How to choose a hob - 15 questions and answers

How to choose a hob – 15 questions and answers

How to choose a hob

Built-in hob is a first-time technique in a modern kitchen. Unlike the traditional plate, it allows you to create a solid working surface, which is not only beautiful, but also practical: fewer slots - less dirt.

  • By type of heating source, the cooking surface can be induction, electric and gas. Since the latter is intended only for gasified kitchens, in this article we will consider the nuances of choosing an electric cooking panel - standard and induction. If you have gas in your apartment, read our special material: All the nuances of choosing a gas hob.

What is the difference between the electric and induction hob and what you need to know before buying a particular oven - we'll tell in this guide.

Which cooking surface is better - electric or induction?

Our answer is unambiguous: the induction hob is better for almost all indicators. Its main advantage is a high efficiency - it almost 3 times faster cooks food and loses less heat in the process, and therefore more economically consumes electricity.

If a conventional electrical panel heats the bottom of the cookware in 5-10 seconds, then the induction oven almost instantly. For example, on it you can boil a large pan of water faster than in an electric kettle. She also very sensitive to the adjustment of the degree of heating and turns off when removing dishes from the burner. Therefore, it is much easier to prepare a delicate dish like a risotto of the right consistency or, for example, to prevent the "escape" of boiled milk.

By the way, about runaway milk and other liquids. A powerful argument against the conventional electrical panel: everything that overflows, immediately burns and adheres to the surface so that it has to be cleaned with a special tool and a scraper. And to wipe a puddle or scattered flour / cereal is necessary at once, often for this purpose it is necessary to interrupt preparation and to continue anew only after elimination of "accident".

With an induction cooker you can relax, because during cooking only the dishes are heated, not the surface itself. Did you overlook past the pasta? Just wipe the puddle with a rag (do not rush!) And the surface will again become clean.

Induction plate cleaning

Since the induction hob heats only the dishes, and not itself, nothing burns to it and does not stick to it. Cleaning becomes simple and unhurried, which can not be said about a conventional glass-ceramic plate

This property of the induction cooker makes everything else safer.

  • If you have children this is a powerful argument. Moreover, for families with young children, the induction cooker is the only correct option, since standard glass ceramics is dangerous because it cools down for a long time and can easily be mistaken for a cold one.

And now about the drawbacks of induction hobs:

  • It costs more expensive glass-ceramic for about 3-4 thousand rubles (all other things being equal). But in our opinion this is the minimum fee for super-convenience and economical consumption of electricity.

As early as 10 years ago, induction panels cost almost 3 times more expensive than standard ones, why they still hold the mistaken reputation of expensive equipment.

  • Often together with an induction cooker, you have to buy a couple of new pots of cast iron and enameled / stainless steel, as it is NOT compatible with copper, aluminum, ceramic and glassware. But, fortunately, most utensils, which you already have, will do. Check this by attaching the magnet to the bottom. If it is magnetized, it is suitable. Unsuitable dishes you can still use together with the "adapter" - a flat disc adapter, which puts the capacity. The purchase of new pots and pans is also not a problem - most manufacturers have already adjusted to the demand and produce dishes with a magnetic bottom.
Adapter for induction furnace

The adapter allows cooking on an induction cooker in any vessel, for example, very small or made of non-magnetic material

  • Sometimes inexpensive models with insufficiently powerful and high-quality heat sink can overheat and for a while turn off.
  • A small minus - during cooking, induction coils can be slightly hummed or crackle.
  • To repair induction furnaces, special tools and equipment are required. If something goes wrong, without resorting to the service can not do and, most likely, repairs will be expensive.
  • Most induction hobs do not allow the installation of any equipment. Most likely, the oven will have to be installed elsewhere.
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In this video, you can see the results of a custom test for the rate of boiling water in an induction, electric and gas stove.

But still the electric hobs are still relevant: they too can be very productive (especially models with halogen lamps) or cheap (especially old stoves with cast-iron pancakes).

