Product Type: Baumatic hobs
Newest Review: ... consumption costs are less on a more expensive appliance but were talking pennies or pounds per year. The beauty of a touch control ho... more
Hob with no knobs
Member Name: best_deal_hunter
Advantages: Hyperspeed, sleek, touch controls
Disadvantages: Touch controls take some getting used to
As anyone who has read one of my recent 'appliance' type reviews will know, we have recently had a new kitchen put in, and have been busy kitting it out, as all our appliances were pretty well at death's door.
This then is a review of my new hob - the Baumatic BHC605 - and an overview of how we chose this particular little beauty (yes, I like it!)
~~~ Choosing a type of hob ~~~
This may be stating the obvious, but if you're on the lookout for a new hob, a major decision is hob type. It seemed to us that the three popular types to consider were gas, induction and ceramic. In the end, for us this decision was straightforward. Although we have gas to the house, it's not currently plumbed to the kitchen, and on consideration that was one hassle I didn't want, so gas was crossed off the list. Induction hobs looked fantastic, but they were a) too pricey for our budget and b) would have meant replacing all our pans (which are good, expensive ones). So, ceramic it was then.
~~~ Frame or no frame? ~~~
Some ceramic hobs we looked at came with a silver 'frame' like surround, and some were just the simple square of black glass. We went for the no-frame option - partly because I think it looks sleeker, and partly because I seem to make a right mess when I cook, and the way I see it is no frame means fewer crannies for those grungy gungy bits to get stuck in.
~~~ Knobs or no knobs? ~~~
I'm talking about control knobs or touch controls. I must admit I was torn here. The hobs with knobs are cheaper and easy to use, but we chose the no-knobs version because it has more surface space (obviously, no knobs in the way!), looks sleeker, and, you guessed it, has fewer crannies for those grungy gungy bits to get stuck in (yes, that's what swung it).
~~~ Which make to choose? ~~~
Well, as I mentioned when reviewing my dishwasher, we were looking round a 'sell to the trade' appliance showroom and saw quite a lot of Baumatic appliances, so I thought they would be worth checking out. I must admit I'd never previously had any experience with them, but the guy in the shop recommended them as a quality make (even though we were clearly just browsing at this point). He particularly pointed out that the Baumatic hobs tended to come with 'hyperspeed' (which I'll come on to later) and gave us a very helpful tip to buy a hood slightly wider than the hob (i.e. 60cm hob is best with a 70cm hood). This is a 60cm hob.
In the process of searching online for good prices, I actually discovered that on Baumatic's own website there is a section where they sell off discontinued lines - very well worth a look - I found a few great deals on here. I did actually order my hob from there, but then was told they had run out of the discontinued ones and I could have the new version for the same price. Definitely a happy bunny at that news!
~~~ Functions and features ~~~
The hob has four 'rings' - two larger, two smaller. All four have 'hyperspeed' - this basically means they heat up much more quickly. I have been delighted with this feature - it definitely gives much better heat control.
There is an on/off 'button' to turn the hob on or off. Each 'ring' has two 'buttons' - one to increase the heat and one to decrease. The settings go from 1 to 9 - sadly none go to 11 (sorry, bit of a Spinal Tap fan!) There is a timer 'button' - I've never used this but I understand it can be set to turn a ring off after a certain time. There is also a 'lock' function - it seems to be a child-proofing kind of control.
When a ring is on, if you move the pan off, the ring glows red so you know it is still on.
When a ring has been turned off, the setting indicator shows as H (for HOT?) while there is still residual heat. This is very handy to remind you not to put something plastic or your hand on it.
~~~ Opinion ~~~
Well, the touch controls have been interesting, to say the least. They certainly take a bit of getting used to. You have to get the pressure right (don't press too hard) and it can be a bit tricky with wet hands. We did resort to turning the whole thing off at the wall in frustration on a couple of occasions in the early days, but it really is just a matter of getting used to it. The controls can get a little bit hot too, mostly when the hob's been on for a while - nothing too bad though. The other fun thing is you do have to be careful when wiping it down - it is all too easy to switch it on inadvertently!
I'm not even deducting any stars for those things, as I do think all this is probably touch controls in general and not just this particular model. I've heard similar stories from other people with different hobs, but it's definitely something to bear in mind before you choose.
The hob is very easy to clean - no nasty grungy gungy bits getting stuck anywhere! A quick wipe down is often enough - otherwise a bit of Hob Brite and Bob's your uncle!
Overall, I love the performance, (especially the hyperspeed), the safety features and the sleek looks - an absolute bargain, available at a really good price (cheapest I can see at the moment is an amazing £165) and I would highly recommend.
Summary: One of the best deals out there for ceramic hobs
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