Cooking surfaces with several burners differ from standard stoves in the absence of an oven – they are rectangular, less often square with installed heating zones with different coatings.

The most popular coating is enamel of various shades. White appliances are bought most often, a little less often – enameled surfaces of brown, blue and even orange shades. Enamelled panels are inexpensive and highly durable.

Less common is a stainless steel coating – strength is higher than enamel, matte and polished options are sold.

Hobs, including induction, have a multifunctional touch control, equipped with indicators and switches. For convenience, the devices are equipped with timers, stopwatches and various automatic cooking programs.

Types of hobs


Most hobs have heating elements powered by electricity. And they are often covered with glass ceramics. Cast iron surfaces are less common, with a high degree of reliability, although less functional.

Cooking surfaces are divided according to the connection method: independent (autonomous) or dependent and according to the type of heating element:

  • electrical – induction, heating elements;
  • gas;
  • combined – combine electric and gas burners, for example: 2 gas and 2 or 3 electric.

Recent developments combine glass ceramics and burners. They call them “gas on glass”. The price category is high, so they are produced mainly by large companies. Each color has its own name: “aluminum”, “black anthracite”, “cold ice”, “mirror”, etc.


Burners under glass ceramics are:

  • Hi-Light or tape. They heat up quickly, are easy to care for and are reliable. The heater is in the form of a high resistance alloy tape. Heat transfer is much higher than many electric stoves due to the dense laying of the tape. They warm up in 6-7 seconds and if they turn red, then it is dangerous to touch them.
  • Rapid. Made in the form of a spiral. Ten seconds is enough to warm up and cool down.
  • Halogen. The spiral works in conjunction with a red halogen lamp. Heats up instantly.
  • Inductive. Heats only the dishes, which saves electricity and cooking time. Heating occurs with the help of a magnetic field, which is created between the dishes and the burner. This type of heater has a high efficiency and is considered the most economical and efficient.

How cooktops work


Glass ceramic hob it is, in fact, an ordinary electric stove. The peculiarity is that it is completely covered with a glass-ceramic plate with a mirror-smooth surface.

The burners are distinguished by circles or ovals and heat up as quickly as possible. Under the top cover there is a tubular heating element, which is twisted in a spiral. Underneath is an asbestos base. The principle of operation is simple: a hot spiral transfers heat to the dishes through a glass plate.

induction hob works a little differently. Below the surface are inductors. An alternating current is supplied to them, an electromagnetic field appears under the dishes.

In the dishes standing on it, eddy currents will occur. According to the laws of thermodynamics, moving, they heat the conductors, which are the dishes standing on the stove.

Conductive utensils must have the properties of a ferromagnet, or magnetic properties.

It can be pots and pans made of cast iron, stainless steel or enameled. But definitely with a thick bottom.



In gas stoves, the gas supply is smoothly regulated, the electric ignition works in automatic mode, the gas automatically turns off if the flame goes out.

The principle of operation of the gas control function is simple. In case of accidental flame extinguishing, to prevent gas leakage, a special automatic mode stops the gas supply, without human intervention.

An interesting function of gas appliances is a turbo burner.

It is distinguished by several rows of flames, which heat the dishes more intensively.

Auto ignition speaks for itself. An element is hidden under the lid, which strikes a spark, as a result of which a flame ignites.

There are models of panels with burners for special Wok-type dishes (it has a convex bottom of a small diameter). Sometimes cooking surfaces are combined with a domino grill, double boiler or deep fryer.

The grill can be covered with glass ceramics or covered with a cast iron grate. Glass-ceramic grills (halogen or belt) have a lower heating temperature than models covered with cast iron. In them, the products will never burn.

Grills with a cast-iron grate are made in the form of a small bath, which is filled with special stones and heated by a heating element.

Products are cooked on the grill. The secreted liquid flows into the recess and is removed through a special device.

If you replace the stones in the grill with water or oil, you get a double boiler or deep fryer. But it is possible to find a device with a specially built-in deep fryer or double boiler (almost always it requires a connection to the water supply).

There are hobs with tepan. This is a type of grill. Products are cooked on a metal sheet heated to a high temperature.


All devices are divided into three types:

  • electrical. The surface coating can be different, and the heating element is powered only by electricity;
  • gas. Heating element – running on natural gas;
  • combined. There are several heating elements. Their ratio is different.

The design of the hobs is also different. The classic version has 4-5 heating zones, depending on the size of the device itself. The burners are usually round, but sometimes there are either enlarged or elongated for non-standard cookware.

In the style of “dominoes” – a work surface for cooking is assembled from modules that are needed. Sections for “dominoes” have standard sizes, they are easy to change and assemble again.

