The task of choosing a hob, for those who, for various reasons, do not fit a free-standing stove, has a fairly simple solution. Maybe you don’t need an oven, or your kitchen has very little space. For the sake of saving workspace, many people prefer to reduce the number of burners, and some, on the contrary, increase it. Standalone hob or complete with oven? What details should be focused on? Let’s take a look at the article below.
Type of surface material
Enamelled surfaces are considered the most affordable because of their low price and ease of maintenance. However, units covered with enamel are not resistant to mechanical and thermal loads, as well as to the effects of various agents and rough materials.
Differ in a wide range of color shades.
Aluminum equipment is convenient and practical to use, while it has an acceptable cost. Aluminum panels are resistant to mechanical and thermal stress, unlike enameled ones.
Tip: Aluminum is impact resistant, but it can scratch. When caring for an aluminum panel, it is not recommended to use abrasive products.
Hobs made of stainless steel are available to most buyers, despite the fact that their price is higher than enameled and aluminum. They differ in spectacular appearance, at the same time, they are characterized by high strength and resistance to mechanical and thermal loads.
Among the minuses, one can single out the fact that prints and stains can remain on the surface of the steel.
Glass-ceramic hobs are currently the most popular, although they are expensive. They have a modern design and have many advantages compared to panels made of other materials, including:
- absolutely flat surface;
- ease of cleaning;
- rapid heating of only the zone above the burner itself.
Useful: Glass-ceramic requires special care, it cannot be cleaned with abrasive products. Spilled liquid, especially containing sugar, must be cleaned up immediately, otherwise it can destroy the surface structure and reduce its strength.
Enamelled self-contained stoves with tempered glass inserts look no worse than glass-ceramic ones. The main care for such a surface is cleaning with soft products.
Like ordinary enameled ones, the installations are distinguished by a variety of shades.
Varieties of burners
The heating rate and, accordingly, the power consumption depend on this parameter.
- Cast iron — have the shape of pancakes and are already outdated, because they win only because of the low price. Disadvantage: they heat up for a long time, consume a lot of electricity, they do not look very nice.
- Hi-Light — you should know that this is a heating element in the form of a tape enclosed in an asbestos base. Heating occurs smoothly and quickly: in 5–7 seconds. Widely used in glass-ceramic units.
- Rapid — the spiral element reaches the desired temperature in 10–12 seconds and cools down quickly after turning off. They are also installed on glass-ceramic appliances.
- Halogen — in addition to the spiral heater, a halogen lamp is installed in them. Together they provide just instant heat. But there is also a minus — the entire panel becomes hot, and not just the place of cooking.
In fairness, I would like to say that you probably won’t have to think for a long time which ones are better: most of the products presented in stores have a Hi-Light heater. Other varieties are much less common.
The mechanical type of control for turning on and off burners, as well as temperature control, is based on turning the knob. Differs in simplicity and reliability.
Touch type control is carried out by touching the touch buttons. The advantage of this type is the ease of maintenance due to the perfectly smooth surface.
Shape and dimensions
The shape of the hob and its dimensions affect the overall appearance of the kitchen and the level of comfort when cooking.
Currently, manufacturers, in addition to standard square ones, offer various variations of the shapes of cooking surfaces, including:
- Honeycombs — hexagons that look like honeycombs;
Calculation of the maximum permitted hob width
To determine the optimal size of the surface corresponding to the parameters of the kitchen, it is necessary to plan the room in advance and take measurements.
- From the side wall to the hob, a free gap of at least 30 cm should be left. Further, dishes with ready-made dishes can be placed in this place.
- For the cutting table, you need to take 60–100 cm. This will be enough to prepare the products. A smaller size can lead to burns when cooking, and with a larger size, you will have to make a lot of unnecessary movements and spend extra time on it.
- The sink should be located 40–60 cm from the side wall so that splashes do not fall on it. It is also necessary to write down the width of the kitchen sink, then this figure will be needed for calculations.
At the end, you will need to add up all the recommended gaps and the width of individual zones and subtract this amount from the total length of the wall where you plan to place the table, sink and panel. The resulting figure will be the maximum allowable width of the hob.
Detailed instructions for self-assembly
The hob for the kitchen can be narrow (small) and wide, operate on natural gas, electricity, or use both “fuels” at the same time. Regardless of the method of execution, the installation must adhere to generally accepted rules.
So let’s start with the tools. When the worktop is built into new kitchen furniture and the hole in the countertop has not yet been cut out, an electric drill or a jigsaw will be required. To work, all modern stoves are connected to a stationary network, so you will also need pliers, a sharp knife, an ammeter and a screwdriver.
It is better to install the socket near the hob, its location will directly depend on the configuration of the furniture, the size and shape of the kitchen room. The standard equipment of the stove, in addition to the working surface, also includes an oven. Since the electric panel is installed without a cabinet, it can be connected to a socket, which is recommended to be installed below the surface to prevent grease and moisture from entering during the cooking process.
