Are portable induction cooktops any good?

Are portable induction cooktops any good? Induction hobs are completely safe to use. But there is not a single device that provides one hundred percent safety. There is still a risk of injury, especially if the hobs are used incorrectly. It is easy to assume that just because induction hobs do not heat up, they cannot burn. People always forget that frying pans get hot instead. Do not risk. Always handle the hob with extreme care. Appliances can also cause a fire, although this is probably very rare. In addition, higher-end hobs such as Duxtop and Cuisinart come with additional safety features that reduce potential fire risks.

Portable induction cookers have opened up a new way of life in cooking. It is so energy efficient that it is often used in offline homes and camping sites.

However, this option may not be suitable for some people, because each person may have different needs and expectations. To understand which portable induction hob is best for you, let’s discuss it in detail.

Are portable induction cooktops any good?

What is a portable induction hob? 

An induction hob creates electromagnetic induction in the cookware. Although an induction hob is powered by electricity, it is completely different from an electric one. In an electric stove, electricity generates heat on the stove. Anything you place over the stove will get hot and hot. But with an induction hob, the device will only generate electromagnetic fields. 

  • This electromagnetism will cause the cookware to heat up and cook whatever is in it.
  • Therefore, for the system to work, you need specially designed cookware. Induction cookware requires magnetic materials or they will not work.
  • There will be no warmth. If you place your palm on the surface of the hob, it will not burn or heat up at all, because there is no magnetism in your hand.
  • Cookware materials that may be suitable for induction hobs are cast iron, steel, and stainless magnetic steel. Ceramic cookware can also work if there is a layer of iron in it.
  • On the other hand, non-magnetic materials will not work unless a layer of magnetic material is inserted into the cookware. 
  • Induction hobs are available in many variations for a variety of purposes, from individual to commercial. One very popular type is the portable induction hob, which offers many benefits that a conventional hob cannot.

What should you think about buying an induction hob? 

This is one of the first and most important things to look out for when checking hobs, induction, or any other type. You want to be able to quickly boil water and cook food over high heat. Even so, we cannot underestimate the importance of simmering: the hob you choose should be able to melt butter and chocolate without burning them. 

  • Reliability

Some brands have already made a name for themselves in this aspect, these brands are known to produce very reliable hob designs, of course, we recommend that you choose one of these brands, but if you are planning to switch to another brand, make sure that the products of this brand tested and found reliable 

  • Design 

Your hob will aesthetically affect the overall look of your kitchen. Be sure to choose something that completes and enhances the overall look and aesthetics of your kitchen and the appliances inside it. You don’t want to place a pink hob in a kitchen with stainless steel or black cookware, they just don’t match, so you need to consider color combinations and compatibility before choosing an induction hob. 

  • Features

 Hobs are not only for heating, especially induction hobs, at least for now, but many brands on the market are vying for dominance, these are the best must-have useful features that other hobs don’t have. Therefore, when choosing the best induction hob, you should also look for additional features that come in handy. Some of these features include; easy cleaning, customizable layout, wireless connectivity, and other features that make cooking more comfortable and enjoyable.

There are many intricate details that separate one induction hob from another. For a person with no experience with these devices, it is easy to assume that they are all the same.

Well, it’s not, and you have to take extra care to make sure you buy something that works for you. To help you, we have compiled a list of some important factors to consider before purchasing an induction hob.

Important factors before buying

Important factors before buying

  • Accuracy

Accuracy varies greatly from one brand of the hob to another. Naturally, inexpensive brands will only have 6 heating steps. This doesn’t give you enough versatility to better personalize your cooking experience, especially when you consider that some of the more expensive brands may offer up to 20 settings.

However, not everyone needs a high-precision hob with dozens of settings. These more expensive brands are made for people who need a little finesse in their food preparation. Think of chefs and culinary professionals who strive for excellence. But for the average Joe, low-precision hobs have to do the job. 

  • Power 

As we noted above, induction cookers use electricity as the main source of energy. However, the power requirements of different hobs differ. But in most cases, the required power is between 1000W and 2000W. The power determines the maximum temperature to which the hob can heat up. You will notice that many brands have nearly the same temperature range. However, you cannot reach higher temperatures if the hob has low power.

Despite this, hobs with a higher power still have several disadvantages. For example, they may need to install a dedicated outlet in the kitchen to meet their electricity needs. This can lead to additional unexpected costs. The power consumption problem is also obvious. Cooktops with higher wattage also consume more energy. In the end, you may have to pay a little more in bills.

