Electric hob buying guide

Electric hob buying guide

by Jane Darling

An electric hob is easy to clean and heats up quickly. But it is the best hob for your kitchen? Check out the pros and cons.

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How an electric hob works

From old-fashioned coil hobs to ceramic models and modern induction hobs, electric hobs come in a range of forms and are 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, unless you go for induction - but a good electric ceramic hob will heat up quickly and wipe clean easily once you’ve finished cooking. Like gas hobs, electric ceramic hobs usually consist of four heat points, or zones, which generally glow red when hot 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.

Electric hob pros and cons

• Good at heating up quickly
• Easy to clean
• Basic cheap options available

• The heat generated from an electric hob isn’t as easily controllable
• Gas has traditionally been 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 good-looking option for your fitted kitchen and can come with handy extras like safety controls and a timer to program in your cooking requirements. Ceramic hobs 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. They can work well stylistically in a retro-inspired kitchen, but they’re not as efficient as other hob varieties.

Thinking about buying an induction hob? Go to our separate guide on How to buy the best hob: induction

Getting an electric hob installed

Most people will want to use an electrician to install their hob. Stores will often arrange this for you as part of the package, or you can opt to find your own electrician.

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

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