Cooktops allow for a more versatile arrangement because they can be installed in numerous locations while still supplying the same general features as a stove-topped range. Cooktops may be powered by electricity or gas. Numerous sizes are available, though most are either 30 or 36 inches wide.
Check if the model you’re looking at includes downdraft venting to determine if a hood is required. Other features to look for include bridge elements to accommodate oversized and irregular-shaped pots, hot-surface indicator lights, control lockout, variable-powered burners for different cooking capabilities and touchpad controls.
Gas cooktops heat food over an open flame, with sealed burner options preventing food or liquid from dropping beneath the cooking surface. Added bonus: Because they’re not locked into a power supply, gas cooktops can still be used even if there’s a blackout. Higherpriced models tend to feature increased British thermal unit (BTU) output capabilities.
Electric or Gas Models
Outfit your cooktop to best suit your cooking preferences with a modular design. Typically arranged with two burners in the right bay and a ventilation unit in the center, the left bay is open to allow installation of accessories such as a griddle, grill or sleek cover, which are usually sold separately.
Coils: The most basic variation of cooktop design, electric coils provide even surface heat for precise cooking. Although the open source provides greater opportunity for messes, the coils are removable for easier cleaning and replacement.
Radiant Glass: The heating source for radiant glass cooktops is located beneath the glass surface, providing a flat, sleek surface that is easy to clean. Hybrid models featuring both radiant and induction cooking capabilities are also available.
Induction: One of the newer cooking technologies on the market, induction cooktops use electromagnetic waves to heat the instrument in which the food is being cooked (necessitating magnetic cookware). This keeps the rest of the surface cool, which may be ideal if you have small children present. It also cooks food more quickly than most traditional cooking methods — a plus for weekend getaways or large gatherings, where you don’t want to spend the whole night hunched over the stove.