With or without frame?
Hobs without a frame are the vast majority in the budget segment of technology. Low cost is the main advantage of these surfaces. Any frameless models will look exquisite in a stone countertop. If you’ve already bought a hob without a frame, you can order one separately from the manufacturer or from any appliance repair service.
The main purpose of the frame is to protect the edge of the surface from chipping, which is especially important for tempered glass and glass ceramic coating. Another advantage is hygienic: framing provides protection of mounting seams from clogging with food particles, and countertops. from runaway soup (the frame stands over the cooking area). Faceted frames (with beveled edges) have become very popular today.
How to choose a cooktop: helping you decide on the criteria
The hob is a household appliance that everyone who refused to buy a freestanding stove will inevitably have to choose from. There may be several reasons for this decision. For example, some people may not need an oven at all why waste extra money and precious space in the kitchen? Others want to save space on the worktop by reducing the number of burners. Thirds, on the contrary, going to cook a lot and often and prefer to be sure that the panel always has room for more pans And in general, the choice of two separate devices (oven plus cooktop) instead of one combined (stove) is always an additional opportunity to make sure that you buy exactly what you need. How to choose a cooktop and what features of this household appliance you should pay attention to in the first place? Let’s find out.
Gas or electricity
Of course, the first thing to be determined when choosing a cooktop is its type. Cooktops can be gas, electric or a combination of gas and electric burners.
In most cases, the choice is obvious: if there is a gas pipeline is usually preferred to gas panel, in its absence, the electric. Combination hob most often found in areas where there may be disruptions to the gas or electricity.
Smeg PV675CNX built-in gas hob with large central burner
It is worth noting that gas cooktops are often equipped with removable nozzles for conversion to cylinder gas. Well, if they are not in the set, in some cases, these nozzles can be purchased separately by contacting the service center. Anyway, if the panel is purchased, for example, for a country house, where gas cylinders are actively used, this nuance should be paid attention to in advance.
Electric cooktops, in turn, can be divided into those that use burners with traditional heating, and induction heating directly on the pot, but not burner. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages.
Gas cooktops will be on average cheaper. They allow you to instantly start or stop the heating process. Adjusting the intensity of gas burning allows you to quickly and easily adjust the burner power and visually control the cooking process. The disadvantages here are also obvious: the presence of an open flame, not too high efficiency (in the process of operation the panel will heat the air in the room), as well as a bit more complicated maintenance.
Electric panels with cast-iron heating elements today can be found only at dachas or in cottages. In apartments are usually used models with conventional spiral heating elements, closed glass-ceramic. Such a panel is flat, and therefore places where dirt can accumulate, almost none.
Cooking surface with an open heating element today can be found except at home
These panels are slightly more expensive than gas heaters. They are easy to maintain and allow you to quickly heat the dishes to the desired temperature. True, to stop the heating immediately will not work, so the features of the panel will have to get used to for some time. When installing such a panel may need to sum up additional high-power electric cable.
Induction electric hobs differ from traditional hobs in that the heat from the heating element is transferred directly to the bottom of the cookware, not the glass ceramic surface. Such panels have the best efficiency, but will require a dish with a flat bottom made of magnetic metal (however, the use of special metal pancake pads is allowed).
When choosing an induction hob, pay special attention to the size of the heating element. The problem is that it may be smaller than the area printed on the ceramic glass surface. And this, in turn, can lead to deformation of cookware designed to work at high temperatures: if a large frying pan heats only the central part, it will not benefit either the uniformity of cooking or the pan itself. Of the advantages of induction hobs is also worth noting the fact that such a heating element will not work without a set pan. And consequently, forgetting to turn the power off will simply not work. And ran away milk on the induction panel will not burn because it heats not glass-ceramic, and directly to the dish. On the other hand, the conventional glass ceramic not only heats up very strongly, but also takes a long time to cool down, so that you can mistakenly confuse a hot surface for a cold one.
