Gas and Electric Cooktops – Selection and Care

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    Your Stove is one of the most important parts of your kitchen and it should get proper care to last a long time.

    There are three different types of stove tops that we will cover.

    Electric with exposed elements
    Gas with exposed elements
    and Electric with Glass Surface

    Each type has its own specific features and different methods of maintenance.

    Electric Stoves with exposed elements are probably the most common in all homes. They can be found in stand alone ranges but are more likely installed directly in the counter top. They are economic and can have extra features like griddles and grills. A number of different materials are available from stainless steel to enamel and cast.

    Electric stoves are a little easier to care for since they do not have the added problem of a gas supply connections. Drip pans are provided to catch any spill that may happen. Most often they are chromed steel or stainless steel and can be removed by lifting the heating element. In some designs you need to unplug the heating element which can cause additional wear to the element and the adaptor it fits into.  

    Small spills on the surface should be caught as they occur so they don’t bake on.

    Once the drip pan is past its life and really can’t be successfuly cleaned anymore you can replace them for a few dollars with generic or specific models available in many stores.

    Electric Stoves with glass counter top surfacesare starting to replace the exposed element design due to the fact they are much easier to clean. The Glass Pyrex type material allows even distribution of heat to your pots and pans. Because the surface is flat and smooth it requires that your pots also be flat (a problem with some older pots because they warp) but heating is evenly distributed within the heating zone.

    To clean the glass surface you should try to catch any spills as soon as they happen. A very moist hand towel can be used to catch small spills. Over time small amounts of food will cake up on the surface. To remove it you need to use special glass polish. Use a dry paper towel and about a quarter sized drop of the polish. The stove should be dry and cool. As not much polish is needed distribute it evenly and then polish as you would your car in a circular motion. Repeat as necessary without water. Once done wash the surface and it will be like you have a new stove.

    Gas Cooktops are the final category we will look at. Many people really enjoy the use of gas cooktops because they tend to heat the food much faster and commercial type stoves altered for home use are available to give that restaurant feel. In all actuality though there won’t be any difference in the taste of the food when compared to an electric cooktop. Many different options are available for gas cooktops just like electric and you can even get a hybrid featuring both types in the same appliance.

    Gas Cooktop and Oven maintenance will provide an extra amount of challenges. For the most part other then simple repairs you should let a professional fix a Gas Appliance. Working with gas can be dangerous so unless you have done it before have a professional check it out. Automatic Pilot Lights have increased safety and leak detectors with automatic shutoff are available.

    Cleaning a Gas Cooktop is pretty much the same as an electric model. The difference is that you will also have to clean and inspect the burners. Individual burners can be replaced and moved around on some models to provide you with selection of where the large and small burners are placed.

    One important note is that you can cause damage to the surface of a gas cooktop if you place a large pot on your burner that extens past the burner tray. This will happen because the heat will reflect back onto the surface of the cooktop. You may also have problems with airflow.

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    The YouRepair Store carries a Full Line Gas and Electric – Kitchen Counter top Stoves and Ranges that can be delivered directly to your home. Unfortunately the largest items may not be available for free shipping but check our listings because most item over $25 are.

    Shop From Brands: AmanaAvantiBosch , DelonghiJenn-Air, GE Profile
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