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I'm about to buy a new 80cm hob for my kitchen and already decided to go for induction.

However, I'm torn between a more classical layout like this:

T58TS11N0 hob

and one with large "flex induction" zones:

T68TL6UN2 hob

The spare part diagrams show the shapes of the inductor coils very clearly:

standard zones

flex zones

The circular coil is probably - I never used induction before so I do not know - better at heating up the pot or skillet very evenly compared to the two rectangular coils.

However, I have no idea whether this has any noticeable effect when cooking (I did find some tests where they put a metal plate on top and burnt flour to see the head distribution).

For example, when making Schnitzel, I usually put 2-3 Schnitzels in a ø28cm skillet (ø24 on the bottom), but of course I want them to fry somewhat evenly (and in particular not have areas that are still raw, while the crust is turning black in other areas). Or when making meatballs, I have lots of small pieces covering most of the skillet - obviously I want them all to fry properly.

So my questions are:

  • Does a decent pan/skillet/pot distribute the heat well enough so the inductor coil shape doesn't really matter?
  • Is there a strong advantage of having the circular-shaped inductors instead of only flexible zones?

In case it matters, I typically use no more than two pieces at a time, e.g. a pot to boil pasta and a pan/skillet to fry something, or two pans in case there's more to fry.

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  • 1
    I've wondered this myself, so thanks for asking.
    – FuzzyChef
    Oct 14, 2022 at 23:51
  • One thing I will mention: the primary problem with induction stoves is having coils that are smaller than your pan bottoms, leading to very uneven heating. So from that perspective, "zones" would be better. However, that depends on them being as hot as large coils, hence your question.
    – FuzzyChef
    Oct 14, 2022 at 23:52
  • I'm very interested in an answer for this as well, though it would be better asked in electronics.stackexchange.com Oct 15, 2022 at 18:55
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    The question is how effective the coils are for cooking, so it's appropriate here. The folks in Electrical Engineering have no opinions about cooktops; they can answer how it's wired, but not how well it sautes.
    – FuzzyChef
    Oct 15, 2022 at 18:58
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    When a question is on topic on more than one site, we generally leave it up to the OP - if they want us to migrate it we can, or they can always ask in more than one place.
    – Cascabel
    Oct 16, 2022 at 4:30

1 Answer 1

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The coils absolutely generate hot spots. They are visible, clear as day, even when boiling a big pot of water.

Those hot spots are best mitigated by:

  1. A heavier bottom that distributes the heat better
  2. Allowing time to warm at a lower setting rather than immediately starting at the high setting

Rectangular coils that are bigger than the pan (sticking out past the perimeter of the pan) may end up not detecting enough metal to turn on, making the additional coils irrelevant.

Assuming the coils do activate, the rectangular shape will result in a different pattern of hotspots than coils built in concentric circles.

Whether the different pattern of hot spots is good or bad is more a matter of preference, akin to cooking on a flat top with lines of burners, or a pan on a round burner.

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