Combination hobs like Maunfeld MEHS.64.98 S makes it possible to cook with both gas and electricity
When selecting an electric panel, you should also pay attention to the type of heating element. They can be divided into spray burners, halogen burners and Hi-Light burners. Rapide burners are the simplest and cheapest of those that can be found in a glass ceramic cooktop. They are essentially a heating coil that releases heat when electricity is applied. These burners heat up much faster than the old-fashioned pancake burners. Halogen burners are considered to be more efficient, because in addition to the heating coil they have a powerful halogen lamp that glows, releasing a large amount of heat. Hi-Light burners heat up even more efficiently than halogen burners, they use a band-type heater.
Panel dimensions, number and type of burners
The second obvious parameter that immediately strikes the eye is the size of the cooktop. The vast majority of modern models are suitable for installation in standard tabletops with a depth of 60 cm. But the width of the panel can vary quite significantly: it depends on the number of burners, the number of which for domestic models can range from 1 to 7. Standard 4 burners and 60 cm wide. Those who want to save space usually choose the option with two burners (width up to 30 cm). Those who are going to cook actively and want to get more burners, choose options with 5 or 6 burners, which will increase the width of the panel to 70-90 cm. At this stage it does not hurt to think about buying a suitable size hood: if the width of the panel exceeds 60 cm, then it is better to choose not a standard, but an enlarged hood.
One burner (as in the panel VG-415) is a solution for lovers of minimalism. Two burners can easily fit on this footprint
Before choosing an independent cooktop or built-in model, it is worth thinking about the standard scenarios for using the device. The most popular request is the large two or three ring burner which allows you to choose the cooking zone according to the diameter of the cookware. Popular gas models are burners with double or triple rows of flames, which allows rapid and even heating, and is indispensable in situations where you want to quickly process the food at high temperature. The oval heating zone is suitable for those who like to cook with elongated shape cookware (duck pots, pans, etc.) and for those who like to prepare on a larger scale. п.). Some models have high-power burners or special wok burners for cooking in a round deep sided pans or a cauldron. If finances allow, choose a surface with a powerful burner (electric high power or gas with a double flame). All other frills only if you really understand why you need it.
It is worth noting that currently manufacturers are actively experimenting with various solutions to expand the functionality of burners. You can find induction burners that automatically adjust to the size of the cookware installed, and even cooktops consisting of one large burner (cookware can be placed in any place), such as Miele KM 6395 FlexTouch. Some cooktops can combine two standard burners into a large burner (Gorenje IS 677 USC).
Surface of the panel and appearance
On what materials are used in the manufacture of the hob, depends not only on its appearance, but also on the ease of care: in fact, even with the most careful use of the surface will have to be cleaned from time to time from dirt and splashes.
The most budgetary coating is considered the usual enamel. It requires careful maintenance, because it is easy to scratch or chip. But the enamel surfaces can be different colors.
A more reliable and practical (but inexpensive) solution is stainless steel. It is more difficult to damage it, but it shows dirt and even fingerprints better.
Siemens EX675LXC1E panel lets you place your cookware wherever you want in the cooking area
The easiest to clean are the models made of tempered glass. They will also look the most stylish and easily fit into any kitchen design. Fiberglass ceramic heats quickly and cools quickly. The boundaries of the heating are clearly limited, outside the heated zone the surface of the cooktop remains cold. Electric cooktops made of glass ceramic are quite economical, but their main weakness is the fragility. Do not drop heavy objects on them, but even a small pointwise impact (when falling is not too heavy, but a sharp object) can cause a chipping. You also need to make sure that no cold water gets on the hot surface. The base of the cookware used must be perfectly flat and its diameter must not exceed that of the heating zone.
Siemens ET875LMP1D glass ceramic hob with an expandable heating zone allows for the use of differently shaped cookware
The vitrified clay coverings can be made in different colors. They are also often marked with pictograms and symbols to make them easier to use. Generally speaking, there are no design restrictions here.
Hobs can be framed in a metal profile (frame) or have beveled edges. Framed panels are somewhat more difficult to clean it will be harder to sweep away the crumbs, and the cracks will inevitably catch grease and dirt. On the other hand, such a frame will prevent liquid from dripping onto the floor or countertop.
