Cooker vs Cooktop vs Hob vs Stove

Solna

New Member
Spanish - Spain
Hi,

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
 
  • Istarion

    Senior Member
    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    We also have the old-fashioned term 'range', for an oil/coal/wood-burning 'stove' in use in a kitchen; somewhat superceded by the brand names 'Aga' and 'Rayburn'.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 :).

    I.
     

    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).
     
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    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hi,

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

    Thank you in advance.

    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.
     
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    Rational_gaze

    Senior Member
    British English
    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!

    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'?
     

    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.
     

    ledge

    New 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'?

    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.
     

    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.
     

    ajscilingo

    New Member
    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.
     

    lwalper

    New Member
    English
    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. >
     
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    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."
     

    Susan Y

    Senior Member
    British 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 .

    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...
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    How would you ask something like "Does your cooker have gas or electric hobs?" if you don't use the word 'hobs'?
    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.
     

    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
     
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    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.
     

    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.
     
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    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    9. stove - a cooking surface, an oven, or a heater
    10. range - a cooking surface or an oven
    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.
     

    Dunno123

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    What about the word hotplate?

    = "a metal surface, usually on a cooker , that can be heated so that you can cook a pan of food on it"

    Is this used interchangeably with hob / cooking ring in British English?
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    What about the word hotplate?

    = "a metal surface, usually on a cooker , that can be heated so that you can cook a pan of food on it"

    Is this used interchangeably with hob / cooking ring in British English?

    No. A hotplate is a small cheap portable device with just one or two burners. Usually electric but can be propane. Typically used in temporary or low end accomodation.

    You might bring one to a college dorm room (probably not allowed anymore,) or find one in a low end rental unit that doesn't have a proper kitchen ( especially if the place was formerly a hotel).

    I understand that BE cooker is the same as AE stove and both include an oven plus at least 4 stove top cooking elements that are called burners or elements in AE. The appliance is not portable and installed semi permanently.

    Now a hotplate has these things and I suppose you could refer to the cooking ring or burner on a hotplate but they are not identical.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    These are a hot plate and a two-burner hot plate in (North?) American English.

    094046803053.jpg

    images.jpeg

    They are generally very inexpensive.

    How would you ask something like "Does your cooker have gas or electric hobs?" if you don't use the word 'hobs'?
    We would skip that entirely.

    "Is your stove gas or electric?"

    As others have said, there are a variety of names to use in the cases where it does need to be mentioned.

    Burners, elements/heating elements (for electric stoves).

    Repair Clinic › Shop-For-Parts › Un...
    Universal Range/Stove/Oven Heating Element Parts | Fast Shipping at Repair ...

    To me, a stove is the entire standalone unit that includes the stovetop burners and the oven. It could also be called a range.

    If someone says something is on the stove, context tells you it's being cooked on the stovetop in a pot or pan. Otherwise, it's in the oven.
     
    Hi,

    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

    Solna, you've gotten some good American replies, so I will just endorse chuchu #4 and Aziza #15. I might add the the British term 'cooker' is popping up here, but with rather different meaning. It's a selfcontained electric pot or pressure cooker for, typically, rice.

    Black & Decker Non-Stick Rice Cooker, 16-Cup | Canadian Tire

    And of course from decades past the "pressure cooker" is pot with sealed lid that depends on an outside heat source, a burner and stove deliver the goods.

    T-fal 92122C 22 quart Pressure Cooker, Small, Silver: Amazon.ca: Home & Kitchen
     

    Dunno123

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    No. A hotplate is a small cheap portable device with just one or two burners. Usually electric but can be propane. Typically used in temporary or low end accomodation.

    You might bring one to a college dorm room (probably not allowed anymore,) or find one in a low end rental unit that doesn't have a proper kitchen ( especially if the place was formerly a hotel).

    I understand that BE cooker is the same as AE stove and both include an oven plus at least 4 stove top cooking elements that are called burners or elements in AE. The appliance is not portable and installed semi permanently.

    Now a hotplate has these things and I suppose you could refer to the cooking ring or burner on a hotplate but they are not identical.
    According to several dictionaries it can also mean "a metal surface, usually on a cooker , that can be heated so that you can cook a pan of food on it". This meaning probably only applies in British English. So if I understand it right, hotplate, hob and cooking ring all mean the exact same thing in British English? Or are there any slight differences?
     

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    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In the UK a cooker is the sort of appliance shown in #25 (although that looks like a rather old-fashioned one).

    But most people have built-in units these days. For example, I have a wall-mounted eye-level electric oven and a separate countertop gas hob with 4 gas rings or burners. If the hob were electric, they would probably be described by the manufacturer as hotplates but by the user as rings. If it were a ceramic or an induction hob, they might be called cooking zones, by the manufacturer at least.
     
    In the UK a cooker is the sort of appliance shown in #25 (although that looks like a rather old-fashioned one).

