Last Updated On September 21st, 2018
Every decade, it seems, manufacturers surprise us with new technology that makes life easier in the kitchen. Some appliances, like microwave or convection ovens, become invaluable over time. Others, such as home sous-vide machines, never advance past the “toys for the rich” category.
It’s too early to know whether induction hobs will eventually replace ceramic or sealed plate electric ones on cookers – but going strictly by their functionality and advantages, they should. They heat pots more quickly, they’re safer, they’re easier to clean, and are more energy-efficient. As you’d expect from any new technology that’s superior to existing equipment, they’re also more expensive than traditional electric hobs.
In the meantime, portable induction hobs are widely available – and a godsend to home cooks who value time and efficiency in the kitchen. The only problem is selecting the right one to buy for your purposes. Some are bare-bones models suitable for use as an extra hob when you have visitors for dinner; others can serve as a dedicated choice for stir-frying or preparing dishes which require very delicate control of temperatures.
If you’re ready to give one a spin but aren’t quite sure where to start, never fear. We’ve done all the necessary research to prepare a list of the best, along with induction hob reviews. This article gives you reliable advice to which you can refer when making a buying decision. We’ll get to our picks for the very best induction hob after we take a quick look at how they work, their benefits, and the features you may find most valuable.
Top 10 Best Induction Hobs Comparison
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An induction hob looks almost identical to a regular sealed-plate or ceramic one, but the two generate heat very differently. With a traditional one, electricity is used to heat metal elements that are inside. That energy eventually makes its way through to the pot and the food inside. Induction hobs, by contrast, use high-powered electromagnets to generate a strong magnetic field. The magnetic field, as you may recall from your science lessons, is able to induce a flow of electrical current in the pot, heating it – and the food inside of it – quickly, while leaving the hob cool to the touch.
There’s only one catch: the pot or pan must be “induction-capable” or it won’t get hot. That generally means you have to use cookware containing iron, although some stainless steel pots and pans will also work. The best way to know: if a magnet will attach itself strongly to the bottom of the pan, you’re all set. Otherwise, you can easily purchase induction-capable cookware in stores or online.
We’ve already touched on the benefits, but let’s look a little more closely.
First of all, they’re fast. Really fast. Because they immediately create heat in the pot or pan, there’s no time “wasted” while waiting for the hob itself to warm up and transfer heat to the pot. Tests have shown that a large pot of water will boil up to five minutes faster than with a traditional electric one, and also significantly faster than when using gas.
Second, the fact that the hobs don’t get hot makes the environment much safer. This means no accidental burns on a misplaced finger or to a curious child touching it. It also means they are much easier to clean, because food won’t “bake onto” a cool hob. It’s important to realise, though, that the pots and pans will still get hot – that’s why we say the environment is safer, not completely safe. (One caveat: if you have several working simultaneously on a cooker, some heat from the pots will eventually be transferred to the hobs.) This method of cooking is tremendously energy-efficient as well because no electricity is “wasted” in heating the hobs; it is up to 70% more efficient than traditional electric. (One more caveat: the speed and energy-efficiency advantages aren’t as marked on portable units as on four- or five-hob induction cookers.)
Finally, there are a number of terrific features available with today’s portable induction hobs. The best is the ability to pinpoint target temperatures for specific foods or types of cooking; some models have a number of presets for everything from boiling water or heating milk to deep frying, and accomplished cooks who are working with touchy sauces will find that on the best units they can set the perfect temperature to prevent their sauces from breaking.
Many products also include digital timers, LED displays, overheat controls, auto-shutoff (whenever a pan is removed) and touchscreen controls.
Induction hobs are unquestionably convenient and look most beautiful, but there are a couple of potential problems to look for on individual units. The surfaces on some are so slick that pots can be “stirred right off the surface,” and touch controls can be so sensitive that making small adjustments in temperature can be almost impossible. It’s also important to know that some models, particularly those with fans, do make more noise than traditional offerings. (Often, the noise is really created by the vibration of lower-quality pans, not by the hob itself.) We’ll touch on those issues if they exist with the units we review so you know before you buy.
Top 10 Induction Hob Reviews List
1. Aobosi Double Induction Hob
First on our list is the Aobosi double induction hob. If you live in a small rented apartment or just want a hob which you can move around your kitchen countertop (or even carry with you on excursions), we highly recommend that you look into this product.
This hob has 2 hot plates which are 1000W and 1800W respectively. This allows you to cook your meals fast and efficiently. The top is made from black crystal glass that’s easy to clean. There’s an LCD screen which shows the temperature, timer, and other functions. The Aobosi induction hob is equipped with an anti-shock system safety feature and a child lock function.
2. Cookology CIT600
Next is the Cookology CIT600. This product will look beautiful in any kitchen. It’s sleek and has a nice black ceramic glass top. The controls have touch sensors so there are no knobs and switches at the top. The total power of the cooking plates is 7000w (1500w, 2000w, 1500w, 1800w). It’s very easy to cook on this hob because you can easily manipulate the heat depending on your preference through the 9-levels power setting.