Controls and additional functions
Switches for burner control can be mechanical rotary or electronic. Inexpensive hobs are usually installed rotary switches usual rotary knobs. These are almost always found on gas cooktops. Flushable switches protect the panel from being accidentally switched on (they can only be used when retracted).
Electronic (particularly touch-sensitive) switches provide additional features and access to advanced functions (such hobs often have digital displays and/or LEDs).
Gas cookers have virtually no advanced functions. The only thing worth mentioning here is the presence of electric ignition (automatic or semi-automatic, triggered by pressing a special button), as well as the gas control system, which shuts off the gas supply in case the fire for some reason out.
As for the electric panels, then the additional options will be much wider. We will list the most popular functions, but we will not claim to be complete with this list.
- Each burner timer allows you to set the time to turn on (or off) each of the burners.
- The residual heat indicator. a special LED warns you when a cooking zone has not yet cooled down and you can accidentally burn yourself on it.
- Automatic shut-off in case of overheating, the name says it all.
- Boil-auto function that brings the contents to a boil at maximum power and then turns the heat down.
- Numerous automatic programs allow you to prepare simple dishes or choose the appropriate temperature mode automatically (sometimes the panel even allows you to enter your own program into the memory).
- Child-proof button lock function.
- A short pause will put all burners into a temporary heat-retaining mode (giving the cook time to look in the cookbook or wipe the surface clean).
Design decisions (e.g. Franke FHNE COR 4 3G) can look quite unexpected
Speaking of control, it will be worth recalling the so-called dependent hobs. They are sold with the oven and have the same control system, which is usually located on the front of the oven. This solution allows you to buy two devices of the same design. And the cost of such a dual purchase is slightly cheaper. But in the case of a breakdown, both devices will break down at once. Most of the commercially available hobs are independent models. They have their own control system, their performance does not depend on other kitchen devices.
Summarizing the above, it is not difficult to determine the sequence of decisions that will have to take when choosing a cooktop.
First you need to answer the basic questions: do you intend to use gas or electricity (or maybe both), do you prefer a built-in or independent model, what type of control do you prefer. The second point is to calculate the number of necessary burners and to decide if it is necessary to have burners for non-standard cooking zones, e.g. for a wok. Then it is worth deciding on the materials. At this stage the question of design will be solved automatically, because it is the material of the surface that determines whether the selected cooktop will fit in your kitchen set or not.
Finally it’s down to the smallest details. It remains to choose a manufacturer (in accordance with their own ideas about the advantages and disadvantages of certain brands) and a specific model. And, of course, before buying it does not hurt to consult a specialist at least to make sure that you do not miss anything.
It affects not only the attractiveness of the panel, but also the rules of care. You can choose a built-in gas or electric cooktop:
Stainless steel cooktop
Advantages of stainless steel cooktop:
often found in gas cooktops, but some brands also make stainless steel induction ovens.
Advantages of an enameled cooktop:
Ceramic glass cooktop
Ceramic glass cooktop
Advantages of glass ceramic cooktop:
- It heats up quickly.
- Withstands high temperatures (up to 600 degrees).
- During cooking, not the entire surface is heated, but only the cooking area. That is, you can easily remove splashes without waiting for everything to cool down.
- You have to be careful with appliances, utensils, and even getting cold water on the hob. In the latter case, because of the temperature difference, when not the entire oven is heated, but only the working circle, from an accidental cold drop can appear a crack.
- Care Features. Choosing such a cooktop, you will have to clean up quickly if something is spilled. No rough washcloths, rags or detergents should be used.
Tempered glass cooktop
Tempered glass cooktop
It’s just like glass ceramic, except that there are a few allowances for maintenance.
A guide to choosing an induction hob
Let’s start our guide to choosing a hob by getting to know the induction hob. Its pros and cons we have already reviewed above, so let’s get right to the point.
