Our guide to buying a hob
Hobs buyers guide
We have five types of hobs to choose from; dual fuel, electric, ceramic, induction, and gas. But what is the difference? Read our guide to find out more about hobs and which one is right for you.
Please make sure you have thought about the fitting of your hob before purchasing and have an engineer to check and fit your new hob. The size of the hob is particularly important when looking to replace an old hob in the same space as before. Think about the depth and if there are any obstructions underneath like a drawer that could get in the way if the depth is different to what you had before. Making sure you have the correct gas or power supply in place before purchasing is also important to think about before you install your hob.
Electric and gas are the more traditional styles, but the two are quite different. Electric hobs can take a couple of minutes to heat up, whereas a gas hob gives instant heat with a flame. The areas you place your pan on an electric hob are called zones and depending on the size you require, can be found in one to six zones. These hobs take a while to cool down after you turn them off so a safety feature on many models include a heat indicator to show which areas are still hot. You may also find some with child safety features for that extra peace of mind.
Gas hobs come in sizes ranging between one and six burners and offer a really easy way to control heat or provide direct heat. You may find some models offer various types of burners within the same hob so you can use different pans at the same time. These hobs are great for simmering at a medium heat and are also fantastic to use when the hob has a wok burner for high-temperature cooking. There is a safety aspect to consider with gas burners compared to electric hobs due to the open flame. A Flame Supervision Device (or FSD) or Flame Failure Device (FFD) is a part of the gas burner system that ensures that the fuel supply to a gas appliance such as a gas hob is cut off automatically and immediately if for any reason the flame goes out or becomes unstable. Other features may include pan supports, which prevent plans from slipping during use. The burners themselves are more difficult to clean compared to electric hobs, but the pan supports can be easily removed for cleaning. They are available in different materials like cast iron or enameled steel.
Dual fuel hobs offer the best of both worlds and combine electric induction, and gas in the same hob. One side of the hob having gas, which is ideal for high-temperature cooking, and the other for induction that allows easier controlled cooking at lower temperatures. This versatility is ideal for budding chefs!
Induction hobs are similar in looks to ceramic hobs but the way they work is very clever. The heat is not generated on the cooking ring itself, instead, the hob generates a magnetic field which causes the molecules inside the pan to vibrate generating heat. The hob top does therefore not have the same amount of latent heat in it making Induction far safer to use. It also works well if the pot boils over because the contents do not then stick to the hob surface allowing for easy cleaning. The surface will have a small amount of residual heat after cooking, but will still be safe to touch and will cool down quickly, especially in comparison to a ceramic or electric solid plate hobs. They are also very energy efficient, which can make all the difference to your energy bills. When using induction hobs, you must make sure you use the steel or cast iron pans as not all of them are suitable. Steer clear from copper or aluminum pans. The better quality the pan and it’s steel content the better the induction hob will work.
Induction hobs allow for versatile cooking at higher & lower temperatures. The induction tops come in various different forms, you can have the whole surface as one large induction plate, meaning that you can cook anywhere on the surface but this can come at a higher price.
Ceramic hobs are available with a choice of cooking zones, depending on the space in your kitchen and they really look the part with a sleek and stylish design. The flat surface is very easy to clean which saves alot of time in the after-dinner clear-up. Generally, you can choose from traditional-looking dials, or a more modern touch display to control the heat. Heat is generated underneath the ceramic glass, which then transfers to your pot. These can be slightly more expensive than gas or electric and the heat may take a little longer to disperse after cooking, but features such as heat indicators can help from a safety aspect.
A venting hob is an induction hob with a built-in extractor fan in the centre. This type of hob is great if you are limited on space for an extractor hood or if you are thinking about having your hob on a kitchen island. You will need a little more space underneath though for the venting equipment to go under the counter instead of above it.
The design in this category is fantastic. You would be the envy of all your friends with this advanced technology in your home.
Some people prefer touch-sensitive control buttons and others prefer more manual buttons. It’s up to you which one you prefer but it is good to bear in mind when purchasing. You can get various controls nowadays including standard knobs, touch control or twist magnetic illumination. This can make cleaning use much easier aswell.
Safety and security alerts
A lot of hobs now come with safety features to keep you and your family safe. Most modern gas hobs will have a flame failure safety device which will instantly cut off the gas supply if the flame cuts out. Most induction hobs cool down very quickly and are ok to touch soon after use.
Newer induction hobs can detect when a pan or is on the hob using electromagnets. This directs all the heat towards what’s inside your pan instead of the hob’s surface for fast, powerful and safe cooking.
Please bear in mind that across the various different sizes of hob the power supply can differ. This will range from 13amp to 50amp, the lower amperage at 13amp could mean that if all four rings are used the fours rings will only come on at lower power settings. It is advisable to contact an electrician if you are unsure of what connection is possible in your home before purchase.
Do you need a cooker hood to match your new hob?
Installation & delivery of your hob
For more information or help with your order and delivery click here.
Did you know?
Knees Home and Electrical have two stores in Wiltshire; one in Trowbridge and one in Malmesbury. We have a range of hobs on display in-store so you can try them before you buy. You don’t have to live locally to buy your hob from us. We deliver across mainland UK using our delivery partner and you can see our entire range online and buy online.