Somewhat fed up with the cheap and nasty gas hob that the builders who built my house put in, I'm thinking about replacing it with a halogen or an induction hob which would be much easier to keep clean.Does anyone have any advice about either? (I do have an electrical connection for it if I wish).
How about replacing the cheap and nasty gas hob with a better one? Always preferred gas hobs and electric ovens myself.NH
With an induction hob you may need to factor in the cost of getting ferrous pans. Aluminium and Copper based pans won't work, this can be a significant on-cost if you don't have them already. Induction hobs are incredible but take some getting used to. They are also relatively safe if you have children as the hob plate only gets hot from heat re-transferred from the pan. I have no proof but It always feels like my induction will boil water in a pan faster than a kettle.I think both are good, but for my needs I prefer induction on the whole. Do you have friends who have either? It's worth having a go to see which suits your cooking style best. With induction the whole pan gets hot, not just the base is not intuitive and can make good cooks bad very quickly.I think the optimum is a combi gas/induction set-up. Induction is very efficient but it it sometime useful to have a flame.KG
Always preferred gas hobs and electric ovens myself.Me too, much better and instant control.Problem with Halogen I found, was that I was never sure of the control and things are in danger of boiling over. We had a look at the induction hobs when we had our kitchen fitted but whilst they are good and IMO better than halogen, they will only work with certain pans, ones that are magnetiseable (if that's a word but you know what I mean) which meant that we would have had to replace most of our pans.Personally, I would stick with the gas hob and perhaps by a better one, I have a 5 burner hob now and it is perfect.Cheers - Col
As an owner (3 years now) of a large, expensive, top quality Neff induction hob, and the cook in our kitchen I would definately say stick with a powerful gas hob. Yes, induction hobs are efficient (ie all energy is used not dissipated), but they arent as economical to run as gas because KW per KW electical power is 4 times the price of gas. Induction hob 90% efficient, gas hob about 55%. And, they DO NOT react instantly to heat because of the huge (and necessary) thermal lag of the steel pans. This is the biggest problem. I have never had so many boil overs! Stainless steel has worse thermal conductivity than mild steel or cast iron. Also, because of the thermal inertia and poor conductivity of the steel or cast iron pans, inertia works the other way too. Many cooking processes require you to simmer things and here the induction hob is a pain in the a***e. You bring the pan to the boil on setting 9 or P, and then you have to attend the pot for SEVERAL MINUTES whilst you gradually reduce the power settings bit by bit until the whole pan has finally and laboriously achieved an even temperature and you can turn it step by step to a 3. Its so slow because of its poor conductivity.The 'P' setting on the Neff hob will boil a pan of water in no time at all. I was shocked going back to an ordinary cheapo but very slow gas hob in a holiday cottage this summer. If you buy a kitchen installed by others they will probably install a noname rubbish hob like this. The induction hob is of course dead easy to keep clean and looks great.If I was starting all over again I would choose a powerful gas hob and tinned copper pans, costly but the very best. When our hob fails completely again(as it did within the guarantee), the hob, the surrounding worktop will all be replaced with a powerful gas one. Copper pans cost a fortune but there is no danger of the risks associated with aluminium ones and they should last for ever. Look in any decent chefs kitchen and you will see gas hobs, grilles and copy pots and pans.I did try very hard to get a hands on demo on a Neff, but it was impossible to do so.Neff is Naff!Al
I've got a cooker with the one down from halogen and one up from standard ceramic as well as a single ring standalone induction hob.A few years ago, I had to move several times in a short time and on each occasion the cooking equipment and size of kitchen changed radically - We found that with each move, we adjusted the food we were cooking to make the best use of the equipment available.When we moved into the current place, we inherited an ancient slimline gas cooker with a useless hob. After a short time, we found we were cooking in the oven (which was the only part of the cooker which worked properly.) on an almost daily basis.My advice would be to analyse your cooking style and then organise equipment to suit you.In no order, my opinion of hobs are:Induction:Needs the right pans and the efficiency means you can do the most fabulous stir fry - My 1800watt standalone unit throws way more heat into a frying pan that an old commercial cooker I used to own (5.5kw burners). I personally could not live with just an induction hob, so for me the little standalone unit is perfect.The unit cost about £35 and is a bit poor for fine control, better units are available.Gas:Can be a bugger to clean, is very controllable and great if you are an enthusiast who needs that control for sauces and the like. Nice to have a triple ring burner with the 3 concentric rings of flame for foods fast warm up or stir fries.Electric - ceramic or halogen - Not those nasty sealed rings (Vile):I like electric, it's easy to clean and once you've gotten used to the settings brilliant when you need a pan to tick over on simmer or just to keep stuff warm.In an ideal world, I'd have a kitchen big enough to place a quality standalone gas cooker next to my ancient but rather great Creda electric unit.Next step down would be electric oven and hob with a single wok type gas burner set into the counter - Neff sell them under the Domino brand name and they are a bit (very) pricey.http://www.neff.co.uk/hobs-domino.htmlIf money were no object, you could mix and match some of these for your ideal choice of cooking elements. If money were an object, you'll find that they change the style of the units every year or two and the remaindered domino units can be found at prices approaching affordable.You'll also find that these units have a massive profit margin, so if you wanted to take that route towards ultimate hobdom, access to trade prices would cut 50% off the RRP.HTHB.
As a professional, I have cooked on induction since 1995. At home I have an induction / gas combination. Most of my relatives in France also have induction / gas combis.Induction is incredibly fast, as controllable as gas and a lot cleaner. However, you must have the right kind of pans, do not go for anything with an aluminium / sandwich bottom, they only get hot on the bottom and hold that heat for a long time, certainly long enough for anything boiling in them to boil over. What you need are the expensive pans made by a company like Spring of Switzerland, they have an aluminium sandwich between the stainless steel all the way through, I. E., round the sides as well as on the bottom and REACT INSTANTLY to changes in the setting. For frying, I use old fashioned steel frying pans, one of which is 50 years old from my mother.John
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