How to choose the best electric stove top for our family?
From simple tasks like making a cup of tea to more complex tasks like preparing risotto or grilling a steak, the cooktop is one of the most important appliances in any kitchen.
In many homes, the cooktop is actually a range that comes attached with an oven down below it. These are great, and for the most part, will accomplish the same tasks. But, what if you don’t need an oven or you want save storage space in your cabinets below? This is where a built-in cooktop can help you.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen or just want the ability to cook on your kitchen island, finding the best cooktop for your home is not an easy task.
Why You Should Consider A Cooktop?
- Flexible design options — Allows you more options for design, both in terms of aesthetics and convenience. You can place the appliance where it makes the most sense for you, such as on a kitchen island.
- Less heat in the kitchen — Buying a cooktop means you’ll deal with less heat in your immediate area any time you are using both the cooktop and oven at the same.
- Allows more storage space — Unlike a range, a built-in cooktop doesn’t come on top of an oven. This allows you to preserve your cabinet space below and use it for storage purposes. This is a great place to keep your pots and pans, for example.
Buying your cook top separate from a stove will usually cost you more than purchasing a combined model, but the benefits of keeping them separate may just outweigh the added cost for many consumers. This is wholly dependent on your specific lifestyle, kitchen space and budget.
What is a ceramic cooktop?
A ceramic cooktop is any cooktop with a smooth surface made of tempered ceramic glass. Though you'll usually find all ceramic smooth tops lumped together on the sales floor, there are actually a few different options to pick from:
- Radiant uses heated coils of metal under a sheet of ceramic glass
- Halogen uses halogen bulbs instead of metal to generate heat
- Semi-halogen uses a combination of metal coils and halogen bulbs
The practical differences between the three are minor. Halogen bulbs light up right away, so you always know when the cooktop is on, and the heating elements tend to cool off a tiny bit faster compared to radiant cooktops. Other than that, they all cook the same and offer all the same conveniences.
Smoothtop Electric Cooktops
Smoothtop electric cooktops are popular with many consumers because they’re simple to use and easy to clean. They’re also a popular choice for those concerned about aesthetics – they have a nice, sleek look that fits in with many types of kitchen designs.
Many come with special features, like a low-heat setting for keeping dishes warm or a bridge element that connects two burners for when you have an especially large dish you’re using (like a casserole dish).
They’ll cost you more than a coil cooktop and they’re more easily damaged. If you don’t clean up spills pretty quickly, you can end up with stains on your cooktop that are difficult to clean up. And you’ll want to avoid using glass or cast iron dishes with a flat cooktop so they don’t scratch the surface.
- Nice, sleek aesthetic.
- Easy to use.
- Easy to clean.
- Often come with special features.
To Keep in Mind:
- Cost more than coil cooktops.
- Easily damaged and stained.
- Have to avoid some types of cookware.
Coil Electric Cooktops
Coil electric cooktops are one of the most affordable options you’ll find. When you turn them on, the electricity heats metal coils in a spiral. The coils are pretty resilient and hard to damage and you can use any type of cookware on a coil cooktop.
They’re slow to heat up and, like gas cooktops, they’re difficult to clean as you have to deal with multiple parts (the coils and the drip pan, in this case). If affordability is your priority though, they’re probably the best choice.
- You can use any type of cookware.
To Keep in Mind:
- Take a long time to heat up.
- Heat levels aren’t as precise as with gas.
- Difficult to clean.
Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Cooktop
Your habits, budget, and personal priorities will all play a role in determining which cooktop is the best one for you. These are some of the main factors we would recommend that you keep in mind while shopping or browsing your options.
Most cooktops will fall into the 30-36 inch range and have four or five burners. For most kitchens, that should be plenty. For home chefs that often make more complicated meals and have several burners going at once, a larger cooktop may be worth the extra cost. Your cooktop will take up space on the counter, so keep in mind how much space you have to work with and how much of your kitchen counter space will be put to use.
For built-in cooktops, in addition to the plane size, you must also pay attention to the built-in depth and other dimensions.
If you’re replacing a cooktop, you probably have specific dimensions you need to stick with to make installation as easy as possible. If you fall into this category, be sure to measure your old unit or search online for the model number to give you precise dimensions. A smooth-top electric cooktop can be used as extra counter space when not in use, but only if you’re good about remembering to remove anything that’s on it before lighting it.
The cost you’re looking at with a cooktop will depend on a variety of factors. You can expect large cooktops to cost more. Electric cooktops with lots of special features will also come with a higher price tag. Induction cooktops are pretty expensive across the board unless you consider a portable model.
In spite of being one of the cheaper options, electric coil cooktops actually perform pretty well in terms of durability, particularly in comparison to electric smooth top cooktops. In general though, the brand and quality of the cooktop you purchase will make a big difference in how long you can count on it to last.
4. Ease of Cleaning
Smoothtop cooktops win in this category. It's flat which makes wiping them down to clean them a pretty simple process. Smoothtop cooktops will become much harder to clean if you don’t take care of spills quickly – they’ll burn into the surface and you will have to put a little bit of elbow grease into them later on.
If easy cleaning is a top priority for you, then thermomate electric cooktops will be your best bet. They have a smooth surface that’s easy to wipe down, without the risk of the heat burning the spills and making them more difficult to clean. No matter what type of cooktop you end up buying, the instruction manual will include cleaning instructions.
Electric cooktops usually change colors when in use, as well as while they’re cooling. This will let you know when they’ll be hot to the touch.
Some higher-end electronic smoothtop cooktops do away with the knobs you see on most cooktops in lieu of digital controls. These offer convenient one-touch activation, have a sleek, high-tech look to them, and are easier to clean than knobs are.
7. Extra Features
- Control Lockout:If you have kids in the house that you don’t want messing with the cooktop, a model with a control lockout function will allow you to limit who can actually use the cooktop. This can go a long way in regard to overall safety.
- Cooking Modules:Some manufacturers produce modules that expand the types of cooking you can do with your cooktop. These can include a wok cooker, grill, steamer, deep fryer or griddle.
If you’re in the market for a new cooktop, you’ve got a number of solid options to choose from. It’s important to take some time to really consider how your cooking habits will influence how you use the appliance, what you most want to get out of one and various features that you will use (or not use). Taking the time to find the best cooktop for your kitchen will make the time you spend within it more convenient and enjoyable, as well as go a long way in helping you achieve the look you want for your kitchen.
If you want to know more about the difference between an induction cooker and an electric ceramic cooker, you can see What's the difference between a Ceramic and Induction Cooktop?
The kitchen is a very sacred place for those who like to cook. In order to make the kitchen more beautiful and more conducive to making delicious dishes, it is still very important for us to learn relevant knowledge!
Want to know more product-related information, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and contact us!