How to Choose the Perfect Cooktops for Your Kitchen may earn commission when you buy something through the links or banners on this page.

Are you looking to upgrade your kitchen? There are three main options to choose from: gas, electric and induction. Finding the right option for you will all depend on your cooking preference, lifestyle, family and space.

Here’s a comprehensive evaluation of each option to help you find the perfect cooktop for your kitchen.

Gas Cooktops

  • How They Work

This is probably the most common type of cooktop, using either gas or propane to fuel the flame. It’s also the most visual way to cook because you get to see the flames increase or decrease, depending on how you adjust the burners.

As a cook, you definitely feel like you have more control over the cooking process. If you like to be very hands-on, you can roast vegetables directly over an open flame. You can also brown or toast tortillas or other bread items.

You can usually choose between conventional burners, that require electrical ignition, or sealed burners. Sealed burners are easier to clean, but when it comes to cooking efficiency, there isn’t much difference between the two options.

  • Efficiency

You can easily lose up to 60 percent of the heat from the flame. That’s because it can sneak off into the air instead of heating the cooking appliance.

  • Con’s

Because gas cooktops operate with an open flame, there is always the risk of fire injuries.

  • Style

You can generally choose to have 4 to 6 burners, and you can opt for industrial style cooktops, or a more refined range to match the rest of your kitchen.

  • Maintenance

Gas cooktops are generally very easy to care for. Since most of them are stainless steel or enameled surface areas, they don’t require special cleaning products. You can also use almost any type of cookware on them.

  • Who Should Use Gas Cooktops

Gas cooktops are excellent options for experienced and amateur cooks alike. And if you tend to cook many different dishes simultaneously, or have to accommodate different food preferences and/or allergies, this is a great cooktop to use.

Electric Cooktops

  • How They Work

Magnetic coils can heat up very quickly and efficiently, especially if the electrical cooktop uses radiant or halogen elements. It’s worth noting that having these features usually makes the cooktop more expensive.

If the idea of exposed coils isn’t appealing to you, opt for the European standard, which offers a thin, smooth surface above the coils.

  • Efficiency

Electric cooktops are more efficient than gas cooktops. Up to 70 percent of their heat goes directly to the cookware, instead of escaping into the air.

  • Pro’s

Because the coils glow depending on their temperature, it’s easier to track just how hot your cooktop is. Furthermore, electric cooktops aren’t usually as hot as gas burners, so it’s less likely that you’ll burn yourself.

Another bonus to using an electric cooktop is that it’s easier to maintain a low heat setting. This stability comes in handy when you require a low heat setting for a long period of time. Soups, stews and certain vegetables dishes need to be prepared slowly and with low temperatures.

  • Con’s

Electric cooktops do consume more energy than both gas and induction cooktops. And even though they require so much energy, they’re not as sensitive to heat adjustments as gas burners are.

Therefore, it can take a bit longer for heat settings to come into effect. This can be frustrating if you have to wait too long for your cookware to cool down or warm up.

This is especially true for the European style electric cooktops, which don’t conduct the heat very well. In fact, you can lose some of the heat before it reaches your pots and pans.

  • Style

If you choose the European style electrical cooktop, you can have a smooth, sleek and elegant cooking surface. This can serve as a counter space when you’re not cooking.

  • Maintenance

Depending on whether your electric cooktop is exposed coil or covered, you may need to use special products for the glass surfaces. It can be easy to scratch or break the smooth surfaces, making the electrical cooktop a bit fussier than gas stoves.

  • Who Should Use Electric Cooktops

If you need a basic cooking surface, but don’t consider yourself a cooking aficionado, this might be a good place to start.

Induction Cooktops

  • How it Works

Instead of using heat from fire or electricity, induction cooking uses a magnetic field to produce heat. The cookware sits above a magnet, and together they interact to create heat very quickly.

When you adjust the burners, you increase or decrease the power of the magnetic field. With some induction cooktops, you can even merge two cooking areas into one larger space, which works perfectly for bigger cooking projects.

  • Efficiency

Induction cooktops are incredibly efficient, with 85 percent of the cooking heat passing directly to the cookware, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. What’s more, these cooktops use 30 percent less energy than electrical stovetops.

  • Pro’s

With induction cooking, the surface itself doesn’t heat at all. Instead, the heat passes directly to the pots and the food you’re cooking. Therefore, there’s very little risk for burns and cooking accidents. Because the heat is so concentrated, your kitchen won’t warm up. That’s a nice bonus during the warmer months, or if you live in a smaller apartment.

When you’re not cooking on your induction cooktop, it can double as counter space. Just be sure not to place very heavy objects on it. That’s because when you heat the surface later, the glass can shatter.

  • Con’s

Because your cookware needs to interact magnetically with the cooktop, you need to exclusively use cast iron and stainless steel options. This means you need to avoid glass, earthenware, stoneware, copper and aluminum pots and pans.

And even if you only use cast iron or stainless steel cookware, you still need to be careful with them. That’s because rough and unfinished surfaces will scratch or damage the smooth cooktop. This is also why it’s also important to keep your pots and pans very clean. Any food stains can be difficult to remove from the smooth surface of the cooktop.

  • Style

These cooktops are usually very expensive, but there are also many stylish options to choose from.

  • Maintenance

Cleaning products must be formulated specifically for induction cooktop surfaces. Any abrasive cleaning products will cause damage to the sleek surface.

Lastly, you can’t shimmy or drag your pots and pans across the burners. Instead, lifting them is the surest way to prevent damage.

  • Who Should Use Induction Cooktops

These cooktops are ideal for moms with a lot of time on their hands, and/or people who value an aesthetically pleasing kitchen.

Now, you’re a pro when it comes to kitchen cooktops! Which one is perfect for you and your cooking lifestyle?

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