If you’re planning to upgrade your kitchen you might be asking yourself “are halogen hobs the same as induction hobs?”
Even though they look fairly similar, they’re very different in the way they work. Let’s compare the two!
How does a Halogen Hob Work?
A halogen hob is powered by electricity, but it uses light bulbs to produce the heat required for cooking. There are usually four glass tube light bulbs beneath the ceramic surface of the hob.
The tubes include tungsten filaments and halogen gas in the form of iodine or bromine.
When the hob is activated, the tubes glow a brilliant bright red. This visible red light indicates the bulbs are in use. They primarily use invisible infrared to cook your food. Essentially, the heat is produced by the unseen radiation from the halogen bulbs.
How does an Induction Hob Work?
An induction hob also needs electricity to activate it. The alternating current travels along tightly bound discs of copper wiring to produce imperceptible vibrations.
This activity produces an electromagnetic field which then provides heat for cooking.
The electromagnetic system only works if there is a magnetised, ferrous metal pan to complete the circuit. The heat it generates is then transferred through the glass to the pan’s interior. Ultimately, food is cooked by invisible electromagnetics.
Does an Induction Hob Heat Faster than a Halogen Hob?
Like a standard electric hob, the halogen hob has to spend a short time heating the elements. But due to the intense power of the bulbs, they heat faster than gas or electric. However, the induction method of heating is regarded as the fastest of all.
The power settings of a halogen hob often range from 150W to 2000W which provide cooking temperatures of up to 700°C (1300°F).
By comparison, induction heating usually varies between 30°C and 260°C (86°F and 500°F) which is ideal for everyday cooking techniques.
Does a Halogen Hob Last Longer than an Induction Hob?
The bulbs inside a halogen hob are supposed to provide usage of between two thousand and four thousand hours. If they wear out, they can be replaced. However, you might prefer asking a qualified electrician to dismantle your hob.
The average induction hob generally provides up to ten thousand hours of use before it’s considered to be wearing out.
It means you might need to replace the bulbs of a halogen hob around three times to match the induction hob’s lifespan.
Do Halogen Hobs and Induction Hobs Require Different Pans?
It’s inconvenient and potentially expensive if you have to purchase a new set of pans when investing in a different hob. But are halogen hobs the same as induction hobs when choosing cookware?
Induction hobs can only use pans that contain magnetic steel or iron. High-quality cast-iron cookware is often favoured due to its excellent heat distribution and heavy, level base.
To connect with the electromagnetic system, the pans must at least have a layer of ferrous material.
Halogen hobs aren’t restricted by material like an induction hob although highly polished, shiny bases can reflect too much excessive heat from the burners.
However, the most effective have a base that’s flat and heavy to ensure an optimal connection with the ceramic glass surface. Superior grade stainless steel or cast iron pans are usually preferable.
Cooking with Radiation
When it comes to radiation, are halogen hobs the same as induction hobs? As outlined above, halogen hobs rely on radiation to provide enough heat for cooking.
Typically, up to 80% of the infrared radiation passes through the black ceramic glass of the hob. It then transfers heat to the pan through a combination of radiation from the lights and convection heat from the warmed glass.
Induction hobs use an electromagnetic field (EMF) which emits non-ionising radiation. This is generally regarded as a low-level frequency. It is often suggested that standing just thirty centimetres (one foot) away from the hob can neutralise the effect.
Using pans of the right size for the element should help minimise any threat of radiation from either hob.
Both types of hob can potentially cause health problems. The electromagnetic system of the induction hob is known to cause interference with pacemakers.
The bulbs of the halogen hob are particularly powerful, so it’s advisable to avoid looking into them.
Are halogen hobs the same as induction hobs? They both have identical ceramic glass surfaces. The method of heating is vastly different, relying on radiation or electromagnetics.
Induction hobs usually reach the required heat setting faster, but halogen hobs can often achieve higher temperatures.
You can use any pans on halogen hobs, but those for an induction hob must be magnetised. However, they both perform better with heavy cookware. Both hobs offer greater energy efficiency and faster cooking times than conventional gas or electric hobs.