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Cooktops

Excerpts from The Difference is in the Details by Tracy DeCarlo. 

Electric Cooktops:
As with ovens or ranges, cooktops are not Energy Star rated. Nevertheless, come are better than others. Electric cooktops offer a number of new burner types, including solid-disk elements, radiant elements under glass, halogen elements, and induction elements. Solid-disk elements and radiant elements under glass are easier to clean, but they take longer to heat up and use more electricity. Halogen elements and induction elements are more efficient than conventional electric-coil elements. If you’re disappointed that a natural gas cooktop is not an option in your new house, an induction unit might just make your day.

It's Faster
Because energy is directly transferred within the metal of each cooking pan, induction heating is extremely fast-even faster than gas!

It's Safer
If food or grease overflows from the pot or pan, there’s no risk of fire, no risk of burns from touching the cooktop surface, and no concern about dangerous fumes from gas or other cooking fuels. Children can’t be burned by touching a hot burner, because the cooktop surface remains cool.

It's Easier to Clean
With no grates, elements, or grease-catching wells to worry about, cleanup is a breeze. Just use a damp cloth to wipe off the flat, easy-to-clean surface.

It's Cooler
The cooktop produces almost no ambient heat, since all heat is being generated in the pot or pan itself. In other words, since the pot gets hot and not the cooktop, the kitchen remains cooler.(Unused heat produced by a gas or traditional electric range increases the temperature of the room, which in turn can increase cooling costs.)

It's Energy Efficient
Induction cooking is more energy-efficient than halogen, gas, or traditional electric ranges. In fact, when using an induction cooktop, 90 percent of every dollar you spend on energy goes right to where you want it: into the pan! Gas delivers only 55 percent to the cooking vessel, traditional electric about 65 percent. And there’s no cooldown period. When you remove a pan from induction cooking surface, the cooktop immediately goes into standby mode, which uses almost no energy at all. According to CEG Electric Glass Company, a producer of induction cooktops, it’s realistic to achieve energy savings of 40-70 percent over a conventional cooktop. The features of an induction cooktop with a price, but if you’re likely to spend a lot of time ion the kitchen, the daily convenience can be worth every penny. There are several suppliers of induction cooktops, including Thermadorwww.thermador.com, Viking www.vikingrange.com, and KitchenAid www.kitchenaid.com

Note: If you choose an induction cooktop, you’ll be limited to iron and steel pots and pans. Aluminum cookware won’t work. Not sure what you’ve got? If a magnet sticks to bottom of your pots and pans, you’ve got the right kind. Also, as with all flat-surface electric cooktops, the bottom of the pot must also be flat for proper contact.

For Tracy's book and more helpful tips, go to: www.buildingtips.net