Choosing The Best Cooking Appliance For Your Kitchen
Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or you’re remodeling your kitchen, selecting commercial cooking equipment for your kitchen can be overwhelming – especially with the numerous features and technology options. To ease your decision-making, we’ve created a guide to help you choose the best food preparation appliance for your kitchen. Read on to discover which equipment works best for you.
A cooktop, commonly powered by gas or electricity is a cooking appliance fixed on the top of your countertop. It usually doesn’t come with an oven below and has its knobs located on the surface of the appliance. Because they don’t come with an oven, they give your kitchen more storage space. A gas cooktop uses natural or propane gas to generate heat, and its temperature can be controlled by turning the knob towards the high or low heat indicator.
Electric cooktops on the other hand do not produce flames as a gas cooktop does, rather it generates heat from an electric current. Electric cooktops are of two types: the traditional coil cooktop and the glass-ceramic cooktop. The coil-based cooktop transfers heat directly to your pots or pans from spiral steel tubes when connected to electricity, while the glass-ceramic surface cooktop has metal heated elements underneath its surface from which heat emanates to your cookware.
Another type of electric cooktop different from the other two is the induction cooktop. Although it has a ceramic surface just like the glass-ceramic cooktop, what differentiates it from the others is its use of electromagnetic elements to heat cooking vessels. The cooktop doesn’t produce infrared lights like the electric cooktop does when turned on, because the induction cooking heats your cookware, instead of the burner.
Induction cooktops also don’t have control knobs like the others, instead, the temperature can be controlled using a digital touch panel.
Of all the types of cooktops mentioned above, induction cooktops have better advantages such as:
- Speed: induction cooktops heat your pots and pans instantly which means you’ll save up to half the usual time you spend in the kitchen using other types of cooktops.
- Less energy: the cooktop uses less energy because the heat it generates will be in the pot instead of the burner itself.
- Safety: the cooker will only react to your cooking vessels, so even if you forget to turn it off, the surface stays cool. This makes burn accidents less likely to occur.
- Easy to clean up: the glass top makes it easy to wipe if batter or food gets spilled on it.
A cooking range is an appliance that combines a cooktop and an oven in one unit. It is a standalone appliance that has its burners atop and the oven down below. Unlike a cooktop, the knobs are usually positioned at the front of the unit, rather than on the top; and like cooktops, ranges come in three variations: gas, electric, and induction. Asides from the oven feature, these different types of ranges work the same way the varying cooktops work.
It’s important to point out that while cooktops don’t come with their own oven, a wall oven can be installed below it or built in a set of cabinets underneath it.
Cooktops vs. Ranges
Both appliances serve similar purposes but are each not without their peculiar benefits and limitations. Below are some of the pros and cons of both appliances.
- Because cooktops require a small cut-out in your countertop, you’re left with more space for storage beneath your counter.
- Cooktops are safer because the control panels are out of reach of children and pets (especially with induction cooktops).
- Induction cooktops can be aesthetically satisfying; they give a sleek appearance to your countertop because they are usually built into its surface.
- If you prefer the induction cooktop, you need to note that it’s costlier to purchase and install compared to the other two types of cooktops. In addition to your expenditure, you may need to invest in induction-compatible cookware because your cooktop will be pretty much useless otherwise.
- Also, cooktops don’t come with their ovens, hence it is costly to install a wall oven beneath them.
- Not only does the electric cooktop cook your food slower, but it also goes off automatically if the power goes out.
Cooking Range Benefits:
- A gas cooking range is emergency-ready. You won’t have to worry about the gas going off if the power goes out.
- Cooking ranges come with an oven, which means you don’t have to spend more on buying a separate oven like you would if you opted for a cooktop.
- Gas cooking ranges are great if you want your cooker to be the focal point of your kitchen.
Cooking Range Limitations:
- Cooking ranges are not as safe as the cooktops. Because they have their knobs in front of them, it’s easier for kids to mess with them.
- Electric cooking ranges use more energy and increase your utility bills.
- Gas cooking ranges may be a bit difficult to clean if food spills on them.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Cooker
Now that you know what these cooking appliances are, how they function, and their pros and cons; there are a few more things to consider before making your purchase.
Pricing and your budget: after making your plan to upgrade your kitchen equipment or buy new ones from scratch, the next best thing to do is to find out the price range of these appliances, draw up your budget, and then go for the appliance you love and that also falls within your budget.
You should also factor in the amount of cooking you do before getting your appliance. If you have a large family or cook for a lot of people, your best bet would be the cooking range as it offers more functionality options; but if you cook for a few people or just want to cook simple meals, then a cooktop may be the best appliance for you.
Space: it’s wise to consider the size of your kitchen before buying any of these appliances. Cooking ranges require more space and are perfect for you if you do a lot of cooking, cooktops (without the built-in oven) on the other hand give you more space to play around with.
Lastly, it is crucial to carefully seek a good chef supply store in Los Angeles to purchase your equipment. The best stores offer advice and go the extra mile by installing your appliance for you.