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Gas Cooktops Buying Guide

Most professional chefs would say that gas cooking is the optimal choice. This is because it gives total control over the results. When you can instantly adjust the level of heat coming from the burner it eliminates many risks of overcooking or even burning food and pans. Thus, a lot of people explore gas cooktops for their kitchen benches. Naturally, not all of these gas arrays are alike and prices, features, and designs vary quite broadly. This brief buying guide will review the things that consumers need to know as they begin a search for the right gas cooktop for their kitchen or workspace.


The Options

Gas cooking means open flame cooking, and that usually means you want to have a cooktop that is designed for optimal control. So, no dials that are out of reach or which ask you to lean over a flame, and no cooktops that are so crowded that you may burn yourself while using it. Sometimes, the cook is at fault for bad behaviours or habits, or for overcrowding their cooktop, but most of the time it is actually a flawed design that makes things go awry. This is why it is imperative to really assess any cooktop before investing in it.

Essentially, when you are searching for a gas cooktop you will have a few choices, but they will be limited to:

1. The configuration of the burners on the cooktop;

2. The finish of the metal from which the cooktop is made;

3. The features that ensure the best results - this includes wok burners, grill tops, and trivets or supports that keep all of the pots and pans stable and at an ideal location above the flame.


Any of these things can serve as a "make or break" factor, but only if the buyer knows that they are looking for. So, let's consider the right solutions for anyone in need of a gas cooktop.


The Solutions

The configuration of the burners will be something personal. What we mean is that you personally will have to identify and find the most appropriate arrangement for your type of cooking or to your kitchen needs. For example, a classic four-burner cooktop is readily available, and you know that you don't often have more than two or three pots working at once. Additionally, this can be found in stainless steel or enamel, and most would tell you that it is the enamel that works best because it is so easy to clean and so resistant to any stains or marks.


While that four-burned design works well, there is also a very popular trend for cooktops with wok burners and additional standard burners too. Not only can these burners be put to use for traditional Asian cooking, but it may also be ideal for large kettles, alternative cooktops with grill features, and more.


The configuration of these cooktops vary, but most have the wok as a central feature or located to one side of the other burners. The control knobs must be in the front of the unit to prevent any risk of injury, and many also put the dials along one far side as well. These designs are not just for safety and aesthetics but also to provide the owner with an easier installation. In addition to fairly standard looks and styles, there are also some remarkably contemporary designs and looks too.


What you have to keep in mind is that although a gas cooktop may look great, modern, or stylish, and it might function beautifully, it must have features that ensure optimal safety for those who own them. This means that they should always feature a flame failure feature that shuts down the gas to the burner if there is no flame present. Most cooktops advertise this feature and it can make a tremendous difference.


Once a good configuration and safety features are selected, it is necessary to really pay attention to materials. There are some cooks who swear by their stainless steel cooktops or their modern tempered glass surfaces, but for ease of cleaning and upkeep, it is always going to be ceramic that wins the day. It won't show scratches and marks in the ways that stainless so often does, and it won't behave unpredictably in the same ways that glass surfaces can and do. Additionally, ceramic can often easily withstand the extremes of heat that gas cooking may cause, and this too is important to know.


Price Matters

Naturally, when shopping for a gas cooktop you need to consider the price. What we suggest you avoid doing, however, is basing the decision on this alone. Even if an optimal cooktop seems a bit outside of the budget, try to consider the alternatives. Will they last as long, deliver the same results, or give you the options you need? Cooking is important, so invest in the best tools you can.


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