to clean! Gone are the days of disassembling a complicated array of circular rings, plates and metal grids after every meal. The combination of fat and oil residue on stainless steel base of the hob makes it almost impossible to clean without streaks (not ideal at all in a contemporary kitchen), not to mention all the spikey parts that always seem to pierce through the cleaning cloth and impale you hands!
With induction hobs all you need to do is spray on some cleaning product, wipe clean, buff dry and you have got a beautiful black mirror in your worktop. Some models fit flat and flush with the worktop and these are the easiest to keep clean. Others may have a slight bevel or stainless steel frame and require a little bit more effort to maintain.
– It is as efficient as gas, if not more so. Granted that in the past induction technology did not live up to the hype, but time has given us a versatile and fully functional cooking zone. I talk from personal experience that with the tap of a button (instead of the twist of a greasy knob) you can bring a pan from a rolling boil to a simmer instantly. Some induction hobs also incorporate a boost feature that focuses all the energy from the magnets under one pan, thus bringing it to the boil much quicker.
– It is safer. Nothing in the kitchen is more dangerous than an open flame (except maybe a set of blunt knives!) and with an induction hob this risk is completely eliminated.
– If you don’t have a gas supply to your home, you no longer need to house a lumbering big bottle, induction connects up to the mains and you’re ready to create the perfect omelet.
– Some of the newer models are zoneless which means you can place the pan anywhere. This also has the advantage of heating up the entire bottom of your fish kettle or roasting tin; perfect for making gravy!
– All induction hobs are fitted with a child safety lock so that little ones cannot accidentally operate them.
– The nature of induction means you have to change all your pans or buy an induction hob converter, but to be honest, if you are looking to have a new kitchen installed, chances are that your pans are all as old and in need of replacing as much as your original kitchen. Ask family and friends for induction compatible pans as presents; useful tip, cook them their favourite treats as a thank you!
– You can’t see that the heat is on like with gas. However with certain induction hobs there is a slight buzzing noise as the magnets activate, which gives you some indication. Usually you would also find some sort of indicator light or an icon (if your hob has a screen) that will tell you which ones are active. Also as a safety precaution, the zones in an induction hob only operate when a magnetic connection is made with a pan.
– Cooking with a wok is not as efficient. Little can compare with sizzling heat of using a wok on a gas wok ring. The flame extends up the sides of the wok, giving you an all round heat that is great for practicing your chef-like skill for tossing vegetables without using a spatula. There are a couple of solutions on the market where induction compatible woks are concerned. Some manufactures have introduced a dedicated wok domino, which consists of a rectangular induction hob with a dipped bowl-like indentation within which a specific induction wok fits into. The down side of this design is that you can only use that one pan with that one wok. The other solution utilizes a circular metal stand that sits between the flat induction of the wok itself. Not recommended for vigorous shaking and tossing of ingredients to say the least.
– Safety, it should be highlighted that an induction hob could conceivably cause interference with pacemakers and therefore it is advisable that people fitted with one should not operate an induction hob.
There you have it, a brief overview of induction hobs which I hope will help you on your way to choosing the right appliance for your beautiful new kitchen.