There was a time when choosing an electric cooktop over a gas model meant settling for splatter-prone electric coils and far less precision than that afforded by a highly visible and infinitely adjustable gas flame. Why, asked serious home cooks, would anyone choose electric over gas?
Well, things have changed. And for those who prefer or have no choice but to cook withelectricity, the change is a welcome one. KitchenAid, one of the innovators and biggest names in cooktops, now offers nine electric models in a variety of configurations, along with two induction models that use electricity in a very different way to give cooks complete control and precision in their cooking. Beyond performance, all offer an important benefit that gas cooktops simply cannot match: their sleek, black glass ceramic surfaces wipe clean easily, with no nooks to trap burnt on foods.
The newest additions to the collection are a five-burner, 36" electric cooktop and four-burner, 30" models in gas or electric, all featuring the added convenience of downdraft ventilation. Thanks to a built-in downdraft vent that captures smoke, steam, and odors right at the surface, no additional ventilation is required, making this an ideal choice for island or peninsula installation. For efficient heating, three double-ring round elements accommodate different sizes of cookware.
Also relatively new are two induction cooktops. Induction technology heats the pan and not the cooktop surface, providing incredible heating speed, precise control and enhanced energy efficiency. KitchenAid offers a five burner, 36" model at a suggested retail price of $2,849 and a four-burner, 30" model priced at $2,349. Both feature 18 heat-level settings and the power to go from simmer to boil in a matter of seconds. A new 30" model, offered in either all black or with stainless steel trim will be available in the fall at suggested retail prices of $1,649 and $1,749, respectively.
The collection is rounded out by six conventional electric cooktops in various configurations, priced starting at $899 for a four-burner, 30" Architect® Series II model. Certain models also feature touch activated controls for a completely smooth, knob-free surface and a subtle, watermark surface design. For supplementing existing cooking surfaces in the kitchen, or for adding cooking capabilities in other parts of the home, there is a 15" model with two burners priced at $649.