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Induction or ceramic range cookers: how should you choose?


Are you confused about the differences between ceramic and induction range cookers?

Here's a comparison between the two options to help you decide.

1. How do ceramic and induction hobs work?

Both induction and ceramic hobs are made of hard wearing glass.

Ceramic hobs have an element under this toughened glass, which starts heating up the zone as soon as you switch it on. The zone will glow red – on and off according to the heat level chosen.

An induction hob only heats up when a ferrous pan is placed on it - 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, and are of the same diameter as the zone they are placed on.

For induction zones, you can use:

  • Stainless steel pans with a magnetic base
  • Enamelled steel pans
  • Cast iron pans

You can check whether your pans are suitable by holding a magnet to the middle of the base. If the magnet sticks, the pan is suitable. For ceramic zones, you can use any of the pans mentioned above, or 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.

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, and 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. As a result, induction is much quicker than ceramic or even gas:

Time to boil two pints of water

Induction5 minutes
Gas9 minutes
Ceramic11 minutes

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 all Britannia induction range cookers; when a child lock is activated, the zones can’t be accidentally switched on. Meanwhile all Britannia electric range cookers have a Residual Heat Indicator, which appears in the digital display when a zone is too hot.

Induction zones may be safer than ceramic, because the zones will cool down much faster, and won't produce heat unless a pan is on it.

Both induction and ceramic range cookers also 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?

Cleaning 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. Check out our oven cleaning tips for more information.

Check out our range cookers and browse the size, colour and fuel options to find the perfect model for you.

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