How To Protect An Induction Hob (Cooktop) – A Handy Guide
Induction hobs (cooktops) are fast becoming the most popular choice when it comes to your stovetop. They’re fast, efficient and safe to use. However, they can still get damaged and scratched, so use this handy guide to help protect and keep your induction hob in good condition.
In this post, I’ll give some tips on how to protect your induction hob, what induction hob protectors are as well as answer some frequently asked questions around the topic.
Let’s get into it!
How do you protect an induction hob?
- Use a Silicone Mat: These mats can be left in place even when you are cooking and are easy to wash. Such as this Lakeland Induction Hob Protector Liner.
- Use a Paper Towel or Parchment Paper While Cooking: These disposable solutions work well up to medium heat settings. Simply place it under the pan!
- Splatter Guards: The mesh circle stops grease and sauces from bubbing over the top of your pot leaving the hob clean.
- Simmer Rings: The magnetic polished ring improves heat diffusion over the entire bottom of your pan while preventing scratches on the hob and boil-overs.
- Use Only Pots Designed for Induction Hobs: While a traditional cast iron pan may work, it can have a rough bottom that will scratch the glass on the hob. Flat-bottomed pans are best. Look for the Induction symbol!
- Wipe Up After Every Meal: Clean and polish the glass top as soon as you are done cooking for the day. The longer that you leave splatters behind, the harder it is to scrape them up. Simple soap and hot water does the job most of the time.
- Avoid Scratchy Scrubbers and Harmful Abrasives: Use only cleaners and detergents that are marked as safe for use on ceramic and induction cooktops. Scrubbing compounds can leave behind minute scratches that cloud the surface of the hob.
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What Is An Induction Hob Protector?
The most popular induction hob protectors are silicone mats infused with fibreglass that sit on the hob at all times. You can cook with the protector in place.
Since your induction hob features a ceramic glass top, it is possible to scratch it through normal everyday wear and tear.
Pots that boil over can leave spills and burned foods behind which can be difficult to remove and can lead to more scratches from scouring pads. The hob protector eliminates the chance of scratching your new induction cooktop.
Although technically non-stick. The mat is slightly sticky, which means that your flat-bottomed pans will not slide around the hob while you cook. Especially handy when heavy cast iron cookware.
The silicone mat can be tossed into your dishwasher or rinsed down in the sink using regular washing up liquid. Saving you time cleaning any cooking residue off your induction hob.
You can find these mats in shapes and sizes that match your single burner or full induction cooktop. They range in price from just £10 to £40 and are sold in many stores or online shops that sell cookware or induction hobs.
An induction hob protector is not designed to work with your regular electric ceramic cooktop, as the regular cooktops use a higher temperature that will melt or burn silicone.
If you want to test out the concept of an induction hob protector, but don’t want to spend your money just yet, you can use a sheet of baking paper or a paper towel under your pot. You can even use a tea towel.
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Can you cook with an induction hob protector on?
Yes. An induction hob uses special pots that close the electric cooking circuit through the use of magnets. An induction hob protector made out of silicon, paper, or cotton does not interfere with the magnetic field. Cook as usual!
Should I use an induction hob protector?
The decision to use an induction hob protector is entirely up to you. The manufacturers of induction hobs (cooktops) insist that there is no need to use a silicone mat or any form of induction protector or scratch protector.
The glass top is designed to resist scratching and is easily cleaned using warm water and a mild detergent soap or a specified ceramic glass cooktop cleaner.
A thick protector mat may prevent the induction hob from working if a particular pot has weak magnetic conductivity. You may need to use a higher temperature setting as the silicone will absorb some heat.
Disadvantages of Using an Induction Hob Protector:
- It may not work with all your induction cookware
- Will increase the heat setting needed to prepare a meal.
- Can melt when you use the highest heat setting.
- Added cost
- Spoils the look of a seamless, clean kitchen
On the other hand, if you use your induction hob every day, it likely gets covered in spattered sauces, grease, and dried food. The polished cooking surface can get cloudy from constant scrubbing.
A hob protector makes cleaning up easy without significantly changing the performance of the cooktop. Better yet, the silicone helps your pots to stay in place even when stirring a big pot of stew.
Advantages of Using an Induction Hob Protector:
- Prevents food from getting stuck on the induction cooktop surface
- Protects against unwanted scratches, scuffs and harm
- An easy solution to sliding cookware
- Quick to clean in the dishwasher or sink
- Inexpensive upgrade
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Do Induction Hobs Scratch Easily?
Whilst the surface of an induction hob is constructed from toughened ceramic glass, they are still susceptible to scratches.
And while induction hobs can scratch, they are not necessarily more prone to scratches than any other surface in your kitchen.
The biggest culprit for causing scratches is when you drag a pan across the surface, moving from one zone to another or adjusting its position. If the bottom of the pan has anything stuck on it (grit or salt), or if there is anything on the surface of the hob. It’s this that can get dragged and cause scratches and scuffs on the glass surface.
Top Tip: Always lift and move your pans on an induction hob to help protect the surface from scratches.
Can you put silicone on induction hobs?
Yes. The silicone used in induction hob protectors is infused with fibreglass that increases its heat protection and is heat resistant up to 250° C. The top temperature on most hobs maxes out at 260° C. If you are going to use the highest heat setting, you will want to remove the silicone protector.
Can I use parchment paper on an induction cooktop?
Yes, parchment or baking paper can be used in an induction cooktop. It resists burning up to 240° C, so works well when you are cooking the majority of dishes. Just like silicone, you don’t want to use it on the highest heat settings.
Can I use paper towels on an induction cooktop?
Yes. However, you should only use a paper towel as a protector for your induction hob if you are cooking on low heat. It can start to burn around 210° C.
How can you stop pans sliding on an induction hob?
Your flat-bottomed cookware designed for induction hobs may have a tendency to slide around on the glass cooktop. A silicone hob protector can give the pan enough grip to stay in place while you stir and prevent any movement of pots and pans.
Will Cast Iron Scratch An Induction Hob?
Yes, cast iron can scratch an induction hob. Most times the scratches come from the use of heavy cookware such as cast iron skillets.
However, it’s not just cast iron. Any heavy pots and pans can scratch an induction hob if they are dragged across the surface. Especially if they have any small bumps or imperfections on their base. Or if there is anything on the surface of the cooktop, such as salt or grit that could get caught and dragged along.
The best thing to do is always lift your pots and pans when moving them on/off/around your hob.
Or get a hob protector!
Do Neff/Bosch/Siemens Have induction hob protectors?
No. Neff, Bosch and Siemens currently do not manufacture or sell any induction hob protectors. However, they do sell a range of compatible pots, pans and griddles for induction cooking.
If you want an induction hob protector for your Neff, Bosch or Siemens induction hob, there are many independent brands that make protectors that will fit your sized hob. I’ve highlighted a few options below.
There you have it! Some handy tips to help protect your induction hob (cooktop).
Whilst hob protectors are certainly not compulsory they can be a cheap and easy way to protect your induction hob if you’re worried about scratches and scuffs from day-to-day use. However, they may spoil the look of that seamless, integrated kitchen you’re going for.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for around 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.