Cooking on the top is fast and exciting cooking – but what type is really right for you? Do you like the idea of investing in the latest induction technology, or are you a staunch supporter of classic gas options with easy flame control? We’ve scoured the web to find you the best deals – read our expert reviews and bag yourself a new appliance favourite.
Best Induction Hob & Editor’s Pick
A fantastic quality ceramic induction hob with effortless touch controls.
We love the frameless finish on this Zanussi appliance with 4 different burner zones. All zones can be altered using the responsive touch controls on the unit and the digital display can be used to monitor temperature and because all the cooking zones are ceramic, they get up to temperature a lot faster than conventional hot plates, meaning you won’t be waiting around.
This hob also has residual heat indicators, helping to avoid any accidental burns. This model is an online exclusive so you won’t find it in stores.
- Residual heat indicators
- Fast heat up
- Touch controls and digital display
- No child lock
Our Verdict: A stylish yet affordable option with excellent responsiveness and a well thought out design.
Zanussi ZEV6240FBA Rating: 9.5/10
- Type: Electric
- Controls: Touch
- Dimensions: 43 x 29 x 51
Zanussi ZEV6240FBA user manual
Excellent Whirlpool large gas top with power burner
A great option for anyone who still swears by cooking with gas – this offers you versatility and flexibility with its three burner sizes and huge power burner. A bit larger and bulkier than other designs, this top offers great value for money.
- Booster cooking zone
- iXelium nanotechnology coating is super durable and resists scratches
- 2 year labour and 10 year parts manufacturer’s guarantee
- Gas safety flame device
- Weighty & bulky design
- Less energy-efficient than induction options
Our Verdict: Though gas tops are less sleek and energy-efficient than others on the market right now, this Whirlpool model is a great gas option that offers you plenty of cooking space for a reasonable price.
Whirlpool Fusion GMF7522IXL Rating: 9.4/10
- Dimensions: 4.1 x 73 x 51 cm (H x W x D)
- Five gas burner in three different sizes (includes power burner)
- Cast iron pan supports for security and easy cleaning
- Weighs 14.2 kilogrammes
Whirlpool Fusion GMF7522IXL Built-In Gas product manual
Best Budget Induction
Quality AEG induction model that won’t break the bank
Another great induction option, AEG offers a more traditional design with rings. Slightly cheaper than the Neff induction model we also reviewed, this AEG is a great option for first time induction purchases. We love the intelligent times and the cool front slider touch controls – though they do take some getting used to!
- Pan detection and automatic safety shut-off (plus extra child lock)
- Great timer features help you manage cooking
- AutoMax function brings zone up to boiling point fast and then reduces temperature automatically
- Delicate glass surface – can shatter on impact if not treated carefully
Our Verdict: Easy to clean and use, this AEG option has some fantastic safety features. Bonus points for the easy-to-use timer and 14 stage power controls for extra precision.
AEG HK654200FB Rating: 9.4/10
- Dimensions: 5 x 59 x 52 cm (H x W x D)
- 4 sections for heating + power booster
- Front slider touch controls (14 stage digital power controls)
AEG HK654200FB Induction product manual
Cheap Samsung ceramic glass top with four zones
A great hob from Samsung for those who want to invest in a great ceramic top without spending too much. Great value for money, this has a classic ceramic design that is super easy to clean. We just wish it had a bigger zone for extra large pans!
- Lets you know if there is any residual heat (essential for family kitchen safety)
- 2 year manufacturer’s warranty (nice and long)
- Looks great – sleek design
- No pan detection or automatic safety shut off (all has to be done manually)
- No zone flexibility for bigger pans
Our Verdict: Even without the extra space for bigger pans and the latest safety features, we still think you can’t go too wrong with this little Samsung number. Samsung is a brand that you can trust with your appliances – this ceramic option is no exception (and we love its low price)…
Samsung C61R1AAMST Rating: 9.2/10
- Dimensions: 5.3 x 57.5 x 50.5 cm (H x W x D)
- Weighs 7.5 kilogrammes
- 4 ceramic zones (front controls)
Samsung C61R1AAMST 58cm Ceramic product manual
Best Budget Buy
This sleek and stylish hob makes for the perfect addition to any kitchen, its heat technology gives customers the chance to enjoy rapid cooking whilst simultaneously modernising the entire room. This professional addition to your cooking instruments will soon become a kitchen staple with it’s easy to clean interface, dial switches and four radiant rings.
There’s room for all your pots and pans with four zones and four separate dials, it’s a must buy for those that truly appreciate culinary, despite not being one of the most recognisable brands it’s been highly touted as one of the best products in that price range. You’ll be sure to get a lot for your money with this hob and it’s more than just a great cooking addition, it also adds style to your room with a nice smooth finish and no fixed frame, meaning that it can easily fit into your theme.
The product is one that boasts a modern design as well as unrivalled heat innovation, and is capable of reaching temperatures up to 65 degrees. Most retailers provide a warranty and it is a very easy to use product. It’s a recommended item that’s hard to match elsewhere for value and resilience. The one slight downfall is that the hob dials cannot be seen well and would fair better with white markers to effortlessly change the temperature of each individual ring.
