How to Buy a New Hob: All You Need to Know.
Your hob is one of the most useful appliances in your home, helping you cook in a multitude of different ways from frying, to boiling and steaming, and they come in lots of different types and styles. Gas hobs, Ceramic hobs, Induction hobs, we’re covering it all in this article so you can navigate the market like a true hob expert! Let’s start by taking a dive into the types of hobs you can buy…
Types of Hobs
There are lots of different types of hobs for your home and the ideal one for you depends on your home set up. Do you have a specific type of cooker, do you use gas or electric energy, etc. So we’re going to break down what types of hobs suit which arrangements, and their features and differences.
Ceramic hobs are made from ceramic materials that have a very easy clean surface, making it hassle free to clean up after cooking. They are also electric, so would suit you if you use electricity to power your home. Ceramic hobs aren’t hard to use, and they can heat things up with great speed, but results can vary as the heat distribution on the pan is less consistent as when using gas.
Induction hobs make a magnetic field between the hob and the pan, which transfers heat without losing energy. This means your pan is the only thing that gets hot, and your hob stays nice and cool. Furthermore, induction hobs heat things up very quickly and are the cheapest type of hob to use because they use just the right amount of energy for the job.
Electric Plate Hobs
Electric plate hobs use the old method of electric plates to heat your pans. These hobs are fading out into obsolescence as their technology is being replaced by induction hobs and more efficient methods of electrical heating. These are cheaper, and you’ll not find any more than 4 rings on these hobs, but if you’re looking for a low-cost option, these are worth looking at.
Gas hobs – the old classic. Gas hobs are easy to use and heat up quickly, they also distribute heat across the pan the best out of all the hob types. Professional kitchens will use gas hobs, and professional chefs will tend to use the same, but induction hobs are becoming more popular too due to the ease of use and clean up.
If you’re looking for a basic hob then you can find one for less that £100 when you go for an own brand model. If you’d like a high-end gas hob with extra features, better build quality and more zones, you could pay up to £2,000. Induction hobs have become a lot more affordable recently and can be found for under £250.
But what features do you want to look out for on a hob?
Features to Look for on a Hob
- Hob Timers – some hobs have timers you can set built in to stop cooking when you want it to.
- Power Boost – Power boosts heat up the cooking zone quicker. It’s a fast, intense heat great for stir-frying or searing meat.
- Child Safety Locks – Stop your curious children from messing around with your hob and getting hurt with child safety locks.
- Pans for Induction Hobs – Induction hobs require magnetic pans that can create a magnetic field to transfer heat through, look out for deals with these.
- Dual Zones – On electric hobs you can save energy by using a dual ring, a smaller ring inside of the main ring.
- Wok Burners – Some hobs have a larger burner included that is meant for stir-fry cooking in a wok.
There are lots of different hob sizes, and which is best for you depends on the amount you cook, how many people for, and how often. Here is a breakdown…
One, Two and Three Zone Hobs
There are other options outside of the realms of the traditional. You could go for a smaller hob with 1, 2 or 3 zones if you don’t need so many and use the hob less frequently than most. These can all be installed to be built into the countertop too.
Four Zone Hobs
Most normal hobs (ceramic, gas and induction) are about 60cm wide, the same width as your average cooker. These can be a little above 60cm wide, as the larger ones are designed to spill over the countertop.
Five Zone Hobs
Hobs with 5 zones are larger, and many gas hobs will have a 5th zone dedicated to being a wok burner for stir-fry cooking. Usually, these hobs are no wider than 90cm wide – but always make sure you’re buying the right size hob for you as there is a huge range of sizes once you get into the market for larger hobs.
Most Efficient Hob Type?
Compared to other hotspots for energy consumption in the home, your hob doesn’t use much energy at all, regardless of type. Despite this, it’s always worth making sure you can get an efficient hob to save energy and money.
Regardless of the type of cooking you’re doing, induction hobs use energy the most efficiently. Gas hobs tend to be the least efficient because a lot of the energy goes into heating up your kitchen, rather than into the pan. With regards to environmental friendliness, the only type of hob that can’t run on renewable energy sources is the gas hob. If you’re looking to be a eco friendly as possible then a gas hob is one to steer clear of.
Once you have purchased your hob, a professional Gas Safe registered engineer (if it is a gas hob you have bought) will have to come and install it for you. If it’s an induction or ceramic hob, then an electrician will be able to install it.
Often, the shop you bought it from will offer it’s own installation and disposal services, be sure to check with them before you go elsewhere!
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