Determining whether you have a gas hob or a gas stove is important. If you’re not sure what are the differences between a gas hob and a gas stove?I’ll identify the differences today so you can use your kitchen more efficiently.
The differences between a gas hob and a gas stove are:
- Hobs are built into the counter while stoves can be freestanding
- Stoves are usually larger, especially a range
- Hobs create a neater look compared to a stove
- Some hobs are portable, stoves usually are not
- Stoves cost more than hobs
In this guide, I’ll first define hobs separately from stoves so you’re clear on which is which. Then I’ll delve further into the differences. I’ll even have some tips to help you buy a hob or stove, so make sure you check it out!
What Is a Gas Hob?
Depending on which part of the world you reside in, hobs are known by different names. In the UK, it’s not uncommon to refer to a stove as a hob (yes, that’s confusing, I know). Hobs are sometimes also called hearths like a fireplace.
The former definition is more accurate than the latter, although neither is quite right.
A hob is a cooktop surface that’s installed about level with your kitchen countertop. In that regard, a hob is like a stove, but all there is to a hob is the flat cooking surface with burners. It doesn’t include an oven, as a hob is not usually part of a range.
Hobs come in many materials, from sleek, single-piece glass hobs to traditional hobs with metal grilles over the burners. Depending on the size of the hob, yours might include two burners, four, six, or more.
Since your hob is powered by gas, it has a gas-powered pilot light. (The other option is electric, FYI.) The pilot light is located on one of the burner’s sides.
Upon turning on the burner adjacent to the pilot light, a spark or tiny flame ignites a mixture of gas and oxygen. The mixture travels through the burner holes to produce heat at the rate you need it for cooking.
As I’ve previously talked about here on Holidays in the Kitchen, the higher you turn the knobs on a stovetop such as on a gas hob, the bigger the flame created by the pilot light. That will subsequently improve the air and gas flow rate for stronger heat.
What Is a Gas Stove?
In a previous article, I detailed the differences between stoves and ovens extensively, so this section will be a recap of how gas stoves operate.
The burner assembly in your gas stove connects to a gas valve. That gas valve is part of your main gas line.
By turning on a knob on your gas stove, its intake valve switches to an open position. This allows gas to travel through a pipe in the stove that starts out wide then gets skinnier towards the center. The name of this pipe is the venturi tube.
Gas enters easily through the large opening of the venturi tube. When the tube narrows, this increases the pressure on the gas. On the other end of the venturi tube, it’s wider, and there’s a tiny air hole there for the gas to travel through.
This causes the pressure created by the center of the venturi tube to exit. Oxygen is also pulled into the small air hole on the other end of the venturi tube. The oxygen can then combine with gas to create a combustible mixture.
As the oxygen and gas comingle, the two travel to the burner. When you turn the burner on, the same practice as described in the last section applies.
What Are the Differences Between a Gas Hob and a Gas Stove?
Now that you understand how gas hobs and gas stoves work, let’s delve into the differences between the two cooking appliances per the intro.
Built-in vs. Freestanding
When it comes to installing a stove, you have options. You can get your cooktop built-in, or you can buy a freestanding stove.
If it’s the latter, then your stove usually includes an oven as well. The combination of the two appliances is known as a range.
Using a range in your kitchen simplifies your cooking. Rather than go from one side of your kitchen and back again to access the stove and then the oven, everything is in the same place.
As I’ve mentioned before, using an oven and stove at the same time can get quite hot. You have to take heed when you’re around the cooking surfaces.
You must also keep the two appliances within the same temperature range of between 50- and 100-degrees Fahrenheit. The extra heat from the oven can cause your stovetop foods to cook faster, and odors can be imparted from one meal to another.
Hobs are not freestanding units. Instead, they’re always built into your kitchen counter. Both the installation of a gas hob and a gas oven would require a part of your countertop to be removed for the appliance.
Assuming that your stove is freestanding, it’s going to majorly outsize a gas hob. Your stove will naturally weigh a lot more as well.
