Cooktop vs. Rangetop: Pros & Cons

by Pete Lader June 27, 2022

Source: Jason Finn/Shutterstock.com

Cooktops and rangetops are similar but distinct cooking appliances. If you are renovating or building a new kitchen, you might have to choose between these two options, and it might not be clear which is best. Cooktops and rangetops are cooking surfaces that are not attached to an oven and sit in a countertop above cabinets. Both come in gas, electric and induction versions, maximizing your cabinet space. Installing a cooktop or a rangetop allows you to separate your range and your oven, offering more design freedom and cabinet space. When deciding between a rangetop and a cooktop, you should consider some pros and cons before making your decision. Both are good options, but one may be better for your kitchen.

What Is a Rangetop?

Rangetops are large cooking ranges similar to those found in professional kitchens. They are powerful, often topping 96,000 BTU in total energy output, and feature between four and eight full-power primary burners. Some rangetops, such as Thor Rangetops, also feature Italian-made burners and a griddle. 

Rangetop Pros

There are several advantages to installing rangetops in your kitchen, including: 

Long-lasting durability 

Rangetops, particularly ZLINE rangetops, are built to professional standards. They’re often made from rugged materials like heavy-duty stainless steel to resist corrosion. The burner grates are made from cast iron, designed to withstand intense heat and regular use. 

Higher cooking capacity

Generally, rangetops are larger than cooktops and can fit more pots and pans and larger pots and pans. They feature between four and eight full-powered burners and may come with an additional infrared rotisserie burner or a griddle. ZLINE rangetops feature burners with a generous 18,000 BTU output for quick boiling and searing. The continuous burner grates allow you to move cookware easily between burners.

Ergonomic knob location

The control knobs for a rangetop are placed at the front of the range. This gives the chef easy access and doesn’t require touching knobs next to a burner.

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a woman pressing a button on a rangetop

Source: megaflopp/Shutterstock.com

Rangetop Cons

Rangetops are excellent, versatile cooking appliances, but they have disadvantages compared with other options, including cooktops. 

Bulky design

Rangetops are usually larger than cooktops and can take up a lot of counter space. Rangetops might not be suitable for smaller kitchens.

Complex installation 

Rangetops are larger, heavier, and more substantial than cooktops, so the installation process will be more difficult and require cutting out more countertop. 

Not suitable for a family home

The knobs of a rangetop are on the front of the appliance. This might not be an ideal location for kitchens with children or pets that could hit the knob or accidentally ignite one of the burners. 

Higher upfront cost 

Rangetops are generally more expensive upfront than cooktops to account for their higher power output and heavy-duty materials. However, they often represent better value for money long-term, especially if you invest in a gas rangetop. Gas rangetops are more efficient to run than electric cooktops, so you can save on utility bills over the appliance’s lifespan. 

What Is a Cooktop?

A cooktop is very similar to a rangetop, though cooktops are more suitable for the home chef and are smaller than rangetops. They are available as gas, electric, and induction models but generally only have one full power burner and several secondary burners. A drop-in cooktop is an insert that fits into a small counter cutout, making it an excellent choice for compact kitchens.

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a man installing a gas cooktop in a kitchen

Source: Pawel_Brzozowski/Shutterstock.com

Cooktop Pros

Cooktops are excellent cooking appliances that are convenient to install, easy to use and available in gas, electric and induction. There are several benefits to using a cooktop:

Smaller size 

Cooktops are generally smaller than range tops and fit better into small and medium-sized kitchens. They use space more efficiently and give you extra storage and counter space. 

Fit and finish

Cooktops slide easily into a counter cutout and are flush with the counter itself. This snug fit gives the cooktop a sleek look with clean lines. 

Easy to clean

Rangetops are often higher maintenance because you need to remove the burner grates to clean underneath. Electric and induction cooktops are designed to be easily cleaned; simply wipe with a damp cloth when cool, and use a mildly abrasive glass cleaner for hard-to-remove stains. However, grime can build up where the cooktop meets the counter, which can be hard to clean without removing the entire cooktop.

Knob location

The control knobs for a cooktop are located alongside the burners on the top, making accidental ignition or pet or child injury much less likely. 

Cooktop Cons

While cooktops are a great appliance and the best solution for many home kitchens, there are a few drawbacks:

Less power

Cooktops have fewer full-power burners than rangetops and will not be ideal for a large household or people who like to entertain regularly and use all burners at once. 

Fewer features

Cooktops are optimized for the home kitchen and often just feature four burners. They do not have the extra features that rangetops have like griddles.

Control knob burns

Cooktop control knobs are near the cooking surface and can become hot during the cooking process or be dangerously close to large stock pots or skillets. This can lead to burned fingers and burned food if turning down the burner’s power becomes difficult. 

Which Is Better, Rangetop or Cooktop? 

Cooktops and rangetops are both excellent cooking appliances. They free up cabinet space and give the home chef ample cooking power to whip up any dish. Neither is better than the other; the question is what is right for your home and your cooking style. Check out Premium Home Source’s extensive collection of rangetops and cooktops to learn more about which would be more suitable for your kitchen.

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