Your ultimate guide for buying an oven and hob for your kitchen
Ovens and hobs are appliances that are going to see the most frequent and intense use. Therefore, you need to make sure that you do plenty of research into the different types of ovens and hobs that are available, and what advantages they bring to your kitchen.
If you’re in the market for a new oven and hob but you’re not sure which option is best, fear not! In this guide, we will discuss what oven and hob options are available for your kitchen, how they work and things you need to consider if you’re looking to buy them.
Only want information on one type of hob or oven? Use the links below:
- Electric Ovens And Fan Assisted Ovens Buying guide
- Everything You Need to Know About Gas Ovens
- Everything You Need to Know About Induction Hobs
- Everything You Need to Know About Electric Hobs
- Everything You Need to Know About Gas Hobs
- Where Can I Install A New Electric, Gas Or Induction Hob?
Electric ovens heat the contents of the compartment using several different coils, which produce heat when current is run through them. Most modern electric ovens come equipped with fans, which help to distribute hot air around the interior of the compartment during cooking. This helps ensure as even a cook as possible, and will also help to shift moisture away from the surface of your food – making sure, for example, that the skin of a whole chicken is as crisp as can be.
In addition, an electric oven will come with a number of extra features that’ll help to make your cooking experience easier and more enjoyable. The more advanced ovens will come with features like touch controls, and clear, information-rich displays.
While gas ovens are able to reach temperature more quickly than electric ovens, electric ovens are generally able to achieve better heat distribution through the compartment, thanks to fans that disperse hot air through the compartment. Electric ovens can generally get as hot as 230°C – with some ovens going still further beyond that threshold. This is as hot as most people need – though some specific sorts of cuisine might call for hotter temperatures.
Advantages of Electric Ovens
Energy efficiency - Some statistics suggest that cooking consumes around five percent of the energy we use in our homes every year – with many of us annually spending more than £50 on cooking.
Like all electric devices, an electric oven will come with an energy efficiency rating from A-G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least. While costing more initially, having a more energy-efficient electric oven can help to minimise the impact on your bills.
Safety features - Electric ovens are generally safer to use than their gas counterparts, as they don’t produce poisonous gasses like carbon monoxide. That said, they can still cause harm if they’re not used properly, which means it’s worth taking the time to examine some basic safety precautions.
Cleaning your oven frequently will help not only to make it more hygienic and efficient – it’ll help to make it safer, too. All of the grease and grime that’s caked on to the bottom of the compartment has the potential to ignite – particularly under grill temperatures.
Gas ovens, in contrast to their electrical counterparts, heat their interiors using a steady supply of ignited gas. In most gas ovens, the majority of heat comes courtesy of a single burner that’s at the bottom of the compartment. Usually, the flame will be shielded behind a sheet of metal with vents to allow for efficient airflow and the heat from this source will radiate upward into the main compartment.
A gas oven will need to be connected to your gas supply. They’ll also need electricity in order to provide the initial ignition spark, and any timer functions you might need. A gas oven doesn’t require the amount of power that an electric oven might draw, however, you’ll need a Gas Safe registered engineer to install the oven in your kitchen.
Due to the fact that a gas oven will need a steady supply of oxygen if the fire is to be kept safely lit and avoid dangeours carbon monoxide leaks. This means your gas oven will need a means of both taking in air and expelling it. Usually, cold air is drawn in from the bottom of the oven before being expelled at the back – either out of a wall or upwards and into the room.
Advantages of Using A Gas Oven In Your Kitchen
Quick to heat up - One of the crowning virtues of a gas oven compared to an electric one is that it will achieve a workable temperature very quickly. Modern gas ovens come with built-in temperature controls which will alert you when the desired temperature has been reached.
If you live in an area where there are frequent power outages, then you might be tempted by a gas oven – but electricity is still required when we’re operating a gas oven, as it needs a means of igniting the gas ring.
Lower running cost compared to electric ovens - While electric ovens, on average, are marginally more efficient than their gas-powered counterparts, this disadvantage is more than offset by the fact that gas is far cheaper than electricity. According to Confused About Energy, Gas hob-and-oven combinations cost around £35 every year to run, £21 less than their electric-oven counterparts, and £49 less than their electric-hob-and-oven rivals. For those looking to save money, a gas oven may be a wiser investment in the long run.
Kitchen Hob Buying Guide
A kitchen hob is an essential device for anyone looking to cook food at home. It can be used to create an incredible diversity of cuisine – from stews to chilli’s to bolognese, all the way to flash-fried steak and stir-frys in a short period of time.
There are several different sorts of hobs available, each employing a different principle to do its job. Both gas hobs and traditional electric hobs work by generating heat, which travels upward into the pan and cooks whatever is placed there. But one sort of electric hob works by different means – creating heat directly within the pan, rather than beneath it.
An induction hob consists of a coil of wire placed beneath a sheet of durable, heat resistant glass or plastic. By passing an alternating current through the wire, the hob will become magnetised. This causes any magnetic metal placed on the hob surface to begin to heat up as the individual electrons of the pan are forced to move around, creating heat energy.
Advantages Of Induction Hobs
Safety - By contrast to its electric and gas counterparts, an induction hob will only generate heat when a magnetic pan is placed on its surface and doesn’t use a naked flame at any stage of the process.
Provided you haven’t placed a metallic pan on top of it recently, you can even place your hand on an induction hob without feeling the slightest change in temperature.
