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Gas, electric or induction hobs: What’s the difference?

There are several options when it comes to updating your kitchen hob. We take a look at gas, electric and induction hobs to help you find the right option for your church kitchen.

Gas, electric or induction – it’s a choice that may have ramifications for your church kitchen. But before we get onto the difference between each of these hob types, there’s an important point to mention.

Do you need a domestic or commercial hob?

Depending on the size of your congregation and the number of people you are serving, you need to consider whether you need commercial or domestic kitchen appliances. A small church with a few stragglers after each service may only require four regular-sized hobs. A larger community hub cooking for lots of events will require larger hobs to accommodate bigger pans.

A semi-commercial kitchen offers the perfect balance between a warm, pleasant kitchen environment and commercial appliances that are durable, easy to clean and suitable for larger events.

Now that’s out of the way, what’s the difference between gas, electric and induction hobs?

Gas hobs

Easily the most popular hob option across the country, these hobs use gas as the energy to cook food, and are available in a variety of different sizes to suit your kitchen. A row of simple nobs make it very easy to control the size of the flame (and thus the heat you are cooking at).

Then again, gas is far from the most energy-efficient option and comes with gas-specific extraction and ventilation requirements. Under the CP42 Gas Safety Certificate, if you have any form of commercial kitchen with any type of gas appliance, you have a legal duty to ensure that any gas equipment on your premises is checked and certified by a Gas Safe Register engineer. Read our blog on the topic here.

Electric hobs

Generally the cheapest type of stovetop cooker, electric hobs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are ceramic hobs, which generally include a ceramic element being heated underneath a black pane of glass, and solid electric hotplates.

Both of these hobs tend to be cheaper than induction hobs and can offer some additional safety features. For example, many of the glass hobs require users to push the right buttons to unlock them, and also have residual heat indicators to show when they are hot. These are also easier to clean than the solid hotplate versions.

Then again, electric hobs are renowned for taking a long time to warm up and cool down again, which makes it trickier to control temperature in a pinch. If you are in a busy kitchen that needs to churn food out rapidly, electric hobs might not be the best option.

Induction hobs

Induction hobs are pretty smart. Why? Because they create an electromagnetic field between the saucepan and the hob, meaning it’s the pan that’s heating up and not the hob. Electricity passes through a copper coil magnet situated in a glass pane up unto the pan, making it a quick and convenient way of heating the pan’s contents.

Because the hob isn’t heating up, induction hobs are much safer. Because they heat pans faster than gas hobs and use all the heat generated, they are also far more efficient (As much as 90% of energy consumed is transferred to food, compared to just 40% for gas and 74% for regular electric hobs, according to this study).

However, induction hobs are significantly more expensive at the outset. Churches should therefore think about whether they need a hyper-efficient option, or if a gas or cheaper electric alternative will suffice.

Looking to install a brand new kitchen, want more advice on appliances or want to adjust your existing kitchen layout? Steelplan can help. Just get in touch today by calling 0844 809 9186 or emailing [email protected].

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