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Read Our Review
Read Our Review
Read Our Review
|Tefal Everyday Induction Hob|
|Laptronix Single Digital Induction Hob|
|VonShef Digital Induction Hob|
|Aobosi Portable Induction Cooker|
|Kitchen Crew Single 2000W|
There have been many developments in the world of home appliances that have made our lives much easier. Take a look at the kitchen right now, and you will likely see such as a microwave, as well as more established items like kettles, toasters and ovens. Then there’s the way in which we have changed our cooking habits over the years. Once the option was gas or electric, and while these are the chosen methods of home cooking today, there have been major developments here, too.
One such improvement and innovation comes in the form of induction hobs – more about how they work in a moment – which have fast become one of the most popular methods of cooking with pans. They work in a different way to many other types of hob and are also efficient, so they are worth checking out. Now, this review concentrates on portable induction hobs. The reason we’ve chosen to do this is because the induction hob lends itself to portability more than any other.
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Before we get too confusing, here’s a brief explanation of what an induction hob does and how it works, and why it is something you should consider. Then, we’ll give you a run-down of the top 10 models so you can choose one that suits.
The Top 10 Best Induction Hobs
1: Tefal Everyday Induction Hob
You will find that this review of induction hobs includes some very well known brands, many of them household names, and this is because these are products that are made in very large numbers. This one is from Tefal – you might remember the advert with the boffins with large foreheads – which is a leading name in kitchen appliances, and it’s a nice product. Featuring a single ring with a ceramic face, it’s designed for use by, perhaps, students of anyone living in a bedsit.
This one features easy to use controls and is very simple to cook with, and comes with many cooking functions for added versatility. It has a 2-hour timer so you can set it for safety – although by their very nature induction hobs are very safe – and has a handy six pre-set functions so you can use it in one touch. It also has 9 power levels, and is suitable for pans of up to 25cm. It’s good, from a top brand, and a sensible price if one ring is enough.
2: Laptronix Single Digital Induction Hob
Not as much of a household name as the above, Laptronix nevertheless offers a wide variety of products for kitchen and home use, and has many satisfied users for products such as this. It’s another single person model and is neatly designed with a clear control panel and simple to use selectors. It offers up to 2000W power which is more than sufficient and is ideal for use by a single person as it is surprisingly compact.
This one has a glass surface which is designed to be very simple to wipe clean, and it comes with no fewer than ten pre-set temperature levels for ease of use. The buttons are touch-sensitive which is a common feature with these appliances, and it is able to take up to 25cm pans. This one also comes with a timer – up to 3 hours here – and is well made and sensibly priced, and a good looking little hob too.
3: VonShef Digital Induction Hob
The trend seems to be for single ring induction hobs, as this one from the extensive VonShef range is testament to. This is a well-respected brand and tends to specialise in smaller appliances, and the quality is clearly evident. It’s a 2000W model, which is about the norm for one of these, and as we have said is a single hob design. It comes with touch controls for ease of use and is very compact, and the clear LED display makes it simple to see what you are doing.
What else is there to say about this one? It’s got ten heat settings and the same number of power settings, so you can pick and choose, and also has a timer as those above feature – this one being a 3-hour version. It is small enough to move around easily and can handle up to 25cm pans, and is perfect for single person use. There’s lots to like about this one including a long warranty, and it’s bang on where price is concerned.
4: Aobosi Portable Induction Cooker
This is the first of our selection to offer something different, in that it has two cooking rings rather than just one. This is therefore a larger design than any of the above, but is still surprisingly compact. It has a black glass-ceramic surface that goes well with the black control panel – there are those touch buttons again – and would make an ideal choice for a smaller home for a couple, or for a single person who likes to be a bit more adventurous with cooking.
It has two separate power stages – one ring offers up to 1800W, the other 1000W – and easy to use controls. It has a safety touch lock so that children cannot use it. This one comes with full variable temperature controls and a 3-hour timer, and it is, like most of these, equipped with a safety feature that turns the hob off if the pan is removed. It’s very nice and while around twice the price of the three above, you’re getting twice the capability so well worth looking at.
Key Features – twin ring, 1800W plus 1000W cooking places, auto off function, 3 hour timer
5: Kitchen Crew Single 2000W
This is a back to basics model – as far as that goes with these items – from Kitchen Crew, and is most likely a different branded model under a new name (as happens with many appliances). In fact, it is very similar indeed to the VonShef model reviewed above. It has the touch buttons and a 2000EW capacity, with pre-sets across the heat and power ranges, and is designed to be very simple to use and with a glass plate surface for easy cleaning.
This one is the usual compact square shape, and can handle up to 25cm pans which is the usual – do remember that your normal pans may not work, and to check if they will see if a magnet sticks to their base – and comes with a 3-hour timer and all the usual functions such as you would expect from such a design. It is perfectly good as a portable hob, great for someone in a small flat or house and very cheaply priced.
6: Andrew James Double Induction Hob
In the above review we mentioned that when it comes to products such as these, it is not unusual to find the same item under different brand names. This one, from the Andrew James brand, is the same as the double hob we reviewed from Aobosi above, in every way. It’s a nice item and is very well priced given it has two hobs, with the split power between 1800W and 1000W as that one has also. So what do you get?
