Using infrared light to generate heat, halogen hobs are sought-after cookers. But are they worth it? Like anything else, they have pros and cons.
The main advantage of halogen hobs is their safety compared to both gas and electric cookers. Infrared light delivers instant heat, and the glass-ceramic cooktop is very easy to clean. However, the thermal conductivity is less efficient compared to gas or induction hobs. The cooktop is also more fragile compared to induction cookers.
Halogen Hobs Pros And Cons Overview
The table below shows a brief overview of halogen hobs’ pros and cons:
|Instant heat||More expensive than gas or electric hobs|
|Low maintenance||Poor thermal conductivity|
|Sleek design||Take longer to cool down|
|Safer than gas or electric hobs|
|Adaptable to high temperatures|
6 Halogen Hob Pros
A type of ceramic hobs, halogen hobs are considered high-tech kitchen appliances. They use radiant heat for cooking or warming up food and find their place in all kitchens thanks to the streamlined design.
Let’s have a look at their pros.
1. Instant Heat
One of the main advantages of halogen hobs is the technology packed in their heating element.
Although they run on electricity, halogen hobs are different from their electric counterparts. Standard heating elements use electricity to heat up and transfer the heat to a metal plate, which then transfers the heat further to the pan.
Halogen hobs feature infrared elements and use radiant heat. This type of heat is similar to that produced by infrared space heaters (infrared light) and is transferred directly to an object – in this case, the cookware.
This technology makes halogen hobs more similar to gas or induction hobs rather than electric or other ceramic types. The rings get hot very quickly, more or less like a gas burner’s flame.
2. Low Maintenance
Like all ceramic heaters, halogen hobs need little to no maintenance. The cooktop is basically a flat ceramic glass surface.
The high-tech design means there are no dials or knobs in the way. All this makes the hob very easy to clean.
Simply wipe the surface with a damp cloth or a halogen hob cleaner after cooking once the surface has cooled down.
3. Sleek Design
Most kitchens can benefit from the streamlined look of halogen hobs. The flat, frameless design joins the hob and worktop together, adding fluidity to your interior.
Installing these hobs is also as easy as it gets. They generally come with everything needed for installation, including sealant strips that go between the hob edges and your worktop.
The only thing to remember is that you should never replace these strips with silicone caulk or other sealants. Caulk and sealants may not perform well in the proximity of heat and could damage your worktop.
Unless you want to pay for a costly worktop replacement, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and provided materials when installing it.
Safety-wise, halogen hobs are safer than gas and old-fashioned electric hobs. The main advantage is that they won’t explode in case of malfunction – such as gas stoves – and are less likely to catch fire compared to electric hobs.
Most models incorporate advanced safety features, such as child locks that prevent tiny fingers from operating the unit and sensors designed to turn off the appliance in the absence of a pot.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can disregard the electrical wiring and safety regulations when installing this hob type, including installing it a minimum of 30 centimetres from a sink.
All kitchen enthusiasts know that nothing compares to a gas cooker when it comes to reaching those scorching-hot meat-searing temperatures.
However, as far as electric cookers go, halogen hobs can get hot enough to allow for decent searing and high-temperature cooking – about 700°C. They are undeniably more performing than standard electric and non-halogen ceramic hobs.
6. Energy Efficiency
As far as electric cookers go, the halogen type offers the best compromise between cooking speed, controllability, thermal safety, and energy efficiency.
If it were to compare a halogen hob vs. induction, the latter would win. However, if you want to replace a resistance or standard ceramic cooker and don’t want to break the bank, a halogen cooker is your best bet.
3 Halogen Hob Cons
Perhaps the main disadvantage of halogen hobs is their price compared to non-halogen ceramic, electric, and gas cookers.
Although they are cheaper than induction hobs, you can still expect to pay more upfront compared to all other types. The only exception is the high-end, semi-professional gas cookers, which are more expensive.
2. Thermal Conductivity
Whilst it is true that halogen cookers provide the best compromise in terms of value for money, their thermal conductivity is not the best.
These cookers use infrared heat to warm up your pots and pans. Infrared heat is basically hot light; that’s why cooking on these hobs takes longer compared to gas, induction, and even non-halogen ceramic.
3. Cooling Down Time
Another disadvantage is that halogen hobs don’t cool down almost instantly as induction cookers do. They are more similar to electric and gas cookers in this aspect, requiring a few minutes before the surface becomes cool to touch.
Are halogen hobs expensive to run?
Halogen hobs are not the cheapest to run – gas cookers are – but they are cheaper to run than electric and non-halogen ceramic hobs.
Are halogen and induction hobs the same?
No. Halogen and induction hobs look alike, but they use different technologies. Whilst halogen cookers use infrared radiation that slowly heats up the cooking vessel, induction hobs use an electromagnetic field that transfers heat to the pan almost instantly.
This is why induction cookers are more performing and energy-efficient compared to halogen.
How do halogen hobs work?
Halogen hobs work by transferring heat to the cooking vessel through a process called infrared radiation.
Infrared radiation is similar to the UV radiation from the sun and works in a similar way. When you turn on the hob, the heat travels from the halogen ring through the ceramic glass and hits the first object in its path.
The closer an object is to the heat source (the ring), the more it will heat. When there is no pot on the stove, the radiation disperses into the room and heats up other objects in its path, such as the kitchen cabinets.
However, the effect in this case is similar to that of a room heater – you don’t have to worry about the hob setting your kitchen furniture on fire.
Do halogen pans work on induction?
Halogen pans will only work on induction cookers if they are induction-compatible. Cookware designed for induction hobs is magnetic; otherwise, the electromagnetic field can’t transfer the heat to the cooking vessel.
However, halogen hobs generally work with all types of pots and pans – the thinner the material, the faster the cooking.
Halogen hobs are an excellent choice for a modern kitchen if you want to give up gas and don’t have the money for an induction cooker. We hope this guide can help you make an informed decision.