Today we have a guest post about stove styles for your culinary needs by Kerrie Kelly, ASID
From induction to convection, dual fuel to natural gas, the method you choose to cook with says just as much about your cooking style as your fridge contents and cookbook collection. From simple and child-friendly units to cooking over open flames, there are more options than you might realize. Let’s break it down so you can see which stove will work best for you.
Electric Coil Stove
This is the basic, standard unit in most homes. If gas isn’t an option, and budget is a concern, this is the way to go. Aluminum and cast iron pans will help to make sure that the heat is distributed as evenly as possible.
Serious chefs—and serious hobby chefs—always choose gas for the control it offers. No matter what the knob reads, you can see the flame yourself and adjust accordingly.
With cooktops, it’s really all about heat distribution. That’s why induction cooktops are becoming so popular. They offer the excellent distribution and control that a gas range offers, with the added benefit of extremely easy clean up because the surface is completely flat. What makes an induction cooktop different is that actually turns your pan into the heating element. So if you touch any other area of the cooktop, it remains completely cool. When you turn off the “burner,” the area is immediately cool to the touch—a great benefit if you have lots of curious little kids in the house. You’ll need to use pans that contain ferromagnetic metal such as cast iron or stainless steel order for the induction cooktop to work. If a magnet sticks to the pan, you’re good to go!
Electric Smooth Top
Like the induction cooktop, the electric smooth top features a completely flat, ceramic-glass surface. The advantage over the traditional electric coil is that the coils live under the cooktop so the surface is always flat, and thus distributes the heat more evenly and consistently.
Dual Fuel Range
This model features a gas cooktop and an electric oven, giving serious chefs the best of both worlds. It offers the control and heat distribution of gas on the range, and better heat control and distribution in the oven than gas offers.
While we’re on the subject of ovens, a quick note about convection ovens. What’s all the fuss about? Well, a convection oven uses a fan to circulate the air and, as a result, offers the best heat distribution you can get in an oven. They’re popular among bakers, as baking requires precision in everything from measurements to baking temperatures.
In case you’ve ever wondered what exactly the difference in a “commercial grade” range is, the distinction generally just refers to size and the number of burners. Essentially, the kind of equipment you’d need in a commercial cooking situation. Generally, these will have 6-8 burners and perhaps two ovens in the same unit.
How has the kind of cooking you do influenced your cooktop wish list?
Interior designer Kerrie Kelly is the author of Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide. Kerrie writes about kitchens and appliances for Home Depot, providing homeowners with expert advice on the wealth of cooking appliances available today, including the new induction models. Home Depot’s induction range collection, including styles mentioned by Kerrie, can be found on Home Depot’s website.