Sears Knowledge Center

Buying a Cooktop

Streamline your kitchen and cook your favorites in style

Cooktops are cooking surfaces that often sit at counter level. Some models are combined with an oven range while others are completely separate and designed to fit anywhere on your countertop. You can find cooktops that use either gas or electric heat in varying sizes to accommodate the amount of space you have available. From frying home-style favorites to boiling pasta, a cooktop can do it all. Make sure you find the one that's right for your kitchen.

Why buy a new cooktop?

  • If you have a wall oven or under-counter oven, you'll likely want a separate cooktop for boiling, frying, searing and simmering.
  • Buying a cooktop separately from a range can give you more options when it comes to designing your kitchen.
  • Save money on your electric bill with energy efficient cooktops that use less electricity, but offer the same benefits of your current, older cooktop.
  • Cook with precision when you have more control over the heat levels emitting from a new cooktop.
  • Upgrading to a new cooktop can open a variety of culinary doors for those who are comfortable in the kitchen.  From induction heat technology to burners with varying levels of heat output, you can find the modern kitchen equipment to suit your needs.

Features of new cooktops

Specialty burners

Extra features

  • Range hoods collect steam and gas from cooktop cooking
  • Downdraft ventilation systems are a substitute for range hoods, pulling gas and steam downward instead of upward
  • Bridge elements give you the ability to connect two electric radiant or gas heat elements for a larger cooking surface
  • Some models have recessed cooktops that are built in to form a flush surface with the countertop

Which product is best for you?


Types of cooktops

Electric coil cooktop

The most common electric models, coil cooktops work well with most cookware. The coils, which are operated by dials, sit above a metal drip pan and use electric power to heat the cookware.  Because spills and splatter can easily slip through the coils, the drip pans can be removed to simplify cleaning.

  • Price range: $300-$550
  • Width range: 21-36 inches
  • Number of burners: 2-5

Electric coil cooktops are best for…

People with a large, diverse collection of cookware: Electric coils are versatile cooktops that allow you to use almost any type of cookware.

Shoppers on a tight budget: Electric coil cooktops are the least expensive style of cooktops available. You can find a reliable model for a lower price that suits your budget. 

Electric radiant cooktop

Often referred to as a smoothtop cooktop, these models are stylish and sleek, offering an easy-to-clean glass or ceramic surface with an electric heat source. These models are completely flat across the top, with the burners built into the surface. Some burners even offer dual and triple element burners.

  • Price range: $500-$2000
  • Width range: 15-36 inches
  • Number of burners: 2-7

Electric radiant cooktops are best for…

Organizers and cleaners: The smooth glass surface of an electric radiant cooktop is a breeze to clean up.

Home decorators: In addition to functionality, these cooktop models also add a chic contemporary feel to your kitchen.

Modern technology mavens: Instead of traditional dials, many electric radiant cooktops come with touch sensors. You can even find models that can shut down a cooktop if a surface has been hot for too long.

Electric induction cooktop

This new technology offers a safer way to heat your food. Instead of using a direct heat source, induction cooktops use electromagnetism to heat the cookware directly with a cooking surface that's always cool to the touch.

  • Price range: $625-$3000
  • Width range: 24-36 inches
  • Number of burners: 2-5

Electric induction cooktops are best for…

Families with small children: The induction burners are the safest cooktop on the market. While the cookware remains hot, the burner and surrounding stovetop are cool to the touch.

Technology fiends: The new technology of induction cooktops and cookware offers a unique way of cooking. The magnetic heating mechanism of induction cooking is exciting and modern.

Gas cooktop

The traditional gas cooktop allows you to cook your meals atop a gas flame, which allows you better control of your heat source.

  • Price range: $325-$2700
  • Width range: 26-37 inches
  • Number of burners: 2-6

Gas cooktops are best for…

Busy home chefs: Because gas flames turn on instantaneously, you don't have to wait for the heating element to reach the desired temperature. Cook food more quickly with with less delay, while ensuring you're cooking with the right heat level.

Anyone with safety in mind: When a gas cooktop is switched off, the flames disappear right away. Your burner and surrounding stovetop area will cool down more quickly with the immediate disappearance of the heat source, keeping wandering hands safer from hot surfaces.

Bottom line

Whether you're a top-notch home chef or a budding kitchen assistant, there's a cooktop to suit everyone. If you prefer an aesthetically pleasing appearance in your kitchen, look for stylish models with easy-to-clean surfaces, like electric radiant cooktops. If you're more of a traditionalist, the gas cooktop might be right for you, and the budget-friendly option is an electric coil cooktop. Of course, if you'd rather try out the latest technology and hottest new items, invest in the future with an induction cooktop and cookware set. Regardless of your choice, you're sure to be satisfied with a new cooktop in your kitchen.


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