Our Guide to Finding the Ideal Cooktop and Oven for Your New Kitchen
For many homeowners, the most exciting part of a kitchen remodel is the chance to pick out brand new appliances. Since a kitchen remodel typically involves a re-imagining of the style and atmosphere of your kitchen, finding appliances that fit can sometimes be tricky. In order to make the process a little easier, we’ve put together a guide that takes price, style, functionality, square footage, and safety into consideration.
For families that cook at home often, the oven and cooktop are huge parts of everyday life. That’s why it’s especially important to ensure that your new range fits the needs of your household in addition to fitting the style of your new space.
Gas vs. Electric
When it comes to ranges, the very first decision is whether you want to keep your existing gas or electric fuel supply or switch over to the other side. While switching from gas to electric comes with very little (if any) added cost, going from electric to gas often comes with substantial installation costs. However, some home cooks find the flexibility and immediacy of gas heat to be worth the extra cost.
Since cooktops and ovens can come combined in one unit or separately, we’ll look at the different types of each device separately:
Induction heat models are the most modern and high-tech cooktops available on the market today. These unique burners don’t actually burn at all, but rather use electromagnetic energy to cook food.
These cooktops are the safest option available since they don’t use an open flame or direct heat. This makes them a great option for homes with small children. They are also one of the most energy efficient and fast-heating.
The most significant drawback of induction cooking is that your pots and pans must be compatible with this type of heating. Glass cookware, and other non-magnetic materials will not work. Induction cooktops are also typically more expensive than other heating methods.
Smoothtop cooking surfaces feature a glass-ceramic surface with an electric heating element below. They are, essentially, a more stylish version of the traditional electric coil cooktop. For this reason, you can expect the pay slightly more than a traditional coil-style surface, with the added benefit of sleek, modern style. The downside of smoothtop surfaces is that, like induction, not all types of cookware are appropriate to use with it. The surface is also prone to scratches.
Electric Coil Cooktop
The most affordable variety of cooktop, the classic electric coil is an effective (yet decidedly unglamorous) solution. The biggest problem with electric coil cooktops (aside from their out-of-style appearance) is their tendency to provide an uneven surface for cookware. This causes food to cook unevenly as it tends to slide to one side of the pan.
Gas Burner Cooktop
The industry standard in professional kitchens, gas burner cooktops are prized for their superbly even heat distribution. The large iron grates that sit on top of the burners also lend kitchens a high-end appearance. For those that can afford the installation (or are lucky enough to have a gas line already installed to their kitchen), a gas-burning cooktop makes for a happy home chef.
While gas cooktops cook much more evenly than their electric counterparts, the opposite is true when it comes to ovens. Gas ovens are known for cooking less evenly than electric ones, although a built-in convection fan can certainly help to distribute the heat more evenly.
Ovens with electric heating elements are known for their stable, even heat distribution. Electric ovens with convection fans are even more effective and even heat distribution. Although it will certainly cost more than a combined unit, a separated gas cooktop with a standalone electric oven could be considered the ideal combination of cooking instruments for a kitchen remodel.
Ready to Start Designing the Kitchen of Your Dreams?
At Straight Line Design & Remodeling, we have been designing and building kitchens to meet the needs of families in the Portland metro area for over a decade. That means that we have the experience and know-how to bring your project to life while staying on schedule and on budget.