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Hobs

Choosing the right kind of hob to fit your kitchen is all important. Many factors should come into consideration, so here at KitchenSolution we give you the pros and cons of the different types of hobs on offer. Please visit our partner sites for all the best deals available.

Ceramic Hobs

Ceramic pertains to the finish of the hob instead of the workings of the hob itself, and the streamlined and trendy look of ceramic glass with the simplicity of use and wipe-clean cover make ceramic hobs a popular choice for modern kitchens. While ceramic hobs have traditionally been electric-powered, ceramic induction hobs and gas glass hobs supply an alternative heating method.Ceramic hobs are smooth surfaced – making them simple to wash Ceramic hob benefits and disadvantages

Pros

Simple to wash

Fast to warm up

Fashionable finish

Cons

Can be costlier than standard electrical or gas hobs bad at uniformly distributing heat

Electrical heat more complicated to manipulate

Induction Hobs

Induction hobs are fast, safe and efficient, and quickly becoming a preferred choice. This cooking method uses electromagnetism to make a magnetic field between the pan, which must be made of iron, and a coil underneath the glass top. Electricity is passed thru a copper coil magnet in the induction hob, making electromagnetic energy. The energy passes thru the cooktop immediately to the iron-based pan, manufacturing – or ‘inducing ‘ – a current which releases heat. Induction hobs are faster and less expensive to run than other hobs though dearer to buy as the heat is transferred right to the pan instead of the full cooking surface, meaning you can touch it without burning yourself.Induction hobs are a fast and effective way of heating food Induction hob arguments

Pros

Energy efficient

Modern and classy

Fast to warm up and cook

Safe to touch a lot of additional features like flexible cooking sections, timers and kid safety locks

Cons

Expensive you might need to take a position in new pans

Louder than other hobs

Gas Hobs

Gas hobs are the commonest kind of hob you will find in a kitchen in the United Kingdom. Gas hobs are often 60cm wide and composed of 4 gas burners of varying sizes, sometimes one little, one enormous and 2 medium-sized sectors for different-sized pans, and an ignition switch that lights the gas burner you would like to use, and switches permitting you to regulate and alter the power of each gas flame. This guide will take you thru the arguments of gas hobs – see individual pages on gas glass hobs, ceramic hobs, electric hobs and induction hobs to assist you in deciding which kind of hob is the best for your kitchen. Gas hob good points and bad points

Gas hob pros

Straight forward to govern heat

Gas is an immediate, tangible heat source

Good overall heat distribution

Gas hob cons

Must be installed by a professional gas pro

Beginning costs have a tendency to be dearer than basic electrical hobs

Gas sections can be more complicated and fiddly to wash

Electrical Hobs

From old school coil hobs to ultra-modern ceramic models, electrical hobs come in a variety of forms and can make a realistic alternative choice to gas. A hob powered by electricity will not give you the same ease of temperature control you get from a gas hob – but a good electrical hob will be in a position to heat up quickly and wipe clean simply when you have finished cooking. Like gas hobs, electrical hobs customarily are composed of 4 heat points, or areas, which sometimes glow red when hot or warm so you know when the surface is safe to touch. Twin sections on some electrical hobs permit you to operate an inner sector in the main ring, to save energy when cooking with smaller pans or expand to accommodate bigger pans. It is also worth keeping a lookout for models with timers that instantly turn off the heat at a predetermined time.

Pros

Good at heating quickly

Straightforward to wash

Induction hobs can give a rather more fashionable finish

Basic inexpensive options available

Cons

The heat generated from an electrical hob is not as simply controllable

Gas is a well-liked option you will find better overall heat distribution with an electrical model.

Cookers

If your home runs both gas and electric, the cheaper option for using units for your cooker is gas. Here a KitchenSolution we give an unbiased view on all products, just guiding you towards making the right choice. Below we give you the pro’s and con’s of both gas and electric cookers, but for an in depth review of all cookers, please visit our partner sites for all the latest up to date deals and information.

Deciding which gas range cooker is for you

When the time comes for you to replace your cooker, you’ll find so many different makes and models, all of which are not particularly cheap! Obviously you will have a budget in mind, but do remember that a gas cooker purchase is made very rarely in your life, so going for something cheaper is not always cost effective. If you pay a little more for a quality cooker, it is likely to last far longer.

