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81. Cooktop Selection - Types

Gas

Gas cooktops are connected to natural gas, or alternatively LPG (via refillable bottles) if natural gas is not available on site. Products are not interchangeable with gas type, so it is important to ensure the correct model is purchased. There is less product range in LPG cooktops.

Gas cooktops are cheaper to run than electric and provide faster and more even cooking than electric. The heat level can be easily gauged since the flame is visible.

However, they are more detrimental to the environment, (especially with the trend toward renewable energy). They are also harder to clean and have the associated risks that come with storing and leaking gas.

Ceramic (Electric)

The name ceramic comes from the ceramic tempered glass that sits on top of the metal coil heating elements. Ceramic cooktops often feature digital controls to maintain their sleek look; often appearing like a single 5mm sheet of glass on the counter.

They are very easy to clean as there are no grooves and usually no knobs to trap food scraps, however occasional substances (like sugar) can bake on hard to the glass and can be extremely difficult to remove.

Downsides include fluctuating heat consistency as the heating element cycles on and off to maintain the desired heat; and they are costly to run.

They are cheap to purchase though and are readily available in a wide range.

Induction (Electric)

Visually very similar to ceramic, however, rather than having coiled heating elements inside, induction cooktops have high frequency magnets to create heat on the pan via a magnetic field. Because the cooktop is not metal, it remains cool making them the safer option. Cooking is more even as the field is constant and not cycling, and because the appliance is only heating the pan, they are much more energy efficient.

Unfortunately they are more expensive than ceramic and only cookware with a magnetic material base will work. This rules out aluminium, copper and glass.

Hotplate (Electric)

A very traditional format, they have been largely overtaken in popularity by ceramic options due to their simpler lines and ease of cleaning. Some models are still available at time of writing; however they are dwindling.

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