How to Choose the Best Gas Stove Cooktop?
Table of Contents
4 Top Best Gas Stove Cooktop
6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Gas Stove Cooktop
A gas stove is an essential appliance around the house. Whether you live by yourself or with family, a gas stove is a must-have. But even the advancement of technology in the 21st century, gas stove accidents still remain a scary reality. Much as reading or hearing about gas stove accidents may be scary, you can take precautions to ensure that you put the possibility of such accidents at bay. If you are venturing out to buy a gas stove for the first time, here are some helpful tips that can help you eliminate your fear.
1. Check for a Mains Gas
If you are planning to get a gas cooktop, the first and foremost thing you have to check for is the availability of mains gas. Check with your apartment or building about the availability of gas. Some buildings that do not have mains gas opt for bottled LPG, but bear in mind that this is a much more expensive option than mains gas. Ideally, thus, opt for an apartment that has a supply of mains gas before you think of investing in a gas stove.
2. Check for a Flameout Protection Device
The function of a flameout protection device is to turn off the gas source automatically in case of gas leakage. Mostly an ion induction method is used in modern gas stoves. The working principle of these devices is that when the flame rises, it increases the temperature of the surrounding air. As a result, the air is ionized. This causes the protection circuit to kick into action and cut off the gas supply. When buying a gas stove you need to check whether the flameout protection device is working properly. This is how you can do it.
- Ignite the cooker
- Burn for a minute
- Adjust the flame to a minimum and blow out the flame artificially
- At the time the gas begins to make a “sizzling sound”
- If the flameout protection device is functioning, you will hear a beep sound within a maximum of 60 seconds, indicating that the gas supply has been cut off and the flameout protection is fully functional.
3. Size matters
The next consideration for a gas stove is the size. Before you decide the kind of cooktop you want, it is a good idea to measure the kitchen area to assess how much space the cooktop would consume. It is imperative to ensure that there is enough space on the bench to fit the cooktop. There should also be space for ventilation underneath. Cooktops usually come in widths of 60, 70, 80 and 90 cms. Thus the cooktop you use will depend on the bench space. If space is not a limitation and you have a large family or wish to entertain often, consider a 5 burner gas cooktop. These burners usually come with a wok burner that is comfortably positioned away from the other burners. This allows the cookware to fit comfortably without any restrictions and your pots and pans clanking against each other.
4. Types of Burners
When buying a gas cooktop it is also essential to recognize the type of burners. This will help you make an informed choice based on your needs. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of burners on offer:
- Wok Burners
These are burners that have a rapid and intense flow of gas. These are best suited for stir fry cooking and fast boiling. Round bottom woks, extra-large fry pans, and the likes are the best suited to this kind of burner.
- Large Burners
These burners are best for saucepans and non-stick fry pans. If you boil pasta and potatoes and other vegetables often, these burners are best suited for your needs. However, when working with non-stick cookware high temperatures are best avoided.
- Medium Burners
You need medium burners to cook things like rice, soups or casseroles. Medium burners are best suited for preparing recipes that need to be brought to a high temperature initially and then brought down to a low simmer. You, therefore, need a burner that is responsive to temperature change quickly.
- Simmer Burners
These are burners designed for delicate things such as melting chocolate or butter. These are best used for smaller saucepans and fry pans.
Once you know the function of the burners as described above, you also need to be able to assess the position of the burners in relation to the size of the pots and pans you own or intend to use.
Here are things to look out when selecting gas stove cooktop
- A range of all the burners i.e large medium simmer and wok burners
- Burners spaced out proportionately for simultaneous use of pots and pans
- The wok burner positioned separately for access and continuous stirring
- Large and medium burners ideally should be positioned at the back and should be used for recipes that do not require continuous stirring.
- Simmer burner should be positioned right upfront. This will ensure that you do not need to lean over to stir a sauce.
- If you wish to barbecue on your gas cooktop, you may also want to look up a cooktop that comes with an oblong burner that can be used as a grill.
5. The Material of Gas Stove Cooktop
There are three types of material used for gas cooktops. These are stainless steel, glass, and porcelain. Each of these materials has its pros and cons.
- Stainless steel
Gas cooktops with a stainless steel top lend an industrial look to your kitchen and give you the feels of a real pro cook! It does not rust or chip and is high on durability. On the downside, however, stainless steel can dent under heavy impact and is difficult to clean. If the right kind of cleaning agent or scrubbing pad is not used, the surface may get scratched and spoil the look of the cooktop.
These are cooktops that look highly slick and classy and a perfect fit on a granite surface. However, porcelain cooktops are prone to rust around the burners if not maintained and cleaned regularly, ideally after each use. Further, the impact of heavy cookware can chip or crack porcelain surfaces. So if you are the kind of cooks who works up quite a storm in the kitchen each time, porcelain cooktops are best avoided.
Glass cooktops are quite the in-thing for they are fashionable and affordable. It lends a modern look to your kitchen and home and may look really fancy. However compared to the other two materials, as discussed above, glass is most prone to breakage. Dropping a heavy or sharp object or placing a hot pan on a cold surface can cause the glass the shatter. Besides, glass-like porcelain needs constant upkeep.
Now that you know the pros and cons of each material used for glass cooktops, you can make an informed choice about what material appeals best to you.
6. Energy Efficiency
In the day and age that we live in, it is imperative to make choices that are directly related to the conservation of energy. Each of us needs to make a continual effort to reduce emissions and make energy-efficient choices. In general, gas stoves with glass cooktops are more efficient that metal cooktops such as stainless steel. Modern gas stoves come with energy-efficient ratings. However, it would serve you well to remember that the higher the rating, the more expensive the cooktop is likely to be. However, if you are a frequent user and are insistent on cleanliness, a glass cooktop may make up for the initial cost. Thus, you need to make up your mind, depending on the time you can spend on the upkeep of your gas cooktop.
A gas cooktop is a necessary appliance that is a must-have in all homes. There are a plethora of gas cooktops to make your choice from these days. However, you need to carry out extensive research on the kind of cooktop that is best suited to your home and needs before you go ahead with your purchase. To sum it up, here are some pointers to keep in mind before you make that purchase.
- Purchase a gas cooktop only after you have mains gas supply in your building or apartment as an LPG bottle proves to be cumbersome and an expensive choice.
- Make sure your gas cooktop has a flameout protection device. It is a good idea to see if it is functional before making the purchase.
- Check up your kitchen space before you decide the shape and size of the gas cooktop. It is advisable to take exact measurements to assess the space.
- Assess your cooking needs before you decide on the number of burners. You can simply have two burners if you live alone. On the other hand, if you have a large family or like to entertain often, you may go in for as many as five burners. The placement of burners is crucial so that cooking is not labor-intensive.
- There are three kinds of material used for gas cooktops. Stainless steel, glass, and porcelain. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. Decide upon the material of the gas cooktop depending upon your preferences and how much time you see yourself spending in the kitchen.
- Lastly, and most importantly, consider choosing an energy-efficient gas cooktop to reduce emissions and your carbon footprint. Though a higher energy efficient cooktop may be more expensive, it is worth making the initial investment to do your bit to save our environment.