As all kitchen appliances these days, you can get your gas cooker in almost any style, from traditional farmhouse country through to contemporary stainless steel, you will certainly find a cooker to suit your kitchen. Gas cookers benefit from instant heat from the hob and some even come with special features such as an extra-fast wok burner or cast iron griddle convenient for cooking fish or meat.

Depending on the size of your kitchen, you will also need to decide the size of cooker you require. Do you spend much time cooking? Are you cooking for just yourself or a whole family? Here a KitchenSolution we give you this general tip – a 2-3 cubic foot oven is perfect for one to two people, 3-4 cubic feet for a small family and a capacity above 4 to cater for a larger family.

There are a few disadvantages though to choosing a gas cooker. Firstly, gas ovens are known not to heat evenly inside, meaning that rotating your food is a must and more care has to be taken when cooking produce such as chicken, due to its unhealthiness if under cooked. Also, gas cookers are in general more expensive then their electric counterparts, but this is mainly off set as they are more efficient, so in the long run, your money is made back but the initial outlay is more. Then finally, gas cookers have been notoriously hard to clean, due to food getting under the burners, but fortunately these days more and more gas cookers come with sealed burners making cleaning that much easier!.

A gas cooker is a fantastic purchase for those who really enjoy the art of creating lovely dishes. With so many options available here at KitcheSolution, we are sure you will find the right product for your kitchen

Electric Cookers

So you’ve decided to purchase an electric cooker, but not quite sure what you are looking for. Well, the first choice will obviously be determined by whether you are investing in a fitted kitchen, where the cooker will be built into the kitchen design or if you by a free standing electric cooker, you must make sure it actually fits the dimensions of the space left to accommodate it. Sounds simple, but a few millimetres out and you suddenly have a unit that won’t fit, so your measurements need to be spot on. Standard free standing electric cookers normally measure 50-60cm in width, with larger models between 80-150cm.

You will find two types of electric cookers, single or double.  The single oven cooker will have just the one fan and will usually come with a standard grill. Singles are a great choice of you have limited space in your kitchen.The double oven cooker, as it suggests, has a double fan and will heat up quicker than the single fan ovens and have extra cooking space needed if cooking regularly for a family or friends.

When it comes to choosing styles and colours for your electric cookers, they are not as wide-ranging as gas cookers. Most styles fit a contemporary kitchen, rather than the traditional kitchen, as the ceramic hobs do not have a “rustic” feel to them. Colour wise, generally they will come in either white, black or stainless steel, although some K suppliers have different colours to suit your kitchen.

Cleaning electric cookers is normally a far easier job than gas cookers. There are 3 types of electric cookers which are ring and ceramic element and ceramic top. Both the ceramic element and top are fairly straight foward to clean. Soak a cloth in vinegar as this is fantastic for getting through grease and wipe the top surface clean. Use a guard over your pans to prevent initial grease build up. Now the ring element electric cookers are more difficult to clean. Firstly, make sure you cover any unused elements with foil to prevent splattering on them and then place aluminium foil on the drip tray to take any unwanted spillages.

Cooktops

If you are building a new kitchen or simply upgrading, one of the most important features of the room is a cooktop, especially if you are a keen chef. When you are making the decision to purchase a new cooktop, consider the following and you shouldn’t go far wrongIf you are building a new kitchen or simply upgrading, one of the most important features of the room is a cooktop, especially if you are a keen chef. When you are making the decision to purchase a new cooktop, consider the following and you shouldn’t go far wrong