The main trump card of electric hobs is that they are compatible with any cookware. If you have many beautiful copper pans or a set of solid aluminum, glass, ceramic utensils, it makes sense to buy conventional glass ceramics.

Other advantages of glass-ceramic panels:

  • Electric furnaces are easier and cheaper to repair;
  • The choice of models is 2 times greater.

Still in doubt? Then we advise you to look at the combined hobs in which there are both conventional and induction burners.

Guide for choosing an induction hob

Let's start our guide to choosing a hob with an induction furnace. Its pros and cons have already been discussed above, so we'll get down to business right away.

How does the induction cooker work?

The induction coil creates a magnetic field that, when exciting iron atoms, heats the frying pan and its contents. In fact, the dishes themselves play the role of TEN. Honestly, this process is more like magic.

The induction hob is switched on only if there are dishes with a ferromagnetic bottom in the heating zone. If the dishes are removed from the "burner", the heating stops and the corresponding symbol is displayed on the panel. As soon as the dishes return to the place, the symbol disappears and cooking continues with the power level set earlier. If an unsuitable dish is used, a symbol also appears, and the heating zone does not turn on. Can the induction hob react to an accidentally accidental plug or other object with magnetic properties? Not necessary, since the heating zone in the plates is limited. The minimum diameter of the burner, depending on the manufacturer, can vary from 8 to 12 cm. Therefore, Turkish coffee lovers may need to buy a large-bottomed Turk or a special adapter.

Induction hob

What burners are there?

Most often, the burners in induction panels have different sizes and work in a standard way. But advanced models can have hotplates more flexible and functional.

  • For example, there are cooking surfaces (for example, Miele KM 6395 FlexTouch), which can be called one large burner. On them, you can put dishes in any order, of any shape and size.
  • Some cooking surfaces can combine 4 standard burners into two large. For example, Gorenje IS 677 USC.
  • For fans of Asian cuisine, you should pay attention to the model with a special WOK burner with a recess for the wok-pan. But since such models are much more expensive and forced to sacrifice one burner, it is more profitable to buy a set with a wok-pan and a special stand for an induction cooker.

Which manufacturer of induction cookers is better?

The greatest number of positive reviews deserved induction cooktops Bosch. The second place was won by Electrolux. Also it is possible to allocate brand AEG, after all it became the trailblazer in manufacture of induction cooking surfaces. True, the technique of this company is much more expensive.

What functions can an induction cooker have and which ones are most needed?

Basic and additional functions of induction panels exist a lot and all of them are designed to simplify the life of users. When choosing your new hob, you should definitely study the list of its possibilities.

  • Automatic shutdown. The system automatically turns off the hotplate in case of overheating or when removing dishes. Most models have this feature.
  • Automatic boiling - the liquid is quickly brought to a boil and, when this happens, the heating zone reduces the power - passing to the user-defined intensity mode.
  • Timer - at the set time, the burner switches off and / or beeps. Really useful function, which is often needed. Fortunately, it is in many models.
  • Intense heating ("Booster"). In this mode, the power of one cooking zone increases due to the neighboring one, which makes it possible to cook even faster, for example, to boil water almost instantly. It's good if this function is available, but not all models are equipped with it.
  • Automatic shutdown for prolonged heating without changing the temperature. The time period required for automatic shutdown depends on the heating temperature of the hob. The lower the set temperature, the longer the hotplate will work. For example, it can be as long as 10 hours. With the maximum heat, the cooker can work continuously for about 1-1.5 hours. This should be borne in mind when cooking jam, cold or other long-cooking dish. If you are interested in the possibility of cooking for many hours, select the hob without this function or with extended off periods.
  • Delayed start. Thanks to this function, the cooking zone itself can turn on at the set time.
  • Automatic heating. Allows you to adjust the operation of the burner: it can first heat up to a high temperature, and then automatically reduce the heating to the set temperature after a specified time. This is convenient if you cook, say, rice - first bring the water to a boil, and then just cook on the smallest fire.
  • Protection against flooding with liquid. The plate can turn off or sound an alarm if a lot of water gets to the control points. In this case, you need to wipe the puddle and continue cooking.
  • Blocking from children. Locking the buttons will not allow the baby to change the heating temperature or turn on the cooker without the knowledge of the older ones.
  • Cleaning-pause. Some hobs have a pause function that allows you to temporarily lock the settings set by the cook so you can wipe the control panel without accidentally pressing any buttons, and also for 20-30 seconds. stop heating (during this time you just have time to clean up).
  • Maintaining temperature. The function keeps the dish warm.
  • Residual heat indicator - shows the degree of heating of each burner.
  • Extraction control - Some induction panels are so clever that they can control the hood. When the heating temperature is high, the hood turns on at full power.

