I love my induction hob. From now on I intend to always cook on induction unless something even better is invented.
There were a lot of questions when I first had the idea to switch from gas to induction cooking. A major concern was how long would the induction hob last? It’s a question we all want to know the answer to when we start to look for our ideal type of hob.
I’ve owned my induction hob for a total of eight years. I estimate that it has been used for around 3,000 hours in total. It has never broken down and it still works brilliantly. So I can say with experience that unless there are defects you should expect an induction hob to last for at least the manufacturer’s advised amount of time, which is about 2,500 hours.
What are induction cooktops?
Before we start let’s be sure what an induction hob is. When I was looking to buy mine I found that there were two glass top style hobs available, ceramic and induction.
Ceramic vs induction hobs
In a nutshell, a ceramic hob heats a ring underneath the glass, whereas an induction hob uses electromagnet energy to heat the base of the pan instead. The glass on a ceramic hob will get very hot and take a while to cool down. The glass on an induction hob gets hot but only because of the hot pan on top of it. Wikipedia explains induction cooking much better than I can.
You can use any type of pan on a ceramic or gas hob, but induction hobs will only work with pans made with a magnetic material such as cast iron and stainless steel. The rule of thumb is that if a magnet sticks to the bottom of a pan, you can usually use it with induction cooktops.
As I explained, only the base of the cooking pot is heated when you use an induction hob. This makes it a lot more energy efficient than any other type of hob because there is no wastage of heat around the outside. They are also very safe. No naked flames are involved. If a pan were to overflow the hob should automatically cut off.
How long do induction cooktops last?
Now comes the question of how long do induction hobs last. If you want the best answer, ask an owner!
I’ve owned my Ikea induction hob for eight years. It has worked perfectly since the day we purchased it and has shown no signs of failing. It isn’t a top-end model or even a medium-end. We bought it for around £350 from Ikea along with the new kitchen, and it proved to be the perfect addition. I’ve paid more for a gas hob in the past so I didn’t feel the price we paid was in any way extortionate.
If you research the internet you might find that a domestic induction hob is expected to last for around 2,500 hours. In my experience, this is way under the hours that I have already got out of my hob over the years.
Assuming that I have used it for, on average, one hour per day over the eight years, then I have already got nearly 3,000 hours of cooking time out of it! It isn’t showing any signs that it might fail any time soon. When we bought it from Ikea it came with a two-year warranty. So, based on one hour of use per day (which is probably under average), we were guaranteed to get about 730 hours of use out of it.
If it looks to you like I’m giving a big thumbs up to Ikea induction hobs, then you are absolutely right! I will say that I am not affiliated in any way with Ikea, so you can be assured that what I am telling you are reliable facts from a genuine owner.
As an aside, we also bought an Ikea dishwasher along with our kitchen, which did not last at all. It had been replaced with a Bosch within five years.
So what makes induction hobs last a long time?
When you take the (breakable) glass top out of the equation, by design, an induction hob is very durable. The hob uses electromagnetic fields to transfer heat from the coils underneath the glass which of course are always protected by the glass. There are no moving parts. Nothing can get clogged with burned food or grease.
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Are induction cooktops worth the extra money?
As the owner of an induction hob for the last eight years, I believe that induction hobs are worth the money. If our hob broke down today, I would replace it with another similar hob without a second thought.
Here’s why induction hobs are brilliant:
- Induction hobs are energy efficient. They heat up much more efficiently by heating the base of the pan. This means that there is no heat loss as there is for gas. You can turn the heat up to full power and still the heat is concentrated only on the surface of the pot.
- Induction hobs are safer than gas. There are no safety concerns as there are for gas hobs. There is no fear of gas flames burning out and pumping gas into the kitchen. Fire risks are reduced because it is far more difficult for nearby objects to catch fire.
- Inductions hobs are very easy to clean. I rarely clean my induction hob. As long as I wipe it after every use the hob stays permanently sparkling.
- Induction hobs are highly controllable. Even more so than gas. You can turn an induction hob down and immediately liquids stop boiling. My hob has a pause button. If the doorbell rings while I’m cooking I can hit the pause button while I attend to my visitor.
How to care for your induction cooktop to make it last longer
Having owned my induction hob for eight years, without it cracking or getting damaged, here is my advice for making your hob last eight years and beyond too.
