Perplexed with the thought of choosing the right cooktop to suit your kitchen? This HomeQuicks article will help you choose one that will go well with your kitchen décor.
Did You Know?
The Copeman Electric Stove, also called the fireless cooker, was the first electric stove patented by Lloyd Groff Copeman in 1912.
When in the kitchen, you ought to be comfortable cooking your favorite dishes. Which is why, it is essential to have a cooktop that you are comfortable working with. From two burners to four burners and cooktops with integrated ovens, they are the most basic utility that every kitchen needs. While many prefer a gas stove as it provides greater control over the heat levels, some prefer induction and electrical cooktops for their ability to cook food evenly.
From the style-conscious who will choose the sleek induction cooktops to the traditional who will stick to the humble gas stoves, there is one for every homeowner. Besides, you can always opt for a combination of cooktops to make things easier. Given below are the different types of cooktops and the subsequent benefits of each type.
Types of Cooktops
» As the name suggests, this type of cooking range works on natural gas supply.
» It is known to provide instant heat at a constant temperature besides providing you with more control over the temperature of the burner.
» A gas cooktop generally comes equipped with different-sized burners that cater to different power levels or BTUs (British Thermal Units) so that you can simmer as well as use the high flame to make large dishes.
» Your best bet is one that features a pilotless ignition and upswept cooktops that enable easy cleaning.
The Best: Bosch 800 Series NGM8054UC (gas cooktop – 30″ – stainless steel)
A popular favorite among most, an electric cooktop allows you to choose from a variety of heating materials.
» Electric cooktops have heating elements like coils, ceramic disks, and radiant systems that provide a uniform cooking experience.
» The modern models are sleek and cook evenly, making them ideal for both baking and roasting.
» Cooktops with coil and hotplate elements are your best bet if you are looking at an economical choice.
» Electric coil cooktops have four or more burners with drip bowls to catch food or spills, and they can be used with all types of cookware.
The Best: Kenmore 90212
» Induction cooktops come equipped with a copper coil located below the surface that creates an electromagnetic field as a response to an electric current.
» They use magnetic fields that heat only the cookware, leaving the surface cold to touch.
» These cooktops heat up quickly and are highly energy-efficient.
» They are not only easy to clean, but also relatively safer as they transfer heat directly to the cooking surface.
» It looks stylish, sleek, and is good for those with small kids, but the downside is that it is relatively costly and complicated to repair or even replace.
The Best: Kenmore 43800
» Unlike the electric coil cooktop, this variety comes with a smooth surface. It has a ceramic surface with a heating element placed directly below the surface.
» The smooth surface makes it easier to clean spills and drips post cooking.
» The radiant heat elements built into the surface also help in cooking not just quickly but also evenly.
» An added benefit of installing electric smooth surfaces is that it heats up and cools down quicker than the other models, thus, giving you instant heat to cook food with ease.
A variant in this is the halogen cooktop which has a ceramic base but uses halogen bulbs to heat food instead of a heating element placed below the surface. It uses radiation energy to heat the ceramic surface, which, in turn, heats the food placed on it.
The Best: LG LCE3081ST
» Modular cooktops are versatile, allowing the user to switch between the traditional heating elements and the griddle, thus, allowing to experiment with a variety of cooking styles.
» They can accommodate gas or electric heating elements and work well with almost all cooking accessories like grills, woks, griddles, and deep fryers.
» Modular kitchen ranges come with lids that cover open bays to give you a sleek-looking kitchen when not in use.
The Best: GE Select-Top 30″ Modular Downdraft Cooktop JP389
Things to Consider
Style and Design
Cooktops come in either heavy-duty stainless steel or elegant yet highly engineered glass-ceramic that are built to last. You can choose between a range top or a stove top―the difference being that a range top has an integrated oven which saves space, while with a stove top, you can opt for a separate oven.
Also, when it comes to the design, a good cooktop will have a surface that is easy to clean without any dirt traps while you are cooking―an example being induction cooktops. Apart from this, a good cooktop will have easy-to-read temperature control markings on it.
Cooktops come in a variety of sizes, from smaller two burners to elaborate six to eight burners. Make sure you measure your kitchen counter as well as the cooktop before you make a purchase. There is no point in investing a large cooktop with extra burners when you do not see yourself utilizing it on a regular basis.
Weigh Your Options
While you may be tempted to buy an induction cooktop that will enhance the look of the kitchen, remember that induction cooktops are compatible only with pots and pans with a magnetic surface. However, if you wish to save on time, then it’s a good option. On the other hand, electric and gas cooktops are not only easy to maintain, but also inexpensive and work well with all types of cooking accessories.