A guide to buying an electric, gas or domino hob
Hobs are built-in appliances that sit on top of the kitchen work surface and allow you to employ many different cooking practices from frying to boiling - and the fancy ones can do all sorts of multi-cultural cuisine! Hobs can be sold as part of a cooker (see our Cooker Buying Guide) or simply on their own and can free up space in existing kitchens depending on the layout and design you’ve already got.
Gas or Electric?
As with other cooking appliances, it’s always important to check what type of fuel your home has access to, but hobs are available in either gas or electric. Whether you choose a gas or electric hob, there are still many variations for each so it’s a good idea to consider the options available before buying.
Not all homes have access to gas but if you do, you won’t be able to install the gas hob yourself – make sure that a Gas Safe Registered engineer does the job (costs between £40 and £100 upwards, depending on the work required). One of the great benefits of a gas hob is that they are very easy to manage; the flame is visible and more controllable, giving instant heat that is well distributed across the cookware. Also, gas is cheaper to run than electric so you’ll definitely notice the difference to your bank balance! Some gas hobs can be quite tricky to clean though, so it may be worth checking out gas-on-glass hobs; the gas burners and cast-iron supports are set on a sheet of ceramic glass which has far fewer recesses and often just needs a quick wipe-down to get rid of otherwise persistent grime.
Equally, if there isn’t a gas supply to your home but you still want a similar cooking performance, then it might be worth investing in an electric induction hob. On an induction hob, there is a heating element below the ceramic glass which forms a magnetic field with the bottom of the pan itself. In this energy-efficient method of cooking only the pan is heated, leaving the surface around it cool enough to touch and ensuring that you won’t waste lots of electricity.
The UK standard hob size is 60cm in width x 50cm in depth which will usually give you 4 burners or heat zones. The four zones are usually configured so that there is one large heat zone, two medium zones and finally one smaller simmer zone but there are many more options available for the more adventurous. Standard gas hobs range up to 90cm in width and gas-on-glass hobs up to 100cm wide which provides scope to include up to 6 burners instead of just 4.
If you’re looking for even more versatility in your kitchen, or perhaps for a hob to accompany an existing cooker, then it’s a good idea to take a look at domino hobs. The moniker comes from their thin, rectangular appearance (like dominos!) and they tend to be more compact (roughly 30cm wide) but can provide either a versatile alternative to traditional cooking methods or a welcome supplement. At Appliance World, we carry a variety of options for the domino hob, such as wok burners, ceramic grills, deep fat fryers and BBQ grills and provided you’ve got the means to power them, you can mix and match so that yours will rival a commercial kitchen!
Manufacturers take great steps to ensure that their ovens are sleek and stylish and whether it’s a striking metal finish you’re after (generally titanium, aluminium or stainless steel) or a discrete, matt black look, you’re sure to find the right oven to complement your kitchen.