Gas hob buying guide
Improving technology in induction hobs means cooking with electricity is becoming increasingly popular. But for the time being, gas hobs are still by far the preferred choice in the UK.
Gas hobs are usually 60cm wide, with four gas burners of varying sizes – you'll usually get one small, one large and two medium-sized zones.
Most now come with automatic ignition, which means a spark is generated as you open the gas stream to the burner and it ignites automatically. However, some cheaper models might still have a manual ignition switch, so you'll need two hands free.
Control of the strength of each gas flame is usually via chunky knobs. Although most induction hobs have touch-screens these days, gas hobs all have manual controls.
Gas hob pros and cons
- Easy to control heat
- Gas is an instant, visible heat source
- Good overall heat distribution
- Has to be installed by a qualified gas professional
- Starting prices can be higher than basic electric hobs
- Gas zones can be more difficult and fiddly to clean
- Some gas hobs aren't great at very low level simmering
Types of gas hob
Conventional gas hobs
While most standard gas hobs are four-zone auto-ignition hobs as described above, you can also shop around for extra features. Some come in bigger sizes – up to 90cm wide. You'll find some gas hobs available with an extra fifth ring, an extra-fast wok burner and child-safe controls.
If you’re looking for a hob that’s easy to clean as well as having the controlled precision of cooking on gas – and you don’t mind paying a little bit more for the best of both worlds – a gas-on-glass hob may be the right choice for you.
A gas-on-glass hob is a gas hob mounted on top of ceramic glass. The smooth, flat surface makes it easier to wipe clean than a standard gas hob, and gives it a modern style. The gas gives it an easier-to-control heat source than an electric ceramic hob, though tends to be a little slower to heat up large volumes.
A gas-on-glass hob is likely to be pricier than a standard gas hob.
Five-ring gas hobs
Five-ring gas hobs have a large extra ring – either in the middle or to one side – to accommodate larger, wok-style pans. This is handy for cooking with a more intense, rapid source of heat, and great for quickly rustling up crunchy stir-fries.
Getting a gas hob installed
As with any gas-powered appliance, you shouldn't attempt to install it yourself. You'll need to enlist the services of a qualified professional, accredited by the Gas Safe Register (previously Corgi registered), to install your gas hob. To ensure an engineer is properly qualified to carry out the work, ask to see their Gas Safe Register card.