Pros vs. Cons: Cooktops
Ideas and Advice

Pros vs. Cons: Cooktops

The cooktop is becoming an increasingly popular appliance in many kitchens because it doesn't take up as much space as a full range and provides more flexibility in terms of installation options. If you don't have much space in your kitchen or don't use an oven often -- especially if you live alone -- a cooktop may be a good option for you. Cooktops come in the same fuel types as stovetops, with induction cooktops, electric cooktops, and gas cooktops being popular options. The popular kitchen appliances are made with grates, or glass or ceramic tops, depending on your preferred option. Here are some advantages that help illustrate why to choose a cooktop.

Pros of Cooktops

Flexible Placement

Flexible Placement

With a range, you need to have cut out a large piece of your counter to be able to fit an oven, but with a cooktop you can fit it in any countertop in your kitchen, even on an island. You don't need as big of a cutout as with a range, and if you're replacing one cooktop with another, brands like GE have a fit guarantee that ensures your new cooktop perfectly fits the previous model's cutout.

Space-Saving Design

Space-Saving Design

One of the biggest complaints people have about their kitchens is not enough cabinets and drawers. A cooktop can help you with that. Because it doesn't take up much counter space, a cooktop leaves you more room for other appliances and much-needed cabinet or storage space, including underneath the cooktop where the oven would be with a range. With space at a premium in many kitchens, this is one of the biggest selling points of a cooktop.

Custom Configurations

Custom Configurations

All kitchens are built differently, so a one-size-fits-all approach to appliances often doesn't work. That's why many high-end brands allow you to customize a cooktop to fit your specific needs, whether you need to use a certain fuel type in your kitchen, or you have a preference for what material your cooktop is made from. If customization is a priority for you, you may want to look into a cooktop from the Miele CombiSet Series, which is one line that offers customizable modules.

Cons of Cooktops

Fewer Cooking Options

Fewer Cooking Options

Without an accompanying wall oven, a cooktop doesn't allow you to perform functions such as baking, broiling, and other functions that use static or circulating heat. If you're not much of a baker or usually only cook for one or two people, this isn't much of an issue and can be solved by using a countertop oven or similar appliance.

Limited Power Outputs

Limited Power Outputs

Most cooktops are not built with professional kitchens in mind, so you won't necessarily get the power that you would with other options. If you need higher heat outputs, it would be better to opt for a rangetop like the Forte FGRT304 which boasts up to 20,000 BTUs. But if you really want a cooktop, brands like Frigidaire have some models that come pretty close in power in their Frigidaire Professional line.

Related Questions

What are the basic types of cooktops?

A gas cooktop provides superior heat and cooking power, an electric cooktop allows you to have consistent temperature control, and an induction cooktop provides exceptional heat control and added safety.

What is the difference between a cooktop and a range?

A cooktop is a flat, open surface that you can use pots and pans on. It fits into a cutout on your kitchen counter, leaving space underneath for more storage options, including cabinets or drawers. A range is a full stove and oven, which combines a stovetop that is similar to a cooktop with an oven beneath it, offering more cooking options but providing you less versatility in your kitchen layout.