Hobs: How to buy the best hob Electric hobs

How an electric hob works

From old-fashioned coil hobs to ultra-modern ceramic models, electric hobs come in a range of forms and can make a viable alternative to gas.

A hob powered by electricity won’t give you the same ease of temperature control you get from a gas hob- but a good electric hob will be able to heat up quickly and wipe clean easily once you’ve finished cooking. Like gas hobs, electric hobs usually consist of four heat points, or zones, which generally glow red when hot or warm so you know when the surface is safe to touch.

Dual zones on some electric hobs allow you to operate an inner zone within the main ring, to save energy when cooking with smaller pans or expand to accommodate larger pans. It’s also worth looking out for models with timers that automatically switch off the heat at a pre-determined time.

If you already know the kind of hob you're looking for, go straight to our hobs reviews for full test results for more than 30 hobs.

Hob dual zones

Versatile dual hobs can expand to fit large pans

Electric hob pros and cons

Pros

  • Good at heating up quickly
  • Easy to clean
  • Induction hobs can give a more stylish finish
  • Basic cheap options available

Cons

  • The heat generated from an electric hob isn’t as easily controllable
  • Gas is a more popular option
  • You’ll find better overall heat distribution with a gas model

Types of electric hob

Ceramic electric hob

A ceramic electric hob offers a stylish option for your fitted kitchen and can come with handy extras like safety controls and a timer to programme in your cooking requirements. Ceramics are usually good at heating up quickly – but we found in our tests that gas hobs come out better for heat distribution and control.

Electric plate hob

Electric plate hobs use traditional solid electric plates to heat pots and pans and come in at the lower end of the price range.

You'll usually only find four-ring electric plate hobs, but if you're looking for a cost-effective hob option, they are worth considering.

Electric coil hob

Old style electric-coil hobs are few and far between these days, but they are still manufactured by some brands including Smeg. They can work well stylistically in a retro-inspired kitchen, but they’re not as efficient as other hob varieties.

Electric hob

Old-style electric-coil hobs are few and far between these days

Electric hob brands and typical prices

Popular electric hob brands include AEG, Indesit, Beko, New World, Neff and Baumatic - plus you’ll also find own-brand options from kitchen retailers like Homebase and B&Q for a more low-cost option.

Electric plate options start from £60, while ceramic hob models can range between £160 and £2,000 depending on the functionality and finish offered.

Getting an electric hob installed

It is possible to install an electric hob yourself – but only if you’re confident and competent working with electrical appliances. Otherwise, you’ll need to get an electrician to complete the work for you, or arrange installation with the store you buy your hob from as part of the package.

You can look for recommended electricians in your area on Which? Local.

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