Cooker vs Cooktop vs Hob vs Stove

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Solna, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Solna New Member

    Stockholm, Sweden
    Spanish - Spain

    I am confuse when it comes to the terms:
    • Cooker
    • Cooktop
    • Hob
    • Stove
    Does it matter if the product is installed in a motorhome or in a boat? Do we use specific names for galley equipment in boats, , i.e. stoves vs cookers?

    Thank you in advance
  2. Istarion Senior Member

    Paris, France
    British English
    I can only speak reliably for BE, and I believe there are significant differences between AE and BE as far as these terms are concerned :(.

    In BE, a 'cooker' is a general word for either an oven with gas/electric rings on top, or a set of cooking rings installed on a kitchen surface.

    A 'cooktop' is I think a more american term for cooking rings installed on a work surface, though it would be understood in BE.

    A 'hob' is a somewhat demoded (my spellchecker says that's not a word, but I'm going to pretend it is :D) term for a set of gas/electric rings on either a surface or on top of an oven unit.

    As you suggest, a stove is the word we'd use for the galley equipment on a boat, and also for more basic (often solid fuel-burning) cooking appliances such as you might find in a log cabin.

    We also have the old-fashioned term 'range', for an oil/coal/wood-burning 'stove' in use in a kitchen; somewhat superceded by the brand names 'Aga' and 'Rayburn'. These stoves tend to be larger than an ordinary oven, and incorporate various ovens, 'cooktops' (I'm not really comfortable using that word) and often water heating systems (for central heating and plumbing).

    Hope some of that made some sense.

    I'm still unclear and unsure about the word 'cooktop' which isn't really used in my part of the country/world, so you should seek another opinion on that :).

  3. winklepicker

    winklepicker Senior Member

    English (UK)
    Maybe it's a difference between northern UK and southern :))) but I have a slightly different take on this.

    'Hob' is not demoded where I come from - and it certainly IS a word!

    'Cooker' to me means primarily a combination oven/hob - maybe as a free-standing unit.

    Otherwise I concur - and likewise await AmE clarification on the cooktop issue (completely new word to me).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2009
  4. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Welcome, Solna.

    Now that you have been inundated with BE (British English) replies, I'll offer an AE (American English) perspective.

    Cooker: it would be understood, but isn't used much. It would probably be taken to mean some kind of electric cooking device, different from a stove.

    Cooktop: It is flat, glass or ceramic, and has an electric heating element under it. It is ususally part of a built-in countertop cooking area in a modern kitchen, separate from the oven, or it is part of the stove-top array of cooking areas, with an oven underneath.

    Hob: strictly BE, and not known to most AE speakers

    Stove: Electric, gas, or wood fired. This is a common term for things used to cook in the kitchens of homes, restaurants, boats, campers, planes, etc.

    Range: A little bit dated, but still in widespread use. You will hear gas range and electric range in AE. Most often this refers to an appliance with cooking rings on top and one or more ovens and broilers underneath.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
  5. cycloneviv

    cycloneviv Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English - Australia
  6. Rational_gaze Senior Member

    British English
    Like Istarion, I'm in Yorkshire, and the word is very much still in use here!

    How would you ask something like "Does your cooker have gas or electric hobs?" if you don't use the word 'hobs'?
  7. Argyle101 New Member

    Australian English
    Hi I am in Australia & only hear the word Hob when an English Home show is on, I believe it is an English saying for a Cooktop as a lot of Australians call a Vacuum Cleaner a Hover after the Brand name which was most popular in that area.
  8. ledge New Member

    British English
    I'm from the Devon and hob is commonly used to describe the rings part of a cooker. Therefore you can say "the pan is on the hob and the dish is in the oven". Overall I call it a cooker.
  9. liliput

    liliput Senior Member

    U.K. English
    I agree with most of the other Brits:

    A hob is the part with the rings, whether it be gas, electric, ceramic or whatever. The word is very much in use in my part of the UK too.
    A cooker contains both oven and hob (and probably a grill too).

    I'm not familiar with the word cooktop - but I would guess it meant the same as hob.

