If you’re considering a kitchen renovation, or simply upgrading appliances, you may be faced with the decision of what type of cooktop to purchase. You already know about gas and electric cooktops, but have you heard of induction? What type of cooktop will best meet your needs? Which is the most energy efficient? The decision may seem daunting, but KBDC is here to provide some fundamental information. Individual manufacturers will vary in price and offerings.
Electric cooktops are the most popular choice due to their affordability and familiarity. These either have electric coils or a smooth, ceramic surface. Electric coil cooktops are the more affordable option, and are generally more durable. Smooth, ceramic tops tend to be slightly more expensive, less durable, but are the easiest to clean.
Electric cooktops are typically the most affordable, but they do come with their disadvantages. They take longer to heat up than gas or induction, and are slower to adjust to temperature changes. Although less expensive upfront, they may be more expensive to operate in the long run being the least energy efficient option.
Gas cooktops have long been the cooktop of choice, preferred by both professional and aspiring home chefs alike. Gas provides instant heat and reaction to temperature changes and has the ability to roast foods like tortillas or peppers directly on the burner. Some are even equipped with a separate griddle.
Despite their convenience, gas cooktops are more expensive than electric, and if a gas line doesn’t already run to the home, it can be costly to install one. These cooktops are also more prone to fire due to their open flame and can be tricky to clean.
Although relatively new to the United States, induction cooktops have been used for many years in Europe. Instead of a traditional burner that heats up, induction cooktops use electromagnetism to cook food. This means that the cooktop does not heat up, the pan itself does. Induction cooktops are generally the safest option since the burner remains cool and no heat will be generated if a pan is not directly on the surface.
Induction cooktops are the most energy efficient option, but they can also be the most expensive. One must also be aware, that only cookware with magnetic properties can be used with an induction cooktop. These include cast iron, enameled cast iron, or stainless steel that is specifically identified as induction compatible. Copper, glass, and aluminum are not compatible with induction and will not generate heat unless they have a magnetic layer added to the bottom of the pot or pan.
One cooktop option is not necessarily a better choice than the other and your selection should be based on individual preference and budget. Each type comes with its advantages and disadvantages and each of these, along with their importance to you, should be considered when making a final decision.