A Cooktop is an essential part of every kitchen to cook delicious food, but the cooktop is as much about function as it is design. Need help finding the right Cooktop? Follow our guide to buying the right cooktop for your kitchen, lifestyle and budget.
What To Look For When Buying A Cooktop
Cooktops come in a range of varieties and sizes, which provides you with the flexibility to find the one that not only suits the style and design of your kitchen, but is the most efficient and effective for your needs. With so many models to choose from, you'll be primed and ready to buy the perfect stove or cooktop with our handy buyer’s guide.
Types Of Cooktops
When it comes to choosing a cooktop, the first question is: what type - quickly followed by what size? Don't forget to check out our tips on installation also - as many cooktops must be installed by licenced professionals.
The top cooktop choice for chefs, gas cooktops give you more control over the temperature and cook food fast, as the flames not only heat the bottom of your cookware, but also the sides. The faster cooking time means gas cooktops are more energy efficient.
“Gas cooktops can run on two types of gas – natural or mains gas, which is the most common in Australia, or LPG or bottles gas, which is the same type of gas generally used for a BBQ,” says Geraldine Gillespie, Cooking, Dishwashers and Kitchenware Buyer at The Good Guys. Check whether your kitchen is connected to the mains before you invest in a gas cooker.
The most expensive type of cooktop, induction cooktops are gaining in popularity not only for their safety benefits – if there’s no pan, there’s no heat – but also for their slick design. Despite the lack of open flame, induction cooktops have the fastest cooking times due to their magnetic field-based heating, and are the most energy efficient. Your cookware can be set anywhere across the entire surface, but must have a high ferrous metal content at the base. That means you need cast iron, black metal or iron pans, or stainless-steel pans with a magnetic grade.
Unlike gas cooktops, the temperature is slower to change on electric cooktops. Cheaper to run, electric cooktops are also considered safer than gas as there are no open flames or risk of gas leaks. And if hygiene is a factor for you, an electric cooktop with a ceramic surface might be the right choice, as it’s easy to clean.
Choosing the number of burners on your cooktop comes down to two things – space and how much cooking you do. Most kitchens feature four burners, giving the option to have multiple burners on the go at once, especially if cooking sauces or soups that require longer cooking times. If you have ample space in your kitchen and regularly cook for larger groups, then having five or six burners speeds up meal preparation.
Cooktop Controls and Trivets
All induction and electric cooktops, and some ceramic cooktops, feature touch controls that not only enable you to start cooking and adjust heat through the simple touch of a button, but also make cleaning easy, with no need to dodge knobs. Gas cooktops feature simple start knob controls for ignition.
Flat, cast-iron trivets have been designed to ensure your cookware remains stable and keeps them secure during cooking to avoid dangerous spillage. Removable trivets make life much easier when it comes to cleaning. If you love cooking dishes such as stir-fries, some cooktops also come with a special wok burner that is designed specifically for cooking these dishes.
Some common smart features on modern cooktops include:
Bridge element, which creates one large cooking area, so you can use bigger cookware or make larger dishes.
Downdraft exhaust, which draws smoke and odours out through a vent.
Digital and touch controls for simple cooking at the touch of a button.
Pan sensors that automatically switch the cooktop off when it’s not in use.
Pan size sensor, which automatically adjusts heating to the size of your cookware.
Wok burner, a specialised burner built especially for woks and the cooking of dishes such as stir-fries.
Valve flame control, which enables you to go from boiling to simmer in an instant.
Gas: Modern gas cooktops feature an in-built flame failure safety device that automatically shuts down the gas supply should a pot boil over and extinguish the flame.
Electric: Heating lamp indicators make it clear which burner is in operation or has residual heat from recent use.
Induction: It’s impossible to leave an induction cooktop on – the stove simply does not respond if there is no pan. Induction cooktops also feature a pause function that reduces all cooking zones to a low heat, which allows you to step away for a second with peace of mind. Other safety features include, automatic switch off, hot surface and residual heat indicators, automatic cookware sensor, electronic timer, child safety lock, overheating protection, system lock and safety switch off, if a cooking zone has been operating at the same heat for a long period. “If you’ve got young children and safety is your number-one priority when buying a new cooktop, then you can’t go past induction. With no open flames and a number of safety features, you can be sure your family will be kept safe,” says Geraldine Gillespie.
“If you’ve got young children and safety is your number-one priority when buying a new cooktop, then you can’t go past induction. With no open flames and a number of safety features, you can be sure your family will be kept safe.” – Geraldine Gillespie, Cooking, Dishwashers and Kitchenware Buyer at The Good Guys.
Induction cooktops are the most energy-efficient of all cooktop types, as they have the fastest cooking times and if no cookware is placed on the surface, then no heat is used. Keep in mind that energy efficiency isn’t just about the type of cooktop in your kitchen, it also comes down to how you use it. “My tip is to keep your cookware clean,” says Geraldine Gillespie. “Shiny surfaces reflect heat back up to your cookware and blackened bottoms absorb it, meaning your cooktop needs to work harder for longer. That means your energy efficiency is reduced.”
Installation Requirements for Cooktops
All cooktops must be professionally installed by a licenced electrician, and depending on your connections, some upgrades may be required. If upgrading from a standard electric or gas cooktop to an induction cooktop, power upgrades may be needed. For the best result, we recommend you book a site assessment before installation.
We’ve got tradies on hand to make the process simple. We’ll not only install your new cooktop, but also show you how to use it. The Good Guys Home Services will send a fully licenced tradie to your home, and if removal of your old cooktop is required, we’ll even take that one away for you – and all the rubbish, too.
The Good Guys Cooktop Installation Services include installation, demo and clean-up; or an option where we’ll install your new cooktop, show you how to use it and then remove your old one and take it with us when we leave. All The Good Guys Home Services are covered by a 12-month warranty.
Please note: You will need to ensure your new cooktop fits into the existing opening/cut-out in your kitchen. If you require bench or cabinet works to be completed for your cooktop to fit, this will need to be done prior. For more information on The Good Guys Home Services, click here.
How Much You’ll Pay For a New Cooktop
Gas: Prices for an entry-level standard gas cooktop start from $269 and range up to just over $4000+ for a premium five-burner cooktop, which includes an integrated wok burner. Shop the biggest range of gas cooktops from the best brands, including ILVE, Miele, Asko, Smeg, Bosch, Fisher & Paykel, Electrolux, Westinghouse and more, in-store and online now at The Good Guys.
Electric: Prices for electric cooktops start from $329 and range up to $1400+. Ceramic cooktops that are electric fuelled range from $315 to $2200. Shop the biggest range of electric and ceramic cooktops from brands including Miele, Bosch, Westinghouse and more, in-store and online now at The Good Guys.
How Much You’ll Pay For a New Cooktop
Induction: Prices for induction cooktops start from $695 and range up to $7000 for a 93cm induction cooktop that can house up to six pots, or use the entire area for bigger pans and dishes. Shop the range of induction cooktops from the biggest brands, including Miele, Bosch, Asko, Smeg, ILVE, Teka, Fisher & Paykel, Electrolux, Westinghouse and more, in-store and online now at The Good Guys.
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