The induction coil creates a magnetic field which, by exciting the iron atoms, heats the pan and its contents. In fact, the pot itself plays the role of the heating element. To be honest, the process is more like magic.
The induction hob can be used only if the cooking area contains dishes with a ferromagnetic bottom. If the cookware is removed from the “cooking zone”, the heating stops and the corresponding symbol is displayed on the hob. Once the cookware is put back in place, the symbol disappears and cooking continues at the power level set earlier. If the wrong cookware is used, the symbol also appears, and the heating zone does not turn on. Can an induction hob react inadvertently to a fork or another object with magnetic properties falling on it?? Not obligatory, because the heating zone of stoves is limited. The minimum diameter of the burner, depending on the manufacturer, can vary from 8 to 12 cm. Therefore, lovers of Turkish coffee may need to buy a maker with a wide bottom or a special adapter.
Most burners in induction hobs are standardized in size. But advanced models may have more flexible and functional burners.
- For example there are some cooktops (e.g. Miele KM 6395 FlexTouch) that you can use as one large burner. On them you can put dishes in any order, any shape and size.
- Some cooktops can combine 4 standard burners into two large burners. For example, Gorenje IS 677 USC.
- For fans of Asian cuisine, you should pay attention to the model with a special WOK burner with a recess for a wok pan. But since such models cost significantly more and are forced to sacrifice one burner, it is more profitable to buy a set with a wok and a special stand for an induction hob.
What is the best manufacturer of induction stove??
The largest number of positive reviews earned the induction hobs Bosch. The second place is won by the Electrolux company. We can also highlight the brand AEG, because it was he who pioneered in the production of induction hobs. True, the equipment of this company costs significantly more.
What functions can have an induction hob and which of them are the most necessary??
The basic and additional functions of induction hobs are many, and they are all designed to make life easier for users. When choosing your new cooktop, you should definitely look at the list of features.
- Automatic power off. System automatically shuts off a cooking zone in case of overheating or when removing dishes. Most models have this function.
- Boil automation. the liquid is quickly brought to a boil and when this happens, the heating zone reduces the power. going to a user-set intensity mode.
- Timer switches the burner off at a pre-set time and/or gives an audible signal. A really useful function that you often need. Fortunately, many models have it.
- Intensive heating (“Booster”). In this mode, the power of one burner increases at the expense of the neighboring, which allows you to cook even faster, for example, boil water almost instantly. It’s good to have this function, but not all models have it.
- Automatic power off after extended heating without changing the temperature. The period of time required for automatic shutdown depends on the temperature of the hob. The lower the set temperature, the longer the cooker will run. For example, it can be as much as 10 hours. At maximum heat, the hob can cook continuously for approximately 1-1.5 hours. Keep this in mind when cooking jam, cold cuts or other long-cooking dishes. If the possibility of cooking continuously for many hours is important to you, select a hob without this function or with extended off periods.
- Delayed start. Thanks to this function, the burner can turn on by itself at a pre-set time.
- Automatic heating. Allows you to customize the operation of the burner: it can first heat up to a high temperature, and then automatically reduce the heat to the set temperature after a preset time. This is useful if you cook, for example, rice, bring the water to a boil first, and then just cook on the lowest heat.
- Liquids drip protection. The hob may turn off or beep if there is a lot of water on the control points. In this case, you need to wipe off the puddle and continue cooking.
- Child lock. Button lock will not let the baby change the temperature of the heat or turn on the stove without the knowledge of the elders.
- Cleaning pause. Some hobs have a pause function, which allows you to temporarily lock the settings set by the chef, so you can wipe the control panel without accidentally pressing any buttons, and for 20-30 seconds. Stop the heating (during this time you have time to clean up).
- Keeps temperature. Function keeps food warm.
- Residual heat indicator. shows the degree of heat of each burner.
- Hood control. some induction hobs are so smart that they can control the hood. When the temperature of heating is high, the hood turns on at full power.
Selecting the right cooktop is worth starting with several equally important criteria.
