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How to Buy a Cooktop (Reviews / Ratings)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  August 14, 2017  |  10 Min. Read

Cooking  |  Cooktops  |  How to Buy Appliances

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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.

yale appliance cooktop display

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...

 
 
 
 
 
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Wistia video thumbnail - How To Plan an Electric, Induction, Gas, Pro Gas Cooktop or Rangetop [Ratings / Reviews / Prices]
 

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Rangetop vs. Cooktop

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.

pro-rangetop-installation-2013.jpg gas-cooktop-installation-2013-2.jpg
Rangetop  Cooktop

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.

Sizes

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

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.

induction cooktop installed

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.

Want to learn more about induction cooktops? Download our free Induction Cooking Buying Guide for information on all the best features and brands.

Gas

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.

gas cooktop installed

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.

Want to learn more about gas cooktops? Download our free Gas Cooking Buying Guide for information on all the best features and brands.

Electric

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.

electric cooktop installed

The best brand to consider is Frigidaire because they still focus on electric. It is also very reliable.

Want to learn more about electric cooktops? Download our free Electric Cooking Buying Guide for information on all the best features and brands.

Final Thoughts

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.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about buying the right appliance for your kitchen? Download our free Appliance Buying Guide for up to date information on all the best products, features, and brands. Well over 250,000 people have read a Yale Guide. 

View our appliance buying guide

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WHY SHOULD YOU TRUST US?

A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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