Why induction cooktops sometimes smells like it’s burning?

Since we are all spending a lot more time at home these days, I have been using my induction cooktop a lot more than the gas stove.

And one thing that I sometimes notice is that the induction cooktops smells as if it’s burning. Not the smell of burnt food but more of a burning wire of a part.

If you’re also smelling the same, this article should help you determine whether it’s really something to worry about or not.

Here I am going to share with you some causes and things you need to do.

A ceramic cooktop can be a fast and easy method of cooking food and super easy to clean. However, it does not mean that the burning smells and odors don’t occur in them.

Since induction cooktops are more delicate than other types of cooktops, combating this problem requires extra care to avoid damage.

Before you do anything to your induction hob, make sure you disconnect it from the power supply. There is a risk of electric shock.

Wear suitable protective gloves if you need to dismantle anything. There can be a chance of getting a cut or injury.

Possible causes for the induction cooktop to smell like its burning

Here are some of the possible causes for the burning smell from your induction cooktop:

  1. The cooktop switch/control unit or its terminal connectors have melted
  2.  The cooktops rear terminal block is damaged
  3.  One of the Hobs induction rings is defective
  4. The filter board burned out
  5. The circuit board is faulty/damaged.
  6. Protective coating emanating burning smell
  7.  The conventional fan not working
  8. Burnt or caked-on food on the surface of an induction
  9. Liquids spilled/splattered/splashed from the pan on to the burner of the heating element while it was on

If you have a good smell sense and are well versed with electrical gadgets, go near the cooktop and smell to check whether the burning odor is electric in nature.

Please note that if you have no idea about the electrical issues, it is a good idea to call a technician and get it professionally repaired before it causes any damage to the components. Switch off your induction and wait for the licensed electrician to come.

What you can do for the possible causes

While most of what I mention here is a little self-diagnosis, in most cases, it’s best to get professional advice. Check if the manufacturer can send someone to get the induction hob checked, or use some third-party services.

Let us take up the issues one by one in order to find the solutions for some possible causes.

Cooker switch, control unit or terminal connectors

There is a possibility that the cooker switch/control unit or its terminal connectors have melted, and you need to check your induction stove thoroughly to make sure that’s the case.

You don’t need to be an electric geek. Just check if whatever is visible has melted. If your observation returns in affirmative, you need to replace that particular damaged part.

If you have a warranty then yay! If not, still yay folks as only the external part or visible part is damaged and the interior works are all fine.

Terminal block

The next thing you need to check is the terminal block located on the back of your induction hob.

If you observe that the plastic on any of the connectors is deformed, you will need to replace the terminal block. (Don’t forget to properly re-tighten the screws).

You will also need to replace the connectors responsible for causing the damage to avoid it overheating again.

You need to have some amount of electrical knowledge here. If you are used to fixing gadgets then you will know how to go about this.

Induction ring

If you often use one or the same burner of your hob, it can lead to the coil on that ring wearing out faster and starting to overheat.

This is especially true in one burner inductions or in burners having the same diameter as your pots and pans. We end up overusing the burner. To check if this is the case, you will need to open the cooktop and see if any of the components of the ring is burned or damaged.

Also, check whether the mica plate above the ring has any brown or black marks on it. If yes, then the smell is probably coming from this component.

You will need to replace the entire ring. You are definitely going to need professional repair in this case.

Filter board

The filter board is the main suppressor that filters out the main electrics as it enters the appliance. Their burning out is a very common problem on some Hotpoint induction hobs. It is a good idea to call an expert technician.

If you are looking at fixing this yourself then you need to remove the glass top and there you will see the control boards.

At the back is a smaller board. Check whether this has burnt out. If yes, you will need to replace the filter board and that should cure the fault from there.

Circuit board

With a heavy heart, I move on to the next possibility. It is, unfortunately, possible for a component on the circuit board to melt or explode.

When this happens, an unpleasant smell is produced. You can gain access to the circuit board by removing the ceramic glass cooktop layer.

If you have opened up the cooktop on your own, then I believe you are well versed with gadgets. Now check whether there is any abnormality or damage on the circuit board. If that is the case, you will need to replace the entire circuit board.

Take out that warranty card please as without that it is going to cost quite a bit. Some people prefer buying another hob at the price of circuit board repair. The choice is absolutely yours.

Coatings

If your cooktop is new, it’s possible that it came with a special coating that was applied to protect the cooktop in shipment. The first time you heat the cooktop, this coating may produce a bad or at least a very noticeable smell.

Any coating burn-off smell from a new ceramic cooktop cannot be prevented. This is a manufacturing issue. check the owner’s manual to see if it mentions the smell. If not, call the customer service hotline listed in the manual for more information.

Protective coatings on cooktops will naturally burn off after the first few times you use the appliance. After that point, you should no longer notice a bad smell.

To be on the safe side and avoid a manufacturing issue, it is a good idea to research beforehand and see whether the particular induction you wish to buy has this issue.

Fan

All inductions have a built-in fan that operates during and after cooking in order to expel heat from the hob and keep the induction cool.

It prevents overheating of all the components of the appliance. It could happen that the conventional fan has blown out from inside the induction.

A fan not working properly cannot cool down the induction. This leads to overheating of the components causing them to melt or burn out and hence the smell.

Usually, the fan is located towards the backside of the induction hob. Open the glass top to find out if the fan has blown out. If that is the case, replace the fan. It is better to get this checked by an electric/ induction repair guy.

Food

If you have had your induction cooktop for a long time, it is possible that you may have spilled or dribbled some greasy food onto it while cooking. Food that cakes on to the cooktop can produce odor, particularly if it starts to burn.

Caked on food can be trickier since ceramic cooktops can scratch or otherwise be damaged easily. Use a gentle scouring pad such as a Dobie pad ( that features a sponge wrapped in a plastic mesh) or specialized induction pad.

Unlike steel wool or other abrasive pads, these types of pads scrub the grime away without scratching whatever you are cleaning.

If there is no other option, simply slip a normal sponge into a mesh vegetable bag, like the ones frequently used for onions and potatoes. Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the caked on mess and allow to sit for 20 minutes before scrubbing away.

Spills

It is quite possible for liquids to spill/ splatter/splash from the pot on to the burner of the heating element while it was on.

For such spills, make it a policy to wipe them up as soon as your induction cooktop has cooled down enough to touch. Spills are much easier to clean before they have a chance to harden and crust over.

If you clean spills up as soon as possible, you reduce the risk of burning the food onto your cooktop. When it comes to cleaning the induction cooktop, baking soda is all-natural, safe and emits no harmful fumes. Check for the safety and label of the cleaning product you wish to use.

Certain heavy-duty cleaners such as oven cleaners and degreasers come with a warning. They may be flammable and may require thorough cleaning before using your induction. It is important to read all manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly before cleaning.

Conclusion 

I need to tell you this. You have the best state of the art modern technology for cooking food- the induction. Congratulations on your smart cooking choice.

Although it helps to ease us in the household chore of cooking, it is, after all, an electrical gadget. It is bound to come with some liabilities.

Anything man-made always does. So you don’t need to worry much. Just make sure you do a bit of research about the product before purchasing it. Once bought, use it carefully following all the instructions in the manual to the letter T.

If, despite all the research and care, a burning smell starts to emanate, do not worry. Do not lament on your poor choice or lack of wisdom, remember everything has a life and faults/fixtures are a part of the life of electrical gadgets.

Just follow the above steps and you will be fine. View, observe, affirm/acknowledge and correct. As simple as that. All the best!

Other Induction hob related articles you may find useful: