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Buying Guides - Cooktops


Buying a new cooktop can be overwhelming when you haven't been in market for some time, things have probably changed and you have new things to consider when making your selection. Cooktops are more efficient, flexible and full of practical features to help you spend less time in the kitchen. We have created a helpful buying guide to help you select the right cooktop for the way you and your family cook.

1. Introduction

The benefit of having a built in oven is the ability to place it wherever suits you. If you are replacing an existing product you are in most cases limited to the size and style of oven you want, if you are starting from scratch or willing to adjust your cabinetry your options are infinite. You need to think and assess what the right oven is for your design and what will work best for your cooking style.

2. Sizing

Kitchen Layout

When it comes to your kitchen design, the biggest question you will need to ask is "How do I want to cook?". In your next kitchen you will want to consider a few things to make sure your new appliances and space works more effectively for you and your family. Follow the below guide before selecting your appliances:

Consider your cabinetry

When looking at your cabinetry you can look to positioning the cooktop in the bench above your oven, which you would be used to seeing in most homes. If you are looking for a more contemporary kitchen design you may look to having your cooktop separate from your oven, with your oven being placed above bench height within your cabinetry.

Kitchen triangle or work zones

The way you configure your kitchen layout will ultimately come down to how big your space is. In the past, kitchen designers have spoken to the work triangle which has you drawing a line between the refrigerator, cooking appliances, and sink/dishwasher which creates a triangle that has you being able to move more efficiently in the space. The more recent way of working has kitchen designers breaking the space up into 5 zones : consumables, non-consumables, cleaning, preparation and cooking zones, allowing each space to work together.

Purpose of your island bench

Over recent years, there have been kitchens designed around the island bench becoming the work bench, the place you prepare, cook and clean with ovens, cooktops or microwaves being incorporated into their design. Previous kitchen design trends saw sinks being the most common element found in a kitchen island with a dishwasher beside it. Island benches have a range of ways they can be used, the key is designing to suit your lifestyle and how you will be using your kitchen.

Size of Cooktop

When researching for a new cooktop, it’s important to consider all elements of its size. You need to consider not only the width of the cooktop but also the number of different cooking zones it offers and whether they have flexibility.

The standard cooktop size is60cm, enough for most households, however some brands offer cooktops as small as 30cm, slightly bigger at 70cm and the largest being 90cm. You may look at pairing a 30cm gas or induction cooktop with a 60cm cooktop of a different type, giving you ultimate flexibility in the kitchen.

When looking at cooking zones it is common to have 4, however you may also find the below combinations:

- 3 zones - 2 smaller and 1 large

- 4 zones of varying sizes with 1 having adjustable sizing between small and large

- 4 cooking zones - varying sizes with 2 able to become 1 large zone

3. Cooktop Type

Size, style and features are all important things that come into play in the selection of a cooktop, you will also need to consider whether you would like a gas, electric or induction which all have additional things to consider.

Gas Cooktops

- More common than induction cooktops.

- Easy install if there is presence of a gas connection.

- Specialty cookware not needed.

- The cook is in control and can intuitively control the heat, reacting to flame size - ideal for wok cooking.

- More ventilation required due to heat from open flame.

- Durable - with trivets they are more robust than their glass or ceramic counterparts.

Induction Cooktops

- Provide more precise temperature control with even heat distribution.

- Safer than other cooktops as the pot or pan is the object holding the residual heat not the cooktop surface and there is no open flame.

- Instant control and programmable features ie; pause, timer with auto-off programming.

- Flexibility - selected induction cooktops have adjustable cooking zones, pairing them together for larger pots and pans.

- Highly energy and time efficient because very little heat energy escapes - unlike with gas.

- More expensive initial outlay than other cooktops; however will cost less over their lifetime.

- Easy to clean with the a flat surface.

- Seamless design integration.