Technology is so advanced today that shopping for the best cooktop may be a big headache because of the varied brands and types of cooktops in the market. In order to avoid such headaches, it will be good or may be helpful for you to go through a few important tips on what to buy and choose for your kitchen.
The first thing you should keep in mind is your budget because there are hundreds of brands from the lowest to the highest price. If you have set the budget, one of the main problems in choosing your cooktop is solved. There is no need for breaking your bank account just to buy a cooktop, which cost you four to five thousand dollars. Instead, look for the one that satisfies you within your budget.
Type of Cooktop
The second important thing is the type of cooktop you would like to make an investment. As mentioned earlier, it is not an easy thing to choose from various types of cooktops displayed in the market for sale. There are gas, electric and induction cooktops with multiple functions. Each of them are unique and have their own merits over the others.
The third important thing is your requirement or needs because there are cooktops with a single burner to five burners and in some cases, there are even eight burners for commercial purposes. If you have a small family of three to four members, it is a waste to buy cooktops with four to five burners. It is also important to know what type of food to you commonly cook or like. Different cooktops have different good things about each other. You have to see whether any particular cooktop is of priority over the other depending on your convenience.
Now let us narrow down our choice and preference by having a look at how each of them functions.
Electric cooktops are very simple to operate and it does not cost you a lot. It does not have open flames and so there is comparatively less risk of fire in the kitchen. It is very difficult to keep the coils in one level and therefore, it is uneven in distribution of heat. Cooking food with electric cooktops need to keep on sliding from one side to the other due to uneven heat distribution. One of the drawbacks with this type of cooktop is that it is slow to heat and slow to cool as well. In some cases, many might prefer this cooktop for the cheap price and easy maintenance.
Gas cooktops are known for the uniformity of heat distribution for cooking the best food. It has open flames and this flames burn round the bottom of the pot uniformly. Therefore, food cooked with gas has a better taste. The output of heat is measured in British Thermal Unit (BTU) ranging from 5000 to 17000 BTU depending on the type of burners. If you have a small family, you may choose smaller range of heat distribution for your needs. The disadvantage we have with this type of cooktop is the open flames, which may cause accidental kitchen fire during leakage of gas. However, the good point of using gas is that it does not require electricity, so whenever there is outage of power, it always has the advantage over the others. It is very economical as well in places where natural gas is quite affordable.
Electric smooth top cooktop:
Glass ceramic smooth top is a newer version of electric cooktop with a better functionality than coil electric cooktops. It comes with a built-in sensor to indicate that the smooth top is still hot. Many people prefer this rather than coil electric cooktop because it is smooth, shiny and sleek in appearance. However, one of the disadvantages of this cooktop is that it gets scratches very easily. Therefore, cookwares, which are made of iron, stone or glass is not very appropriate. If you use this type of cooktop, you have to take extreme care not to drag the cookware, which sits on the cooktop. The second important note for you is that you should never let your cookware boil dry on the stove top as it may melt and get bonded with the glass. Compared with the older version of coiled electric cooktop, it is far easier to clean the smooth top. You also need to double check whether your house is wired to support 50 amps of power supply because it requires 50 amps to operate.
While most of the cooktops transfer energy indirectly to the pot, induction applies heat directly to the pot using electro magnetism in the system. Most of the traditional cooktops have major flaws at one point or the other. In the case of induction, heat is generated in the pot itself and therefore there is uniformity in distribution of heat all over the pan. It is flameless and therefore it has very low risk of kitchen accidents. There are cooking zones with magnetic fields beneath the cooktop and as such, only the area where there is direct contact with the cookware is heated and so the other parts of the smooth top remains cool to the touch.
Moreover, induction cooktops are known for accuracy and speed in heating and instant cooling as well. The control panel has many buttons for setting different temperatures for the kind of food you cook. From simmering to searing to boiling to stewing or grilling, you have all the options do it in any way you like. This latest cooking technology has outshined all other types of cooktops in the market. The traditional cooktops are inferior to induction cooktop for the feature it provides for homemakers and chefs. It is safer, more efficient, more accurate in temperature control, easier to maintain and simpler to use. However, you should know that it requires only cast iron or steel cookwares that attract a magnet. If it is not compatible, it will not work so don’t be disappointed when the need to spend extra dollars for the cookware arises. One of the best portable induction cooktop I own is Nuwave Pic2, a very convenient cooktop.
Now, based on the information provided for an easy choice of the cooktop, you can go ahead with what to choose for your needs. All the advantages and disadvantages of each of the items have been highlighted for your convenience in choosing the right cooktop.