We all want to do our bit for the environment and save money on our energy bills, but which hobs let you achieve this?
This guide will help you choose between gas, induction, and electric cooking.
THE MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT HOBS
If your current hob is an older model, it’s safe to say that a new one will be more energy efficient. But, hobs aren’t given EU energy ratings like other appliances, so it can be difficult to know where to start.
A number of factors matter when you’re considering efficiency. The gas or electricity usage in kW and how long it takes to heat up show how efficient a hob is – that is, how much energy it uses compared to how much it wastes (on heat loss through the zone, pan supports and air, for example). You may also want to look at running costs, which are how expensive the fuel is in relation to the energy usage. Manufacturers don’t always list this information for their products, but if you can find it, you can ensure that you buy an efficient model.
So, if you’re looking to minimise energy wastage, induction is the way forward.
GAS VS ELECTRIC
Induction hobs are by far the most efficient at transferring energy. A magnetic field induces heat directly from your pan, rather than passing it through the cooking surface. This means that more of the energy is used to heat your food, and the average energy consumption per use is extremely low compared to other hobs.
Other electric models, such as solid plate and ceramic, tend to have the next lowest energy consumption rate, while gas has the highest. But, when you take into account that gas hobs can provide instant heat, things get complicated. This is why most people refer to gas as the second most efficient type of hob.
The cost per kWh is significantly higher for electricity, so gas hobs nearly always offer the lowest annual running costs of all three types. Induction is the second cheapest to run, followed by other electric hobs.
So, if you’re looking to minimise energy wastage, induction is the way forward. If you’re looking for low running costs and you have a mains supply, a gas hob is a great option for your kitchen.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Whichever type of hob you choose, there are a few tricks which can save even more energy when you’re cooking:
• Always put lids on your pans to keep the heat inside
• When boiling, only use just enough water to cover the contents of your pan
• Choose the right size pan for the burner or zone – for electric hobs, flat bottomed pans maximise the surface in contact with the heat
• Choose the right size pan for the amount of food you’re cooking
• Turn the heat down to a simmer as soon as the pan starts boiling
• Use a multi-level steamer to cook multiple types of vegetable on just one ring
Use a multi-level steamer to cook multiple types of vegetable on just one ring.
• Consider which pan materials you’re using based on what you’re cooking – while copper heats quickly, thick bottomed cast iron pans will retain heat for longer
• Keep solid plates clean, or energy will be wasted on heating burnt bits of food
• Use built-in timers and minute minders to prevent overcooking