Cooktops are a relatively new phenomenon in the U.S., but this type of stove has been popular in Europe for a number of years. The cook tops are gaining in popularity across the globe because of their safety, energy efficiency, and relative ease of cleaning.
How to do your own kitchen appliance reviews. Discover how to select the best kitchen cooktop with our kitchen cooktop buying guide. Kitchen appliance buying guides tend to only focus on one type or model. This buying guide shows you exactly what checkpoints to watch so you end up buying the best cooktop for your needs!
Many gas, electric and induction cooktops have the exact countertop cutout; therefore planning and designing your new kitchen can be easy. Standard sizes for US cooktops are 26", 30", 36" or 45". Professional series cook tips range in the following sizes: 30", 36", 42" 48" and 60".
CookTops should be attractive, but not so extravagant that they detract from the look a homeowner wishes to project.. Smooth ceramic cook tops have a sleek appearance and offer easy cleanup and a relatively safe cooking experience. Ceramic Cooktops are available in a variety of colors to complement any kitchen design.
Whatever cooktop you choose, whether it is gas, electric or inductio, it should be well constructed and should appear so at a first looks. Operating controls should be made of high quality materials that appear sturdy.
By far, the easiest to clean are flat top electric and induction cooktops. They can be wiped clean with little trouble. Also, easy off, easy on knobs are great for cleaning, but elimination of knobs, such as flat push-type controls are even better. Just one wipe and it is clean. Seal gas burner models are also the easiest gas type to clean.
Cooktops have numerous available accessories, such as interchangeable burners and grids for grilling auto shut off and many more. A downdraft cooktop is perfect for a kitchen island with no overhead exhaust. An electronic touch-control cooktop is available with no knobs you name it the feature probably is available.
Many electric cooktops come with auto shutoff features. The induction cooktops use magnetic fields to create the heat source directly in the cooking vessel. So the cooking surface is cold to the touch.
If you currently have a range, it's probably using existing venting. If you want to install a cooktop into another location, such in as a kitchen island, you'll need to find a way to vent it. One option is an overhead vent, which can be customized to match your appliances or to make a bold decorative statement all its own.
Another option is a down draft model that is perfect for island applications. Downdraft vents are built into the base cabinet rather than being mounted above the cooktop. These pull air down from the cooktop instead of up into a hood.
Gas versus Electric
Gas Cooktop Features Sealed surface burners contain spills for easy cleanup. Many cooktops are designed with the sealed burners recessed below the surface of the countertop. Models are available with "gas-on-gas" where the sealed burner is mounted directly on the ceramic cooktop.
Electric Cooktop Features The ribbon elements on a smooth top cooktop heat quicker than the old coil elements and some are adjustable in size. Some electric sealed ceramic cooktops can be recessed so they are virtually flush with the countertop.
Another very popular electric cooktop is the Induction type. Induction provides for instant heating changes and the cooking surface is cold to the touch.
Controls and Control Placement
Cooktops have heating controls either in the center or sides on the surface of the cooktop. It can either be electronic (digital touch pads) or manual (push-button or rotary knobs). Good cooktops have the controls in front of or on the sides of the burners, on a surface that makes it hard to accidentally touch them while you use the controls.
Most cooktops have large openings for burners. A power burner cooktop will have at least one 15,000 BTU (or more) burners. Look for sealed burners, as well as removable burner pans and caps. Other easy-to-clean features include upswept burners and smooth or removable controls and knobs. Sealed "simmer" burners allow you to cook delicate foods.
Most contemporary cooktops are energy efficient, and they direct the heat to exactly where you want it.
The cooking area has several sockets where thermometers can be plugged in to actively control temperature of cooking food. Thermometers must be dishwasher safe. Precise temperature controls allow you to control the temperature for every cooking need.
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