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Induction Hobs: What, Why and Should I Buy?

Smeg SI2641D 60cm 4 Zone Induction Hob

Induction hobs have been in the culinary scene for decades. Yet it’s only in more recent times that their popularity in the household kitchen has grown. But what exactly is an induction hob and should you consider getting one?

In this article we explain what an induction hob is, if they’re any good, and answer your most asked questions about them.

What is an Induction Hob?

Induction hobs look very similar to electric hobs, but they work in completely different ways. Although they both rely on electricity as their power source, induction hobs work using electromagnetic fields that directly heats the cookware. Meanwhile, electric hobs use a heating element to generate heat that is then transferred to the cookware.

Because of an induction hob’s ability to directly heat the pot or pan, less energy is wasted compared to other types of electric hobs. It also uses less power, is usually much faster, and is safer.

How Do Induction Hobs Work?

Graphic explaining how induction hobs work using a copper coil, an elecromagnet and a magnetic field.

Induction hobs use electromagnetic fields that directly heat the cookware. Underneath an induction hob plate is an electromagnetic coil. This is made from copper and is powered by electricity. The electric current that passes through the coil creates a magnetic field. Before a pot or pan is placed on the hob, no heat is generated.

When cookware made of a magnetic material (such as steel) is placed on the hob, the magnetic field penetrates it. Because of this change in the magnetic field, a current is created that travels around the cookware and heats it up. This means that only the pan gets hot, and not the actual hob itself.

Safety Information: Although induction hobs do not work by heating the hob surface, the heat from the cookware can transfer to the surface. Therefore, you should still avoid touching the hob surface after cooking.

Are Induction Hobs Good?

Yes, induction hobs are a fantastic choice of hob. Because of their excellent efficiency at distributing heat, they heat up your cookware faster. They are also much safer than other alternatives as they don’t emit gas and don’t directly heat the plate surface.

The Pros and Cons of Induction Hobs


Outline of coins with icon of pound symbol. Icon refers to cost.

Induction hobs initially cost you more than other types of hobs, such as gas, electric or halogen. However, as technology is advancing and competition increases, prices are slowly reducing. An induction hob bought today costs much less than ten years ago. You’ll also need to get an electrician to install the hob. However, because induction hobs are energy efficient, they are cheaper to run than gas hobs. This can help you to offset the initial costs of buying the hob over the long term.


Icon of clock with horizonal lines to the left. Icon represents speed,

When using an induction hob you are able to heat things up very quickly. In fact, induction cooking is faster than any other cooktop option. This is because induction cooking directly heats the pan, and so there is no time wasted waiting for heat transfer. This also means that you have more precise control over the cooking temperature. Induction hobs respond to heat setting changes almost instantly.


Icon of lightning boil with arrows pointing around it. Icon represents energy efficiency.

Induction hobs are highly efficient. The electric current used to heat the food is of low voltage, making it energy-friendly. Furthermore, because the hob only heats the pan, there is no wastage of energy to the hob or surrounding atmosphere. Unlike electric hobs, which can be slow to heat up, induction hobs are fast at heating the pan. They also give you instant cooking control, again reducing the amount of energy wasted. It has also been argued that induction hobs can heat up a pan of boiling water quicker than a kettle. So, if you want a hob that heats up quickly but also cools down fast, then an induction hob could be ideal for you.


Icon of check mark inside of a shield. This icon represents safety.

One of the most positive features of an induction hob is that it is safer compared to traditional forms of hobs, such as gas and electric. Because the hob itself doesn’t get heated, it reduces the incidences of accidental burns. It may be a preferable choice of hob for families with small children, where safety in the kitchen is a high priority.

Induction hobs also don’t have a naked flame, so they are also safer when it comes to fire risk. They will also cut out if the pan boils dry, or when there’s no cookware on the surface, which is a very useful safety feature.

Caution: The heat from the cookware on an induction hob will transfer heat onto the hob surface. Never touch the hob surface directly after cooking.


Icon of gloved hand spraying a cleaning bottle. Icon represents cleaning.

Induction hobs are really easy to clean because they are made up of a flat surface. Because they run by controllable heat, it’s not often that the pans boil over. So you are less likely to need to wipe up any spillages on the hob. Equally, because the hob remains relatively cool, any spillages that do occur won’t stick to the hob due to heat.


Icon of a frying pan. Icon represents the equipment needed for an induction hob.

One of the downsides of getting an induction hob is that you can’t use your ordinary pots and pans with the hob, unless they have the correct base. This is because induction hobs will only work with iron-based cookware that allows the magnetic energy to pass into the metal and heat it up. So, it may mean having to buy a new set of pots and pans. However, you can pick up suitable pans at a reasonable cost. 

If you don’t want to part with your favourite pan, you can buy an induction disc that fits onto usual pans. This will allow you to continue using them with your new induction hob.


