Which KitchenAid cooktop is best?

When space concerns mean that a full-size range isn’t an option, many chefs turn to a cooktop. These function exactly like a range but don’t have the oven to install. This frees up valuable space under the counters. 

KitchenAid’s Four-Burner 30-Inch Gas Downdraft Cooktop is sleek, compact and powerful — perfect for skilled home cooks who want a versatile, stylish appliance.

What to know before you buy a KitchenAid cooktop

Electric vs. gas vs. induction

If you’ve decided to install a wall oven and go for a KitchenAid cooktop, the first consideration is whether you want an electric, gas or induction cooktop.

  • Gas: KitchenAid has distinct style options for gas cooktops. They have cast iron grates over a smooth glass surface. Some cooks find the smooth surface easier to clean, while others prefer a more traditional appliance. Gas cooktops can be some of the most expensive. 
  • Electric: This is not the electric you remember. KitchenAid electric cooktops cover the coils in a glass surface. No more digging out from underneath the burner for cleaning. These tend to be more affordable for cooks who want to upgrade on a budget. 
  • Induction: Induction burners use heated magnets under a glass surface. These are energy efficient and safe, but they can be hard to find. KitchenAid has many sizes to choose from, but finding them in stock can be difficult. Certain types of cookware will also not work on induction burners. 

It’s also possible to install a KitchenAid cooktop over and under-counter oven. This gives you the freedom to mix-and-match appliances, choosing the one that works best for you.

Size

KitchenAid cooktops are available in 15, 30 or 36 inches, but commercial-grade versions are available in 48 inches, too. The size you select depends on your available counter space as well as the amount of cooking you intend to do. Larger cooktops have more burners with different power levels and features so you can create more in the kitchen at once. 

Power

Power on cooktops is measured in watts for electric and induction burners and British Thermal Units (BTUs) for gas. Some KitchenAid electric and induction cooktops also have additional power in extra coils underneath the larger burners.

You’ll need a good mix of both to perform everything from searing at high heat to simmering or finishing delicate sauces. 

What to look for in a quality KitchenAid cooktop

Downdraft

Downdraft KitchenAid cooktops do not require a stove hood. This means you can install them on a kitchen island or away from the wall to suit your kitchen layout. 

Continuous burners

For all cooktops, a continuous burner means no lifting heavy pots to move from one side of the stove to the other. This reduces the possibility of spills or accidents as you cook. 

Griddle included

For grilled sandwiches and pancake breakfasts, an included griddle is a lifesaver in the KitchenAid gas cooktops. Simply remove one section of the cast-iron grates and insert the griddle as needed.

Conversion to liquid petroleum

KitchenAid offers gas cooktops that can be converted to run on liquid petroleum (LP) for flexibility in your power source. Instead of plumbing directly to natural gas, these can be added to RVs or tiny homes without a dedicated gas line. 

Easy cleanup

KitchenAid electric, induction and glass-on-gas cooktops can be easily cleaned with a specialized cleaner or a spray bottle filled with diluted white vinegar. 

Stainless steel cooktops and cast iron grates are also easy to care for with a nonabrasive plastic scrubber and a mild abrasive. 

How much you can expect to spend on a KitchenAid cooktop

The price varies depending on the size and type of cooktop. Expect to spend $1,000-$3,000. 

KitchenAid cooktop FAQ

How challenging is it to install a cooktop?

A. When it comes to a KitchenAid gas cooktop, leave it to the professionals. A certified gas fitter is needed to make sure the connection is secure and safe.

Electric and induction cooktops are a much easier installation and can generally be completed by experienced DIYers. If you’re in doubt, check with the manufacturer for instructions.

Can gas cooktops be used when the power goes out?

A. Yes. Gas cooktops can be manually lit when power is not available. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific cooktop. 

What’s the best KitchenAid cooktop to buy?

Top KitchenAid cooktop

Four-burner 30-inch Gas Downdraft Cooktop

Four-burner 30-inch Gas Downdraft Cooktop 

What you need to know: For home cooks who aspire to restaurant-quality dishes, this cooktop can help.

What you’ll love: This stainless steel downdraft cooktop features four burners, one of which puts out 17,000 BTUs for powerful, professional cooking. The three-speed fan is effective at removing odors and smoke, and the cooktop can be converted to run on LP gas

What you should consider: Some users thought that the stainless steel knobs felt flimsy.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Top KitchenAid cooktop for the money

36-inch Radiant Electric Cooktop in Black With Five Elements

36-inch Radiant Electric Cooktop in Black With Five Elements

What you need to know: With four adaptable burners, this cooktop can handle the largest pots and the smallest pans.

What you’ll love: With two 10-inch and two 6-inch burners, this smooth surface cooktop features radiant coils that heat the glass for even cooking. The 12-inch, 9-inch and 6-inch burners have triple radiant coils for larger pots. Even-Heat technology means you can quickly boil a pot of water or slowly melt chocolate without scorching with two burners that have dedicated settings.

What you should consider: The burners are hard to see unless they are in use.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Worth checking out

36-inch Gas Commercial Cooktop With Six Burners

36-inch Gas Commercial Cooktop With Six Burners 

What you need to know: When you’re ready to invest in a serious appliance, this commercial-grade cooktop is the way to go.

What you’ll love: It features two 20,000 BTU dual flame burners for precise temperature control. The convertible greats have removable inserts that can increase or decrease the heat as needed. Another three 15,000 BTU burners and a 5,000 BTU simmer burner complement the power of the larger flame.

What you should consider: Because of the knob placement, it’s easy to accidentally turn the burners on. This is not safe in a home with small children.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

 

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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