Cooktops are a convenient way to prepare meals in lieu of a traditional range. They can help to save countertop space and maintain efficient workflow between the sink, fridge, and oven. Cooktops come in different forms, but perhaps the most notable difference between each kind is its fuel source. Below are the different types of cooktops and what factors to keep in mind when you make your choice.
A gas cooktop works similarly to a gas-powered range, providing an open flame on which to prepare meals. An adjustable, open flame allows for fine-tuned control over cooking temperatures, which helps residential chefs prepare the best of meals. Gas cooktops have removable metal grates covering each burner that are easy to clean.
An electric cooktop is a tried and true cooking model that features a smooth, ceramic-glass surface or covered metal burners. They are easy to install and uninstall, keep the kitchen cooler, and are easy to clean. Electric cooktops use metal coils or heating elements to heat the cooking vessel and then the food.
Induction cooking is becoming more popular; indeed, it is well known for its high efficiency in providing instant heat while keeping the cooktop as cool as possible. It uses electromagnetism to heat the cooking vessel almost instantly, but one should know that appropriate cooking vessels need to have a magnetic core. An induction cooktop is a type of electric cooktop that has the same smooth surface as many other electric models.
All cooktops need a source of ventilation to allow steam, smoke, and fumes to escape the kitchen and the house. Many cooktops need an overhead exhaust fan either inserted in the ceiling or within a wall-mounted hood. A downdraft cooktop eliminates the need for a separate exhaust fan as it features built-in ventilation. One needs to have under-counter space for the ventilation system.
How to Choose a Cooktop
With all these great types of cooktops available, it can be difficult to choose between them. One should consider the fuel source, the ventilation, and the space available. Ultimately, the decision lies in what option is the most functional for your space and your cooking needs.
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