What is a hob element and why is it important?

A hob element is one of the most important components of your cooker as this is the part of your appliance which produces the heat that you need to cook your food. The typical hob element is a ribbon, coil or strip of wire that produces heat similar to that of a lamp filament. It produces this heat through an electric current which flows through the wire, making it glow red hot and radiate heat in all directions. So, if your hob element becomes damaged or stops working completely, your hob will not be able to produce the heat needed to cook your food. Therefore, this becomes a pretty crucial part of your whole appliance.


Difference types of elements

  • Solid Hotplates – This is the hob element that most people will be familiar with. In essence, these are the contemporary take on the older radiant rings (which we’ll cover below), with a simple element found beneath a solid metal plate which encases the element itself. In the past, this type of hob element was slow to heat up and retained a lot of heat once you’d turned it off. Nowadays they are a lot better as they regulate their temperature faster than before and the cost to replace them has decreased dramatically due to their popularity. Despite these improvements however, they retain some disadvantages in comparisons to other types of hob elements such as their appearance and maintenance. After the first use they will start to discolour and will require cleaning in order to prevent the black metal cooking surface from rusting and pitting. As mentioned, the price of replacing this type of hob element had reduced significantly, so if they were to become faulty or broken, they would not cost much to replace.

  • Ceramic Elements – The ceramic hob elements that you find today are not much different from the ones that were originally available in the 1970’s. Here you find the open element sitting in a unique housing under a ceramic glass surface. The heat exerted from the element rises through the glass and heats up whatever is sat above it. These types of elements heat up faster than the above solid hotplate elements but not as fast as either gas or induction hob elements, which we’ll also look at. These are a more ideal option if you do not want to splash out on an induction hob, with cleaning and maintenance a lot easier. The cost of replacing this type of hob element can vary from cheap to very expensive as some may be bespoke to particular appliances.



  • Induction Elements – These types of hob elements are the latest within the domestic hob and cooker industry and as a result, are very good! Induction elements are similar to that of ceramic elements in terms of cleaning and maintenance in that they require minimal effort as the hob itself doesn’t get too hot due to there being no direct heat transfer from the element through the glass. Here, the induction element below the ceramic glass passes heat onto the pot or pan that sits above it using a magnetic field. As a result, the pot or pan that’s used needs to have iron content in them in order to get heated up. This increases the safety of using this form of hob element as the heat that is transferred from the element to the surface is reduced as it is only dispersed to the surface area of whatever is sat above it. As well as being safer, they are faster and more controllable than other hob elements and are also more energy efficient. The only disadvantages that come with induction elements are that they are not just costly to purchase, but costly to replace and repair. Also, in some cases, due to the presence of a strong magnetic field, it may be dangerous for any individuals with an electrical implant such as a pacemaker.

  • Radiant Rings – These are similar to the solid hotplate elements above, the only difference being they are not housed in solid metal plate and are instead exposed. Apart from the USA and a few other areas of the world, this form of hob element is more or less obsolete due to the difficulty involved with cleaning as a result of hob size requirements. In comparison to the previously mentioned hob elements, radiant rings are extremely simple, in that the heating element heats up and directly transfers heat to the pot or pan sat above it and are fairly cheap. The only issues with these are that they are not very energy efficient and are not particularly pleasing on the eye.


What to do if your element needs replacing?

If you use any of these types of hobs and your element needs replacing due to it being faulty or broken completely, then there is no need to worry as here at Cooker Spare Parts, we supply an extensive range of quality replacement hob elements. Whether you are looking for genuine like-for-like replacements, or high-quality alternatives, we are sure to have what you need! To view our collection of replacement hob elements, visit our Hob Rings and Hob Elements page and either search via manufacturer or keyword.

If you're still struggling to find the right hob element for your oven, you can always give us a call on 02920 452 510 or visit our contact page – where our customer service team will be happy to help you out!