The choice of blocks is diverse: electric or gas burner, steamer, deep fryer, grill, tepan, etc.

Built-in cookers can have from one to six burners. The traditional option is four burners, differing in power, one of which has 2-3 rows of flame. The choice depends on the size of the kitchen, the quantity and frequency of cooking.

Devices can be coated with enamel (1), stainless steel (2), glass-ceramic (3) and tempered glass (4).

  1. Enamel is called – the thinnest vitreous film, which is obtained by processing at high temperatures. Enamelled panels are highly durable. Apply hot and powder enameling.

    Enamel applied by powder method does not tolerate the effects of acids.

  2. Stainless steel is an alloy of several metals, the main one being chromium. And the higher the quality of stainless steel, the higher the chromium content in it. The stainless steel finish is available in matte and mirror finishes;
  3. Glass-ceramic is a vitreous mass hardened in a special way. It is hardy, heat-resistant and durable material. It is usually used for hobs with electric heating elements, much less often for gas surfaces. The main advantage of this coating is targeted thermal conductivity;
  4. Tempered glass is a sheet of ordinary glass that is tempered at a high temperature, followed by simultaneous cooling with a jet of cold air. It is not susceptible to thermal effects and mechanical shocks.



Cookers with induction coils are equipped with autofocus function. It allows you not to set the dishes exactly according to the diameter of the burner. That is, that part of the heating circle that “feels” the dishes on itself is heated (which allows you to significantly save electricity).

Heating zones can have a different shape. For example, oval. This is considered an additional function, since in normal mode the same heating zone is standard – round. This mode is activated either by double-clicking on the touchpad icon, or by additionally turning the switch.

The auto-off function accompanies devices with an electric heating element.

It works either when the dishes are removed from the appliance, or when drops of liquid fall on the surface. In standard mode, after 20 seconds the device will turn off.

The timer is able to turn off the burner after the allotted time and signal the readiness of the dish.

Control lock – a function that is convenient when washing the control panel of the device or preventing children from pressing the sensor.

Auto boil function. At a given time, the burner turns on, and after a time (also certain), it reduces the heating power.

Cast iron


Cast iron heating elements, the so-called pancakes, are the progenitors of modern heating elements. The element hidden under the disk consists of an alloy of nickel, iron and chromium. It warms up from the current passing through it, then: the resulting heat is transferred to the disk, and it warms up the dishes.

Thanks to the cast iron from which the disc is made, heat is distributed evenly over the surface.

The power of the cast-iron heating element depends on the density of the coil turns (in any case, it warms up no earlier than after 20 seconds).

Not as common as the previous ones, but there is a halogen heater that quickly heats up and cools down. The spiral, which creates a high temperature, works in conjunction with a halogen lamp, which determines the heating rate. The characteristics of the halogen heating element are comparable to those of gas burners.

Switches on cooking built-in devices are touch, mechanical and rotary. Gas panels are available only with mechanical switches.

Sensor-based switches are installed on appliances with electric heating elements – they take up little space and make it easier to work with many functions.

The presence of a touch control panel always indicates that, in addition to the basic functions, there is a set of additional ones:

  • timer or stopwatch
  • hot plate indicator,
  • child protection,
  • amplification of the power of one heating zone at the expense of others, etc.

Most of the devices have a standard arrangement of burners. But there are also models with diamond arrangement options.

Function “Residual heat indicator”. Lights up until the temperature in the central part of the burner drops below 500C. It helps to save electricity and ensure the safety of the user.

Also, this function is convenient when maintaining the temperature in already cooked food – heating mode.

Some models, especially dependent types, are equipped with a display. It reflects much more information than conventional indicators, bulbs or scales. Thanks to the display, surface control is greatly simplified. But its necessity is justified only in large, multifunctional models with an induction heating element.

All built-in cooking panels are divided into two types: dependent and independent.

Dependent are installed together with an oven with a common control panel. Independent – are considered more convenient. They can be installed autonomously anywhere in the kitchen. In addition, independent ones are more often equipped with touch controls, which are easier to maintain and operate.

The standard depth of the hobs is 50 – 55 cm. The width will depend on the number and location of the burners. For example, a model with two small heating elements has a width of 30 – 35 cm, three-burner – no more than 45 cm. Models with a width of 55 – 60 cm are considered popular.

Models are also available for five or six burners, they have a width of 75 cm, 86 cm, 90 and 116 cm.

Gas models come complete with grates for placing dishes. They are produced in one piece (on the entire surface), individual (intended for one burner) and sectional (on a certain part of the surface).

