When it comes to choosing a kitchen hob, knowing the different types of kitchen hobs out there is a good start. But you will also want to consider how the hob fits into your cooking habits, space requirements and household needs. This guide will take you through the considerations you need to think about when choosing a kitchen hob.
1. Kitchen hob types
Gas: A gas hob can be powered by either piped town gas or using LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) cylinders. It provides direct heat through a flame when ignited. Most gas hobs feature an automatic ignition so all you need to do is turn on the knob controls, but some older models require a manual lighter to start it.
Image courtesy of Bertazzoni
Ceramic: A ceramic hob comes with heating elements underneath its tough ceramic glass surface. After setting the temperature you want, the heating elements slowly heat up before transferring the heat to the glass surface. The cooking zones on the glass surface turn red when heated and are hot to touch.
Image courtesy of Bosch
Induction: Like ceramic hobs, induction hobs also feature a flat ceramic glass surface. Underneath are induction (usually copper) coils that generate an electromagnetic field when the hob is turned on and a compatible pan is placed above the coils. This allows your pan to be heated directly without having to pass through the glass surface so the hob surface essentially stays cool even during cooking.
Image courtesy of Fisher and Paykel
Hybrid: For those that cannot decide, you can consider pairing a few domino hobs (smaller in size with fewer burners) together or get hybrid hobs like Techno’s Gas-Induction Hybrid glass hob or their Induction-Ceramic Hybrid Hob.
Image courtesy of Techno
2. Kitchen size
How big is your kitchen space, and in relation to that, how much countertop space can you set aside? This will determine the size of kitchen hob to get. For tiny kitchens, consider domino hobs, which typically feature 30-cm widths and one to two burners. Medium-sized hobs range from around 60 cm to 70 cm, while larger hobs go up to 90 cm in width.
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3. Cooking habits + frequency
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Do you need your food to be out fast? If you cook very often and don’t have a lot of time in the kitchen to whip up meals, an induction hob is a good choice since it gets your pots and pans to the temperature you want really fast.
For those who hate after cooking clean-ups, an induction hob is also really easy to clean with its flat glass surface. Plus, an induction hob can be wiped down right after cooking without having to wait for the surface to cool.
Gas hobs offer better temperature control since the flame is visible and can be adjusted whenever you need to change up temperatures.
A domino gas hob and a domino induction hob placed side by side.
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Ask yourself how many dishes you are usually preparing at one go. If you prefer cooking one-pot meals most of the time or have other cooking appliances that don’t require stove use like a slow cooker, pressure cooker or an air fryer, having a kitchen hob with two burners is more than sufficient.
If you like cooking several dishes at once or like to simmer soups on the stove, consider going for a kitchen hob with three or more burners. Consider also kitchen hobs that have more space in between the burners to accommodate placing larger pots and pans side by side.
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4. Cooking style
In general, with a good amount of cooking skill, you can actually cook different kinds of cuisines on all types of hobs. And yes, wok hei flavours aren’t just the purview of gas hobs; they can actually be achieved on an induction hob as well. All you need are the right skills and a very hot wok, flat base of course.
5. Existing cookware
When it comes to what cookware can be used, gas hobs are more versatile. So if you like using cookware such as claypots, glassware, ceramic pots or traditional woks with a curved bottom, you are better off with a gas hob.
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For your cooking vessel to work on an induction hob, it needs to be magnetic and to have a flat surface. Ceramic hobs will work with most cookware, but they also require pots and pans with a flat surface to conduct heat properly.
If you like using cast iron cookware, it does take a while for it to heat up on a ceramic hob. You’ll also want to make sure you are extra careful when using them on a ceramic hob or induction hob since the heavy and coarse material can easily scratch the glass surface.
There are a lot more gas and induction hobs in the Singapore market to choose from. As such, you can get lower end models for them starting at around $300 for a three-burner gas hob and approximately $500 for a four-zone induction. Ceramic hobs are less common and are priced at around $500.
Choose an induction hob for safety, as there isn’t an open flame or the potential of a gas leak. The surface of an induction hob also stays safe to touch even during cooking because heat is concentrated within the pan.
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If you prefer gas hobs, look for ones with safety features including timer controls that allow gas supply to be cut off after a pre-set time or hobs that cut off gas supply when the flame is blown out by strong winds.
8. Design style
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If design is a priority for you, induction and ceramic hobs offer a clean, sleek and modern aesthetic with their flat glass surfaces.
But gas hobs can be just as pretty. They don’t just come in stainless steel surfaces; some models feature glass surfaces in colours like black, brown, white and grey. See Turbo’s Incanto hobs.
9. Gas supply
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For those going with a gas hob, check whether you have an existing gas supply setup at home since you will need to get the right type of kitchen hob depending on whether gas is supplied through piped town gas or by LPG cylinders.
For new homes, decide between piped town gas and LPG. If going for piped town gas, apply for a utilities account with SP Services and make an appointment for CityGas to install your gas pipes and turn on your gas line (Installation and turning on the gas supply cost $150). If going for LPG, make sure you allocate a suitable section in your kitchen cabinets to store the cylinder in an upright position away from direct heat.
10. Special features
There are brands and models that come with special features you can consider looking out for when shopping for your kitchen hob.
Rinnai offers an inner flame technology with a few of their gas hobs that isolate the flame from any surrounding wind. This is not only safe but also allows heat to be more focused on heating up your pans and pots. See our review of their latest gas hob here.
Higher-end models of Bosch induction hobs offer an automatic pan recognition feature that identifies the size of your cooking wares when they are placed on the induction surface, so you can arrange your pots and pans wherever you want without being restricted by dedicated induction zones.
Certain models of Fisher and Paykel’s induction hobs have a touch and slide control that react immediately so you can go from boil to simmer in just a few seconds.