You don’t get any more cooking space than you’d get with a traditional 60cm hob, but the AEG IAE84851FB at least gives some extra space. It’s well designed, with two traditional cooking zones, plus a flexible zone that can either be extended in size to accommodate larger pans, split into two zones, or used with PowerSlide – where you can move a pan’s position to automatically adjust heat. Add SenseFry, which delivers automatic cooking modes, plus excellent performance from all zones, and this is a great hob to cook on.
- Clever PowerSlide
- Intuitive touch controls
- SenseFry makes cooking automatic
- Not much more cooking space than a 60cm hob
- UKRRP: £1199
- Cooking zonesThis hob has a total of four cooking: two round and one flexible zone that can be split into two zones or combined into one large one
- PowerThis induction hob requires a 32A circuit
The 80cm AEG IAE84851FB hob doesn’t offer more cooking space over 60cm hobs, but it does deliver a bit more room. More importantly, it has some clever cooking modes, including PowerSlide and SenseFry, which make it great fun to cook. It’s also a powerful hob, with the ability to heat to boiling quickly on any of its cooking zones.
Design and Features
An 80cm, the AEG IAE84851FB is a fraction wider than most four-zone induction hobs. It’s finished in the traditional black glass, but it’s controlled via an LCD panel that sits at the bottom-right of the hob, which I found intuitive and easy to use.
Each of the cooking zones is activated automatically when a pot is placed down on it, with a slider control used to select one of the nine power modes available, plus a power boost (P) setting for rapidly boiling water, which lasts for a maximum of 10 minutes.
Each zone has its own timer, offering the option to either beep once the time is complete or turn off the hob. That’s a nice touch, and I found it made cooking very flexible: I could turn off potatoes at the end of the boiling time, but just get warned when it was time to add ingredients to a curry.
The extra width, compared to a regular four-zone hob, gives this 7.35kW AEG a few extra features that make it stand out.
First, there’s the flexible induction cooking area on the left, which can be used as two individual zones, or combined to deliver a choice of three cooking area sizes for the likes of grill pans and hot plates. It’s all controlled via the simple touchscreen button on the control panel.
As well as being able to expand the cooking zone, the settings menu offers the PowerSlide option, too. This presets the bottom zone to power 8, for boiling, the middle of the zone to 5 for simmering, and the top zone to 1 for keeping warm. Just slide the pan between them to adjust power. It’s surprisingly handy, and makes cooking quicker, as I didn’t have to touch power settings to adjust heat levels.
Due to power limitations, you can only use P on two zones at the same time. Turn on P on one of the regular zones and the other zone is limited to power 5. Turn it on in one of the flexible induction zones and the other zone has a maximum power of 1.
Dropping down into the normal options is more forgiving, with you able to run all four zones at the 8 level, which is enough power for frying. Most of the time, I found myself operating at lower power levels.
Each zone also has a melting function, which uses a low-power setting to help you melt butter or chocolate without burning it.
Assisted cooking functions are present to make it easier to handle different foods. The AEG offers a wide range including options for meat, fish, vegetables and pancakes. Each setting uses SenseFry, where the hob will adjust its power settings on-the-fly, using a temperature sensor to monitor heat. Each mode indicates when the pan is ready to cook and then maintains its temperature throughout cooking.
I found this useful for offering an idea of which settings I should use on the induction hob (each one is different). Yet, once I’d achieved a feel for how the hob worked, I found it quicker to take control by using manual settings.
- Very fast across the board
- Evenly heats up
To test the power of the AEG IAE84851FB, I put it through my standard tests. First, I placed a large pan filled with 1.5 litres of water onto the flexible zone and put this on the P power boost setting. This draws a maximum of 3200W, so brought my water to 90ºC in a swift 3mins 8secs; only Miele’s hobs with the company’s TwinBoost feature are faster here.
Moving onto the circular hobs, I placed my mid-sized saucepan onto the larger hob, setting it to P to bring 1 litre of water to 90ºC. Again, the hob can draw a maximum of 3200W, so the boil time of 1min 35secs was extremely quick.
Moving onto the smallest cooking zone, I tested it with a small pan of 500ml of water. Here, the zone can draw a considerable 2800W of power, which is more than most hobs offer. That resulted in a super-fast boil to 90ºC time of 1min 26secs. Across the board and with all sizes of pan, the AEG IAE84851FB proved itself an extremely fast hob.
Using my thermal camera, you can see that the cooking zones use traditional round heating elements.
For the flexible induction zone, there are strips of heating elements, which deliver more even coverage when joined together over combining two circular elements.
Should you buy it?
If you want smart features that make cooking more intuitive and fun, combined with excellent performance, this is a great hob.
If you need more cooking zones rather than a hob that’s that offers more space generally, look elsewhere.
The AEG IAE84851FB is a thoughtfully designed hob. For beginners, SenseFry can take some of the guesswork out of cooking, while those who cook a lot will appreciate PowerSlide. Intuitive controls and excellent performance make this a great choice for those who love to cook. If you want the flexible zones (without PowerSlide) for larger items and want to save some money, the Indesit IB 88B60 NE is a decent alternative.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every induction hob we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main induction hob for the review period
We measure how long it takes to bring 500ml, 1-litre and 1.5-litres of water to 90C using different sized burners.
We test any special cooking programmes to see how they perform
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This hob is classed as an 80cm hob (technically 78cm wide), so it takes up a little more room than a regular four-zone induction hob.
It’s rated to use a maximum of 7.35kW, so needs a full 32A circuit on its own.
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