Induction hobs - or another gas alternative?


(James Higginson) #1

I'll be building the new kitchen soon and I would like to replace the gas hob with an electric alternative. Induction looks like a good choice, easy to clean and no annoying gas bottle changes and trips to the garage for refills.


Do you have an induction hob or something else, what do you recommend?




(willy scholten) #2

Gas is much cheaper in France. Also remember you will need pots and pans that are magnetic, meaning check the bottoms of your pots with w magnet. If it attracts, you are ok. Aluminum pans will not work on an induction system.

We have an induction cook top and absolutely love it. Easy clean up! Much better temperature control: no more burned dishes!


(Kathleen SWAN) #3

Thank you Al - that seems to be them.


(Al Rogers) #4

Could this be Andrew James? They're a big name in halogen ovens and accessories.


(Kathleen SWAN) #5

Shirley - I can't find either Thomas James UK Ltd or James Thomas on Google. Haveyou their website address?

Thank you


(Robin Wilson) #6

Our supply is 6 kv and we've not had a problem...only when we were using an electric toaster! Now we use the grill.

Pans in the shops are usually marked with an induction symbol. Also Le Creuset or other enamelled cast iron works.

We love our induction hob, which was in the house when we purchased and would never replace it with anything else...unless we had a lot of electrical failures in our community.


(Ian SMITH) #7

Again, it doesn't matter what the pans are made of, as long as they are magnetic. It is possible now to find all kinds of pans that work on induction hobs, even aluminium pans, because the maker has done something like integrating a magnetic metal part into the base of the pan. I have a non-stick aluminium frying pan that works fine for this reason. You just need to check that the pan works on induction, and these days if the pan does it will day so, and to be safe check with a magnet. All your cast iron pots will be OK, but older pots and pans that are aluminium, stainless steel etc probably not.

We have some wonderful stainless pots from Spring, a Swiss maker, and it's only models from the last 10 years or so that are magnetic. These pots use a sandwich of several layers of different metals to confer different properties, but the exterior surfaces are all stainless, rounded with no sharp edges. They are great to use and are indestructible. So the one we've had for 25 years, still looking as good as the day we bought it, isn't good for induction.


(Jeff France) #8

As long as you have the right pans (not alu) and no pacemaker, you cannot beat induction. - may take a day or so to adjust cooking habits but its really quick, clean, economical, modern - I wouldn't go back to any other hob by choice.


(Ley Thompson) #9

I am a chef and I thought these would be horrific. I was pleasantly surprised. Actually I like cooking on them as the temperature is so easily controlled and instantly just like natural gas - something you can never get with bottled gas. As to cleaning - yes they are easy to clean but you must do it immediately after cooking and you need to use proprietary cleaners which can be expensive. They use a lot of electricity unlike an electric oven so you need special cabling. Which if you don't have already can be expensive to install unless you can do it yourself (which, James. I assume you can :-))

Bon Appétit


(Kathleen SWAN) #10

It's 300 euros cheaper in England if you know someone who is visiting. If you aren't in a huge hurry I'm going over in mid-March and will happily bring one back for you. I'm not a million miles from you I think so it might still be worht your while to come and collect it. I'm near Gemozac, dept. 17


(Kathleen SWAN) #11

I don't have room for a gas bottle in my kitchen and was dreading having to use electricity, my only experience being zillions of years ago with radiant rings and solid plates.

However, I researched thoroughly and settled on induction and absolutely love it for all of the positive reasons listed above. It is just as controllable as gas, which was my main concern and much more economical than ordinary electric alternatives.

I would choose induction in future even over gas. Induction is much more responsive - I have been astonished at how quickly everything comes to a boil and responds immediately when turned down, which isn't fiddly at all on my cooker. The simmering temperatures can be much lower as well.

I do have a two burner gas camping stove for emergencies and the necessary cup of tea but haven't had a power cut.

Definitely take a magnet if buying pans. Aga pans work well too.


(James Higginson) #12

Thank you all for your incredibly helpful and in depth replies! Cooking is clearly something we all love to do!

I particularly like the Siemens that Jacquie suggests although quite pricey on Amazon anyway.


(Jacquie Clegg) #13

I've had an induction hob for four years, having previously had gas. I cook a lot. Having previously seen how energy-inefficient halogen was, it took me a while to come around to the idea of induction.

I have the Siemens four-ring hob (this model or similar: http://www.google.fr/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fcontent.ao.com%2FProductImages%2FrvLarge%2FEH975ME11E_BK_INDUCTION-HOB_FR_L.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fao.com%2Fproduct%2FEH975ME11E-Siemens-IQ500-Induction-Hob-Black-20161.aspx&h=1100&w=1333&tbnid=Ss7n1BtAybl-4M%3A&zoom=1&docid=C3LdrXzr2PBzxM&ei=FKe2VLCgFIa3UcrVgcAM&tbm=isch&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=4791&page=1&start=0&ndsp=12&ved=0CDQQrQMwBg), and although this was a lot more expensive than other induction hobs, I love it for the following reasons:

1. like all induction hobs, easy to clean - buy special induction hob cleaner.

