21 December 2008

If you set out to shop for cooktop, you will find a wide variety of ranging from types to models available in the market. But how can you know which type is more suitable to you? Gas, induction, electric, or pyroceram? To clarify the latter, here is a summary of the advantages and the inconvenient of each of these technologies. There are basically three types of cooktops namely, gas cooktop, electric cooktop, and Induction cooking. The main difference between these three cooktops is basically the source of fuel that is used for the cooking.

Gas Cooktops
The first cooktop that is most preferred by the consumer and chefs is the Gas cooktop. This cooktops is the most popular and preferable cooktops as it is cheaper than electricity, easy to use, easy to control and has high performing. A gas hob comes with 4 burners and three levels of heating for effective and responsive heating. Of the four burners, one burner is large size which is perfect for instant heating, two of them are medium size, and the size of the third one is small which serves the purpose of simmering.

Functioning
To make the task easier, modern gas cooktops are equipped with an integrated lighting control. Other controls also instantly change the cooking temperature, offering the possibility to cook elaborately with a quick variation of temperatures. Some models also have a timer function that cuts the gas out after a programmed cooking time. However, the gas isn’t as high-performing as other low cooking methods.

Security
They are also for the most part equipped with a security system by thermocouple that stops automatically the gas feed if the flame is out. This function is essential to the security of your house.

Maintenance
Gas cooktops requires many constraining cleaning steps because there are many nooks. Indeed, this equipment requires that you clean the grill, then the bottom of the plate and finally the burners. To make this chore easier, it is suggested that you purchase a very powerful cleaning product like the ones used by catering professionals.

Electric Cooktops

Electric cooktops enables you to maintain steady and low heat. In addition it provides a wide range of heating levels. However, electric cooktops takes time to heat up and cool down. Electric cooktops are further classified into four types depending on the cooking element of the appliance.
They are :
Radiant coil : They are cheaper than the other three types of cooktops. Apart from being economical, they also heats up faster. As a result of which the cooking is faster. However, when it comes to cleaning, it could be a little difficult though; some of them are removable making it easier to clean.Halogen : This cooktops heated with halogen elements have a flat surface and are easy to clean. They are not quite as energy-efficient as the induction cooktops and can actually be a bit wasteful if your pans are not totally flat because the heat is only transferred to the pan when it is in direct contact with the cooktop.Solid Hotplate : These plates have the capacity to retain heat longer than the radiant coils though they take more time to heat up. It is necessary to clean them regularly to maintain its optimum efficiency. In order to assist the temperature control more efficiently choose those with auto sensing elements.Ceramic cooktop : Like the halogen these cooktops has a glass surface with the cooking element beneath the glass. Though it looks stylish but it takes time to heat up and is less efficient. The best thing about this cooktop is that they are operated by touch controls and are easy to clean. These cooktops are slightly more expensive than the radiant and solid hotplates.Functioning
Electric cooking tops offer great solidity thanks to its cast iron surface. Otherwise, the inertia of this material offers a heating and cooling delay that is quite long. This table thus comes last when classifying them by cooking speed, and it doesn’t favour an elaborate cooking.

Security
This type of hob doesn’t have a security system in case of overheating or spills, or a timer.

Maintenance
The cleaning may be laborious if there are food spills on the cooking plates. Moreover, the dirt can’t be easily cleanable when they are incrusted in the cast iron. There is thus no miraculous technique other than scrubbing.

Induction Cooktops
Induction cooktops are the newest technology and the most energy-efficient. It creates a magnetic field to generate heat when it comes in contact with the cooking utensil, but it doesn’t circulate heat around the cooking surface. This makes it more energy efficient than the rest of the cooktops. However, this hob is the most expensive of all the cooktops. With the latest technology, this hob is considered the most efficient as it works well on high as well as low heat. The only drawback of this cooktop is that you can’t use any type of utensils for cooking, the utensils must have magnetic properties (mental cookware) cast iron, stainless steel or enamel will work but glass and aluminum will not.

Functioning
The warmth generated by field system windings placed under each source is streamed exclusively at the contact of the pot’s metallic material. This means that the cooking containers should be appropriate; copper, glass, and aluminum, for example, aren’t adapted to the ferromagnetic fields of the field system. Only pots made of cast iron, iron, or equipped with a ferromagnetic disk are acceptable. This type of cooktop is even more reactive than the gas cooktop and you can raise or lower the warmth power almost instantly. Thus, you obtain an unequalled precision of the evolution of cooking meals. In other words, with these hobs, you will seize meats in less than a minute and pass from intense warmth to a low simmer in a second.

Security
This model offers an increased security. Since the warmth is only streamed at the contact of the cooking container’s material, there are hardly any more risks of burning yourself. However, a burning-hot pot itself can heat the induction plate. It is to make up for this phenomenon that most induction cooking tops have locks and automatic stopping systems in case of overheating or spills. Once the pot is taken off from the burner, the source is cut automatically.

Maintenance
Since the plate’s contour doesn’t produce heat, the projection of food or liquids don’t cook, so they won’t become incrusted into the surface. This table is among the models that are easiest to clean. A daily maintenance with a sponge suffices most of the time. In case of spills that have cooked onto the plate, we suggest using an appropriate product that generally comes with the purchase of the appliance.

The Pyroceram Cooktop
It looks like an induction cooktop, but the heating system is different.

Functioning
It is a radiant type of source (that heats by beaming) and halogens (more powerful, but that heat by successive impulses) that may be what the elements of this type of plaque are made out of. On the speed of cooking side, its performance is less efficient than the gas or induction cooking tops, but it is better than the electric one. The plaques with halogen sources will reach high temperatures quicker than the ones with radiant sources and they are better adapted to simmering. However, it has a long cooling delay; you may wait for a little while until it goes back to its initial temperature.

Security
To avoid burns, most of the models are equipped with a residual warmth indicator so you can see precisely when the cooking surface is still hot. This indicator turns off when the source goes below the temperature considered as the burn threshold (about 60 °C). To ward off a moment’s forgetfulness, a function automatically turns off the cooktop after a few hours if it isn’t used. And to add to your security, an overheating system limits the temperature of the hob to 30 °C, thus avoiding the flaming of the oil.

Maintenance
The maintenance of the pyroceram cooktop is quite easy and is similar to the induction cooktop’s, because you only need to use a sponge. However, since the burnt food residues will probably be more frequent than on the induction cooktop, you will probably have to always use a cream product appropriate to these kinds of surfaces.

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