Lattices happen steel and pig-iron. Overloading steel enameled gratings threatens to crack and may crumble. Cast iron is a more practical material, is not afraid of mechanical damage, does not fade and retains its appearance for many years.



Benefits of a gas hob

The enameled panel with gas burners is the most budgetary. It has a small recess, so the escaped products are easily collected with a damp cloth. Steel surfaces are not afraid of bumps and falls of dishes. Easy to care for, and have a long service life (with proper care).

Benefits of electric hobs

The main advantage of an electric hob over a gas hob is safety. Gas burners are open flames and possible gas leakage. Working, they contribute to the combustion of oxygen, due to which the air becomes stale.

Induction devices are superior in their characteristics to other stoves with electric heating elements:

  • Economical. The consumed electricity is not used to heat the coil, but to create an electromagnetic field.

    Plus, induction heating elements automatically regulate the temperature.

    For boiling, it is sharply increased, during the cooking process they can turn on and off on their own, maintaining the set temperature.

  • They do not lose the generated heat, as the dishes themselves heat up and quite quickly.
  • Cookware quickly heats up food, preventing it from burning and sticking to the walls or bottom.
  • Work stably powerfully at low power consumption.
  • Safe: remain cold, it is impossible to burn yourself.
  • Environmentally friendly: the required heat is released to the maximum, which significantly reduces the amount of impurities in the kitchen air.

In addition, hobs on induction coils have several features that distinguish them from others:

  • Fast heating. For a short time, the power of the burner increases, which allows, for example, to accelerate the boiling of the liquid, then the power decreases automatically;
  • overheat protection. The device switches off automatically;
  • Booster function. Neighboring burners increase the power of one.

Most of the cooking surfaces on sale have the “convection” and “memory” functions. A specific program can be stored for one or all heating zones. This greatly facilitates the use of the device.



One of the big disadvantages of hobs, especially electric ones, is dishes. It is necessary that the bottom of the cookware is even, not protruding beyond the edges of the heating element. Failure to comply with this rule leads to the fact that the food does not warm up or warms up partially.

Induction surfaces place special demands on pans and pots. The material from which the dishes are made must have magnetic properties. For example: cast iron. The induction panel does not “feel” dishes made of brass, glass or aluminum.

It always takes time to warm up the surface.

Some glass-ceramic coatings in the center of the burners are heated up to 5500C, and extreme areas up to 1500C. It’s hot enough.

Induction in the center warms up to 900C, and at the edges only up to 250FROM.

Gas models with an enameled base are difficult to clean from burnt stains, especially greasy ones. Any abrasive detergents can leave marks on the coatings.

On steel cooking surfaces, any stain is visible, even from fingers. To care for them, purchase special detergents.

Disadvantages of electric hobs:

  • spilled liquid quickly ends up on the floor or countertop;
  • there are weight restrictions for dishes;
  • select pots and pans according to the diameter of the burners;
  • induction built-in panels are afraid of sweet drops, which, when heated, can damage the coating

How to choose a hob


The main thing to consider when choosing a device: the hob is an element of built-in appliances, so a hole is cut out for it in the countertop, indented from the wall or furniture for a gas hob – about 15 cm, for an electric panel – 4-6 cm.

When choosing an independent or dependent type of device, you should be guided by a specific situation. The dependent device (the only negative is the binding to the oven) has a control unit often located on the oven (manufacturer’s trick).

The independent built-in surface has autonomous control. It is not at all charming to buy an oven for it (if purchased, it is installed without being attached to the hob).

The type of heating is electric, gas and combined. Which is better depends on the make and model.

Gas hobs quickly reach the set heating temperature, are easy to operate and maintain and are economical.

Panels with eclectic types of heating elements are much more expensive than gas ones, but are practically safe. The rate of electricity consumption depends on the model and type of heating element.

Combined type hobs have the properties of both types.

Built-in cooking devices from different manufacturers have different dimensions. And you need to select them according to the place of installation. Dimensions are considered standard: width – 60-90 cm, depth – 50-70 cm (total height). If the hood is installed earlier, then select the built-in appliance 10-15 cm narrower.

The surface coating affects the service life and ease of maintenance. Enameled ones may not be pleasing to the eye, but they are easy to clean and are in an affordable price range.

Combined – tempered glass and enamel, look more advantageous than enameled, easy to clean, but more expensive.

Stainless steel coating is durable, but requires special care with special tools.

On such a surface stains are visible, and even fingerprints.

Glass-ceramic coating significantly increases the cost of the hob. Such devices look stylish. They heat up and cool down quickly. They conduct heat only to the dishes. The unused surface remains cold. Their safety class is higher than gas ones.

