By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: After more than 12 months of speculation, Smeg has finally released its first induction wok burner. It is available as a stand alone concave wok plate or as part of a four induction zone hob.

The Smeg SIHP40WG4 (RRP $3,290) stand alone version measures 400 mm x 520 mm and houses a single wok induction zone that is operated by a touch control on the glass surface. It has nine power levels, a 99 minute timer and a minute minder.

Meanwhile The SIHP3WG4 (RRP $4,190) is a four heat zone induction cooktop that, as well as the wok zone, incorporates three other cooking zones of varying size and intensity.

Both models feature automatic pan recognition instant heat, whereby heat is only generated to the exact size of the pan in use to reduce wasted heat and energy.

According to Smeg, independent tests have shown induction cooking to be 80 to 85 per cent efficient, whereas conventional electric ceramic cooking is 65 to 70 per cent efficient and gas up to 65 per cent. The company also said that cooking with induction is up to 2.5 times faster than gas and does not produce any ambient heat in the kitchen environment.

Each of the Smeg induction cooking zones has a power boost where the maximum power can be instantly boosted by up to another 1,100 watts.

Safety controls include an automatic over-temperature shutdown, automatic stop-cook timers, automatic spillage or boil-over shutdown, a lock selection and a residual heat selector.

Both appliances carry a two year in-home warranty on parts and labour.