There are a few things you’ll need to consider when buying a new cooktop. The team at Home Clearance has put together this guide to help you out!
Types of Electric Cooktops
This style usually features an enamel or stainless steel surface, with solid electric hotplates of varying sizes. It’s one of the cheapest types of hotplate you can buy, and it’s also very resilient. However it’s not the most energy efficient cooktop, and the heat-up times can be slow.
These cooktops feature a flat surface made from reinforced glass. This style of electric cooktop looks good and is easy to clean. But it is still not as fast or efficient as induction. Another consideration is that these cooktops are only compatible with flat-bottomed cookware.
Induction cooktops are incredibly fast and efficient. Basically, they use electromagnetic energy to react with metal objects – so the pot itself will become hot, not the cooktop’s surface. This eliminates a step from the process – giving you much faster heat-up times and better energy efficiency.
These cooktops are a little bit more expensive, but they’re worth the investment if you love cooking, or if you have a busy lifestyle. They’re also incredibly safe to use, as it’s impossible to accidentally ‘leave the stove on’ – without a pot on the surface, nothing will happen.
Please note that you will need to use stainless steel or cast iron cookware for the electromagnetic reaction to work.
Measure before you buy! The standard width for a cooktop is 600mm, but you can also buy narrow 300mm cooktops (with two hotplates) or extra-wide 900mm cooktops – great for cooking with many pots at the same time.
Solid hotplate cooktops usually come with traditional control knobs, whereas the newer flat electric and induction cooktops generally feature touch controls.
Touch controls are easy to clean – simply wipe a damp cloth over the surface. But they can take a bit of getting used to.
Dual cooking zone
Some electric cooktops feature a small circle inside a larger circle – which means you can use the same zone for differently sized pots.
Auto pan size recognition
Selected models of induction cooktop feature sensors that will automatically detect the size of the pot being used. That means that your cooktop will use only as much energy as is needed to heat that particular pot. The result is better cooking results and better energy efficiency.
Child safety lock
If you have small kids, look out for a cooktop with a child lock – to prevent them from turning the cooktop on while you’re not looking.
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