Cooktops are stove tops that are separate from an oven. Types of cooktops come in several differing styles and can be installed anywhere you have extra kitchen counter space. With a cooktop and separate oven, you can customize your kitchen as you want because you are not limited to a traditional oven/stove combination.
Types of Cooktops
Deciding on the ideal type of cooktop is dependent on your cooking habits, and preferences. Are you used to gas? Do you want to try induction? Which brand of induction cooktop is the best? Here we will list 3 different types of cooktops to help you come to a decision.
A very popular choice among serious cooks, due to their preciseness and the ability to control the flame. You can change the temperature quickly, it offers the user uniform cooking, and is pretty much compatible with all types of cookware. The advantage of gas cooking is that it costs less to operate than the more common electric cooktops. This would serve you well during a power outage, where you can still prepare dinner (AND coffee or tea with a cooktop kettle), and will bring down utility costs.
Gas cooktops come in a variety of finishes and designs to suit any customization ideas you may have. From enamel to glass, stainless steel and even cast iron trivets (the piece of metal your pot sits on over the flame). For example, there are several 36 inch gas cooktops available in the market.
As with all things, however, there are a few cons. Cleaning the gas cooktop can take quite a lot of effort. Cast iron trivets, while pretty, can be bulky and difficult to clean. The open flame can be dangerous if not carefully supervised. There are newer more modern smooth cooktop surfaces that are easier to maintain.
Probably the most common type, electric cooktops, obviously, function on electricity. This makes them more environment-friendly than gas cooktops. Electric cooktops are available in two different types, namely the coil version and the more modern and sleek smooth top version. If you’re on a budget (who isn’t?), the coil cooktop is an ideal choice.
They are tough and durable, and can easily accommodate your heavy cast iron pots without causing harm to the cooktop. They probably not be the first choice for more serious cooks, but the electric coil cooktop will allow you to cook stress-free. Now the more sophisticated smooth top version is ideal for the person who appreciates a more modern kitchen look.
The smooth glass surface of the cooktop can be installed flush with your countertop and therefore will blend seamlessly into your kitchen. Simple and easy to clean because there are no cracks or crevices where spilled food can get trapped. One big drawback of the smooth top is that it is made of glass and you will have to be careful when using heavy cookware, like cast iron pots. They have the potential to leave scratches or even cracks. Another drawback of the electric cooktop, when compared to the gas cooktop, is that they are slow to heat up and cool down.
The induction cooktop uses electricity too, but in contrast to the electric cooktops, the induction cooktop uses electromagnets as the cooking element. These electromagnets sit under a smooth cooking surface, and when electricity passes through them, they generate resistance.
The technology helps the burners to get to high temperatures in half the time. When you place magnetic cookware onto the surface, the generated resistance heats up your cookware, but the surface remains cool. This alone makes induction cooking perfect for a family with inquisitive children or pets that walk across your countertops (Garfield, get down from there!).
It is completely safe to touch the moment you remove the pot, so you don’t even have to worry if you forget to switch it off. The remarkable safety features, easy-to-clean surface, and impressive cooking make for a compelling case.
However, this technology comes at a price. Not only are the cooktops themselves pricey, but you have to invest in magnetic cookware to go along with it. If you use non-magnetic cookware, you would simply be wasting electricity, because there will be no heat transfer.
So what will it be? Are you on a budget? Or would you like to invest in something more modern, safe and long lasting? Luckily, with these 3 types of cooktops, you can be guaranteed that your meals will be amazing. Whichever you decide upon, here’s to many years of happy cooking, especially if you're using some of the best stainless steel cookware.