When choosing a new cooktop, keep your needs and lifestyle in mind. Cooktops have come a long way from the basic four-burner models. With all of the available features, deciding which cooktop is best for you will depend on the features you want and your budget. Cooktops are now available with smooth tops, grills, different burner configurations and much more.
General Cooktop Features
Many models of both gas and electric cooktops have the exact same countertop cutout, so planning and designing your new kitchen has never been easier:
- Cooktops today are easier to clean, better looking and offer more cooking flexibility (more precise temperature control, for example) versus the cooktops from only a few years ago.
- Ceramic cooktops are available in gas and electric.
- The edge of the cooktop is frameless, so it won’t trap food and be difficult to clean.
- Cooktops have available accessories, such as interchangeable burners and grids for grilling.
- Downdraft exhaust is available on some electric and gas models. A downdraft cooktop is perfect for a kitchen island with no overhead exhaust.
Electric Cooktop Features
- Smooth ceramic cooktops have a sleek appearance and offer easy cleanup.
- Ceramic cooktops are available in a variety of colors to complement any kitchen design.
- The ribbon elements on a smooth top cooktop heat as quickly as the old coil elements and some are adjustable in size. For example, an adjustable element can accommodate either large or small pans. A triple element can heat a large 9″ x 19″ griddle or casserole dish.
- Some sealed ceramic cooktops can be recessed so they are virtually flush with the countertop.
- An electronic touch-control cooktop is available with no knobs. The electronic touch-control makes this cooktop a great addition to your kitchen’s decor. This type of cooktop offers other features as well:
- If an unoccupied element is left on, sensors in the cooktop will turn off the element.
- Sensors adjust the size of the element to the size of pan being used.
- The control-lock feature for the elements is a safety feature to prevent accidental activation.
- A digital reminder timer alerts you when the cooking time has expired.
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-glass” where the sealed burner is mounted directly on the ceramic cooktop, offering easy cleaning of an electric smooth top with the performance of gas.
- Sealed “simmer” burners allow you to cook delicate foods without using a double boiler.
- Precise temperature controls allow you to control the temperature for every cooking need. You can even cook items at very low temperatures without scorching.
- One or more sealed “high power” burners, up to 15,000 Btu’s, allow you to boil quickly or do other high temperature cooking like frying or cooking with a wok.
- Cast-iron, porcelain enamel-coated grates are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
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