The clever hob: why switch to induction cooking?

Italian appliances company Smeg has just announced the release of two new state-of-the-art induction hobs.

For those who haven’t yet discovered the induction hob, once you use one, you may never look back.

They work using a strong electro magnet, which is placed just under the ceramic cooking zones. When you switch on the area you want to use and place your metal pan on it, this completes an electric circuit to turn the heat on.

They heat up really quickly and there’s no danger of forgetting to turn off the hob as, as soon as the pan is removed, the circuit is broken so the heat diffuses.

Smeg’s new induction hobs come in either 60cm or 90cm, depending on how much space you have and how much cooking you do.

And, they’re even more innovative than standard induction hobs. Rather than being restricted to certain cooking zones, the new SIM62B, the smaller model, and its bigger brother, the SIM942B, give truly flexible cooking. You can use any pan and put it anywhere on the surface.

They’re ideal for increasingly popular island installation and create a sleek look which fits in with kitchens with modern styling.

Both models have two zones on each side, which you can combine to create two big MultiZones, each measuring 40cm by 23cm. Cleverly, they automatically detect the size and position of your pans and heat up only the exact spot upon which they are standing, so you can use several pans at once.

German-based Miele has also unveiled an induction hob with a similar style. Revealed at Berlin’s IFA technology show, the FlexTouch induction hob comes in one size, 90cm, and uses an intuitive user interface so you can put your pots and pans anywhere.

You can cook using two modes – either Solo, which is designed for big family gatherings when all the induction coils are united to form a single large zone or trio mode which allows you to work within different temperatures at the same time. So, you can keep you meat warm in one spot while boiling your pasta and simmering your vegetables.

Miele’s FlexTouch goes on sale at the end of October.

Fellow German manufacturer Neff is another good option for the sleek hi-end look.  Starting at around £450, Neff’s domino hobs are an unusual and stylish choice as they allow you to choose whichever cooking combination you want. Perhaps you would like a two-area induction, teamed with a Wok burner. The choice is yours.

Whichever model you choose, from whichever manufacturer, there are lots of reasons for switching to induction, not least the easy cleaning.

You don’t have any parts to remove or difficult nooks and crannies to clean, but a flat surface you can just wipe over. And, because the areas around the pans remain cool even when you’re cooking, you won’t ever have the problem when spilt food becomes burnt on and more difficult to remove.

They’re also very safe because even if the controls are turned on accidentally, the hob will only start heating up if a saucepan is placed on top.

A spokesman for Neff described its induction technology as “clean and clever,” adding “once you start using it, you’ll never look back.”

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