Are you a dedicated cook or have aspirations on becoming one?Traditionally, good cooks have an affinity for gas cooktops (or stoves).  Gas cooktops are preferred to other cooktops because they allow you to instantaneously change the cooking temperature.  Plus, the investment you make on a gas cooktop can vary greatly – from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.  Gas cooktops are also very efficient; they use natural gas for cooking power, and natural gas is a very inexpensive resource.Of course, nothing valuable comes without some type of drawback.  Gas cooking is no exception.  First, locating a source of gas can be difficult.  It is hard to find a home with natural gas, and many living communities do not allow liquid propane (LP) storage.  Clean-up can also be frustrating.  Most modern gas cooktops come with sealed burners for easy clean-up.  Despite the sealed burners, gas cooktops still require the most cleaning effort.  Finally, there is the issue of an open flame.  Families with small children often select an alternative to the gas cooktop to keep children safe.Fortunately, there is an alternative to the gas cooktop that requires no sacrifice in cooking performance and even offers a few advantages.  An induction cooktop, which is powered by electricity, is a very popular replacement for a gas cooktop.  Induction cooktops produce electromagnetic energy that transfers right to a compatible pot or pan, so there is no hot surface to avoid (like with gas cooktops).  Changes in heat settings occur instantly, so you can go from boiling a concoction to simmering the ingredients immediately.  All the while, the cooktop remains cool to the touch, making it safer than a gas cooktop.  Cleaning an induction cooktop is also simple because there’s no burnt food surrounding the cooktop to peel away. Keep in mind that although an induction cooktop relies on costly electricity for its power source, it uses it so efficiently that it actually rivals gas cooktops for low cost of operation honors.For the casual or occasional cooks, the best cooktop replacement is usually a replacement in kind.  Replacing your current gas or electric cooktop to an updated version is usualy the most cost effective.  If you are accustomed to old coil units, then consider investing in a glass ceramic electric cooktop They are much easier to maintain.Also, you can upgrade an outdated gas cooktop for a basic four-burner. Most of the newer gas cooktops have ceramic tops and sealed burners to make cleaning much easier.  Most cooktops come in 30″ and 36″ models, so you can replace your old cooktop without having to worry about excessive installation efforts or costs.

How many people do you cook for?If you frequently cook for large groups or special occasions, or your family is a big one, then you need to ditch the traditional four-burner cooktop configuration and upgrade to a five- or six-burner set-up.  Both gas and electric cooktops are manufactured in a 36-inch arrangement that fits in most kitchens.  Choose an electric model with multiple-zone elements and bridge-burners.  These will give you versatility in the size and shape of the cooking vessels you can use.  Pick a gas model with continuous grates for the same result.  A five element cooktop is the best for induction cooktops in this category.

How much money do you want to spend?We’ve already establishd that you can pay as little or as much money as you’d like for a cooktkop.  For your information, gas and conventional cooktops (either coil or glass/ceramic) are the most affordable.  The more advanced features you add to the unit, like grills, griddles or downdraft vents, the more the price will increase.  Induction cooktops generally run in the lower thousands. Also, keep in mind that a switch to an induction cooktop will also require you to use cookware that is magnetic, so plan on an additional expense there.

How important is ease of maintenance (keeping it clean)?An induction cooktop is the way to go if you want easy maintenance and no frills clean-up.  Spills and spatters won’t scorch on the cool cooktop surface and can be wiped up and away with a wet cloth.  Why?  Remember, only the ingredients within the magnetic cookware will be heated – not the cooktop surface!Electric glass/ceramic cooktops are also easy to clean (but not like an induction cooktop).  The smooth surface makes spills and spatters easy to get rid of, although truly burnt or scorched food is going to require scraping and elbow grease.  For maximum ease of maintenance, choose a model with touch controls rather than conventional knobs.Gas and electric coil units are by far the toughest cooktops to clean.  The design is improving steadily, but it’s no where near as easy as a glass/ceramic or induction unit.Aesthetics are highly subjective.  You’ll need to compare cooktops and decide which type looks better to you.  Do you prefer the clean, smooth surfaces of both glass/ceramic electric and electric induction cooktops, or would you rather see the industrial, high-end gas cooktop in your kitchen each day?  It’s up to you.Unfortunately, cooktops aren’t available in every color of the rainbow.  Black, white or stainless steel are your most common choices these days.  Some manfacturers do offer other colors, but that is by special order only.  Just remember: there’s a reason why designers offer cooktops in timeless colors.  They will be stylish forever.  Ordering a magenta cooktop today might be painful to look at five years from now.

