If you’re reading this, lucky you. You have now entered the wonderful world of hobs.

Before we go any further, you may be forgiven for thinking that hobs are pretty straight forward. After all, a hob is a hob, right? RIGHT?!

In the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger in cinematic classic, Commando – “WRONG!”

In actual fact, there are a wide variety of hobs available on the market: gas hobs, electric hobs, Hobbs and Shaw – you get the idea.

To help you navigate through this hot topic, this blog looks to set the record straight and clear up any scandalous hob-related rumours.

So, let’s get to it and dive head-first into the magically enthralling topic of oven hob types.

 

types of cooker hobs

 

Oven Hob Types

When discussing what types of cooker hobs are the best choice for your kitchen, there’s no doubt it’s a heated debate. To keep your search from going off the boil, here’s a brief induction.

 

Induction Hobs

While it may seem unfamiliar by name, chances are you’ve crossed paths with this stylish surface once or twice before.

A relatively recent innovation, induction hobs essentially create a magnetic field between the element and the base of your pan/pot. This allows it to heat the cookware directly, as opposed to the overall surface.

While a little more expensive, these innovative types of oven hobs are excellent in terms of efficiency with little wasted energy and fast heating.

However, you may be restricted in terms of the pots and pans you use. Meanwhile, they may also not be suitable for those with pacemakers, due to the use of electromagnetics.

 

Gas Hobs

The old faithful, gas hobs are a tried and true classic kitchen staple. Highly functional, gas hobs produce an even temperature across the cooking surface and provide instant heat from the moment of ignition.

Gas hobs are also great for controlling temperature, which can be handy when frying things that require precision temperatures, such as steak. For this reason, gas is typically the hob of choice for professional chefs – which speaks volumes.

 

Electric Plate Hobs

Another stalwart of the kitchen décor, electric plate hobs are just as common as gas hobs, with a history that dates back to the mid-1800s.

Electric plate hobs offer an economical solution to heating pots and pans. Ideal for cast iron cookware, plate hobs aren’t so ideal for anything without a flat base (e.g. a wok).

These hobs also take longer to heat up and cool down which, in turn, makes them more expensive to run, which can cancel out the economical nature of their initial price.

However, once they get going, they do provide good heat distribution for flat-based items and are both durable and easy to use.

 

Ceramic Hobs

Characterised by their sleek, glass finish, modern ceramic hobs are both stylish and easy-to-use. They are also extremely easy to clean, unlike gas and electric plate hobs.

However, much like plate hobs, they can take a while to heat up and cool down, while the heat can also be difficult to control.

Worse still, as the surface is made of glass, they can also be scratched or even smashed if you don’t take care. As such, they're probably not the best choice for the heavy-handed.

 

Gas on Glass Hobs

As the name suggests, gas on glass hobs act much like a traditional gas hob, yet with the primary difference of being mounted on a glass surface.

Providing all the benefits of gas cooking – e.g. temperature control – gas on glass has the added advantage of also being considerably easier to clean, while the stylish element also makes them a popular choice.

 

For more information on types of oven hobs or for spare parts relating to any of the products mentioned in this blog, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 02920 452 510 or get in touch online by using the button below.

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With energy efficiency becoming a more prevalent concern across the UK, it’s fair to say that environmental health is an increasingly important part of 21st century life.

Luckily, there are a whole host of things we can do to save energy in the home. Best of all, not only will this save energy, it’ll also save you money on your energy bills at the same time!

So, prepare to become a culinary conservationist, as we run down our top tips on how to save energy while cooking.

 

energy efficient cooking, how to save energy while cooking

 

Energy-Efficient Cooking Choices

The way you run your kitchen can have a dramatic impact on the amount of energy you use. Keep your kitchen running hot without burning money by following these helpful energy-saving culinary tips.

 

Be Efficient

When it comes to cooking efficiently, not all appliances are created equally. Fan-assisted ovens allow the heat to circulate more evenly around the oven, allowing you to cook at a lower temperature which ultimately uses less energy.

Meanwhile, when it comes to heating or reheating your food, the microwave is almost always the better option. Not only is it considerably quicker, its modest size within allows it to focus the heat on the specific item you are cooking.

Knowing your way around the kitchen can also help increase energy efficiency. Certain pan types are better conductors than others, e.g. copper-bottom pans heat up quicker than stainless steel.

