Hobs: How we test hobs
Which? tests the bestselling hobs from all the major brands and we also look for the latest launches and interesting models, particularly if they have innovative features or a ground-breaking design. We test gas, gas-on-glass, electric ceramic and induction hobs.
Check out our full reviews of more than 30 gas, electric and induction hobs to find out which ones will be best for you.
High-temperature hobs test
To see how quickly and efficiently the hobs can heat up, we heat a pan of water from room temperature to 90°C and record the time taken and the energy used. The best hobs take just four-and-a-half minutes to heat a pan of water; the worst take closer to eleven minutes to do the same job.
Low-temperature hobs test
We heat a pan of rice pudding and then leave it to simmer to find out how well hobs can heat at low temperatures and to see how responsive the controls are. The best hobs are very easy to control when heating at low temperatures, while the worst are harder to control and could leave some of your rice pudding burnt.
Hobs' heat distribution
To see how well heat spreads across a pan bottom, we heat a frying pan to 200°C and then take a photo with a thermal imaging camera. This shows how far the heat has spread and identifies any cold spots. The best hobs will heat all of the pan evenly, but the worst will leave some areas noticeably cooler.
Ease-of-use hobs test
We use a panel of three experts at the Which? test lab to find out how easy each hob is to use. We see how easy it is to use the controls, check how clear the markings are and see whether there’s enough space to use all cooking zones at the same time. And we listen for any unusual or irritating noises.
Ease-of-cleaning hobs test
We heat cooking oil and allow it to splatter on the hobs and we also allow a pan of rice to boil over. We leave the messy hobs to dry overnight and then clean them with washing-up liquid and a sponge.
Hobs test scores
Our total test scores ignore price and are based on a combination of the tests above. To be a Best Buy, hobs must achieve the following scores overall:
Induction hobs – 75%
Ceramic hobs – 70%
Gas-on-glass hobs – 65%
Gas hobs – 65%