9 best hobs for effortless cooking

Whatever fuel you favour – induction, gas or ceramic – the latest hob designs are sleek, stylish and perfect for simmering, sizzling and searing. Appliance expert Hayley Gilbert chooses the best models for your money

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Most of us have a fuel that we prefer cooking with. Some won’t use anything but gas, as it’s quick and responsive, while others have loved the innovation of induction with its automatic pan detection, energy efficiency and safety aspect, which is great for families with young children. Some are sticking with ceramic, as it’s what they’re used to. They may not have access to gas and aren’t quite ready to embrace induction. But whatever your fuel of choice, there are plenty of hobs out there to suit. Here’s our pick of the best hobs in all three fuel types, bought for their looks as well as performance.

See more best appliance buys on our dedicated page.

Hobs need to know

Gas models have come on leaps and bounds in terms of styling, with black glass models, one-piece pan supports and wider designs for extra burners. Look for automatic ignition, dishwasher-safe cast iron pan supports and powerful kW for flexible cooking.  

If you like the idea of induction, prices have come down in recent years, making it more affordable. As it’s the pan that heats up and not the hob, it’s great from a safety view and is super energy efficient, too. Induction surfaces are also easy to clean and high-tech with touch controls alongside flexi or bridging zones that can be adapted to suit bigger pans. 

Many people still want ceramic hobs, whether they are replacing like for like or simply want an inexpensive hob for a first-time kitchen refit or perhaps a buy-to-let property. These are great value but you do get what you pay for so the designs are pretty basic with no surprises. 

SIEMENS iQ700 ER9A6SD70 GAS HOB

(Image: © Siemens)

1. SIEMENS iQ700 ER9A6SD70 GAS HOB

Stylish flat finish

Specifications
Fuel: Gas
Zones: Five
Finish: Black
Dimensions: H52cm x W91.2cm x D4.5cm
Reasons to buy
+Quick, powerful heat+Dishwasher-proof pan supports+Easy-clean ceramic
Reasons to avoid
-Whopping price

SIEMENS iQ700 ER9A6SD70 GAS HOB

(Image: © Siemens)

A fantastic looking design, this gas model gives precise heat control with stepFlame technology that offers nine flame graduations to suit every cooking need. Alongside the four regular burners is a dual wok burner that can deliver 6kW for rapid heating.

BOSCH PCS7A5B90 FLAMESELECT GAS HOB

(Image: © Bosch)

2. BOSCH PCS7A5B90 FLAMESELECT GAS HOB

Easy to use

Specifications
Fuel: Gas
Zones: Five
Finish: Stainless steel
Dimensions: H52cm x W75cm x D4.5cm
Reasons to buy
+Five burners+DualWok burner+FlameSelect
Reasons to avoid
-Too wide for some worktop cut-outs

BOSCH PCS7A5B90 FLAMESELECT GAS HOB

(Image: © Bosch)

What makes this gas hob stand out is the FlameSelect function, which enables you to adjust the flame in nine graduations for precise control when you need it. It also comes with continuous cast iron pan supports for stability and a high-speed burner, economy burner and two regulars, as well as the DualWok version that gives high heat and gentle heat so you can sear or simmer to your heart’s content.

NEFF T25S56N0GB EXTRA WIDE GAS HOB

(Image: © Neff)

3. NEFF T25S56N0GB EXTRA WIDE GAS HOB

A great value option

Specifications
Fuel: Gas
Zones: Five
Finish: Stainless steel
Dimensions: H52cm x W70.2cm x D4.3cm
Reasons to buy
+Cast iron pan supports+Matches Neff built-in ovens+Triple ring wok burner
Reasons to avoid
-Steel can scratch easily

A fantastically priced top-of-the-range gas hob, this model comes with a 4kW triple ring wok burner for cooking stir fries or paella and if the flame accidentally cuts out during use, the hob automatically re-ignites it. Buyers rave about its power and styling but mention that you do need to have a certain height of clearance at the sides, as it is wider than some models.