High-power hobs are also not as versatile. They can only be used in locations with sufficiently high voltages. For people looking for something that can be used on the road, it is often better to use the lower wattage options.

  • Convenience

The convenience of an induction hob is largely determined by its additional functions. For example, brands of portable induction hobs will have dedicated buttons for special functions such as boiling. They will also maintain standard cookware temperature levels.

You can also get some flexibility with sync functionality. On the other hand, cheaper brands don’t offer that much versatility. If convenience is a high priority for you, it is a great idea to buy induction hobs with additional features.

  • Reliability

Induction hobs are expensive. They are expected to last a long time without any damage. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned. But there are a few things you can do to make your stove last long. The first is to purchase a device from a well-known brand.

Top-of-the-line hobs may cost you more money, but they deliver high-quality workmanship and outstanding durability. Second, check the warranty for each item before deciding to purchase it. Always buy a hob with an extended warranty. In case of damage, you can make repairs at no additional cost.

  • Safety

Safety is also very important when choosing an induction hob. One of the common safety features is automatic shutdown. This feature uses sensors on the hob to determine if a pan is present. If the hob is switched on without a pot, the appliance switches off automatically.

We also have some brands on the market that use timers instead of sensors. The hob switches off after a certain time (usually after two hours). This adds an extra layer of security in case you accidentally leave the hob on.

The good news is that the most respected brands on the market will have a lot of security features to learn. Even if you might be tempted to buy cheaper and more versatile hobs from China, they are not worth it. Better to spend the extra money and buy a quality hob.

Important features

Volt / W:

 A common analogy that is commonly used to distinguish between volts and watts in electricity is that of running water in a pipe. In this scenario, the pressure of the water in the pipe is the voltage, and the watt is the power that the water can provide. Some hobs now require an amount of voltage that most household outlets cannot handle. But all the ones we have chosen are energy efficient and do not require a lot of energy. 

Temperature range (range and increments): 

It is better to choose hobs with a wider temperature range. Because he will be able to keep food warm for longer periods at a low level, and he will also be able to cook restaurant-quality kebabs at a high level. To improve cooking accuracy, there should be options for increasing the temperature. 

Safety features: 

The induction hob must also be equipped with safety features and this is very important, nobody wants to use anything that could pose a danger to them every time they use it, so the induction hob must-have safety features like pause / cancel and child lock button., if possible, automatic shutdown and hot surface indicator.

Induction Cookware Compatibility: An induction hob should not be selective when it comes to the type of induction hob it will work with, and it should work well with all induction cooker-compatible cookware.

How do induction hobs work?

Are portable induction cooktops any good

Understanding the science behind induction hobs and how they work will help you better appreciate the benefits they offer. 

This is why we decided to include this section before moving on to the rest of the article. Induction hobs use electricity to cook food. A coil of copper wire is placed under the pan. After that, an alternating electric current is supplied to the coil. This creates an oscillating magnetic field. 

This magnetic field continues to build up and eventually creates a magnetic flux that magnetizes the pot at the top. As it magnetizes, the pot becomes more like the magnetic core of an electrical transformer. As a result, large quantities of eddy currents arise in and around it. The build-up of eddy currents heats the pan, generating the heat needed to cook food. 

Benefits of a portable induction hob 

The portable induction hob offers many benefits that seem promising to revolutionize cooking. This innovation can solve some of the problems that conventional ovens have. Some of these benefits include: 

Safer 

The oven does not burn anything non-magnetic. You can put a plastic bag on top of it and there will be no messy melting. The kitchen will be safe for your little ones, even if they have curious little hands. 

What’s more, some portable induction hobs even have an automatic shut-off function to avoid unpleasant situations for various reasons. 

Fast cooking

A typical gas stove takes a few minutes to reach the expected temperature. On the other hand, an induction hob takes less time because it reacts instantly. With it, it only takes 3-4 minutes to boil a huge pot of water.

Energy efficient

Gas stoves and electric stoves are not very efficient as they generate unused heat. But with an induction hob, it is the cookware that produces the heat for directly cooking what is inside. Approximately, the efficiency of conventional hobs is only 41%, while that of induction hobs is up to 80%.

Easier to clean

The flat surface and fewer exposed parts make the induction hob much easier to clean. One wipe is enough to make it as good as new. This device is your real shortcut to say goodbye to a messy kitchen.

Timely adjustable

Thanks to the digital timer, you can now turn on the stove and leave it alone. This function is very useful for slow cooking and steaming. You can use your time more productively.

