* Prices may differ from that shown
I think these are great, I have a small kitchen and don't have a cooker instead I have 2 of these, a George Foreman, and a microwave combo oven, with these I can cook anything to a high standard. They are very portable so they come in handy for many other uses from using in a caravan or to sit next to a barbecue, they do need a power supply however.
The way these work is different to normal hobs, they are made of plastic with a sheet of glass on the top, in a normal hob the hob its self will heat up then your pan gets the heat when sat on top, with this Induction hob the pan is the thing that heats up, this is done buy creating a magnetic field which induces an electrical charge directly into your pan, this is very efficient compared to heating the hob then the pan, basically you are cutting out the energy needed to heat the hob. This is not new technology but they are a bit more expensive to purchase than the other types of hob. Good pots are required so this might be an extra cost you may need to consider, an easy way to check is if a magnet sticks to them they are good for this.
The design of these are very cool so if you are sad like me you will want to show your friends and family, I keep mine sitting out all the time but as they are very light they can be put away easily. cleaning is also easy, a damp cloth and a gentle wipe is all that is required, if you spill food on the surface it can be wiped of straight away as the glass never gets too hot, food will not burn when in contact with the glass this is great for me and my splashy stirring technique, my hob still looks new after over a year.
Using these is slightly different too, the heat can be controlled more like gas, there are 4 buttons, a digital display and 4 lights, the on button speaks for itself, by pressing this the hob start up at mid setting of 5, a pan will be required on the hob before pressing the on button or it will not start, removing the pan will cut the hob off. The temperature is controlled by an up button and a down button, 1 being lowest 10 being highest, you need to keep an eye when using higher temperatures as it heats very quickly, it also cools very quickly so if your food is bubbling over pressing the down button will stop it straight away. Simmering takes a bit to get used to as it will switch from on to off when at the lower settings, but it works out the same in the end.
£39.99 on coopersdirect.com. I'm moving to university dorm soon so I was just looking for a cooker to cook something simple like instant noodles in my room, when I'm hungry at night. Induction hob became an obvious choice since there's no gas connection to the room, and it's a lot safer since no fire is involved.
There are 10 preset temperatures that you can choose from (from 60'C to 240'C) and you can also set a timer so you're never going to overcook things with it! Turn it on and it heats up the pan/bowl instantly and it isn't noisy at all. When it's turned off, the ceramic plate cools down instantly hence reducing the chance of burning hands. The ceramic surface is very easy to clean with a wet cloth so it would keep my desk from being messy.
The disadvantage is that the heat isn't spread out very thoroughly so if you were going to use it for simmering, do make sure you move the thing that you are cooking constantly. And of course if you don't already have a pan that works with induction hob, you'll need to get a new pan, most of IKEA's pans are induction hob-compatible (IKEA is selling one with £6) so that shouldn't be a problem. It also claims that the hob saves 40%-70% of energy comparing to conventional electric hob, I'm not sure about what figures this calculation is based on, but it does make sense since not much heat is lost on the ceramic surface so I believe that this hob is quite energy-efficient, good for the environment good for the bill.
Induction cooking is something that's still quite new on the market and is quite a difficult idea for some to believe - I know I didn't! This device is great for 'introducing' you to induction power if you can't quite believe that it works without seeing it for yourself without the risk of buying a whole hob and it not being for you. I noticed an individual induction hob for sale on a shopping channel for £69, and thinking it was a bargain I decided to buy it from their website. When I searched for it online I instead found the Judge induction hob for £45 - I snapped it up! Judge was a name that at the time of ordering I had never heard of, however after mentioning it to others I'm hearing more and more "Ooh, Judge is a good make!" so I'm feeling quite pleased with it.
Induction power only works with magnetic base pans, and only the pan itself is heated up when the hob is activated, meaning any area around the pan is safe as this stays cool, even though it has been on. The area where a pan has been remains warm for a little while after use, but even this is from the heat that was absorbed from the hot pan. Should anything be spilled on it, the surface is wipe clean so can normally be easily removed. However if something stubborn is left to dry on, it can be easily scraped off - much more easier than a traditional hob as the surface is completely flat and solid.
When buying one of these, make sure you have the right kind of pans. Even the cheapest pans out there will work, they just have to have magnetic bases. A pan either will or won't work, you will know instantly when you put it on the hob.
The hob area itself is quite large and can easily accommodate a large pan. Surprisingly though, it's still very light and portable too so it is possible to stow away in the cupboard, under the plinth etc. There is a fan built into the hob to stop it overheating, though as mentioned the only heat will be coming from the pan itself and not produced by the hob. A timer is built in too, which deactivates the heat when it goes off, but it's not the best as it just beeps then switches off so you could easily miss it. The temperature is simply controlled by pressing up or down arrows which regulate the temperature between 1 - 10. At 10 - full power - on a cheaper pan, water will boil in around 30 seconds which is amazing!
Large 2/3/4 ring induction hobs can be a fortune, so if you want to try the power of induction cooking then this is really what you are after. If you need more cooking facilities in your kitchen then this will come in very handy too as you can drop the temperature down at the press of a button quickly so you aren't distracted from other things. It could also make a great gift for an elderly relative for example, since it's much safer than gas or halogen cooking.
When I am cooking I find that after draining pasta, or boiling a sauce and being ready for it to stop cooking I am always faced with the problem that the electronic hob remains hot for a very long time and whilst messing with other things the food that has finished cooking ends up getting burned.
