Welcome to our website! Today we are going to talk about a product that is revolutionising the way we cook: the cooktop.
Modern, practical and technological, the cooktop is replacing the traditional cooker in Brazilian homes, both by efficiency and design. Nowadays, there are models for all spaces, tastes and pockets.
Amidst so many options, we will show you in this article what you should take into account before buying the cooktop that will meet your expectations and needs.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Cooktop: Our Picks
- 4 Buying Guide
- 4.1 What is a cooktop?
- 4.2 What are the differences between the floor cooker, the built-in and the cooktop?
- 4.3 What you need to know about installing a cooktop?
- 4.4 What are the pans you can use on the cooktop?
- 4.5 How to clean your cooktop?
- 4.6 What are the advantages and disadvantages of the cooktop?
- 5 Purchase Criteria: What to take into account before choosing the cooktop
- The cooktop is a modern, light, practical tabletop cooker that takes up less space in the kitchen.
- Nowadays, there are different models, with different modes of operation, sizes and finishes.
- However, besides not having an oven attached, the cooktop requires specific space for its installation.
The Best Cooktop: Our Picks
It may seem simple to choose a cooktop for your kitchen. But you need to understand the installation and operation system, among other factors, before making this investment.
That is why we have created this Buying Guide with all the information you will need to make the best decision before investing in the most suitable cooktop.
What is a cooktop?
It is a thin, flat table-top cooker without a built-in oven, which adds modernity to your kitchen, as well as practicality when cooking.
On the other hand, precisely because it consists only of the table with the cooking zones, the cooktop is a type of cooker that can only be installed in specific spaces.
Therefore, your kitchen needs to be planned. We will talk about it in detail later in this article.
But, even so, it is the ideal type of cooker for those who want to combine modern design, with optimization of space and practicality when cooking and cleaning.
Even though it does not come with an oven, with the cooktop you can install an oven separately anywhere in the kitchen.
Which is often an advantage, since you can take advantage of previously unused places.
Because of the high demand and popularization, nowadays, you can find the cooktop with different types of operation, coating and number of burners.
The design is also varied, from those that have a look more similar to traditional cookers to the more minimalist and contemporary.
What are the differences between the floor cooker, the built-in and the cooktop?
The floor cooktop is the most common and traditional. With gas operation and oven attached, this type of cooker is perfect for kitchens that do not have planned furniture.
This is because this cooker can be placed in any space, without the need for works for its installation.
In addition, the floor cooker can be changed places and removed for cleaning, which in practice can be more laborious.
The most modern ones come with some technologies such as timer and grill.
The cooktop is more compact, efficient, technological and easy to clean if compared to traditional and built-in cookers.
But the built-in cooker, which has a similar appearance to the traditional floor cooker, also with an oven attached, has a more modern look.
Unlike the floor, the built-in cooker does not have feet and, as the name implies, must be embedded in the kitchen countertop, which helps save space.
In addition, with this type of cooker you need to move it to perform cleaning under or behind the appliance.
But once installed, it cannot be removed or changed, unless you carry out a reform in the kitchen.
Furthermore, the built-in cooker can run on gas or electricity.
For those who prefer to invest in a custom kitchen, the cooktop, also known as table cooker, brings more versatility.
Despite needing a more specific installation than other types of cooker, the cooktop takes up less space and is easier to clean.
In addition, as we have seen, the cooktop has a more elegant and slimmer design.
Its operation is also more versatile, and can be electric, gas or induction.
Below, you can see the main differences between the three types of cookers: floor, built-in and cooktop:
|Characteristics||Floor Stove||Recessed Stove||Cooktop|
|Structure||With legs||Without legs||Tabletop|
|Oven||Has||Has no||Has no|
|Operation||Gas||Gas and electric||Gas, electric or induction|
What you need to know about installing a cooktop?
Experts recommend that the countertop where the cooktop will be installed must be heat and humidity resistant, in addition to being 30 to 60 millimeters thick.
In addition, the manuals and each cooktop contain information about the distance the appliance needs to be from the wall and other appliances.
However, nowadays, there are already pre-made counters for sale to install the cooktop.
This can be a great solution if you do not want to or cannot invest in a renovation of your kitchen.
If you opt for a reform in your kitchen, the first step to have a cooktop is to consider the size of the niche in which the product will be installed.