Guide for choosing an electric hob

Immediately mention that in this article we will talk about the nuances of choosing the hobs of the latest generation, and obsolete models with cast-iron "pancakes" will be silenced, if only because their profitability is deceptive because of the large consumption of electricity and prolonged heating.

What type of heating elements is better?

This selection criterion is one of the key. After all, the efficiency of the plate directly depends on the heating elements. So, there are only 3 of them:

  • Spiral. They are equipped with the most inexpensive panels and, at the same time, the most inefficient ones. Previously, they were popular, but today they gave way to hi-light plates. Heating time of the spiral burner is 8-12 seconds.
  • Tape (Hi-light). Plates with tape heaters are the most popular. They are about twice as effective as the previous ones and can heat up in 3-6 seconds.
  • Halogen. Such burners are very productive, they provide more even and almost instantaneous heating. They can compete with induction and gas stoves. Their only problem is the possibility of overheating due to prolonged cooking, and, of course, a high price.

What burners are there?

The burners of the electric hob are always of different diameters, while at least one of them is most often two- or three-circuit, that is, it can vary in size - from small to large. Especially important is the presence of such a burner for a small hob type "domino" (with two burners).

  • In many models, one of their four burners can become oval. It is convenient to cook on it in a whiting or just a large bowl.

Oval heating zone

Dependent or independent?

The hob may or may not depend on the oven. In the first case, the panel is connected to the oven with wires and installed directly above it. In this case, the control panel is not on the cooking surface, but on the oven casing.

  • Such a kit is cheaper, it is easier to install and for many is simply more familiar. It is also convenient that because of the location of the control panel on the oven, it can not be poured or soiled during cooking, so it will not turn off.
Dependent oven

Dependent cooking surface

Technology must necessarily be one firm, but not the fact that the instruments of one firm will be combined with each other. Therefore, when composing the kit, be sure to check with the special compatibility tables from the manufacturer.

  • The independent hob is good in that it allows you to place the oven anywhere, for example, at eye level in a column cabinet.

See also: How to choose an oven in 9 steps

And since the dashboard is located on the stove itself, it is more convenient to operate it.

What functions are and what are really needed?

Timer of each burner. It is in almost all models and is both reverse and direct. You can set a certain time for cooking, then at the right moment the cooking zone will turn off and / or sound a beep.

Residual heat indicator. This is the basic security function. The burner indicator shows the degree of residual heating and disappears only when the hotplate cools.

Auto shutdown in case of overheating. In case of overheating, due to the prolonged operation of the plate or the operation of all burners at high temperatures.

Automatic boiling. This function is found in advanced models, and it is very useful. Her task is to simplify the cooking: she automatically brings the dish to a boil at full power, and then, by the boil-up sensor signal itself, reduces the heat. While the stove "cooks", the cook can tackle other matters.

Auto cooking programs. Sometimes electric hobs have automatic programs with custom or factory settings for cooking temperature and time.

Protection from children. If there are children in the house, it is advisable to buy a hob with a key lock function so that the child can not turn on the panel or change the settings. In some models, the lock is triggered by a long touch to a specific button or a combination of several buttons.

Universal advice on choice

What size of the hob to choose?

The most common size of induction and conventional electric cooking surface is the width and length of 60 cm, or about 50 cm long (+ - several centimeters). Most often on the plates of this format, 4 hotplates of different diameters fit.

