Planning to buy a new stove? Well, the process begins with excitement and anticipation, but all that joy can turn into a disaster if you somehow buy the wrong one. This mostly happens due to the abundance of options on the market. It is better to do some homework before going to shopping.
Having said, if you don’t know where to take the start, this comprehensive guide all the necessary info about stove types, sizes, features, and more so that you easily compare the options and narrow down the options as per your exact requirements.
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Types of Stoves & Stove Power Sources
The simplest way to classify different types of stoves and surfaces is by their power source. There are two main types out there the gas and electric. However, you will also find some other types of stoves such as wooden, but these are not so common.
So, if you plan to replace your old stove, we bet you prefer using the same type of power source because it’s affordable and simplest to replace. However, if you are buying and customizing a new home, the options are many, and you can simply choose any power source for your stove.
Now let’s briefly discuss types of stoves:
These stoves utilize wood as their fuel instead of gas or electricity to generate fire. These are old-fashioned, and nowadays you won’t find these common. However, you will find them in rural areas and third world countries or in the areas where wood is easily available.
Usually, these stoves feature metal designs such as cast iron or steel. With the inclusion of modern technology, these stoves are quite energy-efficient and provide clean burning. Just ensure that you get the one that is approved by the EPA.
Gas stoves utilize open flames to generate fire and heat the pots. These open flames offer even heat distribution throughout the pan’s surface and bottom, and as a result, you enjoy evenly cooked food.
Unlike electric stoves, which often need more time to heat the burners, these units heat up instantly, and you can prepare meals in no time.
Furthermore, almost all cookware types are compatible with gas stoves, and these stoves use less power than the others. (you can read our extensive post about best pots and pans for gas stoves here.)
However, keep in mind that mission cleaning on gas stoves is tough and time-consuming because of the nooks and crannies. Similarly, open flames are considered a fire hazard, according to various reports and studies. Lastly, please don’t use them near windows as breeze or wind from the window can cause the open flames to diminish.
These stoves are the most common and utilize heating elements to heat utensils and cook food. These stoves do not heat up instantly like gas stoves.
Mostly, electric stoves work flawlessly with flat-bottomed pots and pans. This is because the smooth bottoms provide direct contact with the burner, and this results in even and better heating.
Number of Burners
Now you know which stove cooktop you want to buy and have decided between cooktop and range; then it’s time to choose the number of burners you want in your new stove. Let’s talk about the stove burners in detail.
Stoves with 2 Burners
If you live alone in a studio apartment or have a small kitchen, this is the perfect choice for your kitchen. These heating elements have smaller sizes than the other typical cooktops, making them ideal for compact spaces.
Furthermore, these are also suitable if you are already using the main stove and want a secondary option.
Stoves with 4 Burners
Most users like stoves with four heating elements. This is the most commonly used size, and you can comfortably pick the one from several options. For small and medium families, this offers enough space to cook delicious meals without any problem.
Stoves with 5 Burners
If you want additional cooking space on your cooktop but have limited kitchen space, then stoves with five burners are good for you. The extra heating can impact your cooking time while offering you additional cooking space. Usually, you will find five burners in gas or induction cooktops, and these are not so common in electric cooktops.
Stoves with 6 Burners
For commercial and professional cooking, stoves with six heating elements are the best choice because they offer sufficient room to cook. These are also suitable for large families or if you often cook meals for large gatherings.
However, you should consider your kitchen space when buying a stove cooktop with six burners’ because these are larger than the others.
If you’re building or redesigning your kitchen, it’s better to know about the available stove sizes. We have looked at the stove’s various features in this article, along with stove types and burners; now it is time to familiarize yourself with the stove dimensions.
Apartment Size Stoves
These are designed with small and tight spaces in mind. Usually, these stoves are 20″ or 24″ wide. But there are some stoves that have bigger dimensions. The depth of apartment sized stoves is around 22 -26 inches without measuring the handle. Height depends on whether the unit has a back guard or not. Typically, these stoves measure about 34 to 36 inches from the floor, but some models are 44 inches tall with a back guard.
Standard Size Stoves
The most common and standard stove size is up to 30 inches wide. In these units also the overall height depends on the height of the backguard. Typically, without a backguard, these stoves are 38 inches tall from the ground. Depths also varies from brand to brand and normally measures around 25″ to 28″ without the handle. The width of these stoves also varies according to their brand, but usually, they are 30-inches wider.