- Stylistic design that seamlessly fits all kitchens
- An advanced heat system that reaches up to 65 degrees
- A sleek finish and stunning overall look
- No white marker on the dial switches
Our Verdict: A sleek and stylish hob that would be a perfect addition to any kitchen.
Baumatic BHC602 Rating: 7/10
- Electric ceramic hob
- Fast heating technology for rapid cooking
- Hob power: 1.2kW for back left and front right, 1.8kW for front left and back right
- Dimensions: 135 x 703 x 645 mm (H x W x D)
Baumatic BHC602 user manual
Kitchen Hobs Buying Guide
A hob is a very important appliance – explore all your options before buying your next one. You want one that will look right in your kitchen, heat up your food efficiently, and give you the flexibility to easily control heat intensity.
There are loads of different types and designs out there – make sure you get one that offers all the features you need (child lock, booster zones, timers etc.) for a competitive price. Opt for appliance brands that are known for their quality and longevity, and always shop around before committing to a purchase.
As the latest technology becomes more affordable, it’s now possible to get an amazing professional cooking experience for less. Consider whether you might be better off paying slightly more your appliance now in order to get a better model that will last you longer. As with any appliance – protect your hob and increase its lifetime with regular cleaning and maintenance.
Where can you install your hob?
Traditionally hobs would sit on top of the oven as a full cooker or range set, but with integrated and built-in ovens, it’s now possible to have your ovens and hobs separate. This makes for much more exciting and innovative kitchen designs and means you can mix and match brands and styles. For example, the oven could be installed in the wall, and the hob set in a central island. Always choose the safest and most practical lay out – it’s a good idea to have your oven eye-level, and the hob down by your elbows for easy cooking.
Make sure that you get your appliances installed by a qualified and registered engineer, and that you always follow the installation guidelines. Some built-in models have quite a large clearance zone – you’ll need to measure your tops to make sure yours are big enough to take your new hob.
What size are standard hobs?
These appliances generally hover around the 60 cm width mark, but they can go up to 90 cm too. Four burners or cooking zones is the norm, but some models have up to eight zones or burners. In order to save space, many ceramic and induction models offer flexible dual rings to accommodate more zone sizes in a smaller space.
Different types explained
There are many different options out there – some suited better for certain types of cooking methods and kitchens.
Gas options and burners give you a visual way of controlling heat and they are great for fast cooking. Gas ovens have fallen out of favour recently, but gas options are still very popular in the UK and are preferred by many professional chefs. Make sure that you always get a proper gas engineer to fit your gas top or oven, and that you opt for a gas option with the appropriate gas safety flame features. Automatic ignition is definitely easier and preferred, but you still see a lot of separate ignition and gas controls.
Ceramic are probably the most popular hobs out there right now, thanks to their excellent value for money, glossy black exterior, and easy to keep clean surface. The ceramic glass is heated from underneath – ceramic models often glow red when they are hot. They are controlled by touch, either using sliders, numbers, or plus and minus indicators. Some ceramic options offer dual rings and fast heat zones for more flexible cooking.
Induction hobs are the hobs of the future, but they are also more expensive than other types; and you’ll have to upgrade your pots and pans (and forego those classic copper ones you love). Induction models can change temperature in an instant, they heat up super fast, and give you ultimate temperature control. They are faster than gas and more energy-efficient than ceramic. They use a special magnetic heating technology that only heats up the surface of the pan – wasting no energy at all. (This is why you need to buy the right kinds of pans to use on your induction hob).
Electric solid plate/coil
Old-fashioned electric hobs are getting more rare as ceramic and induction models take over. Heated up by electric coils or electric hot plates, these aren’t very energy-efficient, and they are also harder to clean. Nevertheless, they are still common in some kitchens (especially communal kitchens).
Built-in hobs are great because they fit in with your kitchen seamlessly, sitting on worktops and providing a contemporary look and feel. You can install a built-in option anywhere, but check the safety and clearance requirements first as you will need to install the appliance away from the wall and other hazards.
Cleaning your hobs
- Keep your appliance clean after every meal to ensure their longevity and try to avoid dropping food onto them that will then burn and stick.
- Some tops and hotplates are protected with a glass top or a cast lid – always a good idea to keep things super safe and avoid any scratches.
- Ceramic tops need specialist cleaning products (available everywhere) and are often seen as the most easy to keep clean of all the options.
Cooking on your hobs
Cooking on your top is a great way to make nourishing and tasty meals fast. Especially Asian food like stir-fries are properly made on a hot hob (gas is great for woks). Cooking food fast on the hob fast ensures that vegetables hold on to their minerals and nutrients, and cooking meat on the hob seals in all those delicious meat juices and flavours.
Getting a good deal for your hob
Some appliance retailers offer combo deals when you buy an oven and a hob at the same time, but it’s also possible to find good deals on tops alone. Generally it’s a good idea to read a few reviews and shop around – favour brands that are known for their good quality and avoid anything that has too many negative reviews. It’s probably better to invest a little bit more money in order to get a better quality appliance that will last longer and be more energy efficient. Remember – your hob is one of your hardest working appliances.
We hope you enjoyed our hob reviews. Next stop – check out our oven reviews?