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Cooktop Shopping Tips

Cooktops can be as customized as you want. Here’s how to find the right configuration for your kitchen. 
Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens®


You have a variety of options when it comes to your cooktop. From electric coils to gas burners to ceramic glass surfaces, you can find the right choice to match your cooking needs and personal style. In addition, you have a choice of ventilation varieties.

Find out what each option offers and see what fits you and your kitchen the best.

Gas burners heat up and cool off more quickly than electric elements, and it's easy to see the flame and adjust it to the cooking task.
Electric-coil elements avoid the open flame and fumes of gas burners.
 Cooktop Shopping Tips1
Choose between gas or electric. 

 

Sealed-gas burners simplify cleanup by extending the cooktop surface around the burner element so spills stay on the surface. Most sealed-gas burners incorporate an energy-saving electronic-ignition system.
 Cooktop Shopping Tips2
Consider energy-saving options when
selecting your range.
 

 

Ceramic-glass cooktops feature a solid, smooth surface that's both attractive and easy to clean. Underneath, electric coils or halogen elements (or a combination of the two) provide the heat; halogen burners heat faster than electric units but are more expensive to operate.
Magnetic-induction cooktops are as smooth and easy to clean as ceramic-glass units but stay cool to the touch. An electromagnetic field generates heat so the pan -- not the surface -- cooks the food.
Solid-disk cooktops cook with electricity but are easier to clean than traditional electric-coil units. The solid cast-iron cooktop surface incorporates the burner elements, which are slower to heat and cool than electric coils.

Cooktop Shopping Tips3

Solid cooktops provide a smooth
surface that's easy to clean.

 

Ventilation options

Ventilation systems are designed to remove heat, steam, grease, and odors released from a range orcooktop.

Updraft systems consist of a hood that pulls air up through a filter and along ductwork to the outside.

Downdraft systems can fit flush on a cooktop or rise about 6 inches above it at the back. They draw air down through ductwork under the floor to the outside.

Ductless range hoods filter out soot and some odors but leave most pollutants to recirculate back into the room air. Never use a ductless hood with a gas range.

A range hood should extend over all burners and contain cooking vapors until the blower can carry them outside. Install the hood no higher than 30 inches above the cooking surface.

The range-hood blower should be rated to move at least 150 cubic feet of air per minute. Hoods for professional ranges or those longer than 48 inches may need more than one blower.

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