Therefore, it is important to check the exact sizes of the appliance in the manual of your product. We will talk about this in more depth in Purchase Criteria.
In addition, you also need to be aware of some other cooktop installation details like the ones we will list below:
- The sockets must be outside the cabinet and at a distance of 30cm from the gas point to avoid accidents;
- The countertop should be between 3cm and 6cm thick and resistant to temperatures of 90ºC;
- Try to keep the refrigerator away from the cooktop, because if it is too close to the cooktop, the refrigerator's energy consumption will increase;
- If the sink is on the same worktop as the cooktop, there must be a distance of at least 45 cm between it and the cooktop, to avoid contact with water.
What are the pans you can use on the cooktop?
In other words, depending on the cooktop you buy, you may also need to buy new cookware.
This will depend exclusively on how the appliance works.
The only cooktop that has no restrictions on the types of cookware is the gas cooktop.
But if you choose an electric or induction cooktop, you should be aware that not all pans will work on them.
We will talk in detail about the working model in Purchase Criteria.
But beforehand, it is important that you know that these two types of cooktop do not produce a flame when the burners are heated.
And precisely because of this, some pans do not work on these types of cooktop.
If you opt for the electric table cooker, for example, you cannot use pans such as ceramic, glass or copper ones.
For the perfect use of this cooktop you need to use pans with reinforced bottoms, especially those made of steel or iron with at least three layers.
To use the induction cooktop, you must invest in stainless steel, triple bottom or cast iron cookware.
To find out whether a pan is compatible with an induction cooktop, you can, for example, try putting a magnet on the bottom of the pan from the outside.
If the magnet sticks to the cookware, this type of cookware can be used.
Check out the cookware that can be used with each cooktop:
- Gas cooktop: All pans.
- Electric cooktop: only pans with reinforced bottoms, preferably made of iron or steel.
- Induction cooktop: magnetized stainless steel, triple-bottom or cast iron pans.
How to clean your cooktop?
In addition, food leftovers tend not to stick to these cooktops since most of the time they have bases made of glass.
However, precisely because of this, the cooktop base must not be cleaned with abrasive materials such as steel sponges.
Otherwise you will have permanent scratches on the surface of your table-top cooktop.
To help you preserve your cooktop, we have separated some simple and quick tips that must be adopted during cleaning:
- Unplug the cooktop and wait for it to cool down;
- After cooling, remove the grids (in the case of gas cooktop) and burners and wash everything with a soft sponge;
- Clean the cooktop table with a soft sponge, neutral detergent and water;
- Remove all soap from the cooktop with a damp cloth;
- Dry the cooktop table with a dry cloth.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the cooktop?
Furthermore, due to the manufacturing material and design, the cooktop is easy to clean and, depending on the model chosen, it has numerous functions to make cooking more practical, efficient and safe.
Another advantage is that nowadays there are several options of sizes and operating modes.
This way, regardless of your budget or the space you have available, you can purchase a cooktop to call your own.
But of course, like all home appliances, the cooktop also has its drawbacks.
The main one is that you need to prepare for its installation: either by remodeling, creating a planned kitchen, or by purchasing a prefabricated counter.
In other words, it is not possible to simply buy a cooktop and take it home. The furniture in which it will be fitted must have been thought out beforehand.
Another disadvantage is that the cooktop does not have an oven. So if you want to cook roasts, you will have to invest a little more to buy an oven separately.
It is also a product that requires a high investment, especially if you need to buy new cookware.
Below, we have gathered the main advantages and disadvantages of the cooktop:
Purchase Criteria: What to take into account before choosing the cooktop
As we have seen, to have a cooktop in your kitchen, the first step is to ensure there is adequate space for its installation. But when it comes to choosing the ideal cooktop, you will also need to decide which model will be most functional for you.
To do so, you need to understand what are the characteristics that distinguish one model from another. Therefore, we have listed for you the main factors that should be observed before buying the cooktop:
- Operating Mode
- Energy Rating
- Extra functions
Below, we will explain each of these factors in detail for you to make the best decision and invest in the ideal cooktop.
The operating mode will influence the way in which the cooktop heats the food and the choice of energy source used. Therefore, as we have already seen, the cooktop can operate using gas, electricity or induction.
The gas model is practical because you can use the same system you used with the traditional cooker. It is also possible to cook even when there are no power outages. In addition, this type of cooktop is compatible with all types of cookware.
