A Guide to Choosing the Right Hob

You may have decided which type of hob to have in your new kitchen, but do you know all the options available to you? Here we offer a brief description of each hob type with pros, cons and a guide price for each.

The costs will depend on many factors like the brand, the control type, size and additional features.

Most hobs are available in 60, 70, 80 and 90cm widths with varied configuration of burner and cook zones, speak to your designer or salesperson for more information.

Electric hobs

Guide price: £150 – £600

Also known as a ceramic or halogen hob. These hobs are cost effective and are very simple to install. The toughened glass cooktop has clearly marked cooking zones, each with a halogen lamp below. The halogen lamps are controlled either to heat continuously (high power) or intermittently at pre-determined intervals (low to high power). The lamps heat the glass which in turn heats your pots and pans. This type of hob is the least responsive, it can take some time for changes in temperature control to take effect. As a result, it can be easy for pans to boil over. When this happens, the contents of the pan can fuse to the hot glass, making cleaning difficult at times.

Pros
  • Low cost
  • Easy to install
  • One-piece cooktop
Cons
  • Control/responsiveness
  • Boil over/spitting
  • Safety (surface stays hot for up to 15min)
  • Limited control options for operation
  • Unsuitable for domed woks
  • Unsuitable for hot plates/griddles

Gas hobs

Image of a 5 burner gas hob

Guide price: £150 – £800

For many years, gas hobs have been the number one choice for residential and commercial kitchens. With varying size of burner and a visible flame, the user has great control over temperature. For cooking with a domed bottom wok or to flambe contents of a pan, an intense flame from a large burner is essential, this cannot be replicated by any other type of hob.

There are downsides to a gas hob, with so many parts to each burner, cleaning can be a time-consuming chore. Safety features like flame safe will shut off the gas supply if a flame fails or is blown out, however, an exposed naked flame can be hazardous, particularly with small children or the elderly.

Article: Gas vs induction hobs – which is best?

Pros
  • Responsive temperature control
  • Great for wok cooking
  • Can works with no electrical supply (great for rare occasions of power failure)
Cons
  • Most difficult to clean
  • Spitting
  • Safety (naked flame)
  • Can be expensive to install
  • Limited options for placement in new kitchen
  • Uneven heat distribution
  • Constant stirring required

Induction hobs

Image of part flex-induction hob

Guide price: £150 – £2,500

The new generation of induction hobs are a far throw from those from 10 years ago. The induction hob and variants of are the most popular solution for residential kitchens and are fast becoming the professional chef’s choice.

What is induction? Not to be confused with an electric hob, induction hobs have a series of copper coils under each cooking zone, an alternating electrical current is passed through the coil which creates an oscillating magnetic field that induces an electrical current in the pot – In simple terms, the contents of the pan are heated by an electro-magnetic current. Only induction compatible pans (pans with a flat, even, thick ferrous metal base) can be used on hobs of this type. Domed woks and pots with indentations on the base will not work.

For a more in depth guide to induction hobs – click here

Pros
  • Responsive temperature control
  • Flexibility / zoning
  • Energy efficient
  • Control options
  • Easiest to clean (easier than electric)
  • Suitable for hot plates/griddles for cooking things like steaks
  • Safety
Cons
  • Initial cost
  • Unsuitable for domed woks
  • Works only with induction compatible pans

Venting Induction hobs

Image of a venting induction hob

Guide price: £800 – £3,500

An induction hob (70 – 90cm wide) with an integral downdraft extractor. All the flexibility and control of an induction hob with a built-in central extractor.

This type of hob is perfect for placement on areas where there is no space above for an overhead extractor.

A reservoir within the extractor unit will hold approx. 2 litres of water to allow for accidental spills.

It is worth noting that extra space is required within cabinetry below to allow for the motor and ducting / ventilation.

You may be interested in our in-depth guide on induction hobs.

Pros
  • Responsive temperature control
  • Flexibility / zoning
  • Energy efficient
  • Control options
  • Easiest to clean (easier than electric)
  • Suitable for hot plates/griddles for cooking things like steaks
  • Safety
  • Extraction at source
Cons
  • Initial cost
  • Unsuitable for domed woks
  • Works only with induction compatible pans
  • Reduced storage capacity below
  • Reduced cooktop space

Domino hobs

Image of 3 domino hobs joined together

Guide price: £300 – £900 each

Also known as a modular hobs.

These smaller (30cm wide) versions of all hob types (eg. induction, gas) can either be used together to create a custom cooktop or in conjunction with a larger hob.

One of the most common variants is a Domino gas wok burner with a full size induction hob. Some manufacturers have other modules available, including Teppan-Yaki, deep fryer, grills and down-draft extractors.

Pros
  • Freedom to mix and match types
  • Flexibility in cooking options
Cons
  • Can look a little disjointed 

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