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How Do I Know If I Have An Induction Hob?

Induction hobs or cooktops or stove tops are an incredible gift to modern cooking. There are many advantages to having these modern appliances in your kitchen no matter what it is that you want to cook.

One of the first things to know about these appliances is what they are made of. You don’t need to roll up your sleeves and understand the complete mechanism and science of how they work.

But it helps to know a few details because you will need the right type of cookware to use these appliances. And that’s not about using them efficiently but about using them at all.

What Is An Induction Hob?

There are different types of hobs in the market. Some of them have similar functions but they are not the same. Induction hobs, the subject of this article, usually have the ability to heat a pain up straight. They do this by creating a hob ring of heat on the cooktop and that heats up the saucepan or frying pan placed on it.

And for this they make use of magnets. These magnets create a magnetic field under the surface of the hob. It gets triggered when you place a pan on it but you must make sure that your pan is also magnetic.

The circuit completes itself when you place the pan on the surface of the hob and the heating process begins. If you are not using a magnetic pan for the cooking, then the circuit is left incomplete, and that’s the end of that.

Visually speaking, you know you have an induction hob if you see that it is made of black glass. That’s mostly the case and that’s why they don’t look like most ceramic hobs or electric cooktops.

How Do I Know If I Have An Induction Hob?

Since an induction hob uses a magnetic field and not fire, you won’t actually see any flames on the surface. But if you watch closely, you will notice that there is a little red lighting around the cooking surface which will tell you that the job is underway.

You don’t want to touch it because the red lighting is not just for visual effect. It’s the result of that area actually heating up. It is also a good way to know if the cooking surface was accidentally left on. But some manufacturers have also put other safeguards in place, like lights, to warn you.

Speaking of security features, most of them also come with a child lock. It is extremely useful for those who have little ones climbing up surfaces and messing with things. Because that’s just what little chefs in the making do.

Induction hobs or burners also use electromagnetic energy to generate heat for cooking purposes. They usually have a metal coil in them that is typically made of copper. The coil makes use of the power when it is switched on and creates the magnetic field.

When you place a pan on that surface once the magnetic field has been generated, you will help the appliance generate electrical energy too, which is the thing that heats up the pan.

Now, you need utensils made of metals that are ferrous in nature to use on top of an induction burner. That means they must come with magnetic properties that will help the burner create the magnetic field required to move forward in the process. Typically, that means you need enamelled cast iron, cast iron or steel to get the job done.

The best way to know if you’ve got the right cookware is to use it with kitchen magnets and see if they stick to the utensils. You’re in the clear if it sticks.


What Kind Of Induction Hobs Are Out There?

Once you know that what you have is an induction cooktop, here’s what you need to know. You need to look at it and see what kind of cooking zones it has. These are usually quite clearly marked on the surface of the appliance.

frying pan with a fried egg

Whether you have ceramic hobs or induction hobs, you will typically have four zones.

Now, it’s possible that you have an induction hob that doesn’t have any zones, but it does allow you to place about five pans anywhere on the hob. Those also exist and the idea is that you can just place the pan and get started with the task at hand.

This is meant to make your cooking easy because if you place the pan anywhere it will get heated up in a matter of seconds. These zoneless induction hobs are supposed to be great for tasks like heating up water and doing it faster compared to other appliances.

These hobs are also meant to make it easy for you to use a pan of any size without worrying about the zone it fits in.


How To Know If You Have An Induction Hob

You can use that trick with the kitchen magnets that was mentioned earlier to know if you have an induction hob. The moment the magnet sticks, you know you have an induction hob and not a ceramic one. So, if anyone asks, answer in the affirmative.

In fact, you can use those magnets to activate the circuit and get the heat started if you don’t have magnetic pots and pans.

cooking a fried egg in a frying pan on an induction hob

Another option is to look at your appliance and try to switch it on and see if it gets heated up. The cooktop is usually cool enough because most of them are only meant to heat ‌the cookware but not the glass on top of the appliance. But it is still not recommended for you to touch it because it’s not that cool.

Now, you also know that for these hobs, you need the right kind of utensils. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get the job done. So, the way you know you have an induction hob is if you see an error message while using regular pots and pans that don’t stick.

If you have a ceramic or electric hob, they will start getting hot the moment you switch them on. You don’t really need to put a pot or pan on top of the appliance. So, if it works with just about any kind of utensil, it’s possible that you have an electric hob.

Although it is entirely possible that what you have is faulty. So, be sure to do a couple of other checks before you decide that all your utensils are totally useless and go shopping for a new kitchen.


How Do I Know If I Have An Induction Hob: Wrapping Up

Now you know that they work on magnetic fields, and that’s how heat is generated. You also know that they only work with magnetic cookware. So, you might need to get a few of those if you don’t have them already.

It is also helpful to know that while there are no flames, there are other ways to tell if you’ve accidentally left your induction hob on and thank god for that. And while you’re here, you should know that these are very efficient, consistent and safe appliances.

Chef Matty
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