When researching new cooking appliances for your kitchen, you may come across the terms “rangetop” and “cooktop”. These terms are practically synonymous for the average homeowner – however, for designers, remodelers, and cooking professionals, they refer to different things. Knowing the differences between rangetops and cooktops, as a homeowner, will help you choose the best cooking equipment for your home and your needs, and it will help your designer implement a kitchen design that you’ll be wowed by! Here’s what you need to know.
Cooktops: Drop-In Systems
A cooktop is easily identified by the placement of the knob controllers. Where a rangetop will have its controls placed on the front of the unit, most cooktops have their knobs on the top of the unit. These are also known as “drop-in cooktops” because they are placed in a cutout directly on the countertop. Cooktops help you gain more cabinet space in your kitchen setup and families with small children will appreciate that the controls for these units are difficult for them to access. In addition, cooktops have a wide variety of different heating sources – you can opt for gas, electric, or induction systems – so you have a lot of options when shopping around.
However, these units do have a few disadvantages as well. Your cooking area on cooktops will be somewhat limited compared to a rangetop system. In addition, depending on the type of cooktop you purchase, you may be limited in the types of pots and pans you can use to cook with. Induction systems, for example, require specially designed pots and pans to allow the magnetic current to heat the contents.
Rangetops: Built-In Systems
As mentioned above, rangetops are most easily identified by their control placement located at the front of the unit. They are also sometimes referred to as built-in systems because these units are built directly into the countertop and cabinetry. Rangetops are preferred by professional and aspiring chefs due to their versatility in the kitchen. They feature more cooking space and optional features such as a grill and griddle that you can’t get in a cooktop unit. Rangetops also have higher BTU outputs, on average, than cooktops and have more heating settings as well.
The biggest disadvantage of a rangetop setup is the amount of space it can take up. Your kitchen designer will have to account for this space and modify your storage capabilities if you have a great need for storage. Also, rangetops tend to be more difficult to keep clean especially if you have additional cooking features such as the grill built in. Look out for features to help with keeping the unit clean like a drip pan!
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