Hobs – Buyers Guide
The hob is one of the central appliances in any kitchen, so getting the right one for your needs is essential. But with so much choice available, it’s easy to get confused. Should you go for an integrated hob or a freestanding cooker? Separate built-in hobs and ovens have the advantage of giving a neater appearance as well as more flexibility when it comes to kitchen design.
Should you choose a gas hob, an electric or induction hob? While they all basically do the same thing, there are important difference that you will need to consider. At Price Kitchens, we’re here to help. Take a look below for some useful guidance on buying kitchen hobs to help you make the best decision for your kitchen.
A traditional choice for domestic kitchens and a firm favourite with professional chefs, gas hobs use burners with a visible flame, topped by metal pan supports. The main advantages of a gas hob include
- Instant heat with complete flexibility – there are no set temperature intervals
- Easy to use
- Suitable for use with any type of cookware
- Cheaper to run than most electric hobs
- Hob area cools down quickly once switched off
But before you rush out and buy a gas hob, also consider these potential drawbacks:
- Gas hobs require a gas supply, which not all homes have, plus a Gas Safe registered fitter
- Compared to induction hobs, they are less energy efficient
- Cleaning may be awkward due to fiddly burners and pan supports
For the most up-to-date contemporary kitchen choice and a premium feel, choose a gas on glass hob, where the burners are mounted onto a sleek glass surface rather than a metal surface. Opt for a frameless design for a seamless integration of the hob into the kitchen worktop.
An electric hob will take longer to heat up and cool down, compared to a gas hob. That said, electric hobs have come a long way since the electric plates of old. These days, ceramic or induction surfaces offer a choice of contemporary designs with a sleek, minimalist look and great cooking performance.
Induction technology allows the pan to heat up quickly, while the use of flexible zones means you can use different sized pans with an even heat distribution. Induction hobs create a magnetic field between the base of your cookware and the induction element, so that your pan is heated directly and the cooking surface stays relatively cool. However, you are restricted in the range of cookware you can use. While cast iron or steel pots and pans are perfect, aluminium or copper pans will not work.
Ceramic hobs have a sleek ceramic glass finish, with touch controls and LED displays. The heat is transferred from heating elements positioned under the glass, heating the cooking surface. High tech halogen hobs use a special form of red light to heat up the pan. Many ceramic hobs have a two zone, square of linear set-up.
The glass cooking surface of a ceramic hob are easy to clean. An essential safety feature, many come with a ‘hob hot’ indicator.
Size and suitability
Depending on the size of your kitchen, your lifestyle and cooking skills, you may wish to choose a smaller or larger hob for your kitchen.
Most hobs come with 4 burners (or cooking zones on ceramic hobs). This is usually plenty for general domestic use, although 5 or 6 burner designs are widely available too. If you have a large kitchen, cook family meals on a regular basis or love entertaining, this may be the best choice for you.
The majority of built-in 4 burner hobs are of rectangular design, with 60cm width (of the visible panel) being the most common. Since the size and dimensions of kitchen units and worktops is largely standardised, most hobs are around 50cm deep regardless of their size.
For smaller kitchens, bedsits or households that simply don’t cook much, a space saving domino hob with only 1 or 2 burners may be perfectly adequate.
Like any kitchen appliance, choosing the best hob for your kitchen is about finding the right balance between the space available and the required functionality.
Aesthetics and style
Finally, space and functionality are all very well but the hob also needs to complement the overall kitchen design scheme. If you have opted for a classic kitchen style where everything revolves around home cooking, you may wish to make your hob a main feature. A prominent gas hob placed in a central location could be a great choice here.
However, more modern and minimalist styling will require a different solution – such as an electric induction hob where the understated glass surface gives a sleek appearance and blends perfectly with the rest of the kitchen scheme.
You will also want to consider how your cooker hood will fit in with your chosen style.
At Price Kitchens, we are experts at designing and supplying a wide range of kitchens, plus premium appliances from major brands including Neff, AEG, Zanussi, Electrolux, Bosch, Siemens and Rangemaster. If you are considering a kitchen upgrade or redesign and need specialist assistance in choosing the right hob, please call our knowledgeable team who will be delighted to help. Call 020 8686 9006 today or contact us to book your free consultation.