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The Buyers Guide to Built in Hobs
There are many different types of gas hob. The amount of burners can vary between 1 and 6, and the width can vary between 280mm and 1005mm!
Apart from the obvious colour choices, there are also various types of pan support available. These can be offered in cast iron, enamelled steel or stainless steel.
Cast iron pan supports
These are considered to be the most durable and are often described as "heavy" pan supports (for obvious reasons). Generally, this type should not be put into a dishwasher for cleaning as they can rust. Hobs with cast iron supports are normally slightly more expensive than models offered with enameled supports.
Enameled pan supports/burner caps
These are normally manufactured from mild steel and then enameled. This type can normally be cleaned in a dishwasher. Over a long period of time, the enamel can become brittle and chip off due to the amount of heat generated by the gas burners.
The burner caps will become dull, and this can happen relatively quickly.
Stainless steel pan supports/burner caps.
BEWARE. Stainless steel pan supports will turn blue when heat is applied. Some brands offer these on some of their hobs, but usually offer alternative black pan supports and burner caps for an extra cost.
Gas on glass.
Gas hobs can be made of stainless steel, mild steel then enamelled, glass or a combination of metal and glass.
The vast majority of coloured hobs are made of mild steel and then enamelled.
Some coloured hobs are made of glass, normally black glass. There are also a lot of gas on glass hobs, which are made of the same material as ceramic hobs.
This glass is in fact a very dark red, and is used because it is hard wearing and can cope well with extremes of temperature.
Type of knobs
Gas hobs are available with various types of knobs/controls and these can be situated on the front or side of the hob. We are often asked for hobs with side controls as it is considered that this style is safer when there are young/small children are in residence. Front controls are preferred by those who are left handed, as side controls are always on the right! Front controls are often specified for special needs installations, as wheelchair users find them more practical.
Some hobs have a flame failure device. This feature will automatically shut off the gas supply to the hob if the flame is extinguished for any reason.
Some hobs have an electronic ignition, which will automatically re-ignite the gas if it goes out.
IMPORTANT SAFETY ANNOUCEMENT
Care must be taken when installing gas hobs, as there are specific regulations that must be adhered to. There should be a minimum distance between a gas hob and the cooker hood or unit above of 750mm. If the hob is installed adjacent to a tall housing unit, then it should be at least 150mm from that unit. There should also be also be a gap on the other side of the hob of at least 750mm. If the hob is being installed in the gap between 2 tall units, then there must be a space of at least 300mm either side of the hob.
To avoid any confusion (and fires!), gas hobs should always be fitted by a GAS SAFE (formerly CORGI) registered fitter who will be familiar with these installation requirements. It is illegal otherwise.
Avoid common ordering and installation errors....
Ceramic hobs are not supplied with a cable and require installation by a qualified electrician.
Ceramic hobs are very tough, but it is still possible to scratch them in normal use.
Make sure you have the correct power feed for the hob.
Not all hobs, even those designed to be fitted above a 600mm base or oven, are the same size.
There are four types of electric hob
Probably used or seen by everybody!
This type of hob is very common in older kitchens, but is now not so popular.
The modern version of this type of hob is quicker than the older models, but is still relatively slow.
The "plates" are made of cast-iron, which can rust and are slow to cool down.
A hard brittle heat-resistant material made by firing a mixture of substances at a high temperature.
Best described as an electric heating element concealed under glass. This type of hob is also described as Quicklight, Radiant and Hilite! This type is much quicker than the solid plate hobs of old. The power requirement for these hobs is normally at least 30 amps.
Touch control or knobs?
There are 2 types of controls available on ceramic hobs.
Touch control or knobs.
An example of a touch control hob is shown above. As people become more aware of these, they are becoming more popular. They are more expensive, but are certainly easier to clean. Some touch control hobs also have a timer facility as an option. This enables the user to set a "zone" to simmer for a period of time then switch off.
Induction - First, the science
The process by which electric or magnetic forces are created in a circuit by being in proximity to an electric or magnetic field or a varying current without physical contact.
Put simply, this type of hob does generate heat. It uses a powerful magnetic field to heat the bottom of a saucepan. The only types of saucepans that will work with an induction hob are those that have a magnetic base. These pans are easily available from major department stores.
Induction hobs are very quick! Most Induction hobs will boil water faster than a standard gas ring.
This type of hob will get hot as the pan gets hot
There are however disadvantages.
You cannot use an induction hob if you have a pacemaker fitted!
The general school of thought is that the powerful magnetic field will interfere with the rhythm of the pacemaker, and can cause serious health problems.
Most manufacturers insist that induction hobs are not installed above a working drawer.
This is to allow sufficient ventilation for the electro-magnets in the base of the hob.
Some larger induction hobs need a power supply of more than 10kw. This is generally not available via a standard domestic consumer unit. Check with our helpline if you are unsure of the power requirement and consult an electrician to confirm that this amount of power is available.
Used to describe lamps or heat sources having a filament surrounded by halogen vapour.
Although very popular at one time this type of hob is now rare as they are expensive to repair and can fail within a relatively short period of time,.
Some manufacturers do offer hobs with a mixture of Halogen and Ceramic/Radiant rings. People often refer to ceramic hobs as Halogen, when more often than not they mean standard ceramic.
Avoid common ordering and installation errors....
Above is an example of how Domino hobs are combined to make up what is essentially a large hob with different types of heat source. In the picture above, three types of hob have been used as well as two downdraft extractors. A griddle/barbeque grill and a steam hob domino have been used together with a ceramic hob to make up the combination shown. A joining strip is normally used to join the hobs together, which is a much neater looking and easier to clean installation. Not all manufacturers produce domino hobs and not all manufacturers produce joining strips.
The Kitchen Appliance Store is a certified member of the Energy Efficiency Endorsement Scheme and pays particular attention to recommending energy efficient products. We display energy efficiency rating whenever they are available. Please call our helpline for the latest information and energy efficient models.
The majority of "built in" appliances have energy efficiency ratings. The only ones that do not are: hobs, hoods and microwaves. The ratings are in alphabetical form. The best is A (sometimes even A+) and the poorest is G. Double ovens will have two ratings, one for the top oven and one for the bottom oven.
The Kitchen Appliance Store Product Buying Guides
Please also read our General Buyers Guide to ensure that your order runs smoothly.