It is impossible to imagine a modern kitchen without household appliances. One of the central places in the kitchen equipment is occupied by a stove. However, it is often replaced by a hob – electric, gas, or induction.
Modern electric panels can replace a professional kitchen.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the pros and cons of an electric hob and tell you what to look for when buying electric hob.
- 1 Hob: what is it?
- 2 Advantages and disadvantages of electric cooking surfaces
- 3 Variety
- 4 Power
- 5 Size
- 6 Additional Features
- 7 What to look for when buying an electric panel
Hob: what is it?
It is essential to understand that the hob is not part of the stove. Unlike the latter, the cooker is not a natural part of the structure. It can be installed both above the oven and separately from it anywhere in the kitchen.
The oven can be installed both under the panel and in any convenient place.
The convenience of cooking surfaces is not only in choosing a place of placement – such a device is easy to select for your needs and kitchen design. However, their advantages are not exhausted by this.
Advantages and disadvantages of electric cooking surfaces
Recently, hobs have become increasingly popular. Many replace them with the usual electric or gas stoves.
A high-quality hob will serve you for many years.
There are several reasons for this:
- First of all, the question of compactness. Installing an oven and hob, oddly enough, takes up much less space than a standard stove.
- The ability to choose the location of electrical appliances. For example, install a hob on the countertop headset and the oven to build into the cabinet at eye level – many note that this is much more convenient than the standard location.
- A matter of hygiene. Probably, every homemaker is familiar with the situation: drops or even pieces of food with too intense stirring or boiling fall behind the stove. To restore order then is quite tricky. With a hob mounted directly on the countertop, this problem is eliminated.
- Economy. An excellent electric cooktop consumes significantly less electricity than a standard stove.
- Design possibilities. Modern hobs are not necessarily the usual square. Round or teardrop shape, complex geometric figure… Any colors and configurations allow you to choose a suitable gadget for your kitchen.
However, not without disadvantages:
- Ceramic or glass electric hob requires cautious handling – with physical impact on them; chips may occur;
- Installation of the hob is not the most straightforward idea, so you will need to involve specialists;
- Many complain that the touch control of the hobs can be too sensitive; because of this, it is difficult to configure the device with unaccustomed;
- A good electric hob is quite expensive.
As you can see, most of the disadvantages are associated with the need for careful handling and high costs for the purchase and installation. However, in general, a hob is a convenient appliance for home cooking.
You can choose a panel for the design of any kitchen.
Let’s take a closer look at what electric cooktops are.
The main difficulty in choosing a hob is many characteristics that must be taken into account when buying. For the device not to disappoint you, you will have to study all the subtleties carefully.
It is essential to choose the right panel so as not to be disappointed in the purchase.
We’ve compiled a detailed guide covering all the main features to make it easier for you to find the right job.
Which hob is better: electric, induction, gas?
Probably, this is the first question that comes to mind for a person who decided to purchase a hob. The moment is quite fundamental – the type of plate depends on the peculiarity of the work of your panel and the convenience of its use.
Gas under glass is one of the fashionable options. Such a panel looks very impressive, and a live-fire under heat-resistant glass adds comfort, but at the same time, it is entirely safe. Of the disadvantages of such plates, we can note their increased cost and the need to conduct gas. In addition, the installation should be thorough: the slightest carelessness will provoke a gas leak. And such panels take up more space than the other two types.
Beautiful and convenient, but requires knowledge of installation technologies.
The situation is more complicated with electric and induction panels. At first glance, they look identical, but the principle of operation of the two devices is radically different.
The electric hob is powered by a resistor installed inside that converts electric current into thermal energy. Thus, the surface is heated, transmitting the high temperature of the dishes installed on it. This method of work is most similar to the classic plates, familiar to many. A nice bonus of electric hobs is the many materials that allow you to choose a model for any kitchen design style.
Electric cooktops come in a wide variety of configurations.
“Induction” works differently – for them, the dishes play the role of a conductor to which vortex induction currents are supplied, which are created by a high-frequency generator located under each burner. During such a surface, only kitchen utensils are heated, and the panel itself remains cold.
This makes the panel much safer – it is almost impossible to get burned. However, it needs special utensils – many materials pass induction currents without being exposed to them.
The plus of the induction hob is that it does not heat up outside the burner at all.
Which hob to choose: induction, gas or electric? It’s up to you! Think over what features are fundamental for you and make an informed decision. However, electric panels are considered the most reliable and easy to use – consider this factor.
In addition, the type of food is not the only thing you should think about. For example, consider what variations of electrical panels you may encounter in home appliance stores.
What is a dependent and independent hob?
