Gas burner vs ceramic radiant vs induction hobs - how
to choose the best hob style for your cooking needs/kitchen
Cooking is one of the great joys of life - nothing beats whipping up a delicious meal to treat yourself or to impress visitors who come over for dinner parties. With the proper kitchen equipment, like state-of-the-art cooking hobs and hoods, cooking becomes even better.
The three major hob styles common in kitchens today are gas burner hobs, ceramic radiant hobs, and induction hobs. Each come with their distinct advantages and will definitely affect some of the dishes you might want to put out in the kitchen, so getting the right hob for your kitchen setup and personal cooking needs is essential.
Gas Burner Hobs
Gas burner hobs are the most intuitive setups for cooking - they start a direct flame, and you cook on them. Gas burners, like the Turbo T883SSV Built-In Gas Hob (88cm) with 3 burners (RRP $580,now $498), are the most versatile hobs for cooking, giving you full control of heat range and power to fry up delicate, fluffy scrambled eggs to smokey, flavourful hor fun.
As much as I enjoy the convenience of easy cleanup offered by radiant or induction hobs, there are just some dishes that cannot be cooked to their truest taste potential on those hobs. I enjoy cooking up a storm of zi char dishes at times, and the only way to get a nice, charred, smokey flavour in stir-fried dishes is to use a high heat burner hob.
The Turbo T883SSV is designed for Asian-centric cooking, especially wok-style cooking. The Turbo hob comprises three burners, with the largest being an 88cm-wide hob made specifically to hold a large wok. To maximise flame contact, the Turbo hob shoots fire at a 45-degree angle, allowing flames to wrap around the sides of a wok or pan and thus heating up more surface area for a smooth, even cooking experience. This concentrates heat at the bottom surface while cooking, which heats up pots, pans and woks faster while being more energy efficient.
The cast iron grate around the burners are resilient, long-lasting, and retain their shape even after intense cooking, giving the Turbo T883SSV high longevity and toughness. The 3-burner system of various-sized cooking hobs is great for saving time, as I can leave a pot of soup to simmer on the medium-sized hob while cooking up main dishes on the large burner.
Another gas burner hob option to consider is the Tecno T333TGSV ($540), especially if you would like to ensure your burners match the overall theme of your kitchen. It comes with a customisable tempered glass cooktop of your colour of choice, from a conventional, sleek black to a funky, speckled Cappuccino option. The tempered glass on the cooktop, made by German company Schott, also comes with a lifetime warranty.
It, too, is designed for Asian-style cooking, with two large 90cm wok burners and one medium burner. The wok burners are specially designed with a tapered pot stand which holds the deep rounded bottom of a wok properly, maximising heat and flame contact. These cast iron pot stands feature an enamel coating that make them sturdy, tough and able to withstand all sorts of cooking habits.
The Tecno T333TGSV sports a double-ring system which gives me great heat control. If I am simmering something or require low to medium heat, I simply turn on the inner ring burner. When the time comes for high-heat cooking, I crank up the same burner dial and the outer burner ring turns on, giving me that extra oomph for my purposes.
Radiant and Induction Hobs
Gas burner hobs, however, can be a messy and hot affair -- cooking at arm’s length from direct heat can be an infernal affair, especially in smaller kitchens in Singapore’s climate. Radiant and induction hobs do away with direct open flame but still provide a wide-ranging way of whipping up a storm, and with the added benefit of being extremely easy to clean up afterwards. Induction cookers work on a similar principle, with the key difference being that the induction ring would not heat up unless a conducting metallic material, such as cast iron or stainless steel.
Radiant hobs work by passing an electrical current under the hob that heats up either a ceramic or glass plate, which is then passed onto the surface of the pots and pans to heat them up. The Bosch PKK651FP1E 60cm Radiant hob (S$999) is one which will fit in any kitchen, and is a great choice for the home cook who likes to keep cooking - and cleaning up - a simple, fuss-free affair. While it can get as hot as some gas burners, what radiant hobs will lack is the smokiness and charring that comes with cooking with an open flame, which is a trade-off cooks must consider.
The Bosch PKK651FP1E features two rings on each of its three cooking zones, which lets me use any flat-based pots and pans of various sizes. For occasions when you need a lot of heat quickly - such as boiling a pot of water - the Bosch PKK651FP1E has a PowerBoost feature that provides an extra boost while cooking; for example, I was able to bring a 2-litre pot of water to boil almost 3 times faster than on a conventional ceramic hob. The ceramic cooking surface holds a good amount of heat, and can withstand temperatures of up to 700°C. It also makes it easy to clean, as the bottom of pots and pans don’t get charred as there is no direct flame, and clean-up is as simple as wiping down the cooktop once cooking is done.
The Bosch PKK651FP1E’s compact size also helps save space, particularly in smaller kitchens. The hob’s touch panel is easy to use and key in the best heat level for cooking, from 0 to 9. It’s easy to tell which zones are being used with just a quick glance at the display. There is also an in-built timer system with a shut-off function that switches off the cooking zone after the selected period of time, which is extremely useful for simmering soups and stock without the need to manually turn off the system when the time comes.
The best hob for the job
The best hob is the one which allows you to stretch the limits of your cooking imagination. The serious home cook looking for the most versatile option can’t go wrong with the traditional favourite of the gas burner hob, as it gives the most options and range for any type of cooking. The occasional cook, however, who might prefer less time cleaning up but still want to be able to whip up a tasty meal would appreciate the ease of use of either radiant or induction hobs. Selecting the right hob for your individual cooking style will make cooking a joy, and might even inspire you to try new, delicious recipe or whip up dishes you’ve never tried before!