AEG IKE64450FB MAXISENSE INDUCTION HOB

(Image: © AEG)

4. AEG IKE64450FB MAXISENSE INDUCTION HOB

Bridging function for larger pans

Specifications
Fuel: Induction
Zones: Four
Finish: Black
Dimensions: H52cm x W59cm x D4.4cm
Reasons to buy
+Flexi zones+Booster function+Easy to clean
Reasons to avoid
-High price tag

Safe and easy to use, this induction hob has clever zones that automatically detect the size and shape of your pan, heating it accordingly. There’s also a nifty FlexiBridge that creates a larger surface cooking area when needed, ideal for fish kettles and bigger pans. The touch controls are so easy to use with LED sliders that will satisfy any gadget lovers. Messy cooks will appreciate the easy-clean ceramic surface with its scratch resistant finish and you can also lock the settings in, so you can clean the hob without accidentally changing the touch controls.

GORENJE ORA ITO IT635ORA INDUCTION HOB

(Image: © Gorenje)

5. GORENJE ORA ITO IT635ORA INDUCTION HOB

Eye-catching white glass design

Specifications
Fuel: Induction
Zones: Four
Finish: White or black
Dimensions: H59.5cm x W52cm x D6.4cm
Reasons to buy
+Touch controls+Power boost+Bridging function
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing fancy in terms of tech

A designer looking model in white or black ceramic glass, this induction hob has the usual touch controls and timer function as well as residual heat indicators, child lock and a PowerBoost for quick and high heat for boiling water. It’s said to boil two litres of water in just under six minutes and users love how safe and efficient it is. There’s also a BridgeZone that turns two separate cooking zones into one with a simple touch. 

SMEG PI964P VICTORIA INDUCTION HOB

(Image: © Smeg)

6. SMEG PI964P VICTORIA INDUCTION HOB

Gives a more traditional look

Specifications
Fuel: Induction
Zones: Four
Finish: Cream
Dimensions: H59.6cm x W51cm x D6cm
Reasons to buy
+Pan detection+Automatic switch off+Chunky controls
Reasons to avoid
-No touch controls

A great choice for classic or traditional kitchen designs or for those who just love this iconic Italian brand whatever, this hob oozes quality. The four zones each have independent boosters and automatic pan adjustment while users appreciate the metal border around the edge, which helps protect the hob’s surface. Some buyers also splash out on the matching Victoria double oven for a co-ordinated kitchen look.

WHIRLPOOL AKM6091X CERAMIC HOB

(Image: © Whirlpool)

7. WHIRLPOOL AKM6091X CERAMIC HOB

Bargain buy

Specifications
Fuel: Electric
Zones: Four
Finish: Black
Dimensions: H51cm x W58cm x D5cm
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Quick to clean+Timer alert
Reasons to avoid
-Too basic for experimental cooks perhaps

Users of this ceramic design love the fact that it’s well priced and is so easy to use and keep clean. There are four zones with indicators that show when they’re still hot along with rotary dials and a handy timer.

BEKO HIC64102 CERAMIC HOB

(Image: © Beko)

8. BEKO HIC64102 CERAMIC HOB

A great all-rounder

Specifications
Fuel: Electric
Zones: Four
Finish: Black
Dimensions: H51cm x W58cm x D3.7cm
Reasons to buy
+Easy to clean+Simple to operate+Stylish design
Reasons to avoid
-Too basic for some

With six power levels to cope with everything from a gentle simmer to an intense sizzle on a Saturday night, this ceramic hob is a hit with buyers thanks to its low price tag, easy to use controls and easy-clean glass surface. There’s nothing fancy about this model but that’s what appeals to buyers who want something simple that does what it says on the tin.

HOTPOINT HR607BH CERAMIC HOB

(Image: © Hotpoint)

9. HOTPOINT HR607BH CERAMIC HOB

Adjustable zone for different sized pans

Specifications
Fuel: Electric
Zones: Four
Finish: Black
Dimensions: H51cm x W58cm x D4.6cm
Reasons to buy
+Slow heat for melting chocolate+Adjustable zone+Easy clean
Reasons to avoid
-Some prefer extra zones

Buyers love how easy this ceramic hob is to use, so there’s no need to spend ages reading an instruction manual like you do with some of the more fancy designs. They also say it’s great value for money, looks good and has a quality feel. There’s a nifty triple ring zone that can be adjusted to three different sizes to suit your pans as well as a clever melting function that keeps the pan at a low temperature. Users love the touch controls, too.

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