What kind of cooktop do you use now?No one is going to tell you not to switch to a different style of cooktop but replacing your old unit with a new unit of the same type is the most economical choice.  Let’s be honest.  Converting to a natural gas cooktop from an electric cooktop will be problematic at the least – and impossible at it’s worst!  Switching from gas to electric, however, isn’t quite as hard.  You’ll still need to ensure you have the right electric circuits in your home, though, and that requires the skill of an electrician.. 1
Measure the area where your cooktop will be placed. Most cooktops are 30 or 36 inches wide.. 2
Consider the venting needs for your cooktop and how you will accommodate them.. 3
Decide if you want a gas or an electric cooktop.. 4
Select the surface for your cooktop. Possibilities include porcelain-enamel, ceramic-glass or sealed tops that keep spills from going under the cooktop.. 5
Pay special attention to cleaning features. Lift-up cooktops and removable grates and knobs make the cooktop easy to clean.. 6
Look for special features such as a simmering burner, a power burner, burners that adjust heat output to the size of the pan on the burner, grilling capabilities and automatic pilot lights.. 7
Discuss the warranty, what it covers and whether it is included in the cooktop price.

Ovens

Here at Kitchen Solution we will show you all the best oven suppliers so you can make an informed decision when choosing the right one for your kitchen.

How to Choose an Oven
The traditional range or stove, a single unit with cooktop above and oven below, is an affordable, space-conserving solution still chosen by most homeowners. But it’s just one of the cooking options offered today.

Some serious home cooks choose commercial-style stoves with six or eight burners instead of four, basting and grilling functions, and built-in warming ovens. (Real commercial stoves pose special challenges, such as special ventilation systems and noncombustible walls and floors, when used in the home, so commercial-style may be easier to live with.) Other people love the new modular cooktops that let you add burners, downdrafts, griddles, deep-fry and steamer units, woks, rotisseries, and grills. And these are just a few examples of what’s available!

A modular approach to overall kitchen design is a pronounced trend. Wall ovens separate from cooktops let you create several cooking work stations instead of just one. A double wall oven stacks two ovens to save space and deliver twice the baking/roasting capacity, which many people find useful for special occasions. And you can still get two-oven stoves, with one oven below the cooking surface and the other well above, at cabinet height.

The first decision in range shopping has always been gas versus electric. Many serious cooks prefer gas for its instant response, precise controllability, and lower operating cost over time. Others praise the evenness of electric heat and the lower initial cost of the appliance.

Today, you can get the best of both heating methods with “dual fuel” ranges that let you mix gas and electric heat sources; for example, gas cooktop burners and an electric convection oven/broiler. Convection ovens, most often electric, use heated air to cook up to twice as fast as conventional ovens that rely on radiant heating action. You can even get a combination microwave/convection oven.

Electric coils are the most popular kind of electric burners, and the least costly. Smooth-top surfaces are offered with one of three heat source types: radiating electric coils beneath the glass surface, halogen burners, or magnetic-induction elements. All require thick, flat-bottom cookware. If gas is your choice, sealed burners are easiest to clean, and a pilotless ignition system means no hot spot when burners are off. Commercial-style glass stoves offer high BTUs (British thermal units, the measure of cooking heat) and high style. They require heavy-duty ventilation systems.

What about controls? Controls that are located on the front or on the side of the appliance are most common and convenient, but universal access means just that: While someone in a wheelchair can reach front-situated controls easily, unfortunately, so can a curious toddler. People with young children may prefer controls located on the backsplash, out of reach of exploring fingers. Wherever they’re located, controls should be easy to understand and operate. Top-of-the-line ovens may include electronic temperature readouts and touch-pad, rather than knob or dial, controls.

While many people like to blend refrigerators and dishwashers into the cabinetry with matching fronts, the latest trend is to keep ranges visible. However, if you do want to de-emphasize your oven, the easiest way is with an under-counter model. (Make sure the oven you choose is designed for under-counter use, because not all are.) You may install a cooktop directly above the oven or locate it elsewhere in the kitchen. A cooktop directly over an under-counter oven functions much the same as a conventional range, but, with no range backsplash and with the control knobs located on the countertop, the result is a more integrated look.

Cleaning baked-on spills from the cooktop has always been a challenge, but several options make short work of them. For easiest cooktop cleaning, consider ranges with ceramic glass cooktops housing electric or halogen burners; simpler knobs and handles; and a top and backsplash constructed from a single piece of metal, so there’s no seam to collect spills. Self-cleaning ovens come in two varieties: one that uses a high-heat cycle that turns cooked-on spills into ash you can wipe away, another that offers a continuous-clean function.