2. fantastic control - it's faster to boil a pan of water on my hob than a kettle of water. It's easy to change the amount of heat, you can stop something boiling over!

3. this hob is expensive because there is a timer function on each of the four burners. Most other hobs have this feature on only one burner. I can therefore set each one to cook for a specific amount of time and walk away, knowing that after x minutes the heat will be automatically turned off. I use this every time I make stock, setting the timer for its maximum 99 minutes, then I go off and do something else, knowing that Siemens is keeping an eye on things!

4. the 'keep warm' facility is lovely if you want to keep something warm on a very low temperature while other things are cooking. I like the lower temperatures too.

5. the downside: the cut-out in my working surface was made slightly too small, which meant that when the hob expanded, the glass split. This was replaced under guarantee by Darty, and when I fitted the second hob, I sanded the opening slightly larger, but obviously not large enough, and the new one has split. Replacing the glass is expensive, and I've been living with the crack for the past three years, without any apparent further problems. Perhaps this is one reason why having the hob fitted by 'experts' may be worthwhile.

Saucepans: stainless steel saucepans are solid and easy-to-clean. I mostly use Thomas pans, but I also have some 25-year old Ikea 365 saucepans. Both sets are dishwasher-friendly. Note: friends who've bought expensive special "induction hob" pans have abandoned them (quality issues) for Ikea stainless steel! Aluminium and copper pans won't work on an induction hob.

I put oven pans onto the hob to heat before putting meat into them, and melt chocolate in Ikea stainless steel mixing bowls on the hob.

I certainly wouldn't change my hob for anything else.

Energy efficiency: http://sustainablog.org/2014/07/energy-efficient-induction-cooking/

Jacquie


(Peter Bird) #14

Howard - Ohms Law is V = I x R

ie Voltage = Current x Resistance

but yes Power (W) = Current (A) x Voltage (V)


(Dave Smith2) #15

Hi James, most things already answered here. I installed one when I fitted a new kitchen to our house here in France. The previous owner had a gas bottle in a cupboard under, but we didn't like that much. Paul is right about the cabling, but sounds like you've already sorted that. I ran a 10mm cable for it. I did upgrade our EDF supply from 9kVA (30A) to 12kVA (45A), but we already had occasional tripping problems amyway with electric water heater, pool pump, washing machine & drier, electric oven etc. We've not had an overload trip since, even with the induction hob. Ours is a Hotpoint but I've heard people recommending several other brands too (not here, elsewhere) and we're delighted with it. Our IKEA 365+ stainless steel saucepans work fine (we just had to change the frying pan which was aluminium). It has a 'boost' function on two of the rings for very quick bringing to the boil. Extremely controllable, better than the gas one we had. Easy clean ceramic surface. We have a small gaz stove for emergencies if power goes out - used it a couple of times - and our heating is wood-burners. Good luck with the choosing :)


(Paul Punchard) #16

From an EDF point of view for an abbonnement they call 30A 6KW ; 45A 9KW ; & 60A 12KW


(Howard Perry) #17

James,

Ohm's law - Watts = Amps * Volts, so assume 220v, Watts = 9900, so 10kw is close.


(Peter Bird) #18

I installed one chez moi in the downstairs flat about ten years ago and it's fine tho' a bit temperamental at times. Sometimes the system 'blocks' if a wrong manipulation is carried out meaning the only way to get back to normal is unplug the system and start again. Ordinary pots & pans can be used with an adaptor.

The upstairs flat has a gas hob which is a zillion times better I find. I find cooking is almost 'fun' with the gas but a relative pain with the electric.


(Ian SMITH) #19

Note that it really depends on the pan. There are stainless steel pans made specifically for induction (I guess with a sandwich of magnetic material), so you need to check each one you buy.


(Angela Mackay) #20

I've had an induction hob for 20 years (AEG with individual timers). It's been absolutely brilliant, easy to clean, can be regulated easier than gas and heats up quicker. The slight drawback is that there are some pans that can't be used on them (ie with copper bottoms or aluminium). I think it depends on how much you pay as there are some cheaper induction hobs on the market now and I'm not sure how controllable they are. Just about to have one installed in a new home in UK where I had the option of town gas but find gas rings very messy. Even if something boils over on an induction hob it doesn't burn on as the heat is generated from the pan. No brainer for me!

PS Jane above mentions a ceramic halogen hob, please note this is not the same as induction, very different