The CIT600 is also equipped with a timer, an auto-off switch, a child lock, and a residual heat indicator. However, unlike the Aobosi, this hob can’t be moved around from one area to another and needs to be installed by a certified electrician.
3. Whirlpool Four Zone ACM812BA
Similar to the ACM804 and around the same price point, the ACM812BA is a built-in unit with two large-sized cooking areas, each with two controllable zones and rated at 7200 watts. It also has the same convenience features like nine power levels and the option to boost power in any zone for quicker cooking.
4. Tefal Everyday IH201840
This modern-looking unit that can handle pans up to 26cm in diameter has just about everything you could want in a portable induction hob. There are nine adjustable power levels which run all the way up to 2100 watts, not as powerful as the primary hobs on full-scale cookers, but plenty to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
There are also five pre-set power settings for activities like stewing, stir frying, deep frying and boiling water plus an integrated two-hour timer; the only downsides are that setting the right temperature for simmering can be a bit tricky, and there’s no “current temperature” indicator on the LED display. For a very reasonable price, though, this is a great portable option.
5. Bosch PKE611D17E
Bosch is a trusted name when it comes to home appliances so it’s not surprising that the PKE611D17E landed a place on our top 10 list of the best induction hobs. On the outside, it doesn’t look too different from any other hob except that it’s frameless – which makes it look extra sleek. The real eye-catcher though is what’s underneath the shiny glass top.
The Bosch PKE611D17E has 17 power settings – the most number of settings among all of the products on our list. You can cook just about anything on this hob because you won’t ever have to worry whether or not it’ll be able to provide the amount of heat you need. It doesn’t have a timer so make sure to lower the power setting and lock the controls before you leave your stew simmering.
6. Cookology CET600
The next item on our list is another offering from Cookology. The CET600 is a 4-zone induction hob which gives out 6000w of power in total and can be controlled by the 9 stage power setting. The top is made of black ceramic glass which can easily be cleaned with just a swipe or a hob scraper. Since the glass surface doesn’t really heat up, it is very easy to keep your kitchen clean and tidy even when you’re cooking up a storm.
The Cookology CET600 comes with an array of features like a timer for multitasking moms, child lock, auto shutdown, and a residual heat indicator. Just like the other 4-zone hobs on our list, this also needs to be installed by a certified electrician.
7. VonShef Digital
The VonShef is priced around the same level as the first Andrew James model we’ve discussed, with most of the same pros and cons: 2000 watts max, five-minute timer increments, ten settings but no manual control, somewhat-loud fan. If you’re looking to make a decision between the two units, the VonShef can handle 26cm pans – but that’s the only major difference we’ve found.
8. Russell Hobbs RH60EH402B
The last 4 zone induction hob on our list is the Russell Hobbs RH60EH402B. Unlike the others, the glass on top of this product is black ceramic glass from Schott. If you aren’t familiar with the company, Schott is one of the leading glass manufacturers in the world. That alone will tell you that the Russell Hobbs RH60EH402B was made to last decades.
The 4 hobs have varied power ranging from 1200 to 1800 watts and can be controlled through the 7-level heat setting. It is also equipped with a child lock feature, auto shutoff, and a residual heat indicator for added safety.
9. Swan SIH201 TouchScreen
Now that we’ve finished our tour of the high-end Whirlpools, we have a portable unit from Swan to check out. It’s compact, but will handle pans up to 26cm in diameter and works well for what it is. While it’s not is a feature-packed hob; temperature control is handled by running your finger along a bar marked from 1-10 and there’s only a simple timer. We wouldn’t recommend this unit for a chef or even an accomplished cook, but it’s a good choice for someone who doesn’t want a learning curve or a complicated cooker. It just cooks things well, for a decent price.
10. Team Induction Hob
We finish with a surprisingly nice portable model from Team. It has a maximum power of 2000 watts, accommodates large pans, and has a rotary on/off/temperature control for those who prefer their appliances simple rather than sleek. There aren’t preset power setting buttons or timers, and it actually costs more than the Tefal which was our favorite – but this one comes with an induction-capable pot as part of the package.
Give Induction a Try
We assume that most readers are checking out these induction hob reviews because they’re interested in giving induction cooking a try. If you’re just looking to replace a hob you’ve owned in the past, we don’t have to encourage you to buy a new one. But if you’re new to this way of cooking you really owe it to yourself to at least take one of the inexpensive models on this list of best induction hobs on a test drive.
Induction hobs can save a lot of time, and the portable models we’ve focused our advice on can easily fit almost anywhere in your kitchen, or be taken into your garden for a cookout or with you on a camping trip. Most are no noisier than a refrigerator (at worst), and the better models we’ve reviewed give you very easy control over temperature and timing so you can create a perfect meal.
The chances are good that at some point in the future, these will come standard on most cookers – because they’re so much more energy-efficient than gas or standard electric ones. Why not jump ahead of the curve? Good luck, we hope you find the right product to buy.