Before buying a new cooker hob, you can think about the following points:
• Choose a hob that has features that are beneficial for you e.g. child lock, timers. Look at the position of the burners or cooking zones, and the cookware you use frequently.
• It is important to consider energy efficiency and power consumption. Some hobs will require a larger initial outlay but it could save you money over the hobs’ lifespan.
• Do check the power ratings and set-up requirements before you purchase your hob to ensure that it is suitable with your home.
• You should also consider your lifestyle e.g. frequency of cooking and cooking styles. Choose a hob that fits your lifestyle and personal preference.
i. Cooking Style
Due to its compatibility with various cookware and direct heating, a gas hob provides the most flexibility in cooking style – charring and wok-hei (Smokiness).
On the other hand, an induction hob is suitable if you frequently prepare stews or cook meals that don’t involve wok frying.
Gas hobs with its open flames are riskier. However, all new gas hobs are now equipped with a flame failure safety device that will cut off the gas supply in the event that the flame is extinguished by wind.
Alternatively, induction hobs are safer for families with young children as the hob surface is safe to touch as long as there is no interactions with any ferromagnetic materials and it can be cooled easily. Most models also come with an auto child-lock function as well as a residual heat indicator which will alert users that the cooking zone is still hot and not to touch it.
iii. Energy Efficiency and Power Consumption
Gas hobs typically only convert 30-40% of the energy to heating up. Induction hobs, with its induction technology, directly transfers heat onto the base of the cooking pan hence resulting in extremely low energy loss.
However, the running cost of a gas hob is cheaper and consumes less power. A gas hob is also more environmentally friendly as it gives off lesser carbon emissions.
While an induction hob is more energy-efficient, it is less budget friendly compared to gas hobs. An induction hob generally cost more that a gas hob and the per unit cost of electricity is also higher than gas.
v. Placement and Design
If the hob is to be placed on a kitchen island, an induction hob will be more suitable as concealing gas pipes may be a challenge. LPG gas tanks can be considered if the preference is to use a gas hob.
For a more sophisticated and minimalistic look, go for the induction hob, which has a smooth and glossy surface.
vi. Cookware Compatibility
A gas hob is compatible with most cookware types. An induction hob on the other hand, is only compatible with cookware made of ferromagnetic materials (e.g. ferritic stainless steel and iron).
As the induction hob is a flat surface, your cookware will also need to have a flat base and its size should fit within the cooking zone. This is to ensure that things are balanced and there is even heat distribution to cook your food thoroughly.
This will mean added investment cost for induction-compatible cookware in addition to cost of the hob.
vii. Cleaning and Maintenance
An induction hob is convenient and easy to clean which makes it suitable for busy homeowners who are looking for a fuss-free option.
Gas hobs are harder to clean due to the grids and protruding rings around the burners. You may have to grapple with cleaning liquid spills and food scraps that are trapped around the crevices.