The kitchen is the heart of the home, so it’s important to have the best cooktop for making the best meals. The standard size of a built-in cooktop is between 30-inches and 36-inches, though some are available in smaller sizes. There are electric, induction, and gas stovetops, and options for a different number of burners. We’ve found the best cooktops help you make the right decision.
Expandable cooktop with quick boil
The Frigidaire FFEC3025UB has four burners, but it doesn't shy away from some of the more high-end features you'll find in other models. Among them, a Quick Boil setting and up to 3000 watts of power per burner.
- Quick boil
- Expandable cooktop
- Four burners, less than most cooktops
The burners are where a lot of the action is at when it comes to the Frigidaire FFEC3025UB because there are seven heat settings per burner and the cooktop’s largest burner can be tweaked between six and nine inches. This electric cooktop measures 30 inches and features a ceramic heating surface.
Advanced technology features
The GASLAND Chef induction cooktop works like an electric cooktop, but it uses advanced technology to give you more even cooking results and extra powerful safety features. This includes overheating protection and auto-shutoff on all five cook zones.
- Five burners
- Easy cleaning
- Quick cooling
- No knobs
This cooktop features digital sensor controls rather than traditional knobs. This gives the surface a completely crevice-free finish, so it's easier to wipe clean. But that also means there's a little bit of a learning curve to figuring out this cooktop. This built-in cooktop measures 36-inches.
Heats up quickly
This recessed gas cooktop features four burners set in a black, tempered glass base. It doesn’t require any electricity to use and has a flame failure and auto-shutoff feature to keep gas from leaking into your home. This cooktop includes the nozzles and converter connections needed to install it in your home. The Empava gas cooktop is available in 24-inch, 30-inch, and 36-inch sizes.
For dorm and apartment living
This single electric burner cooktop is a good choice for small living spaces, including dorm rooms and studio apartments. All controls are digital and it includes both a 3-hour timer and a safety lock. The temperature of the burner ranges between 140 degrees and 460 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Safety lock
- Countertop burner
- 3-hour timer
- Only one burner
- Bit of a learning curve
This burner is ment to sit on your counter rather than placed in a permanent position, so it's convenient to take along on trips. It heats up quickly and has overheating protection. Because all the controls are digital, it will take a while to figure out how to use it. Also, there is only a single burner, so you can't cook more than one thing at a time.
Safety locks for each burner
The Cafe cooktop has an intuitive design. It has five burners with two that can combine to form a bridge element. The digital controls are easy to access and use, and the burners have graphic representations on each button.
- Bridge burners
- Digital controls
- Automatic shut-off funtion
With so many heating areas, you can use different sized pans and easily cook a variety of foods at different temperatures at the same time. It has valuable safety features such as a child lock to help prevent youngsters from getting burned, a hot surface indicator, and an automatic shut-off function. The Cafe CEP90362NSS is one of the most expensive cooktops.
All about cooktops
There are a few things to consider when buying an electric cooktop. For one, do you want an electric cooktop with an inbuilt downdraft? This is perfect for kitchen islands that don’t have an overhanging range hood or smaller kitchens without the space to install a range hood above your stovetop. Having an inbuilt downdraft can compromise the available space on your electric cooktop though, so we would suggest opting for a regular cooktop if possible.
In order to use a gas cooktop, your home needs to be designed with the gas hookups already in your kitchen. Otherwise, you’re limited to an electric or induction cooktop. When choosing a gas cooktop decide if you need a standard size 30-inch gas range or a large 36-inch model. 24-inch cooktops are also available for RVs and mobile homes. Next, make sure the gas range you’re considering buying will have enough power for what you need. Gas range power is measured in BTU (British Thermal Units) and most of the best gas ranges will offer you around 20,000 BTU in total. It’s also important to choose a gas cooker with flame and gas leak safety measures to avoid fire and gas fumes in your home. ANd of course, make sure the cooktop you choose is compatible with the nozzles and hookups you already have, or that they come with them for easy installation.
Induction cooktops resemble regular electric cooktops and come in the standard 30 or 36-inch measurements, but the technology behind induction cooktops is what makes them so special. Induction cooktops will cook food and bring water to the boil at much faster speeds than gas cooktops. This is because they do not heat a cooking surface which then heats your pots and pans. Instead, electromagnetic coils directly heat your cookware and its contents. This means that only the pan itself is heated, which means that any spills will not be cooked onto your induction cooktop. It also means your cooktop will cool far faster than regular cooktops, which is a great safety feature. Because the electromagnetic induction coils will only work with specific metals, it may not be compatible with all of your pots and pans. They are also not suitable for people with pacemakers.
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