Electric ranges now come almost exclusively with smooth tops. Smooth cooktops – Ceran-top or Induction – have burners hidden beneath a ceramic surface. This makes them easier to clean and offers more cooking flexibility because the elements come in various sizes and power levels.
Although induction cooking has been available for many years, it has recently gained popularity as it has become more affordable and accessible to most consumers. Induction cooking uses an electromagnet below the ceramic surface to generate heat. It creates a magnetic field, which transfers energy directly to the pot or pan above the coils, keeping the cooktop cool to the touch. The benefit of Induction is you can adjust the cooking heat instantly and with great precision.
It’s important to have induction compatible cookware when using an induction cooktop. Make sure you consider this when making your decision. TIP: To determine if your current pots and pans will work with induction, take a magnet and place it on the cookware. If the magnet sticks, your cookware is compatible.
In addition to the cooktop, you also need to select a range with an oven that will suit your needs. For an avid cook, a double-oven range or a range with a warming drawer may be the right fit for you. However, if your meals are quick and simple, a model with less features may be better. If you like to bake, consider convection. Convection baking uses a fan to circulate oven air, which bakes more evenly and reduces the time required.
Finally, you’ll also want to consider the type of range that fits your kitchen and provides the cooking convenience that meets your needs. Will it be a freestanding range, slide-in range, a range with double ovens?