Stoves

If you are considering a stove in your kitchen, you probably have or are designing a traditional one. A stove is the heartbeat of a rustic, country kitchen and adds a marvellous authenticity to the room. Another reason you could be looking at purchasing a stove is due to rising fuel costs, which have hit us all over the past couple of years. Whatever your reasons, here at KitchenSolutions.co.uk we have all the best UK suppliers ready with all their current offers, helping you find a stove for your dream kitchen.

Before purchasing your stove, think to yourself what it is you actually want it for? You may want it as a secondary heating source, as touched on earlier it may be due to rising energy costs. With both these things in mind, a huge thing to consider is what sort of output the stove has. Obviously the larger the output, the more heat can be omitted, so be sure to ask the supplier what the maximum output is on any stoves you are looking at.

The look of the stove is important to match with your kitchen. Although most are generally traditional looking, some taller stoves with a large contemporary window are on the market, but you will have to shop around.

As with most things, you do really get what you pay for. If you are purchasing a stove for a traditional kitchen, be very careful in your choice as this will undoubtedly be the centre piece of your room, so do spend that little extra for a real authentic feel.

Extractor Fans

Simple extractor fans insert into a hole cut in your ceiling for the purpose. The unit is then wired up with electric power so that all you need to do is to switch it on and most of your residues will be promptly extracted from your kitchen.

These units are fitted with a wire mesh to prevent access to your kitchen from any particles or pests which may be present in the fan unit, and the unit itself will require regular maintenance in the form of cleaning the mesh which separates your kitchen from the extractor fan mechanism.

Many older homes only have a minimalistic fan extractor in place above their cooker, and while these will do an average job, there are many new and inexpensive fan extractors for your kitchen, complete with hoods and canopies – not only will your kitchen be fresher -by installing a range hood or canopy, over your cooker, you can make your kitchen look quite distinctive – and create a very professional looking appearance.

Cooker Hoods

Having chosen your perfect cooker, you now need to decide on the hood.  While cooking up some fantastic dishes in your kitchen, unwanted grease, moisture and smoke permeate the room – this is where the hood does its job. The cooker hood becomes quite a focal point for your kitchen so do not just for the cheapest here. The hood should match the style of the rest of your kitchen, so if you have a contemporary feel, purchase a sleek modern looking hood and obviously a more conservative hood if your kitchen is traditional.

Firstly, you can choose from two types of cooer hoods, extraction and recirculation. If your kitchen does not have access to an outside wall, you have to opt for a recirculation hood, which basically passes the air through filters before returning it to the room in a cleaner state. These types of hood are only really recommended if you are unable to duct the air to an exterior source, which is what extraction fans do.

As touched on earlier, your hood should fit the style of your kitchen, but for great performance make sure that it is as wide, if not wider, than your hob or oven. This is so all grease and moisture is either sucked up into the filters or extracted externally, leaving less chance of grease “sticking” to both walls and other appliances.

There are several types of cooker hoods of which your choice will be determined by the rest of your kitchen design.

The Integrated cooker hood—most popular size 60cm, but also available in 90cm widths.  These models are only used in fitted kitchens.  They are always fitted between wall units and have a door on the front, which matches the other kitchen furniture and effectively hides the appliance except when viewed from below.  Opening and closing the door switches the fan on and off at the speeds previously set and also activates the cooker hood lights to illuminate the cooking surface.  Very popular with the kitchen trade and price is usually included in the basic cost of the kitchen.

Built In and Canopy Hoods—are fitted into the base plate of wooden or metal canopies.  Typically available in both 60 and 80cm widths, with single or twin motors.  These models are only visible when viewed from below as they are generally fitted into specially made decorative canopies.

Chimney and Island Hoods –are highly visible, high tech models that are used as features within the kitchen and are usually much more expensive than the other types of hoods.  These hoods mainly feature halogen or fluorescent lamps and very high performance fan motor systems.  Accessories such as spice racks, utensil rails and back plates are available to enhance the appearance of these models.

