When it comes to kitchen hobs, there are quite a few different types available. But which one is best and what do they all do? Gas or electric, induction or ceramic – there are pros and cons for each type of hob. To find out which hob is the right one for you, it’s a good idea to understand what they all do and how they all work.
What are the different types of hobs?
Gas hobs have been around since the 1820s. Today they typically have 4 to 6 rings of open flame that are automatically lit when turned on. The heat is instant and the size of the flame can be controlled immediately. This instant control over the level of heat is loved by gas-hob fans. Gas hobs, however, are difficult to clean as they usually need dismantling to get to all of the parts.
Electric stoves became popular in the 1930s. They used to have electrically heated coils on the top for warming up the pans. Electric hobs these days have a ceramic or glass surface covering the electrical elements. The cooking area gets hot quickly when switched on as the heating system transfers the heat to the underside of the hob top. Controlling the heat tends to be more difficult as the reaction is slow with these electric hobs. The flat, smooth surfaces make cleaning easy but they stay hot for a while after being switched off so can burn if accidentally touched.
Induction hobs were introduced to the home in 1987. They work quite differently to ceramic hobs as they use a magnetic field to heat just the base of the pan, rather than the surface of the hob. This magnetic reaction is created when electricity passes through copper coils that are under the hob’s surface. As the induction hob itself isn’t heated, they are safe to touch as soon as they are switched off. Induction hob surfaces come in ceramic glass or the more revolutionary porcelain.
Gas hob vs ceramic hob
It’s hard to beat the reactive control of a gas hob but the use of a naked flame in a family kitchen puts some people on edge. A tea towel left too close to the gas flame, for example, can catch fire quite quickly if left unattended. The wipeable surface of a ceramic hob also makes everyday life so much easier and the lack of ‘spider’ supports means there is less chance of a pan tipping or spilling.
Induction hobs versus gas hobs
First of all, induction hobs have a more modern look and they are also much easier to clean. Professional cooks prefer the controllable flame of a gas hob, but induction can offer a very similar experience. Gas hobs are a little cheaper to buy if you are working with a tight budget, but there are ongoing running costs that should be considered.
Induction hobs vs gas hobs for running costs
Induction hobs beat them all hands down when it comes to running costs. There is no wasted energy as only the base of the cookware gets heated, no matter what size the pan is. Powered by electricity, induction hobs are the most environmentally friendly appliance. Electricity is being powered more and more by renewable sources such as wind and solar, whereas gas can only come from fossil fuel.
Induction hob or ceramic hob: which is best?
Both of these hob types have flat surfaces that look fuss-free and minimalist. Cleaning is straightforward and they are both powered by electricity. However, the big difference is the safety aspect. Induction hobs are cool to the touch immediately after the pan has been removed, an important factor when there are children in the household. This is particularly important if you are planning to set your hob into a kitchen island that everyone sits around. Induction hobs also offer a lot more control over the heat level than the ceramic versions.
Induction hob vs TPB Tech induction
Toughened ceramic glass in white or black and with 900mm maximum length is the standard surface on an induction hob. But if you’re looking for better than standard, porcelain is the choice for you.
TPB Tech has created a porcelain stoneware invisible induction hob that blends seamlessly with the worktop. In fact, it’s impossible to tell where the hob starts and the countertop ends. Porcelain stoneware is used because it tolerates high temperatures, is scratch-resistant and highly durable while still allowing the magnetic field of induction to work for heating pans. Worktops come in a wide choice of finishes and can be made up to 3150 x 1220 mm in surface area, allowing your induction hob to be incorporated into any area you specify. All you can see of the induction hob are three small, flat controls so, when it comes to cleaning up, all you need to do is simply wipe down the TPB Tech countertop from one end to the other.
Tempted by the sound of a porcelain induction hob from TPB Tech? Take a closer look at the hobs in our showroom in Twickenham or get in touch with us for more information.