When it comes to cooking choosing the right hob can be confusing but here I put my views on the four types available. Hope you find this useful!
Ceramic hobs. Ceramic hobs use electricity and have a smooth surface which makes them easy to clean. They heat up quickly but when you turn the hob down the heat is retained on the hob. So if, for instance the pan starts to boil over it is necessary to remove the pan from the hob, which can be dangerous.
Induction hobs Induction hobs are the relatively new kids on the block. I first came across induction hob when I took over a newly refurbished pub/restaurant that had a newly fitted kitchen that used induction units throughout. They are quite magical when you first use them as they create a magnetic field between the induction element in the hob and the pan. This means that only the pan heats up, rather than the cooking surface. Induction hobs are quicker to heat up than other types of hob but also do not retain any heat so are incredibly controllable. They are cheaper to run because they use only the precise amount of energy you need. You will need to check that your pots and pans work on an induction hob (if you have a magnet and it sticks to the pan it will work! If you are unsure about investing for a complete built in hob you can pick up an individual single pot unit for about £30. I personally have 2 induction hobs and a four burner gas hob which works well when there is just the two of us or even better when all the grand kids turn up!
Electric plate hobs. Electric plate hobs use a metal plate which heats up using an electric element to heat pots and pans. Most come with only four ‘rings’. These are the cheapest to purchase but not to run. They retain heat long after it is turned off so I believe they are quite a hazard. (They don’t look that nice either!)
Gas hobs Gas hobs are easy to control and give instant heat. The flame allows the heat to spread across the base of a pan. One you turn down the flame the heat reduces proportionately in the pan. The most common form in professional kitchens, though induction hobs are becoming more and more popular.