Person cooking vegetables on a kitchen island cooktop

Cooktop Buying Guide: How to Choose a Cooktop for Your Kitchen

Selecting the right cooktop for your kitchen can be key to elevating your culinary possibilities with flexible sizes and a variety of options. This cooktop buying guide will walk you through the different styles, sizes and features to help you find the best cooktop that is tailored to how you like to create. 

Learn how to choose the right cooktop for your kitchen and personal cooking style.

Bronze pot resting on center grate of a cooktop and person slicing tomatoes on a cutting board

What Should i look for when buying a cooktop?

The first step in your journey to finding a new cooktop is to study your kitchen layout and available space to determine the cooktop size you will need. Next, check the existing gas or electrical connections in your kitchen and choose the appropriate cooktop type to match. Lastly, consider the features that can help you tap into your creative cooking process.

1. Kitchen Layout

Standard cooktop sizes can range from 15 to 36 inches wide, but the size you choose may depend on countertop dimensions, location of other appliances and how much space you prefer in your kitchen.

Existing gas or electrical connections may also play a role in your decision-making process. If your kitchen already has a gas hookup, you have the option to choose either gas or electric cooktops. If not, a gas connection will need to be installed for any gas cooktops.

Imagine yourself cooking in the kitchen and moving from the sink, to the countertop, to the refrigerator and cooktop—will you have ample room to make the most of your recipes? While there are various sizes that offer flexibility for aligning cooktops with your counter, be mindful of the space that you will need.

For added convenience, a kitchen island with a cooktop can open up your culinary space for more room to create, as well as enhance the aesthetics of your kitchen.

KitchenAid brand offers a wide variety of electric and gas cooktop sizes for a flexible fit in your kitchen.

Five pieces of cookware filled with shrimp, asparagus, mussels, spaghetti noodles and sauce

2. Cooktop Fuel Type: Gas or Electric

Be mindful to check the existing connections in your kitchen when choosing between a gas or electric cooktop. 

Gas cooktops utilize an open flame to cook, whereas electric cooktops use heated metal coils or other heating conductors housed in a ceramic-glass surface.

Additionally, gas cooktops tend to offer a more direct, hands-on experience by virtue of their responsive control over the flame and heating adjustments. This fast-acting option to instantly adjust the flame allows you to transition from heavy searing to lightly sautéing in a flash. The open flame also has the ability to directly heat the sides of sculpted or oblong pans, such as a wok. 

KitchenAid® gas cooktops come with removable grates for a streamlined cleaning process.

Electric and induction cooktops also provide convenience with the ability to direct energy to the bottom of your cookware, allowing you to quickly bring a pot to a boil. These cooktops offer a stable base due to the flat surface, which also allows for an easy-to-clean process after you are done cooking.

KitchenAid® electric cooktops come in two, four, and five-burner options for flexibility to find the right fit to complement your cooking style.

Learn more about the difference between gas and electric cooktops.

Shop KitchenAid® Gas Cooktops

Shop KitchenAid® Electric Cooktops

Shrimp pasta simmering on a cooktop

3. Cooktop Dimensions

Generally, a standard cooktop measures at 30 inches wide and includes four burners. However, cooktop sizes can range from 15 to 36 inches wide to accommodate both smaller spaces and larger kitchens. In fact, commercial-style cooktops can extend to 48 inches wide, and sometimes more.

Shop KitchenAid®30 and 36-inch Cooktops

Broccoli resting in a pan and vegetables being sliced on a cutting board

4. Cooktop Burner Configurations

There are several types of cooktop sizes and burner configurations from KitchenAid that are designed to match your cooking style. If you are restricted on space, a 15-inch, two-burner electric cooktop may allow space-saving capabilities without sacrificing cooktop features. However, if you are vying for more space to cook, a larger model with more burners may best suit your needs, such as a 36-inch, five-burner gas or five-burner electric cooktop.

Commercial-style six-burner gas cooktops are also available from KitchenAid for professional-syle cooking at home.

For most, a standard 30-inch, four-burner gas or four-burner electric cooktop provide ample room and creative flexibility for your recipes. Browse the complete KitchenAid® collection of gas and electric burner configurations below:

Shop KitchenAid® Cooktop Configurations

Butter melting in a pan

5. Cooktop Ventilation: Range Hood or Downdraft

Proper cooktop ventilation helps clear the air and minimize lingering odors in your kitchen. While browsing different types of cooktops, you have flexibility when it comes to ventilation, including range hoods or gas and electric downdraft options from KitchenAid.

Downdraft cooktops free up space in your kitchen by integrating the ventilation system directly into the cooktop itself—reducing the need for overhead vents or range hoods. This may be an ideal option for open floor plans with more space to cook freely, allowing you to enjoy your creations in clean air.

Shop KitchenAid® Downdraft Cooktops

Silver pan resting on a flat, black cooktop

6. Cooktop Heat Type: Radiant or Induction

While both radiant and induction cooktops can provide a sleek, flat cooking surface, their heating source differs. A radiant cooktop is a more traditional feature that has heating elements below the surface that radiate heat to the cookware.

However, an induction cooktop uses electromagnetism to directly heat your cookware, essentially transforming the cookware into its own source of heat. In fact, even if a burner is turned on, the surface will not get hot unless compatible cookware is actually present.

Be mindful that induction cooktops only function with pots and pans that have magnetic discs at the bottom, such as enameled steel and cast iron pans. Ceramic, glass, copper and aluminum cookware are not compatible with an induction cooktop.

Shop hard, anodized induction cookware from KitchenAid with thick, forged induction bases that spread heat evenly for consistent results on any stovetop.

Refer to this guide to induction-compatible cookware for more information.

Explore KitchenAid® induction cooktops for quick cooking times and easy cleanup.

Shop KitchenAid® Induction Cooktops

7. Price

Gas, electric and induction cooktops come with a variety of features and burner configurations designed to meet a wide range of needs. Cooktop prices vary based on these criteria.

8. Other Features to Consider When Choosing a Cooktop

To find the best cooktop for your needs, it’s important to consider the number of burners, material and features. Learn what to look for below:

Burner ignited with blue flames flickering

Burners

If you are limited on space, a two-burner cooktop may be the best fit for your kitchen. However, a four-burner cooktop is standard and offers more creative possibilities without sacrificing space.

 

If you are interested in induction cooktops, be mindful that cookware must be compatible with induction burners and include magnetic discs on the bottom in order to function properly.

Circular center piece removed from black grate

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel cooktops provide a versatile, sleek finish to seamlessly coordinate with any kitchen or appliance. It is also durable and long-lasting.

KitchenAid® cooktop with touch-activated controls

Touch-Activated Controls

Touch-activated controls are seamlessly integrated into the cooktop and offer responsive temperature controls, like in this induction cooktop from KitchenAid.

Griddle resting vertically on the left side of a gas cooktop

Griddle

Some gas cooktops include a removable griddle for flexibility to cook on the left, right or center of the surface. This opens up even more creative possibilities to curate your crepes and perfect your quesadillas.

 

Heating element activated and glowing red on an electric cooktop

Dual and Triple Elements

Enjoy extra cooking flexibility with some electric cooktops that offer adjustable surface elements to match the custom size of your cookware and creative preferences.

 

While taking these considerations into account, selecting the right cooktop should be a tailored fit not only for your kitchen, but for your creative passion as well. Find the cooktop that allows you to make the most of yours.

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