Gas hobs use gas with visible flames to heat pots and pans. They offer instant heat and are easy to use.
Sealed plate hobs use a heating element in direct contact with the pan to transfer heat.
Ceramic hobs use a heating element covered with a smooth glass surface which is easier to clean.
Induction hobs use magnetic fields to heat only the pan not the hob surface. They offer greater efficiency and are easy to clean.
What size hob do I need?
There’s no general size for hobs, they come in lots of different sizes to suit different kitchen designs. The most common have four burners or cooking zones. It all depends on what you tend to cook and how many zones you think you can manage with. When choosing your hob, consider the space you have available, the hob will need space around it, as it cannot be fitted on the edge of a unit.
Which is the easiest hob to clean?
Induction hobs are definitely the easiest to clean, the surface is smooth and flat, you’ll be able to simply wipe it clean as food won’t burn to the surface.
Ceramic hobs come second, they are similar to induction hobs as they can be easily wiped clean, however the surface does get hot and you’ll need to wait before wiping them down.
Sealed plate hobs are a little trickier to wipe clean, the plates can get in the way and food can burn to the surface around the plates.
Gas hobs are the most time consuming as there are more parts to it. Food can burn to the surface and you’ll need to remove the pan supports to wipe it down and these may even require cleaning too.
What hob safety features are available.
If you have small children with little wandering hands around, the safest choice would be an induction hob. These hobs work on electromagnets and are only compatible with magnetic pans. They heat only the pan and its contents, not the actual hob, which means after cooking the hobs surface will be warm to the touch, but not hot enough to burn. Some electric hobs come with a function to lock the controls so the hob isn't accidentally swicthed on.