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 power 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, in order
Aside from the attractive price and excellent set of features, this Germanic induction hob hogs 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.
Energy consumption is just 3 kilowatts as opposed to 4.7kw for the other models on this page and that equates to lower electricity bills, too. What’s not to like? The Bosch comes with four induction zones embedded in a decently alluring slab of black ceramic glass. Rather handily, the two cooking zones on the left can be combined into one long zone for oblong casseroles and other large cookware.
A bridge function like this won’t be used everyday but it’s always good to know you have the option should the need arise.
The Bosch also has useful functions such as PowerBoost, which provides up to 50% more power in a thrice, automatic pan size recognition sensors in each zone and a touch-sensitive control panel that's a breeze to use. If you’re in the market for a reasonably-priced, well specified, German-branded model that will plug straight into your existing 13 amp socket then stop right here.
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 every high-end property developer’s favourite cooking appliance manufacturer.
The Neff’s ceramic top is comprised of two 180mm zones (up to 3kW), a 145mm medium-sized zone (up to 2.2kW) and a small 210mm zone (also up to 3kW). However, with all four hobs running at once, some zones don’t heat as evenly or as quickly because of the unit’s relatively low 3kW power rating. Mind, this is pretty much the norm with most plug-and-play models and the best way round it is to either stir the food a little more to distribute the heat or don’t use so many zones at once. We should also add that it doesn’t come with a bridge function so you can’t link two zones together.
The Neff’s TouchControl interface is very easy to use and includes a boost setting and the obligatory timer. Users rate this hob extremely highly and praise it for its incredible speed at boiling stuff and generally making the task of cooking a hell of a lot more pleasurable. Even cleaning it is almost a joy.
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.
Some professional chefs aren’t fans of induction hobs and much prefer the freedom of a gas flame. One of their biggest gripes is that they can’t sauté (ie shake) the ingredients just above the heat on an induction hob as they can on a gas hob because the induction zone instantly switches off as soon as the pan loses contact.
Well AEG may well have solved that issue to some degree because this high-end model has something called PowerSlide. It’s basically one long rectangular zone on the left hand side that can be programmed to operate at three different temperatures. This allows the user to slide the pan quickly from one zone to the other theoretically emulating the gas sautéeing technique. It’s also a dead handy feature if you simply want to lower or raise the temperature of the ingredients quickly and efficiently.
As if the cooking zones on this model aren’t already big enough to accommodate most large pans, you can also take advantage of AEG’s FlexiBridge system and combine four segments together to create one mega zone for making giant stews or perhaps even a paella.
AEG’s Direktouch control meanwhile ensures accurate fuss-free temperature adjustments for any individual zone.