The downside is that the gas cooktop does not have a high performance to cook food quickly.
The model with electric operation, on the other hand, makes the cooktop superior in terms of speed to prepare food.
This is because, in the electric table cooker, the burners are heated by means of a resistance, similar to the one we have in electric showers. This means that there is no need for a flame to heat the food.
And, precisely because it does not produce flames, this type of cooktop does not have grids on the heating zones, which makes cleaning easier.
The downside is that the electric cooktop takes longer to cool down.
This means that if you touch the cooker on, you will not feel any heat. In this way, this type of cooktop brings an extra point of safety. In the induction cooktop, heat is only activated when you place the pan on the heating element.
Therefore, food cooks much faster and the heating element cools down more quickly. See below for the main features of the three types of cooktop with regard to the way they work:
|Price||Cheaper||More expensive||More expensive|
If you choose a gas cooktop, you must take into account the energy rating of the appliance. This information comes on the Concep Label sticked on the cooktop and helps you to know if you are buying an economical cooktop.
The rating ranges from "A" to "E", where A is the most efficient in gas consumption, ensuring greater savings and less damage to the environment. The E rating is the least efficient.
Another factor you should observe is the type, quantity and power of the heating elements. You can choose a cooktop with one to 6 burners. Compact cooktops, with one or two burners, are light and portable. These models can even be taken to the table, to the barbecue or to the balcony.
A 4-burner cooktop is suitable for those who live alone and like to cook a lot, or for those who have a small family. With 5 or 6 burners you can make a larger production for families of five or more people.
Also, take into consideration the size of the burners. The most modern cooktop models offer burners with different sizes, so you can use pans with varied diameters. Finally, if you are serious about cooking efficiency, look at the power of the heating zones.
In the most modern options, you'll find dual and triple flame burners that can reach up to 4,000W. Other burners, on the other hand, can have fast heat, such as 3,000W and semi-quick heat of 1,650W.
This is a point that you should pay maximum attention. After all, you need to ensure that the cooktop will fit in the space you have available in the kitchen. To give you an idea, an average four-burner cooktop can measure 5.5cm high, 59cm wide and 52cm deep.
A larger four-burner cooktop is about 5cm high, 86cm wide and 60cm deep.
The compact two-burner cooktop, for example, can measure around 4.7cm high, 30.2cm wide and 51.4cm deep.
The larger ones, from 5 to 6 burners, are generally 4.2cm high, 73cm wide and 51cm deep.
For those who think that all cooktops are square, we have good news to tell you. The cooktop can be found in various shapes, ensuring even more charm, modernity and exclusivity to the decor of your kitchen.
Therefore, before making your purchase, also take into account the design of the cooktop. In general, you can choose square, rectangular and even curved models. Some have exclusive rounded shapes.
Cooktops can be manufactured with different types of finish. You can choose between stainless steel, glass or glass ceramic. Your choice will determine not only the look and decoration, but also the strength and durability of the cooktop.
The cooktop with stainless steel finishing is highly resistant, but has a traditional look, similar to conventional cookers. In general, the stainless steel cooktop has grids in the heating zones, which also influences in the cleaning, which becomes a little more laborious.
The cooktop with tempered glass finish is resistant to high temperatures and thermal shocks, besides being easier to clean. The glass model may or may not have the grids of the burners, besides colours and even various prints.
The cooktop with glass-ceramic finishing is the most technological and modern of all, with totally digital control. Therefore, this kind of finishing is only found in electric or induction cooktops.
The glass ceramic is also a type of glass, but it is more resistant and durable.
Besides, this type of finishing guarantees a high level of protection because it does not allow the cooktop table to heat up, thus avoiding accidents with burns.
When we think of cooktops, we imagine them in black or silver. But there are many different colours and patterns for cooktops. You can choose colours such as white, red, yellow, blue and green, for example. Also, if you prefer, there are modern models that come with striped prints, for example.
Finally, we recommend you to observe the extra functions of the cooktop models. In general, the electric and induction type will offer the most features.
Among them, you will find cooktops with automatic shut-off, touch-sensitive buttons, timer, temperature level control, warning lights, among others. The choice here is personal and will depend on your usage needs.
(Source of the highlighted image: Carlos Caetano / 123RF)