Ceramic hobs are ideal if you are looking for an easy to maintain and clean hob. The ceramic surface also gives a sleek finish to the appliance so it fits in well with any kitchen. However, they are a touch more expensive than gas or electric hobs - but come with their advantages.
One of the advantages of an electric ceramic hob is how quick it can heat up and also retain heat - which will keep a higher temperature even with the heat turned down. However, you need to use a pan with a flat base on ceramic hobs or the pan will not heat evenly.
An easy to maintain kitchen is important for some people and the last thing you want to do after spending hours cooking is spending as long cleaning up after yourself. Ceramic-glass hobs are perfect for this and only need a quick wipe to clean down - although you will have to wait for the hob to cool down first. The ceramic-glass also has the added bonus of looking stylish and modern.
Types of ceramic hobs
The technology used in ceramic hobs is a big improvement on standard electric hobs and the two main types are radiant hobs and halogen hobs. Radiant hobs are perfect for slow cooking and can be turned down to simmer. Halogen heating has exceptional heat-up times though and will boil water in only a matter of seconds. If you regularly cook for guests then it could be worth investing in a hob with an extendible radiant heating component which will evenly cook a lot of food in bigger pans.
Induction hobs are some of the best ceramic hob cookers for households with kids. They have a ceramic glass surface which doesn’t actually heat up; only the pan does. They are best suited if you are cooking in a rush, and heat up instantly, which is easily controllable. They are also the most energy efficient ceramic hob and because they are so responsive, they consume a third less power than ceramic glass hobs. They are also the easiest to clean because spillages don’t burn on the surface. However, induction hobs only work with certain pans so you would have to invest in a few new ones. It also only works effectively with flat-bottomed pans and woks. The type of pan needs to be made from a steel or cast iron base and, if it doesn’t say on the packaging, a good tip to check if a pan is usable on induction hobs is to test it with a magnet. If it sticks to the pan then you will be able to use it on your induction hob. Another consideration when buying an induction hob is where it will be installed. They need adequate air flow to keep the electronics cool - so if it is being installed above your oven - make sure you have enough space to leave a gap for the air flow.
Bosch hobs are very popular; with the wide range of Bosch hobs available you should be able to find an electric ceramic hob to suit your needs. Other brands include Hotpoint and Indesit. Miele and Baumatic are also popular choices if you are looking at the higher price end of the market.
Ceramic electric hobs can come with added features and, if you are a regular user, then it may be worth paying a bit extra for these. If you want precise temperature controls then a ceramic hob with touch sensor controls will offer this. Some ceramic hobs also come with safety features such as overheating protection and automatic switch-off, which shuts off the power after a couple of hours.