A professional range is the one that has a width of around 36 inches or even 48 inches. However, you will find stoves with a width of 40 inches, most common among professional cooks. These stoves are available in both gas and electric stoves. These extra-wide stoves feature premium commercial-grade styling and enormous cooking power.
Stove Functions and Features
Nowadays, you will find modern stoves that come loaded with various functions and features. This is solely a matter of personal likings, but some features are a must for easy and safe cooking.
If you don’t want a range hood or a fan in your kitchen, then install a downdraft cooktop for smooth ventilation. These feature a built-in ventilation system inside the cooktop; hence there is no need to use a hood for ventilation. You can install a downdraft extractor for gas and electric cooktops.
Overhead Hood or Fan
While most users do not like the presence of an overhead hood in their kitchen, but it is an excellent way to remove the steam and smoke while you are preparing meals. If you don’t want to install a downdraft extractor, then you will need an overhead hood or a fan in your place.
LED Controls and Display
Cooking tasks that need precision become simple if your stovetop features LED controls and display. This is because adjusting and monitoring various settings are simple, with LED lights and displays. The bright LED allows you to monitor settings from far away, no matter how dark your kitchen is. This feature will not affect the cooktop, but it comes in handy o various occasions.
Some safety functions are a must for any kitchen and user. These features are important as they ensure that you and your whole family remains safe. One such function is an automatic shutoff feature. In simple words, all heating elements will be switched off automatically when you are done with the cooking.
This also lets you to place the food over the stove without worrying that the burner will remain hot all day long.
Moreover, if your stove cooktop has a heat indicator, this will be a plus. This is because the indicating light will remain as long as your stove is hot. This prevents accidental touching to the stove as you can easily see that it is still hot.
Most people think that stoves and cooktops are bulky devices that have many heating elements. While this is valid only for the standard cooktop, many cooktops have a compact and portable design. So, you can easily and comfortably carry them on your trips and anywhere you want. Usually, these have only one or two burners, and mostly these are electric or induction stove cooktops.
You will also come across the stoves and cooktops that have built-in griddles. These griddles allow you to fry eggs, pancakes, quesadillas, and other similar easily and quickly. But remember, when buying a cooktop with a built-in griddle, check the space that it offers for the other burners.
These griddles are better than the removable griddles as they heat evenly and in no time. This is because the griddles are a part of the cooktop and not an additional piece.
This feature is a perk for all folks who don’t have time to stand by the stove. A stove or cooktop that comes with a Wi-Fi connectivity function will sync with an app that you can use on your mobile phone or laptop. Hence you can see your cooktop from other areas and keep an eye on the various settings. This function is also useful for people who have little kids running around the house.
Usually, you will find continuous grates in gas cooktops. These grates offer a gorgeous look to your kitchen counter. But keep in mind these are heavier, and it is not easy to move them when you clean or wash them. But still, these continuous grates are favorites of many users due to their looks and design.
Sometimes on a gas stove, you will see that heating element going out. People who have seen this know how frustrating it is, especially if you have not completed your cooking. The best way to eliminate this frustration is to buy a cooktop with an automatic re-ignition feature.
If your burner shuts off due to any reason when you are cooking, this handy feature will re-ignite it automatically, and you won’t have to deal with that annoyance by yourself.
Most users prefer using manual knobs to control and regulate the burners on their cooktops. These knobs are simple to use and feature LED lights that make them visible in the dark. Furthermore, these are also easy to clean as they are removable.
You will find knobs on all cooktop types, but if you suffer from arthritis or other hand-related problems, these knobs can be difficult to grasp and use. These knobs are also great for those people who don’t want to use digital controls.
This was the end of all features that you can get with your new cooktop or stove.
Cooktop vs. Range
You will have to choose between a stand-alone cooktop and a cooking range. The cooktop is placed on your kitchen counter and comes with the stovetop burners. Whereas the cooking range is a complete unit that also includes an oven along with the cooktop.
Much like stove type and power source, the selection between the cooktop and a range usually depends on your kitchen space and design. So, if you’re constructing or renovating your space, this will be much easier.
Some users like to have a separate oven fixed on the wall as this offers easy access. On the other hand, buying a complete cooking range is an affordable pick as you will have a stovetop and oven combined in one unit. So, in this case, it becomes a matter of preferences.
You can’t cook comfortably in your kitchen without the right stove, and due to the plethora of outstanding choices, there is a perfect one out there waiting for you. This guide offers you all the necessary knowledge about stove types, and we are sure after reading it, you can easily find the right one for your kitchen.