After installing the kitchen wall, the power source, you can start installing the stove itself. To do all the work correctly, we suggest you use the step-by-step instructions:
- It is important to initially determine the size of the opening to be cut in the kitchen worktop by measuring. It is better to make a model made of thick cardboard according to the standards, which is then attached to the countertop and carefully outlined with a pencil.
Important! There must be a gap of a few millimeters between the edges of the desktop and the panel body.
- The cut hole should be marked as accurately as possible. It is not recommended to cut it too close to the edge of the table, because the thin extreme sections are not strong, they break.
- In the corners of the resulting area with an electric drill, you need to drill small through holes (the ideal solution is to use drills with a diameter of 7 to 11 millimeters). When making through holes, the drill should be installed, held to the surface to be treated strictly at a right angle.
- The cutting blade of the jigsaw should have fine teeth, this will prevent the formation of chips on the cutting line. Having installed the canvas in the prepared hole, slowly, cutting along the markup is performed smoothly, while the tool must be pressed tightly against the tabletop.
- After cutting, you should check its correctness — the built-in cooking surface should freely enter its seat, there should also be a small gap. If necessary, the edges are slightly trimmed.
- It is better to protect the outer parts of the wooden countertop from moisture. To do this, they are treated with a sealant, after which a special sealant is glued, which is supplied as standard.
- The panel installed in the hole with a light touch of the hands sits down until the edges fit snugly against the wooden tabletop. Silicone is pre-applied along the border, which ensures reliable sealing of the joint. Pressing on the hob should be very careful, especially when it is made of glass. Important! The panel must lie on the surface of the countertop evenly, otherwise, when installing heavy dishes, it may break.
- At the final stage of installation, the cooking surface is carefully attached to the countertop with metal clips. Their installation is carried out from below the panel, the case is firmly fixed. Excess silicone protruding above the surface is carefully removed with a sharp knife. When an oven is placed under the hob, an insulating layer is required.
How to install the hob in a wooden worktop, demonstrate the following video clips:
Mounting the hob on the countertop.
How to embed a hob into a kitchen worktop
Modern models of hobs have a number of features and additional functions that distinguish them from ordinary stoves.
- Safety shutdown — is a device designed to turn off individual burners or the entire installation, if for a certain time it does not receive commands from the control system.
- Identification of the material and dimensions of dishes. The function allows you to turn on the burner only when the pan is located within the heating zone. The system recognizes the dimensions and fill level of the dishes.
- Memory write — programming of cooking time on different burners, with the possibility of control.
- Removable magnetic handles — a function that protects against accidental switching on and off.
- Automatic boilingor automatic boiling control — a special system based on the operation of sensors that determine the temperature of the heating of the dishes.
- Residual heat indicatorwhich allows you to warn that the surface has not yet cooled down to prevent burns.
- Child protectionwhich is to lock the control panel.
Kuppersberg FT6VS16. My wife and I were doing repairs in the kitchen and decided to update the appliances at the same time. The Kuppersberg company was interested, they chose and bought this hob and hood from them. And we were very happy with our choice! The burners heat up well and have expansion zones, which is very convenient when cooking several dishes at the same time. I liked the fact that there is a timer and protection from the kids, you no longer have to watch the tomboys when they are in the kitchen. We have been using it for several months now and hope that it will serve us for many, many years.
Hotpoint-Ariston KIA640C. The hob is very functional. Fast heating, safe to use (automatically turns off when water gets on the panel during cooking). A very convenient “timer” function, you set a certain period, after which it gives a signal about the end of cooking and automatically turns off. The disadvantage is expensive cleaning products for induction cookers.
Hobs can be roughly divided into three price categories.
- The first category includes elite expensive high-class equipment from manufacturers Miele, Gaggenau, AEG, Kuppersbusch, etc.
- The second category includes middle-class equipment that meets the requirements of the optimal price-quality ratio of Electrolux, Whirlpool, Gorenje, Zanussi, Bosch, Siemens, etc. brands.
- The third category is considered to be budget, this includes devices from Ardo, Hansa, Ariston with limited functionality and lower cost.
Rating of the best manufacturers
Expert advice when choosing a hob
So that the hob does not disappoint, consider the following criteria when buying:
- the size of the hob, determined by the overall parameters of the countertop;
- type of heating and material of execution;
- power, number and size of burners;
- location of heating zones;
- ease of management, operation and maintenance;
- additional useful features.
Watch a video on how to choose a hob
One of the main parameters that you should pay attention to is the working power of the hob. Its total indicator depends on the size and number of burners, the speed of heating and the type of heating element.
Burners of different sizes consume different amounts of energy.
Most electric hobs range from 3 to 10 kilowatts.
Many standard models have four burners, with 3 kW for the largest burner, 1.5 kW for two medium burners, and up to 1 kW for one small burner.
This is due to the different intended use of the burners.:
- Small suitable for brewing coffee, heating food or small pots up to two liters;
- Medium suitable for containers up to three liters and cooking various vegetable dishes;
- Large Suitable for frying meat and cooking in large pots.
What power and configuration of the hob to choose? You decide. However, consider not only the size of the family and your needs, but also the condition of the wiring. Old communications may simply not withstand a powerful device.