Electric cooktops are ideal for those who want to replace the old gas stove or do not have the connections to set up one. Energy efficiency is higher and cleaning easier, but the models are not all the same. Here are the best and how to find the one that best suits your needs.
There is no doubt that the hob is the essential element of the kitchen, as one of the most used and potentially among the most durable; choose it well and following your needs is therefore particularly important.
Right below we had listed out some of the best models of electric cooktops.
Things to Consider Before Buying Electric Cooktops
Among these appliances, an increasingly popular category is that of electric hobs, which instead of heating pots and pans with a live flame emitted by a gas system, use only energy from the house electricity.
These hobs can emit heat through electric heaters or, in the case of halogen plate hobs, by turning on powerful infrared lights that heat everything that absorbs them. Finally, other products in this category prefer hybrid formulas, by coupling two or more electric burners with traditional gas burners.
Types of Electric Cooktop
In classic electric radiant hobs, the energy supplied contributes to heating a resistance placed directly below the surface of the hob; they are cheaper, but they consume more.
In hobs with halogen lamps, the task of heating the cookware is delegated to these elements, which, always placed under the surface of the hob, turn on a powerful light that is absorbed by the bottom of the pots and heats them.
Both types of products have different advantages compared to traditional gas cookers. First of all, they are more practical. They do not need connections to the relative network and safer because they do not present a risk of leaks.
Thanks to their perfectly level surface, they are also easier to clean and boast shorter cooking times. On the other hand, these are products that are, on average, more expensive and which – in the case of hobs with halogen plates – may require compatible cookware and, from time to time, the cost of replacing the lamps.
That’s why many are inclined towards hybrid solutions, with traditional electric cookers integrated into a single plane. These products are perhaps less practical to install, but offer the best of both categories of hob, allowing you to choose which cooking mode to rely on from time to time.
How to Use An Electric Cooktop?
Technological development is slowly making sure that all the old objects of the past are replaced by other more performing ones. On the other hand, this has happened since the time we lived in caves and hunted mammoths, passing from raw meat to meat cooked on a fire.
Who knows what our Stone Age ancestor would have thought if he had known that centuries and centuries later the food would have been cooked on a ceramic hob! Here is the culprit who is slowly supplanting his grandmothers’ stoves and is increasingly sought after by lovers of cooking and design.
How Does It Work?
The ceramic hob manages to heat the pots through radiant or halogen plates that generate heat and energy. The main advantages consist of a considerable reduction in consumption and above all in faster and more effective cooking.
It would be enough to compare the time taken by a glass-ceramic hob and a gas one to heat the water in a pot, and you would be surprised by the performance of the first!
To mount a ceramic hob, you need to buy a new kitchen, and in fact, many choose it when they buy a house. Alternatively, you should ensure that your kitchen is modern and supports it.
Furthermore, it is necessary to have suitable pots and pans, because often those used for gas cooking are not suitable for induction. Speaking of induction, ceramic hobs with this technology are the best on the market, but also the most expensive and require pots made of ferrous alloy.
At the Tip of Your Finger
The use of an electric cooktop may not be particularly intuitive since often these products do not have buttons or knobs, but rather icons that are sufficient to touch to light the plates. You will find those relating to each plate that will be activated at the simple touch.
By pressing the + or – icons, it will be possible to adjust the cooking temperature, ideal if you need to prepare particular dishes or want to boil the water for the pasta as quickly as possible.
The Right Time
If the purchased product also has a timer, this can be set according to the cooking time required by the dish or the type of pasta. The timer can also be useful for automatically turning off the plates once you have finished cooking.
The safety devices present on some models ensure that a plate can be activated only when a pot or pan is placed, thus avoiding burns and, above all, keeping the hands of children who are too lively safe.
If you have doubts for the first use, we at buonoedeconomico.it suggest our users to carefully read the instruction manual on which there will also be assembly instructions. Depending on the model, this can be done without the help of a technician, which will save a lot.
How to Choose the Electric Cooktop?
To choose your ideal electric hob, the parameters to be taken into consideration are not many, but they all have their importance.
These are the type of installation, the materials used, the size of the top, the number and type of fires, energy consumption, the controls available, the design, and maintenance.
One of the most important aesthetic differences between electric kitchen hobs is that between built-in and raised models. As the names suggest, the former is designed to remain flush with the kitchen cabinet in which they will be inserted.
While the raised ones are raised several centimetres from the work surface, on a practical level, the difference in terms of how the plan works is nil.
The halogen hobs all have a glass-ceramic surface under which the lamps are arranged. Some of the radiant models can instead be made of stainless steel with resistances exposed directly.
These products may be cheaper than glass ceramic counterparts, but without a perfectly level plate that protects the heating elements, they are more difficult to clean.
As with traditional hobs, not all models are suitable for every kitchen. Those more common with four burners are designed to have dimensions comparable to those of the relative gas counterparts.
But those who want to have more stoves at their disposal will do better to check that the width of the top is compatible with what is available in the house.
Knowing the number of fires on an electric hob is essential for knowing how many dishes or condiments it will be possible to prepare or heat at the same time.
The most popular models have four burners, but there are also more compact models with two units, larger ones with five or six, and more sophisticated models with flexible cooking areas.
In hybrid products, it will also be necessary to pay attention to how many fires are powered by gas about the electrical units.
Electric hobs are more practical and safer than their gas counterparts, but the energy consumption is not necessarily lower. The values to keep under control before a purchase is the total Watts of which the product can have, together with the maximum ones absorbed by the individual burners.
The reason is simple: the simultaneous use and at full power of several stoves could be incompatible with your electricity supply.
The controls of an electric hob play a particularly important role in its choice because unlike those of a traditional model, they are generally of the touch type.
Their practicality, therefore, depends on the functions offered by the product and on the ability of the engineers to simplify their use: this is why before purchasing, it is necessary to spend a few more minutes on this detail.
Based mainly on glass-ceramic surfaces, the design of electric hobs does not differ much from one product to another, with substantial changes mainly represented by the arrangement of the burners and that of the controls.
The only exception is represented by hybrid products and radiant electric hobs with stainless steel surfaces, less elegant and symmetrical, but more practical for those who want to have gas cookers or exposed heating elements available.
The maintenance of models with a glass-ceramic surface is much simpler than that of hybrid models with gas stoves or models with resistances directly exposed.
In the first few sponge and detergent passes are sufficient (making sure that the surface is not incandescent); in the other models, on the other hand, attention must also be paid to the heaters, burners, and gas nozzles.