The position and choice of the hob is crucial to the enjoyment and efficiency of the kitchen. Ideally, it should face into the room, have a sink nearby, parking space suitable for resting hot pans, and, wherever possible, a high-performance, well-designed, powerful extractor for removing cooking odours and steam. Task lights built into the extractor hood will help light the hob area.
A worktop-mounted gas, halogen, or induction hob and a wall-mounted electric oven offer the flexibility of fuel types – a quick response from the hob, and even-temperature oven cooking. The variety of hobs has become increasingly specialised. Manufacturers now offer components such as steamers, griddles, or wok burners, so that you can build up hob features to suit your cooking style.
In the life of your kitchen, much cooking time is spent standing at the hob. Arrange your kitchen plan accordingly by placing the hob in a safe, sociable, and convenient location, perhaps forming the central feature in an island arrangement.
When planning a site for your hob, bear in mind the limitations of extractor systems, required to expel steam and cooking smells. Extractors work best when connected to outside walls; hobs on islands require more powerful systems.
British and US manufacturers rate extractors according to how many cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air they can process. Work out the volume of your room, to determine the rating you need.
A hob must be easy to clean to work efficiently. Many pan grids are now designed to fit into a dishwasher. Check that the rest of the hob is simply designed so that grease cannot collect in awkward corners.
Beware of unstable pan grids. lf the prongs are short or stand high of the hob, saucepans may accidentally topple off the grid.
If your cooking habits demand constant use of the hob, ensure the hob floor and pan grids are made in from heavy-duty materials; stainless steel and vitreous i enamel are highly suitable.