Hob Buying Guide

This hob buying guide has been put together by mychoice to help you make an informed decision when buying a hob for your kitchen. The hob is probably the most Important part of the cooking process: it’s where you boil, fry, heat up and mix. Gas hobs are still a firm favourite, as they are easy to control and provide instant heat. Electric hobs have changed significantly over the years and thanks to modern design and ceramic, halogen and induction technology, they now look amazing and perform outstandingly. As you read this guide you may like to take a look at our hobs section – comparing the guide with the hobs on offer. Our buying guide is here to help you find out which choices are right for your needs.                

You can either read the full guide, or click on the links below, which answer some of the most common questions about hobs.                   





What Size Does My Hob Need To Be To Fit Into My Kitchen?


Hobs will be freestanding or built-in. Freestanding appliances are self-contained units that can be slotted into your kitchen on their own. Built-in or Integrated appliances, are incorporated as part of a cabinet or work surface and are usually part of a design for an entire kitchen. By their nature, most hobs are built-in.                   


There is no standard size for hobs, as people want kitchens in all shapes and sizes. Many hobs do use the same design which is four burners or heat zones on a rectangular panel 60cm wide by 50cm deep. You need to make sure there is sufficient room on the worktop where the hob is being installed to not only fit the hob, but to have at room at the back and at the front as well. What you see of the hob when it’s in use is only the surface of the machine, the rest is underneath, which is why you will see that all hob specifications include ‘aperture size required’. This is the size of hole that the hob sits in.        


Built-in hobs vary from being able to take a single pan to six burner/zone models with dedicated wok stands. The most common are hobs with four burners/zones, as they are less expensive than smaller models, they fit in most kitchens and they are big enough for most households. Obviously, for larger families, more burners/zones may be more beneficial. If you do have limited space and go for a smaller hob like Domino Hobs.                



What Fuel Type Do I Need For My Hob?


Your choice of hob will be determined by your fuel supply. There are two choices available: gas or electric. Within these fuel choices, there are several different types of hobs available:           


Gas hobs are the most popular choice, as they give you instant heat and when you turn them down the temperature drops immediately, which allows for great flexibility when cooking. In short, gas hobs are hot when you want them to be hot and they cool down when you need your pot or pan to cool down. Gas is the most energy efficient fuel source for hobs because you are burning fuel directly with very little waste.        

Solid plate hobs are an entry-level type of electric hob. They take a few minutes to reach maximum heat and they take a similarly long time to cool down. However, on the positive side, they offer great value for money.

Ceramic Hobs are the most popular choice in electric hobs. They heat up and cool down faster than solid plate hobs.                   

Induction Hobs are as responsive as gas hobs, but they cost a little more than ceramic hobs. Induction hobs generate heat in the pan, so the surface of the hob remains mostly cool, making them especially safe. They are also energy efficient.                   


When choosing where to put your new hob you need to make sure that it is within reach of its fuel source. Gas models need to be connected by a Gas Safe registered (CORGI) engineer, so you must make sure they are within reach of a gas supply. You can contact a Gas Safe Registered engineer by logging onto http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/ and by entering your postcode can access the contact details of several engineers working in your area who will be happy to quote you for the required services. Nearly all hobs (including most gas hobs) require access to electricity, which can be in the form of a plug socket, but if it needs hardwiring it will need to be installed by a qualified electrician. If you would like mychoice to connect your appliance, please check our connection services for the model you are interested in.



Should the Food I Cook Most Often Influence Which Hob I Buy?


Depending on what you cook and eat most often, you might find that your hob comes with many features, under the grill and in the oven, which may well influence your selection. Some of the key features to look out for are:                   


**Economy Burner/Heat Zone - A less powerful burner or heat zone. Useful for small saucepans/frying pans as it delivers the same results without wasting energy heating a larger area.

**Rapid Burner - A more powerful burner or heat zone. Good for large flat bottomed pans like frying/sauté pans.

**Wok Burners – Extra-large gas burners that are designed for woks. Much better for cooking stir-fries than a standard hob.

**Dual Zones - A regular sized heat zone on an electric oven that can be extended to take large or oval pans. Excellent for warming dishes and allowing greater flexibility in your cooking.

**Griddles - Excellent for cooking fish and other specialist foods.


Please note that all models featured on our website have full product feature descriptions on their specific features page.                  



How Will My Hob Save Me Time?


Powerful and extra fast burners will save you time during the cooking process and, as already mentioned, the best models to look at in this category are gas, ceramic and induction hobs. The other factor you need to consider is how long your hob will take to clean?                   


**Induction hobs – Easiest to clean as they have flat, wipe clean surfaces and food rarely burns the surface.

**Ceramic hobs – Also have flat, wipe-clean surfaces, but be aware that food can burn on easily on these surfaces.

**Solid plate hobs - Wiping around the solid plates makes cleaning these hobs harder than either induction or ceramic.

**Gas hobs – Take the longest to clean because they have more parts and because you have to wipe around the burners.


Please note that all models featured on our website have full product feature descriptions on their specific features page.



How Much Does A Hob Cost To Run?


This is very difficult to judge, as it depends on what type of fuel supply you’re using. Gas is cheaper than electricity and the amount of energy you use depends on how much food is in the pan, the type of pan, the type of hob, the temperature of the room and several other factors.


If you are upgrading your old hob remember mychoice offer a recycling service, whereby we collect and recycle your old appliance when we deliver your new one; for full details of this service please see our link, Appliance Connection Services.                   



What Price Do I Need To Pay For My Hob?


Hob prices can vary from less than £100 to well over £1000.


**For around £100 you can expect to find either a gas or solid plate hob. Ceramic hobs start to at around £150 you can find gas hobs with 5 burners for around £200.  

**Between £200 and £250 you will find a goof range of gas, ceramic and solid plate models. More stylish designs are also found in this category.

**Between £300 and £400 gas hobs will either look more stylish and modern, have more than four burners or both. Induction Hobs also start in this price category.                  

**£400 - £750 is the premium end of the market. You should expect your Hob to have designer looks and have special functions like dual heat zones. Expect to find advanced features like residual heat indicators and touch sensitive controls.                  

**£750+ will give you the very best in design and features, allowing the most professional of cooks all he/she needs to create the perfect food.            


Please give mychoice a call on 0800 197 5391 if you have any questions about this hobs buying guide.