Ceramic and Induction cooktops are the new era technologies that are easy to use and are important assets in the modern kitchen.
When upgrading or replacing the home kitchen appliances, it would be useful to know the difference between these two best-selling cooktops.
Ceramic Cooktop Vs. Induction Cooktop
The fundamental difference between Ceramic and Induction cooktops is the cooking technology.
It is in the way they produce heat to cook food.
In this article, I will be looking into the differences between Ceramic and Induction cooktops and which one is better for you.
Note that while I am a huge fan of Induction cooktops, there are a few scenarios where Ceramic may make more sense (as we will see in this article)
Different methods of producing heat to cook
Ceramic cooktops contain coiled metal elements beneath the glass ceramic layer. The surface on top is smooth.
This coil is connected to an electric socket. When switched on, the electrical resistance heats the metal coil. This heat is transferred to the glass ceramic surface via convection, and consequently, heat is transferred to cookware.
The heat transferred cooks food. The electrical element turns hot red as soon as they are heated. It is, therefore, also called a radiant cooktop.
In Induction cooktops, heat is generated inside the cookware via electromagnetic induction. It works on the principle of generating heat energy via magnetism.
When induction is switched on, an alternating current flows through the coil, creating a magnetic field. The cookware is made up of a material that is magnetically conductive and ferromagnetic.
This results in a resistive electric current flowing in the cookware. This resistive electric current generates heat and cooks food.
Efficiency and Control
Induction cooktops are far more efficient and superior when compared to ceramic cooktops.
This is because around 85-90% of heat energy is used in cooking food in the case of Induction, whereas lots of heat energy is lost into the atmosphere in the case of ceramic cooktops.
Induction cooktops have superior heat control and temperature control when compared to ceramic cooktops.
They can respond to changes in heat settings in an instant. Ceramic cooktops need time to heat up and heat down.
Being a poor heat conductor, ceramic cooktops transfer heat more slowly than induction cooktops.
Residual heat remains on the ceramic cooktop long after cooking. It takes time to cool off. There are hot indicators to show when a cooktop is hot to touch.
The residual heat in the case of an Induction cooktop quickly dissipates.
Since the heat produced is inside the cookware, the cooktop remains cool, and it does not release energy into the surroundings. In the case of ceramic cooktops, the entire cooking zone is heated.
A lot of energy escapes from the sides of the pan.
Induction cooktops are far safer than ceramic cooktops.
They reduce the risk of burns and accidents during and after cooking. This is because only the pan gets heated up whereas the rest of the cooktop remains cool.
Ceramic cooktops, on the other hand, can take a long time to cool down even after the food is cooked (just like electric cooktops). And since heat is transferred to the cookware, there are chances of burning and accidents.
Also read: Do Induction Cooktops Break Easily?
Ceramic cooktops are cheaper than Induction and are a great option for strict budgets.
They come in various styles and designs according to the suitability of the kitchen.
Although induction cooktops are costlier, they pay back by saving energy and time when compared to ceramic cooktops.
That said, due to public awareness and demand, the prices of inductions have decreased significantly.
Note: The cost of an Induction cooktop is also a bit higher due to the fact that you can only use induction-friendly cookware with it. Not every cookware works on an induction cooktop.
Ceramic inductions work with any kind of cookware. The important thing to remember is that the base touching the ceramic cooktop should be flat and smooth. Only then will maximum heat get absorbed after coming in contact with the ceramic cooktop.
As said earlier, induction cooktops work with materials made up of ferrous materials like cast iron or stainless steel. If we place a magnet on the base of the cooking utensil, we can come to know if it is induction compatible.
If the magnet sticks to the bottom of the cookware, they are induction compatible.
We can also purchase converters which are iron plates that fit between the base of the cookware and the cooktop.
This can make any utensil compatible with the induction cooktop.
Flexibility Regarding Size of cookware
Depending on different sizes of the cookware, there are also options of zoneless inductions in Induction cooktops.
Zoneless induction cooktops make it easier to place the cookware anywhere on the cooktop and it will start cooking. It is especially convenient for large size cooking vessels.
Some ceramic cooktops also have expandable cooking zones. They are elongated zones.
Since the ceramic cooktop gets heated due to heating elements underneath, the cookware cannot be kept anywhere but just above the heating element in the cooking zone area.
Note: This is again one huge benefit of using an Induction cooktop. Since it only starts the heating when the cookware is kept on it, it’s a lot more energy efficient.
Both induction and ceramic cooktops offer a variety of safety features nowadays. These safety features reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
Induction cooktops, however, are a lot safer as they only work when there is favorable cookware kept on top.
It switches off automatically as soon as the pan is removed from the cooktop. They are ideal for people having small children as it also has child lock features.
Certain models of induction switch off automatically if an empty vessel is kept on top or if there is spillage onto the cooktop or controls. This feature prevents a lot of damage and repair costs.
In the case of ceramic cooktops, they retain a lot of heat after cooking. This is the reason they come now with a residual heat indicator.
It helps in knowing which zones are hot to touch or clean. Since it does not switch off automatically and takes time to cool, it is not safe for children or forgetful elderly. It can cause burns.
When it comes to speed, the induction cooktop is a clear winner.
It heats up the cooktop within 20 seconds. Ceramic cooktops longer to come to the desired temperature.
Both the cooktops are quite easy to clean with just a damp cloth, followed by wiping with a dry cloth.
In the case of ceramic cooktop, as the cooktop remains hot for a longer duration, spilled food can bake or burn on the surface.
It is important to clean after the cooktop has cooled down with the help of special cleaning products.
You can also use a specialized scraper at a 45-degree angle.
Due to the heating element radiating heat, ceramic can crack if cold water touches it when the cooktop is hot. Induction is easier to clean due to the lack of heat.
Related: How to Clean an Induction Cooktop
Ceramic Vs Induction Cooktop – Conclusion
Ceramic cooktops are great for those on a strict budget.
As for those who enjoy cooking and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, it is best to go for induction cooktops.
It is superior in performance and cooks speedily and is easier to maintain.
Hope the above topics have helped you understand the differences from important aspects of cooktops.
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