Saucepans on induction cooktop
Research report

Cooktops - Induction cooktops

Find out how induction cooktops work and what to consider when buying one.

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Molly P.
18 Jul 2021
Induction convert

We switched to induction primarily to have a tidy, easy to clean stove - in a busy home, who has time to be lifting the gas grills and cleaning underneath?? It takes a bit of time learning what setting is appropriate for what you want to do, but we love it now.
We've had two brands because we moved house, a Bosch and a Miele. The controls on the Bosch required you to select the hob you wanted to work with before changing the temperature. This may seem like a little thing, but when you are accustomed to years of separate knobs assigned to each burner, it is hard to get into the habit of adding that extra step! Some inductions have controls for each hob/cooking zone, and we prefer that ourselves.
The Miele in our second home was just out of warranty when it started producing an error message and became pretty much un-usuable. The repair man explained that the way Mieles are designed, the electronics are so intertwined that repairs are very expensive. In the finish it was over $1k to get the parts required. So I would ask questions about feasibility of repair for our next purchase!

Michelle G.
26 Aug 2020
Really happy with our Westinghouse

We bought the large Westinghouse, with all the bells and whistles, last month, along with the matching rangehood. It's terrific. I love the fast response to temperature changes and the fact that it has a timer. A timer! We're finding it super easy to use. We had to replace an industrial-sized ancient electric hob, so were limited to buying the largest size. We bought the matching rangehood as well, as our other rangehood had been too small, and parts had started failing (e.g. one of the light sockets had failed, so we were down to one light, one of the fan speeds didn't work). It's great having a smart rangedhood as well.

Joanne H.
24 Jun 2021
Model number please

Hi there, can you remember what the model number of your Westinghouse induction cooktop is? It sounds great - maybe just what we are looking for!

Graham D.
30 Mar 2019
Buy a separate single induction hotplate.

Bought a Millen single induction hotplate a while ago. Excellent for single person. Don't use the normal hot top any more!

Daniela B.
03 Apr 2019
where can I buy a single induction cooktop from a reputable brand?

I see there is a wide range of cheaper single cooktops on sale (different retailers), but none from Miele or Bosch and I was wondering where we could buy a single induction cooktop that Consumer Institute would recommend? Thanks for your time

Consumer staff
05 Apr 2019
Re: where can I buy a single induction cooktop from a reputable brand?

Hi Daniela,

We recently reviewed two single induction cooktops, and you can find our results here: https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/breville-the-quick-cook-vs-anko-induction-cooker.

Kind regards,

Natalie - Consumer NZ staff.

Lucy T.
17 Feb 2019
How to tell if oven compatible with induction hob?

We're updating our kitchen and planning to replace our gas hob with an induction hob. Our oven (Westinghouse EW100SD) is about 15 years old but still in good working order so we'd like to retain if possible. How do we tell if our oven is compatible with induction hobs? Do we contact Westinghouse? Or our preferred induction hob manufacturer?

Consumer staff
18 Feb 2019
Re: How to tell if oven compatible with induction hob?

Hi Lucy,

If it’s a built-in oven, you shouldn’t be tied to a specific brand cooktop, even if you originally bought the oven and cooktop as a package. So long as you choose a cooktop that fits the space (allowing for space as recommended by manufacturer) and check with your electrician that it can be installed, it should be fine to replace the old cooktop with an induction hob. The only complication might be if the oven has cooktop controls on it (or vice-versa), but that would probably mean the “oven” is actually a stove. It’s not a bad idea to check with both manufacturers, though.

Kind regards,
Julia - Consumer NZ writer

Donald S.
07 Oct 2018
Interface for Induction Hob

We stayed at a number of EU apartments and the interfaces for activating the hob and then adjusting the temperature were wonderful / intuitive in some cases and really stupid in others. This is one one 'feature' that the potential purchaser needs to carefully consider.. the wrong design will bug you forever

Lucy T.
17 Feb 2019
Please expand!

I'd love to hear which interfaces you found intiutive and which ones were stupid, it would really help with working out what to look for and what to avoid when we (shortly) buy one!

