This article focuses on the question of how to choose an induction hob in 2022. This topic is very relevant. Although induction hobs appeared on the domestic market more than 20 years ago, they are rarely found in modern kitchens. And in vain. The heating speed of the induction cooker is in no way inferior to gas counterparts. And the efficiency and ease of operation are much higher than that of electric ones. But which induction cooker to choose for your home, office or cottage? What are they and how do they differ from one another? Let’s talk about this in more detail.
How it works
Before talking about which of the induction panels is better to choose, let’s look at the principle of its operation. Under the top panel of the stove is an induction coil made of copper. That is why the oven is called induction oven. The magnetic coil conducts an electric current, resulting in a magnetic field penetrating through the top cover. Under the influence of this field, electromagnetic oscillations are generated in the bottom of special dishes, causing heating.
By the way, the hob remains cold at the same time, so it is almost impossible to get burned. In this case, only that part of the induction surface on which the dishes are standing is heated, that is, the oven automatically adjusts to the diameter of the pan. Also, for safety reasons, it is impossible to turn on the stove if there is no pot or pan on it, which is very good for economical, but forgetful housewives.
Pros and cons of induction furnaces
The positive qualities of such a technique, in our opinion, are much greater than the negative ones. Among them, for example, are: ( See also: Rating of the best induction surfaces in 2022 )
- Economical electricity consumption. The oven heats only the part that is occupied by dishes and maintains a constant temperature. Thus, the cooking process is completed much faster. At the same time, almost all models have protection against surges in the network and overvoltage sensors.
- Safety. There is no open fire, no hot burner. If there is an empty pan on the stove or there is none at all, the stove will not turn on.
- Ease of care. Even if the contents of the pan accidentally «ran away», you will not see any smoke, no burning, no fumes. After all, the hob remains barely warm and nothing burns. After use, simply wipe the hob with a damp cloth.
- There is no particular need for ventilation. Since the stove heats only the pan and not the air, there is no need for continuous ventilation.
- Ease of use. Almost all 2022 models are very simple and straightforward to operate. Even an inexpensive induction cooker has adjustable or even automatic modes, which greatly simplifies the process.
- Compact dimensions. Freestanding one- and two-burner stoves are so light and compact that they can easily be taken with you to the country house or conveniently placed even in a very small kitchen.
Among the negative qualities, only three can be distinguished:
- Pretty high price.
- The need to purchase special dishes.
- The erroneous opinion that the magnetic field emitted by the stove adversely affects human health.
The last statement is absolutely unfounded. Scientists have proven that since the generated field is low-frequency, it absolutely does not affect the well-being of a person. And products prepared in this way do not accumulate anything in themselves.
Induction cookers: what are they
There are 3 types of induction cookers:
When choosing a hob, you should first of all focus on your needs and the dimensions of the kitchen. Which one to prefer?
Table tops are the most compact option. Most often they have only one or two burners. But if you live alone and cook at home infrequently, this option is clearly for you. Such a hob will be enough for a young couple without children.
The full size built-in oven is a great choice for a family of 4 or more or a professional kitchen. Of course, this option costs a little more, but the performance of such a hob is incomparably higher.
For modern apartments, another modification is also provided — combined surfaces. If the house often turns off the light, it would be wise to choose this type of induction hob. Most often, it consists of four burners: 2 of them are induction, and 2 are conventional, gas. Thus, you can always be sure that dinner will «arrive in time» on time.
Choosing an induction surface: what to look for
To help you make the right choice, we have compiled a short guide that will help you spend your money with the greatest efficiency.
Modes and power
Unfortunately, induction cookers do not have the possibility of smooth power control. During operation, you can set the switch to any fixed position, as well as set the minimum or maximum intensity of work. It is on the number of such positions that the accuracy with which you can regulate the heating process and control the temperature regime depends. Cheaper models offer 10-15 modes, more than 20 positions are provided in expensive ones. ( See also: What is the optimal power of an induction hob? )
For those who are used to living in a fairly fast rhythm, we recommend choosing a hob with an emergency intensive heating function. Of course, the stove will not be able to work in this mode for a long time, but you can boil dumplings in ten minutes. A short-term increase in power is possible due to the internal reserves of the device.
