We’ve put together a basic guide to get you thinking about some of the most important things to consider when looking for a new hob.
What Are the Choices?
There are lots of different models and makes of hobs on the market to choose from. Whether you opt for gas, electric or induction, each has its own merits and drawbacks, and a lot will depend on what sort of thing you are looking for, and how best your hob can suit your needs.
Ease of Installation
Depending on the type of hob you choose will dictate how it will need to be installed. For example, a gas hob will require installation by a Gas Safe registered engineer, and will need to be in reach of a gas supply. An electric hob will need to be installed by an electrician and it may need its own separate power supply to avoid overloading your existing circuits.
The safest of all hobs is the induction hob. Induction hobs work by using electro magnets which are incredibly clever and ensure that only the pan and its contents get hot. It has an automatic pan recognition system, so that it is only activated when the pan is on the hob. Induction hobs, and ceramic hobs, also have child safety locks so that the zones on the hobs can’t be turned on by curious little hands. Induction hobs are, therefore, family-friendly and perfect for kitchens where cooking and baking is a family activity.
Ceramic glass hobs also come with an array of safety features; such as an automatic mode to shut the power down after a certain amount of time, and a waste heat indicator. When the indicator is illuminated it means that the cooking surface is still very hot, so you should avoid touching it or placing anything on top of it until it is completely cool.
With a selection of safety features, electric hobs make a good choice for anyone concerned about their property. For example landlords letting to students will often ensure that electric hobs are installed as if they are left on they are less dangerous than leaving an unlit gas hob running. This said, although many people associate gas hobs as being dangerous, they are a lot safer than they used to be. New gas hobs often now come with a feature that automatically cuts the gas flow if the flame accidently goes out, which can prevent gas leaks, inhalation and other accidents.
Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook?
If you look cooking up gourmet feasts then you can’t beat a gas hob for instant, and easily controllable, heat. Electric hobs take longer to heat up, so if you like to cook in a hurry it may leave you feeling frustrated. Gas hobs also cool down quicker than electric solid plate and ceramic hobs. However, you will find it easy to adjust to each type of hob and therefore alter your cooking times and temperatures as needed.
Cost to Run
When it comes to choosing a hob, many people will be swayed by how much it costs to run. Surprisingly, gas is actually cheaper than electricity! So if you are looking for cost-efficiency, you might be steered more towards installing a gas hob.
However, when it comes to energy efficiency, induction hobs score top marks, making them an ideal choice for the environmentally conscious consumer. You will, however, need to buy special cast iron pans for this type of hob, which can be an added expense.
Ease of Cleaning
If ease of cleaning is high up on your list of priorities when it comes to picking a hob, then you’ll probably spend most of your time cleaning a gas hob, because it’s fiddly and has more awkward bits than other types of hob. Taking apart the rings and soaking covers can be time consuming. Electric solid plate and ceramic hobs are easier to clean than gas hobs, but the easiest of all is the induction hob, as food doesn’t burn onto it, so cleaning up after dinner is a cinch!
There are so many different elements to consider when deciding on a new hob for your kitchen, not to mention the wealth of accessories available for every appliance. At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference and what you feel most comfortable cooking on, and with.
This article was written by Lauren who works for Appliance City. She writes about home improvement and food and drink and enjoys baking.