Induction or Ceramic Hob: Which is Best?

When it comes to planning out your kitchen, one of the main things you need to take care of is the hobs you’re going to be using for your day-to-day cooking needs. It is one of the most important elements in all kitchens. Many smaller flats do away with an oven because it takes up too much room, but you’d never see a cooking space without ceramic or induction hobs. To put it simply — there is no cooking without them.

Regardless of whether you’ve just moved into a freshly built home and need to create a kitchen from the ground up, or you’re doing some renovation work around that space, you’re going to have to decide between ceramic and induction hobs sooner or later. While both of these options can be efficient at providing you with the right amount of heat for preparing meals, different types of hobs work best with different kitchens. Don’t forget that you can also go for a gas hob, which is the more traditional way to go about the problem.

Before you choose induction hobs over ceramic hobs or vice versa, you should familiarise yourself with the most significant advantages and drawbacks of each option, as well as check out reviews of some of the top products in each category. Only then will you be able to make the right decision. We’ve prepared this guide in order to help you choose a hob that will grant you the most control over your food and allow you to get the most out of your time in the kitchen.

Steaming pot on an induction hob
Steaming pot on an induction hob

Induction Hobs: an Introduction

Induction hobs have been lauded as the most energy-efficient option for heating up your food. They also offer a lot of versatility when it comes to the surface area. With the innovative approach that combines linked-up cooking zones, quick heat-up and cool-down times and the fact that they are quite easy to use, it should come as no surprise that induction hobs are the most widely-preferred type of hob in recent years.

Fast and Furious

The first thing you need to keep in mind when learning to operate your brand new induction hob is the fact that they heat up incredibly quickly. An induction hob takes about 50% of the time it would take for gas hobs to boil a large pot of water. While it certainly is an advantage, it does take some time to get used to. Don’t forget about it when cooking complex meals — otherwise, your magnificent dinner plans will (quite literally) go up in flames!

Special Gear

Secondly, you should also know that in order to cook with induction hobs, you’re going to need special, induction friendly pots and pans. An induction hob operates by creating a magnetic field above its surface, which interacts with iron in the base of your pot or pan, heating it up. If you use cookware that does not contain iron, you won’t be able to use this type of hob.

Clean-up

Finally, induction hobs are very easy to clean. We’ve already mentioned that they heat up really quickly. Well, they are also much faster than other types of hobs when it comes to cooling down. You’ll be able to clean the surface mere minutes after you’re done cooking!

Advantages of Having an Induction Hob

  • Quick heating and cooling times,
  • Ability to manipulate cooking zones,
  • Very easy to clean,
  • Some of these hobs come with an additional gas slot

Disadvantages of Having an Induction Hob

  • You need special pots and pans to be able to use it,
  • The cooking speed can take some getting used to,
  • Most expensive kind of hob on the market
Onions and parsley near a ceramic hob ring
Onions and parsley near a ceramic hob ring

Ceramic Hobs: an Introduction

A good alternative to buying an induction hob is ceramic hobs. They’re also black, with touch (or button) controls that allow you to regulate heat. However, they do have some fundamental differences that will significantly impact your food and the way you prepare it.

Ceramic hobs are made out of ceramic glass. The coils that heat up your dishes are placed underneath this glass. In fact, these hobs should be called electric-ceramic because of the way they combine electricity with the ceramic glass surface to generate heat safely and effortlessly.

Heat Distribution

Should you decide to go with a ceramic hob for your kitchen, keep in mind that a lot of models are complained about due to how unevenly they distribute heat. This may result in longer cooking times when using this electric hob. If you’re not patient enough, you may end up with a dish that is burning hot on one end and luke-warm on the other.

On the other hand, there are some positives hidden within this disadvantage: you will be more careful about cooking and will have an easier time making sure whether your meals are thoroughly cooked. Don’t get us wrong — you can still find an electric-ceramic hob that heats up your pans evenly, but you might have to look for one amongst some of the top-shelf models.

Cookware

One of the most significant advantages that having a ceramic hob holds over its induction-based competition is the fact that you won’t need to buy special, iron-made pans or pots to enjoy cooking on an electric surface, with no use of gas and a reasonable energy consumption level.

Clean-up

Cleaning your ceramic hob surface is just as easy as in the case of the induction ones. You may have to wait a little longer after taking your pots and pans off the heat before you can start the clean-up, but the frameless design ensures that once it gets cool enough, you won’t need to overwork yourself to make your hob shine again!

Advantages of Having a Ceramic Hob

  • Flexible cooking zones,
  • Works with any pan you throw at it,
  • The electric and ceramic combination ensures safety and comfort of use,
  • Very easy to clean,

Disadvantages of Having a Ceramic Hob

  • Uneven heat distribution in some cheaper models,
  • The Control panel is unresponsive sometimes; highly susceptible to getting oily or wet
  • Less effective than induction panels when you want to get food on your plate quickly.

Best Ceramic Hobs

There are many ceramic hob models that are worth your attention, within any price range. In this article, we’ve singled out one of the top models:

Zanussi ZEV6240FBA

This cooker is an absolute beast amongst ceramic hob models. The meticulously-finished glass can make you get lost in its darkness, and the speed at which it heats up can make you mistake it for an induction hob! It is quite a costly option, but definitely the best one if you want to retain maximum control over your kitchen.

Best Induction Hobs

The difference between induction and ceramic hobs is quite a significant one, especially when it comes to your cooking speed. Though these models can be more expensive, you can see more model types by checking out our reviews of the top hob models available.

Samsung Chef Collection NZ64N9777BK

Samsung has made waves in the world of kitchen appliances with its very accessible and innovative smart fridge, so it should come as no surprise that their hobs would enrich your home with new functions and more convenient ways to prepare your food. The Chef Collection induction panel is not only a prime cooker but with the FlexZone+ feature, you can precisely control how big the surface for your pan needs to be. No more unevenly cooked food, even with oddly-shaped cookware!

Kitchen with an induction hob
Kitchen with an induction hob

The Bottom Line

Whether you opt for a hob covered with ceramic glass or an induction-based one, you’re bound to have an easier and much more pleasant cooking experience than if you were to use gas as your primary heating method.

Of course, this is not to discount gas-based hobs as completely useless. In fact, this statement is quite far from the truth. If you’re going for a retro look in your kitchen, or you need to be extremely precise when heating up your meal, cooking over an open flame can help you achieve that more efficiently than electric hobs. Thankfully, many models come with an additional gas stove, especially for these kinds of situations.

Remember that whatever you end up choosing, the most important thing is to stay true to yourself and the cooking method that you feel most comfortable with. Good luck!