For each housewife stove is the main assistant in the kitchen. Now bulky, inconvenient and insecure old gas and electric stoves are becoming a thing of the past. They are replaced by odd-sized cooking surfaces that, like the sink, crash into the countertop in any convenient place.
There are different types of them on sale: gas, electric, combined. If for some reason the gas surface is not possible to install or do not want, then you should opt for an electric hob.
For a start it is worth deciding what kind of cooking surface I would like to purchase: dependent or independent.
Dependent is when the ready set is bought, electric panel with ovenwhere all control comes from the panel on the oven.
Independent is when the electric surface can be located anywhere, regardless of the presence and location of the oven, and has independent control.
- 1 Types of electric cooktops
- 2 What material are electrical panels
- 3 Pay attention to the burners
- 4 Control in electric cooking surfaces
- 5 Which manufacturer is better
- 6 Let's sum up
Types of electric cooktops
Also before buying cooktop it is necessary to choose its type of heating element. They are:
- Cast iron burner panelas in old plates on a steel or enamelled basis a disk is fastened, inside of which there is an electric spiral. They are the cheapest on the market. All the following models are designed using glass-ceramic and other types of heating elements will be mounted under it.
- Rapid modelThey are the most common, with a helix that emits a lot of heat, heats up quickly and also cools quickly.
- Panel with halogen burnersIt is more efficient due to the presence of a powerful halogen lamp or a gas-filled tube in it, which, when turned on, glows red and produces a lot of heat. The rate of cooling and heating is higher for them than for the rapid burners. However, a big disadvantage of such panels is that during their work the entire surface of the plate is heated. Also, these lamps have a small life, so they will need to be periodically changed.
- Cooktop with Hi-Light burners, even better than the previous model. Here is a ribbon heating element in asbestos-based and stepless adjustment of the heating temperature. This is the most common variant of the heating element for electrical panels.
- Induction hob - is the most expensive and safe among all types, because at the expense of the installed induction unit only the bottom of the dishes is heated, and it remains cold. But dishes for such a plate need special, with ferromagnetic properties.
But still, in most of these surfaces halogen lamps are built in, illuminating the work burner to protect users from accidental burns through inattention.
What material are electrical panels
This is one of the main parameters when choosing a hob, to which you need to pay attention. There are three material options:
- Enamel. Today it is very rarely used for electric hobs, because it is difficult to clean and you can easily leave a scratch or spall. Such models are few in sales, they are simple, without any additional features and the cheapest.
- Stainless steel. It is much more often used by manufacturers because it is durable and easier to clean than enamel. Due to the large assortment and price range, you can choose a stainless steel hob for every taste.
- Glass ceramics. This is the most popular, beautiful and at the same time the most expensive material. She has a great heat that instantly heats the dishes. Easy to clean, but you can only use special tools. For such a perfectly smooth surface, modern tableware with a smooth bottom is also necessary, since the conductivity of heat depends on it. The stores presented a huge selection of precisely such material hobs.
However, a glass-ceramic panel requires careful attention. She is afraid of point blows with small and sharp objects, but relatively resistant to the blows of large pans and pots. It can not be used dishes from aluminum and the other with a thin bottom. By the way, the bottom of the utensils used must be dry.
Pay attention to the burners
Manufacturers of such equipment try to please and guess the needs of each housewife and, therefore, there are a lot of various forms of hotplates on the market.
In addition to the usual round rings, there are also oval and two-, three-circuit. For those, who likes to cook in a roaster, perfectly fit oval-shaped products. And two- and three-circuit - will allow you to adjust the heating radius for a large and small pan.
The number of burners can be different, ranging from two to six. They can also be a hexagonal form, they can be called "honeycomb" because they resemble honeycombs. Accordingly, the shape and size of the hob will be different. So, rectangular - in width are from 25 to 90 cm with a depth of about 60 cm.
Control in electric cooking surfaces
Management can be both electromechanical and fully electronic. The handles on the panels are installed in the front, side or on the cooking surface in the corner. You can independently adjust the required power.
With electronic control with a touch plate, there are several power options, light and sound alert system. Thanks to touch sensors, control of various functions will be easy and with high accuracy of parameters.
If there is a touch control, the display can also be integrated, which will show all active functions and enabled operating parameters.
There are also automatic burners, they are marked with a white circle in the center. The built-in special sensor monitors the temperature and detects the boiling point of the liquid itself and automatically reduces the heating power.
Manufacturers are trying to create "smart plates", thanks to electronic sensors, not only the size of the dishes, but also the amount of liquid in it can be determined. If a empty dishes will be on the surface, the heating zone will automatically turn off.
The following additional functions can be used:
- The timer function, which can be separate for each burner, beeps and can automatically turn off the burner.
- Protection against overheating, independently switching off the electricity supply when the heating temperature rises.
- Recognition of the material and size of dishes.
- Lock the control panel from children.
- The function of recording in memory the surface of cooking modes of different dishes.
- The function of maintaining ready meals in hot condition.
- Defrost and regulate the speed of heating.
- Disconnect power during fluid overflow.
This is an incomplete list of possible additional and very useful functions that manufacturers offer in different models of cooking surfaces for their consumers.
Which manufacturer is better
There are many different manufacturers of cooking surfaces on the market. All of them can be divided by the ratio of price and quality into three categories.
The first category includes elite technology of excellent quality, these are firms:
- Gaggenau and Miele - These are well-known German companies that have established themselves as manufacturers of exclusive products with impeccable style, quality and ergonomics. Their cooking surfaces and not only them, will decorate any kitchen. But the price is correspondingly high, in the aisles of 92,000–350,000 p. and 30,000–106,000 p. respectively.
- AEG and Kuppersbusch - also German manufacturers of products of excellent quality, but with more affordable prices of about 27,000–150,000 p.
The second category includes middle-class manufacturers:
- ElectroluxThis Swedish concern manufactures products under a brand like Zanussi, their cooking surfaces are not lag behind in their innovative functions to other well-known firms, but their prices are quite democratic from 7,000 to 62 000 r.
- Bosch and Siemens - famous German companies with high-quality products and pricing policies in the aisles of 8,000–65,000 p.
- Gorenje is one of the largest enterprises in Slovenia, known far beyond its aisles, good quality and price fluctuates in the aisles of 10 000–37 000 r.
- Whirlpool - a reliable American manufacturer with many years of good reputation. Prices are small in the aisles of 12 000–50 000 p.
The latter category includes budget firms that produce hobs with a limited set of functions:
- Hansa - Polish manufacturer, on the market for over 14 years, presents its simple and inexpensive equipment, but of good quality. The cooking surface of this brand can be purchased at prices ranging from 4,000 to 35,000 r.
- Ariston and Ardo - Italic firms, their panels are famous for good not only quality, but also design with the presence of the most necessary functions. In the market you can find prices in the range of 6 000–34 000 p.
Of course, not all manufacturers of electric cooktops are represented here, there are a lot of them, and choosing, each buyer is guided by the reviews of other users and their opinion about the trade brand.
Let's sum up
When planning to replace an old stove with a beautiful and economical electric hob, you need a good study the models proposed in the market and decide on the basis of their needs with the following parameters:
- What it will be: dependent or independent.
- By type and components of the burner.
- What material will be the hob.
- Its size and number of required burners.
- Type of control mechanical or touch.
- What additional functions are needed.
And it is worth bearing in mind that the previously popular cast-iron plates are a thing of the past and they are ever less produced. They are replaced by relatively cheap and beautiful panels of glass-ceramic base and additional features.
But if you still have the opportunity not to save on this technique, then the best option would be an elegant and completely safe induction surface with a large variety of forms and functions.