    But most people have built-in units these days. For example, I have a wall-mounted eye-level electric oven and a separate countertop gas hob with 4 gas rings or burners. If the hob were electric, they would probably be described by the manufacturer as hotplates but by the user as rings. If it were a ceramic or an induction hob, they might be called cooking zones, by the manufacturer at least.

    I can't find, with UK search, any examples of that {"hotplate"}. It would seem an odd usage. 'zones' 'areas' etc. I see commonly in the UK search. A hotplate is a freestanding gadget.

    I did a search for "Hobs, sales, Canada" and it said, "Do you mean "Jobs, sales, Canada?" It's a cooktop here in Canada and in the US.

    "Hobs' you see on Halloween-- somewhat bigger than ordinary goblins, but less evil. Quite prankish, though.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Wow, all the electric stoves we had while I was growing up just required you to grab the element, lift up a little bit on one side, and pull it out - no tools required. Reverse to reinstall. It basically was a plug in. This guy had to disassemble half the stovetop. Maybe newer American stoves are like that, too. I don't know.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    So here, a BE speaker sees a cooker with 4 gas rings. While an AE speaker sees a stove with 4 gas burners. Am I right?

    1619443899471.png
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    English - SSBE Standard British
    Yes, but it's not as clear-cut as that. In BrE, we might say all these:

    A cooker with four gas rings
    A stove with four gas burners
    A cooker with four gas burners
    A stove with four gas rings

    Just because Americans don't call it a 'cooker' doesn't mean that British people have to do so: we also say 'stove'. Likewise with 'burner' and 'ring'.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In American English this is the only one I would expect.

    - A stove with four gas burners.

    On electric stoves they are still called burners. Technically, they might be called heating elements.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Nothing particularly. Maybe something like this, if I didn't know and had to guess:


    314pKzsNG4L._AC_SY1000_.jpg



    Honestly, it sounds like something a small child would say who didn't know the right word. But I know there are AE words that sound the same way in reverse to BE speakers. So no hard feelings.
     
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    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    No. A hotplate is a small cheap portable device with just one or two burners. Usually electric but can be propane. Typically used in temporary or low end accomodation.

    You might bring one to a college dorm room (probably not allowed anymore,) or find one in a low end rental unit that doesn't have a proper kitchen ( especially if the place was formerly a hotel).

    I understand that BE cooker is the same as AE stove and both include an oven plus at least 4 stove top cooking elements that are called burners or elements in AE. The appliance is not portable and installed semi permanently.

    Now a hotplate has these things and I suppose you could refer to the cooking ring or burner on a hotplate but they are not identical.
    I agree with most of this.

    If you ever eat a buffet breakfast at a good hotel, they will frequently cook omelets to order on a one or two burner electric or gas hot plate. These may be inexpensive, but mainly because there is not much too them. The commercial versions are still relatively cheap (typically under $100.00 for a two burner hot plate.)

    Induction hot plates tend to cost more and I see commercial versions for about $300.00 for a single burner.

    My stove top failed and I got a $100.00 version single burner induction top. It is safer to use and I replaced my regular stove stop with an induction unit. These do cost more, but are more efficient and safer.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Looks like some Britons call a cooker a burner.

    View attachment 56447

    No. We use "burner" and "ring" more or less interchangeably for individual positions in a gas hob ("ring" is also used for electric cookers, but I don't know that these are ever called "burners"). I have no idea why the caption uses "burner" instead of "hob", which is the obvious word to use.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    When I hear "hob" I think of a tool for machining steel.

    I did look up the origin of "hob" and the information out there is from Quora and Wiki, and that is sometimes suspect.

    Lexico describes it as a flat plate used in fireplaces as a heated surface.

    HOB | Definition of HOB by Oxford Dictionary on Lexico.com also meaning of HOB

    hob1​

    Pronunciation /häb/ /hɑb/​

    Translate hob into Spanish

    noun​


    • 1A flat metal shelf at the side or back of a fireplace, having its surface level with the top of the grate and used especially for heating pans.
      ‘It began to respond to the demands of Britain's burgeoning towns and cities for cast iron - for rainwater goods, street furniture, fireplaces, hobs and grates and all manner of other items.’

      1. 1.1British A cooking appliance, or the flat top part of a stove, with hotplates or burners.
    • 2A machine tool used for cutting gears or screw threads.
      ‘The hob is composed of cutter blades and a hob head.’
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    did look up the origin of "hob" and the information out there is from Quora and Wiki, and that is sometimes suspect.
    OED says "Origin obscure: perhaps more words than one." It also cross-references to "hub".

    The earliest meaning (with the earliest quote from 1511 is this):
    a. (Formerly also hub.) In a fireplace: the part of the casing having a surface level with the top of the grate.In its simplest form it appears to have been a boss or mass of clay behind the fire, the ‘back of the chimney’ or ‘grate’; afterwards, the brick or stone back and sides of a grate; now, usually, the iron-plated sides of a small grate, on which things may be set to warm.

    Here is an old hob:
    1619454889692.png


    The use of "hob" to mean a peg or pin is equally old, and was (and apparently still is) used in games such as quoits.
     
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