Ceramic vs. Induction Hob! Which One to Choose and Why?

Designing your new dream kitchen? From benchtops to tapware, there are a million things for you to decide. However, one of the most important decisions is: Ceramic vs. Induction Hob – which one to choose?

Metal Pot and frying pan on induction hob in modern kitchen

Since both ceramic and induction hobs look almost the same, it is easy to get confused between the two. Should you go for induction or ceramic hob? What are the differences between the two? Hold your horses! In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about ceramic and induction hobs!

What is a ceramic hob?

Ceramic hobs are electric cookers that have a ceramic glass surface. A ceramic hob has a heating element under the ceramic glass top. It is powered by electricity. When you turn the hob on, the coil heats up the ceramic surface. 

This heat is transferred to the cookware, and ultimately the food, via conduction. The heating element cycles on and off while you are using it. When it comes to cleaning yours, you can learn all about it in our ceramic hob cleaning guide!

Female hand turns on electric hob closeup

What Is an induction hob? 

An induction hob heats the cookware via electrical induction. There are copper coils underneath the surface. When you turn the hob on, electricity passes through the coils and creates a magnetic field

When you place ferrous metal pans on the top, the field will heat up their base and cook your food. The high-frequency AC magnetic field cooks your food. To cool down the coils, there are automatic fans inside the hob. Wondering what kind of cookware you can use? Check our guide on what pans you can go for here!

When you are using an induction stovetop, the surface remains cool – only the cooking pans get heated. No more burnt food! Some induction hobs even come in zoneless designs. You can simply place the pan anywhere on the hob, and the coil underneath it will heat up. Learn how to clean your induction hob properly here.

What are their similarities?

Let’s take a look at the similarities between the two types of hobs.

1. Appearance

They look almost identical as they have smooth, flat glass surfaces. Usually, there are circular zones on the hobs that are marked out to show where you can place your pans. Both hobs have a streamlined look and look amazing in any modern kitchen. 

2. Controls

Induction and ceramic hobs are controlled via touch control dials present on the front edge of the kitchen appliance. Moreover, both electric hobs have safety locks and heat indicators. Their cooktops need an electric power supply to work, even though the specifications differ for both of them.

3. Pan supports

There are no pan supports on both. This is what makes them look modern and easy to clean. 

Happy woman in apron and rubber gloves, cleaning induction stove using wipe cloth and detergent spray

What are their differences?

Now that we’ve covered the points that they both have in common, we need to see what are their main differences.

1. Working mechanism

The way each appliance works differs from the other. Ceramic worktops have a heating element underneath the cooking zone which heats your woks and pans. On the other hand, induction cooktops use electromagnets to heat up the cookware you place on the surface.

2. Affordability

Ceramic hobs cost less than induction stovetops and are perfect for people on a tight budget. The economic design, built-in safety features, etc. make induction stovetops expensive. However, the price will differ depending on the model and brand of hob you purchase.

3. Energy efficiency

Induction hobs are more efficient than ceramic stovetops. They don’t heat the entire glass hob surface – only the pan via induction. They use less energy. With induction stovetops, there is no heat leakage. This helps reduce heat loss as there will be no leftover heat from the stove.

4. Heating time

Induction stovetops heat up food quickly as compared to ceramic stovetops. Ceramic hobs take time to heat up and they are slow to cool down as well. Temperature adjustments with ceramic cooktops are a challenge. 

5. Better control

Induction stovetops win the race when it comes to control options. Ceramic stovetops usually have 5 to 8 heat levels/hob rings. On the other hand, induction cooktops have endless control over the heat levels.

6. Cookware

Any cookware will work on ceramic hobs. However, for induction hobs, you need specific cookware. Ferrous cookware, such as stainless steel or cast iron will work with induction cooktops, while other pans won’t work at all.

Which one should you buy?

The million-dollar question? Which one is better for your needs? The only way to be sure is to compare them. Take a look!

A couple of pans on a hob

Ceramic hobs

If you want a simple hob that works well and looks good, you should go with ceramic hobs. They are a brilliant choice if all you are going to do is boil water and vegetables, heat up some sauce, and fry the odd steak. 

They are certainly better than a hotplate. You will not only save yourself some money, but you will also have a good-quality cooktop that will last for many years to come.

Pros

  1. Ceramic cooktops are cheaper than induction hobs
  2. They heat up fairly quickly.
  3. They come with heat indicators.
  4. Ceramic cooktops work with any kind of pan.

Cons

  1. They are not as responsive as induction cooktops.
  2. They take some time to cool down.
  3. You don’t get efficient temperature control
  4. Electric ceramic cooktops are not safe to be used around kids.
  5. They are hard to clean if there is burnt food on them.
  6. There is residual heat from the hob.

Induction Hobs

If you have a genuine love of cooking and want to whip up amazing meals in no time, then go for induction cooktops. Even though they are expensive, they are worth every penny you spend on them.

Hand switches on a modern black induction hob in a kitchen

With plenty of amazing features, energy-efficient heat distribution, and eco-friendly design, induction hobs are a good choice. However, they might interfere with medical equipment.

Pros

  1. Induction cooktops are very responsive.
  2. There is no residual heat from the hob.
  3. You get great temperature control with these. 
  4. They are easy to clean.
  5. They are safer for use around kids.
  6. Induction cooktops are more eco-friendly.

Cons

  1. Not all pots and pans work with induction cooktops. Cast iron and stainless steel pans will work while ceramic and aluminium frying pans will need a solid plate.
  2. Induction cooking hobs, similar to anything else that creates a strong electromagnetic field, can interfere with medical equipment, like insulin pumps and pacemakers.
  3. You will have to call a professional to have them installed.
  4. They create a buzzing noise.

Things you should keep in mind

When it comes to buying new hobs, there are a few things you have to keep in mind, regardless of the type of cooktop you choose.

  1. Keep the amount of space you have in your kitchen in mind while shopping for a cooktop. If you only have space for four cooking zones, there is no use thinking about how many cooking zones you should get.
  2. No matter how good a hob is, if it doesn’t suit your needs, it is useless for you. For instance, if you have a pacemaker, you can’t use an induction stovetop. Similarly, if you’re around pets or kids, it will be better to get a hob with safety features such as child locks, timers, etc.
  3. Consult with your electrician regarding the electrical ratings of the stovetop you are thinking of buying. Ensure that you follow the installation requirements to the tee so that you won’t face any issues later.

A modern kitchen in luxury home with induction electric hob

Induction and ceramic cooktops both cook food, have a glass cooking surface, etc. However, they have different working principles amongst many other differences. Even though induction stovetops have more pros as compared to ceramic ones, you have to keep your needs and requirements in mind while making the final purchase. Hopefully, this ceramic VS induction hob guide will help you in making the best choice for you and your family.

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