There are many cooktop options available to choose from and sorting through the options can be a daunting task. Electric, gas and induction cooktops each have their advantages and disadvantages but ultimately you need to choose a cooktop to fit your lifestyle and needs, as well as future needs.
Traditional Radiant Electric Cooktops
If you do enough searching you might be able to find a coil burner cooktop, but nowadays the vast majority of traditional radiant electric options are made of sleek smoothtops with dedicated burner zones.
- The most obvious pro is the cost. Ceramic cooktops are affordable and installation only requires an outlet (once it’s inserted into your counter).
- Cleaning smoothtop surfaces is very easy- although, as with any cooktop, if you leave a mess on the cooktop too long it will turn into a caked-on mess.
- Traditional radiant electric cooktops are able to maintain an even heat because the surface of the entire burner remains the same temperature. In gas cooktops, sections of the burner are different temperatures depending on where the flame is.
- Traditional radiant electric cooktops take a long time to cool down. This can be a hazard- especially if you have kids around.
- The cost to use an electric cooktop will likely be higher than a natural gas option. Electricity is generally more expensive than gas – and likely to continue climb in price.
- Electric cooktops won’t work in the event of a power outage.
Gas cooktops, as the name implies, are powered by gas. They are distinguishable by protruding burners, which produce a visible flame.
Note: Gas cooktops with ceramic glass-tops can still have open burners. The ceramic material is just what’s underneath the burner, instead of a stainless steel base on most gas cooktops.
- Gas cooktops heat up very quickly and very precisely. This gives you more control over how much heat your applying to food. You can visibly see the flame to gauge the amount of heat applied. This is also ideal for searing foods such as steak or fish.
- Gas cooktops also cool down relatively quick, which is great for safety and reducing heat in the kitchen.
- In addition to a cheaper fuel cost than electricity, natural gas is also a more environmentally friendly form of energy.
- Gas cooktops can still work during power outages. All you need is a lighter or match to ignite the burner.
- Gas cooktops are not very energy efficient- as much as 56% of the energy emitted is lost in the air.
- You must have a gas line or space in the cabinet below for a propane tank to consider a gas cooktop. If your kitchen is not already hooked up with natural gas, this will be a very costly option.
- The protruding burner design of a gas cooktop is more difficult to clean than the smooth surface of electric or induction alternatives.
Induction cooktops have a smoothtop surface like traditional radiant cooktops. However, they use electromagnetic currents to heat cookware instead of direct conduction.
- Induction cooktops have a smooth surface that is easy to clean.
- An induction cooktop is the most efficient heating method available. 94% of the energy spent is used to heat your food. This makes them cheaper to operate than traditional electric.
- Because induction burners are so efficient, they heat up faster than traditional electric without producing excess heat like gas burners.
- Only the surface touching cookware will heat up (through magnetic conduction with the pot or pan). This makes induction cooktops the safest cooktop option.
- Induction cooktops require pots and pans with magnetic properties in order to function properly. If you don’t already own said cookware, purchasing a new set can be a costly expense.
- Your cookware becomes the heating element on an induction cooktop, which means the handles have the potential to get very hot.
- Induction cooktops require more of an upfront investment than their radiant electric and gas counterparts. Though the initial cost is generally recuperated over time through savings on power expenses.
Whether you are building, remodeling or just updating your old cooktop, there are tons of great options to choose from. When it comes to selecting between electric, gas and induction there is no wrong answer as long as you keep in mind which pros and cons are most important to you. Let us help you find your next cooktop at a Factory Builder Stores near you!