Whirlpool launches pan gadget for induction hobsAll pans will work thanks to new 'Interface Disc'
17 August 2010
The latest accessory from Whirlpool is designed to make 'any pot and pan' suitable for use on an induction hob - whatever it's made from.
As induction hobs work by creating a magnetic field, they need iron-based pans to 'induce' a current and cook food. Whirlpool claims that its latest innovation - the 'Interface Disc' - defies science and allows any pan to work on induction - magnetic or not.
The device is designed to be placed on the induction zone with the pan on top - allowing any pan to work immediately.
Which? hobs expert Matt Stevens comments: 'This is an interesting innovation from Whirlpool, but we're not sure how helpful this is going to be. Do consumers really want to have to reach for their Interface Disc every time they use their induction hob?
'Using two utensils rather than one and could prove to be a pain - buying a new pan would be better. And how effective is it going to be? We've tested hob add-ons previously and we're not impressed with them so far. However, the Interface Disc could prove popular, so we'll consider testing it and publishing the results on which.co.uk.'
Barriers to induction
Whirlpool claims that one reason why consumers are reluctant to buy induction hobs is the fear that a 'beloved' pan will become redundant if it's not iron-based. We think this is a rather small issue against the backdrop of a pretty expensive induction hob market - our Best Buy induction hobs range from between £370 and £499, compared with a Best Buy gas hob for £133.
Pros and cons of induction hobs
Induction hobs - while expensive compared with electric, gas or gas on glass - have various benefits, including better energy efficiency. They also tend to perform much better than traditional hobs, meaning that they need to get a higher score in our lab tests to be crowned 'Best Buy'.
For a detailed comparison of features, pros and cons of different hobs, have a look at the hob features explained page in our hob reviews.
It remains to be seen whether the energy efficient credentials of induction technology will be undermined by Whirlpool's Interface Disc - it's possible that a lot of energy will be lost as it moves from the hob, through the disc and into the pan.