We only popped into Lidl this afternoon for a bag of flour, a few apples and one or two other sundries but could not resist the temptation of a free-standing induction hob for £35. We have been interested in induction cooking technology since poking round a kitchen display room last year, getting set upon by a (in all fairness pleasant and not too pushy) salesman and then doing some homework to follow-up the remarkable things he was claiming.
In short, induction cooking technology works by using a magnet and electricity to generate heat in a suitably ferrous cooking vessel. Aluminium and other materials that magnets won’t stick to don’t work but our pots and pans have steel or iron bases. This has several claimed benefits: it should be fast, efficient (as you are not heating the air around the cooking vessel where it doesn’t sit perfectly on the ring) and the rest of the hob should stay cool so you can easily wipe away spills.
So far I have only done a short test, reheating some coffee. The device is quite noisy and drew a fair amount of power but it was also very quick. We will have to try some more scientific tests to compare with our ceramic hob (and perhaps even the kettle) but so far I am reasonably impressed and think we may find regular use to make this purchase a good investment.