Type search for do it yourself DIY building tips
construction, interiors, gardens, kitchens >
There are three types of hobs, or cooktops in the US:
Gas (which uses LPG or natural gas, by pipe) is the most popular by far. Gas is cheaper than electricity, and you can see the flames, so it is easier to control the heat.
A gas hob comes with 4 burners to 6 burners and three levels of heating for effective and responsive heating. In the basic four burner model, one burner is large size which is perfect for instant heating, two of them are medium size, and the size of the third one is small which serves the purpose of simmering.
The fifth is the wok burner and the sixth is another small burner.
Above: Smeg gas hob
Electric (which uses electricity) maintain steady and low heat using a wide range of heating levels, although it takes time to heat up and cool down. There are four types of electric hobs. They are:
1. Radiant coil: more economical and faster-heating than the other three. The coil is hard to clean unless it is removable.
2. Halogen: a halogen bulb is placed beneath the glass surface, which heats up and cooks food. Thick bottom pans should be used to prevent cracking because of the intense heat.
Above: Zanussi plate halogen gas hob
3. Solid Hotplate: retain heat more than the radiant coils though they take longer to heat up. They need to be cleaned regularly to maintain optimum efficiency. Temperature control is more efficient on models with auto sensors.
4. Ceramic cooktop: Like the halogen, the glass surface has the cooking element underneath. This is the most stylish-looking, more expensive and easy to clean of the four types but it takes time to heat up and so is less efficient.
Ceramic induction (which uses electromagnetic waves) creates a magnetic field to generate heat when it comes in contact with the pan. Heat is not circulated around the cooking surface because it is not within the field, making it more energy efficient than the other hobs. This hob is the most expensive of all the hobs.
The disadvantage about this hob is that the pans must have magnetic properties in order to function with the hob. This method of cooking is called induction cooking.