When I first got my Falcon Continental Cooker with its induction hob, I fell in love with it. Hitherto, I had been a Falcon gas man. Not any more. Induction was quicker. It was more efficient. It responded to the smallest adjustment of its control knobs. It was easier to keep clean. It was the acme of modern kitchen technology. And it looked so butch and handsome. I wrote a hymn of praise about in the Guardian Word of Mouth blog.
Shortly afterwards, such are the workings of hubris, it suffered a technical fault. It proved exceedingly tiresome to fix. I was forced to write to Falcon that the dividing line between love and hatred was a small one. The technical fault was corrected and the love affair has continued unabated. It is a fabulous machine, and there is a tile of belly pork gently roasting away in one of its ovens as I write this.
However, my experience with other induction cookers has not been so happy. It has nothing to do with the induction process itself. It’s all to do with the controls. My Falcon has knobs, which are easy, indeed foolproof to deal with. A good many induction hobs do not have knobs. People who clearly have never done a hand’s turn in a kitchen, and who have, therefore, designed them with touch controls hidden in the glass top have designed them. This looks pretty, but as anyone who has tried to use them finds out pretty rapidly, has severe operational defects. E.g., i) if you have the slightest taint of grease on the finger you are using to turn them up or down, they won’t work; ii) if any grease get onto the glass over the controls, they won’t work (and please show the cooker that doesn’t get showered in grease while cooking); iii) similar problems arise if the controls panel gets sloshed with water; iv) the glass covering them can get very hot, making the turning up and down of the hobs an exercise in pain management; v) and in the even of any of the above happening, they start blinking incomprehensible symbols at you.
So if you get an induction hob, look for one with knobs, not touch controls.
Note 1: I have NOT been paid any money or given any inducement by Falcon to write this.
Note 2. The Aga Rangemaster Group make Aga, Falcon, Heartland, Le Cornue, Mercury, Rangemaster, Rayburn, Redfyre and Stanley cookers. They also own Divertimenti shops, Fired Earth, Grange, Leisure sinks, Marvels cooling appliances.