Looking for the best induction hob? Their revolutionary method of cooking with magnets instead of direct heat has changed the game in the last 10 years or so, signalling the death knell of old-style electric, and eating into the dominance of gas. As gas prices rise, it'll increasingly struggle to compete with the energy efficiency of the best induction hobs. And they're so damn easy to clean, too.
But where do you start when there are so many models of induction cooktop to choose from? Easy, you start right here because we’ve done all the homework for you and selected a stack of great induction hob models that don’t cost an arm and a leg…
You can read more about them below, including our top picks, but don't forget that we'd also got guides for the best gas hob, best non-stick frying pans to use on whatever hob you go for, and the best ovens.
One thing to note if you're hob shopping for induction – ceramic hobs look almost identical, but work in a very different way. In T3's opinion, induction is massively superior to ceramic, but you can read more it in our induction vs ceramic hob guide if you want to know more.
Induction hobs: what you need to know
The induction cooktop is becoming commonplace now, yet still feels like the stuff of sci-fi. Unlike ceramic or gas hobs that heat the entire plate, induction hobs heat only the base of the pan and its contents. What’s more, they’re so efficient they can usually boil water more quickly than a kettle and are said to be 50% faster than gas.
So how do induction hobs work? That’ll be our old underrated friend magnetism.
Even when the hob is on it remains cool to the touch, yet as soon as you place a saucepan on it, a whopping amount of heat is generated and before you know it you’ve whipped up a four-course banquet.
Having said that, a word of warning: don't put your hand on the hob when you lift the pan up, as heat will have transferred from the pan back into the glass of the hob. And because the whole hob is completely smooth, any spillages are very easily cleaned with a simple flick of a kitchen wipe.
However, there is a small but fairly significant caveat that should be considered before jumping on the induction bandwagon: induction only works with ferrous metals like steel and cast iron, and chances are at least some of your current cookware is of the wrong variety, so you'll need to replace them.
It’s easy to check with pans will work on an induction hob: place a magnet to the base of each pot and pan. If it sticks you’re in luck; if not you’ll need to fork out on some new pans (here's our pick of the best saucepan sets and best non-stick frying pans).
The majority of induction hobs are swathed in a beautiful looking slab of ceramic glass. Be mindful that this surface is quite easily scratched by rough-bottomed cast iron cookware so position your Le Creuset casserole dish with care or stick to steel pans with smooth bottoms.
For more about induction hobs, see our 'What is an induction hob and how does it work?' guide.
Induction hob power requirements
Some induction hobs draw up to 7.4kw of current and that means having a separate ring main fitted if your current setup is, like many older kitchens, just a standard 13 amp cooker plug.
Boy, did I find that out the hard way.
If you also have an electric oven on the same ring, you may in fact need an even higher rated cable.
Bear this in mind because it’s the single most important consideration when purchasing any electrical cooking appliance.
I’d advise employing the services of an electrician beforehand just to be sure you won’t be purchasing a product that needs a whole new ring main installed at great cost (upwards of £500).
Right, you’ve read the pros and cons of induction hobs. So what the devil are you waiting for?
The best induction hobs to buy in 2022
Aside from the attractive price and excellent set of features, this Germanic induction hob occupies the #1 spot for one reason in particular: it’s one of only a handful of induction models that can be plugged straight into a standard UK plug. For those with slightly dated kitchens and only a 13 amp plug in the vicinity, that’s music to the ears because it could save you having to have a whole new ring main fitted at great cost. Energy consumption is just 3.7 kilowatts as opposed to 7kW for most other models, and that equates to lower electricity bills, too. What’s not to like?
The Neff N 50’s shiny ceramic top is comprised of two 180mm zones, a 145mm medium-sized zone and a small 210mm zone. However, as is the case with all plug & play induction hobs, only one hob at a time can use the boost function for fast boiling of water – the others will have their power automatically cut back a little. I can vouch that this is rarely an issue because I have exactly the same hob at home and I haven’t run into any circumstances where I’ve needed more than one hob on boost. In fact, in normal situations I can run all four hobs at 9, the highest setting available.