    A stove would almost certainly imply some sort of wood-burning heating or cooking device.
  10. ajscilingo New Member

    Chicago, IL, USA
    American English
    I'm an American and I don't use really use the word cooktop, I've heard it, but just don't really use it. Americans, at least where I live, use Stove or Range whether it be a house, boat or otherwise, to collectively refer to the coils used to heat water / cook.
  11. lwalper New Member

    As an American I must say that the word "hob" has most certainly fallen out of favor. The "hot spot" on the cooking surface has always been known to me as the "eye" of the stove (for the past 50 years that I can recall).

    < Non-language question removed. >
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2015
  12. Sarapeggy New Member

    American English
    Cooker: Not really used in the united states, but to us it would mean something other than an Oven/Stove like a toaster oven (small appliance) or something.

    Cooktop: Also called a stovetop or "range"(old fashioned). Commonly used to refer to the workspace above the Oven/Stove, where the burners are. Burners are the coils that heat up pans and such. It is different from the stove top, and would be used in a sentence like "Watch out, that burners hot!" Indicating a specific part of the stovetop.

    Hob: I don't know what that is.

    Stove: An oven where you put baking items inside, underneath the stovetop. (Stove and oven are interchangeable and both are used a lot). Used in a sentence like "I just put a turkey in the oven an hour ago."
  13. Susan Y Senior Member

    British English
    Sorry, Argyle, I disagree! In Australia (and New Zealand) hob and cooktop are often used interchangeably. An example from the current Harvey Norman (appliance retailers) catalogue:

    Heading: Ariston 60cm Induction Cooktop

    Text: The Ariston 60cm Induction Hob features 4 cooking zones...
  14. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    In AE those are called burners.

    Stove (sometimes cookstove, to distinguish it from a stove used to heat a house) and range both refer to the entire unit - the burners, the oven and whatever else is part of it. I grew up calling them "stoves," but they're called "ranges" at the store where I work. I agree that a cooktop is a separate cooking unit set into a counter.
  15. AzizaCloud New Member

    American English
    Standard English, as spoken in North America:
    major appliances - ovens, stoves, washing machines, dryers, washer/dryers, freezers, refrigerators
    white goods - until the 1950s, mass-produced "modern" appliances were almost always painted white, so people called them white goods.

    1. cooking zone - a place on a cooking surface which is often round or oblong, and onto which pots and pans are placed for heating, sauteeing, pan frying, and the like
    2. burner - a cooking zone which provides direct heat, and is usually round. This term would not apply well to induction "burners", since they don't provide direct heat
    3. eye - a cooking zone which is usually round.
    4. coils - a cooking zone which employs electric coils.

    5. cooktop or stovetop - a flat surface which is usually rectangular and which usually has at least four cooking zones. Typically, there will be one of the following combinations: four electric coil burners, four or five open gas burners, four or five sealed gas burners, four or five glass-ceramic areas with gas burners underneath each, four or five wood burners (especially on old or old-fashioned cast iron stoves), or four or five induction cooking zones.

    6. oven - an appliance with an open cavity into which bakeware and cookware (but usually not pans) are placed. The appliance may include a cooking surface, such as a cooktop.
    7. standalone oven - an oven which does not include a cooking surface
    8. wall oven - an standalone oven which is built into a wall
    9. stove - a cooking surface, an oven, or a heater
    10. range - a cooking surface or an oven
    11. hob - not in usage, but it is likely to be understood to mean "cooking surface" or "cooktop"
    12. cooker - not in wide usage, but it is likely to be understood as a small appliance, rather than a major appliance
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  16. Jadzeamay New Member

    American English
    Here in the US a true Cooktop, which I have, is just that. It's a built in cooking surface which can have as many as 6 different burners. It's not free standing like a range and has wall ovens rather than a built in oven. It can as mine does, have an area with a slide out shelf for pots and pans.
  17. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    I agree with Jadzeamay with what a ‘cooktop’ is. I have one that is separate from the stove. Mine has 4 ‘elements’ or burners. ‘Hob’ is not a word common in Australia. The few times I did hear it, it came with an English accent.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  18. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    To me, both terms are used for a freestanding unit -- gas, electric, or wood-fired -- which contains both an oven and a hob. It can be called a cookstove to distinguish it from a stove primarily used for heating.

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