Accurate temperature 

Not only can you set the cooking duration, but the portable induction hob allows you to set the temperature every time you cook. However, there are restrictions on setting the temperature. 

It comes with levels to choose from, with different ranges and increments for each device. However, they are very good for controlling food preparation. 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Portable Induction Hob 

Like any other appliance, portable induction hobs come in a variety of specifications. Some of them are important to consider, while others can be ignored. 

It’s vital to understand what they are and how they affect your culinary experience so you know which model to buy. Here are some important points to watch out for:

Power levels 

When buying a portable induction hob, power should be considered first. Each portable induction hob has several power levels. The more options you have, the more you control the slab.

What you need to see from the device:

  • how many power levels are available in the range from lowest to highest
  • how big are the jumps between levels

Run Time

Unlike a conventional hob, most portable induction hobs have a limit on how long they can run without stopping. This can be a problem if you enjoy spending long hours in the kitchen. But since most induction hobs provide long run-times, this aspect shouldn’t be a problem.

Temperature levels 

These are similar to power levels, but not so important to consider. Not every portable induction hob has a temperature setting. Some of them only offer a few levels. Also, most of the temperature settings are not very accurate.

Coil size 

The size of the coil determines how many electromagnets it can induce. But you don’t need to worry too much about it. Even a smaller coil can still cook well because the cookware always distributes heat evenly throughout the food. 

However, this feature will be important if you plan on using large cookware.

Fan type and noise 

Cheap portable induction hobs usually contain a substandard fan that is noisy and breaks easily. If you are sensitive to noise, you may need to ask to try rotating it before agreeing to buy.

Weight and Dimensions

Weight and size can make a big difference, especially if you plan to take your portable induction hob with you when traveling. It can also matter if your kitchen is tiny. Some devices are specially designed to be lightweight for greater portability. 

However, the best quality portable induction hobs are usually heavier.

Time setting

Not every portable induction hob has an auto-off timer. If such features are important to you, be sure to mark them on the spec sheet. The duration range varies. Alternatively, you can use a manual timer.

Guarantee

A good quality device usually comes with a long warranty. Aside from the duration, you also need to check what the warranty covers. Also, make sure you know how to apply.

Brand reputation

The brand is most cases matters because of its reputation. Choosing the best brand will ensure the quality of service, durability, and other important aspects that you can’t figure out from the spec list.

Important Things to Know Before Buying Your First Portable Induction Hob 

Important Things to Know Before Buying Your First Portable Induction Hob 

The operation and maintenance of a portable induction hob are completely different from a conventional gas hob. This can be confusing, especially if you plan on switching to an induction hob for everyday use. So, here are the important things you need to know.  

Power 

The induction hob can draw up to 1800 W of power. Can your home supply that much electricity without causing grid instability? This can be a problem if you’ve used a gas stove before. But if you have used an electric stove before, there may be no problems. 

Some of them are not portable 

Not all induction hobs are portable. There are flush models of kitchen worktops that require installation. If you need a portable one, make sure you buy a portable model. 

Dishes 

The induction hob can only work with magnetic cookware. You can do a simple test to see if your cookware is ready for induction. If a magnet can stick to it, that’s good. Otherwise, you will need new dishes. 

Double burner power 

An induction hob with two cooking zones will split the power. If you run out of one of them, the other will be unavailable for use. If you need to get both burners to their maximum capacity, consider purchasing two units of one burner. Each type of portable induction hob has its advantages and disadvantages. It is imperative to know the specifications and their benefits. This way, you will be able to determine which one is best for you. In addition to choosing the right one, you also need to know how to properly care for it so that your portable induction hob will last for a long time.

Are induction hobs energy efficient? 

Yes, induction hobs are very energy efficient, especially when compared to other hobs. However, to optimize the energy efficiency of your stove, make sure you use the recommended pans. The pans should also cover the entire surface of the copper coils so as not to lose heat. 

What are the best pots to use with induction hobs? 

Any pans used on induction hobs must have a magnetic bottom. Iron, granite, carbon steel, and stainless-steel pots work well. If you are not sure if your pots are compatible with an induction hob, you can do a little test at home. Just stick a magnet on the bottom of the pot. If it sticks, then the pot is good. There are so many people out there who seem to think that manufacturers of portable induction hobs need special pans. This is not entirely true. Any pot that attaches to a magnet can be used.

See more: 7 Types Of Cooking Stoves And All You Need To Know About

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