Bridget P.
19 Apr 2018
Just out of warrantee

We moved into a spec house in February 2016. Lovely kitchen including Induction cooktop. We had the correct cookware except for frying pan and stock pot, which we have purchased. Suddenly there was a flash in the middle of one element, and then nothing worked, even the oven was off. Having turned it all off at the wall, we tried to get an electrician. We finally got one around to have a look, he got the oven going again, and was recommended another person who can deal with Smeg. Another week went by before he could come by and have a look. The result is that it cannot be repaired and we will have to get a new one installed at over $2000. I am appalled that such an expensive appliance should last such a little time only 2 years and 2 months.

Marie M.
04 Aug 2017
Had Induction Cooktop for 18 years - Looks like new

Our Bosch Induction cooktop is 18 years old and we have had no problems with it until now, when one pair of elements are no longer working. It still looks as new and it was well used. Will be buying a new on.e

Raymond W.
16 Aug 2020
Bosch Induction Hob

Interesting to read the comments about repair costs of induction hobs. I have experienced the same problem myself. The power board has failed on a expensive brand. Bosch are not interested as I have owned it too long, but it has only had minimal use. Their response was for me to buy another of their hobs with a small discount that I could have got at the retail store anyway. Don't waste your money on a Bosch as they don't stand by the quality of their products. Thrre is a whole Complaints Department Team which suggests they need one. They even had the cheek to send me a link to the CGA that supported my argument.

John S.
05 Nov 2016
Would never go back

We have had induction for nearly 6 years and would never go back.
It still looks and works like new.
Very easy to wipe clean (then a quick polish with a hand towel every day)
To avoid scratches, just need to keep bottoms of pots clean - grit will scratch glass.
Power management never a problem - induction is so fast that boost is never needed for long.
Cost of new pots is largely a myth - 100% aluminium will not work, but there is a wide choice of low cost quality cookware suitable for induction, and it is marked as such - you don't need to check with a magnet. And non stick does not need a steel bottom - many have a steel layer inside.
Matching pot to hob size has never ever been a problem for us. We have run our largest pot on the smallest hob and vice versa with no problems, as a trial, but never need to in practice!
Finally, although Consumer may have been unable to observe any power saving compared to ceramic tops, perhaps someone can then explain how it can be that induction is three times faster and also how the ceramic top becomes very hot, without using more power than the induction top.

Kim A.
24 Sep 2016
touch buttons can be difficult for some to use

My parents were recently sold an induction cooktop but have found it quite difficult to work with the touch buttons to swap between elements, change temperature etc. There has been lots of cursing from the kitchen :) Mum also has trouble with arthritis & getting her fingers in the right position to be able to use the panel. Just worth considering when choosing a cooktop - if we had the opportunity again we would definitely choose something easier to use.

David S.
16 Jul 2016
Induction tops best in our experience

This comment facility is really bad. Just spent half an hour writing notes re our experience of induction vs gas. Clicked out to Windows file manager & opened a Word doc to check the actual year we first installed induction cook top (early 2001, so more than 15 yrs ago), came back to finish off the comments only to find everything I had written had disappeared. Sorry, do not have another half hour to spare.

Very briefly, induction much better in our experience - much quicker, safer, including no burns from very hot pot sides and handles, no wasted heat flowing up the sides of pots. So much easier to keep clean (than both gas and radiant ceramic - latter bad when spills burn on at high temperature). Had no problems with scratching but then we use smooth SS cookware, not CI. Heaps of induction ready cookware now available, unlike back in 2001.

Previous member
19 Jul 2016
re: Induction tops best in our experience

Hi David,

We’re sorry about your experience with the comment feature. Your feedback has been passed on to our team to be considered in updates to our website. In future, we’d recommend writing any lengthy comments in a program like Notepad or Microsoft Word first. Apologies for the inconvenience caused.

Thanks for your feedback on both the comment facility and the induction cooktops — we appreciate hearing what our members have to say.

Kind regards,

Fonda
Consumer NZ staff

Laraine B.
30 Jul 2016
David, it stinks when this happens

It's happened to me (but not on Consumer's web site) and like you I didn't have another spare half hour. Induction is the only thing I'd ever desert gas for but alas it's way too expensive. I use SS pots too. When buying these it's important that you make sure they don't just have copper on the bottom. The copper (or aluminium) core should go right up the sides as well. The lids should also be such a good fit that if you turn off the heat and leave the pot for a while the lid won't be easy to get off. Ours have both these features and they are over thirty years old. I stayed with someone who had induction and it certainly made me wish I could have it too. You get clumsy as you get older, and osteoarthritis makes my hands even clumsier. I'm always burning myself, though not with the gas. Well, not yet.

