I’m so excited to introduce you to the wonderful Liz from Goedeker’s today! She approached me with a blog post swap offer because – her words not mine! – she’s a huge fan of Savory Nothings. Goedeker’s is an appliance retailer in the US so Liz knows all about cooktops – and today she’s helping you decide on your next one!
I think most people will agree that the oven/cooktop is a focal point in most kitchens. You make most of your meals there, and the style affects how you boil, simmer, and sauté food. That being said, choosing the right one can be a daunting task if you’re unsure about what you want.
Here’s some things to consider when searching for your new cooktop.
Types of Cooktops
Electric cooktops are great for the average household. They’re common and tend to heat faster. They also tend to be better for cooking low-heat items. This type of cooktop can be purchased with raised electric coils or a smooth, glass top. Glass tops are easier to clean, but can also be scratched.
Gas cooktops tend to be preferred by experienced cooks. Today’s gas burners can reach extreme temperatures, allowing for excellent searing and other forms of high-heat cooking. Gas cooktops feature two types of burners – sealed and conventional. Sealed burners are easier to clean, but can get very hot, which will affect the type of cabinetry you need. If you’re not looking to change your entire kitchen, conventional burners work well.
Induction cooktops are the least common type, but are fast gaining popularity. An induction cooktop has a smooth, glass surface and is powered by electricity. It uses the power of electromagnetic energy. Induction allows you to go from a hot boil to a low simmer as fast as a gas burner would. One plus is that because it uses magnetism to detect where a pan is, the surface stays cool until a connection is made. It’s an awesome safety feature for families with children, as you can’t get burned. The only con is that induction requires magnetic cookware, so you would have to purchase new pots and pans.
Note: Another thing to consider during the shopping process is if your home is already equipped for gas or electric. If you’re committed to changing fuel types, you may incur more costs when installing your cooktop. Switching fuel types can be a difficult process, depending on your local utility companies.
How will you ventilate your kitchen? Every kitchen needs some kind of ventilation system. Will you use a downdraft vent or range hood? Range hoods are common and can look sleek against the wall or above an island. However, some people prefer downdraft ventilation because the look is invisible when not in use. Downdraft ventilation can be great for electric and induction fuel, but it can tend to pull gas flames towards it, which can affect cooking. Again, it may be easier to go with what is already installed in your kitchen if you’re not building or going through a renovation.
What size are you looking for? There are a variety of sizes, but 30″ and 36″ are most common. The size you choose will depend on the amount of space available, how many burners you want, and any additional features you might desire, leading me to my next point.
What specific functions or features would you like? If you cook a lot, you might want more than four burners. Some cooktops come with special burners that create a bridge, making it simple to cook with large pots or a griddle. Other types can have a special “warming zone” for sauces. If you have children, consider looking into childproof knobs.
How much are you willing to spend? Cooktops can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to find a well-equipped model. You will find that price varies greatly between brands and features. Electric tends to be the cheapest, while induction is typically more expensive.
Though searching for a new cooktop can be stressful, doing a little research can make the experience easier. Making a list and knowing what you want will make the process simpler. Think about the above points and you’ll be well on your way!