Only cook on it
Don’t use your induction cooktop for anything else but cooking! My induction hob is flush with the work surface, there are no knobs. It is very tempting to put a cutting board on it and use it as extra prep space. Don’t be tempted to do that!
Don’t leave pans on the top, always put them away when not in use. Be careful not to slam pots and utensils down on the glass.
Don’t let pans boil over
Your induction hob should cut out if it detects water on the glass, but I always try to avoid leaving the hob unattended when I have something boiling on there. It’s fine to set the ring on low and leave it to cook. Be aware that bringing things up to a boiling point is quicker on induction.
Use the correct pan for the cooking ring
Your induction hob will work at its most efficient if you use a matching pan for the ring size.
Wipe over the glass after every use
One of the things I love about my induction hob is how easy it is to clean. You should find it very easy to wipe over the glass after you finish cooking. All you need is a damp microfibre cloth.
Choose the best quality induction hob you can afford
The thicker the glass, the better for wear and resistance to cracking. Go for the highest power rating that you can afford because this will reduce the cooking time and thus extend the life of your hob.
Are there disadvantages to using an induction hob?
I have to say that it took my husband a little while to like our new induction hob. I was in love with it right away. It was the controls on it we found most confusing but I think that was down to the model we chose.
Before I decided that induction was for me, I looked at the disadvantages, and here is what I found.
Induction hobs are more expensive
I bought my hob back in 2014 and the prices have gone down since then. The equivalent hob from Ikea would now cost £299. A similar-sized four ring gas hob at Ikea would be about half the price. Having said that, you can pay far more than £299 for a high-quality gas hob if you want to.
I’m happy to pay more for induction. You would expect an expensive hob to have superior flame ignition and good quality pan stands. Induction can turn on with a touch of a button, and there is no need for pan stands. So I believe that by choosing induction I am getting more for my money than a similarly priced gas hob.
Induction hobs only work with certain types of cookware
The rule of thumb is that if a magnet sticks to the bottom of the pan then it will work with an induction hob.
This means that aluminium and copper will not work with induction. Cast iron pans are perfect for induction hobs, as are stainless steel. If you have a lot of copper or aluminium pans then induction might not be for you.
The glass top can crack
You should take care when installing an induction hob. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions. Don’t use the hob for anything other than cooking, you should not put more pressure on it than you would place on it for normal cooking. Don’t slam pots down on the surface or try to use the glass as a cutting board.
If you are accident-prone, then possibly an induction hob isn’t for you.
The biggest concern when I bought my induction hob was the fact that along with my electric oven I would be totally reliant on electricity for cooking. What if there is a power cut? I clearly remember back in the 1970s when power cuts were frequent (in the UK), our gas hob was a saviour. You can always boil some water to make a cup of tea!
If power cuts are common in your area, then induction cooktops might not be a good choice.
Frequently asked questions
Can you boil water on an induction cooktop?
Yes, you can boil water on an induction cooktop. Water boils much quicker on an induction hob than on any other type of hob. You can boil a saucepan of water in just a few minutes.
I find induction hobs especially great for boiling eggs. All I do is cover the eggs in water put a lid on and then set the hob on high. When the lid starts clattering I know it is boiling so I turn the hob right down and set the timer to five minutes and the eggs are perfectly done with runny yolks. Yum!
Can you repair induction cooktops?
Once the glass has cracked you will most likely have to replace your cooktop. The glass can be replaced but the cost of doing so may not be worth it.
Do induction cooktops break easily?
Induction cooktops have glass tops and like any glass, it is possible to break it. Before I bought my induction hob I came across a lot of smashed ones being sold on eBay for spare parts. It was a little offputting because it seemed so common. However, I’ve owned the same induction hob for eight years now and it remains in one piece with no cracks.
Incorrect installation can cause an induction hob to crack. Make sure you follow the installation directions. If you do that and you are careful not to drop anything on the glass, your induction hob will last well.
Can I damage the cooktop if I use the wrong type of pan?
If you use the wrong type of pan on an induction hob it simply won’t heat up. The hob shouldn’t get damaged in any way.
When I first got my induction hob I knew that my aluminium pressure cooker would not work, so we replaced it with a stainless steel version. I also owned a stainless steel pan with a copper bottom, which worked a little due to the stainless steel, but the copper base made it pretty useless for cooking.