Meanwhile, investing in items like a stackable double-steamer will allow you to cook twice as much using a single hob, as opposed to sharing them out on separate burners.

 

Size Matters

When using the hob, be sure to use the right size pan for your ingredients. Heating a large pan for the purpose of frying a single 4oz steak will waste energy unnecessarily, so be sure to use the right size tool for the task at hand.

Similarly, an oversized pan on an undersized burner will take longer to heat up to the correct temperature, so it’s equally as important to use the correct hob for your pan of choice as well.

A flat-bottom pan is also a better choice for electric hobs as they allow the entirety of the base to be in contact with the heat source, causing it to heat up more evenly and therefore more efficiently.

 

Switch Off

While certain items in the kitchen are required to be on 24/7 (such as fridges and freezers), there’s no need to keep other large appliance on standby. Items like the dishwasher or washing machine can easily be switched off when not in use without any issues or repercussions.

Meanwhile, you can even turn off your microwave and electric oven off at the plug to save energy. While it can be annoying having to reset the digital clock, over time, this habit can make a notable difference.

 

How to Save Energy While Cooking

While the last section highlighted a number of great ways to save energy in the kitchen through the equipment you choose and the choices you make prior to cooking, what about saving energy while you cook?

Well, we’ve got you covered there too. Check out these energy-efficient cooking tips you can try the next time you make a meal.

 

Boiling Point

If you need to boil water, use the kettle instead of the hob, if possible. Electric kettles are typically very efficient and will boil the water considerably quicker, therefore saving energy in the process.

If you need to boil pasta or vegetables on the hob, you can then simply transfer the water from A to B as necessary. Once transferred, always use a lid as this will use less energy to maintain/increase heat if required.

Meanwhile, don’t put more water in than you actually need as this will naturally extend the boiling time and use more energy as a result. If you’re only going to make a single cuppa, there’s no need to fill it to the top.

 

An Early Finish

A fully-working oven is great for retaining heat. As such, you can actually switch off your oven in advance of it’s scheduled cooking time expiring, saving energy in the process.

Provided the door remains closed, a good oven will retain its optimal temperature for some time after the oven is switched off, allowing you switch it off five or (in some cases) even ten minutes before your timer reaches zero.

Similarly, electric hobs also retain their heat for a while after they have been switched off. If you’re boiling up a storm on the electric hob, why not switch off the burner a couple of minutes early to save some energy.

 

Behind Closed Doors

A sure-fire way to cool down your oven instantly is to open the door dooring cooking. This is a bad habit for many and one that also has a notable impact on the rate of cooking.

Every time you open the oven door, the temperature can drop dramatically, as much as 25 degrees in a single go. From there, it will naturally need to use more energy to once again reach the temp you want.

To avoid the need to open and re-open your oven continuously to check on the progress of your meal, keep your oven glass clean. This will allow you to peer in to check your food without requiring you to open the door.

Conversely, it’s also important to be hot off the mark when it comes to putting your food in at the start as well. Pre-heating your oven only to return long after it’s reached the chosen temp is not energy efficient.

As such, keep an eye on your oven while it pre-heats so you can load your food as soon as it has reached your desired temp.

 

 

Remember, a dodgy oven can also use notably more energy than a healthy one operating at full capacity. Keep your oven firing on all cylinders with our range of replacement cooker parts. Call now for more info or click the button below.

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For some, cooking is the ultimate way to relax, combining creativity and productivity for a mutually beneficial outcome of exquisite eating.

That being said, that’s not always the case. Not everyone likes to cook and the thought of prepping another meal at the end of long day can be like being sentenced to 100 lines at the end of school.

Worse still, this aversion to cooking can lead to an over-reliance on fast food and takeaways – a hobby that not only hits you in the pocket but also hits you in the waistband too.

If cooking isn’t your forte, fear not because help is at hand. Join us as we explore how to make cooking easier in your home.

 

how to make cooking easier

 

Making Cooking Easier

Sadly, outside of ordering in food from elsewhere, there aren’t many ways around cooking in the home if you want to eat a decent meal. However, there are a few easy methods to help soften the blow. Here are a few of the best ways to make cooking easier in your home.

 

Oven Cooking

While baking and grilling can require a little closer attention, as a rule, there aren’t many cooking methods easier than oven cooking.