Since this model doesn’t have a bridging function, you may need to stir the food a little more frequently if using a saucepan that’s bigger than the largest zone but, again, this has never caused me a problem.
The Neff’s TouchControl interface is easy to use but, like all touch sensitive controls, it can sometimes be really fiddly changing power settings. Also, your fingers will leave a lot of marks on the shiny ceramic glass surface in the process but thankfully the whole thing’s a doddle to clean.
I have nothing but praise for this induction hob – it boils water incredibly quickly, is instantly controllable and I’ve had no issues running all four hobs at once, at any power setting from 1 through 9. Above all, it initially saved me a shedload of money by not having to have a whole new ring main installed, while also allowing me to run a high-end Miele oven on the same ring. Highly recommended.
This excellent portable, single-zone model is a perfect low-cost introduction to induction cooking, an ideal extra hob, a great choice for bedsits and studios, and you can take it in the caravan or even use it in a tent if there’s power nearby. Simply plug it into the nearest 13-amp socket and fry away.
The Tefal is equipped with a tough ceramic surface and measures just 27cm in width, making it suitable for steel-bottomed pots and pans up to 25cm in diameter. Its five pre-set modes – boil water, stir fry, deep fry, stew and heat milk – are a doddle to use and if you need to adjust the temperature, simply tap either the plus or minus icons. It also comes with a manual mode with nine power levels, from 450W to 2,100W.
This writer was frankly blown away by how well it works – it trounced the kettle in the water-boiling contest and worked brilliantly well at frying stuff. At this price, it’s a no brainer.
If you only have a 13-amp plug socket to hand and no special cooker-specific ring mains knocking about, consider installing this keenly-priced, four-zone model from the house of Bosch. The Bosch comes with four induction zones embedded in a decently alluring slab of black ceramic glass.
Like the winning Plug & Play Neff N 50 above, the Bosch Serie 2 has useful functions such as PowerBoost, which provides up to 50% more power in a thrice and a touch-sensitive control panel that's a breeze to use. Unlike the Neff, this one’s zones are circular which makes it look a bit lower end. That said, circular zones are often easier for locating the base of the pan.
If you’re in the market for a reasonably-priced, well specified, German-branded model that plugs straight into an existing 13 amp socket while delivering similar performance as the winning Neff N 50, then definitely consider this model, too.
What we’re looking at here is a stunning panorama of pot-boiling glamour. The iQ700 is a monster by any standards – it’s 90cm wide for a start – and that means it’s capable of whipping up a Henry VIII banquet at the drop of a titfer.
Aside from the four huge cooking zones which are big enough to accommodate extra large cookware up to 24cm in diameter, this model also features ‘flexinduction’, which means if one zone isn’t big enough for the pan you’re using – say, a roasting tin up to 40cm in length – it will automatically activate more inductors so the ingredients are heated evenly. It also features boost for any zone which ramps up the power by 50% for speedy boiling or high-heat frying.
Many induction hobs adopt the touch-sensitive approach to controlling temperature but unlike most models that require stabbing at buttons to raise or lower the temperature, this one uses a touch-sensitive slider which is said to be more accurate and intuitive.
If you have the acreage on your kitchen worktop to accommodate such a thing and your ring mains is of sufficient power to accept a 7.4kW model, then this one’s well worth a whirl.
Not all of us have the space for those sizeable six zone induction hobs, so a rock-solid compromise comes in the shape of this, the Miele KM7201FR. Despite its lower zone status the Miele is, as you’d expect, more than capable of covering cooking needs in slightly more snug kitchen surroundings. It’s got the beef to get the job done, particularly thanks to the Twin Boost functionality.
Cleverly, Twin Boost amalgamates the power output from two zones into one, which effectively means that you can get a full pan up to boiling point in no time. We think it’s great if you’re cooking with a larger wok for example, where that intense heat is really needed. Equally, however, it’s handy for just bringing said pan of water to the boil quick sharpish.
Another practical bonus with this Miele is the Stop and Go functionality. If you're busy in the kitchen then one button push sets the zones down to 1, which is good for ensuring you don't scorch your dinner. It’s equally as useful for a practical simmer that’ll keep that prized main course warm while you tuck into your starter. Additional control of power comes via a generous 9 different levels.