Some dishes are best cooked over an open fire. In this case, special dishes with a rounded bottom are used. Heat treatment is very fast, but at maximum temperature. Owners of ordinary gas stoves, even with special dishes, are forced to be content with the likeness of such dishes. So if you are a fan of oriental cuisine, it is better to choose an induction hob equipped with special spherical concave burners. Only in this case, the dishes will taste like they were cooked on a real fire.
As already mentioned, it is almost impossible to get burned on an induction-type hob. However, there is another danger here. If you are not careful, you may be injured on the sharp edges of the glass surface. Therefore, if your family has mobile and very inquisitive kids, be sure to purchase a model with rounded corners. Some models are additionally equipped with a protective metal edging around the perimeter. They are also quite safe.
Before buying a hob, choose the place where it will be installed and measure the maximum possible dimensions of the future purchase. In this case, it is worth considering the fact that the induction cooker cannot be placed near objects and devices that have metal parts. So the refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine, oven and other appliances should be located as far as possible from it.
Ability to set your own temperature for each burner
Many models of stoves with induction allow you to set an individual mode for each burner. This allows you to cook not one dish at once, but several. In this case, different heating power is used.
Mode fixing system
The most «advanced» models of induction surfaces have a rather interesting function. You can pause the «induction» for a while by simply pressing just one button. At the same time, the “smart” oven will remember all modes and settings and, after turning it on again, will continue to work as if nothing had happened. This is very convenient when you urgently need to leave the kitchen for a short time and there is no one to look after the cooking process.
If you have purchased an induction hob, you no longer need to control that the dish does not overheat and determine the temperature “by eye”. Special sensors will do everything for you. If the temperature indicators exceed the specified parameters, the hob will independently decide to reduce the heating power.
Functions of induction panels
When choosing a kitchen assistant, special attention should be paid to the number of functionalities. And decide which of them are needed and which are not, since the cost will greatly depend on this. Here are the most basic ones:
- the presence of both induction and heating elements (combined stoves) — for those who do not want to part with their favorite dishes;
- induction burners of different diameters: for a wide frying pan you need a large area, for a coffee Turk — a small one, consider the size of your dishes (there are models with an expansion zone that allows you to use dishes of different sizes on one burner);
- panel lock — protects against accidental switching on of the device (relevant if there are small children in the house);
- safety shutdown — works if liquid spills onto the panel;
- timer with a sound signal — allows you to set the cooking time, the stove will turn off after a specified period of time;
- heat indicator — will show when the burner has cooled down and you can touch it without fear of getting burned;
- multi-stage temperature control — will allow you to cook different dishes in different modes;
- indicator of the presence of filled dishes — the panel without dishes or with an empty pan will not turn on;
- automatic shutdown if the hob is not used for a while;
- PowerBoost — the ability to increase the power of the burner up to 50% due to the neighboring one (for the fastest possible heating);
- keeping warm — allows the cooked dish to stay hot for a long time (relevant if all family members come home at different times);
- “induction without borders” — there are no clearly defined borders, but there is only a cross, which makes it easy to correctly position the dishes;
- pause — the ability to turn off the hob for a short time (if you need to urgently move away).
It should be noted that such a rich set of functions is not found in any other type of stoves, many consider these pluses to be decisive when choosing the type of hob. Older people consider a large set of functions a disadvantage, but the interface of modern independent hobs is as simple and clear as possible.
Design of induction hobs
The appearance is very diverse, you can easily choose a hob that fits perfectly even in the most sophisticated interior, built-in kitchen appliances are especially popular today. If earlier most models were presented in black, today white and silver are more popular, you can also choose independent color panels. Despite the fact that, regardless of color, glass-ceramic surfaces are easy to clean, stains of grease and moisture are less noticeable on a light background than on black, this advantage allows the white stove to maintain a presentable appearance even in the heat of cooking. Induction cookers are made not only from glass ceramics, but also from tempered glass. They are more beautiful than ceramic ones, but correspondingly more expensive.
Also, the models differ in the type of control knobs: touch, magnetic, mechanical. In terms of functionality, they do not differ, you can choose any that are more convenient and more like externally. The touch buttons do not heat up at all, unlike stoves with heating elements, when it is difficult to touch them after a long cooking time.