Marcela A.
02 Jul 2016
Induction Hobs: Extremely delicate surface.

I cook at home on a regular basis. I decided to buy an induction hob after carefully researching the market as the safety and electromechanics behind it are sounded.
I have to say that the downfall to the induction surface is the fragile glass surface that gets scratched by regular use. 4 months in my kitchen under my own use the hob has inexplicable marks. I'm careful, I had my cookware replaced and carefully reviewed before putting on the hobs.
I have found no way to repair those hairlines marks except by replacing the glass.

The Real John R.
22 May 2020
Hmmm

We have been using induction cooktops since around 2009. The latest is about six years old and is unmarked. Not sure why your cooktop is marked. We don't treat our pot cleaning in any special way. A wash in hot water and back into the cupboard and then onto the cooktop. No worries.

Paula P.
04 May 2021
Brand

The Real John R.
Love to know what brand you used. Looking at getting induction and others experience is what I want.

Daniel M.
12 Mar 2016
Some downsides to induction cooktops

Induction cooktops are a huge improvement over radiant-ceramic cooktops. However, there are also several downsides with induction cooktops compared to gas that need to be taken into consideration when deciding the type of cooktop:

- Gas is much more effective if using a wok for cooking. The magnetic field from an induction cooktop only heats the potion of the wok on the cooking surfrace, while gas flames go up the side of a wok.

- Gas cooktops work during powercuts (we found this extremely useful after Christchurch Feb 2011 earthquake when without power for 5 weeks!)

- Gas cooktops with cast iron trivets are much more robust. They can take huge amounts of abuse when tossing food in cast-iron pans which could damage or break a ceramic/glass top.

- Gas cooktops are simple and generally very reliable. Induction cooktops have complex electronics which are more prone to failure.

Laraine B.
30 Jul 2016
You have a point here, Daniel

Persistent power cuts, especially in winter, is the main reason we opted for a stove with a gas hob.

Elizabeth R.
18 Nov 2017
Excellent point

You have an excellent point re induction hobs and power cuts. We counter this with an emergency pack which includes a two burner gas stove and a gas bbq.
I love my induction hob.

Paul & Karen C.
14 Feb 2016
Induction cooktops - eye wateringly expensive to repair

Yes, we love our DeDietrich induction cooktop and then after 7 years the pair of elements on one side died.
I pulled the the cooktop apart and found that the elements were OK but the control board for the pair of elements had a short circuit. I was able to identify the board id.
Now the philosophy of induction cooktop manufacturers for repairs is that it is done on a "whole board" basis. So my assessment from searching De Dietrich parts suppliers in France is that the cost of a new board is around $900 NZ + labour - I then did more Internet searches to find this scale of cost seems comparable across all brands.
So this fact of a likely high cost associated with failures should, I believe, be added to your article on Induction Hobs.
Paul
PS. I analysed the circuitry to find the shortcircuited bits and total cost of these from Element14 is around $50 NZ. However, doing this repair is not for Kiwi bodgers as there are extremely lethal (300V DC) voltages in these boards.

Previous member
15 Feb 2017
Yes hugely expensive to repair

My whole Electrolux induction cooktop failed on Christmas Day. Seven years old. Cost to repair $1500 and a 6 week wait for parts.
Installed as per manufacturers specs. - I am now told they have changed the specs. to allow for even more for cooling required under the bench. How long this one will last I don't know - great cooking, easy cleaning BUT ridiculous repair costs.

Previous member
14 Jun 2017
Far too expensive to repair!!

We've had a Fisher and Paykel induction cook top for 6 years - absolutely love it - except when its not working! An element blew a few years back and was repaired under warranty. Now, just one year out of the 5 year warranty period something has blown again and it's not working. At this stage it looks like its an even bigger problem than last time and the repair man is talking about $1000 in parts to fix it!! Apparently this level of fault is perfectly acceptable according to the lady on the phone and I can't help but feel that it's definitely not ok - seriously not happy!!