Investing in a new standalone cooktop can offer fresh inspiration and unlock new culinary possibilities. Explore the benefits of gas, electric, induction, downdraft and even commercial-style options to find a cooktop style that complements the way you create.

How do I choose the best type of cooktop for my kitchen?

Start by choosing between gas or electric based on the hookups you already have, keeping in mind that you can always have a dedicated gas line installed. Then look at your kitchen layout along with available space. Lastly, consider features you may want to incorporate into your creative cooking process.

Close-up of blue flame from gas burner

Types of cooktop heat sources: gas, electric and induction

Gas cooktops use an open flame to cook food. They’re great for a more hands-on experience since they offer responsive control over heat adjustments. The flame can be adjusted instantly, so you don’t need to wait for a heating element to heat up or cool down, allowing you to quickly transition from searing to sautéing. An open flame is also able to reach up the sides of some pans, which can be a benefit when cooking with sculpted pans such as woks. Most models, like the full line of KitchenAid® gas cooktops, will feature removable cast-iron grates with an easily wipeable surface underneath.

Electric cooktops cook food using heated metal coils or heating elements often housed in a flat ceramic-glass surface. If you cook a lot of pasta or rice, they’re good for getting to a boil quickly since they effectively direct energy to the bottom of the pot. And when making gets messy, electric cooktops featuring a ceramic-glass top are easy to clean due to their smooth, flat surface. If you’re looking for a compact cooktop, electric models often come in a wide range of sizes. For instance, KitchenAid® electric cooktops come in 2-burner, 4-burner, and 5-burner and downdraft configurations.

Induction cooktops generate heat directly within cookware, reaching high temperatures quickly and cooling down rapidly for precise control that enables a full range of cooking techniques. Many models, like the KitchenAid® Architect Series II Cooktop, come with a smooth ceramic-glass surface that allows for quick cleanup.

MORE TYPES OF COOKTOPS: DOWNDRAFT AND COMMERCIAL

Downdraft cooktops are available as gas or electric models. They integrate the ventilation system directly into the cooking surface, eliminating the need for an overhead vent. They’re a good option if you’re installing your cooktop on a kitchen island where there isn’t room for a hood, or if you just like an open feel to your kitchen. For instance, KitchenAid® downdraft gas and electric cooktops come in 4-burner, 5-burner and 6-burner configurations. Keep in mind that you’ll need under-counter cabinet space to house internal components essential to the operation of a downdraft cooktop.
 
Commercial-style cooktops deliver restaurant-inspired form and function. They pair commercial styling with features like high-BTU gas burners and grill or griddle inserts to help keep up with your potential. Commercial-style cooktops come in extra-wide sizes up to 60 inches as well as more standard sizes like the KitchenAid® 30'' Smart Commercial-Style Dual Fuel Range with 4 Burners.
Man stirring a dish on a gas cooktop

Cooktop sizes and placement

Cooktops come in a range of sizes to fit your kitchen and cooking style. One reason to opt for a cooktop rather than a range is the wide availability of different sizes. Sizes range from 15 inches wide for a 2-element cooktop up to 36 inches wide for a 5-element cooktop, with 30 inches wide being the most common. If you’re looking for even more space to create, commercial-style cooktops can offer 30- to 48-inch widths, and even 60-inch widths are available from some manufacturers.

Cooktops can be placed in line with cabinets or on a kitchen island, depending on how you prefer to move throughout the kitchen. Learn more about the benefits of installing a cooktop or range on a kitchen island.

Onions cooking on an electric cooktop

Cooktop Features to Fuel Your Creativity 

A griddle: Some gas cooktops feature a removable griddle that can expand the cooking potential of your cooktop. For example, the KitchenAid® Gas Cooktop with Griddle provides a one-piece flat surface that can be used on the right, left, or center of the cooktop surface, and is ideal for making a range of dishes from crepes to quesadillas.

Dual and triple elements: Many electric cooktops offer elements you can adjust according to the size of your cookware. The 10''/6'' Double-Ring Round Element by KitchenAid maximizes your flexibility with two distinct sizes.

Convertible grates: Often seen on commercial-style cooktops, convertible grates let you raise and lower your dishes to be closer or farther from the flame. Three-Level Convertible Grates by KitchenAid lets you match the heat to your technique. Leave the insert level for high-heat searing and sautéing, flip it over to lift your pan above the flame to simmer and melt or remove it to nestle a round-bottom wok in the flame for stir-fry.

Protective finishes: Gas, electric and induction cooktops may have their own version of a protective, easy-to-clean surface finish. For instance, the CookShield Finish by KitchenAid helps protect electric glass cooktops from scratching and stainless steel gas cooktops from stains that may occur with high-temperature cooking.

Commercial-style upgrades:  If you're looking for restaurant-inspired design, consider upgrading to a commercial-style cooktop. They offer premium features like high-heat burners with up to 20,000 BTUs, electric griddles and extra burners. Commercial-styling like large knobs and stainless steel details add pro-style durability and heft.

KitchenAid has every type of cooktop to fit every type of lifestyle

 

 

HOW TO KEEP YOUR NEW COOKTOP CLEAN

Electric cooktop built into a butcher block countertop

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Cast iron grate removed from cooktop

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Personal pizzas cooking on a griddle

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