This one would make an ideal choice for a smaller home for a couple, or for a single person who likes to be a bit more adventurous with cooking. It has a safety touch lock so that children cannot use it. This one comes with full variable temperature controls and a 3-hour timer, and it is, like most of these, equipped with a safety feature that turns the hob off if the pan is removed. It’s very nice and as we said above, competitively priced, too.
7: Gasland IH20SL Induction Hob
One area of use that we haven’t mentioned for single ring hobs such as this one, from Gasland, is that of camping and in caravans. If you have access to electric mains power the portable induction hob is the perfect way to cook; it’s small, safe, quick and efficient with no naked flame, and takes up no space at all. This one – and indeed any on this list – would be perfect for boats too, or other places where there is limited space available.
What’s this one all about? It’s a standard model with one heating plate, glass ceramic cover, 2000watts power and touch sensitive controls. It has 10 pre-set power levels which provide precise temperatures, a 3-hour timer for perfect cooking, and a child lock function and auto shut-off when you remove the pan. It can handle up to 25cm pans, so is pretty much a standard unit, and at the price comes in very highly on a shortlist.
8: Swan IH201 Induction Hob
Swan is a name that has long been associated with electrical appliances, and this very neat, very simple and usable single user induction hob is typical of the brand in having many satisfied users. It has a glass ceramic surface – if you’re concerned about putting heavy metal pans on the glass top don’t be as they are specially strengthened to take them – so is easy to clean, offers a single 2000watt ring, and is operated by neat touch buttons as all of these are.
You get the usual 10 pre-set power levels, it operates quickly and efficiently, and it is easy to set. You also have a 3-hour timer for programming ahead, and it comes with a full instruction manual and warranty. We are repeating ourselves a lot now as these appliances are all designed to do the same thing in the same way, and due to portability, are all very similar in design. This one is very nice, yet is somewhat more expensive than some that do the same.
9: Voche 2000W Portable Induction Hob
The standard for these items is to handle a 25cm pan, and this one is the same as all of those in accommodating such. It’s from Voche, and is likely a generic model that you can buy under a number of names, but it’s a decent single user induction hob all the same. The usual glass surface offers easy cleaning, it has 10 pre-set levels for power and utilises touch-sensitive buttons, and a nice clear readout that tells you what is happening.
This one also comes with a 3-hour timer, which is perfect for planning your cooking ahead, and makes cooking when caravanning, camping or even staying in a B&B much easier, quicker and safer than the alternatives. As with all of these there is nothing special about this one; it does the job it is designed for and it does it well, and this model is also very well-priced so is certainly worth putting on the list of possible.
10: Cookology PIH 300 Induction Hob
So to our last model, and it’s another decent, basic single hob model from Cookology. It’s a standard model with one heating plate, glass ceramic cover, 2000watts power and touch sensitive controls. It has 10 pre-set power levels which provide precise temperatures, a 3-hour timer for perfect cooking, and a child lock function and auto shut-off when you remove the pan. It can handle up to 25cm pans, so is pretty much a standard unit.
There really is not a lot more to add about this one as you can pick the bits from the rest above, but we should stress that we think – having spent the time looking into these devices – that they really are a must for camping and caravanning, assuming you have access to an electric power point, as well as holidays on a boat. No more messing around with gas canisters – just plug in, switch on and cook. This one is a decent price too, although not the cheapest.
That’s our complete list of the top 10 portable induction hobs for you, so which suits you best? There’s not much between them to be honest, but before we try and give you a verdict, let’s check some of the important features you need to consider.
How It Works
So, what’s the induction hob all about? Well, let’s take a regular gas or electric hob: you’ll have a set of rings, onto which you place your pans, and either a gas flame or a heated metal element that provides radiated heat to the base of the pan. That’s the traditional way of cooking on a hob. How does the induction hob differ?
To start with, there is no visible ring – perhaps one drawn onto a ceramic surface – as the heating element is below the surface onto which you place your pan. Underneath is a copper coil, through which an electric current is passed. This creates magnetic induction – not heat, but a magnetic field – which reacts with the base of your pan, heating it up.
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This happens very quickly – it is said a pan of water will boil in half the time with one of these as opposed to a standard hob – and is also surprisingly energy efficient. It does mean you need pans that are suitable for induction hobs, but these are commonplace. So, it’s all about magnetic fields, it’s fast, it’s cheap, and you want one! Let’s have a look at our top 10.
Important Features to Look For
Normally at this point in proceedings we would give you a list of features that you need to look for, as some of the 10 offer them, and some don’t. As with several of our reviews, in this case each of the above does the same thing, with the same features, apart from one difference: whether it has one or two heating spaces. That means that in truth, the choice comes down to whether you want double capacity, and the price! Let’s see, then, if we can wrap this up.
Let’s Wrap it Up!
Make no mistake these are very useful, affordable and practical items. Even if you buy one for occasional use – perhaps when you have people around for dinner and a couple of extra hob spaces would make things easier – they are worth it at the price. For single people with limited space and budget, or for camping, caravanning or boating we reckon they are a must. Which one would we pick?
If you want a two-space hob, go for the Andrew James; it’s one of two that are exactly the same on our list, and it’s currently the cheaper of the two. If you want just one hob, go for any of them, bearing in mind the cheapest is not much more than £30 (that’s number 7) and the more expensive, number 8 from Swan, is around £20 more but does exactly the same thing with the same features.
Have another look, and get one of these very useful appliances, as you never know when you might need one!