  • The standard size of a plate with three or four burners is suitable for a family of 3-5 people and a kitchen of medium size (more than 7 sq.m).
  • Standard hob
    Standard size hob Siemens EH679MB17E
  • Standard hob
    Standard size hob Siemens EH679MB17E

In non-standard circumstances it is worth choosing a hob of a non-standard size.

  • If your kitchen is very small and there are no more than 3 people on the plate, then you should choose a mini-panel with two or three burners.
Small kitchen with domino board

The hob "Domino" in the interior of the kitchen area of ​​4 square meters. m

  • For one person who rarely cooks something, for country house or a removable dwelling suitable table induction cooker with one or two burners.

Table induction cooker

  • For spacious kitchens, large families and hospitable cooks should choose a panel size of 70-75 cm with four or five burners or a model with a width of 90-95 cm with 5-6 burners.
90 centimeter hob

It looks like a large induction hob

With a frame or without?

The hobs can be framed with a metal profile (see photo below) or beveled edges.

  • Framed panels are somewhat more difficult to care for - they are not so easy to brush crumbs, and fat and dirt are clogged in the crack. But the frame does not allow the liquid to drain onto the floor or countertop.

Hob with frame

Which panel material is better?

Most often, induction and electric cooking surfaces are made of glass ceramics. This material looks beautiful, shines, withstands cleaning with abrasives, scrapers and aggressive detergents.

  • Glass-ceramic surface is not so easy to maintain in order. Spilled on the hot surface of the liquid burn and sometimes stick so that even the scraper can not cope.
  • Glass ceramics are afraid of strong impacts and can crack from falling of a heavy object.

An alternative to glass-ceramics is toughened glass. It is less prone to scratches and chips, somewhat easier to clean and stronger to impact. However, such models are more expensive and their choice is not so great.

What energy efficiency class should be?

The higher the energy efficiency class of the hob, the less it affects the electricity bill, while maintaining greater productivity. And, of course, the more expensive the device itself. It is desirable that the class of the slab is not lower than the A level, but better - A + and higher.

Which control panel is more convenient?

In advanced panels it is sensory, and in simple panels it is electronic. Some models have mechanical controls - they are good because they do not heat up during cooking and they can be controlled slowly (touch the control panel when the surface is overheated, touch quickly-quickly so as not to burn). However, mechanical regulators complicate cleaning.

  • The main thing is that it should be intuitive and not too close to the first-row burners, otherwise they will be poured every now and then.

How to decide on the design and form?

The most common color of glass ceramic hob: black and white, less often - beige. By the way, the last color is the most practical.

  • In choosing the color of the plate you need to focus on the color of the rest of the equipment, countertops and / or aprons.
  • White panel
    White panel
  • White panel
    White panel

As for the shape, it can be not only square or rectangular, but also polygonal, round, in the form of a boomerang, angular (requires appropriate stretching) or narrow, but elongated (for shallow furniture).

See also:

  • How to choose built-in appliances for the kitchen
  • 16 tips for choosing an apron for the kitchen, an overview of 7 types of materials
  • The choice of kitchen countertops - the advantages and disadvantages of popular materials
  • 10 stages of choosing and designing a kitchen set

Universal tips for care and maintenance

  • For all glass ceramic hobs (both conventional and induction), you need utensils with a quality flat bottom. Otherwise, during cooking, the dishes will crackle and heat up more slowly.
  • Glass ceramic hobs are washed with special non-abrasive agents, and burnt food is scraped with a metal scraper (usually included in the kit). In addition, after cleaning the surface must be treated and a special polishing agent, then the panel becomes shiny and less susceptible to dirt.

Cleaning of glass ceramics

  • We have already said that aluminum and copper containers are not suitable for induction cookers. However, for a conventional glass-ceramic panel, their use (as well as enamelled and colored pots) is not desirable, since they can leave traces that will be difficult to remove or even impossible to remove.
  • In order not to damage the glass ceramic hob, try not to store heavy items above it, say, food cans or some interior items. After all, if something heavy falls on the panel, it can break or crack.
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