Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Gas Cooktop
Most professional chefs prefer cooking on a gas cooktop or range. Cooking with gas allows for better temperature control and creates more cooking method options, such as charring. If you want to add these benefits to your kitchen, then you can buy a gas cooktop. But before you do so, look at this list of everything you need to know about this important purchase.
Gas Hookup Location
Before you can pick out your gas cooktop, you must learn where the gas hookup location is in your kitchen. If you already have an older cooktop or gas range in a specific spot, the gas hookup is probably in a nearby wall or cabinet. You can extend a gas line to your kitchen if you have gas appliances elsewhere in your home. However, if you don’t have any gas appliances, you’ll need to contact your local gas company. They can find the nearest gas line and extend it into your kitchen.
Kitchen and Countertop Dimensions
If you’re adding a gas line into your kitchen or considering moving your gas cooktop, you need to measure your kitchen and countertops. Smaller kitchens allow for limited cooking space, so you must measure your kitchen dimensions to figure out where the new cooktop should go. Place a piece of paper on the countertop where you want to install the cooktop. Imagine cooking in this spot, and make sure you have enough room to do so.
The most popular gas cooktop size is 30 inches, so make your piece of measuring paper that size. Measure your countertops to ensure that the new cooktop will fit comfortably.
Ventilation Location and Options
In addition to the gas hookup location and the dimensions of your kitchen, you also need to know where your kitchen ventilation spots are. The best ventilation comes from a range hood, so if you have one installed that you’re not planning to move, you should place your cooktop underneath it. If you don’t have a range hood, you should consider investing in one. You’ll need to measure your upper cabinets and ceilings to discern the best spot to place it.
Ideally, the gas hookup and ventilation should be in the same area. If they are not, you should move the ventilation to the gas hookup location. This is because it’s easier and more affordable to extend ducting for your ventilation than it is to extend a gas hookup.
Ideal Cooktop Surface
Now that you know the most important locations and dimensions in your kitchen, you can start shopping for your gas cooktop. First, you should look at the material of the cooktop surface. Gas cooktops can come in various surface materials, but stainless steel is best. Stainless steel is ideal for a gas cooktop because it conducts and distributes heat evenly. It also responds quickly to temperature changes, just as the gas itself does. This material is also durable and long-lasting, so you can trust that your investment will be worthwhile.
Burner Size and Options
As you look through your stainless-steel gas cooktop options, you’ll see various burner sizes and burner options. Smaller cooktops, which are popular in smaller kitchens, such as those in studio apartments, will only have two small- or medium-sized burners. Larger cooktops for bigger apartments and homes will have at least four burners. Sometimes these cooktops contain two small and two medium or large burners, so you can choose the flame size and save energy. Other times, the cooktops will contain multiple burners that are all the same size.
Choose the burner sizes based on your cooking habits and pan sizes. For example, if you cook a lot with smaller or medium-sized pans, you’ll probably be fine with a cooktop that has four small or medium burners. You do not need all the size options. However, if you cook a lot with pans of various sizes, including large ones, a cooktop with four or five burner sizes is best for you. And if you don’t cook much, consider a smaller cooktop with two smaller burners.
Presence of a Flame Failure Device
One of the major concerns people have while shopping for a gas cooktop is the safety of their cooktop. While all cooktops can reach high temperatures that can cause burns, gas cooktops use natural gas or propane. Many people worry that if the flame goes out on their cooktop, these gases will flow into their homes. Inhaling natural gas can cause health problems, such as headaches and breathing difficulty.
Don’t call off your gas cooktop search because of this safety concern, though. Most modern gas cooktops have flame failure devices that will shut off the gas if the flame on your cooktop goes out. This will help keep your kitchen and household safe. Additionally, you can place natural gas detectors around your home. These can alert you of a leak in the gas line itself.
Gas Cooktop Cost
The most important thing you need to know before buying a gas cooktop is the cost. A good four- or five-burner stainless steel gas cooktop will cost around $1,000. This can feel expensive at first, but most gas cooktops last around at least 15 years. That means a good gas cooktop only costs about $66 a year, which is a great investment for your home.
If you don’t have a gas line in your kitchen or home, you’ll spend more on a gas cooktop. Extending a gas line within your home, which is often called a gas branch, can cost around $500. Adding a new gas line to your home can cost around $1,000. However, these changes are permanent and are great investments for your home.
Installing gas in your kitchen or home and buying a gas cooktop is a great investment. You can cook like a professional in the comfort of your own home and add new cooking methods to your skillset. If you’re currently shopping for a gas range cooktop, ROBAM can help you find the best option for your home. All our gas range cooktops offer at least four burners, are stainless steel, and have flame-failure devices.