Induction Hobs and Ceramic Hobs: What Are the Differences?

In many cases, homeowners feel a little unsure when it comes to deciding which type of hob to buy - ceramic or induction. 
Modern units may look very similar and use electricity, but they differ greatly in how they behave, how they can be used, and how much they cost. 
A kitchen's equipment will greatly affect how you interact with it. Choosing everything from the best kitchen extractor fans to the best kitchen sink will have a big impact on how you cook, so
it's best to research and get it right from the start. 

In the following section, we detail what the benefits of each type of hob are, as well as the difference between ceramic and induction hobs.
Induction Hob

Induction Hob: How Does It Work?

The induction hob has taken the cooking world by storm since its introduction in the 1980's and now accounts for approximately 35% of all oven purchases. On a scientific level, the induction hob works by agitating the electrons within ingredients in order to cause them to heat up. 
A high heat setting causes electrons to be agitated, which allows the ingredients to cook perfectly and be ready for the table. It's an ingenious invention and one that should be praised alongside dishwashers, LED bulbs, and combine harvesters.

Ceramic Hob: How Does It Work?

A ceramic hob may look like an induction hob, but the two systems are completely different. Ceramic technology does not use magnets.
As an alternative, a circular heating element like the one that was used in 1950s electric cooker hobs is placed beneath a thick layer of ceramic glass. It's as simple as that! Turn it on full blast and you'll see a glowing red-hot surface below.

Induction Hob: Advantages

The benefits of choosing an induction hob include: 
  • Energy efficiency 
  • Quicker heating time
  • Safer
"Induction hobs boil water faster than a kettle due to their rapid start-up times and minimal heat dispersal''. According to Bertazzoni's Maurizio Servergnini, induction hobs are extremely safe and only the cooking zone area directly in contact with the pan gets a little hot from heat transfer.
According to Helena Myers, Director of The Myers Touch, induction hobs are far safer because they are not heated directly like ceramic hobs are, and are therefore less likely to cause burns if accidentally touched. The induction hob also automatically shuts off if no cooking pan is detected, which is another great safety feature.
Ceramic Hob

Ceramic Hob: Advantages

Ceramic hobs also have their own advantages:
  • Cheaper
  • Any kind of cookware can be used
In contrast to induction hobs, which require pots and pans with magnetized bases in order to heat up, ceramic hobs will heat up any type of cookware - meaning you do not need to buy new cookware for your kitchen every time you cook. Another advantage of ceramic hobs is the set cooking zones, which may be better suited to certain cooks.
In addition to that, they are also cheaper than induction hobs, which could make them a great option for those on a budget looking to renovate their kitchen.

What's The Difference Between Ceramic and Induction Hobs?

Ceramic hobs and induction hobs are both types of electric cooktops, but they work in different ways and have distinct features. Here's a breakdown of the main differences between the two:
1. Heating Mechanism
Ceramic Hobs: Ceramic hobs have a glass-ceramic surface with embedded electric heating elements underneath. These heating elements warm up the ceramic surface, which then transfers heat to the cookware placed on top. Ceramic hobs take some time to heat up and cool down.
Induction Hobs: Induction hobs use electromagnetic induction to directly heat the cookware placed on top of them. They have a glass-ceramic surface as well, but underneath are powerful electromagnets that create a magnetic field. This field induces electrical currents in compatible ferromagnetic cookware, generating heat directly within the cookware itself. Induction hobs heat up quickly and offer precise temperature control.
2. Cooking Speed
Ceramic hobs take longer to heat up and cool down compared to induction hobs, which can result in slower cooking times.
Induction hobs heat up almost instantly due to the direct heat transfer to the cookware. This makes them faster and more efficient for cooking.
3. Energy Efficiency
Induction hobs are generally more energy-efficient than ceramic hobs because they heat the
cookware directly and waste less energy. They only heat the area in contact with the cookware, whereas ceramic hobs heat the entire surface.
4. Control and Precision
Induction hobs provide more precise temperature control because they can quickly adjust the intensity of the magnetic field, resulting in more accurate cooking temperatures.
Ceramic hobs offer temperature control as well, but they may have a lag between temperature adjustments and actual changes in heat output.
5. Cookware Compatibility
Ceramic hobs can work with a wide range of cookware materials, as long as they have flat bottoms. However, they might not work well with very large or heavy cookware due to their slower heating and cooling times.
Induction hobs require cookware with a magnetic base, typically made of materials like stainless steel or cast iron. Cookware made from aluminum, copper, or glass won't work on induction hobs unless they have a compatible induction disk.
6. Safety
Induction hobs are generally considered safer because the cooktop itself doesn't get as hot as on ceramic hobs. The heat is generated directly in the cookware, reducing the risk of burns from accidental contact with the cooktop surface.
Ceramic hobs retain heat for some time after cooking, which can lead to accidental burns if touched shortly after use.
7. Maintenance and Cleaning
Both types of hobs have a smooth glass-ceramic surface that is relatively easy to clean. However, spills and food residue can burn onto the surface of ceramic hobs, making cleaning more challenging.
Induction hobs are easier to clean in general because they don't heat the cooktop surface directly. Any spills that occur are less likely to bake onto the surface.
In summary, the main differences between ceramic and induction hobs lie in their heating mechanisms, cooking speed, energy efficiency, control, cookware compatibility, safety features, and ease of maintenance. The choice between the two depends on your cooking preferences, budget, and the specific features that matter most to you.