How to Choose the Best Hot Plate and Burner?
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Top Best Hot Plates & Burners Based on Reviews and Price
How to Choose Hot Plates & Burners?
Finding the perfect hot plate and burners is not that complicated. You just have to be clear about how you cook, the kind of dishes you prepare, how many you are at home, what time you have, and choose according to your needs.
The number of options varies. Therefore, we have prepared the most relevant information over low simmering heat so that you can choose wisely.
To avoid hearing, you say “if only someone had told me before”, here are some tips that are outside the box. This information will be able to guide you to the best choice of a cooktop that meets your needs:
Top 8 Factors to Consider When Buying a Burner
1. Types of Burners
Whether induction, vitro, or gas, each type of cooktop has its user base. Keep in mind that what we call “traditional” does not have to be outdated or rudimentary. Today, all systems incorporate surprising innovations that make them more comfortable and safe to use.
In short, choosing one type of plate or another is a matter of everyday needs, cooking styles, and the chef’s tastes!
In an induction plate, the container is heated directly, not the glass. Barely any residual heat is generated, and it disappears quickly after turning off the plate.
You can find induction plates in metallic gray, black and white, 60, 80 and 90 cm wide, with 2, 3, 4 or 5 cooking zones. If you usually cook for many, you can find models with 32 cm extra giant area: the solution to family meals.
Induction technology is very efficient: it uses more than 75% of its energy to produce heat (while a conventional ceramic hob does not reach 50%). This translates into lower electricity expenditure.
They are very easy to clean. The glass reaches a much lower temperature than the glass-ceramic plates so that the dirt does not stick. Also, these types are the fastest. They reduce the preheating time to half, compared to the ceramic hob.
Finally, they are very precise. Thanks to their reduced reaction time, they pass from a power level 9 to a level 1 in a few seconds.
The ceramic hob is one of the most popular types. Although it consumes more energy than induction, it allows you to take advantage of the residual heat once the bulb is turned off, either to continue cooking or to keep food warm.
As in the induction range, there are several varieties in size: 60, 80 and 90 cm wide ceramic hobs, with 3, 4 or 5 cooking zones. And, in some models, you can find an extra-large 32 cm zone.
The glass-ceramic plates have become a safe bet to gain comfort today. In addition to the above, they incorporate a wide variety of functions such as scheduling cooking time in each zone.
They are easy to clean, thanks to their smooth surface. Also, they offer great stability for the cooking containers. In addition, they are very safe to use. Heat is produced only in the designated area, and the light stays on while the area is hot.
They have novel functions, such as the oil temperature control that warns when it is time to introduce food, to cook safely and healthily.
Current gas cooking options will surprise you with three concepts: their functionality, safety, and design. The last generations incorporate a self-ignition device. Now, you can only restrict the matches and lighters to light your birthday candles or to puff your cigs.
The design has also evolved a lot over the years. You can choose between the classic stainless steel for the base or impressive finishes in black glass. In addition to providing an unbeatable aesthetic, this facilitates the cleaning of the device.
As an added value, some gas plates incorporate powerful wok burners. This allows regulating the intensity of the fire to cook efficiently and quickly, from a sauce or chocolate to grilled meat.
To look at everything with more perspective, here is a brief resume of gas burners and hot plates to see at a glance:
- They are economical in their consumption: the gas rate is cheaper than that of electricity.
- It can be used with any type of container (mud, steel, cast iron, etc).
- They are safe: the gas stop system cuts off the gas flow in case of detecting the absence of flame, preventing possible leaks.
2. The Number of Cooking Zones
Depending on whether you cook a little or a lot, but also depending on the space available, the hob will offer a number of burners or cooking zones varying from 2 to 6. Generally, the most common models are 3 or 4 cooking hobs.
The 2-burner hob, also called domino, is a small model that is ideal for small kitchens. Its width varies from 30 to 40 cm, which allows it to be placed everywhere. This reduced size also allows the installation of several plates side by side, which allow mixing various functions: gas, induction, glass-ceramic but also teppanyaki, wok, plancha, etc.
The 3 or 4-burner hob is the classic model. Generally 60 or 65 cm wide, it often shares, in an induction version, its surface between a large fireplace on one side and two smaller ones on the other. On the gas side, there are four of various sizes and powers. It is possible to find rectangular devices of large width (80 to 90 cm) and reduced depth, with 3 aligned foci. This is a practical solution when the worktop is not of a standard depth. It allows working side by side.
The 5-burner hob or more is the perfect companion for food lovers. Its size varies from 70 to 90 cm, sometimes more, and offers a large space for cooking. In the induction version, this can have specific fireplaces in length, perfect for a fishmonger, for example. In the gas version, it can have a Triple Crown hearth which offers great power.
