What Is An Induction Hob and How Does It Work

12th April 2022
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Moved to university halls and met an induction hob for the first time? Moved into student accommodation and have no idea what an induction hob is or how to use it?

You’re not alone. Despite having been around for many years, most people have traditional gas or electric hobs. Coming up against the blank black slate of an induction hob can cause some confusion!

This page seeks to help with that.

We’re going to cover what an induction hob is, how induction hobs work and how to use one.

By the end of this page, you’ll know everything you need to know about them!

What is an induction hob?

An induction hob, or induction cooktop, is a type of hob that uses a magnetic field to generate heat.

Well, not heat exactly. Technically it’s electromagnetic radiation, but the effect is the same.

You’ll find them a lot in new houses, new halls and university accommodation. They are ideal for students because they are simple to use, easy to clean and very safe.

How do induction hobs work?

As mentioned above, induction hobs work using electromagnetic radiation.

There’s a copper coil within the hob that reacts when you place a metal pan on it. Once you turn it on, that copper coil is powered up, reacts with the pan and generates heat.

It’s a very safe type of hob because it’s sealed, doesn’t use gas and will only begin heating up when you place a pan on it.

induction hobs also generate and dissipate heat very quickly, so are very efficient!

Use the right cookware

One thing you need to know about induction hobs is that they use specific pots and pans.

Electromagnetism requires the use of metal pans. Not just any metal, but metals that are attracted to magnets.

That means mainly cast iron or stainless steel. Copper pans, aluminium or glass cookware won’t work because they aren’t attracted to magnets.

Not only will copper, aluminium or glass not work, they can seriously mark the induction hob and you may never be able to remove that mark!

Most suitable pans will be labelled as suitable for induction hobs.

How to use an induction hob

Assuming your halls or student accommodation has the right cookware, just how do you use an induction hob?

Using an induction hob is incredibly simple once you know how!

  1. Make sure the hob has power and is switched on at the wall
  2. Place the correct pan onto the hob ring you want to use
  3. Turn the hob on until it lights up
  4. Apply power to the ring you’re using
  5. Press the + or – buttons to increase or decrease heat
  6. Cook your meal
  7. Turn off the hob when you’re done

That’s all there is to it. As long as you use a conductive pan and the hob has power, the rest is child’s play.

Cooking is exactly the same as with any other hob. You’ll probably find water boils faster and food cooks slightly quicker than a gas or electric hob, but otherwise, it’s a similar experience.

It will take time to get used to just how much power your particular induction hob generates, but otherwise, they are easy to live with.

Once you’re used to cooking on an induction hob, you’ll quickly wonder how you managed without one. They are very easy to use, simple to clean and look pretty good too!