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Which? Best Buy hobs

by Jane Darling

Best Buy hobs will rapidly heat a large panful of water, but they will also be able to supply a gentle simmer. Find out which ones excel at both tests. 

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Some hobs will heat up your water or soup super quickly and are also able to maintain a gentle simmer, while others will leave you waiting an age before you can dish up or will have you scraping off burnt-on food remains. Which? tests all types of gas and electric hobs, including modern induction models, to guide you to those that will make life in the kitchen easier. Which? Best Buy hobs can be relied upon to heat rapidly, simmer gently and fry evenly.

  • The slowest hobs take more than twice the time of the quickest to heat up a big panful of water. So if you know you're the type that's impatient for that pasta water to boil, make sure you go for a speedy hob that excelled in our heating tests.
  • Sometimes you want your hob to be gentle, and responsive to tiny changes in heat supply. Hobs that do well in this test will mean you won't be left scraping burnt-on food from your pans.
  •  If you like a regular fry-up then make sure you go for a hob that spreads heat well across the base of a pan. This means you won't have to keep shuffling your food around to get even cooking.

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How we uncover the best hobs

We don't just heat food on the hob in our tests, we also carry out more than 20 ease-of-use assessments to find out which hobs are going to be the most trouble-free to use every day. Our ease-of-use tests include assessments of how easy hobs are to clean, how straightforward they are to set the temperature and how cramped, or roomy, the hob is when you're cooking with several pans at the same time. If you opt for a Which? Best Buy hob you can be confident you're onto a winner.

  • Heating: You want a hob that can heat quickly, so we test how long each hob takes to heat a pan of water from room temperature to 90°C – the best hobs will save you time whenever you use them. 
  • Simmering: Your hob needs to be just as effective at low temperatures, otherwise you could end up with burnt food - that's why we test how well each hob simmers rice pudding. The best hobs are easy to control when heating on low power, but the worst are much harder to control and this means that your food could end up scorched and inedible. 
  • Frying: Some hobs are very poor at heat distribution around the bottom of the pan – we measure this to ensure that all the food in the pan is receiving enough heat.

More hob recommendations

Hob reviews you can trust

Models from the biggest hob brands on the market – including Bosch, Hotpoint, Whirlpool and Zanussi – are tested in the Which? lab. We've discovered that sometimes even the best-known brands don't always come up with the goods.

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

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