Why Buy an Electric Cooktop?
Whether you're remodeling your entire kitchen or just replacing your range stove, an electric cooktop is a move in a more efficient direction than the traditional stove and oven duo. Electric cooktops work with your current electric system if you already have a range stove, but you should always be aware the type of power that flows through your kitchen. Ceramic glass countertops have a sleek, modern design, giving an instant update your kitchen. You can install an electric cooktop into an island, and the smooth surface adds extra space and doubles as a counter top.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re choosing a new cooktop. Some models have built-in downdraft systems so you don't need to buy a vent or hood. Flat and coil models are easier to clean than gas cooktops because they eliminate the grates. Some flat ceramic cooktops sport electronic touchpad controls, bridges, expandable elements and a wide array of safety and control features. Below are the main elements to keep in mind as you update your cooktop.
The kitchen is a terrible room to lack space in, especially if you cook frequently. Lean toward flat ceramic glass models for a modern, streamlined look that can double as extra counter space when not in use. Higher-end models include touch controls and special features for safety and heat control. Coil element cooktops have a classic, rustic look for traditional kitchens.
Expandable burners and bridge features are great if you like serving large meals or hosting huge family dinners. Expandable elements range from 6 to 12 inches and serve as a 2-in-1 tool for small and extra-large cookware. Some models have triple burners with expandable elements housing three different sizes in one space. Bridge elements combine two, typically two 7-inch, individually functioning burners into one long oval shaped burner for griddles and oblong cookware. Though only flat ceramic models sport these features, some coil element cooktops offer a fifth element for extra cookware.
Cleaning and Care
Ceramic glass cooktops are easy to clean because you don't have to maneuver around metal grates or coils. However, you have to clean ceramic glass cooktops frequently. The glass is a trap for water and food stains, and it’s prone to streaking or cracking if you don't use the right cleaner. You can find ceramic glass cleaners at your local grocery or home improvement store. Lower-maintenance coil cooktops work well with most all-purpose or liquid cleaners. A removable chrome bowl allows most foods to slide off the smooth surface, but you have to remove and reconnect the coils each time you clean the bowls.
Ceramic glass cooktops require flat-bottomed, stainless steel cookware that won't scratch the surface or melt to the heated elements. Copper, glass, earthenware or cast iron are no problem for coil element cooktops, as they work well with any type of cookware.
Like most appliances, the balance of old and new features is a trade-off. Higher-end flat models look sleek and streamlined, but require the same diligent care and special accessories as a sports car. These models are the best if you're looking for style and efficient features, but they require specialized cleaners and specific cookware. Lower-end coil element cooktops are typically wider and have fewer features, but cleaning is easy with chrome drip bowls and porcelain enamel surfaces that don't require special cleaners or cookware. As with most items, the best cooktop for you will depend on the specific expectations and needs you have for your kitchen.
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