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Kitchen hobs buyer's guide

The hob is the heart of your kitchen. While you may use this space for a range of different reasons - from entertaining guests to spending some family time with the children - the kitchen's primary job is a functional one - a space to prepare food. The hob, therefore, is always a central feature of the kitchen.

The layout of the hob is fairly consistent, with circular burners usually set out two by two and dials for controlling them, but within that there is a range of different design styles available. The subtle choices you make in choosing your hob can really add to the design theme of your kitchen, so it is worth taking some time to appreciate the various types on offer.

Inspiration and Advice

Which type of hob should you choose?

There are two types of hobs to choose between – gas and electric. Below we explain the differences to help you choose.

Convection Ovens

Gas Hobs

These are often preferred because they provide more versatility for moderating the temperature under your pan. For all those recipes that say 'bring to the boil, then simmer', a gas hob allows you to quickly reduce the heat being applied in a way that electric hobs do not, as well as providing instantaneous heat for that quick boil.

Convection Ovens

Electric Hobs

An electric hob takes longer to heat up, and longer to cool down, which can prove to be hazardous in a busy kitchen when a hob is still warm. However, using gas in the home is currently more expensive than using electricity, and due to the continued upward trend of natural gas prices, this is not expected to change in the near future. The installation of a gas appliance also requires a Corgi-registered fitter.

Convection Ovens

Size and suitability

Hob units typically come with four burners, and in most cases this is ample for everyday needs. However, there are always occasions when you could use an extra hob unit, so it may be worth having extra rings - if your kitchen can accommodate them.

Like fitting any kitchen appliance, it is about finding the right balance between your needs from the hob and the space you want in the rest of the work area. If you have plenty of storage space, but not much worktop to spare, an electric hob or boiling ring that can be kept in the cupboard might be a better way to have that extra cooking capacity on hand without permanently reducing your worktop space.


What is your kitchen style?

The hob also needs to fit in with your overall kitchen design scheme, so this may also affect your choice of a gas or electric model. With gas, the burners sit above the surface of the worktop and the pan stands above them, meaning the hob itself is quite prominent. In a traditional kitchen this would be a feature, but it may detract from a more contemporary, minimalist styling. Here, the use of an electric induction hob, where the heating rings are placed underneath a smooth layer of glass, will provide a sleeker look.

Material and colour

While there is not much variance in the appearance of the burners (they come in a range of set sizes to accommodate the use of differently-sized pans) there are subtle style options to be explored with the pan stands that sit above them, and with the dials that control the heat flow. You can also consider the use of different materials, such as stainless steel or ceramics. With the latter option, you'll see that a range of colours can now be obtained. You can either match this colour to the rest of your kitchen or make the hob a feature all of its own - but it might be wise to use colours with caution; it is after all easier to change the colour scheme on your kitchen walls than it is to replace the hob.

So keep these ideas in mind and have a look through our range of high-quality hob units - you're sure to find the ideal model in the extensive Wren range. Then it's just up to you to work on your culinary skills and make the most of it!