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Cooktops can be classified according to their energy source: Gas, LPG, and Electricity. Many people now choose to buy electric cooktops for their kitchen because they're easier to clean, more convenient to use, and more efficient than gas or charcoal. Electric cooktops have been around for many years, but they were much less popular before gasoline and electric became widely available.
Both gas and electric cooktops heat up from the same electricity supply. Electric cooktops consist of coiled metallic elements which sit above a thin ceramic base, and which heats the cooktop through electrical conductivity. The heat generated by the heat-generating element is sent directly to the cookware, ready for immediate cooking. Induction cooktops utilise electromagnets rather than mechanical coils and so do not require a direct connection to the kitchen plumbing.
Because induction cooktops do not need direct access to plumbing, the cookware can often be installed within the wall itself. This makes it safer, since there are no wires to conceal. The ease of installation appeals to many people, since it means that people do not need to install a vent, chimney, or exhaust system separately. The surface is always flat and even, so there is no need to worry about a hot surface posing a fire hazard.
Since induction cooktops heat up from the same power supply, the cookware can be directly heated by any electric or gas ranges. This is great news for households with gas shortages, or for people with a gas range that runs on electricity. Gas prices can be erratic and unpredictable, but with an induction stove, they can be turned off immediately after finishing cooking. Electric ranges have different settings, and some will need to be left on as the power source changes, making this option undesirable if you do not use electric cookware frequently.
In general, induction cooktops with electromagnetic energy conversion are more energy efficient. This is because they transfer heat faster, meaning the cooktop does not have to work as hard to heat food. Cooks will notice a marked difference after using an induction cooktop for the first time, as the food cooks more evenly and faster. It also has the advantage of using up to 75% less energy than a standard pot. Because of this, electric cooktops will usually cost less to use over time than a comparable traditional cooktops.
Another way that electric cooktops use less energy is through its ability to heat only a small portion of the space that is available on the stove. Magnetic cooktops and other types are similar to induction cooktops in this respect, as they have a magnetic field that draws in heat from the surrounding area. The water that is heated inside the pot is moved to the heat source by a magnetic field. This method is ideal if you cook frequently at the same temperature, or do not want to have different temperatures for different meals. Magnetic cooktops may also be used in conjunction with convection or microwaves. By combining these two types of cooking, a much larger portion of the space can be heated, which is especially useful if your kitchen has smaller walls.
One of the main benefits of using a gas cooktop compared to an electric one is that it heats up more quickly, but may be safer to use. Although induction cooktops may produce a more even heat distribution, gas cooktops heat up more evenly and faster. It is possible that an induction cooktop could overheat, but this is usually not a cause for concern. The same cannot be said about the dangers of gas, as it has been proven to be safer than electric cooktops for many years. Therefore, if safety is a priority when you are preparing meals, then gas may be the better option for you.
When buying new kitchen appliances, it's important to take your time when choosing the right one for your kitchen. It is tempting to rush into a store and buy the first oven you see, but you could end up spending more money in the long run if you purchase an inappropriate model. Here are six cooktop ideas for those on a budget who would like to remodel their kitchen.
Types of Cooktops
Granite Cooktops: Although stone and marble worktops look beautiful, they are heavy and may not be suitable for some kitchens. If you need to space your kitchen off from other rooms, then you will most likely be looking at granite or marble worktops. They are very popular with chefs because of their ease of use, which allows you to place hot pots and pans directly onto the cooktop surface. As well as being easy to use, granite or marble worktops are also highly stylish and come in a wide range of colours.
Although many new cooktops now come with pre-installed heating elements, if you would prefer to add additional warmth then you could consider purchasing a specially designed, electric or gas heated cooker. Gas cooktops tend to be the best for families as they do not allow children to get burned by hot oil or grease, which is usually transferred from a stove top to a cooker. Electric cooktops are also popular and good for apartments where you may not want the hassle of connecting cables. The size of the cooktop should also be taken into consideration, as you will probably need a large oven space to prepare large meals.
Are the features of the cooktop essential to you? Do you want an obtrusive design with eight burners and a sizable work surface? Or do you prefer a sleek and minimalist design with only six burners? The most common type of cooktops are the conventional square design, which are made from either cast iron or stainless steel. Some newer models of electric and gas cooktops use alternative materials, such as copper. If practicality is important to you, then these types of cooktops are the best choices.
The number of burners is an important consideration when shopping for cookware. Cooktops with at least six burners are the norm, although you can opt for smaller, less expensive burners if this is your preference. As with the size and number of burners, the style and colour of the burners should also be taken into consideration. Some cookware brands offer interchangeable burners; these are very useful if your lifestyle requires you to cook on different kitchen islands, or in different locations within your home. Some newer cooktops now come with two burners, allowing you to cook two pans at once.
Another factor to take into consideration is the depth of the sides of the cooktop. Cooktops range in thickness, from seven and a half inches to forty-eight inches. The thickness of the sides of the pan will impact how easily pots and pans slip off of them. Most gas cooktops have a smooth inner surface, but some older, heavier pots and pans have a textured, non-sticky inner surface. These types of cooktops tend to scratch easier than smoother ones, so keep this in mind when purchasing a new cooktop.
The final consideration when shopping for a new cooktop is efficiency. The best 36-inch cooktop will be rated by Time Magazine for gas burns, oven time, and even stove time. To measure the efficiency of a cooktop, divide the time required to cook in half, then multiply that by the number of cooking sessions needed to cook an average meal. Factor in the heating element, too. An electric or gas cooktop with a combination of radiant heat and zone controls will be more efficient than one with a fan or a slow-air cooktop.