3. Choose the Right Power
The power of the hob is also important. Indeed, this offers the possibility of varying the types of cooking (whether it’s to simmer or sear the meats) in the style of a real chef. Each appliance has its own power which is expressed in Watts (W). It is always better to choose the maximum power available. You can always lower the intensity of cooking, but you cannot increase it beyond the capacity of the chosen appliance.
For gas, there are hot plates and burners with powers varying from 1000 to 5000 W. To cook in a wok, opt for a double or even Triple Crown hearth offering two or three circles of fire. The burners vary in size to accommodate containers of various sizes. To withstand high temperatures, choose cast-iron grates.
For induction, this same principle also applies. It varies from 50 to 3000 W for a fireplace in the range of the induction versions. With the Booster function, it is possible to increase the power temporarily and very quickly. It’s a practical aspect of boiling water at an incomparable speed, for example. Sometimes, like double or triple gas crowns, some large hobs can reach 5000 W.
Effective for searing food, induction is just as effective for simmering gently, for hours. No more bain-marie to melt the chocolate!
4. Always More Innovation
In recent years, several innovations in hotplate and designs have appeared. Some premium ones are equipped with an intelligent and ultra-precise auto-detection system that recognizes the position of dishes. They instantly follow their movement in the area without interrupting cooking for maximum comfort of use.
Adjustable Cooking Zones
To simplify use, some manufacturers offer appreciable functions. Following the example of Neff, who developed the TwistPad, there’s the single magnetic and removable button which allows you to adjust all the cooking zones of an induction hob.
For gas, the brand has also created FlameSelect, which offers 9 gas intensity settings, for greater precision.
Wireless Cooking Probe
There’s also the latest innovation from AEG: SensePro. It is an induction hob that has a multi-point, connected wireless cooking probe! Like oven probes, it measures the temperature of food at its core.
Once the desired recipe and cooking have been selected, the probe takes over by controlling the table to modulate the power, adjust the temperature, stop cooking, etc. This precise temperature control to the nearest degree guarantees perfect results: from cooking potatoes in water to cooking meat, simmering a sauce without overflowing.
5. The Design Trend
Opt for multifunctional plates and burners for open and pleasant living spaces. Today’s users want a fluid arrangement of spaces that facilitates movement between rooms and activities.
The glass-ceramic hob is discreet and almost perfectly aligns with the worktop. It offers a welcoming space to eat, check emails, receive friends and cook.
In addition, some induction models incorporate Flex Induction zones, an area for cooking as freely as possible. You can prepare coffee, milk and make pancakes at the same time. It allows you to cook simultaneously in cooking containers of different sizes and shapes without wasting any energy.
The best hotplates offer indicator lights that give warnings when an element is too hot to touch. Also, a safety lock prevents children from turning on an item and allows you to clean the hob without turning on an item by mistake.
Induction models are very safe to use. They are automatically disconnected at a certain time if you forget to put the container, for example.
7. Healthy Cooking
The advantages of instant heating, precise temperature control, and easy cleaning are attractive to cooks looking for healthy solutions to replace fast food and takeouts. If you prefer to cook on gas, you will appreciate the performance of the ceramic glass and the ease of cleaning compared to a traditional stove.
8. Ease of Cleaning
Gas plates require more effort when cleaning them. The burners must be completely free of debris so that they are not clogged and, therefore, the fire goes out properly. You should use a soft damp sponge and soap, ensuring that there is no water left in the burners.
The glass-ceramic hot plates must be cleaned with a damp cloth, which does not scrape. Special scrapers for electric plates can be used to remove debris that is embedded.
Induction plates are cleaned like vitro-ceramics, but they are cleaned more easily. This is because, by not heating the surface, the remains or splashes do not burn or remain stuck on the plate.
Your choice about the number of heating elements depends on several things:
- How often you cook and for how many people?
- Do you sometimes use a wok or grill?
- Do you like to simmer stews for hours?
Although the best hotplates often have four heating elements, many cooktops today offer five or more burners.
On power, electric types have a capacity of approximately 2,500 watts; and gas stoves of 15,000 Btus (both are roughly equivalent). The ceramic induction hobs can go up to 3,700 watts. Note that cooking appliances fitted with ceramic hob go perfectly with the aesthetics of modern kitchens.
If you still cannot choose between gas and induction, choose a model that combines the two. There are very practical models of mixed induction gas hobs on the market. They are an option that combines different cooking systems such as induction, gas, hob, Teppan Yaki or barbecue, to suit the user.