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!
In a hurry? Here’s the key takeaway:
💡 A full surface induction hob offers a zoneless cooking experience, allowing pots and pans of any size to be placed anywhere on its surface for ultimate cooking flexibility. However, it comes at a premium price.
Read on to learn more…
What is a full surface induction hob (Cooktop)?
A full surface induction hob is a cooktop that’s entire surface is one large multi-induction zone. Sometimes called ‘fully flexible’ or ‘zoneless’, 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 of cookware (as long as it’s induction compatible) and the unit will automatically detect its 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 come 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.
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How does a full surface induction Hob work?
A full-surface, zoneless induction hob operates on the same foundational principles as a standard induction hob. However, it has a few clever differences.
Full-surface induction cooktops have a dense grid of induction coils under the surface.
It will then use advanced sensors and electronics to detect the size, shape, and position of your cookware on the surface. This means you can move a pot or pan anywhere on the cooktop, and the device will adjust accordingly.
Based on where you place your cookware, the cooktop can determine which coils to activate. The power can be adjusted individually for each piece of cookware, allowing for versatile cooking options. For example, you can simmer a sauce in one pot while boiling water in another.
Full-surface induction hobs generally come with touch controls and displays. These controls let you manage the power levels for each pan, while some advanced models might even show a virtual layout of your cookware on the control panel.
Which is pretty cool, if I do say so myself. 😊
Which Manufacturers Make Full Surface Induction Hobs?
At present it tends to be some of the higher-end appliance brands and manufacturers 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 marketplace.
Miele is known for their German engineering excellence and for 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 primarily know them for their excellent American-style fridge freezers, especially their integrated American fridge freezers but they have since branched out to manufacture most kitchen appliances now.
Including the CI926DTB4 full surface induction hob. It’s the only model they offer, however, it’s a fantastically stylish and clever piece of kit.
Caple is 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 is another German manufacturer of high-end kitchen appliances and is 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.
Are Full Surface Induction Hobs any good?
For those who 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.
Combining the precision 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, the additional cost to have the zoneless technology can be hard to justify.
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.