If you are building a new kitchen or simply upgrading, one of the most important features of the room is a cooktop, especially if you are a keen chef. When you are making the decision to purchase a new cooktop, consider the following and you shouldn’t go far wrong
Are you a dedicated cook or have aspirations on becoming one?
Traditionally, good cooks have an affinity for gas cooktops (or stoves). Gas cooktops are preferred to other cooktops because they allow you to instantaneously change the cooking temperature. Plus, the investment you make on a gas cooktop can vary greatly – from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Gas cooktops are also very efficient; they use natural gas for cooking power, and natural gas is a very inexpensive resource.
Of course, nothing valuable comes without some type of drawback. Gas cooking is no exception. First, locating a source of gas can be difficult. It is hard to find a home with natural gas, and many living communities do not allow liquid propane (LP) storage. Clean-up can also be frustrating. Most modern gas cooktops come with sealed burners for easy clean-up. Despite the sealed burners, gas cooktops still require the most cleaning effort. Finally, there is the issue of an open flame. Families with small children often select an alternative to the gas cooktop to keep children safe.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to the gas cooktop that requires no sacrifice in cooking performance and even offers a few advantages. An induction cooktop, which is powered by electricity, is a very popular replacement for a gas cooktop. Induction cooktops produce electromagnetic energy that transfers right to a compatible pot or pan, so there is no hot surface to avoid (like with gas cooktops). Changes in heat settings occur instantly, so you can go from boiling a concoction to simmering the ingredients immediately. All the while, the cooktop remains cool to the touch, making it safer than a gas cooktop. Cleaning an induction cooktop is also simple because there’s no burnt food surrounding the cooktop to peel away. Keep in mind that although an induction cooktop relies on costly electricity for its power source, it uses it so efficiently that it actually rivals gas cooktops for low cost of operation honors.
More of a part-time/casual cook?
For the casual or occasional cooks, the best cooktop replacement is usually a replacement in kind. Replacing your current gas or electric cooktop to an updated version is usualy the most cost effective. If you are accustomed to old coil units, then consider investing in a glass ceramic electric cooktop They are much easier to maintain.
Also, you can upgrade an outdated gas cooktop for a basic four-burner. Most of the newer gas cooktops have ceramic tops and sealed burners to make cleaning much easier. Most cooktops come in 30″ and 36″ models, so you can replace your old cooktop without having to worry about excessive installation efforts or costs.
How many people do you cook for?
If you frequently cook for large groups or special occasions, or your family is a big one, then you need to ditch the traditional four-burner cooktop configuration and upgrade to a five- or six-burner set-up. Both gas and electric cooktops are manufactured in a 36-inch arrangement that fits in most kitchens. Choose an electric model with multiple-zone elements and bridge-burners. These will give you versatility in the size and shape of the cooking vessels you can use. Pick a gas model with continuous grates for the same result. A five element cooktop is the best for induction cooktops in this category.
How much money do you want to spend?
We’ve already establishd that you can pay as little or as much money as you’d like for a cooktkop. For your information, gas and conventional cooktops (either coil or glass/ceramic) are the most affordable. The more advanced features you add to the unit, like grills, griddles or downdraft vents, the more the price will increase. Induction cooktops generally run in the lower thousands. Also, keep in mind that a switch to an induction cooktop will also require you to use cookware that is magnetic, so plan on an additional expense there.
How important is ease of maintenance (keeping it clean)?
An induction cooktop is the way to go if you want easy maintenance and no frills clean-up. Spills and spatters won’t scorch on the cool cooktop surface and can be wiped up and away with a wet cloth. Why? Remember, only the ingredients within the magnetic cookware will be heated – not the cooktop surface!
Electric glass/ceramic cooktops are also easy to clean (but not like an induction cooktop). The smooth surface makes spills and spatters easy to get rid of, although truly burnt or scorched food is going to require scraping and elbow grease. For maximum ease of maintenance, choose a model with touch controls rather than conventional knobs.
Gas and electric coil units are by far the toughest cooktops to clean. The design is improving steadily, but it’s no where near as easy as a glass/ceramic or induction unit.
How important are aesthetics?
Aesthetics are highly subjective. You’ll need to compare cooktops and decide which type looks better to you. Do you prefer the clean, smooth surfaces of both glass/ceramic electric and electric induction cooktops, or would you rather see the industrial, high-end gas cooktop in your kitchen each day? It’s up to you.
Unfortunately, cooktops aren’t available in every color of the rainbow. Black, white or stainless steel are your most common choices these days. Some manfacturers do offer other colors, but that is by special order only. Just remember: there’s a reason why designers offer cooktops in timeless colors. They will be stylish forever. Ordering a magenta cooktop today might be painful to look at five years from now.
What kind of cooktop do you use now?
No one is going to tell you not to switch to a different style of cooktop but replacing your old unit with a new unit of the same type is the most economical choice. Let’s be honest. Converting to a natural gas cooktop from an electric cooktop will be problematic at the least – and impossible at it’s worst! Switching from gas to electric, however, isn’t quite as hard. You’ll still need to ensure you have the right electric circuits in your home, though, and that requires the skill of an electrician.
There are many brands of cooktops, but here we have listed the most popular for you:
Diva Induction Cooktops
Fagor Induction Cooktops
Fisher Paykel Cooktops
General Electric Cooktops
Jenn Air Cooktops
Magic Chef Cooktops
Modern Maid Cooktops
Here at KitchenSolution we show you the best cooktop suppliers in the US. We’re sure you’ll find the cooktop to suit your needs. Some final tips when purchasing:
. 1 Measure the area where your cooktop will be placed. Most cooktops are 30 or 36 inches wide.
. 2 Consider the venting needs for your cooktop and how you will accommodate them.
. 3 Decide if you want a gas or an electric cooktop.
. 4 Select the surface for your cooktop. Possibilities include porcelain-enamel, ceramic-glass or sealed tops that keep spills from going under the cooktop.
. 5 Pay special attention to cleaning features. Lift-up cooktops and removable grates and knobs make the cooktop easy to clean.
. 6 Look for special features such as a simmering burner, a power burner, burners that adjust heat output to the size of the pan on the burner, grilling capabilities and automatic pilot lights.
. 7 Discuss the warranty, what it covers and whether it is included in the cooktop price.