Author Deb Reardon
Just a little about me: I have 12 years in the kitchen industry as the owner of Kitchens R Us.
Buyer's Guide to your Ideal Cooktop
Gas, Induction & Ceramic
Regardless of which type of cooktop you decide on, it is important to Remember the following when making a purchase.
Heats by Coiled Metal Elements Under Tempered Ceramic Glass
The Metal coils electronically heat to the desired temperature, this coil then heats the ceramic Surface.
Coils do cycle on and off during use, helping to keep a stable cooking temperature.
Ceramic Cooktops work best with flat bottomed cookware as it has an increased surface area that is in contact with the heat reducing the warming time.
Ceramic cooktops generally feature an electronic push dial which helps control temperatures more precisely, as well as adding a design value to the cooktop.
Cleaning of a Ceramic cooktop is generally simple, though if something spills and burns onto the surface it can make cleaning more difficult, it is important to clean spills, as soon as it is safe to do so.
Heated by high-frequency Electromagnets. Heat is almost instant similar to gas.
The electromagnets generate a magnetic field that heats the pan directly and not the cooktops full surface, this helps keep an even temperature throughout the pan's surface.
Induction cooktops use specialised cookware, as it needs to be able to withstand the fast heating process and direct heat to the pan rather than cooktop. It is best to check with a specialist on what cookware would best suit your needs.
Induction cooktops generally feature an electronic touch controls which helps to control the temperature more precisely as well as adding an extra design element to the cooktop itself.
Cleaning induction cooktops is as easy as wiping it down, as it is a flat smooth surface so there is no small spaces for the food to fall into.Induction cooktops generally work out to the most expensive hob option , as the purchase price is generally higher , installation and wiring requirements more costly and the cabinet below the induction hob, must be modified to allow sufficient space for cooling.
Heats by Igniting the Fuel (gas) with an electric Spark.
When you switch the gas on it generates an immediate heat, and heats the pan's surface directly via an open flame.
Gas cooktops accept most types of cookware as it is a naked flame heating the bottom rather than a direct heat hitting the base of the pan, cast Iron is generally recommended for use with gas as it is hard wearing and sturdy with a large surface area.
Gas Cooktops temperature is controlled manually, generally by a knob or dial on the cooker rather than an electronic dial.
One big thing about gas is that even in the event of a power cut, it will still keep running, unlike Ceramic or Induction which run off electricity.
Cleaning a gas cooktop can become a bit of a task, as there is a lot of parts to work with. When cleaning a gas cooktop you have to disassemble some components and wash them separately as well as making sure you get around all the knobs and switches. Make sure you allow for this when looking into one.
If you are looking at cost of the cooktop
The most cost effective would be Ceramic, as it is cheaper to purchase and doesn't cost much to install & run.
In the middle would be Induction, because though it is more expensive to purchase it doesn't cost a lot to run because it doesn't waste heat by heating the cooktop rather it heats the Pan itself.
The most costly would be Gas, even though it isn't the most expensive to purchase, it does cost a bit to run, because it runs off gas rather than electricity and it wastes a bit of heat by producing a naked flame, rather than solely heading up a flat surface.
Overall each cooktop has its benefits and it is upto the design and functionally that you are looking for to which would better suit your purposes.