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Purchasing a New Cooktop or Stove?

Cooktop Stove Basics

Whether you're remodeling your kitchen or looking to upgrade, check out this guide that will help you turn up the heat. There are endless possibilities for replacing your basic cooking appliance. From no-frills models for under $500 to glamorous showpieces professional chefs would envy, finding the right cooktop or stove to suit your needs doesn't have to be difficult. Check out what a professional kitchen appliance specialist has to say.

Top 5 Considerations for Purchasing a New Cooktop or Stove

Dennis J. Trigg - Kitchen Appliance Specialist - Chantilly, VA

Dennis J. Trigg
Kitchen Appliance Specialist,
Chantilly, VA

1. Will the performance of the cooking surface have a direct impact on the performance or lack of performance with the ventilation system (range hood or downdraft vent)?
If there is no overhead exhaust where the cooktop is being installed, you'll need to purchase a model with its own downdraft system. These units will always be electric, and, while not as powerful as some overhead systems, the downdraft vents help eliminate smoke, grease and odors.

2. What is the style of cooking you do? High performance/high heating, such as frying or wok cooking? Or are you more of a traditional cook?
Perhaps you'd like a modular unit that can accommodate electric or gas heating elements and is compatible with a variety of cooking accessories such as deep fryers, woks and griddles. With modular cooktops, you can configure the settings to match your individual cooking routine.

3. Would you prefer gas, electric or induction for the surface burners? And what size?
What you already have most often dictates what you'll want to buy. Already have a gas line hookup in your kitchen? You'll likely want to purchase a gas-powered cooktop. If you don't have a gas line, it's not economical to run one for your new unit unless you're undergoing a major kitchen remodel. If you do have a gas line hookup, dual-fuel provides the best of both worlds, combining the power and speed of a gas cooktop with the precision and consistency of an electric oven. On the high end of the spectrum are induction burners, which heat up fast, use less energy and are easy to clean with a smooth ceramic top. As far as size, it's wise to find a unit that fits the available opening of the cutout in your countertop. Standard widths are 30 and 36 inches, but models can vary by as much as an inch.

4. How would you feel about a free-standing or slide-in range versus a drop-in cooktop/rangetop and separate wall ovens?
Finished on all sides, free-standing ranges are the most common because they can be placed anywhere in the kitchen. Slide-in models have unfinished sides, making them effective only when surrounded by cabinetry.

5. Do you have price limitations?
Your objective will be to find the best performing unit with the features you need or want in the price range you're comfortable with. You'll get more features and benefits as the price increases. Expect to pay around $300 for a basic four-burner gas cooktop and up to $2,500 or more for induction or pro-style gas cooktops.

Cooking with Ferguson

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Kitchen Basics

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