The number of burners is also an important parameter. A common pattern is four burners. Two is not enough even for a family without children, unless such a stove is suitable for giving. When choosing a cooking device, remember that some of them require dishes made of a magnetizable material, or clearly matched to the diameter of the heating element. It is good if the selected model has dual burners, or double-circuit ones.

heating type. In addition to the usual gas, there are spiral, tape, halogen and induction.

The most modern, economical and convenient is the induction heater.

In terms of heating speed, induction burners are ahead of gas burners – they have a smooth power regulator.

Pay attention to the presence of additional functions:

  • protection of the control panel from children (the operation of all buttons and sensors is blocked),
  • “feeling” of dishes standing on the surface (appliances without dishes automatically turn off),
  • residual heat protection function (shows uncooled sections, preventing burns),
  • PowerBoost (can combine heating power in one burner).

The last thing you should pay attention to is various additional functions, automation, indication and other functions that simplify the work on the device, rely on the primary functions.

Which is better

Cooktop with gas heater. It is completed with torches with power from 100 to 3 500 W. They heat up quickly, which contributes to the preservation of taste and nutrients in cooked food. Such devices are considered economical. They are distinguished by fast cooking even on a fire of low power.

Electrical panels. The heating element is always electric and is usually coated with glass ceramic. They look more elegant than gas ones, but they are much more expensive to operate. A big plus in the operation of this category of devices is the absence of gas combustion products.

Combined panels have both gas burners and burners with an electric heater. Their ratio is different. Such devices are chosen in the absence of a central gas pipeline.

The material of manufacture and coating affects the price category of the device.

The most popular are enamel. Usually white, rarely black or brown.

Metal hobs are made from aluminum or stainless steel. The latter are in perfect harmony with the sink and easily fit into any kitchen design.

Glass-ceramic surfaces are the best option. They look good and are easy to clean (with special tools). But their use requires some caution:

  • salt water or sweet drops should be removed immediately. Getting rid of such contaminants that have already cooled down is fraught with mechanical damage to the surface;
  • glass-ceramic models are afraid of impacts with small or sharp objects, while impacts of large dishes are not afraid of them;
  • dishes should always be dry;
  • Aluminum cookware is not suitable for glass-ceramic hob.

Before buying a device, determine the type of heating. The following options are possible:

  • traditional heating element. Standard pancakes hiding a hermetically sealed electrical coil. They differ from the familiar electric stoves only in their improved appearance. Such hobs are relatively cheap, but they warm up and cool down for a long time;
  • induction heating element. Heats only the bottom of the pan or pan. The heating power is smoothly adjustable. The water boils extremely quickly. The energy consumption of induction hobs is two times lower than that of the others. These are the most expensive panels;
  • tape heating element or Hi-light. It heats up to high temperatures in 8 – 10 seconds and cools down instantly;
  • halogen heating. Expensive pleasure. The spiral works together with a halogen lamp or a tube filled with gas. Such a burner becomes bright red during operation and generates a lot of heat. As it warms up to the set temperature, the lamp or tube turns off.

The best heater option is halogen or induction.

Be sure to pay attention to the size and shape of the burners. They must “hold” the dishes. The size range of burners is quite large. There are also combined heating zones: a small circle in a large one or an oval.

How to use the hob


Stainless steel. Mainly used for gas-fired appliances. It is a shiny surface with burners covered with cast-iron grates.

Care of such a coating: wipe the coating with any detergents, except for abrasive ones, and do not use metal scourers. They can leave scratches that detract from the appearance of the panel.

The main nuance of caring for a stainless surface is to prevent smudges and splashes from stagnation. First, with a soft sponge, preferably with a liquid detergent, wipe the cooled food residues, then dry.

Do not pour runaway or burnt food with water or other means.

They can leak on ignition, which will have to be washed and dried for a long time. The grate with dried food residues is soaked in a solution of citric acid. Then rinse with running water and wipe dry.

Glass-ceramic panel. To increase the service life of this device means to choose the right dishes (either a suitable bottom diameter, or a manufacturing material with magnetic properties). Allow panels to cool before cleaning. They are cleaned with specialized detergents.

The special composition of the products easily dissolves food residues, including frozen fat, protecting the coating itself. After that, a special film remains, which protects from further burning of the escaped food, and most importantly from sweet drops, facilitating care.

It is recommended to first remove the runaway food with scrapers, sometimes manufacturers attach them to their appliances. Scrapers are produced plastic, with removable blades. They remove any fusible materials: frozen sugar, drops of melted plastic, etc.

And in no case should acid be used to wash such a panel.

She, first of all, will dissolve the coated ones. The only coating that can be easily removed with a simple damp cloth is glossy.

