A Beginner’s Guide To Buying Cooktops

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Kitting out your kitchen with the right appliances can be quite the challenge, especially with so many different varieties and specs to choose from. Here’s a quick guide to choosing the right cooktop for you, so you can transform into a culinary professional.

Gas Hobs
The most common of cooktops, gas hobs utilises gas flames to heat up your cookware, allowing them to reach high temperatures that are suitable for typical Asian cooking. Designs and finishes are abundant for gas hobs, however, note that enamel surfaces are easier to clean than glass or the classic stainless steel.

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Image courtesy of Tecno

Induction Hobs
Using electromagnets and magnetic fields for heating, induction hobs are capable of heating up food within the shortest period of time. Induction hobs are safer options since they don’t use direct flames, making them especially ideal for homes with children. However, cookwares may need to be replaced to fit the diameters of induction hotplates for more efficient heating.

Electric Hobs
Electric hobs make use of electronically-heated metal coils to heat up cookwares, and are more suitable for low-temperature cooking, such as slow simmers. For safety, choose a hob with a residual heat indicator to know when the hob surface has cooled, and is safe for cleaning and contact.

What to note when buying your cooktop

Heat control
Varying heat temperatures can make or break a dish. A hob that heats up too quickly can be unpredictable and you might end up burning your food. Make sure to choose a hob with precise and easy-to-use heat control functions.

Cleaning and maintenance
Choose a hob with an easy-to-clean design, namely flat surfaces with no dirt traps. A hob that doesn’t retain heat on its surface after cooking also makes cleaning less of a hassle!

Tip: Induction hobs are the easiest to clean due to their smooth, uninterrupted surface. Electric hobs with ceramic surfaces tend to retain heat after cooking, and so you have to wait for the surfaces to cool down before you touch or clean them.

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Image courtesy of Bosch

Budget
Generally, ceramic hobs can be the most budget-friendly.

Cooking needs
For homes with families, or for homeowners that engage in heavy cooking, hobs with more than the standard 4 elements are the best options.

Space
Remember to account for bench and ventilation space when choosing your hob size.

This was adapted from an article originally published in the 2020 issue of Key To Your Home.

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