While cooking is always a hands-on experience, you might wonder if you need to keep your hands off an induction hob.
Can you touch an induction hob? It’s a big question to ask before you settle on a cooker for your kitchen!
Can you touch an induction hob?
The simple answer is that you can touch an induction hob without worrying about getting burned.
However, that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily want to get in the habit of placing hands on the hob while you’re in the middle of cooking.
Let’s cover how to keep things cool in the kitchen when your hob is heating up!
Do induction hobs get hot?
This is a bit of a trick question.
While most people are used to normal gas hobs getting “hot” in the traditional sense, induction hobs have their own unique qualities that make them much different regarding how you interact with them.
Traditionally, the rule is to never touch a burner when it’s on. In fact, everyone is trained to keep their hands away from a burner for several minutes after it’s been turned off to avoid a burn from the residual heat.
It doesn’t work this way with an induction hob. The entire purpose of an induction hob is to heat up the pan that’s on the hob’s surface.
That means all of the heat being generated is conducted directly to the pan.
As a result, the surface of an induction hob doesn’t get “burning hot” the way a traditional gas burner does. However, hobs do still heat up.
While a hob’s surface generally stays cool enough to touch, there’s definitely a fair bit of residual heat that can be felt.
Why does my induction hob have a heat indicator when it’s supposed to stay cool?
This does sound like a confusing contradiction! In essence, your induction hob does stay comfortable to touch, but only where there isn’t a pan in action.
Where a burner has a magnetised pan in place, it will acquire an amount of residual warmth as it transfers heat from the electromagnetic circuit.
When you move the pan, the heat is immediately cut, but as with any warm surface, it will take a short while to cool down. The heat indicator light warns you that there is uncomfortable warmth in the actual cooking zone.
Will the cupboard below an induction hob get hot?
This alternative way of wondering if an induction hob gets hot can be a problem in some cases. Although your hob’s amazingly cool to touch on the glass surface, it can become rather warm underneath.
During installation, the hob should be fitted with a divider plate on the underside that protects you from acquiring a burn if you touch it from within a cupboard cavity.
It’s best not to store food, paper goods such as kitchen towels or anything inflammable beneath the hob that could be affected by the warmth. Pots and pans would be ideal and conveniently within reach.
Some thoughts on safety when you have an induction bob
Overall, an induction hob is an amazing option to have in your home if you’re concerned about safety because it reduces the risk of a child being burned after placing a hand on a hot burner. This can be a real concern with traditional gas hobs.
Another perk of buying an induction hob for a home with young kids is that most hobs come with built-in safety features for added peace of mind.
First, the hob won’t turn on unless the right pan is placed on the surface. This alone takes care of the concern of a child accidentally turning the surface on when playing with controls.
There’s still a need to have some “hob safety” habits in your home even if you have the peace of mind of owning an induction hob.
If you’re using a hob in your household, it’s a good idea to instruct children not to touch the surface even though you’re aware that they will not be burned.
Getting in the habit of resting anything from your hands to cooking utensils on the surface of a hob is dangerous.
The reason for this is that not every home that your child visits will have the same induction hob that you have.
As a result, your child may assume that all cooktop surfaces are safe to touch.
As the chef, you can also adopt some best practices surrounding hob usage.
It’s smart to wait a few minutes for your hob to fully cool down before wiping up any spills and splatters that occurred during cooking.
While you may feel compelled to keep your hob fresh and clean, the reality is that the brilliant design of the hob ensures that any splattered food won’t become crusted on the way that it would with a gas hob. So, give it a few minutes.
You always have to avoid complacency when cooking, even with an induction hob. It usually stays cool, but not ice-cold, when in use. However, the burner zone warms up where a magnetised pan draws heat.
The pan itself and the ingredients are going to be piping hot, so you can suffer a burn if you touch either of them. Otherwise, induction hobs should be relatively safe.