Hob Buying Guide

Angled photo of Samsung induction hob with Virtual Flame technology.

Hob Buying Guide

Gas, induction, ceramic – how do you choose the best hob for your home? What are the differences between hob types, and what else should you consider before buying?

What matters most?
When comparing ceramic hobs vs induction or gas hobs, think about what’s important to you. Are you looking for precise heat control, energy efficiency or easy-to-clean surfaces?

Types of hobs

Though many people simply ask themselves, ‘gas or electric hob?’ when shopping for a new appliance, there’s actually more to consider. Three popular hob types you’re likely to come across are induction , ceramic and gas .

Induction hobs

What is an induction hob?
An induction hob heats pans directly, rather heating the cooking surface, like electric and gas hobs.

How do induction hobs work?
Copper coils under a glass surface are activated by an electromagnet, when iron cookware is placed on top. When they’re removed, the magnetic field is broken and the hob cools quickly, as power is no longer flowing.

Samsung induction hob in use. Four pans and food preparation close by.

Upfront costs vs running costs

Cooking with induction hobs is extremely energy efficient, as no power is wasted; however, they tend to cost more to purchase than other types of hob. Luckily this can generally be offset by the running costs, which are usually much lower, because they use energy so efficiently.

Pans must contain iron to work

You can only use pans that contain iron on an induction hob. These are called ‘ferrous pans’ – check if the pans you already own will work, by testing them with a magnet. If the magnet sticks to the pan, you can use it on an induction hob. If you don’t have any suitable cookware, you’ll need to buy some, which will increase your upfront costs.

Samsung induction hob with pot on cooking surface and virtual LED flames.

Benefits of induction hobs:

  • Energy efficient

  • Cooking zones cool down rapidly once the pans are removed

  • Quick heating and cooking

  • Some induction hobs come with lots of additional features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity and flexible cooking zones

  • Modern design

Ceramic Hobs

What is a ceramic hob?
A ceramic electric hob has a smooth, ceramic-glass surface, with heating elements underneath. Patterns on top show where the heating zones are, and their size.

How do ceramic hobs work?
Heat is conducted through the glass to warm the cookware. The smooth surface makes them easy to clean, especially if they have finger-touch controls, rather than knobs and buttons.

Pros vs cons
You can find more affordable options in this category, but the heating zones take longer to cool down after cooking on ceramic hobs, compared to induction hobs.

Samsung ceramic hob.

Safety features

Many ceramic hobs, including all Samsung models, have residual heat lights that show when the hob is safe to touch. Also, some have sensors that reduce heat, or timers that automatically switch off hobs, so you don’t need to turn them off manually.

Top-view of a Samsung ceramic hob.

Benefits of ceramic hobs:

  • Easy to clean

  • All pans can be used

  • Affordable options

  • Modern design

Gas Hobs

What is a gas hob?
As the name suggests, gas hobs burn natural gas, and they have burners with visible flames that.

How do gas hobs work?
Pans are placed on elevated supports positioned over the flames, and a dial controls the heat, giving you the heat levels you require instantly.

Complete control
Gas hobs offer complete flexibility in heat intensity, as there are no set temperature intervals to work with. This level of control is why they are popular with chefs and professional kitchens.

Not all homes have gas
Before buying a gas hob, you should check you have access to a gas supply. Some new builds don’t have a gas connection; plus, it costs more to channel gas to hobs on kitchen islands.

Samsung gas hob.

Cleaning time

Because there are more places for food to collect, it can take slightly longer to clean gas hobs, compared to ceramic or induction hobs.

Samsung gas hob in use. Pot on gas hob with boiling water and blue flame.

Benefits of Gas Hobs:

  • Instant, high-temperature heat

  • Flexible temperature control

  • A visible flame allows you to see how hot a cooking zone is

  • All pans can be used

Features to look out for

Different hobs offer a variety of extra features that can make cooking quicker, easier or more convenient.

Samsung induction hob with Flex Zone Plus. Hob in use with different trays and pans. Induction hob with flexible cooking zones for different cookware.

Features to look for on all hobs

Features to look for on electric hobs (ceramic and induction)

Features to look for on induction hobs

Features to look for on gas hobs

Sizing and Measurements

Hobs are usually 60cm wide, and come with four burners. However, you may also find hobs at 70cm, 80cm or 90cm wide, with five or more burners and flexible cooking zones.

Make a measured decision
Before opting for one of the larger sizes of hobs, always check the net measurements against your work surface area to be sure they will fit.

Mind the gap
Underneath your hob there’s a cut-out; a gap in the work surface the hob fits into. The cut-out is smaller than the hob dimensions, as the hob surface sits over the gap. Some larger hob sizes will fit in to the same cut-out a 60cm-wide hob uses, but always check first.

Hob installation

Whether gas or electric, your hob will need to be installed by a professional. A Gas Safe registered engineer should always be used to fit a gas hob, while a certified electrician should always be used to fit a ceramic or induction hob. Check if installation is included when purchasing your hob.

Hob maintenance

Gas and electric hobs require regular cleaning to stay in good condition. Only ever clean your hob when it’s turned off and completely cool.

Ceramic and induction hob icon

Cleaning ceramic hobs and induction hobs

  • Wash the surface with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth

  • Never use abrasives such as scourers or steel wool, as these can damage the surface

  • Clean up spills as soon as possible, to avoid permanent marks

  • Use a glass scraper to remove burnt-on food and tougher stains

Gas hob icon

Cleaning Gas Hobs

  • Remove pan supports from the hob and soak them in warm, soapy water. Use a sponge and maybe a toothbrush to thoroughly clean them

  • Remove debris from the hob surface with a wet cloth, paying particular attention to any food or deposits around the gas burners. Food left here can obstruct and cause uneven cooking, as well as increase the risk of a fire

  • Apply a cleaning product with degreasing agents to the surface and allow it to sit for a few minutes, to remove tough stains. Then use a soft cloth to wipe away the cleaning product, and remove any leftover residue

Whether you go for a gas ,induction or ceramic hob, cook up a storm in the kitchen with Samsung’s range of cooking appliances .