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How to Choose The Right Cooktop

Aug 23, 2022

A young family enjoying their time in the kitchen with the right cooktop for their cooking activities.

If you’ve been shopping for a new cooktop recently, you might have run into a common issue: option overload! There are so many different cooktops these days, and they all come with different features. For the uninitiated, questions abound. What is induction? Why do I want a protective finish? Which is better, electric or gas?

It’s true, these questions can be difficult to answer. But don’t worry, we’re here for you. Finding the right cooktop for your specific needs shouldn’t cause headaches — it should be fun! In this article, we’ve broken down several different cooktop types and features, so that you can better understand what to look for as you shop.

Types of Cooktops

There are three common types of cooktops: induction, electric and gas. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks.

Induction: If your main concern is safety, then an induction cooktop might be the best choice for you. Induction cooktops utilize electromagnets, which only heat surrounding cookware. That means there’s less risk of getting burned from the cooktop. This feature, of course, is great for parents of small children or pets who might be around the stove during cooking. One drawback: Induction stoves are traditionally more expensive than their electric and gas counterparts.

Electric: An electric cooktop is the best option for transferring heat directly from the stove to pots or pans. This means the kitchen stays cooler while your food cooks. Electric cooktops are designed so that 70% of the heat gets transferred directly, compared with 40% for gas. However, electric cooktops can make it more difficult to control the amount of heat being applied to your food.

Gas: Gas stoves allow for the most precise heat control. Gas is also generally a quicker option when it comes to heating and cooling. For these reasons, this type of cooktop is popular among chefs. With that said, gas cooktops also tend to be more expensive. But if precision is what you need in your kitchen, then a gas cooktop is the way to go.

Features and Specs

Listed below are most of the major features and options you’ll come across when shopping for a cooktop.

Size: Cooktops come in various sizes, with some of the larger ones ranging (no pun intended) up to 36 inches wide and smaller cooking areas spanning only about 12 inches. The more compact sizes are great for tiny kitchens or outdoor cooking areas. Larger cooktops will take up more space, but on average they’ll have four or five burners, which can handle different dishes being cooked at the same time. To determine which size would benefit you the most, take a look at your space, identify your specific needs and take precise measurements to find the right cooktop for your area.

Grill/Griddle: A grill or griddle can be a fun addition for Saturday morning breakfasts. With a griddle, you can fry up bacon, eggs and pancakes easier than with a pan. A griddle also provides more flat space, allowing you to put food directly on it when preparing large batches of food.

Hot Surface Lights/Indicators: A hot light indicator is a great safety tool. A stovetop will remain hot even after it’s been turned off, so it’s nice to be able to know when a burner is dangerous and needs to be avoided — even when the knobs are all turned to “off.” This feature is typical on most cooktops, but it’s still important to check.

Downdraft: If you don’t have room for an overhead vent, it might be a good idea to look for a cooktop that has one already built in. Downdraft exhausts have the same functionality as an overhead vent. However, instead of taking the smoke up and out of the house, a downdraft range features a vent on the cooktop itself, which pulls smoke back down into the stove and then releases it out of the house.

Protective Furnishings: Having the right finish on your cooktop can help with longevity and cleaning. If you expect heavy use or wear and tear on your cooktop, or if you want to make cleaning a breeze, it might be beneficial to find a cooktop with a protective finish. Cooktops with glass or stainless steel will stain and scratch less when they have a protective finish applied to them.

Conclusion

It shouldn’t be complicated to shop for a cooktop. With Acima Leasing’s lease-to-own solution*, you can shop for kitchen appliances until you find one that's perfect for your home. Take advantage of Acima Leasing’s flexible lease renewal payment options* so you can get what you want now. If you make the number of payments defined under your lease or exercise an option to purchase it early at a discount, it’s yours! If you no longer want the cooktop and it’s in good condition, you can terminate your lease at any time by following our instructions. Acima Leasing works with thousands of name-brand appliance retailers and makes it simple to navigate for a location near you, so why not start shopping now? If you are interested in reading more about Acima Leasing check out this page or our FAQ page.