Replacing or upgrading your hob has never been so exciting. You can choose from five different types of hobs in the UK. They include the traditional gas or electric hobs that are so practical and easy to use.
For even greater style and versatility, you can choose ceramic, gas-on-glass or the innovative induction hob. Each format has its own special features and advantages.
Common Types of Hobs UK
1. Gas Hobs
A gas hob is always popular as it’s very cost-effective to run. It also provides instant, controllable heat.
Professional chefs often prefer gas as it’s so versatile to use. It also distributes heat effectively beneath all types of pans. However, the burners are sometimes difficult to clean.
2. Electric Hobs
The old-fashioned coiled rings are quite rare these days. But the solid plate burners are a very popular alternative to gas.
An electric hob usually provides excellent results at a cost-effective price.
3. Ceramic Hobs
The smooth, all-in-one glass surface of the ceramic hob is perfect for adding a touch of style to your kitchen. The electric burners are concealed beneath the glass.
They usually heat reasonably fast, but they can’t always compete with gas for effective heat distribution. The hob is simple to use and very easy to keep clean.
4. Gas-on-Glass Hobs
This version combines the stylish appearance of the ceramic hob with the versatility of gas. The gas burners are positioned on top of the ceramic glass plate.
You can control the flames with precision. As with any toughened glass, the surface can be damaged if you drop a heavy saucepan on it or use maximum temperatures.
5. Induction Hobs
The futuristic induction hob combines style, versatility and ease of use. Beneath the smooth ceramic glass plate, there is an electromagnetic field. It only provides heat when a pan is in direct contact with the concealed element.
Amazingly, the glass never becomes hot. It makes the induction hob a relatively safe cooking medium. It’s also one of the easiest to clean as spillages can never burn on. However, you might have to replace your cookware as it only works with magnetised pans.
Related: Are halogen hobs the same as induction hobs?
How to Choose the Best Hob
The best hob is the one that suits your lifestyle and cooking skills. Standard gas and electric hobs both offer ease of use. Gas is more controllable as you can precisely adjust the flame size of the burners. If you’re keeping to a budget, an electric hob is usually far more affordable.
Ceramic surfaces make your kitchen look elegant. They are very streamlined and easy to clean. However, you have to take care not to damage the surface as repairs can be costly. You can still choose gas or electric versions of the ceramic hob.
The induction hob is becoming increasingly popular. You have to be prepared to pay more compared to other types of hobs. However, the cost is offset by it being very economic with energy.
It only heats the food inside the pan and not the entire surface of the hob. Importantly, this type of hob isn’t suitable for anyone who has a pacemaker due to interference from the electromagnetic field.
Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s always a hob to match. Four burners are the most popular and usually fit a standard worktop. The exact dimensions of the hob usually depend on how large the burners are.
If you’re short of space or your cooking needs are slight, there are hobs with only two or three burners. Single burner hobs are also available in fitted and portable forms.
Ceramic hobs often have a width of up to sixty centimetres. The largest hobs are around seventy-five centimetres wide. These spacious models often include an additional fifth burner such as a specialised section for a wok.
Many hobs now include additional features, particularly with the more expensive models. These are some of the most popular features you’ll come across.
The popularity of stir-frying has encouraged specially designed wok burners. These are curved to provide greater stability when using a wok. The burners also provide the high-intensity heat that’s needed for rapid frying.
These help provide accuracy especially for dishes such as stews that take hours to cook. You’ll often find programmable timers on induction hobs.
Electric Double Burners
Some electric plates have two concentric rings. The inner ring is ideal for conserving energy when using a small pan. When using a large pan, you can use the entire plate.
Some hobs have a control that supplies heat at a rapid pace. It’s a facility that is ideal for searing meat or stir-frying.
These are useful if you have young children as they prevent them from accidentally activating the burners. Many induction and ceramic hobs feature safety locks for additional peace of mind.
Installing a new hob isn’t for the amateur DIY enthusiast. It’s essential that your hob is fitted by a professional to ensure safety. Appoint a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit a gas hob and a fully qualified electrician for all types of electric hob.
There are many different types of hobs to choose from. When purchasing a new hob, consider the amount of use it will have. An easy clean version may be preferable for heavy, daily use. Select a size and features that are suitable for your family’s requirements.