Are induction cookers really more economical?

Induction hobs are particularly economical. And even if they are significantly more expensive than comparable ceramic hobs, many housewives are considering switching. The BAYERN 1 Environment Commissioner has examined more closely when and whether a switch is worthwhile.




For decades, the gas stove in particular was considered the non-plus-ultra by passionate cooks. Energy and electricity consumption played less of a role here. The most important factor here was that the heat - for example when simmering - could be regulated particularly finely. Induction technology - cooking with electromagnetic fields - has refined these possibilities even further. Induction technology is even superior to gas flame in this regard, especially at the lowest level

How does the induction cooker work?

Induction technology makes a coil possible, which sits under the glass ceramic plate and generates an electromagnetic field. So the stove top is not heated - as is usual -, explains energy consultant Norbert Endres:

"With induction cookers, an electromagnetic field is induced in the bottom of the pot and absorbed by it, and it is precisely at this point that the water that is to be heated is located behind it and that absorbs the heat directly."

Norbert Endres, energy advisor at the Bavarian Consumer Center

The actual plate remains almost cool. After all, the magnetic fields create the eddy currents in the pot. The flat induction coils are made of copper and heat the pot by converting the energy of the magnetic field into heat as soon as it is on the hob. Almost all new pans and pots are now made of ferromagnetic metal and are therefore suitable for induction cookers.

Is a ceramic hob an induction cooker?

Keyword "Ceran"

Strictly speaking, "CERAN" is a brand name for optical glass, especially hobs. Similar to how "tempo" is commonly used for handkerchiefs. One would have to speak correctly and neutrally of "radiation-heated hobs".

The heating coils under the glass ceramic are no longer as sluggish as the earlier cast-iron hotplates, but it still takes much longer before food can be heated or water can be brought to the boil.

"The customer benefit is that these induction hobs are much faster than conventional, radiation-heated hobs. They are safer and they are more economical."

Robert Orsag, head of the 'White Goods' department at Media Markt in Karlsfeld

Since the hobs are heated directly with this method, milk or sauce that has overflowed can of course burn on. For this, a stove with radiation-heated hobs is usually much cheaper.

Which is more economical - gas or induction?



THE advantage of induction over gas: it is easier to regulate at lower levels.

The question "Is induction more economical than Ceran?" cannot be answered very easily. In principle, a gas stove has to use twice as much energy as an induction stove to deliver the same results. Provided that you do not use green electricity at home, heating with gas still produces fewer greenhouse gases. The operating costs are also lower, but this is due to the low gas price.

However, the handling on the low level is not up to the induction hob. Induced heat can easily keep 40 to 50 degrees Celsius at the lowest level. For example, chocolate can be melted directly in the pot. A gas hob with a ring of flames cannot do that.

What needs more electricity - induction or ceramic?



Induction cookers actually use less energy than ceramic hobs.

The energy-saving effect is the main motivation for many to switch to an induction cooker. In fact, chefs first have to adapt to induction because, for example, oil in the pan gets hot very quickly. And yet, says Norbert Endres, induction hobs consume significantly less energy:

"Induction stoves need less electricity than ceramic stoves. You can say between 15 and 20 percent across the board." Norbert Endres, energy advisor at the Bavarian Consumer Center

In terms of speed, the induction hob can easily compete with a conventional kettle (kettle or saucepan on the induction stove - who can create hot water faster and more ecologically ?) - which otherwise makes water bubbling very efficiently: five to eight minutes for 1.5 liters Water, even faster with the so-called "Boost" function, explains salesman Robert Orsak:

"Induction hobs are about three times as fast as radiation-heated hobs. With the 'Boost' function, you have the option of concentrating all the power on one hob and the water is heated up faster. Almost faster than with the kettle itself."

Robert Orsag, head of the 'White Goods' department at Media Markt in Karlsfeld

When is an induction cooker worthwhile?



Do not change too quickly: The change is only worthwhile in the long term and with heavy use

Even if induction saves energy: the switch is not worthwhile for all households because induction uses less electricity. Only with heavy use, the Stiftung Warentest calculated in a test in 2015 (02/2015), you can save around 900 euros over ten years.

"So a single household saves - assuming that around 10 percent is used for cooking and baking - between 7.50 and ten euros in annual electricity costs when switching over.

Energy advisor Norbert Endres

How much does an induction cooker cost?



An induction cooker costs an average of 200 to 300 euros more.

Induction cookers are still 200 to 300 euros more expensive than comparable conventional cookers with radiant hobs. In households with two people, these values ​​can be doubled, but with three or more people the corresponding consumption then decreases proportionally more and more. While a typical 200 kWh cooking power consumption can be assumed for single households, it is only around 600 kWh for a four-person household.

In fact, especially for electric stoves that are not in continuous operation - such as refrigerators or freezers - different wear times apply to the changeover. "After 15 years at the earliest, and after 20 or 25 years at the latest, I should have replaced devices such as washing machines, dishwashers and electric stoves," says Norbert Endres, "with refrigerators you can count on them after 12 to 15 years at the latest."

Induction or Ceran - Health?

The magnetic stray fields that inevitably arise when cooking with induction are still not that familiar to many. Electronic implants such as pacemakers or defibrillators could be disrupted. Therefore, those who wear such devices should always ask their doctor before getting such a stove.



A safety distance of 10 to 15 centimeters from the induction field should be maintained.

According to the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, there is basically no health risk from an induction hob. It is only recommended to keep a safety distance of about 10 to 15 centimeters from the stove. The technology does the rest, explains energy consultant: "Modern induction fields switch off when the pot is removed from the stove."

This safety aspect is especially interesting for families: Children can actually no longer burn their fingers on the hot stove, says salesman Robert Orsag, "because the heat is only created by the magnetic field under the bottom of the pot. That is the safety aspect, that you can't get burned. Because the rest of the glass ceramic hob isn't hot either. "

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