First it is source of energy. If the house is connected to gas, then it’s worth using this convenient option and cook the way the professionals prefer. And it’s cheaper. Electric cooktops are represented by models with conventional pancake burners, with glass-ceramic tables and fast heating burners, as well as variants with induction heating. Here the choice depends on taste, habits and planned budget. Combination hobs can combine gas, electric and induction burners.
The second important criterion is the size and shape of the built-in hob. The most common option, regardless of energy source is a square. On such a panel there are four burners of different power. But the manufacturers of hobs offer other options: dominoes, plates, elongated in width, and even round and oval appliances.
Type of control is the third most important selection criterion. Built-in hobs can be independent or dependent. The former have their own control systems: rotary switches or sensors. The latter are controlled by knobs on the oven panel.
The built-in gas cooktop combines several advantages. Gas is the cheapest energy source. The open flame can be regulated quickly and precisely by raising or lowering the heat. Burners of different sizes and capacities are suitable for almost any type of cookware. Cooking tops of gas models offer a variety of designs. You can easily choose the technique desired color. In addition to painted enamel such appliances can have tempered glass or stainless steel tables. The gas range can be chosen according to the design and location of handles, material and shape of grids. Gas cooktops offer a wide range of possibilities to integrate the appliances into the kitchen design, and the style can be anything from antique to modern industrial. The number of burners varies from one to six (and sometimes more).
- wide price range;
- large selection of sizes;
- a variety of designs;
- easy to use;
- maximum safety.
The built-in electric cooktop can have traditional burners or HiLight (rapid heat). Round cast-iron burners are usually placed on stainless steel cooktops or on painted metal. HiLight burners belong to models with a glass-ceramic hob.
Traditional burners cooktop can be a great inexpensive solution for home kitchens or summer cottages. Dual burner models take up little space, cast iron and metal are highly resistant to mechanical stress. In the range of such appliances there are models with two, three and four burners. Pay attention to the red dot on the burner, it means that it heats up faster than the others.
The advantages of electric panels with traditional burners:
Cooktops with glass ceramic and rapid heating burners come in an impressively wide range of different brands. Among them it is easy to choose the size, number of burners, shape. These panels are available with or without a metal frame, with touch controls or convenient rotary switches. A big plus of HiLight burners are expansion zones. They can be round and oval, with one or more circuits. You can choose the heating area for your pot or sauté pan without wasting energy. Ceramic glass tables, especially with sensors, are very comfortable and easy to clean, so that the kitchen appliances always look like new. By the way, the black color is not mandatory for the ceramic hobs. You can also choose a white panel, and even models with drawings. Kuppersberg, Gorenje, Zigmund Shtain, Foster will offer very interesting models for a variety of interiors.
The advantages of glass ceramic electric hobs
- a variety of sizes and shapes;
- glass-ceramic in different colors;
- burners with expansion zones;
- Knob or sensor control;
- Easy maintenance and reliability.
Built-in induction cooktop combines two distinct advantages: it heats and changes temperature faster than gas burners, but does not smoke, burns, and looks great. The only disadvantages are the higher cost of the devices and the need to use suitable cookware.
The good thing about induction heating is that cooking begins almost immediately, heating the bottom of the pot and the food inside it. Cooking table around the burner is practically not heated, which means the likelihood of scalding is reduced. Induction hobs are a favorite field for experimentation for manufacturers of kitchen appliances. It is these models impress users with their independence, convenience, maximum environmental friendliness and safety. The number of burners or heating zones can be different, so that you can cook with the induction in any dish with a bottom diameter greater than the minimum. To make your kitchen look nice, choose an induction hob in a matching color, not necessarily black. Hotpoint-Ariston and Gorenje, Whirlpool and Hansa, Korting, Kaiser will offer you appliances in light colors.
- Rapid heating and control;
- cooking in all shapes and sizes of cookware;
- Automatic cooking technology;
- Your safety in use;
- the highest efficiency.
Built-in combined hob is a remarkably convenient, practical and economical solution for those who have the opportunity to use gas. Combination of gas and electric (traditional cast-iron or rapid heating) burners offers the maximum opportunities for home cooking. An excellent range of combination plates, offered by different manufacturers, will help you choose the technique according to your budget, habits, design of the kitchen.
