Hob Types Explained
Struggling to decide whether to buy induction, gas or an electric hob for your kitchen? Our Hob Buying Guide covers everything you need to know about all the different hob types, sizes and the best features to look out for.
FAQ-Induction, Gas And Electric Hobs.
Q1 - How do induction hobs work?
Induction hobs use magnetism to transfer the heat. This means cooking on induction is safe and extremely efficient as heat only transfers to magnetic items that are in contact with the surface. This simply means a pan placed on an induction hob will heat up quickly while the rest of the cooking surface stays cool.
If you use an induction hob you must make sure the pans you use are made of a magnetic-based material like cast iron or magnetic stainless steel.
Q2 - What features should I consider when choosing a new hob?
- Flexible Cooking Zones - Flexible zones are available on certain induction and ceramic hobs. If a hob has flexible cooking zones you can merge two zones. This is a great, convenient feature as you can cook with a wide array of pan sizes and skillets. It is possible turn the whole hob surface into one cooking zone on some top of the range induction models.
- Boost/Rapid Heat - A boost or rapid heat function generates intense heat, fast. By using these ultra rapid heat zones pans will reach boiling, rapidly. They’re ideal for those times you need intense heat for searing meat or wok cooking.On induction and ceramic these intense heat zones are often called booster zones. On gas hobs they are referred to as rapid burners or a wok burner.
- Timer - Many modern hobs include timers. The complexity of the timer varies dependant on model. Elite hobs will feature programmable timers which allow you to set cooking duration on individual zones. The timer will automatically switch off once cooking is complete. This is a particularly useful feature when cooking with multiple pans or when you want top leave a pot to simmer for longer periods of time.
- Child Lock - The majority of induction and ceramic hobs feature child locks. Once locked, it prevents children adjusting settings during cooking or accidentally switching on the hob. Induction hobs will not work unless a magnetic object is in contact with the surface.
Q3 - What size hobs are available?
Hobs are available in the following sizes;
- Domino Hobs - 300mm wide, 2 Cooking zones.
- Standard Hob - 600mm wide, 4 Cooking zones.
- Large Hobs - 700mm up to 1000mm. 5 - 8 Cooking zones**
Ribbon hobs are also available. Cooking zones are positioned side by side in a horizontal line. This means a ribbon hob is shallower front to back but longer in length. (approx 1000mm wide)
**The majority of large models offer 5 zones. However, some induction hobs can have up to 8 zones or the whole area can be turned into a big cooking zone.
Gas hobs have been a popular choice for many years. You can use any pans on gas hobs and they are easy to use. Cleaning is a bit more difficult as there are more elements to clean such as pan supports and burners.
Gas hobs provide instant heat and many now offer rapid heat burners for intense cooking. Standard gas hobs generally combine one large, two medium, and a small burner. This combination works perfectly well for most households.
Gas on glass models feature a stylish glass surface. These are easier to clean thanks to the flat surface.
All modern gas hobs are fitted with a flame failure safety device. If the flame goes out during cooking the gas supply immediately cuts off for extra safety. The majority have automatic ignition too. Gas hobs must be installed by a qualified and fully registered gas engineer.
Available in all sizes mentioned above.
Electric Hobs - Ceramic & Sealed Plate
Electric Hobs carry with them the modern look and feel of induction but are cheaper to buy. Their flat surface makes them easy to wipe clean and allows for almost any size of pan to rest upon them. They are easy to install too.
Many models feature touch control technology. Responsiveness in electric hobs is forever developing but controlling heat is more difficult with this type of hob.
Electric hobs are available in numerous sizes options from 300mm up to 900mm widths. For camper van’s or small kitchens the small, 300mm wide, two zone electric hobs are a great choice.
Lower spec models are available to buy for a low price making them suitable to all budgets. Even the cheaper models will provide good cooking results for everyday use.
Unique magnetic induction technology heats the pan rather than the cooking surface. This results in incredibly fast, super efficient and safe cooking. The pan gets hot very quickly but the cooking surface remains cool which prevents spillages being burnt onto the hobs surface.
Induction hobs can be controlled with precision using intuitive touch controls. In fact, they are so precise that melting chocolate in a pan can be done with ease. If you love to cook and require temperature precision in order to perfect your recipes, an induction hob is a great choice.
Advanced functions are found on many models. These include programmable timers for individual zones, child locks and flexible cooking zones which provide the ultimate cooking freedom. Induction hobs are generally more expensive to buy however, their efficiency is second to none.
Induction hobs are so easy to clean thanks to their flat, simplistic surface. Simply wipe the surface down after use.
Available in a wide range of sizes from 340mm up to 1000mm
Domino hobs are mini hobs. They are also known as modular hobs, they are available in induction, gas and electric.
Mini hobs start as small as 340mm wide and provide one or two cooking zones. If you’re struggling for space, this type of hob is a great option.
You can buy mini Teppan hobs too. A Teppan Hob has a flat metal surface. Food is cooked on the hot plate making it perfect for preparing Teppanyaki.
It is also possible to place domino hobs side by side. This allows you to place gas and induction together for multiple cooking options.