Induction zones are more controllable, faster and more energy efficient than ceramic cooking zones.
Are you confused about the differences between ceramic and induction range cookers? Here’s a comparison between the two options.
1. How do ceramic and induction hobs work?
Both induction and ceramic hobs use hard wearing glass. Ceramic hobs have an element under this toughened glass. As soon as you switch a ceramic zone on, the element will start heating up the zone. The zone will glow red – on and off according to the heat level chosen. An induction hob will only heat up when a ferrous pan is placed on it. The coil under the induction zone will create an electromagnetic field when the power is turned on. As soon as the pan is removed (or when the zone is switched off), the heat generation will stop.
2. What pans can you use?
Both ceramic and induction hobs require good quality pans with smooth, flat bases for good heat distribution. Make sure the pans are free from dirt so that they don’t scratch the glass surface. For induction zones, you can use stainless steel pans with a magnetic base, enamelled steel pans and cast iron pans. You can check the suitability of your pans by holding a magnet to the middle of the base of the pan. If the magnet sticks, the pan is suitable. For ceramic zones, you can use any of the pans mentioned above. Moreover, you can use copper pans with a flat base. Take extra care as copper is relatively soft - it can easily pick up grit and damage the glass surface. It is recommended that you use pans of the same diameter as the induction or ceramic zone it’s placed on.
3. Is there a difference in energy efficiency?
Induction cooking is a lot more efficient than ceramic cooking, because heat is only generated through the area that’s actually touching the pan. Moreover, the induction zone automatically switches off when the pan is removed.
4. What about cooking on ceramic or induction?
Induction is more controllable than ceramic. An induction zone will immediately adjust power output when you change the setting to a higher or lower level. A ceramic zone, however, will take much longer to heat up or cool down. Cooking on induction is much quicker than on ceramic. For instance, if you’re boiling two pints (0.9l) of water, it will take about 5 minutes on an induction zone, but it will take around 11 minutes on a ceramic zone. Lastly, induction can be adjusted to a low simmering setting. You can even melt chocolate directly in a pan without using a bain marie!
5. Are they both safe to use?
Child locks are available for some electric cookers. When a child lock is activated, the zones can’t be accidentally switched on. This feature is available on all Britannia induction range cookers. Residual Heat Indicators are available for most electric hobs. When a zone is too hot to touch, the Residual Heat Indicator will appear in the digital display. This feature is available on all Britannia electric range cookers. It could be argued that induction zones are safer than ceramic because the zones will cool down much faster. Moreover, the zones will not produce heat unless a pan is on it. (A busy kitchen will also heat up much less when you’re cooking on induction!) Lastly, both induction and ceramic range cookers feature auto cut-off modes to prevent the hob from overheating.
6. What if you have a pacemaker?
An induction zone creates an electromagnetic field. It’s unlikely that this will affect a pacemaker. However, if you’re in doubt, it’s best to consult your doctor or the manufacturer of your pacemaker.
7. Is there a difference in cleaning?
The cleaning of ceramic and induction hobs is the same. Always allow the hob to cool down first. For light soiling, wipe with a soft cloth, warm water and washing-up liquid. Never use scouring powders or paste, metal scourers, oven cleaners or any abrasive cleaning products. You can use a scraper for the safe removal of cooked on deposits. To condition the glass surface, use a good quality ceramic hob cleaner. For more information, check out our range of induction cookers.