What is the Difference Between Ceramic and Induction Cooktops?

Ceramic and Induction cooktops are the new era technologies which are an easy to use and important asset in the modern kitchen.

When times comes to upgrade or replace the home kitchen appliances, one must know the difference between the two best selling cooktops.

Ceramic Cooktop Vs Induction Cooktop

The fundamental difference in Ceramic and Induction cooktops is the cooking technology.

It is in the way they produce heat to cook food.

In this article, I would be looking into the differences of Ceramic vs Induction cooktop and which one is better for you.

Note that while I am a huge fan of Induction cooktops, there are a few scenarios where Ceramic may make more sense (as we will see in this article)

Different methods of producing heat to cook

Ceramic cooktops contain coiled metal elements beneath the glass ceramic layer. The surface on top is smooth.

This coil is connected to an electric socket. When switched on, the electrical resistance heats the metal coil. This heat is transferred to the glass ceramic surface via convection and consequently, heat is transferred to cookware.

The heat transferred cooks food. The electrical element turns hot red as soon as they are heated. It is, therefore, also called radiant cooktop.

In Induction cooktops, heat is generated inside the cookware via electromagnetic induction. It works on the principle of generating heat energy via magnetism.

When induction is switched on, an alternating current flows through the coil, creating a magnetic field. The cookware is made up of a material which is magnetically conductive and ferromagnetic.

This results in a resistive electric current flowing in the cookware. This resistive electric current generates heat and cooks food.

Efficiency and Control

Induction cooktops are far more efficient and superior when compared to ceramic cooktops. This is because around 85-90% heat energy is used in cooking food in case of Induction whereas lots of heat energy is lost into the atmosphere in case of ceramic cooktops.

Induction cooktops have superior heat control and temperature control when compared to ceramic cooktops.

They can respond to change in heat setting in an instant. Ceramic cooktops need time to heat up and to heat down.

Being a poor heat conductor, ceramic cooktops transfer heat more slowly than induction cooktops.

Residual heat remains on the ceramic cooktop long after cooking. It takes time to cool off. There are hot indicators to show when a cooktop is hot to touch.

The residual heat in case of Induction cooktop quickly dissipates.

Since the heat produced is inside the cookware the cooktop remains cool and it does not release energy into the surroundings. In the case of ceramic cooktops, the entire cooking zone is heated.

A lot of energy escapes from the sides of the pan.

Safety

Induction cooktops are far safer than ceramic cooktops.

They reduce the risk of burns and accidents during and after cooking. This is because only the pan gets heated up whereas the rest of the cooktop remains cool.

Ceramic cooktops, on the other hand, can take a long time to cool down even after the food is cooked (just like electric cooktops). And since heat is transferred to the cookware, there are chances of burning and accidents.

Budget

Ceramic cooktops are cheaper than Induction and are a great option for strict budgets.

They come in various styles and designs according to the suitability of the kitchen.

Although induction cooktops are costlier, they payback by saving energy and time when compared to ceramic cooktops.

Having said that due to public awareness and demand, the prices of inductions have come down significantly.

Note: The cost of Induction cooktop is also a bit higher due to the fact that you can only use induction friendly cookware with it. Not every cookware works on an induction cooktop.

Cookware

Ceramic inductions work with any kind of cookware. The important thing to remember is that the base should be flat and smooth touching the ceramic cooktop. Only then will maximum heat get absorbed after coming in contact with the ceramic cooktop.

As said earlier, induction cooktops work with materials made up of ferrous material like cast iron or stainless steel. If we place a magnet to the base of the cooking utensil, we can come to know if it is induction compatible. If the magnet sticks to the bottom of the cookware, they are induction compatible. We can also purchase converters which are iron plates which fit between the base of the cookware and the cooktop. This can make any utensil compatible with the induction cooktop.

Flexibility Regarding Size of cookware

Depending on different sizes of the cookware, there are also options of zoneless inductions in Induction cooktops.

Zoneless induction cooktops make it easier to place the cookware anywhere on the cooktop and it will start cooking. It is especially convenient for large size cooking vessels.

Some ceramic cooktops also have expandable cooking zones. They are elongated zones.

Since the ceramic cooktop gets heated due to heating elements underneath, the cookware cannot be kept anywhere but just above the heating element in the cooking zone area.

Note: This is again one huge benefit of using an Induction cooktop. Since it only starts the heating when the cookware is kept on it, it’s a lot more energy efficient.

Safety

Both induction and ceramic cooktops offer a variety of safety features nowadays. These safety features reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Induction cooktops, however, are a lot safer as they only work when there is favorable cookware kept on top.

It switches off automatically as soon as the pan is removed from the cooktop. They are ideal for people having small children as it also has child lock features.

Certain models of induction switch off automatically if an empty vessel is kept on top or if there is spillage onto the cooktop or controls. This feature prevents a lot of damage and repair costs.

In the case of ceramic cooktops, they retain a lot of heat after cooking. This is the reason they come now with a residual heat indicator.

It helps in knowing which zones are hot to touch or clean.  Since it does not switch off automatically and takes time to cool, it is not safe for children or forgetful elderly. It can cause burns.

Speed

When it comes to speed, the induction cooktop is a clear winner.

It heats up the cooktop within 20 seconds. Ceramic cooktops longer to come to the desired temperature.

Cleanliness

Both the cooktops are quite easy to clean with just a damp cloth followed by wiping with a dry cloth.

In the case of ceramic cooktop, as the cooktop remains hot for a longer duration, spilled food can bake or burn on the surface.

It is important to clean after the cooktop has cooled down with the help of special cleaning products.

You can also use a specialized scraper at 45-degree angle.

Due to heat element radiating heat, ceramic can crack if cold water touches it when the cooktop is hot. Induction is easier to clean due to lack of heat. 

Related: How to Clean an Induction Cooktop

Ceramic Vs Induction Cooktop – Conclusion

Ceramic cooktops are great for those on a strict budget.

As for those who enjoy cooking and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, it is best to go for induction cooktops.

It is superior in performance and cooks speedily and is easier to maintain.

Hope the above topics have helped you understand the differences from important aspects of cooktops.

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1 thought on “What is the Difference Between Ceramic and Induction Cooktops?”

  1. The title is confusing and not accurate… there are ceramic induction and non-ceramic induction cooktops… that depends on the tempered glass or ceramic-glass that is used on top…

    Some right terms for the title of this article are:
    • What is the Difference Between “Heat-radiant”and Induction Cooktops?
    or
    • What is the Difference Between “Resistance” and Induction Cooktops?

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