Combi technology pleases with a variety of materials, colors of cooking tops, beautiful and comfortable grates, thoughtfully placed handles. Some manufacturers propose to regulate the electrical burners with sensors, leaving the rotary knobs only for gas. In addition to quite traditional four-burner models with one or two electric burners, you can choose a combined technique with a central electric burner with an extension, such as Hotpoint-Ariston. Such a burner can be extended vertically or horizontally, so that the maximum comfort is provided to you. Gas burners of combination stoves have a serious safety system. Electric ignition makes them easy to turn on.
- The possibility of using gas and electric heating;
- optimal cooking conditions for different dishes;
- various combinations of burners;
- wide choice in design.
Built-in cooktops that use a variety of energy sources can meet the needs of both beginners and those who cook almost professionally. New technologies make cooking appliances safer, more economical and easier to use. The more perfect the model, the less time you will spend at the stove, stirring, adjusting the heat and controlling the process. The design of built-in hobs will not force you to compromise: everything will be decorated in the desired style and color!
Evaluate the burners
On gas stoves, burners can be standard, double or triple flame.
- Triple crown burner. This is the most efficient burner. It is good if the hob has at least one of these. You can boil a large pot of water on it in minutes.
In addition to traditional burners, there are others:
- Direct Flame. It is a burner that releases the flame through multiple micro-holes, so the cookware heats evenly, with the least amount of gas and heat loss, and most importantly 20% faster. It is equipped with some models of cooking plates from Hotpoint Ariston.
- Express WOK burner. Some advanced cooktop models have one WOK express burner each. It is a powerful burner with a double or triple crown and a wok adapter (with a spherical bottom). In fact, it’s quite versatile and convenient just for cooking in any large dishes.
When selecting a cooktop, pay attention to the arrangement of the burners. So, for example, they can be placed not in a square, but in a rhombus. Thanks to this solution, the apron gets dirty less, and the hood works a little more efficiently. But, as noted by many users in the reviews, it is not very convenient when the burners are fully loaded.
What is the best induction hob. which one to choose?
Induction hobs are in the first league: more and more people are buying them year after year. It tops all ratings, replacing gas and ceramic stoves. True, they don’t come cheap, but they use less energy than conventional electric cooktops and are much more efficient. In addition, they are easy to keep clean, do not heat up, and break speed records for cooking time.
We test the effectiveness of extractors that are built into hobs (instead of placed overhead)
Despite the fact that they are very similar to each other and operate on the same principles, hobs differ in the quality of materials used in the manufacture, maintenance and the number of functions available. Of course, depending on the number of functions, the price changes as well. Which induction hobs are best, and what features they can be equipped with, let’s look at below.
Can a recessed cooktop be used before installation?
If you’ve already purchased a cooktop but haven’t yet delivered your furniture, you’re tempted to try out the appliances before installation. In the forums you can find different opinions on this subject, although officially the equipment can be turned on before installation only to check the performance. this is sometimes done in the process of purchase. This article will focus on whether or not you can use the cooktop without cutting it into the countertop, as well as some of the details of installation.
Is the heating of the frame dangerous??
Glass ceramic is not afraid of high temperatures, but for other materials with which the trim is in contact, heat may be undesirable. Fibreboard and laminated chipboard can safely withstand heat up to 230 degrees Celsius, artificial granite and quartz-based compounds can be heated to 250-280 degrees, but if you have an acrylic countertop, its acceptable temperature range is 150 to 200 degrees.
Trim rarely heats up even to 100 degrees, but furniture manufacturers advise against heating painted or film-coated garnishes even to 85 degrees. The fact is that some types of coatings can peel or swell. In addition, when heated, there is often an unpleasant odor, indicating the release of not the most healthy chemicals. When choosing a countertop, it is better to refuse acrylic in favor of artificial granite or other heat-resistant materials. And if the budget is limited, it is worth using special heat-insulating pastes.