learn about cooktops

If you’re doing a kitchen reno or just in the market for a new cooktop there are a few things you’ll want to consider before making the purchase. With all of the varieties on the market these days, a little research will help you ensure you’re getting the right fit for your kitchen.

You’ll first want to decide which cooktop variety is the right one for your cooking preferences, then check the size of space you have and last of all are there any extra functions or features that you would like to have.

Cooktop varieties

cooktop inductionWhen it comes to cooktops the varieties are smooth top, gas burner, coil top and smooth top induction.

Smooth top cooktops are aesthetically appealing to the eye as well as easy to clean without any nooks and crannies to get into. They have a classic and seamless look to them and come in a variety of sizes and burner options and can be used as extra cooking prep space if you’re short on counter space. You do have to be careful not to scratch the surface and it is recommended to not use cast iron on them. Check out some seamless looks from KitchenAid and Bosch.

Gas burner cooktops require a direct gas hook-up which will require having a professional installation. Once you light a gas burner the heat is immediate unlike other cooktops and they also cool down quicker. I recently went from electric burners to gas and I also find the heat distribution is much more even and instant when you adjust the temperature.

coil cooktopGE and Frigidaire have some great coil top burners that are affordable, and any type of cookware can be used on them. They can have uneven heat if the coils aren’t sitting evenly and they are generally slower to heat up and cool down. To clean these tops, you need to remove the coils and clean any spills. You can get also get disposable drip trays which make for easy clean up.

Last of all there is the smooth top induction cooktops. These cooktops look the same as any other smooth top cooktop but the method in which the heat is created is different. Induction cooking uses a magnetic field that reacts when in contact with a pot or pan and then directly heats that pot or pan not the cooktop or any surrounding air. To use an induction cooktop, you need to have stainless steel or cast-iron cookware as anything without iron will not heat up.

Measuring your space for the right cooktop

cooktop gasCooktops come in varying sizes and you’ll want to consider how much counter space you can spare for your cooktop. A quick and effortless way to get a visual idea of how much space your cooktop will take up is to measure it put and mark it with an easy to remove tape. The visual will allow you to step back and decide if you like the look of the size or if you want to go larger or smaller.

Additional considerations

smooth top cooktopOnce you have narrowed down your choices there are always some extras to consider. One option is to choose a cooktop with expandable burners. This means that one or more of your burners can adjust in size depending on the size of pot you are cooking with. There will be an option on the dial to turn on a smaller circle or the entire element for larger pots and pans. Many cooktops also have the option of a warmer burner. This burner won’t boil or cook your food but will keep it warm. You can also choose a cooktop that offers a bridge burner which will allow you to cook using an oblong or oversized pot or pan. It essentially links two burners together.

Purchasing a new cooktop is an exciting purchase and one that will last for years hopefully. Do a little research and make a pro and con list to help you decide which cooktop variety is the right one for your style of cooking.

You can find a variety of cooktops at bestbuy.ca.