How to Choose a Gas Cooktop for Your Kitchen

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Chefs, professional cooks and people who love cooking generally prefer gas cooktops. There are many advantages cooking on gas burners, they allow for more heat and control and burner quickly cools once the gas is turned off. Cooktops are inset into countertops and must be placed with access to the gas line and ventilation. Your cooking habits and the size and design of your kitchen are among the factors you need to consider in choosing a gas cooktop for your kitchen.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Measure the countertop where your new gas cooktop will be installed, and your old cooktop's dimensions as well. To give you a rough size estimate in the U.S., the standard cooktop lengths are 30 and 36 inches, though some may be up to 48 inches. Height and depth varies depending on the model, but generally around 20 inches for depth, and about 6 inches in height.

  • Take your kitchen design and decoration into consideration. See if the gas cooktop model you want fits your kitchen's look along with the colors, design and material of other kitchen appliances you have. While a built-in cooktop has slightly more flexibility than a stand-alone range, it should be able to blend with or complement the other appliances. Gas cooktops come in many designs, finishes, and colors. Aluminum, stainless steel and enamel are common finishes today. See what and how you like the most on the finishing looks and feel and touch.

  • Determine how many burners you need. Gas cooktop burners normally come in numbers from two to eight. And again, you'll have to put your countertop size into consideration where the new cooktop will be installed.

  • Look for a high output gas rate in BTU (British Thermal Unit), somewhere from 10,000 BTU to 15,000 BTU should be sufficient for serious cooks. But of course, the higher burn rate the better, if you can find and buy one with a rate higher than suggested.

  • Choose a model that provides a special feature that makes cooking easier and more enjoyable. Some gas cooktops come features like a custom wok burner, barbecue grill, or griddle. One burner may have increased BTUs for high-heat cooking or fast boiling, while another may have decreased power to allow for perfect simmering.

  • Choose a model with easy clean up. Gas cooktops come with standard burners or burners that are sealed to prevent food particles and other spills from working their way under the cooktop.

  • Consider your kitchen's exhaust system in your decision. If your range hood is not efficient, or you don't like the look of an overhead vent, select a cooktop with a built-in exhaust vent. Keep in mind, however, for your new cooktop would still need to vent to the outside, so a new outer vent would have to be created.

  • Research online which brands, models and features fit your needs and budget. Then go to a physical store to look closely and test the real thing. After your visit you can decide whether to buy it on the spot, or if you can get a better price purchasing online.

Tips & Warnings

  • All types of cookware can be used on gas cooktops.
  • Determine shipping price, delivery, installation, return and warranty policies in advance if you decide to purchase your new cooktop over the Internet.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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