We all enjoy a nice home cooked stew or a fry-up breakfast. But when it comes to preparing a meal on a hob, it is important to understand how various types of appliances, available on the market, work and know about their pros and cons. Having the right hob can greatly improve your experience, not to mention the quality of your food. That being said, how do you know which cooking hob is right for you? In this article, we will go through the types of hobs and their advantages, so you know you’ve made the right choice or can make an informed decision if you’re about to replace your old hob with a new one.

Table of Contents:

So, if you are:

  • Thinking of getting a new hob installed;
  • Wondering which hobs are best for your kitchen;
  • Looking for the most efficient hob.

Then this article is for you!

Types of gas hobs

Gas hobs are popular among professional chefs and home cooking enthusiasts. They consist of burners, mounted on a metal plate, that heat your pans with the help of an open flame. Most commonly, there are four burners with different sizes. The flame allows for quick heating and maximum temperature control. This makes gas hobs perfect for preparing fast-cooking recipes. However, they are less efficient than induction hobs, as they give off more residual heat. They can be used with any type of cookware, meaning you won’t need to get a whole new set of pots and pans.

All gas hobs have a flame failure safety device, which automatically shuts off the gas supply if the flame goes out. The cooking surface cools down quickly, making it safer for you and your food. The downside is that you need a gas supply connection, so gas hobs may not be the best choice for all homes. They can also be more cumbersome to clean due to the burners’ many components.

Pros

  • Quick heat
  • Burners cool down fast
  • Complete temperature control
  • Suitable for any type of cookware
  • Safer to use

Cons

  • Less efficient than induction hobs
  • Must have a gas supply connection
  • Difficult to clean
  • Not as stylish as electric hobs

Gas on glass

This type of hob is essentially the same as the standard gas hobs, but is mounted on a ceramic glass surface instead. This makes it easier to clean. Some people prefer the more sleek and stylish design of gas on glass hobs to the standard models.

Types of electric hobs

Electric hobs are more common than their gas counterpart. As with gas, they usually come with four or five cooking zones. Their simple, smooth design is preferred around households and they are considered easier to use. There are several different types of electric hobs.

Ceramic hobs

This is the most common type of cooking hob. Ceramic glass covers electrical elements that heat up the cookware. This type can have radiant, halogen or semi-halogen elements underneath the heat resistant glass. They work well with all types of cookware. Their smooth surface makes them easier to clean.

Their downside is that the heat distribution is not as good as it is with gas hobs. They heat up fairly quickly, but take longer to cool down than other sorts. Thus, the temperature control of ceramic hobs is not as good as that of gas hobs. Their slower cooling time makes it more difficult to bring the food down from a boil to a simmer, for example. Also, ceramic hobs might not be the best choice if you have small children, as they may burn themselves accidentally, even when the appliance has been turned off and despite its residual heat indicator. They can also be more expensive than some of the other kinds.

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Sleek and smooth design
  • Work with all types of cookware
  • Heat up quickly

Cons

  • Poor heat distribution
  • Not as efficient as gas or induction
  • Take longer to cool down
  • More expensive
  • Not as safe for children

Induction hobs

Induction hobs are becoming increasingly popular in recent years, and with good reason. They may look like their ceramic brothers, but work in a very different way. They heat up and cool down very quickly, compared to ceramic and solid plate ones. Induction hobs work by creating a magnetic field between the heating elements and the cookware. This means that only the pan heats up, while the glass surface remains cool. This makes them a lot more efficient, safer if you have young kids and cheaper to run, due to the very little residual heat they give off. It also means they are safe to use with respect to accidentally spilled food, which may burn onto your cooktop. This makes cleaning a breeze.

However, not all pots and pans are suitable for use with induction hobs. You will need to check if yours work, or invest in a new set. Induction hobs can be on the expensive side, especially compared to gas or solid plate.

Pros

  • Only the pan heats up, while the surface remains cool
  • Heat up quickly
  • More efficient than ceramic and solid plate
  • Easy to clean
  • Little residual heat
  • Safer to use

Cons

  • Not all cookware is suitable
  • More expensive than other types

Solid plate

This type of hob comes cheaper than the rest, but is significantly more expensive to run. It consists of metal plates that get electrically heated up. Their heat distribution can be good, but you would need to use cookware with a flat base for best results. They work well with cast iron cookware and are sturdy, meaning it would be more difficult to damage them should you drop a heavy pan on top.

Solid plate hobs are easy to use, but they don’t allow for very precise heat control. They are fairly slow to heat up and cool down and give off quite a lot of residual heat. This makes them less efficient than other models. They can be difficult to clean due to food that may get trapped under the plates.

Pros

  • Cheaper than other models
  • Sturdy
  • Good for cast iron pans
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Temperature is difficult to control
  • Most expensive to run
  • Heats up and cools down slowly
  • Harder to clean
  • Less efficient
  • Not so safe to use around young children

Halogen hobs

Halogen hobs are a type of ceramic hob. They combine the convenience and look of electric hobs with the precision of gas hobs. Halogen cooking works in a slightly different way than the rest, using the three types of heating – conduction, convection, and radiation – at once. Halogen heating elements are fitted underneath the ceramic glass surface. They radiate light that warms up the cookware. Infrared radiation allows for a constant temperature and greater heat control. This makes the use of halogen hobs easier and more efficient. The red light that you see on the cooking zone indicates the temperature levels, too – the brighter the light, the higher the heat.

Pros

  • Constant heating level
  • Good temperature control
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Heats up and cools down slowly
  • Safer to use if you have small children, due to their light indicator

Domino hobs

Domino is a style of hobs, known for its thin rectangular design. They come as both electric and gas models and usually consist of one or two cooking zones. They are the perfect space-saving solution if your kitchen happens to be on the smaller side and you need more room to work.

Is your kitchen in need of a new cooking hob?

You have chosen the perfect kitchen hob, great! No more burnt-on food, ruined pans and painfully slow cooking times! Now your cooktop just needs to be fitted.
Fantastic Services offers a complete electrical appliance installation service that includes fitting new cooking hobs. The skilled and certified electricians provide a high-quality service with proven results. Leave the hard work to the professionals and enjoy your new hob!

Find out more about our appliance installation service here!

Learn more

Takeaways

  • Gas hobs may not be a good fit for some households
  • Electric solid plate hobs are the most expensive to run
  • Halogen hobs combine the efficiency of gas models with the convenience of electrical ones
  • Induction hobs are among the most efficient

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Did you find this article useful? Have you had a new hob installed? Share your experience in the comments!

Image source: shutterstock / Obak

  • Last update: October 18, 2019

Posted in Home Improvement

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