The ultimate guide to induction hobs

by Tia
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Induction hobs are rapidly becoming the cooking method of choice for many modern kitchens. So says Sicelo Champion from leading appliance manufacturer, Miele: “Combining efficiency with sleek design, induction hobs offer a range of benefits that traditional gas and electric cooktops simply can’t match.” Let’s dive into induction cooking, how it works, and why it’s a popular choice, especially for homes powered by solar energy. We’ll also highlight the key features to look for when selecting your induction hob.

What is induction cooking?

Induction cooking utilises electromagnetic fields to directly heat pots and pans, rather than heating the cooktop itself. This method requires compatible cookware, typically made of ferrous metals like cast iron or stainless steel. Sicelo explains: “The principle behind induction cooking is based on electromagnetic induction. When you place a compatible pan on an induction hob and turn it on, the magnetic field generated by the copper coil induces currents within the pan. These currents produce heat, cooking your food quickly and efficiently.”

Why is induction cooking so popular?

Induction hobs boast a variety of benefits that have made them a popular choice – Sicelo lists them below:

Efficiency and speed: Induction hobs heat up faster than traditional gas or electric stoves, allowing you to boil water or cook meals in record time. They also offer precise heat control that ensures perfect cooking results.

Safety: With induction cooking, the heat is generated only in the cookware, not on the hob’s surface. This reduces the risk of accidental burns, making the kitchen a safer place, particularly for children.

Energy efficiency: Induction cooking is highly energy-efficient, with up to 90% of the energy being transferred directly to the cookware. This is a significant improvement over gas and electric stoves, which lose a lot of energy to the surrounding environment.

Ease of cleaning: The smooth, flat surface of induction hobs makes them supremely easy to clean. Also, since the cooktop itself doesn’t get very hot, spills and splatters don’t burn onto the surface, requiring only a quick wipe-down to keep them looking as good as new.

A greener choice

Induction hobs are an excellent choice for sustainability. Their high energy efficiency means they use less electricity when compared to other cooking methods, making them an especially good choice for solar-powered homes. Says Sicelo: “This not only helps to greatly reduce your utility bills, but it will also reduce your overall carbon footprint. This is especially true for Miele induction hobs, which like all other Miele appliances, are designed, manufactured, and tested to last for a minimum of 20 years, which is far longer than the average 7-year lifespan of most market competitors.”

Standout features to look out for

As with everything in life, not all induction hobs are created equal, says Sicelo: “There are a range of features to look out for that will collectively improve the functionality, safety, and efficiency of your induction hob, making your cooking experience more enjoyable.” He offers some insight into some standout features to consider when making your purchase decision:

Cooking zones: Look for flexible cooking zones that can accommodate various pot sizes and allow for more efficient use of space, he notes: “Miele’s PowerFlex zones for example, can be used individually or combined to accommodate larger cookware. This flexibility ensures optimal heat distribution and cooking performance, regardless of the pot or pan size.”

Power and efficiency: Check the power levels and efficiency ratings. High-wattage and energy-efficient models will provide faster and more consistent cooking results. Sicelo says that Miele’s induction hobs typically have an energy efficiency rating of A++ or higher: “This rating indicates that they are among the most energy-efficient hobs currently on the market.”

Temperature control: Precise temperature control features, like Miele’s TempControl for example, help prevent overheating and ensure consistent cooking results. He explains: “This feature allows for precise temperature control, preventing overheating and ensuring consistent cooking results. Whether you’re frying, simmering, or sautéing, Miele’s TempControl technology takes the guesswork out of cooking.”

Safety features: Safety features such as automatic shut-off, child locks, and residual heat indicators are crucial for preventing unwanted accidents.

Ease of use: User-friendly touch controls, clear displays, and intuitive interfaces will make the hob easier to operate, says Sicelo: “Miele’s hobs for example, come with user-friendly touch controls and a clear display – this intuitive interface makes it simple to adjust settings and monitor cooking progress.”

Consider extraction: We all know that investing in an extractor when buying a hob is crucial for maintaining a clean, odour-free kitchen. Sicelo elaborates: “Extractors remove smoke, steam, and cooking odours, improving air quality, creating a more comfortable cooking environment. Why not select a hob that boasts a built-in extractor, such as Miele’s KMDA7476, which provides efficient ventilation directly at the cooking surface, eliminating the need for an overhead extractor? Not only is this a very efficient form of extraction, but it also saves space, and negates the need to spend more money on buying a separate cooker hood.”

Smart connectivity: Smart appliances are gaining popularity due to their convenience and efficiency. “Features like Miele’s innovative Con@ctivity 3.0 for example, connects the hob to a compatible Miele extractor. This smart technology adjusts the hood’s extraction power based on the cooking activity below, automatically maintaining a pleasant kitchen environment without manual adjustments,” explains Sicelo.

Quiet operation: If you have an eat-in kitchen or one that is part of an open-plan living space design, then you should consider models with noise reduction features for a quieter cooking experience. Sicelo notes that Miele induction hobs are designed for quiet operation: “The SilentMove feature ensures that the sliding of cookware across the hob is smooth and noise-free.”

Design and aesthetics: The hob is the centre of any functional kitchen, and as such, it should complement the kitchen’s design. Sleek, minimalist designs with durable surfaces add to both functionality and visual appeal, notes Sicelo: “Miele’s induction hobs boast a stunning Ceran glass surface, embodying a sleek, contemporary design. Their flush-mount installation creates a seamless look, and practicality meets elegance with surfaces that are not only easy to clean, but also enhance the overall aesthetic.

Sicelo concludes: “Embracing induction cooking means investing in a technology that enhances your kitchen’s performance, while aligning with sustainable living practices. But it is also about ensuring a good return on investment – so be sure to choose a hob from a reputable brand, such as Miele which has been in the business for 125 years, to ensure long-lasting performance and reliable customer support to protect your investment.”

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