Before deciding on your new cookware you need to ensure it’s compatible with your hob. Some materials can’t be used on certain surfaces and by using the best material for your hob you’ll achieve the best results. Below we’ve explained the different types of hobs and heat sources.
You can use any type of cookware on a gas hob. Whilst cooking on gas, you need to ensure the flame does not extend beyond the base of the pan, as this wastes gas and can cause warping and handle damage.
With either a radiant spiral fitting or a solid hot plate, electric hobs are also suitable for all cookware. Radiant spiral hobs have an open element which pans sit atop, whilst solid hot plates have the element encased inside. We recommend using a flat bottomed pan to ensure even heating and minimize energy waste.
Similar to a solid hot plate electric hob but with a ceramic surface. These hobs also have an electric heating element underneath and, again, all types of cookware are again suitable for this style of hob. Remember to always lift pans off the surface and not slide them to avoid damage.
Induction hobs consist of a ceramic glass surface and magnetic induction coils underneath. These hobs heat only when a magnetizable metal pan is placed upon them. The surface itself is not heated but is transferred directly to the cookware, which in turn heats the contents of the pan. The best material for these types of hobs is steel or cast iron which are highly magnetizable metals. Copper and aluminium pans won’t heat up unless they have a base that’s been bonded.
Also a more delicate form of hob, care should be taken when placing pans on them to not damage the glass surface. The hob functions via halogen bulbs under the glass which give off intense bursts of heat. Thick-based pans are required for this form of hob to counteract the high heat that can be let off. Steer clear of shiny materials that will reflect the halogen light and potentially cause issues.
The term for ovens that also work as a whole heating system for the home like AGAs; cookers such as these give off a very high level of heat and again require thicker set pans to combat the hot temperatures.