Another highpoint with the Miele KM7201FR is that it boasts a very easy to clean design that can be given a once over with little in the way of effort. This is compounded by the stainless steel rim, which adds a contrasting flourish. Meanwhile, the glass cooking area itself just needs a wipe from time to time. A timer and child safety lock round it all out nicely, while the LED display is good on the eyes and indicates the heat settings you’ve got on for each of the zones.
As is the case with most, if not all induction hobs, you’ll find that you get best results by keeping the ingredients of your pans moving. Heat distribution can be a little patchy and, although it’s not a gripe per se, the Miele does occasionally fall foul of this induction downside. That’s a minor gripe however, as this four zone hob ticks most of the boxes, especially when it comes to ease of use and the quality of build.
The John Lewis JLBIIH806 induction hob straddles that perfect middle ground where four heating zones aren't enough and six is just too much. So this appliance gets off to a great start, as the worktop area is spacious enough for most, of not all your pots and pans. But, it’s not a behemoth either. In fact, the designers have done a very nice job on creating this appliance, with wipe clean surfaces and, really, nowhere for grime to call home.
Features and functionality score highly too, with the JLBIIH806 boasting touch controls that are dead easy to use. There are practical touches on offer, with the hob having the ability to really give it the beans when you first power up and then ease of the heat once the zone gets to the desired heat. Similarly, the hob can be paused if you need to stop cooking for any reason, while the automatic shut off is a cool safety feature.
You’ll also be pleased to learn that there’s a child lock as well as residual heat indicators to remove any worry about scorched fingertips. There are other smart touches too, like the sensor that can detect if you’ve inadvertently left an unwanted object on the hob, such as a knife or other random item of cutlery.
All in all then this is a fast to heat, easy to use and very well made hob that impresses us on many levels.
The Bosch PUE611BF1B induction appliance is one of the hardiest hobs out there having been around for a while now without the threat of being pushed asunder by newer models. The styling certainly still looks very cool, but the hob is also great at getting on with the task in hand, as in heating up your pots and pans very rapidly.
The Bosch PUE611BF1B features TouchSelect controls, which means that selecting the right mode to suit your cooking task is straightforward. Induction hobs are also frequently praised for their speed and energy efficiency and this is where this model really excels.
However, you’ll need to check that it’s warmed food all the way through as induction hobs can struggle to do this effectively. The Bosch PUE611BF1B is no exception. There’s a decent trade-off with this appliance though in that it can be plugged into a regular wall socket, so there’s no faffing around when it comes to installation. That’s a definite bonus.
Bosch invariably packs in some neat tricks too and the PUE611BF1B hob is therefore quite nicely spruced up by a selection of practical controls. Its PowerBoost function is perhaps the area that we like best, simply because it allows you to bring things to the boil that little bit quicker. When mealtimes are stressful then features like this can help to take the sting out of a laboured spagbol or similar.
Elsewhere, the extensive range of settings includes 17 heating options, there’s a child lock and the whole thing boasts nowhere for food spillages to hide as it’s got a super smooth wipe-clean surface. The four heating areas are able to cope with all being on the go at the same time, probably because the 60cm wide cooking surface is sensibly proportioned.
Given the amount of cooking power (7.35Kw) and useful tech it offers, this flagship AEG is outstanding value and well worth considering if you need something more versatile. It’s a great looker, too.
Induction hobs with this much power are very quick to cook, and if you're in a hurry the Powerboost feature here can boil water in just 90 seconds – perfect for a pot of pre-cinema pasta when you're in a hurry to get out. It can connect to compatible cooker hoods via the Hob2Hood feature, and its Direktouch controls make it easy to get the right temperature across its four generously proportioned cooking zones. Pot detection means it only applies power when there's something there to cook and there's a useful feature called Pause & Go that enables you to answer the door or the phone without your pots boiling over.
If you're wedded to a gas hob this induction model has the power and performance to change your mind: we've found it just as fast as gas, and it's considerably easier to keep clean too.