When specifying a gas cooktop, the BTU output is a prime consideration − both maximum and minimum levels. One of today’s biggest cooking trends is professional-style stoves for the home, with burners that boast large BTU outputs. But burners that put out high BTUs have large holes, or ports, to dispense the flames − and those holes are often too big to maintain combustion when turned down to simmer. Manufacturers have sought to overcome this challenge by burner-within-a-burner system or placing smaller burners that can cycle on and off at a low flame alongside the higher BTU burners. Users who want the widest range of cooking options will want star-shaped burners with both high and low BTU output (200 BTU/hour to 18,000 BTU/ hour is about the extent of the range), with simmer systems to control temperature via electronics that cycle the burner on and off to maintain temperatures as low as 100 degrees F that can simmer delicate sauces or keep food warm without scorching and the need for constant stirring.
When it comes to installation, slimmer modular units are far easier to move and install than conventional refrigerators that can weigh up to 800 pounds.
One complaint of design professionals used to be the complicated installation, but the industry has responded with prepackaged and labeled parts to simplify the procedure. Still, cabinet preparation is crucial to a smooth installation. With modular refrigerators, the intent is that any standard size kitchen cabinet can be replaced by a modular column, with a gap between two tall cabinets the ideal scenario. Units should have hinges that can open to 115 degrees to allow the columns to be fully flush mounted without sacrificing accessibility. Hinges should also be heavy duty, and be able to support more than 200 pounds of door weight, particularly if custom wood panels are used. For complete installation details, the product’s spec sheet should be consulted. Installers familiar with flush-mounted modular units should be used, as there is a learning curve experienced by non-cabinet installers.
Thermador Induction stove top
Induction cooking may also have the edge over gas and electric in terms of safety as the cooktop itself can not generate any heat, and can only get as hot as the cookware. The coil produces energy only when a pan is detected on the burner, which shuts off automatically when the pan is removed or if its contents boil over. Also, the lack of an open flame and hot cooktop reduce the risk of burns. Its flat, smooth surface makes it easier to clean than other types of cooktops. Drawbacks to induction cooking boil down to cost − that of the cooktop itself, and a ferromagnetic set of cookware.
Thermador Induction stove top
Regardless of heat source, glass stove tops incorporate technology to improve cooking performance over traditional electric coil options. Some models feature infrared sensor technology that continuously measures the heat from cookware. The electronic circuit compares the actual temperature of the pot with the programmed temperature and regulates the element accordingly. The sensor automatically cycles the burner on and off in milliseconds to maintain the precise temperature needed while preventing boil over. Even when put to the ultimate chocolate test, the infrared sensor technology can ensure that chocolate is melted and kept without burning for hours. This new technology not only ensures a good cooking result, but it is more energy efficient as it uses only the energy needed. Many models also come equipped with a version of electronic touch-sensitive controls that are activated by moving a finger over certain areas to indicate the preferred burner and heat level. Two light touches of the finger will turn on each electric element, and one touch turns them off. All elements can be extinguished simultaneously with a single touch, and a longer touch locks the entire unit for easy cleaning and child-proofing, making the unit safer and more convenient.
One major advantage of glass-ceramic cooktops over other styles is their smooth surfaces uninterrupted by drip pans, knobs or dials, which makes them extremely easy to clean.