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Which Hob is Right for Me?

Feb 19, 2024 | Interior Trends

You’ve got the cabinets, you’ve got the appliances, you’ve even picked out the perfect shade of paint. But have you given any thought to your cooker?

Choosing a type of hob is as much about practicality as it is about style. Whether you want a discreet and modern finish, or a classic country hearth depends on the space you have as much as what you dream of. However, with plenty of choice out there, even the smallest of kitchens can have that shop-fresh finish you’re hoping for.

Fuel is of course a major consideration. Some kitchens simply aren’t plumbed for gas, and an Aga isn’t practical for an upper floor flat for example. If you have copper or ceramic cookware you love, induction may not be the best choice. This handy guide gives you a starting point into the different types of hobs, their advantages and drawbacks, their aesthetics and which one might be right for you.

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Ceramic hobs

A ceramic hob features a flat or raised element, heated to high temperatures with electricity. It has been a common alternative to gas for many years, and provides even heat and easy-to-clean surfaces

Even heat – A ceramic hob heats reliably and evenly, applying heat across the entire surface reliably.

Cheaper than Induction – The lower purchase price of an electric hob as opposed to an induction one makes them an attractive option.

Easy to Clean – modern induction hobs have a flat design and a sleek finish, making them easy to clean and looking great in place. Just don’t use anything abrasive!

Slow to heat up – compared to gas which is quick, and induction which is instantaneous, ceramic hobs apply heat more slowly, which can be frustrating if you’re waiting.

No restriction on pans – unlike induction hobs, non-ferric pans will work just as well as others.

Romeo Martini Cup Handles and Knobs 1 1

Induction Hobs

Induction hobs have a clever design. Providing heat by electro-magnetism, pans heat up almost instantaneously but the hob itself remains cool to the touch. If you’ve never experienced one, it can feel like witchcraft!

Heats quickly and evenly – Heat happens almost immediately and can be accurately controlled to just a few degrees celsius. These hobs are perfect for when fine control is essential.

Safety-forward –  If you have a young family and you’re (understandably) anxious about hot surfaces, then induction hobs are perfect. Because of the magnetic technology, cooking surfaces remain cool to the touch once the pans are removed.

Modern finish – Undeniably leek in appearance, a hob like this really sets off a modern-style kitchen. Keep your surfaces clean and minimal with an induction hob.

Only certain pans work – Because of the magnetic technology, only ferric (iron-containing) pans will work, as they’re the only sort that provide the necessary magnetic current. Copper, aluminium or ceramics simply cannot be used with this type of hob, limiting your choice of cookware.

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Gas Hobs

Gas hobs, with high-temperature open flames, provide numerous advantages to the home chef.

Quick heating – A gas flame heats a pan quickly and gets your cooking off to a flying start. However, the heat is not as even as an electric hob and needs to be carefully controlled by the cook. When using the oven, gas mark replaces a temperature gauge, which works well enough but lacks the accuracy of electric. Another advantage is that you can usually save power, as despite their fuel-hungry appearance, you can get your cooking done a lot quicker.

Works in a power outage – No electricity = no need for power. Apart from the electric spark to get the flame going, a gas hob operates entirely without an electricity supply, so cooking needn’t be interrupted in a power cut.

Fossil fuel powered – Natural gas is an inherently non-renewable resource, which is not ideal for the environment. While electricity is often produced using non-renewables anyway, using natural gas makes using renewable energy impossible. 

Gas can be dangerous – Highly flammable, toxic when released and burning very hot, gas has inherent dangers. When properly handled and maintained this will not be a problem, but it’s something to consider.

Not all kitchens have a gas supply – If you live in an apartment or a more modern house, then chances are you won’t have a kitchen gas supply to use one of these.

Domino Hobs

A clever solution for smaller homes, a domino hob works in the same way as a ceramic one, with their “domino” design giving them their name.

Multi-area – Like a professional range, a domino hob utilises heat zones, allowing you to cluster pans together over the heat source and to move them at will. They’re perfect for the active cook and are flexible in use.

Space saving – Ideal for apartment living, a domino hub takes up less space and has a sleek design. They’re attractive to look at and easy to clean.

Not ideal for families – As domino hobs tend to be smaller, they’re perhaps not ideal if you have a lot of people to feed.

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AGAs

A quick word on the Aga – a beautiful and extremely useful bit of equipment, an Aga is the perfect thing for the right setting. With an ability to operate as a heating system, multi-fuel use as well as tremendous efficiency once lit, they’re an older design that has lasted the test of time.

Despite their beauty, Agas are however not for everyone. They would be utter overkill for anything other than a fairly large home, and many houses are simply not set up to take one. They are also extremely expensive to buy and set up, even if they would pay for themselves in fuel over time.

Ultimately they’re a fantastic option if your situation demands it, but best avoided if not.

3 Designs to Consider When Choosing Kitchen Cupboard Handles

The right choice for the right kitchen

Practicality, function and cooking style all feature, as does your preferred fuel. Choose the right one and you’re sure to have many hours of joy in your kitchen. As it’s the engine room of your house, take the time to get this right and get something you really want to use. Happy cooking!

Whatever your preference is, your kitchen deserves the perfect finishing touch. Have a look at our wide range of kitchen fittings and accessories, in a whole world of styles. 

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