Even the notoriously simple stir-fry is trumped by oven cooking in terms of ease. Unlike stir-frying, you don’t even need to be involved or even present while the cooking takes place.

The “set and forget” model of cooking without looking allows you to simply prep your dish and leave it to heat while you get on with other things.

…just don’t forget to return once the time expires!

 

Think Edible Bulk

Cooking your meals in bulk is perhaps the easiest way to eat for the week (or at least for a few days) without having to once again go through the daily rigmarole of meal prep.

Batch cooking is the ultimate kitchen hack for avoiding cooking throughout the week. Simply make enough to cover a number of meals and separate the results into portioned containers.

Tupperware and old takeaway boxes are perfect for portion provision and can even be labelled if you really want to organise yourself. Simply place these in the fridge to be eaten in the next couple of days or, alternatively, place in the freezer to be eaten at a later date.

 

Tools of the Trade

Ever tried juicing an orange with your bare hands? Or peeling a potato with a blunt knife? The results can be frustrating at best and fall short worse than Evel Knievel on an off-day.

As such, having your kitchen pre-stocked with the correct tools for the task at hand is a wise move. Items such as pots and pans are an absolute must, while sharp knives and a chopping board can be just as vital.

From there additional items, like wooden spoons, vegetable peelers and even a good blender can be inherently useful to have around too (a fact you’ll soon realise when you need them and their absent).

For more instrument inspiration, check out our blog on must-have oven accessories for an idea of culinary essentials that may be missing from your kitchen.

 

Wash & Go

One of the very worst parts of cooking is undoubtedly the veritable conveyor belt of washing up that it creates as a result.

A great way to avoid the cataclysmic post-meal shock of the almighty tower of dishes you’ve just made is to get a head-start on the growing stockpile.

For those with a dishwasher, make sure your dishwasher is empty before you start cooking and simply add to the load as you go.

For those without, variably dipping into a sink full of soapy water can help you wash as you go. Items like dishes, chopping boards and cutlery are easy to get on with while the oven is heating up or you’re waiting for water to boil.

Think of it as damage limitation, softening the blow by reducing the number of dishes that remain when you're finally finished cooking.

 

For more tips on how to make cooking easier, why not check out our blog on Oven Cooking Tips? For anything else, drop us a line on 02920 452 510 or get in touch online using the button below.

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Oven cooking is great for a wide variety of purposes, from cake baking to casserole making and everything in between.

However, like most kitchen appliances, there are a few curious culinary foibles that can greatly influence the end result.

To help you achieve oven-baked brilliance in a single bound, we’ve laid out a few handy cooking tricks below.

Read on to ensure your cooking remains red hot without feeling the burn.

 

home cooking tips

 

Shut It

While it may be tempting to regularly check on your cooking throughout its oven residency, try to refrain from repeatedly opening the oven door.

Every time you open the oven, heat escapes the oven and the temperature within it can drop by 25 degrees or more, depending on the amount of time the door remains open.

As a result, this means the oven has to once again heat up to reach the desired temp, ultimately having a knock-on effect on the overall cooking duration.

Meanwhile, certain dishes benefit from a steady/constant cooking temperature – such as cakes, bread and meats – so fluctuations can actively impact the quality of the end-result.

To avoid relying on opening your oven to check on your dish as it cooks, use the oven window to check on its progression.

If your oven window is too dirty to visibly allow such observations, check out our handy blog on cleaning oven glass for complete transparency.

 

Pretty Vacant

While it may seem like a necessary evil at times, overcrowding your oven is a sure-fire way to negatively affect the quality of your cooking. As such, it’s advisable to try and steer clear of this method wherever possible.

Try to leave a couple of inches of space around pans and dishes to allow ample air circulation. This will help to ensure an even bake all around and avoid overcooking/burning one side.

Naturally, overcrowding can be virtually unavoidable if you’re cooking a large dinner for a cast of many, such as holidays and family occasions. If you are faced with catering for an army of hungry mouths, try to schedule your cooking and cook in batches.

Alternatively, it may be worth considering other means of cooking where possible to help free up space. This can be particularly handy when it comes to cooking vegetables, e.g. using the hob for boiling or even the microwave for steaming.

 

Another Level

Did you know that oven rack placement can have a big impact on the way your food cooks? It’s true! In fact, knowing which rack position to use for your corresponding dish can dramatically influence the way it cooks.

