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Choosing a hob

Merits hobs the first to be appreciated not so much by the cooks as by the interior designers — they got much more opportunities to make the kitchen both functional and beautiful. The panel (we will make a reservation right away: after all, not everyone and not in every kitchen) fits well, in other words, it is built in, and if to be completely accurate — it cuts into kitchen furniture.

The reservation is caused by the fact that among designers of household appliances there are “pure artists” who do not deny themselves the pleasure of originating, sometimes to common sense to the detriment.

Different hobs differ by several features. In the first place — by type of energy carrier: they can be gas, electric, combined. As for gas surfaces, on them, as it is not difficult to guess, food is prepared on gas burners of various capacities.

The burners are mounted on a metal table, often covered with enamel, or on polished tempered glass — this system is called “gas on glass”.

AT electrical panels the heating element is different — electric spirals under cast-iron “pancakes” or induction, halogen, and tape elements hidden under glass-ceramic. Most often, burners are installed HiLight, with a tape heating element.

Halogen burners differ from ribbon burners only in the presence of a halogen lamp glowing with red light in them: it allows the burner to gain full power immediately after switching on.

Induction Hob — the last word of technology, they are used in expensive models. The principle of operation lies in the fact that the hotplate itself does not heat up, the panel allows electromagnetic waves to pass through, heat is generated at the bottom of the dish. Induction hobs require special pans and pans — steel, with a magnetizable bottom. “I once tried cooking a cream sauce on an induction hob,” she shared with «Grocery Store» one of the readers. — The sauce was on the ceiling, where it flew out of the saucepan with a powerful jet.

At that time I did not know that induction hobs are two and a half times stronger than usual. ”

In the combined panels both gas burners and electric burners are available. Their ratio can be 2: 2 or 3: 1. These hybrids are intended for those who can not decide — they can cook on gas or electricity, or if there are two housewives in the kitchen with different views on heating elements.

And also if in your house there is no main gas or there are interruptions in electricity.

If you are faced with a problem, what to choose — “pancakes” or glass ceramics, and at the same time you are not connected in means, give preference to the latter.

Glass ceramics is more functional and looks much more spectacular in the kitchen.

Another difference is power.

If from the gas panels, depending on the model, you can «squeeze» from 100 to 3500 W, then the electric ones are much more powerful — from 500 to 5000 W.

Cooking surfaces are also divided according to the method of management: dependent and independent. From whom the surface can depend or be free? From the oven — it is on its panel that the “control levers” of the dependent cooking surface are located.

And build them into the kitchen box have to be together. And vice versa: the panel and the oven can be spread to different ends of the kitchen, if they have separate control systems.

And in this case, the oven is conveniently located at eye level.

If you use the oven “once a year as promised”, the independent hob will save both space and money.

As already noted, the hobs differ in the material from which they are made: enameled metal, stainless steel, aluminum (it is easier to care for it, by the way) and glass ceramics.

Traditional colors are white and black for enamelled panels and black for glass-ceramic.

According to the chef-consultant of our magazine Sergey Sinitsyn, One of the main advantages of glass ceramics is that it is faster than a metal panel, it heats up and cools down, it allows you to accurately set the heating power. «This is a solid surface, which is very convenient when you are cooking soup or boiling sauces — just move the dipper from the hot zone and it does not heat up.»

The main disadvantage of glass ceramics is that it is relative, but fragile. It can crack from a tangible blow, let’s say you suddenly drop a heavy pan. Do not use a damaged panel.

Some glass-ceramic models are “enclosed” in a metal frame, the edges of others remain beveled.

If everything falls out of your hands, choose the first option — the frame will protect the surface from side chips.

For cleaning glass ceramics, special tools and a scraper are required.

And still it is badly affected by spilled salt, sugar and cereals — they can scratch the surface if you put a pan on them. “Spilled sugar or runaway jam has a peculiarity of sintering,” says our consultant, “and this is bad for the structure of glass ceramics, after cleaning it looks faded.”

It is cheaper to cook on gas than on electricity. And at the same time, many experts believe that electric cooktops have an advantage over gas.

First, gas leakage is excluded, therefore, the likelihood of poisoning. Secondly, there is no open fire, which makes the cooking process and the whole situation in the kitchen safer.

The third reason: electricity, unlike gas, does not consume oxygen; the air in the kitchen is cleaner.

The electrical panel, and this is the fourth reason to choose it, is easier to clean: there are no grates, the surface is smooth, it is more convenient to wash it.

But it would be dishonest to overlook the shortcomings of electrical panels.

They impose quite stringent requirements on the dishes: the diameter of the pot or pan should correspond to the diameter of the burner, and its bottom must be even.

Today on sale you can find hobs of many European brands: AEG, Ardo, Ariston, Bosch, Candy, Electrolux, Gaggenau, Gorenje, Indesit, Kuppersbusch, Miele, Nardi, Neff, Siemens, Zanussi and others.

The choice is yours.

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