Another fundamental point when choosing an electric panel is to purchase a dependent or independent model. Unfortunately, many do not understand these terms and then become disappointed in shopping.
The dependent hob is directly connected to the oven. At the same time, it is not necessary to place them near each other. If you stretch the cable, the devices can be installed at any distance. However, this is not always convenient: the control system is located on the oven, so you will have to approach it every time you add or decrease the temperature.
The dependent hob is installed in conjunction with the oven.
The independent hob is not tied to the oven in any way and can be installed even without it. The control panel is located directly on the hob, which is undoubtedly very convenient. On the other hand, there have been cases when escaped water flooded the board, and the buttons (if we are not talking about touch controls) can begin to stick.
The independent hob is installed separately from the oven.
Which option to choose?
The dependent panel is suitable for those who like to cook – without an oven, in this case, can not do. In addition, you are guaranteed to get equipment decorated in the same style, and you do not have to choose a set yourself. On the other hand, if one element breaks, the entire structure will come out of the course.
An independent hob is suitable for those who do not need an oven. If you decide to install it, you can place it anywhere. However, the kit will cost more, and you will have to pick it up yourself.
Heating elements of the electrical panel
In addition to the heating system, the hobs also differ in heating elements. But, without a doubt, their choice is the widest for the electric hob.
In total, there are four types of heating elements.
Cast iron burners. Traditional round pancake burners equipped with electric heating spirals are one of the most reliable options. In addition, they are inexpensive. Put them most often on electric hobs made of stainless steel or enameled steel. They are solid and durable, and it is probably almost impossible to damage them. However, there is a minus – such burners are heated for a long time and cool down for a long time, which means that the energy consumption will be higher than other types.
Reliable and inexpensive heating element.
On glass-ceramic plates, often install rapid burners made of an alloy of nickel and chromium. Such burners warm up in just 10-12 seconds and cool down very quickly, saving your energy. Often on the panel, there are rapid spirals of different shapes, suitable for other dimensions of dishes.
Rapid burners are comfortable and safe.
One of the most effective types is halogen burners. A powerful halogen lamp installed under the spiral provides a large amount of heat and rapid heating. Even though the stove is characterized by high power, it consumes little electricity.
Halogen burners heat up very quickly.
On the other hand, this design very much warms the entire hob, so you need to handle it carefully – otherwise, the risk of getting burned is high.
Hi-Light burners are belt-type heating elements mounted on an asbestos base. Their main advantage is choosing the heating temperature as accurately as possible and ease of operation.
Put them most often on glass-ceramic surfaces. Thanks to the combination of affordable price and ease of management, high-light burners are very popular.
If there are no dishes on the high-light burner, it does not heat up.
Important! In addition to the type of heating structure, it is necessary to choose the correct diameter. Proceed from your needs. For example, for a pot of 2-3 liters, you will need a burner with diameters of 14-15 centimeters, 3-5 liters – about 18 centimeters, and large containers of 6 liters – at least 22 centimeters.
One of the main parameters that you should pay attention to is the working power of the hob. Its total indicator depends on the size and number of burners, the heating speed, and the type of heating element.
Burners of different sizes consume different amounts of energy.
Most electric cooking surfaces range from 3 to 10 kilowatt.
Many standard models have four burners, in which 3 kW falls on the largest burner, 1.5 kW for two mediums, and up to 1 kW for one small.
This is due to the different targeted use of burners:
- Small ones are suitable for brewing coffee, heating food, or small pots up to two liters;
- Medium suitable for containers up to three liters and cooking various vegetable dishes;
- Large ones are suitable for frying meat and cooking in large pots.
What power and hob configuration to choose? It’s up to you. However, consider the size of the family and your needs, and the state of the wiring. Old communications may not withstand a powerful device.
Depending on the dimensions of your kitchen, you need to choose the optimal size of the electric hob. In total, the dimensions take into account three parameters: width, length, and thickness (the distance to which the panel goes deep into the headset).
Hobs come in all shapes and sizes.
Manufacturers have long standardized the size of cooking surfaces.
You may be offered the following types of devices:
- Width from 26 to 40 cm., There are two burners (as a rule, the front burner of low power, the rear – high).
- Width from 40 to 48 cm., There are three burners (triangle), while the control knobs of the panel can be located vertically or horizontally. We recommend that you think in advance which option is more convenient to use.
- Width from 49 to 60 cm These are classic models with four burners (occasionally with 3).
- More than 61 cm wide, where 4 or 5 burners with expansion zones of various shapes can be installed. Such models are designed for families where a lot and actively cook.
The length of most hobs is standard – about 50 centimeters, which corresponds to the standard width of the countertops of the headset. However, there are options, so we recommend that you conduct preliminary measurements.
