What Is The Symbol For An Induction Hob? – Everything Explained

Have you just got a lovely new induction hob for your kitchen? You can’t wait to get cooking on it, but it doesn’t look anything like the old gas range. You know you might need some new pans, but which ones will work with this new cooking technology? There is a special symbol that is featured on both the induction hob and your new cookware!

In this post, I’ll explain what the symbol for an induction hob looks like, what to look for when buying pans for an induction hob as well as explain some common induction hob user symbols and codes.

Let’s get into it!

What Is The Symbol For An Induction Hob?

The induction hob symbol looks like a coil of wire with four loops.

This symbol indicates that the hob only works with cookware designed for that specific use. Instead of using electricity to heat up a coil that transfers heat to your pan, it uses magnetic induction to heat up just the pot.

The coil symbol represents the magnetic coils located just below the hob plate. When you turn on the power for the hob, it only energizes the coil when a compatible magnetic pot is placed on top.

Once the circuit closes, your food starts to cook as soon as the pan gets hot. The hob surface only gets warm while you are cooking.

Induction hob symbol. Induction cooking symbol

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What Is The Symbol For Induction On Cookware?

If you need a new pot or pan for your induction hob, you must look for the induction symbol. Pans manufactured for the European market will have the four-loop coil symbol or the word “Induction” embossed on the bottom of the pan.

Induction pans have flat bottoms and are typically made out of magnetic steel.

If the pan does not have the induction symbol on it, it may still work. Grab a magnet off the refrigerator and see if it sticks to the bottom of the pot. If it does, it may work with your hob.

Induction Hob User Symbols:

While multiple manufacturers craft induction hobs, most of them share a few standard symbols. You might see these symbols lit up on the electronic display while you are cooking.

What does H mean on an induction hob?

H means Hot!

While the induction magnet did not directly heat up the cooktop of your hob, a hot pan that has been boiling for a while will make the hob surface warm to the touch. The ceramic top can take up to 10 minutes to cool off.

You are not likely to see the H symbol if you just boiled some water for tea or warmed up some leftover soup. But simmering a pot of stew over an afternoon will definitely light up the H symbol.

What does P mean on an induction hob?

P means Power Boost!

The “P” symbol on an induction hob typically stands for the “Power Boost” feature. This function allows you to provide an extra burst of power to a burner for a short period of time. It’s useful when you need to bring something to a boil quickly or sear meat at a high temperature.

However, it’s recommended to not use this function for prolonged periods due to the increased power consumption

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Why does my induction hob flash F?

A flashing F on your induction hob display indicates a Fault.

The most common fault is that the hob does not detect a compatible induction pan and the power is on. You might need to switch out the pan. Also, if your pan is not in the centre of the cooking area, the hob may register a fault.

Simply picking up the pan and putting it back should clear the F error. If it doesn’t, try turning the hob off and on.

When you see a symbol such as F1, F2, F3, etc., your hob has a different error. Different manufacturers have a catalogue of error codes with different meanings. It is time to get out your owner’s manual and see what is wrong.

Sometimes a flashing F with a number following says that the induction hob is overheating. Allowing the unit to cool off may erase the error. At other times the F error indicates a loose connection inside the unit and needs a service technician.

Before panicking, check the owner’s manual.

Why does my induction hob say E?

An illuminated E on your induction hob display refers to Error.

Just like F, it likely says that your pot is not in the right place to close the induction circuit. Or that you are trying to use a non-magnetic pan like aluminium, glass, or copper. Re-centre the pan, turn the hob off and on and try again.

An error may also show you that the unit is overheating, has a clogged fan, or has other problems. Consult your owner’s manual for a list of error codes associated with your unit. Every manufacturer has a different collection of errors.

What is the lock symbol on my induction hob?

The lock symbol is a child-safe lock.

The hob will not heat up a pot even if you press the power button and place a pan on the surface. You must hold the child-lock button down until the symbol vanishes to turn on the hob. Follow the instruction manual to learn how to activate and deactivate the child safety lock.

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What Pans Are Suitable For Induction Hobs?

Because induction hobs are the latest trend for cooktops, many companies that make induction hobs also offer a line of compatible cookware. But, if you are starting from scratch, here are a few tips.

  • Induction cookware will have the induction symbol or INDUCTION printed on the bottom.
  • It has a flat bottom to make the best possible connection to the induction coil.
  • Induction cookware is made with a magnetic steel or cast iron bottom. If your fridge magnet sticks to it, it should work!
  • Some designer cookware may have copper sides or aluminium-coated steel construction. It will still say INDUCTION on the bottom.

You cannot use glass or ceramic cookware on an induction hob. Also, if you have a frying pan with a rounded bottom, only the section that sits directly on the hob will get hot.

A Magnet Sticking To The Bottom Of A Pan - Induction Compatible
A Magnet Sticking To The Bottom Of A Pan – Induction Compatible

Top Tip: Look out for pans that have a flat magnetic bottom! The flatter the bottom surface of the pan, the more effective the induction technology will be.

What happens if you use a normal pan on an induction hob?

Absolutely nothing!

If you put a glass or aluminium pot full of water on the induction hob to boil, the display will flash F or E while the pot stays cold. The magnetic coil will not activate and you’ll never cook supper. You must get out an induction-compatible pan to make it happen.

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Why Does My Induction Hob Make A Clicking Sound?

If your induction hob makes a clicking or buzzing noise, don’t panic! It can be quite normal.

You will often hear a clicking noise when you first turn on your induction hob or when switching between power settings. This is due to the circuit board generating the electromagnetic connection used to heat your pan. The change in power and when they detect a pan on the hobs surfaces may emit this clicking sound.

The other time you may hear a clicking noise is if the pot and pans you’re using are a thinner or lower quality material, or have a poorer connection at the base of the pan. As the electromagnetic current flows through the pan it can generate a clicking or buzzing noise.

If possible, use pans that are of good quality, thicker material and have a smooth, flat base. This will give the best performance and help reduce any noise generated.

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Final Thoughts…

There you have it! Everything you need to know about induction hob symbols, codes and cooking.

Induction hobs are a fantastic cooking technology that is both fast and efficient. The technology and how you use them may be new to some at first but you’ll quickly learn how to operate them and what all the symbols and codes mean.

If in doubt, grab the manual!



Michael from

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 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.