If you have a small kitchen, a gas stove can quickly overwhelm the space. Gas hobs, by comparison, are level with your countertop and can create the illusion of more space.
For those in apartments, small condos, and college dorms especially, anything that makes your kitchen look or feel larger is preferable.
Another added benefit of a hob is that some models are portable. Rather than commit to using your hob in any one section of your kitchen, you can move it to your heart’s content.
Stoves–gas, electric, or otherwise–are not nearly as portable.
Admittedly, portable hobs aren’t always gas hobs, but rather, induction hobs. Induction cooking relies on electricity to generate enough heat to cook your meals.
Finally, there’s the matter of price. A gas stove that’s 5.3 cubic feet might cost around $500 up to $3,000 depending on whether you add an oven as well as the size of the range.
Compare that to what you’d pay to own your very own gas-powered kitchen hob. Prices start as low as $65 and can cost $85 and up.
Which Is Right for You, a Gas Hob or a Gas Stove?
The information to this point has certainly been helpful, but you’re just not sure whether you want a gas hob or a gas stove.
Either way, you’re making a great choice that will streamline and simplify your cooking.
If your budget is on the smaller side, I’d recommend a gas hob. A hob will cost you less several hundred dollars less than a stove.
Keep in mind that you will have to pay for installation charges and labor fees, as the costs in the last section are just for the appliance itself.
Even still, the overall cost of getting a hob installed will be lower.
Another factor to keep in mind is how much space you have in the kitchen. If your kitchen is already on the smaller side, then installing a standalone stove or a range can take up all the available space in a room, as I talked about.
A hob replaces part of your countertop, but it isn’t a standalone unit, so it’s much less of a space hog.
Tips for Buying a Gas Hob or Stove
I hope the last section helped you decide whether a gas hob or gas stove is the best choice for your home. Now that you’re gearing up to make a purchasing decision, be sure to read these helpful tips!
Set Your Budget
If you’ve been planning your kitchen remodel for a while, then you might have been saving for just as long.
Perhaps you’re more of a spur-of-the-moment person, so you’re going to dip into your rainy-day fund for your new gas hob or stove.
Either way, only you know how much money you can afford to set aside for a new appliance. Don’t forget to factor in the extra costs associated with buying a gas hob or stove such as taxes, shipping, installation, and labor fees.
Take Some Measurements
How much room in your kitchen do you have for a new gas stove or hob? To answer that, you need to get your measuring tape out and calculate the measurements of your current kitchen appliances.
You can’t buy a hob or stove that’s bigger than your current appliance unless you plan to have more of your counter removed. This will be an additional expense that can significantly ramp up your overall project costs.
Decide Which Features Are Must-Haves
With your budget determined, it’s time to select your ideal hob or stove. How many burners does it have?
Is it glass or metal? Do you want smart features such as Internet connectivity so you can command your hob or stove from your smartphone?
As you browse through the multitude of features available in today’s gas hobs and stoves, organize them into two categories. The first category is your must-haves, which are the features you do not want to go without.
The second category includes your nice-to-haves. You don’t need these features to get by, but if you can afford them, you’d like to have them.
You know what you want and how much money you can spend, so you can start researching.
You might already have an affinity to a certain brand if you’ve used their appliances for years and you’ve had good experiences.
Perhaps you don’t like the current brand of kitchen appliances you have and you’re looking to make a switch.
Either way, you want to have several brands on your shortlist in case your top brand isn’t available.
Compare Prices & Features Online
How much does one gas hob cost compared to another, and which gas stove is within your price range? You can easily glean this information by researching online. I again caution you to remember the extra fees associated with buying an appliance.
While purchasing online is perfectly fine with most of us, I have friends that need to touch and feel any appliance they intend on purchasing prior to paying for it. While, I’m not one of those people I do think there’s something nice and personal when you’re able to open a stove or twist the burners on a hob (even if they don’t work on the store model) so you can get a feel for your new appliance before adding it to the mix in your kitchen.
Make Your Purchase
By this point, you should feel confident enough to purchase your gas hob or stove. Schedule the installation and get excited about all the great cooking you’re soon going to do!