Icon of speaker with noise lines. Icon represents noise,

Another negative aspect of an induction hob is that they can be noisier than other hobs. However, the noise produced should only be low humming and/or some clicking. This should hopefully be drowned out by the noise of your food cooking, or other kitchen activities.

Which Induction Hobs are Best for You?

If you have decided it’s time to replace your old hob, and you think an induction hob could be the right choice for you, how do you decide which type to go for?  Lots of the leading brand names now produce induction hobs, so you should have plenty of options to choose from.

You’ll first need to decide how much you want to spend. Prices can range from £300 all the way up to £3,000 for top-of-the-range models. Think about how much cooking you do and how big your family is. What about space in the kitchen?  Do you have sufficient room to get an induction hob installed, and how will it fit in with the rest of your kitchen décor and styling?  Induction hobs are a welcome addition to any modern and stylish kitchen, and work well as part of a kitchen upgrade.

It’s always a good idea to get an overview of the different models available. Visit our showroom and talk to our sales experts for all of the help and advice you need! Reading online induction hob reviews is also a great way of determining if a particular model is right for you.

Some makes of induction hob come with various features, including timers, child safety locks and flexible cooking zones. So, consider which elements are important to you. Some models can even monitor the temperature of the pan and adjust the heat, as well as alerting you when water on the hob has reached boiling point. This is a great feature for anyone looking for a hob that will save on their energy bill.

Induction Hobs FAQs:

What is the Difference Between an Induction Hob and a Ceramic Hob?

Induction hobs and ceramic hobs look almost identical, however they work very differently. The reason they look so similar is because induction hobs are usually also made with a ceramic glass surface.

The term “ceramic hob” actually refers to electric ceramic hobs. They are electric hobs with a ceramic glass surface. Therefore, a ceramic hob refers to the finish of the hob, rather than how it works.

The difference between an induction hob and a ceramic hob is how they generate heat. An induction hob uses a coil underneath to create a magnetic field that directly heats up the cookware. It uses less power and energy than an electric ceramic hob. Electric ceramic hobs pass an electric current through elements under the ceramic glass surface. This then heats up the surface. They are less expensive than an induction hob, however induction hobs are more energy efficient, heat up faster, and give you more control.

What is the Difference Between an Induction Hob and a Halogen Hob?

To understand the difference between an induction hob and a halogen hob, you must know what a halogen hob is. A halogen hob is a type of electric ceramic hob. But, different from a traditional electric hob, halogen hobs use a powerful bulb filled with halogen gas. This bulb creates infrared radiation that creates radiant heat. 

Similar to an induction hob, a halogen hob is able to directly heat the saucepan. It does this using the radiant heat from the halogen bulbs. However, a halogen hob also heats the surface of the hob too, which further heats the cookware through conduction. This combination of heat means that halogen hobs heat food a lot faster than traditional electric hobs.

Although halogen hobs are faster and more efficient than traditional electric hobs, they are not in the same league as induction hobs. Halogen hobs only transfer 80% of the heat produced to the cookware. Induction hobs on the other hand transfer between 85-90%. Induction hobs are therefore still more energy efficient, faster, and provide more heat control than halogen hobs.

The only disadvantages of an induction hob compared to halogen hobs, and other ceramic electric hobs, is cost. Induction hobs continue to be more expensive, and require specific cookware. You don’t need special halogen hob pans. You can use any type of cookware on a halogen hob. However, this hob will only work with cookware made of conductive materials. This will further increase the costs of switching to an induction hob if you don’t already have this type of cookware.

Are Induction Hobs Better than Gas?

Although some professional chefs swear by gas hobs, research shows that induction hobs are better all-round.

Induction hobs are more energy efficient, faster, safer, easier to clean and cheaper to run. Some believe that you get better cooking results with a gas hob, but really there is very little difference. If anything, you may find that your food is ready quicker with induction cooking.

Can Induction Hobs Be Repaired?

Spanner and screwdriver icons.

Yes, an induction hob can be repaired. However, due to the complexity of these hobs, a professional is required. Depending on the problem with your induction hob, it may be better to completely replace it.

Ultimately, the choice of repair vs replacement depends on the severity of the problem and your preference.

Can Induction Hobs Catch Fire?

Fire icon.

Induction hobs are extremely safe, however there is still a very small chance of them catching fire.

There is an increased risk of fire when cooking with oil, using poor quality cookware, or if there’s a fault with your hob.


Induction hobs offer a modern and efficient cooking solution for your kitchen. They work through electromagnetic fields, directly heating your cookware. They are fast, energy-efficient, and safe. While they may initially cost more than other types of hobs, their long-term energy savings can help offset the expense. Induction hobs are easy to clean and provide precise cooking control, but they require compatible cookware.

Despite some noise concerns, they remain a top choice for many households. While other hob types have their benefits, induction hobs often outshine them in terms of energy efficiency, safety, and overall performance.

If you’d like to learn more about induction hobs, call our friendly appliance experts on 0115 965 1937.

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