A hob is an indispensable kitchen appliance. While you can manage without an oven, it becomes challenging to cook regularly if your hob malfunctions. In the past, hobs were primarily functional and often integrated into ovens. However, they have since evolved to be separate units, allowing for the installation of ovens at a higher level. This separation also offers the flexibility to choose between a gas hob and an electric oven, or vice versa.
Gas hobs have traditionally been popular due to their superior control and faster heating compared to electric ones. Electric hobs have made advancements by utilizing halogen light as a rapid heat source. There are also electric "induction" hobs that provide quick and efficient heating. Induction hobs work by creating a circuit with the metal pan, resulting in fast heat and immediate cooling once the pan is removed. Gas hobs have responded to this development by introducing lotus-shaped burners, which ensure better heat distribution.
In modern kitchens, hobs have become a focal point and are now available in various colours, stainless steel, and captivating designs. Wider versions, multi-fuel options (electric and gas), and hobs with five or six rings offer increased flexibility. However, it's essential to consider your specific needs before making a purchase. If your kitchen accommodates multiple cooks simultaneously, it is advisable to position the hob away from the oven to avoid obstructing each other's workspace.
If you have a fondness for Eastern cuisine, you can opt for a specialty hob equipped with a dedicated wok burner. Likewise, if you enjoy barbecuing, you can choose a hob with a barbeque grill feature. For left-handed individuals, selecting a hob with front controls rather than right-side controls eliminates the risk of reaching across hot surfaces to access the controls. If you cook for a large family, having more than four rings on your hob would prove beneficial. Additionally, if you have young children, investing a bit extra in a hob guard would provide added safety. In the case of gas hobs, automatic re-ignition or cut-off devices will protect against flame extinguishment.