If you are looking at getting a new cooktop, then the chances are that you will have come across both ceramic and induction hobs. Yes, they look very similar, but what’s the difference between ceramic and induction hobs?
Besides looking very similar and appearing to use the same power sources, it can be difficult to discern their differences and whether or not the price difference between the two is worth it.
Generally speaking, there is definitely a reason for the difference in price between ceramic and induction hobs, although both do have their fair share of qualities and drawbacks.
So, what is the difference between ceramic and induction hobs?
What is a ceramic hob?
A ceramic hob is similar to an induction hob in style, but different in function and form. A ceramic hob works much in the same way as an electric hob but has a ceramic finish. That means that there are coils beneath the surface of the glass that heat up and then, in turn, heat up the pots and pans on top before heating the food.
Ceramic hobs won’t take much getting used to in terms of simple cooking. If you’ve already cooked with gas or electric hobs for years, then the adjustment period is unlikely to cause you concern. Induction hobs, on the other hand, can take a bit of getting used to – though many people prefer them.
What is an induction hob?
Induction hobs are traditionally made from glass, and use coils beneath the surface that create magnetic fields. In order to complete these magnetic field, the induction surface needs to connect to the base of a pan or a pot that is also magnetic – so, cast iron or stainless steel, ideally.
It is then the energy from the magnetic field that heats up the hob, the pan, and the food all at once. It’s cooking without a flame! Induction cooking has been around for a while – but it’s still considered the modern way to prepare meals.
In many ways, this is a more efficient way than most to cook your food as there is very little energy waste – compared to other types of hobs, such as those in gas or electric.
However, due to the fact that the pans need to have magnetic bases, you may find that the pans that you normally use are not suitable for an induction hob. Therefore, it might mean you have to buy a completely new set of cookware to get started.
What’s best: ceramic or induction hobs?
There’s a number of pros and cons – to start with, ceramic hobs do tend to be cheaper to buy than induction hobs. The installation price remains relatively the same – however, you will be looking at a more expensive price tag on an induction hob upfront.
Moreover, due to the fact that you will need magnetic bases on your pans for induction cooking, it could be that you will have to buy an entirely new set of pans (as mentioned).
However, before buying any, it is important to check whether or not your pots and pans are suitable for your induction hob, as it could be that they already are, and you simply didn’t know about it! Try using a fridge magnet underneath your cookware – if it sticks, your pans are ready for induction cooking.
What’s more, induction hobs are more energy-efficient and are therefore generally less expensive to use. There’s no flame burning, and thus no carbon – so it’s eco-friendly.
Induction hobs can also be safer to use. Both ceramic and induction hobs can arrive with locking features to ensure that no one can turn them on without intending to. However, induction hobs have an extra safety feature that is unique to them. Since induction hobs cannot heat up without a magnetic pan on top, the heat will normally switch itself off as soon as you remove the pan.
Therefore, if you are someone who has occasionally forgotten to turn off the stove, you do not have as much to worry about.
That said, ceramic hob tops are a long-lasting standard and have been a preferred choice for homeowners for many years. They are easier to clean, on the whole, and are nowhere near as easy to scratch. Therefore, the real choice remains with your lifestyle and your budget.
the difference between ceramic and induction hobs: Conclusion
Whether you would be better off with a ceramic hob or an induction one completely depends on you. Ceramic hobs do tend to be cheaper to buy than induction models – however, given the energy and cooking time that you can save through induction cooking, you could factor the money that you would save on energy bills.
Both provide quick and easy cleaning solutions and stylish surfaces for your kitchen.
Of course, if you do opt for an induction surface, remember that you will need specific kinds of pots and pans in order for your induction hob to work – and you’ll need to be careful on the cleaning, too. Take care when making this decision – you’ll thank us!