How to Choose a Cooktop

A cooktop is an alternative to the freestanding range. It is a stove that is built into a kitchen counter, instead of attached to an oven. A cooktop is usually purchased with a double oven that is also built into the kitchen. This pairing results in a sleek look that offers a lot of space for cooking. Cooktops come in both gas and electric power models. Before you start shopping, consider some tips on how to choose a cooktop.


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    Choose a gas or electric cooktop. Find out whether your kitchen uses gas or electric power. This will determine whether you can buy a gas or electric cooktop, unless you want to pay to change the power source.
    • Consider gas cooktops. They allow you to control the heat easily, with a range of 500 to 15,000 British thermal units (BTUs).
    • Research electric cooktops. Electric cooktops heat up faster than gas cooktops. However, they respond slower to heat changes. They range from 10,000 to 12,000 BTUs.
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    Decide whether to get a cooktop with a smooth surface or one with coils. A cooktop with coils is the more traditional type, but smooth cooktops are becoming more popular because they are easy to clean and have a sleek appearance.
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    Determine the number of burners you need. If you tend to cook often, or make a lot of food at once, consider a cooktop with 6 burners. Otherwise, choose a cooktop with 4 burners.
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    Evaluate the size of the burners. Cooktops offer burners in a variety of sizes to fit most pots and pans, with burners ranging from 7 inches (17.8 cm) to 12 inches (30.5 cm). If you use larger cookware, get an appliance with large burners.
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    Decide between open and sealed burners. Sealed burners allow pans to stay near the flame so that they get hot while using minimal heat. Open burners heat up fast, but require more energy to cook with because pans are farther away from the blaze.
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    Choose a cooktop with helpful features. Some cooktops offer a bridge that connects 2 burners so that larger pans can be placed on top and heated through. Other cooktops feature lights that show you when the surface is hot, or small burners ideal for heating up sauces.
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    Measure the countertop space where you plan to put the cooktop. Most cooktops are either 30 inches (76.2 cm) or 36 inches (91.4 cm) wide.
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    Select features that make the cooktop easy to clean. Some cooktops allow you to lift the surface to catch crumbs, while others feature removable grates to dispose of crumbs.
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    Choose a cooktop that matches your kitchen. Common colors include black, white and stainless steel, but other colors may be available, too.
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    Consider the warranty. Find out how long the warranty lasts and what parts it covers.


  • If you choose a gas cooktop, consider a cooktop with continuous grates. The grates can make it easy to slide pots and pans from one burner to another.

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Categories: Care and Use of Cooking Equipment