As for the width, this parameter varies from three to six centimeters and depends on the selected model and type of heating element, so pay attention to it so that it does not turn out that the panel “climbs” into the lower cabinet.
The weight also depends on the model chosen so that it can vary from two to eight kilograms. In this case, we recommend taking into account not only your preferences in technical characteristics but also the material from which your headset is made. For example, chipboard cannot withstand the built-in equipment weighing seven kilograms and can be deformed.
Depending on the method of controlling the hob, there are two types – sensory and mechanical. Each of them has its fans and opponents.
The touch control panel allows you to adjust the temperature more precisely. In addition, the control sensors are reliably protected from moisture and grease, which means that this model will last you longer. However, they are higher.
Sensors allow you to choose the temperature as accurately as possible.
Buttons, swivel knuckles, and levers control mechanical models. They are less accurate, but they are cheaper and easy to manage. If you follow the rules for using the hob, there will be no problems with them. On the other hand, if the sensitive sensor fails, the repair will fly into a penny, while replacing the handle and relay will not be difficult.
Reliable and straightforward mechanical control.
Now on sale, there are models with combined types of control; however, in our opinion, it is not too constructive – you will have to remember the right combinations, which is not always convenient.
In this review, it is impossible not to do without a critical point – the material from which the body of the electric hob is made. Manufacturers use three materials, each with advantages and disadvantages – enameled, stainless, and glass-ceramic.
Let’s take a closer look at each species.
One of the most popular options for use in the home kitchen is an enameled electric hob.
Enameled hobs look very stylish.
The list of its advantages is extensive:
- Affordable, compared to other models price;
- Comprehensive design and color assortment;
- Resistance to temperature changes and mechanical loads;
- On such a surface, there are no traces of water and fingerprints;
- They are straightforward to care for and do not lose their appearance for a long time;
- High resistance to a variety of acids and fats.
It is necessary, however, to take into account that they have drawbacks. For example, when a heavy object falls on the enamel, chips, and scratches will inevitably appear on it. Therefore, to handle, despite its strength, it must be taken carefully.
A little more expensive will cost you an electric cooktop made of stainless steel. Its main advantage is strength. To damage, such a surface will have to make a considerable effort to serve you for many years. Stainless steel panels are resistant to mechanical damage, tolerate high temperatures and sudden temperature changes.
Durable and reliable stainless steel is practically not subject to mechanical damage.
The material is environmentally friendly and devoid of many drawbacks, but its sits care is pretty complicated: the slightest drop or accidental touch leaves traces on the surface. Therefore, you will have to clean the stainless steel hob after almost every use.
Modern and convenient material – glass-ceramics. Glass-ceramic electric hobs are very popular because of their stylish appearance.
Durable and environmentally friendly glass-ceramics.
However, the advantages do not stop there:
- Caring for them is very simple. It is enough to wipe the surface with a non-villous cloth.
- Outside the heating element, the character remains cold.
- The panel does not absorb food odors and is resistant to fat and acids;
- Due to the material’s properties, it heats up quickly and cools down just as quickly, saving you energy.
However, their disadvantage is the same as the enameled surfaces – when falling. The material can crack. They are susceptible to point strikes, for example, a blade falling with a knife.
Important! If you spill a sugar liquid on the glass-ceramics, immediately turn off the panel and quickly remove the stain. Otherwise, sugar will change the material’s structure, and there will be a stain that can not be removed by anything.
A wide selection of colors of electric panels made of glass ceramics, a variety of designs, and ease of care have made them one of the most popular at the moment.
The same properties have cooktops made of tempered glass, but they are much more substantial. But they are often more expensive than glass-ceramic models.
Tempered glass can be very diverse.
Modern electrical panels make cooking food much more convenient than old analogs.
Modern hobs can have many functions.
Many of them have beneficial options:
- Automatic shutdown when liquid hits them;
- A timer that turns off the panel after a specific time;
- Delayed start of cooking;
- Protection from children;
- Temperature control of the new surfaces.
Think about what options you need – perhaps they cost an extra couple of thousand rubles due to their convenience.
What to look for when buying an electric panel
For the purchase not to disappoint you, use our recommendations:
- Think about how many burners you need. Do you live alone or cook infrequently? A model with a pair of burners will be enough. It does not take up much space and is much cheaper than large hobs.
- Decide where you will install it. Based on this, choose the shape, size, and configuration of the hob.
By the way! Check if your dishes fit on the burners. You do not need to drag pots with you to the store. Instead, cut out sheets of paper of the appropriate diameter.
- Decide on the necessary set of functions.
- Read reviews on the Internet about the model you like.
- And, of course, contact only proven online stores.
The right choice is the key to the comfortable use of the panel.