Whether you’re buying appliances for your new house or remodeling your out-of-date kitchen, it can be overwhelming process. There are several different types of cooktops to choose from, but there are also several things to take into consideration. This article will help guide you to the right choice for your needs and wants with a few basic questions as well as what the different types of cooktops or stovetops are available.
Electric cooktops generally come in two styles: radiant-style or electric coils. Radiant style electric cooktops have a heating element that is covered by a glass or ceramic cover. Meanwhile, electric coil cooktops are where the heating element (the coil) is exposed. In short, these cooktops convert electricity directly into heat. The heat that is produced gets transferred to the pot or pan (or other cooking vessel,) where the food is being prepared. To adjust temperatures in an electric cooktop, the knobs are used which adjust the amount of electricity that is being ran to the heating elements (i.e., turning down the knob will decrease the amount of electricity used to cook, and vice versa.)
Gas cooktops are among the most common and popular cooktops found in homes today. Many people enjoy that this type allows them better control over their cooking, though the same can be argued by those who prefer other types of cooktops such as induction or electric.
Gas cooktops utilize natural gases to cook the food, hence the name “gas cooktop.” However, gas cooktops are not necessarily as efficient as other types of cooktops and over the long run, can be more costly with the amount of energy they use.
Induction cooktops utilize powerful electromagnets which heat the cooking vessel itself, rather than heating the area on which the pot or pan is sitting. This of course, is how the cooktop gets it’s name: it induces energy to transfer into the pot or pan, causing it to heat up. Induction cooktops tend to be more expensive, but they’re also often more energy efficient. However, they do require that you purchase pots, pans and other cooking vessels that are designed specifically for use with induction cooktops. For more information as to why induction cookware is important, click here.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Cooktop or Stove?
First and foremost, if you’re replacing an existing stove or cooktop but not intending to replace or remodel the rest of the kitchen, then you’ll need to choose one that fits into the current space allotted. In short, it does no good to purchase a professional-style 6 burner 48 inch (width) stove when the original stove was only 30 inches.
Once you’ve determined what sizes are available to you, you can begin sifting through the various choices. When looking at these options at the store, be sure to check out not only the price, but energy efficiency, extra features such as a griddle, the color, style and the set-up of the cooktop (i.e., are there enough burners to accommodate your typical night of cooking?)
In short, there is no “fool proof” guide to tell you which cooktop is best for you. Everyone’s needs and wants are different. However, knowing the differences between the available choices is extremely helpful, especially when facing a smug sales person.
Make a list of your needs and then set out to find it. Never settle for less than what you and your family will need, otherwise you’ll have wasted money and created frustration down the line when you realize your cooktop won’t accommodate your needs.