Types of hob explained

Types of hob explained

by Jane Darling

Hobs come in five types: ceramic, induction, solid-plate electric, gas and gas on glass hobs. Read on to find the best for you.

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Which type of hob should I buy?

With hobs, it's more than just deciding between electric or gas, there are five main types of hob to choose from. 

Here we give a brief overview of the different types of hob, but go to our individual guides for more in-depth information about types of hob, including pros and cons of each kind.

Ceramic hobs

Ceramic hobs are electric with a smooth, easy-to-clean surface.

They’re easy to use and heat up quickly, but heat distribution around the bottom of pans isn’t as good as when cooking on gas.

Induction hobs

Induction hobs create a magnetic field between the induction element in the hob and the pan. This means that only the pan heats up, rather than the cooking surface.

Induction hobs are quicker than other types of hob, and are cheaper to run because they use only the precise amount of energy you need.

Induction hobs only heat the pan, so are more efficient

You will need to check that your pots and pans work on an induction hob, or invest in a new set.

Electric plate hobs

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.

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

Gas hobs

Gas hobs are easy to control and give instant heat. They tend to distribute heat well across the base of a pan.

You’ll find gas hobs in professional kitchens, and they’re popular with professional cooks, though induction hobs are gaining ground.

Gas on glass hobs

Gas on glass hobs have gas burners mounted on top of ceramic glass, so they look more stylish than other gas hobs and are easier to clean.

Gas-on-glass hobs are easier to clean than gas hobs

They don't heat up as quickly as electric ceramic models, but they're more precise and easier to control.

Find the best hob for you in our hobs reviews.