Kitchen paraphernalia

Kitchen paraphernalia

Kitchen paraphernalia

Traditional stoves have come a long way, transforming into the multiple burner hobs; and gone are the days of soot-filled chimneys; gone too are exhaust fans. Chimneys, now in a new avatar, are rugged, stylish hoods. The multiple burners and flame regulation of the hob ensure a safe and quick cooking time, while the chimney takes care of immediately flushing out the fumes and odours. Greasy fumes often leave ugly impressions over tiles, ceiling and cabinetry. All these are prevented by chimneys, as they immediately suck the fumes away, helping keep the kitchen surfaces grease-free and low on maintenance.

Modified construction
Hob: It being a better version of the conventional cooking stove/cooktop, a hob has auto ignition, graded brass burners fitted with multiple flame rings and knobs to regulate the flame evenly over a range of simmer to intense heat. Some models are digitised and come with safety features like flame failure device to cut off gas supply, in case the flame goes off accidentally.

A hob is built-in to fit into a slot on the kitchen counter, projecting slightly above, and is immovable. Cast as a single piece in stainless steel or tempered glass, it is flat and sealed with a gasket. A cooking range is versatile, integrating a hob and an oven.

Chimney: Not only do modern chimneys get rid of fumes, but are also aesthetically appealing. At the heart of the chimney are the suction motor and grease filters. Being placed directly above the hob, the hot fumes rising up are directed into the chimney by the
extraction skirt.

Chimneys are available in two types — ducted (extracting) or ductless (recycling). A ducted type chimney makes use of a metallic flex flue (piping) to expel the hot air. The grease condenses on the baffle plates (filter plates) while the exhaust is directed to the duct to be let out. With good planning and suitable plumbing, the duct type chimneys are more efficient, rugged and popular and keep the kitchen cool.

When space is a constraint, a ductless chimney is used which incorporates grease trapping filters and additional activated charcoal filters to purify the hot air. However, in such a chimney filtered air recirculates back to the kitchen. With advancement in technology, we now have designer pieces and fully automated cooking ranges and chimneys, which can be remote controlled.

Make the right choice
Take note of your cooking needs before choosing a hob/cooking range. Hobs are available in two to six burners with a standard width of two feet or three feet; hybrid cooktops are combination of electric, gas and induction surfaces. While choosing a chimney, a golden rule to follow is that the chimney width should be equal to or more than the hob width, but never smaller. This ensures optimum extraction of fumes. The ideal height of chimney above the hob is between three and four feet for efficient functioning.

Easy maintenance
Easy to maintain hob burners are removable along with the heat grids, and can be cleaned easily using warm water and soap or in the dishwasher. Spills are confined to the base plate, making it a localised job. Glass tops just need wiping. The baffle plates of the chimney are often made of aluminium or stainless steel. These too can be cleaned by soaking in a tub of warm soapy water and giving a firm brush down or a run in the dishwasher. The external hood of the chimney has to be wiped clean regularly, to keep dust and grime away. Make sure the lamp on the chimney is free of grease to facilitate good lighting around the cooking area. If using a ductless chimney, replace the charcoal filters periodically.

Some safety measures
Never venture to repair a hob or chimney yourself.

Always take the help of service personnel.

Make sure the vent of the chimney is diverted to the exterior of the building and away from the windows. Else, fumes may find their way back in with a draught of air.

Also, ensure that the duct is well sealed at the opening to prevent pests from entering the pipe.

With these pointers in mind, enjoy the untiring contribution of the mandatory pair of the hob and chimney in your kitchen.