What Is A Full Surface Induction Hob? (And Should You Get One?)
If you’re looking for sleek design and cooking freedom then a full surface induction hob could be just what you’re after! But what exactly is one and how does it work?
In this post, I’ll explain what a full surface induction hob is as well as talk about its pros and cons along with which kitchen appliance manufacturers offer them.
Let’s get into it!
What is a full surface induction hob (Cooktop)?
A full surface induction hob (sometimes called ‘fully flexible’ or ‘zoneless’) is a cooktop that’s entire surface is one large multi-induction zone. It doesn’t have predefined or outlined cooking zones like many standard models on the market.
This means that you can place your pots and pans anywhere on the induction hob’s surface and it will automatically identify their location and begin to work. Each pot and pan will be able to be controlled individually.
Depending on the size of the induction hob you can arrange between four to six pots and pans of any size and shape, anywhere within the large cooking zone.
For instance, you could have six small pots packed on the surface all bubbling away. Or you could have three medium sized pots and a large griddle all working at the same time. Whatever configuration you need!
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Advantages Of Full Surface Induction Hobs
- Cooking Freedom: You can place your pots and pans anywhere on the surface. You’re not restricted to the outlined areas. You have a single large cooking zone capable of powering up to six pots and pans.
- Cookware Size: You can use any shape or size cookware (as long as it’s induction compatible) and the unit will automatically detect it’s size, shape and position on the hob’s surface.
- Sleek Look: With no visible outlines (white circled zones) on the hob’s surface the appliance can look sleek and minimal. Fantastic for contemporary style kitchens.
- More Zones: The larger (wider) models will often offer control of up to 6 pans at once. Similar sized ‘standard’ models typically only have up to 5 zones.
Disadvantages Of Full Surface Induction Hobs
- Cost: Full surface models will cost more than a similar sized ‘standard’ zoned model. That clever technology and freedom comes at a price.
- Complicated Controls: Some find it a little confusing at first to work out the controls as they are not dedicated controls for each cooking zone. Different makes and models have different ways to control the cooking zones so it’s important to understand these before purchasing one.
Which Manufacturers Make Full Surface Induction Hobs?
At present it tends to be some of the higher-end appliance brands and manufactueres that offer full surface induction hobs. However, more and more brands are bringing out new and updated models all the time. So keep an eye out for new models entering the market place.
Miele are known for their German engineering excellence and putting their products through extremely rigorous testing and development before they hit the market.
They’ve been offering full surface induction for a while now and have a few different sized and spec’d options available on the market. Offering both a smaller (62cm wide) option designed to have up to 4 pans as well as wider (90cm+) models designed to hold up to 6 pans at once.
There are a few wider models available at different price points offering different additional features.
Fisher & Paykel
Fisher & Paykel are a New Zealand based appliance brand (although have now grown to be a global company) and one that is a little newer to the scene. I primarlity know them for their excellent American style fridge freezers, especially their integrated American fridge freezers but they have since branched out to manufacturer most kitchen appliances now.
Inculding the CI926DTB4 full surface induction hob. It’s the only model they offer, however, it’s a fantastically stylish and clever piece of kit. The CI926DTB4 is a real show stopper of an induction hob.
Caple are a brand that you may not be familiar with. British based, they’ve been in the kitchen appliance industry for over 20 years and have been my go-to for all my wine cooler needs. Now covering all kitchen appliances, they too have a full surface induction hob offering in the form of the C990i Zoneless Hob.
A lovely 92cm wide touch controlled hob with a full 7 inch colour screen and up to 6 pan detection.
Gaggenau are another German manufactuer of high-end kitchen appliances and are positioned as one of the most renowned appliance brands in the world.
They offer a small range of full surface induction cooktops with slightly varying sizes, features and price points. The CX492101 is one of their wider, 6 pan options with a host of extra features and functions.
Best full surface induction Hob (cooktop)
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Here’s how I recommend products.
All full surface induction hobs are premium products and as such have a higher price point than ‘standard’ zoned induction hobs. However, taking this cost into account as well as the build quality and features provided I recommend the Miele KM 7697 FL as a good all-round option.
If you’ve spent any time on my website you’ll know I’m a big fan of Miele products and the KM 7697 is no exception.
A lovely wide (936mm) full surface induction hob that can take up to 6 pots and pans of varying shapes and sizes and individually control them at any one time. Giving you the ultimate in cooking flexibility and freedom.
Along with a host of smart features (listed below), the KM7697 is easy to use and built to last.
- Intuitive quick selection via number sequences
- Intelligent pan recognition – for up to 6 pans
- WiFi connectivity
- Frameless for flush-fit or surface-mounted installation
- Keeping warm function and TwinBooster Power Settings
- Communication with the hood – automatic function (Con@ctivity 3.0)
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are Full Surface Induction Hobs any good?
For those that love the latest tech and have a healthy budget or desperately need flexible cooking for up to 6 pans, a full surface induction cooktop is a perfect solution.
Combing the precison and speed of induction with the freedom to place any shape or size pots anywhere on the surface makes a quite unique cooking experience.
However, for most homeowners the additional cost to have the zoneless technology can be hard to justify.
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There you have it! Everything you need to know about full surface induction hobs (cooktops).
A sleek look combined with cooking freedom makes this induction hob a very appealing option. However, with all that great tech there also comes a higher price tag (as with most things in life).
So make sure to ask yourself if it’s in the budget or if you will really benefit from having that flexible cooking experience.
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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.