Cook With Radiant Heat on Your Own Ceramic Cooktop
Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or just replacing your stove, you may be considering the benefits of radiant cooktops. Many homeowners choose this range both for its stylish appearance and its relatively low price. Having an understanding of how the cooktops work and all their advantages will help cooks decide if a radiant cooktop is a wise choice for them.
How to Cook With Radiant Heat
Cooking with radiant heat is similar to cooking with the traditional coil burners that many homeowners are already accustomed to. With radiant cooktops, electricity passes through heating elements below the smooth surface, heating the ceramic top, which, in turn, radiates waves of heat to the pots, pans, and any food. The cooking surface will retain heat after the burner is turned off, and many models come with warning lights to alert users to hot burners.
Like induction cooktops, radiant ranges are thin and can easily be installed on countertops. Known to be easy to clean, there are many benefits to these ranges beyond their variety and their ease of maintenance.
Why You Should Consider a Radiant Cooktop
Many homeowners appreciate the smooth and sophisticated look offered by a ceramic cooktop. People tend to like them better because without the buttons and heatnig coils it gives the kitchen more of a clean, luxirious and modern feel. Radiant cooktops allow cooks to build a beautiful kitchen within their budget without having to compromise on style.
A sleek inductive cooktop will have a similar look to a radiant cooktop, however they have several differences. Similar to the very affordable electric coil stoves, radiant ranges are typically less expensive than their inductive counterparts. A radiant cooktop does not require any specialty pots or pans. Their more expensive induction counterparts require induction-capable magnetic cookware. Items that are already in most kitchens, like glass, copper-bottom, ceramic and other traditional cookware work well with radiant cooking because of the even heating provided by the smooth heating elements. While inductive cooktops do offer more control over the individual heating elements, some homeowners find they prefer the affordability of the radiant cooktop.
The Pros & Cons of this Type of Cooktop
The smooth ceramic surface of radiant ranges and cooktops makes them easier to clean than their counterparts with grates or coils that can trap grease and crumbs. Most ranges can be easily cleaned once they have cooled with mild detergents or paste designed for ceramic cooktops. Some foods, especially sugars, milks and sauces, need to be promptly cleaned from the surface to prevent staining. Most manufacturers provide guides to help owners in removing more reluctant stains.
Radiant elements have the additional benefit of using less energy than traditional electric coil ranges. By radiating their heat through a solid surface directly onto the pan, very little heat is lost to the surrounding air, increasing energy efficiency over traditional coil ranges.
When shopping for a radiant cooktop, it is wise to search for a variety of element sizes to suit the variety of cookware sizes that are already owned by the homeowner. Many radiant cooktops come with at least one variable size burner to accommodate different pan sizes. More advanced models can automatically detect pan size and make adjustments in how the heat is distributed.
The main downside to a radiant cooktop is similar to the drawback with electric coils, in that they change temperature very slowly. Warming the surface can initially take some time and changes in temperature happen more slowly. For example, on a gas range, a pot that is close to boiling will loose temperature immediately when the heat is reduced. On a radiant or electric range, the pot will continue to boil even after the heat is reduced because of the latent heat present in the cooktop. This gives cooks less control than what is offered with a gas cooktop, but small changes in cooking habits make the variations easy to adjust to.
The smooth and minimalist look of a new electric unit is highly desired by many homeowners. Available with as few as one or as many as five burners, cooks can choose between a radiant cooktop that is a space efficient option or one better for a big family. If you are searching for new radiant cooktops or ranges, browse our large selection today!