However, the heat from placing a pan on the will radiate into the hob’s glass surface, but once the pan has been removed, the electromagnetic coil will immediately stop heating the glass surface and will cool down much faster than an electric or gas hob surface.
Efficiency - Other types of hob create a lot of wasted energy and as a result, the hob generates more energy than it actually needs.
An induction hob solves this problem. The heat is generated directly within the pan, rather than on the hob beneath – which means that we don’t lose any of it as its being transferred from the latter to the former.
Effectiveness - Another key advantage of an induction hob is one that they share with a gas hob - any adjustments you might make to the temperature of the hob will produce instant results. This means you won’t need to wait the pan to get to the temperature you need. Pans of water can be brought to the boil within about 90 seconds – meaning you’ll always be in control of the energy you’re using.
Some induction hobs come equipped with so-called flexi-zones. These hobs don’t come with a quartet of magnetic coils, but with many smaller ones which detect the presence of a metal pan and activate according to where it’s placed. These hobs are ideal for cooking with larger pans or trays – or with many smaller ones! Induction hobs also tend to come equipped with features that will make life in the kitchen easier – such as lower settings for keeping pans warm, touch controls and timers.
Maintenance - While induction hobs might be very sophisticated devices, on the surface they’re remarkably simple, consisting of little more than a large, smooth sheet of robust glass, marked with circles where the hobs are. This means that any spillages can be easily cleaned up with a wet sponge. Moreover, since the surface itself doesn’t get hot, those spillages will be far less likely to become cooked-on.
Electric hobs come in several different varieties – there are induction hobs which use magnetic coils to generate heat within the pan, and there are the more traditional sort which uses electricity to heat up a platter, upon which pots and pans can be placed during cooking.
Traditional electric hobs come in two different varieties. There are ceramic electric hobs, which see electric coils wound beneath a tough sheet of ceramic glass. You’ll be able to see exactly where the heat source is, thanks to patterns on the surface.
Advantages Of Electric Hobs
Safety - Since electric hobs don’t produce poisonous gases like carbon monoxide, they’re thought of as safer than their gas-based equivalents. Despite this, they’ll still produce levels of heat that pose a danger – especially if they’re left unattended.
Some electric hobs have safety features that switch them off automatically after a given timespan. However, you should always ensure that you switch any electric hobs off when you are done using them.
In the case of plate hobs, which absorb heat, and take longer to return to room temperature. Depending on the available wattage, electric hobs are able to reach temperatures far in excess of those found in the interior of an oven and are able to easily ignite stray tea-towels and kitchen roll.
Cost-effective Options - As we’ve mentioned, unlike an induction hob, which generates heat directly within the pan, an ordinary electric hob works by generating heat into a metal or ceramic hob plate, which then passes into the pan through convection. This method is less efficient, as a portion of the hob’s heat will pass into the surrounding air rather than into the pan.
In this respect, ceramic electric hobs perform better than their metal-plate counterparts – which is why the former is gradually replacing the latter. Modern plate hobs are considerably more efficient than their predecessors, and so comparisons between the least-efficient plate hobs and modern ceramic ones are unfair.
Leaving aside an open fire, a gas hob is among the oldest varieties of cooking apparatus still available today. It works by emitting a steady stream of flammable gas, which, once ignited, can be used for cooking.
Advantages Of Gas Hobs
Cost-effectiveness - Generally speaking, gas hobs are not only cheaper to buy than many other options – ceramic and induction hobs for instance - they’re also cheaper to run, with a gas hob costing around 4p per meal compared with 11p and 8p for electric and induction hobs respectively. These savings, over time, can add up to tens of pounds over the course of a year – and hundreds over the lifespan of a hob.
Energy efficiency - Unlike electric hobs, there is no need to wait for the hob to heat up before you begin cooking, meaning you will use less energy.
When you’re finished cooking, the appliances turns off as soon as you turn the dial. It does not take time to cool down, meaning it also emits less heat than some other types of hobs.
Gas Hob Safety
However, whenever you’re dealing with an appliance that uses an open flame and flammable gas, there’s a safety risk.
Make sure that you avoid wearing something with loose sleeves and take care of placing flammable kitchen towels near the hob’s open flame.
But perhaps the greater danger stems from poisonous carbon monoxide, which is produced when the flame isn’t receiving adequate oxygen, or when the gas itself is leaking before it ever reaches the flame. Which can make you severely ill of even prove lethal should you breathe it in.
In a properly ventilated kitchen with a functioning cooker hood, the risks will be much reduced – but if you want peace of mind, then consider placing a carbon monoxide detector near your gas hob. Despite the risk, gas leaks are very rare and tend to occur in older, poorly maintained hobs.
When choosing where to install your hob you’ll need to be sure that there are no combustible materials, power points, switches or boilers overhead.
If you’re not fitting an entirely new kitchen, the best option is to simply replace your current hob with your new one.
If you’re installing a new hob that’s larger than your old one, you may need to move any overhead cupboards or other items in order to accommodate it.
Both gas hobs and gas ovens are required to be hooked into your home’s gas supply, this can only be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You gas appliances will also need to be connected into the electrical mains of you house, as the ignition uses electricity to create the spark to light up the gas.
Huge range of Ovens and Hobs available at Ship It Appliances
As well as supplying a great range of electric and gas ovens, we supply a huge range of gas, electric and induction hobs, from top brands at affordable prices, with a lengthy manufacturer’s warranty on our very own range of SIA products.