Cooktop Buying Guide Cooktop Buying Guide Header Image


pic of standard coil electric cooktop

The coil sits above the cooktop surface or into a recessed cavity. The coils are more vulnerable to spills but drip pans capture spills and are generally easy to access, remove and clean.

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pic of ceramic electric cooktop

The radiant elements are installed beneath a glass surface presenting a sleek integrated appearance. These cooktops are easy to clean. The radiant elements heat quickly and evenly. Ceramic glass cooktops are flat and require that you use flat-bottomed cookware.

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pic of induction electric cooktop

Induction cooktops work by using an electromagnetic field to heat the cookware. Induction cooking only heats the area that comes into contact with the cookware. Induction cooking allows for very fast, even heating with precise control at all temperature readings.

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pic of ceramic electric cooktop

Gas cooktop burners offer precise temperature control. They are typically more expensive than comparable electric models, but are usually cheaper to operate. You will need a gas hookup to either a natural gas or LP source (liquid propane supply tank).

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pic of gas downdraft cooktop

Some gas cooktops feature downdraft designs or self-ventilation systems that do not require a hood for ventilation. If you plan to install your cooktop in an island, you will require a model with built-in downdraft ventilation.

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Some cooktops provide more surface areas than others but flexibility is also an important consideration. Will the cooktop accommodate all of your cookware and cooking needs? Accessories, such as griddles, grills and wok rings can be added to certain models. Some models offer multiple burner types to provide high heat and low heat options.

  • Heat Output: Most gas cooktops have two or more burners whose output measured in BTU/hr (British thermal units) A cooktop with at least one high output burner is recommended (Approx 15,000 or more BTU/hr.) Medium and Low Output burner options are also available to cover a variety of cooking needs. The output of electric burners are typically measured in watts. The higher the number, the faster your food will cook.
  • Higher quality gas cooktops offer special burners for fast high output heat for quick boiling and searing. They also offer burners that hold a gentle low heat for simmering sauces and liquids. Many models feature sealed gas burners which make clean-up easier and prevent food from being trapped under the burners.
  • Cooktops generally are available in two standard sizes: 30 inch and 36 inch widths. Larger models are available in widths as large as 48 inches. Smaller models are also available in some brands in sizes between 12 - 24 inches.
Style and Design
gas cooktop with frying pan

Today's cooktops come in a wide variety of appearances and finishes. Black, white, bisque, and stainless steel finishes and accents are popular.

At US Appliance we offer a tremendous variety of beautiful kitchen cooktops with stylish and sophisticated looks, innovative features, and real cooking performance.

  • Electronic temperature controls allow for more accurate cooking temperatures.
  • Simmer burners provide low, gradual heat when required for a variety of cooking needs such as preparing soups and sauces. Once a draw-back when cooking with gas, better gas cooktops offer precise low temperature control.
  • High-heat burners instantly provide cooking heat allowing you to quickly boil or sear foods as required, dramatically cutting down on cooking time.
  • Dual element burners: Some electric cooktops feature an inner ring for smaller pans and a large outer ring for larger pots and pans. A flick of the switch turns on the preferred size.
  • Sealed gas burners make clean-up easier and prevent food from being trapped under the burners.
  • Recessed Cooktops: Some ceramic cooktops can be recessed so that they are practically flush with the countertop giving a sleek built-in appearance.
  • Bridge Element: An extra element between two main elements on a smooth-top cooktop that can be turned on to create a large surface for large pans such as griddles.
  • Seamless or continuous grates allow you to easily slide heavy pots between burners without doing any lifting.
  • Optional Configurations: Some manufacturers allow you to customize their cooktops with accessories such as grills, griddles, wok rings and more.
  • Hot surface indicator lights, available on some electric models, alert you that a surface may still be hot even though it is powered off.

Measure the space that you have available for your cooktop. Know the height, width and depth of the area you want the new model to fit into. If selecting a gas cooktop, you will need a gas hook-up to a natural gas source or an LP source (liquid propane supply tank). You will need an electrical hook-up for both types of cooktops.

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Founded in 1963, we're among the largest appliance retailers nationally, and we are the largest high-end appliance retailer in Michigan. Online since 1999, we've helped tens of thousands of customers all across the country with their home appliance needs.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable sales associates. Call toll-free: 1-877-628-9913 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., EST).

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