If you are going to buy a hob, there many types of hobs like Gas, electric, induction, ceramic. In our handy guide, you can differ between them, and how does each affect cooking performance and energy efficiency? If you’re stuck choosing between the different hob types, our handy guide breaks it all down.
Gas hobs deliver immediate heat and a lot of control over the size of the flame. Most have automatic ignition, but some older budget models may come with a manual ignition button. Typically, they have four gas burners of different sizes, but they can come up to six cooking zones.
Gas hobs can be dismantled for easier cleaning, but they’re not as easy to clean as some other types. It’s worth noting that you’ll need your hob installed professionally by a Gas Safe registered engineer, too.
If you like the precision that gas cooking provides but get fed up with mess and spillages that are difficult to clean on a traditional gas hob, gas-on-glass could be a good option for you. With this type, gas burners are mounted on top of smooth ceramic glass, making the surface much easier to clean. They’re pricier than regular gas hobs, though.
Some gas hobs are extra-wide to accommodate an additional, powerful cooking ring. These can vary in width from 70cm to 92cm, depending on the additional ring’s design and placement. Wide gas hobs are useful when you need a faster and more intense heat source. This helps with larger pots and pans and is ideal for wok cooking.
Induction hobs are becoming increasingly popular due to their low energy consumption, high responsiveness, and rapid heat-up time. They work by heating induction-friendly pans directly via an induction element, rather than passing through the cooking surface. The spiral copper coil beneath the hob surface transfers energy directly between your cookware’s induction element and the base.
The coil is only activated when an iron-based magnetic pan is placed on the hob. This means that only the exact amount of energy needed to cook your food is used, and energy isn’t wasted heating the cooking surface. When you remove the pan, the hob surface also cools quickly, so they’re also a good choice for safety.
You’ll need to make sure you have a set of pans that work specifically with induction hobs. It’s also worth noting that induction hobs aren’t suitable for people who have a pacemaker fitted, as the powerful electromagnetic field produced can interfere with it.
This simply refers to the ceramic glass finish, which means that gas-on-glass and induction hobs are technically also ceramic hobs. However, when you see a hob advertised as ceramic, they are most often electric ceramic.
With electric ceramic hobs, the heating systems are hidden underneath the tough ceramic glass surface. When switched on, they simply heat the cooking surface by transferring heat from underneath the glass.
The cooking zones on the glass surface indicate the heat source’s size and position and glow red when switched on. An indicator light on the control panel warns you if a hob zone is still hot even after it’s switched off (it’ll remain on until cool and safe to touch).
These are on ceramic hobs, where a smaller cooking zone can be found inside a larger ring. Either zone can be used depending on the size of your pan.
Some induction and ceramic hobs feature a special cooking zone that allows you to merge two cooking zones into one larger one. This accommodates pans of varying shapes and sizes.
Also known as “wok burner,” “booster” for induction, and “triple crown burner” for gas. Most hobs feature an ultra-rapid burner of some sort. They’re used to generate intense, high-powered heat rapidly and designed for stir-fry cooking in a wok, using large pans, or bringing water to boil fast.
These are touch controls that can be locked to prevent children from altering settings or switching on the hob. They can be found on most induction and ceramic hobs.