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There are tons of choices for cooktops in electric, induction, and gas. We review sizes and different fuel types as well as talk about the differences between rangetops and cooktops.
Cooktops should be an easy decision. It is after all the top half of a stove. Yet it is not easy as the brands and sizes are very different from your typical 30-inch Frigidaire, Samsung, Kenmore or GE range. If you have leeway in gas versus electric, you may change your mind after reading this post.
So, we will look at each fuel type, the basic sizing information and a few brands to consider. It should be a helpful article if are starting to look at cooktops.
If you do not have time, then watch the video, or do both for more information. But first, your initial decision has nothing to do with fuel type...
Your first decision should be deciding whether you want a rangetop or a cooktop. This is important to you can verify installation and size specifications.
Rangetops are the tops of professional ranges and are available in standard sizes from 30 and 36 inches to larger sizes, 48 and 60 inches.
You also can add a grill, griddle, or use a French top with a rangetop.
Most importantly, they are installed in the cabinet, rather than cut into the counter like a cooktop. You would need to communicate that with your contractor.
Cooktops will be less expensive and require less venting than a cooktop. A rangetop's burners are hotter than a cooktop's, but most cooktops now have at least 1 or 2 power burners for faster cooking.
So, it is very important to determine if you want a rangetop or cooktop first. Now let us look at sizing.
Whether you are reading about cooktops, wall ovens, or refrigerators, appliances fit cabinet sizes. The measurements are almost always standard.
Sizes of cooktops are 30 and 36-inch widths, although 24 inches is a common European size. Then you can buy 1 or 2 burner units in 12 and 15 inches.
Now you are ready to pick a fuel type (although it will be chosen for you most of the time).
Induction is the best fuel type as it can simmer instantly and boil faster than even the hottest professional cooktop. The magnets of induction excite the metal of your pan and the pan cooks the food.
You also vent less than gas and induction cooktops are the easiest to clean of the three fuel types.
Brands to Consider
Depends on what features you like, but Miele is the most powerful. However, Jenn-Air, Bosch, and Thermador have a super burner in the middle and oblong bridge burners for bigger platter type pans on either side.
Gas is 65% of the sales in the Boston market. The actual technology has not changed since the 1920s except with higher heat and lower simmers.
Brands to Consider
Thermador has the star burner. It is the easiest sealed burner to clean because it is raised from the cooktop. They also have the best simmer as well. Jenn-Air and Viking have 6 burners in a 36 inch. BlueStar has the hottest burners in a cooktop.
With induction now at $1000, electric cooktops are only purchased well below that. The slower performance is the reason as elements heat the ceramic glass, then the glass heats the pan and then the pan heats the food.
The best brand to consider is Frigidaire because they still focus on electric. It is also very reliable.
My best advice is for you to remember you are buying half of a range. Once you pick between a rangetop or cooktop and then size it, the rest is comparing burner specifications and fuel types.
Advanced Tip: Most brands have rebate programs. For instance, Thermador will throw in a dishwasher for free with the purchase of the wall oven and cooktop. Jenn-Air, Miele, and Wolf have their own programs.
So, look at your other appliances as well.
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Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.
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