That isn't a problem for me now that I have this induction hob. The great thing about it is that it cools down immediately and it is only hot where you want it to be hot and when you want it to be hot. This means that the area outside of the circle does not conduct the heat through it's surface meaning any spillages don't bubble and hiss like you may be useful, that saves on cleaning time.
This is a small appliance that doesn't take up too much space and can sit comfortably alongside your cooker, it has a lot of settings that can be used to set the device to the perfect temperature for cooking whatever it is you want to cook.
It gets hot quickly, and I mean quickly, this is super fast and will heat your food up at a quicker pace than normal hobs - in fact I would say it is as quick if not quicker than gas cooking.
Overall I think this is a really useful product as it makes heating food easier and there is less risk of burning it fur to the hob remaining warm for too long!
Go get this if you experience the same problems as me, also this could be useful if you have a large family and never enough space to put all your pots on the hob at once.
If you want a responsive, fast and efficient cooker hob then look no further than this little induction hob. I live in an area where there is no gas so 'fast and responsive' has never been available for me as a cooking option for a hob, except of course from my gas barbecue. I actually bought a little portable single induction hob previously which I loved but it sadly died a couple of weeks ago so I have been on the lookout for a replacement.
About Induction cooking
Let me stress here that I am not a scientist so for the purists amongst you I accept that my explanation may leave something to be desired but it made sense to me so I hope it will be understandable to others. Basically an induction hob is an electrically powered cooker hob but it is completely different from anything I have seen before. Unlike a traditional electric ring it doesn't take time to heat up, in fact the hob itself doesn't heat up at all. It works by means of powerful magnets which actually set up a circuit which causes the pan to get hot rather than the hob. There is some heat from the pan that transfers to the glass top of the hob so it does feel hot to the touch when you remove the pan but only where the pan has been standing, all around the pan stays cool - that means if you spill something on to the hob it doesn't burn on. Also if you switch the hob on but don't put a pan on it then it doesn't get warm at all, in fact on this hob it switches itself off after a minute. Induction hobs are said to be 90% efficient as they heat the pan and not the hob and this compares with a suggested 40% efficiency for a gas hob so they do help reduce wasted energy.
One of the big benefits of induction cooking is that the heat is very responsive, if you turn it off the heat stops being produced immediately like it would on a gas oven and totally unlike any electric cookers I have ever used.
Having used one for about a year I can say that the performance is impressive, it is easy to use and keep clean as nothing burns on to it if you spill something on it whilst cooking.
The Judge Portable Induction Hob
Looking around for a replacement for my old induction hob was much easier than I had anticipated, there seem to be a few manufacturers around and you can buy either single or double hobs. I decided on the Judge because it was available at a very competitive price of £39.99 plus postage from an online supplier.
The controls on this model are very straightforward. When you switch it on it beeps and a little light shows the power is connected. You press the F key and it starts heating at the middle setting of its ten settings which is a temperature of 140 degrees. You can adjust this by means of a + or - key so that the full range of settings is between 60 and 240 degrees. It also has a timer which you can set at intervals of 5 minutes from 5 to 180 minutes.
The instructions for use are very simple and straightforward and clearly written. Basically it is just plug in and switch on.
They also give a full page of important information which includes 'do not operate this device using a timer/controller or remote control' which I though was interesting and 'disconnect by turning the induction hob OFF and removing the power cord from the wall socket at the end of your cooking session'. Why I found these two statments interesting is because my previous induction hob had been left plugged in but switched off and one day it beeped and tripped the circuit breaker which was the day it 'died' so clearly this is an important point to be aware of. Another key piece of advice is 'that persons with PACEMAKERS should keep a minimum distance of 60 com from induction hobs' worth knowing if you have relatives with one!
Using the hob
The first thing to know is that you can only use pans on an induction hob which can conduct a current so it won't work with aluminium pans and you need either cast iron or stainless steel (check the labels to make sure they are compatible with induction hobs).
I already had pans that were compatible I took out my stainless steel pan, filled it with water, switched on and pressed the button marked 'boil'. Very quickly bubbles started to rise and I could hardly believe how quickly it boiled the water, I switched it off and the response was instant, the water stopped bubbling straight away. So far so good, I was keen to try it with real food ........
I was planning to slow cook some steak and kidney and I always like to braise it first in the frying pan. Usually I would do the food prep whilst I am heating up the frying pan but with the induction hob it heats up so quickly that it is best to have the food prepared at the start. I switched on, pressed the 'F' button popped my oil in the pan rapidly followed by the chopped onions. Within seconds it was ready for the chopped floured meat and the beauty of the hob was that it kept my pan at a steady heat for frying during the whole braising process. Not being the tidiest of cooks I did spill a little flour on to the hob as I transferred the meat but, as the hob didn't get hot, the flour didn't burn at all - excellent. Once I had finished all that was necessary was a quick wipe over on the hob with a damp cloth and it was as good as new.
Would I recommend it?
I certainly would. If like me you live an area where there is no gas this is an excellent way to have a responsive hob which is fast to use and simplicity to keep clean. You can use it to time your cooking if you wish, it is 90% energy efficient as compared to 40% for gas and it is safe to use as only the area where the pan sits gets warm.
I love it - not only is a dream to use but I can put it wherever I want as long as I have a power connection so I can (and do) use it on different worktops in the kitchen and could use it for table dishes if I wanted or even take it out on to the patio. This is available at a very reasonable price so that you can try out the concept before you buy the full works for your kitchen - I was really impressed with my purchase and if I refit my kitchen anytime soon I will be fitting a full induction hob if the budget allows!