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Ceramic cooktop buying guide: How to find the best ceramic cooktop

We'll help you find the best ceramic cooktop for your kitchen.

If you're looking for a new cooktop, there are three options to choose from: gas cooktops, induction cooktops or ceramic cooktops. We'll help you figure out if a ceramic cooktop is the right choice for you.

When buying a ceramic cooktop, the most important factors to consider are the size of the cooktop, the number and type of elements it has and how easy it is to use. Your budget will also play a part, with prices ranging from around $300 to $2,000.

Our guide will help you compare your options and find the best ceramic cooktop for your needs.

Compare some of the best ceramic cooktops

Data obtained December 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Average price (AUD) Size (cm) Control type Cooking zones Dimensions Purchase today
Chef CHC645BA
Chef CHC645BA
$726
60
Touch
4
55 x 590 x 520
The Chef CHC645BA comes in a trimless black ceramic glass finish and has residual heat warning lamps.
Westinghouse WHC944BA
Westinghouse WHC944BA
$1,476
90
Touch
4
46 x 900 x 520
The Westinghouse WHC944BA offers a triple-zone hot plate, pause function and quick cook timer.
Electrolux EHC644BA
Electrolux EHC644BA
$978
60
Touch
4
55 x 590 x 520
The Electrolux EHC644BA has eas- to-use touch controls and includes a triple-zone cooktop.
Beko HIC641051
Beko HIC641051
$389
60
Dial
4
71 x 580 x 510
The Beko HIC641051 has a 5-year warranty and 4 cooking zones with side-control knobs.
Chef CHC744BA
Chef CHC744BA
$613
70
Dial
4
46 x 700 x 515
The Chef CHC744BA has easy-to-use rotary controls, 4 ribbon elements and residual heat indicator.
Beko HIC95600T1
Beko HIC95600T1
$999
90
Touch
5
45 x 900 x 510
The Beko HIC95600T1 includes touch and slide controls with 19 levels for each cooking zone and quick pre-heating.
Bosch PKE611CA1A
Bosch PKE611CA1A
$499
60
Dial
4
46 x 592 x 522
The Bosch PKE611CA1A has 4 quick-heat zones and 9 power levels for each cooking zone.
Bosch PKM875DP1A
Bosch PKM875DP1A
$1,079
80
Touch
5
44 x 816 x 527
The Bosch PKM875DP1A offers 17 power levels for each cooking zone and a combizone for larger roasting pans.
Delonghi DTCH80B
Delonghi DTCH80B
$1,147
80
Touch
4
45 x 770 x 510
The Delonghi DTCH80B includes 9 power levels per zone, a dual hi-light, small and extended heat zones.
Delonghi DECH60SX1
Delonghi DECH60SX1
$459
60
Dial
4
45 x 590 x 510
The Delonghi DECH60SX1 offers 12 power levels per zone and a residual heat indicator.

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Pros and cons of ceramic cooktops

Pros

Why consider an electric ceramic cooktop over a gas or induction cooktop?

  • They look good. With their flat surfaces, ceramic cooktops offer a clean, streamlined look to your kitchen bench.
  • They're easy to clean. Another benefit of this flat surface is that there are few crevices where food and dirt can accumulate. As a result, they're much easier to clean than gas cooktops.
  • They're affordable. Ceramic cooktops are generally quite affordable, particularly when compared to induction cooktops, making them a popular choice for many households.

Cons

However, there are also a few reasons why a ceramic cooktop may not be the right choice for you:

  • Not as responsive. Ceramic cooktops aren't as responsive to temperature changes as induction cooktops, nor are they as quick to heat up your cookware as gas models. That said, modern ceramic cooktops are much more responsive than electric cooktops once were.
  • They retain heat. Ceramic cooktops retain heat once you have turned an element down or off, so you need to be careful not to overcook food in pots left on the stove. This also presents a safety hazard, but most cooktops come with warning lights to let you know when the surface is still hot.
  • They're less energy-efficient. Electric cooktops aren't as energy-efficient as gas and induction models.
  • They can be damaged. You'll need to be careful not to scratch the ceramic surface or damage it by dropping heavy cookware.

How to compare ceramic cooktops

Many well-known appliance manufacturers including Bosch, DeLonghi, Fisher & Paykel, Omega, Smeg, Westinghouse and others all offer their own range of ceramic cooktops, so it's important to shop around before you buy.

When comparing your options, make sure you consider the space you have to work with, the type of cooking you plan on doing and how much money you're willing to spend. Here's what you'll need to take into account:

Size

The most important factor you'll need to consider is the size of the cooktop. The space available in your kitchen will obviously play a big role in determining which size of cooktop you select, so check the dimensions closely to make sure your cooktop will fit. However, the type of cooking you do also plays a part – if you're a keen cook and you regularly have several pots on the go, the more cooking space available the better.

60cm (or 600mm) is by far the most common size and these cooktops will usually feature 4 heating elements. Some brands also offer 70cm and 80cm units, while 90cm cooktops with 5 or 6 cooking zones are also available for those who need more space to work with. If you're short on space, compact 30cm units with 2 cooking zones might be the best choice.

Cooking zones

Most 60cm cooktops come with 4 heating elements, but some will only have 3 to allow for 1 of them to be a larger cooking zone. When deciding how many zones you need, consider how many elements you're likely to need at any given time as well as how cramped the surface may become when you've got a full complement of pots and pans on the go.

Some cooktops come with special heating zones designed for large or even unconventionally shaped pots and pans. Manufacturers also offer dual or even triple elements that allow you to adjust the amount of the heated surface area in order to match different-sized pots and pans.

Price

As you'd expect, the larger the cooktop you choose, the more you can generally expect to pay. However, there's also a decent range of variation in prices of cooktops of the same size and prices for a 60cm ceramic cooktop could be anywhere from $300 to $1,000. If you're shopping for a 90cm cooktop, prices range from around $650 up to $2,000.

Controls

While many modern ceramic cooktops have touch controls for a streamlined, minimalist look, there are also several brands that offer cooktops with old-fashioned dials or knobs to control the heat settings. Make sure the controls on the cooktop you buy are easy to understand and use.

Some people find touch controls a little fiddly and difficult to get used to, while dials and knobs can be more annoying to clean, so the choice here is really a matter of personal preference.

Also, remember to make sure whether the controls will still be easy to access when the cooktop is full of pots and pans.

Ease of cleaning

Because they offer a flat surface, ceramic cooktops are generally quite easy to wipe clean following a spill. However, make sure there aren't too many crevices where food and other gunk may build up.

This may also influence whether you go for a frameless cooktop or one with an edge. While a frame around the cooktop can stop spills spreading onto your benchtop, it can also become a spot where mess accumulates and is difficult to remove.

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