How to buy a cooktop
A cooktop buying guide
It is important to spend some time deciding which cooktop to buy when shopping for kitchen appliances. They are an important part of the kitchen and come in many different types and sizes. Read this cooktop buying guide to learn how to buy a cooktop that is right for your kitchen.
>> What are your available cooktop options?
There are several different types of cooktops. The main two are gas and electric. There are also other types of electric cooktops, such as griddle cooktops and induction cooktops.Ovens and ranges also have cooktops, but they are connected.
When deciding which cooktop to buy, many people find that the best option is a gas cooktop. Gas cooktops are more energy efficient than electric. They also tend to cook food more evenly from having a more stable temperature. Most feature two to six burners with at least one large burner and several smaller ones. Temperature control knobs control the amount of gas used and how hot the pan gets. You can also remove the grates to make cleaning a breeze.
Electric cooktops are another popular option. There are many choices for which cooktop to buy when you choose electric. They tend to come in different colors, finishes and styles. You can choose a coiled cooktop or a flat cooktop. Flat cooktops have several options, such as radiant heat, knobbed controls or electronic controls. Flat cooktops will usually have large burners that can accommodate several sizes of pans on each burner. Many also have a warming burner that will keep food in cookware and bakeware warm.
Induction cooktops are a high-tech type of cooktop that appeal to a number of users. They are praised for the fast and even heating they provide. These cooktops do not have a heating element, but instead use electromagnetism to heat cookware. Induction burners are cool to the touch, unless covered by a pan. They also cool rapidly after the pan is removed, making them safer to touch quicker. Ovens and ranges with this type of cooktop have excellent temperature control and use less electricity than a traditional electric cooktop.
You can also pursue other options when considering how to buy a cooktop. Electric griddles are a form of cooktop that heats food such as eggs and pancakes easily on its flat surface. There are also small electric single and double burner units that you can buy if space is at a premium where you live. Look for these and other home supplies as needed when deciding which cooktop to buy.
|Yes ||No ||Yes |
|30" and 36" ||30" and 36", also have portable options ||30" and 36" |
|Grate ||Coil and flat ||Flat |
Different pan sizes
|Generally 6" and 12" ||Generally 6", 9" and 12" ||Generally 6", 9", and 12" |
|No ||Flat, yes; Coiled, no ||Yes |
>> Consider your kitchen space
Kitchen space is important when learning how to buy a cooktop. Measure the amount of space you would like to devote to a new cooktop. Most cooktops come in 30" and 36" widths and mount directly into the counter. If you do not have much counter space, consider purchasing a range that has an attached cooktop.
>> How frequently do you cook?
How often you cook is an important consideration when choosing which cooktop to buy. You want to buy a cooktop that makes cooking easy and convenient. More burners are often better when you cook a majority of your meals. Having good temperature controls are also important if you plan to use it a lot.
>> Consider your cooking style
Cooking style can be an important factor when learning how to buy a cooktop. If you frequently cook complex meals that require precise temperature control, either a gas or induction cooktop would work best. Large meals will require multiple burners and different burner sizes. Keep all of this in mind when choosing which cooktop to buy.
>> Consider the existing color scheme and structure of your kitchen
Counter cooktops are designed for a kitchen with ample counter space. These larger kitchens will be able to accommodate a variety of cooktop sizes and have the space for a built-in oven. Smaller kitchens, however, often do better with a small portable cooktop or one that is connected to a range. When deciding how to buy a cooktop, measure your kitchen and look at the layout to decide which of the cooktop sizes works for you.
Ideally, the cooktop should match your appliance color scheme. Various types of cooktops usually come in white, stainless steel and black. It is possible to order different colors, such as off-white, from manufacturers. You might also look at cooktop designs that look similar to other appliances in your kitchen, even if they are different brands.
>> Consider other requirements and features
When making a cooktop comparison, different features will stand out. Having a cooktop with pan size detection and power boil modes will be very helpful when cooking. Some will have other built-in features like grills and griddles. Downdraft venting is another feature that may interest you. Cooktops with this feature do not require a range hood, as the vent is built into it.
Be sure to research any individual cooktop you are considering. This way, you can make an informed decision on which cooktop is right for you.