The cooktops is still the most important piece of cooking equipment in the kitchen, even though many of its functions have been taken over by other tools such as
steamers, steam kettles, tilting skillets,and ovens.
Types of Cooktops
Open elements (burners), either electric coils or gas flames.These tops are the fastest to heat and can be turned off after short use.However,cooktops space is limited to one pot per burner.
Flattop or hot top (lightweight). Burners covered with steel plate. More cook space is available.Top supports moderately heavy weights.
Heavy-duty flattop. Burners covered with heavy cast steel.The top supports many heavy pots.A thick top requires longer preheating. Set burners for different
levels,and adjust cooking heat by moving pots to different spots on the top.
Induction cooktops. A fairly new type of rangetop, the induction cooktop is slowly making its way into commercial kitchens.The top itself does not become hot.Rather, it works by magnetically agitating the molecules in steel or iron cookware so the cookware becomes hot.As a result,much less energy is used and the kitchen stays cooler, because only the pots and pans and their contents become hot.There are no hot surfaces or open flames.Also,no warm-up is required.The top can be turned instantly on or off.Small,easily portable induction burners are available. These are useful for off-premise catering operations, for buffet service, and even for tableside heating and cooking.The disadvantage of this cooktop is that only iron or steel pots can be used.Traditional aluminum or copper cookware will not work. Some manufacturers of cookware have responded to the new demand by producing pots and pans made of aluminum sandwiched between layers of stainless steel.In this way,the good heat-conducting qualities of aluminum are preserved as well as adapted to this new technology.
Do’s And Dont’s
- Make sure gas pilots are lit before turning on burners. If burners do not light, turn off gas and allow the gas to ventilate before trying again to light pilots or burners.
- Adjust air intake so gas flames are blue with a white tip for maximum heat.
- Do not keep flat-top ranges on high heat unless items are being cooked over them. Damage to tops could result.