The glass-ceramic coating cannot be wiped with an ordinary sponge. After it, there are stains from the washing liquid and / or fat, which, when heated, can discolor the coating.

Spots from water, grease or lime should be cleaned with products intended for cleaning karmic products or high quality steel products.

All detergents must be thoroughly rinsed off, because when heated, they will corrode the coating of the hob.

Burners and utensils must be dry.

The main thing in the dishes is the bottom. There are no questions about the diameter, but not many people know that it is required concave (while cold). When heated, the bottom of the pot or pan straightens, which contributes to the least heat loss.

Cookware that has been cooked on gas burners is not suitable for glass-ceramic surfaces.

On modern cookware, the manufacturer writes which hob it is intended for.

For induction cookers, cookware must be made of a material with magnetic properties. Usually steel, cast iron and enameled are suitable. If the cookware is made of an alloy, its intended use must be clearly stated by the manufacturer. Turn on the burners after the dishes are placed on them.



The average warranty period for hobs is 12 months. The countdown starts from the date of purchase of the device. In the warranty card, the manufacturer declares the mandatory elimination of faults that occurred during the warranty period.

The warranty will only cover hobs used for non-commercial purposes.

Repair under the warranty card is free of charge, and depending on the malfunction, at home or in the workshop of the service center.

The manufacturer’s warranty does not cover cracks, scratches or other similar damage that occurs after purchase.

Warranty repairs may be denied if:

  • ticket was invalid
  • damage and malfunctions resulting from improper use, or violation of the rules for surface care,
  • the fact of self-opening and repair was established,
  • the surface was installed by a non-authorized specialist and with non-observance of the installation rules,
  • controls have been exposed to water or other liquids,
  • the malfunction was caused by insects or animals.

Warranty obligations do not include cleaning, adjustment or other maintenance that is the responsibility of the user.

Faults and repairs


Most often, hobs with electric type of heating break. If the warranty period has expired, it is possible to deal with some malfunctions on your own according to the following scheme.

  1. Check that the socket is working.
  2. Then check the electrical plug and cord for operability.
  3. If these elements are in good condition, proceed to dismantle the device.
  4. Locate the thermal overload fuse according to the instructions. Check its operation with a multimeter. Replace if necessary.
  5. Next, all wires and their connections are checked. After a visual inspection, they need to be “ringed” – the integrity is checked with a multimeter.
  6. If one of the burners does not work, there may be a break in the heating element. If you have a soldering iron and the skills to work with it, restore the circuit yourself.
  7. If the heating element has become unusable, it is also possible to replace it yourself. At the same time, check the contacts and the control unit.
  8. In the event of a malfunction of the touch panel, it is better to contact specialists. Especially if this happened after water got inside the device.
  9. If a crack has gone along the surface, it will have to be replaced, and only in a specialized workshop.

The induction hob has its own characteristics.

  • if the hob does not respond to switching on and off, the switch-on protection system may have tripped. For example, this can happen if the diameter of the cookware does not fit the burner;
  • the dishes warm up for a long time or weakly. The reason may be in the dishes. Its bottom must be perfectly flat, otherwise the panel simply does not “feel” it;
  • turns on spontaneously. There may be a metal object on the appliance, which it perceives as dishes and turns on the heat. Sometimes even salt causes inclusion;
  • completely refuses to work. Most likely the electrical wires are faulty. “Ring out” the circuit and fuse.

In a gas hob, nozzles most often fail. They clog and do not let gas through – rinse, wipe dry and dry well. Sometimes the piezo ignition does not work. It just needs to be cleaned up.

Many modern devices have displays that show all system errors. Each of them has a code, the decoding of which is indicated in the instructions for the device.

Hob manufacturers


There are many manufacturers of cooking surfaces, the competition for the buyer is fierce. There were even built-in appliances produced by our fellow countrymen: Darina, Gefest, De Luxe, ZVI.

Buyers, having felt the convenience and comfort of the hobs, thoroughly approach the choice. Much more often, for example, they began to choose gas devices with a “triple crown” (up to 4.2 kW). Or combined surfaces.

Not many manufacturers like this idea, but some still produce devices with gas burners and cast iron burners: Zanussi, Korting, Zigmund & Shtain or Hansa.

Gas and glass ceramics are combined by Electrolux and Gorenje. Grill tops are available from Candy, Samsung and Hotpoint-Ariston.

Stylish gas panels are manufactured by Bosch and Simens, Whirlpool.

The gas was hidden under Hansa and Kuppersberg glass. The devices were not to the taste of consumers and the Kuppersberg models disappeared from stores.

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