All Cooks At Their Stations

Expert advice from Kate Watson-Smyth

We Brits live in the smallest houses in Europe and space is at a premium for all of us. The Magnet innovations team recognised that and came up with a way to address the issue - a Cook Station – a hob with the three rings in a row rather than the traditional square shape.

This is a fantastic space-saving idea and one that I am seriously considering for my own kitchen. Traditional four burner hobs fit in a standard 60cm depth worktop. Some have five burners, which will be the same depth but slightly wider.

But what if the hob was only 30cm deep? If the burners were arranged in a straight line? This would give you space in front to do the prepping, chopping, peeling. You can do everything you need in front of it and just throw it into the pan, rather than needing lots of space at the side.

Alternatively, you can sit this hob towards the front of the worktop and use the space at the back to store your oil, spices and cooking utensils. You could even free up a cupboard by hanging some pans high on the wall at the back. The 30cm gap would mean they wouldn’t get splashed and you would still have space for a jar full of wooden spoons and other useful tools behind the hob and under the pans. Bare in mind that you should allow 55mm space behind the Cook Station to tolerate any residual heat.

I am thinking of a hob like this for my kitchen island as my children like to use it as a breakfast bar and my traditional hob means that the smaller one has less room as he has the cooking end. Installing a long, thin version would give him more room and I would still be able to prep at the side.

And, in a handy hint to encourage the rest of the family to help out, this arrangement means that two of you can stand and cook side by side too.

Space-saving and family cooking time as well, what more could you want?