15 Jan 2010
Ceramic induction hobs are among the mostrevolutionary appliances to hit the kitchen market in the last decade. Now firmly established as the successor to thegas hob, induction offers an unrivalled combination of responsiveness, ease of use, safety and fuel economy. Induction hobs can heat pans up to 40% faster than gas and their understated good looks make induction the obvious choice for the feature cooking island. The glossy black ceramic glass is almost invisible when incorporated into a granite or dark quartz stone worksurface. Little wonder then that the induction hob has stolen the hearts of consumers and kitchen designers alike.
So what about the technology behind the phenomenon? Induction hobs have a strong electro magnet under the tough ceramic glass cooking surface. When a saucepan with a ferrous metal base is placed on the hob, the metal in the base of the pan completes an electric circuit which causes the molecules in the base of the pan to vibrate and generate heat. This causes heat to transfer to the contents of the pan. Simple.
Because the hob doesn’t generate heat by way of a conventional heating element, it uses 25% less energy than a conventional gas hob, and offers even greater fuel economy over electric plate hobs. Induction hobs cool down quickly, and are blissfully easy to clean. They come with a range of additional features such as child locks, safety cut-out if a zone is turned on and then left unattended, minute timers, and a special feature that knows the difference between a saucepan and an unattended spoon!
Apart from their remarkable safety credentials, induction hobs offer a huge range of formats. They come either framed in steel or frame-less. They can be controlled by push-button, by touch-control, or via a touch-slider. They can have from two to six rings, with special zones for fish kettles and woks, or on some models the entire hob area is ‘active’ at any time, which is useful for over-sized pans or even for several pans at the same time!
Test to see whether your pans are suitable for induction cooking with the aid of a magnet. If the magnet sticks to the base of the pan, your pans will work with induction.
Special Safety Note on Induction Hobs:
Induction hobs generate short-range magnetic fields, and it is possible for these magnetic fields to affect the function of older pacemakers or other active implants. The likelihood of implanted devices being affected is low if the hob is being used correctly. Anecdotal evidence indicates that interference occurs only at very close range, causing the implant to pace at the programmed lower rate while it is in close proximity to the hob. Once distance is increased the implant reverts to normal operation.
All the induction hobs supplied by Design Matters comply with current standards on electromagnetic interference and are in keeping with prevailing legal requirements (89/336/CEE directives). They are therefore designed not to create interference with any other electrical items, assuming that the pacemaker or other active implants are also designed to comply with relevant legislation.
We would strongly advise that you make any users of your kitchen aware of this safety note and ask them to check with their doctor, or the manufacturer of their device in order to identify any incompatibilities. If you, a visitor or a member of your family has any concerns, then take the following precautionary measures:
Keep the implanted device more than 24 inches away from the hob
Avoid using metal utensils for cooking
Avoid touching pans for extended periods while in use on the hob
This information is the result of our own informal research, errors and omissions excepted.