I know that electric wall ovens have a larger capacity than their gas counterparts, but when it comes to cooktops, give me gas power every time. The immediate response to changes in heat makes for great control over frying, simmering, and poaching great entrees and side dishes. Sure, electric-powered ranges boil water a little quicker. But I'm willing to sacrifice that for the complete mastery gas cooktops give me over the balance of my cooking chores.
Having separate ovens and cooktop appliances means extra work on the installation end, and it can be well worth it if you like the conveniences and benefits of each. One of the easiest ways to comparison shop for cooktops is online. You can find great sales and discounts on the Web, too. Before you start, set a budget, measure the area for the cooktop, determine the power source you want, evaluate venting needs, select the kind of burners you want, the surface materials, and especially the manufacturer's warranties.
Gas Versus Electric Kitchen Cooktops
Sears tends to favor gas-powered cooktops for serious cooks. Basic cooktop models come in 30" and 36" models, and you can spare yourself time and effort if you replace the same size appliance during your remodeling. Both gas and electric models start around $300 in the most economical varieties, going upwards to $600 for better models. If you like induction, be prepared to spend as much as $2,500.
Consumer Reports estimates that you can spend between $200 and $1,500 for a good gas cooktop, and between $150 and $1,000 for electrics. Most experts suggest evaluating your cooktop choices based on cleanup and safety. All cooktops stay hot for a while after you turn them off, but you can buy models that display a red warning button to show you the heat is still present in the element.