Cooktop Buying Guide

When buying a cooktop, your first consideration should be size. The smallest cooktops start with a width of 30cm (featuring a maximum of two cooking zones), while the largest go up to around 120cm. While all cooktops are different, the most common size is 60cm (with four cooking zones).

Your second consideration should be the fuel source. In this buyer's guide, we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each:

Gas Cooktops

Gas cooktops are fast, powerful, and effective. They are the cooktop of choice for many professional chefs, and an enduring favourite within Australia's home kitchens.


  • There's no 'heat-up' time - as soon as you switch it on, it's on. Many people find that the flame provides a helpful visual aid, so you can see at a glance whether the heat level is correct.
  • Gas is a cost effective and environmentally-friendly energy source.
  • Gas is compatible with all types of cookware.
  • Wok cooking is easier with gas, as the gas trivet should support the round base of the wok. (Look for a model with a dedicated wok burner).
  • Some people prefer to use the manual knob controls found on gas cooktops (as opposed to electronic touch controls).


  • A natural gas connection may not be available in your area. To get around this problem, you might be able to use LPG (i.e. bottles of gas - such as you would use for a BBQ) but you will need to hire a licensed plumber to perform the conversion.
  • Gas cooktops produce a lot of heat, which can make your kitchen environment hot and uncomfortable.
  • The open flame presents a potential safety concern - we've heard horror stories of tea towels accidentally catching fire, or of people's hands getting burnt.
  • It's best to invest in a gas cooktop with a flame failure device fitted to each of the burners - which will automatically shut off the gas supply if the flame goes out. Gas cooktops without this feature are not as safe.
  • These cooktops can be a bit fiddly to clean, as food has a way of gathering around the base of the trivets.
  • Gas cookers don't fit in very well with a minimalist kitchen scheme.

Please click through to our Gas Cooktop Buying Guide for more information about gas cooktops.

Electric Cooktops

Electric cooktops are available in two types: solid and ceramic.

Solid electric cooktops feature exposed solid heating elements that usually include a red light in the middle of each hob to indicate when the cooktop is in use.

Ceramic electric cooktops feature a flat glass surface. The glass is reinforced to withstand heat, however you will still need to be careful not to smash heavy pots down onto the surface. Many people prefer this style of cooktop because it is easy to clean and it looks good.

Select models of ceramic electric cooktops will glow red when the cooking zone is in use.

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of buying an electric cooktop:


  • Generally speaking, electric cooktops are the cheapest of the bunch.
  • They're easy to operate - all you need to do is switch it on and away you go.
  • They're easy to clean, especially if you purchase a ceramic glass cooktop. This is because there are no grooves or trivets where food will build up and accumulate.
  • Modern-day electric cooktops feature fast heat-up times - much faster than the electric cooktops of yesteryear.


  • Compared with gas and induction, traditional electric cooktops are the least energy efficient.
  • They also take the longest to bring a pot of water to the boil.
  • Electric cooktops are only compatible with flat-bottomed cookware - which can present a problem if you want to use a wok.
  • You need to be careful not to scratch or smash the flat glass surface of ceramic cooktops. (They are built for robust use, but you still need to be mindful of dropping heavy pots onto the surface).

Please click through to our Electric Cooktop Buying Guide for more information about electric cooktops.

Induction Cooktops

Induction cooktops have become incredibly popular in recent times, and for good reason! Whatever you like to cook, chances are you'll get fantastic results with induction.


  • Induction is incredibly fast. For example, an induction cooktop will bring a large pot of water to the boil much quicker than gas. This makes induction a cost-effective and time efficient choice.
  • Induction is also extremely precise. This is especially useful when cooking technically demanding dishes that require a consistent temperature.
  • Rather than transferring heat from the element to the pot, induction cooktops work by creating an electromagnetic reaction with the metal in the pot. Put simply, the pot itself becomes hot, not the cooktop. This prevents your kitchen from becoming hot and uncomfortable, and also makes cooking much safer.
  • It's impossible to accidentally leave your induction cooktop switched on after you've removed the pot - if there's no pot, there's no heat.
  • The flat, smooth surface is easy to wipe clean. It also looks great, especially if you're a fan of the minimalist kitchen aesthetic.
  • You can use the flat surface of your induction cooktop as additional bench space while it's not in use.


  • You can only use stainless steel or cast iron cookware with your induction cooktop. (You can test if your cookware is suitable by seeing if a magnet will stick to it).
  • Because induction cooktops use a flat surface, your cookware will need to have a flat base. This makes cooking with a round-based wok difficult (although it is possible to buy an induction wok adapter to solve this problem).
  • You also need to be careful not to scratch the glass surface of your induction cooktop. Sometimes this can happen if you're roughly shaking a frypan.
  • Another potential issue with flat cooktops is that there's nowhere for spills to go - if your pot boils over, you'll end up with hot water on your benchtop and the floor. You also run the risk of getting water under the surface of the glass, which could cause electrical problems. However some induction cooktops come with a boil-over detector, which automatically switches the power off if liquid is detected on the surface of the cooktop.
  • Price-wise, induction cooktops are still more expensive to buy than electric or gas cooktops. However because they're so energy efficient, induction is worth the investment.

Please click through to our Induction Cooktop Buying Guide for more information about induction cooktops.