Price depends on many factors: brand, functionality, new or old model, built-in or freestanding, independent or dependent. A brand is not always a guarantee of quality; worthy models can also be found from little-known manufacturers. No matter how much the panel costs, the main thing is that the store provides a guarantee for the product, so that in the event of a breakdown, return the funds or demand free repairs. Choosing an affordable option with a huge variety of hobs is not difficult.
Is induction safe at home?
There is a hypothesis that the magnetic field adversely affects human health. And the mechanism of operation of induction cookers is not clear to all the inhabitants, so the concerns about safety are understandable. And this opinion is not without foundation: during the operation of the induction cooker, a vortex magnetic field is created, theoretically it can be dangerous for people wearing pacemakers, these features should be taken into account and a doctor should be consulted. Perhaps you should choose kitchen appliances without induction.
But manufacturers claim that such a field in their devices is low-frequency and is not capable of harming human health. In addition, eddy currents are limited by the body of the device, and already at a distance of 30 centimeters from it, the effect of the magnetic field is zero. In any case, the harm from the radiation of the stove is no more than from a mobile phone or computer.
And the allegations that food cooked on such a hob has harmful properties is nothing more than a myth. Magnetic radiation does not affect the properties, taste and structure of the food being cooked, the induction hob is in no way inferior to the good old gas stoves in terms of the quality of the cooked dishes. And if we compare the pros and cons of these devices, the gas and electric hob lose in all respects.
If you decide to purchase an induction hob, you need to take care of suitable cookware that has ferromagnetic properties. It does not need to be looked for in special stores, the main requirement is that a magnet be attracted to the bottom. Do not put copper, aluminum, glass, ceramic, porcelain products on the induction cooker. And dishes made of cast iron, stainless steel, even white enameled ones are quite suitable.
If in doubt which pan is better to buy, take a magnet to the store: if it attracts, it means it fits. Pay attention also to the diameter of the bottom (it must correspond to the size of the burner) and the thickness of the bottom (optimally — from 2 to 6 mm). Now on sale there are dishes suitable for induction panels. It is indicated by special characters.
TOP 3 induction cookers
To make the choice even easier for our readers, we have compiled a small ranking of the best induction surfaces of 2022. for home cooking and professional. Given the subjectivity of the assessments, we will not distribute prizes, but simply list a few worthy, in our opinion, models.
LEX EVI 640BL
This is one of the cheapest options on the market for similar household appliances. In various retail outlets, the cost of such a panel does not exceed $ 250. Among the advantages, the following can be noted:
- stylish design;
- burners of different diameters;
- affordable price;
- touch control;
- sleep timer;
- child protection (blocking);
- residual heat indicator.
With all these advantages, this model has only one drawback — fingerprints remain on the surface. But at this price, this minus is not so noticeable.
Electrolux EGD-6576 NOK
This model from the Electrolux company will suit those who prefer to be ready for all life situations. Two of the four burners in this model are gas, so you can cook dinner even in the absence of electricity. The EGD-6576 NOK induction cooker has been confidently holding the lead for about two years, and here’s why:
- the «gas» part is equipped with electric ignition and classic switches;
- the induction side is controlled by sensors;
- the system is equipped with a child lock, a gas leak controller and a residual heat indicator;
- when liquid is overflowed onto the induction surface, the stove automatically turns off;
- for especially hasty there is a mode «Boost».
This model also has disadvantages:
- switches on the «gas» side get very hot, as they are located quite close to the surface;
- almost any dirt is visible on a completely black surface.
This induction hob has won the highest praise from users. According to consumer reviews, it can be called one of the most popular models among standard options.
- stylish design;
- elegant protective frame in silver;
- Boost mode;
- residual heat indicator, child lock, safety shutdown in case of liquid overflow;
- the surface is able to recognize the presence of dishes;
- at the end of the cooking process, the stove gives information about the amount of energy expended.
With all the advantages, this model has a couple of disadvantages. There are few of them, but they are very significant:
- when working at high power, a strong hum is heard;
- it is impossible to adjust the power level separately for each burner;
- the lack of special clamps creates difficulties for self-assembly;
- quite high cost.
We really hope that our article helped you understand how to choose an induction hob in 2022. It is likely that soon a new and modern kitchen assistant will appear in your home, and cooking will become easy and enjoyable.