As a rule of thumb, the bottom rack is perfect for dishes that cook from the bottom up and require intense hear for a short period of time, making it perfect for items such as pizza.

Meanwhile, the middle is the go-to for anything that requires an even heat all around, making it ideal for anything from lasagne to pasta bakes.

Finally, the top rack provides greater heat from above, with most ovens featuring a grill for such purposes. The top position allows your dish to brown over the surface, which can be great for crusting a pie.

 

Feel the Heat

Ovens can often feature hotspots where the heat is more intense than elsewhere. Conversely, they can also naturally feature areas where the oven is cooler as a result.

If you happen to identify an area of your oven that cooks faster than others, naturally be wary of this when you're placing your foodstuffs. If positioning is unavoidable, rotating your dishes throughout can be a good way to remedy this.

To help identify hot spots and areas of greater heat, cover a baking sheet with shredded coconut and bake. This should give you a clearly visible indication of any areas that provide a more intense heat.

 

 

For more home cooking tips and oven hacks, why not check out our blog? Alternatively, drop us a line on 02920 452 510 today or click the link below to get in touch online now.

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Oven cooking is, more often than not, a vital part of the evening meal-time routine. In fact, you only really realise just how vital it is when it’s out of action and no longer usable.

That being said, there’s a lot more to oven cooking than simply heating up a pizza or thawing frozen chips.

There are a number of oven accessories in particular that can really allow you to use it to its fullest potential.

To help you get the most out of your oven, we’ve listed a handful of must-have oven accessories that’ll have you loving your oven in no time.

 

must have oven accessories

 

Roasting Pans

While it may conjure up images of Sunday chickens and Christmas turkeys gently browning to a mouth-watering gold, the humble roasting pan is far more versatile than you might think.

Due to the superior air circulation, roasting pans are perfect for vegetables too, creating a fantastic even bake for perfectly cooked veg.

The size and depth also make them perfect for creating a jumbo-sized lasagne for social occasions with multiple mouths to feed.

That being said, the roast is tailor-made for meats and poultry, big or small.

Those that come with a roasting rack also have the added benefit of elevating your meat off the base allowing the fat and juice to drip off. Gravy!

 

Cake Trays

An oven essential, particularly when The Great British Bake-Off is on, the humble cake tray is a must for any kitchen-dweller that wants to make the most of their oven beyond the main course.

Cake trays and tins come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as materials; e.g. sandwich pans are perfect for creating layered sponge cakes, like Victoria Sponge.

Meanwhile, springform pans are ideal for softer cake textures, like cheesecakes and tortes, while they can also make for the ideal base for deep-dish pizzas, quiche and savoury pies.

 

Oven Dishes

Typically made of glass, porcelain or steel, oven dishes are the Swiss Army Knife or the baking world.

Handy in a variety of cooking scenarios, these versatile vessels are capable of creating a variety of dishes, from casseroles to pasta bakes.

Another handy perk is that they can be transferred straight from the oven to the table for serving (just make sure you place it on a heat-proof surface).

 

Spare Grill Shelf

When it comes to cooking multiple things at once, a spare oven shelves can be a real life-saver. More accurately, it can be a real meal-saver.

Overcrowding shelves in the hopes squeezing in multiple items to cook simultaneously isn’t smart.

Not only will it result in poor heat circulation for an uneven bake, in the case of cakes and cookies, it can also result in the resulting items merging and sticking together.

A spare shelf can be just the solution, allowing you to spread your cooking over two shelves. Just be sure to rotate to ensure all items are cooked evenly.

 

Oven Thermometer

A must when it comes to cooking your dish to the desired amount, an oven thermometer can be the difference between burnt offerings and bon appetit.

While some ovens come with these built-in, most will not, typically leaving you to rely on the electric thermostat and the accompanying light to gauge the heat level.

Moreover, the built-in oven thermostat can lose its accuracy over time without warning, leaving you hungrily staring at an undercooked meal or cremated carcass.

Hang the thermometer in the centre of the oven on the middle rack for the most accurate reading.

For an even more accurate idea of cooking temp, you may want to invest in a meat/cake thermometer for the perfect result.

 

For more details on oven must-haves and replacement parts, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 02920 452 510 or get in touch via email using the button below.

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