Classic Canopy and Cove designed to enhance range style cookers.

Electric Cookers

So you’ve decided to purchase an electric cooker, but not quite sure what you are looking for. Well, the first choice will obviously be determined by whether you are investing in a fitted kitchen, where the cooker will be built into the kitchen design or if you by a free standing electric cooker, you must make sure it actually fits the dimensions of the space left to accommodate it. Sounds simple, but a few millimetres out and you suddenly have a unit that won’t fit, so your measurements need to be spot on. Standard free standing electric cookers normally measure 50-60cm in width, with larger models between 80-150cm.

You will find two types of electric cookers, single or double.  The single oven cooker will have just the one fan and will usually come with a standard grill. Singles are a great choice of you have limited space in your kitchen.The double oven cooker, as it suggests, has a double fan and will heat up quicker than the single fan ovens and have extra cooking space needed if cooking regularly for a family or friends.

When it comes to choosing styles and colours for your electric cookers, they are not as wide-ranging as gas cookers. Most styles fit a contemporary kitchen, rather than the traditional kitchen, as the ceramic hobs do not have a “rustic” feel to them. Colour wise, generally they will come in either white, black or stainless steel, although some K suppliers have different colours to suit your kitchen.

Cleaning electric cookers is normally a far easier job than gas cookers. There are 3 types of electric cookers which are ring and ceramic element and ceramic top. Both the ceramic element and top are fairly straight foward to clean. Soak a cloth in vinegar as this is fantastic for getting through grease and wipe the top surface clean. Use a guard over your pans to prevent initial grease build up. Now the ring element electric cookers are more difficult to clean. Firstly, make sure you cover any unused elements with foil to prevent splattering on them and then place aluminium foil on the drip tray to take any unwanted spillages.

Here at KitchenSolution.co.uk we have all the top UK suppliers for you to view and are in no doubt that your perfect electric cooker can be found.

Gas Cookers

If your home runs both gas and electric, the cheaper option for using units for your cooker is gas. Here a KitchenSolution.co.uk we give an unbiased view on all products, just guiding you towards making the right choice, but if you are looking for a hassle free, efficient option for your cooker, then we would recommend choosing gas when purchasing your next cooker.

Deciding which gas range cooker is for you

When the time comes for you to replace your cooker, you’ll find so many different makes and models, all of which are not particularly cheap! Obviously you will have a budget in mind, but do remember that a gas cooker purchase is made very rarely in your life, so going for something cheaper is not always cost effective. If you pay a little more for a quality cooker, it is likely to last far longer.

As all kitchen appliances these days, you can get your gas cooker in almost any style, from traditional farmhouse country through to contemporary stainless steel, you will certainly find a cooker to suit your kitchen. Gas cookers benefit from instant heat from the hob and some even come with special features such as an extra-fast wok burner or cast iron griddle convenient for cooking fish or meat.

Depending on the size of your kitchen, you will also need to decide the size of cooker you require. Do you spend much time cooking? Are you cooking for just yourself or a whole family? Here a KitchenSolution.co.uk we give you this general tip – a 2-3 cubic foot oven is perfect for one to two people, 3-4 cubic feet for a small family and a capacity above 4 to cater for a larger family.

There are a few disadvantages though to choosing a gas cooker. Firstly, gas ovens are known not to heat evenly inside, meaning that rotating your food is a must and more care has to be taken when cooking produce such as chicken, due to its unhealthiness if under cooked. Also, gas cookers are in general more expensive then their electric counterparts, but this is mainly off set as they are more efficient, so in the long run, your money is made back but the initial outlay is more. Then finally, gas cookers have been notoriously hard to clean, due to food getting under the burners, but fortunately these days more and more gas cookers come with sealed burners making cleaning that much easier!.

A gas cooker is a fantastic purchase for those who really enjoy the art of creating lovely dishes. With so many options available here at KitcheSolution.co.uk, we are sure you will find the right product for your kitchen


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  1. Cooker Hoods Cooker Hoods Search Now! Cooker Hoods About.com/Cooker Hoods
  2. Which?® Cooker Hoods Reviews & Advice Online by Which?® Trial Which?® for £1 Today! www.which.co.uk/Cooker_Hoods