Hob Buying Guide
The traditional choice for any budding chef and still the most popular choice, gas offers instant heat and complete control while cooking.
Induction hobs are quickly becoming one of the most popular choices for modern kitchens. Induction hobs use electromagnets to heat up the base of the pan, which is a very quick way of heating and offers excellent heat control. Induction hobs are also very easy to clean and as the pan heats up instead of the hob the surface doesn’t retain heat the way a ceramic or solid plate hob would after use. It is worth remembering though that for induction to work you will need pans with a magnetic base like cast iron or look for induction-ready pans.
For everyday cooking ceramic hobs are a popular choice, they are easy to clean and easy to install. They can take a little longer to heat up than gas or induction but don’t require special pans or gas installation.
Solid plate hobs are easy to use and often a wallet friendly choice. The sealed plates heat up and transfer the heat to the pan, however they can be slow to heat up.
Many hobs come with special zones or burners designed for specialist cooking, like a wok burner or griddle tray. Other hobs will come with pan supports to hold large casserole pots in place.
Perfect for if you want your hob in the middle of your island, a venting hob has an extractor fan built into the centre of the hob pulling steam and smells downward. Venting hobs are available in induction and ceramic hobs so are perfect for a sleek modern kitchen, it’s worth remembering though that because the extractor draws air downwards if cannot be installed above an oven.
On some induction hobs you will find a special piece of tech called pan detection which uses electromagnets to detect where the pan is and direct the hear into the pan, meaning you heat up the pan not the hob.
Some induction hobs will come with a large zone called the FlexInduction zone, a large area of the hob that can be used with any size of pan in any combination. You can use this zone for lots of small pans or for a larger item like a griddle.
Glass Top Gas Hob
If you want the control of gas but the easy cleaning of ceramic then a glass top gas hob is for you. The gas modules are integrated into a glass panel which makes cleaning very easy.
Many hobs now come with safety features to help keep your family safe. Most modern gas hobs will come with a flame failure safety device installed which instantly cuts off the gas supply if flames cut out. Also many induction and ceramic hobs with touch interface will have a lock feature so that little fingers can’t mess with heat controls.
Some induction and ceramic hobs will come with a handy powerboost feature which, as the name suggests, give a burst of instant heat so you can get those pans boiling quickly.