Cooktop Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Right Cooktop for Your Kitchen
With the sheer variety of cooktop types and sizes available on the market, it’s easy to find one that matches your particular kitchen décor and style.
But, here’s the kicker – this increased variety of cooktops also means that choosing one that’ll perfectly suit your home can be a hard tackle.
We’ve had a look at all the considerations you can make to make it the process of buying a cooktop easier and hopefully get you one that’ll serve you for years to come.
Size of the Cooktop
When buying a cooktop, size is the first and most important consideration. Cooktops vary in size, so make your choice depending on where you want to install it.
Also, some cooktops are standalone, while others come combined with an oven. If you live in a small apartment or studio, you should consider standalone cooktops as they are more space-conscious and will fit into your living space more readily.
Types of Cooktops
There are three types of cooktops available in the market, each dependent on the source of power – electric, gas, and induction cooktops.
Most professional and home chefs prefer gas cooktops because they instantly modify heat levels while cooking. They are also energy-efficient due to their ability to produce flames that consistently heat the pan’s bottom and sides, which results in quick cooking.
However, installing them is pricey compared to other types of cooktops.
In Australia, there are two primary sources of gas – natural/mains gas or LPG/bottled gas. Natural gas comes through the mains connected to households across the Australian cities. LPG gas, however, comes in refillable gas cylinders/bottles and is commonly used in the rural, outback areas, which lack mains gas pipes.
Electric cooktops use electricity as the heat source.
They’re cheap to install compared to gas cooktops, and are safer to use too, as they do not feature open flames or suffer fuel leaks. However, their slow-to-change heat aspect makes them a bad idea for on-the-fly cooking. Instead, electric cooktops act as suitable replacements for traditional coil burners.
Induction cooktops rank as the most pricey but also most efficient of all cooktops.
These cooktops use electric induction rather than thermal induction when cooking, retaining the majority of heat as they cook.
As well as a higher cost at the point of purchase, induction cook tops also require a higher investment in induction cookware.
When buying a cooktop, ensure that it is compatible with your cookware.
If not, you may need to purchase additional cookware to suit your new cooktop. You can use any cookware with gas and electric cooktops, but for induction cooktops, you may need to find specially-made flat-bottom cookware that’s compatible.
Such cookware should also have a unique ferrous base for transferring heat to your pots and pans using the magnetic field inside the cooktop.
Cooktops come with various power settings.
These settings allow you to set your dishes at different temperatures concurrently — the more power settings, the higher the price of the cooktop. So, if you often prepare large meals, you should opt for a cooktop with numerous power settings to ease the cooking process.
Extra Useful Features
Depending on your budget, it is essential to consider other features that’ll be useful to you when using your cooktop.
Modern cooktops come with different features such as:
- electric touch controls
- downdraft exhausts
- bridge elements
- pan size and presence sensors
- power burners
- gas-on-the-glass tops
All these additional features enhance the functioning of your cooktop for the best performance.
As with any product, cooktops vary in style too. Your choice will depend on the look or style you desire for your kitchen. The first style is the modern cooktop which comes with a benchtop. These cooktops fit into minimalist kitchen styles that are common in many modern Australian households.
Industry cooktops are fit for industrial or commercial kitchens; they consist of a large stainless steel freestanding cooker and wok burner for compatibility with industrial kitchens that often turnaround large amounts of food.
Scandinavian cooktops, on the other hand, have a sleek surface for gas cooktops and flat surface for the induction ones. Also, they apply the Scandinavian principles featuring a freestanding designer cooker that create a focal point within the kitchen.
And then there are country cooktops, which will suit your home if you’ve decorated it country style. These cooktops are all-in-one freestanding cookers with several gas burners on the top and an oven underneath. This combination is beautiful and old-style, offering a unique talking point for your kitchen.
Remember to use a licensed professional when installing your cooktop. Attempting to carry out a DIY installation can lead to safety hazards and unnecessary costs further down the line.
Contact our Australian-based team of experts at Goldline, who’ll advise you on the best cooktop for your home, as well as installation procedures from our range of quality cooktops and stovetops.
Our quality AGA-approved, Australian cooktops combine beauty and functionality to ensure that your cooking experience is unparalleled, and fits your particular kitchen and home decor.